Archive for the ‘Virtualization’ category

Update VMware Tools via Windows System Tray

May 31st, 2012

A Windows platform owner may inquire why he or she is unable to update an Out-of-date VMware tools installation using the VMware Tools applet in the system tray.  Clicking on the Update Tools button either produces an error similar to Update Tools failed or nothing at all happens.

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Although the option to update VMware Tools is generally available via the system tray, the functionality is disabled by default in the VM shell.  The solution to the issue can be found in VMware KB 2007298 Updating VMware Tools fails with the error: Update Tools failed. Edit the virtual machine’s vmx file.

Shut down the virtual machine and add the following line to the virtual machine’s .vmx configuration file via Edit Settings | Options | General | Configuration Parameters:

isolation.tools.guestInitiatedUpgrade.disable = “FALSE”

Power on the virtual machine.  From this point forward, a VMware Tools update can be successfully performed from within the guest VM.

Invitation to Dell/Sanity Virtualization Seminar

May 22nd, 2012

I know this is pretty short notice but I wanted to make local readers aware of a lunch event taking place tomorrow between 11:00am and 1:30pm.  Dell and Sanity Solutions will be discussing storage technologies for your vSphere virtualized datacenter, private, public, or  hybrid cloud.  I’ll be on hand as well talking about some of the key integration points between the vSphere and Storage Center.  You can find full details in the brochure below.  Click on it or this text to get yourself registered and we’ll hope to see you tomorrow.

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VMware Press Launches Sweepstakes!

May 1st, 2012

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VMware Press, the official publisher of VMware books and training materials, has launched a 60 day Facebook sweepstakes beginning May 1 and running through June 30th. Prize offerings include a $100 Amazon gift card and three VMware Press books of the winner’s choice; nine second prize winners will win an eBook of their choice. Good luck – enter now at the link below!

http://ow.ly/aBkvE

AppAssure Webinar – The Top 3 Backup Technologies for 2012

April 24th, 2012

Webinar Announcement:

What: The Top 3 Backup Technologies for 2012

When: Wednesday, April 25, 12:00 PM CST

Where: http://go.appassure.com/webinar-top-3-backup-technologies-042512-gmt

Details: FEATURED SPEAKER: Joseph Hand, Sr. Director of Product Strategy, AppAssure Software.  Learn about the 3 Backup & Recovery technologies you need for 2012!  Instant Restore with near-zero RTO, Backup and Recovery auto-verification, and Cross-platform Data Recovery – P2V, V2V, V2P.

For more on this and other AppAssure webinars, please visit http://www.appassure.com/live-webinars/

RVTools 3.3 Now Available

April 23rd, 2012

Breaking News: RVTools 3.3 from Rob de Veij is now generally available to the public.  Release notes for this build:

  • GetWebResponse timeout value changed from 5 minutes to 10 minutes (for very big environments)
  • New tabpage with HBA information
  • On vDatastore tab the definition of the Provisioned MB and In Use MB columns was confusing! This is changed now.
  • RVToolsSendMail accepts now multiple recipients (semicolon is used as separator)
  • Folder information of VMs and Templates are now visible on vInfo tabpage
  • Bugfix: data in comboboxes on filter form are now sorted
  • Bugfix: Problem with api version 2.5.0 solved
  • Bugfix: Improved exception handling on vCPU tab.
  • Bugfix: Improved exception handling on vDatastore tab.

Download

Documentation

Using PowerCLI To Answer Virtual Machine Message Questions

April 17th, 2012

Scripters believe in efficiency, automation, working smarter and not harder, etc.  You’ll sometimes hear them say something like “Any process which is repeated once or more should be scripted”.  Myself, I am not the world’s greatest scripter.  I have to work at it.  Thus my personal threshold for committing to a scripted method is higher than one repetition.

In my environment, I did come across a particular process which needed to be repeated 20 or more times – Answering a virtual machine question.  Based on what I’m working on, conceivably I was going to run into this a lot more.  This is a great candidate for scripting.

