Unable to Remove Stubborn Hosts from Unisphere (and the solution)

November 14th, 2011 by jason 6 comments »

Last weekend I was working in the home lab and needed to remove a few fibre channel connected hosts from the EMC Celerra NS-120.  This is the procedure I followed:

  1. Open Unisphere
  2. Drill down to the CLARiiON side of the Celerra (APM000…)
  3. From the menu on the left, choose Storage System Connectivity Status
  4. Drill down on the host to remove, highlight each HBA one by one and click the Deregister button
  5. Click OK

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Unfortunately, I ran into an issue.  The problem which occurred was that the host I was attempting to remove remained in the host list instead of being deleted once the final HBA was deregistered.  This was a problem because I needed to add a new host with the same name.  At this point, there was no clear way to remove the host:

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Logging in to Engineering mode (I found this on the public facing/Google cached EMC Community Network forums searching for help… CTRL + SHIFT + F12 password messner) did not provide me with additional options to remove the host.

Thanks to the help from Jase McCarty who had a watchful eye on Twitter, I was able to follow a procedure to resolve the situation:

  1. Access each of the Storage Processor Management Servers (http://w.x.y.z/setup)
  2. Scroll down and click the Restart Management Server button (each can be performed in parallel; doesn’t impact storage connectivity)
  3. Wait 5 minutes for the reboot of the Management Servers
  4. Close and Re-open Unisphere
  5. The host is now gone from all host lists.  Problem solved.

This was an isolated incident.  I wasn’t able to repeat this problem but if it happens in the future, I’m ready.  All I have to do is search Google and end up at my own blog.

Thanks Jase!

vSphere 5 Configuration Maximums Updated For The Cloud

November 11th, 2011 by jason No comments »

A few nights ago, Chris Colotti and Dave Hill presented a vCloud Architecture Deep Dive brown bag session.  Among the tips I picked up in that session was a comment from Chris that my most favorite VMware document of all time had been updated within the last 6 weeks – vSphere 5 Configuration Maximums.  Basically what was added was the inclusion of vCloud Director configuration maximums:

Item Maximum
Virtual machine count 20,000
Powered‐On virtual machine count 10,000
Organizations 10,000
Virtual machines per vApp 64
vApps per organization 500
Number of networks 7,500
Hosts 2,000
vCenter Servers 25
Virtual Data Centers 10,000
Datastores 1,024
Catalogs 1,000
Media 1,000
Users 10,000

If you’ve been following the progression of this document, you will have noticed that VMware has been adding more application layer components to it.  That is because VMware has broadened its cloud platform portfolio which is fundamentally dependent on vSphere.  Chris mentioned this in his lecture and I began noticing it a few years ago, vCenter now extends beyond just a tier 2 management application.  It has become a tier 1 cornerstone for other VMware and partner ecosystem cloud applications and infrastructure tools.  Be mindful of this during the design phase and do not neglect its resource and redundancy requirements as your scale your vCloud environment.

Enjoy.  And by the way, Chris has a Dell T310 Server with 20GB RAM for sale.  Check it out.

Add ESXi to an Active Directory OU

November 10th, 2011 by jason No comments »

While working with vSphere 5 and vCloud Director, I stumbled onto a piece in the vSphere Client Help files that I haven’t seen in previous versions of vSphere (or maybe it existed and I wasn’t aware).  That is, the ability to add an ESXi host to a specific Organizational Unit above and beyond adding it to Active Directory.  VMware ESXi Active Directory integration has gotten much easier once they partnered with Likewise.  In vSphere 4 if I wanted an ESXi computer account to drop into a specific OU, I pre-created the computer account before the ESXi host to the domain.  In vSphere 5, the ESXi host can be joined to the domain and placed into an explicit OU all in the same step.

Say for example I wanted my esxi5 computer account to be placed into the boche.mcse domain in an OU path of /Lab/Servers as shown below:

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I can accomplish this now by providing the full path in the Domain field as shown below:

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The result is that the esxi5 computer account is now placed in the desired OU hierarchy:

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What Does ESX Mean To You?

November 9th, 2011 by jason No comments »

Today is Wednesday November 9th, 2011. I have a few simple questions for you.  Don’t over analyze.  Go with your 1st instinct.


Question 1: When you see the written word ESX in a tool or documentation, what does it mean or imply to you?

A) ESX literally translates to ESX, an explicit VMware Type 1 hypervisor with a RHEL Service Console.

B) ESX is a marketing term which translates to ESX, ESXi, or both, two generations of Type 1 hypervisors from the VMware portfolio


Question 2: Is the written word ESX interchangeable with ESXi?

A) No

B) Yes

C) I really don’t care


Question 3: Should tools, documentation, and marketing make clear distinctions between ESX and ESXi?

A) No

B) Yes

C) I really don’t care

Virtual Bridges Pengroid Contest

November 8th, 2011 by jason No comments »

I came across a fun contest over at Virtual Bridges (Enterprise Desktop Management & VDI Solutions partner) which is running through the end of November.  The basic goal is to disguise Pengroid, a penguin on steroids.

Flex your Photoshop skills and submit your Pengroid where it will be uploaded to and judged on Facebook. The winning Pengroid will be printed on t-shirts which will be distributed to the first 25 people who submit an eligible entry. Top 3 winners will be featured on the Virtual Bridges Website, Blog, Twitter and Facebook. Most importantly, bragging rights for the year.