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The Virtual Machine Message I’m faced with deals with the relocation of the VM.  Via the vSphere Client, my possible choices to answer the question are “Cancel”, “I moved it”, or “I copied it”.  I don’t have the patience or desire to mouse through this hundreds of times.

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I want to provide the same answer, “I moved it”, for every VM in inventory which has this question.  The script to accomplish this is fairly simple, even by my standards.  Once the PowerCLI connection is established to the vCenter Server or ESX(i) host, it’s a one-liner.  Following is the PowerShell script which gets the job done for my situation:

Connect-VIServer vc501.boche.lab
Get-VM | Get-VMQuestion | Set-VMQuestion -Option “I moved it” -Confirm:$false

Note that there are different types of Virtual Machine Message questions which will yield a different set of possible answers.  Be sure to query a VM having a question via PowerCLI for the possible answers to that question.  Get-VM | Get-VMQuestion -full should do it.  Once the possible answers are revealed, use Set-VMQuestion -Option to provide an answer.

Also note the script above will cycle through all VMs in inventory, and for those having a question, it will provide the same response for each VM.  Thus the assumption is made that all VMs with pending questions have the same question being asked.  To respond to explicit question types or to filter the VMs being looped through, the script would need to be refined.

For more information on the Get-VMQuestion or Set-VMQuestion PowerCLI cmdlets, use Get-Help Get-VMQuestion -full or Set-Help Get-VMQuestion -full respectively.

Update 6/30/15:  I ran into a situation with vSphere 5.5 Update 2 and PowerCLI 5.8.0.6734 where “I moved it” was not being recognized as a valid answer to the question, yet I needed to provide this as the correct answer.

Using:

PowerCLI C:\> Get-VMQuestion -VM mytestvm

Possible answers are:

Cancel, button.uuid.movedTheVM, button.uuid.copiedTheVM

I’m not sure why this changed or when, but in my case the new answer string to provide is ‘button.uuid.movedTheVM’

I needed to answer the same question on a large number of virtual machines so I used the following PowerShell:

Get-VM | Get-VMQuestion | Set-VMQuestion -Option ‘button.uuid.movedTheVM’ -Confirm:$false

vSphere 5.0 Update 1 and Related Product Launches

March 16th, 2012

VMware has unveiled a point release update to several of their products tied to the vSphere 5 virtual cloud datacenter platform plus a few new product launches.

vCenter 5.0 Update 1 – Added support for new guest operating systems such as Windows 8, Ubuntu, and SLES 11 SP2, the usual resolved issues and bug fixes, plus some updates around vRAM limits licensing.  One other notable – no compatibility at this time with vSphere Data Recovery (vDR) 2.0 according to the compatibility matrix.

ESXi 5.0 Update 1 – Added support for new AMD and Intel processors, Mac OS X Server Lion, updated chipset drivers, resolved issues and bug fixes.  One interesting point to be made here is that according to the compatibility matrix, vCenter 5.0 supports ESXi 5.0 Update 1.  I’m going to stick with the traditional route of always upgrading vCenter before upgrading hosts as a best practices habit until something comes along to challenge that logic.

vCloud Director 1.5.1 – Added support for vSphere 5.0 Update 1 and vShield 5.0.1, plus RHEL 5 Update 7 as a supported server cell platform.  Enhancements were made around firewall rules, AMQP system notifications, log collection, chargeback retention, resolved issues, and added support for AES-256 encryption on Site-to-Site VPN tunnels (unfortunately no vSphere 5.0 Update 1 <-> vCloud Connector 1.5 support).  Oh yes, sometime over the past few months, VMware Marketing has quietly changed the acronym for vCloud Director from vCD to VCD.  We’ll just call that a new feature for 1.5.1 going forward.  I <3 the Marketing team.

Site Recovery Manager 5.0.1 – Added support for vSphere 5.0 Update 1 plus a “Forced Failover” feature which allows VM recovery in cases where storage arrays fail at the protected site which, in the past, lead to unmanageable VMs which cannot be shut down, powered off, or unregistered.  Added IP customization for some Ubuntu platforms.  Many bug fixes, oh yes.  VMware brought back an advanced feature which hasn’t been seen since SRM 4.1 which provided a configurable option, storageProvider.hostRescanCnt, allowing repeated host scans during testing and recovery. This option was removed from SRM 5.0 but has been restored in the Advanced Settings menu in SRM 5.0.1 and can be particularly useful in troubleshooting a failed Recovery Plan. Right-click a site in the Sites view, select Advanced Settings, then select storageProvider. See KB 1008283.  Storage arrays certified on SRM 5.0 (ie. Dell Compellent Storage Center) are automatically certified on SRM 5.0.1.

View 5.0.1 – Added support for vSphere 5.0 Update 1, new Connection Server, Agent, Clients, fixed known issues.  Ahh.. let’s go back to that new clients bit.  New bundled Mac OS X client with support for PCoIP!  I don’t have a Mac so those who would admit to calling me a friend will have to let me know how sharp that v1.4 Mac client is.  As mentioned in earlier release notes, Ubuntu got a plenty of love this week.  Including a new View PCoIP version 1.4 client for Ubuntu Linux.  I might just have to deploy an Ubuntu desktop somewhere to test this client.  But wait, there’s more.  New releases of the View client for Android and iPad tablets.  The Android client adds fixes for Ice Cream Sandwich devices, security stuff, and updates for the Kindle Fire (I need to get this installed on my wife’s Fire).  The updated iPad client improves both connection times as well as external display support but for the most part Apple fans are flipping out simply over something shiny and new.  Lastly, VMware created a one stop shop web portal for all client downloads which can be fetched at http://www.vmware.com/go/viewclients/

vShield 5.0.1 – Again, added support for vSphere 5.0 Update 1, enhanced reporting and export options, new REST API calls, improved audit logs, simplified troubleshooting, improved vShield App policy management as well as HA enhancements, and enablement of Autodeploy through vShield VIB host modules downloadable from vShield Manager.

So… looking at the compatibility matrix with all of these new code drops, my lab upgrade order will look something like this:

1a. View 5.0 –> View 5.0.1

1b. vCD 1.5 –> VCD 1.5.1

1c. SRM 5.0 –> SRM 5.0.1

1d. vShield App/Edge/Endpoint 5.0 –> 5.0.1

1e. vDR 2.0 –> Go Fish

2. vSphere Client 5.0.1 (it’s really not an upgrade, installs parallel with other versions)

3. vCenter Server 5.0 –> vCenter Server 5.0 Update 1

4. Update Manager 5.0 –> Update Manager 5.0 Update 1

5. ESXi 5.0 –> ESXi 5.0 Update 1

There are a lot of versions in play here which weaves somewhat of a tangled web of compatibility touch points to identify before diving head first into upgrades.  I think VMware has done a great job this time around with releasing products that are, for the most part, compatible with other currently shipping products which provides more flexibility in tactical approach and timelines.  Add to that, some time ago they’ve migrated a two dimensional .PDF based compatibility matrix into an online portal offering interactive input making the set of results customized for the end user.  The only significant things missing in the vSphere 5.0U1 compatibility picture IMO are vCloud Connector, vDR, and based on the results from the compatibility matrix portal – vCenter Operations (output showed no compatibility with vSphere 5.x, didn’t look right to me).  I’ve taken a liberty in creating a component compatibility visual roadmap including most of the popular and currently shipping products vSphere 5.0 and above.  If you’ve got a significant amount of infrastructure to upgrade, this may help you get the upgrade order sorted out quickly.  One last thing – Lab Manager and ESX customers should pay attention to the Island of Misfit Toys.  In early 2013 the Lab Manager ride comes coasting to a stop.  Lab Manager and ESX customers should be formulating solid migration plans with an execution milestone coming soon.

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