The contest landing page and instructions can be found here and here.

Good luck!

VMware: Bring Back VMTN Subscriptions

November 6th, 2011 by jason No comments »

Snagit CaptureSix years ago I managed a few VMware environments which included GSX and vCenter 1.x/ESX 2.x.  At the time I also had a few VMware Technology Network (VMTN) Subscriptions.  This offering from VMware was very useful in the lab as it allowed me to kick the tires on many VMware products in a non-production environment.  The subscription included the following product licenses and related keys:

  • ESX2 2-CPU
  • SMP for ESX2 2-CPU
  • GSX3 2-CPU Windows
  • GSX3 2-CPU Linux
  • P2V Assistant 2.0 Enterprise Unlimited Use
  • Workstation 5 Windows
  • Workstation 5 Linux

To summarize, the VMTN Subscription bundled all of VMware’s products (at the time of purchase) for a non-production environment (typically for a lab).  This was very useful for me as someone who was just starting to get into larger scale virtual infrastructure.  Unfortunately, VMware discontinued the VMTN Subscription a short time after and enthusiasts were left to fend for themselves in order to try out the products in VMware’s expanding portfolio.

Fast forward just a few years and we find that the utility of virtualized datacenters combined with VMware’s innovation has catapulted their brand into the majority of businesses around the globe.  During this time, VMware’s loyalist population grows exponentially.  VMware responds by formally recognizing the top members in their grass roots community as vEXPERTs.

A few years later, hundreds of thousands of VMware enthusiasts, partners, vEXPERTs, and VMUG members/leaders, struggle to implement longer term evaluations of VMware software, which at this time has exploded in terms of product offerings through VMware’s own development as well as acquisitions.  It is no secret that VMware has been wildly successful and has grown at a rapid pace.  Those who have been working with and for VMware over the years recognize some of the growing pains and disjointed processes within the organization.  These are the among the things that make it difficult to get a fair and unified look at VMware’s products.

VMware needs to resurrect the VMTN Subscription or take a page out of the Microsoft playbook by instantiating a program similar to Microsoft TechNet.  The subscription will be an authoritative and adequately staffed clearninghouse offering 365 day evaluation or NFR licenses and keys for all VMware software.  Access to the subscription can be granted through various channels. Incentives and discounts can be offered to partners, resellers, vEXPERTs, VMUG members/leaders, as well as VMware Certified individuals.

VMware has come a long way in a short amount of time, garnering success up against the largest competitors in the world.  The formula for their success has been great leadership and innovation.  The key to their success is a strong community whose members have spent a great deal of their time over the years helping promote VMware to where they are today.  The community doesn’t demand large dividends in return. We do, however, ask that VMware get the products into our labs quickly and easily.  In my mind, this is essential as the product portfoilo continues to grow and mature.  Your talented community members work in leaned out environments.  Lab access is inconsistent.  60-day trials expire before we’ve had a chance to get through an adequate POC.  This doesn’t lend itself to a confident purchasing decision.  I think there are a lot of ways we can analyze this.  Every scenario I can think of benefits VMware and is consistent with the grass roots principal the company owes much of its success to.  This is also an opportunity for VMware to prove to its constituents that they aren’t all about consumption based or vRAM licensing.  It’s a win/win/win proposal.

VMware: Bring Back VMTN Subscriptions.

If you as a reader are in favor of this, please show your support here.

VMware vSphere 4.1 Update 2 Released

October 27th, 2011 by jason No comments »

As I sit here working on an SRM lab, VUM just sent an email to me reporting 28 new patches for ESX(i) 4.1 including the release of 4.1 Update 2.

What’s New

The VMware vCenter Server 4.1 Update 2 release offers the following improvements:

  • Support for new processors: vCenter Server 4.1 Update 2 supports hosts with processors on AMD Opteron 6200 series (Interlagos) and AMD Opteron 4200 series (Valencia).
    Note: For the AMD Opteron 6200 and 4200 series (Family 15h) processors, vCenter Server 4.1 Update 2 treats each core within a compute unit as an independent core, except while applying licenses. For the purpose of licensing, vCenter Server treats each compute unit as a core. For example, although a processor with 8 compute units can provide the processor equivalent of 16 cores on vCenter Server 4.1 Update 2, only 8 cores will be counted towards license usage calculation.
  • Additional vCenter Server Database Support: vCenter Server now supports the following databases.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express (x32 and x64)
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express (x32 and x64)
  • Resolved Issues: This release delivers a number of bug fixes that have been documented in the Resolved Issues section.

What’s New

The following information describes some of the enhancements available in this release of VMware ESXi:

  • Support for new processors – ESXi 4.1 Update 2 supports AMD Opteron 6200 series (Interlagos) and AMD Opteron 4200 series (Valencia).Note: For the AMD Opteron 6200 and 4200 series (Family 15h) processors, ESX/ESXi 4.1 Update 2 treats each core within a compute unit as an independent core, except while applying licenses. For the purpose of licensing, ESX/ESXi treats each compute unit as a core. For example, although a processor with 8 compute units can provide the processor equivalent of 16 cores on ESX/ESXi 4.1 Update 2, it only uses 8 licenses.
  • Support for additional guest operating system ESX 4.1 Update 2 adds support for Ubuntu 11.10 guest operating system. For a complete list of guest operating systems supported with this release, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.

Resolved Issues In addition, this release delivers a number of bug fixes that are documented in the Resolved Issues section.