April 22, 2013 in vHersey, VMware
Recently I was given a project to upgrade a 4.0 ESX environment to 5.1 (actually I have had a couple few of these upgrades recently). For this project the physical vCenter Server would also be migrated to a vCenter Server virtual machine. The upgrade/migration process is fairly straight forward. A new Virtual Machine that would host the vCenter Server components (SSO, Inventory Service, vCenter Server, VUM) was provisioned and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard was installed. The SSO databases were created. Then the SSO and Inventory Services were then installed without issue.
I created a backup of the original vCenter database and for the size of the environment the database was ginormous, a little over 15GB. I thought that was odd but for whatever reason I did not really dig into it much (until this would cause the upgrade to fail – keep reading). The database was detached from the original physical vCenter Server, the db and log files were copied to the new vCenter virtual machine, and the database was then attached to the the new SQL server. The vCenter ODBC connection to the new database was created and tested, all looked fine.
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December 8, 2011 in vHersey, VMware
Several people have asked me about what I am using for a lab so I put together this post about the lab I used to study for the VCP 5 exam. I also used this lab set up when studying for my VCAP4-DCA exam.
I run my lab in VMware Workstation 8 on a consumer desktop I picked up at BestBuy for right around $350. The desktop is a lower end ASUS model CM1630 with an AMD Athlon II x2 220 2.80 GHz processor running Windows 7 Home Premium. I spent less than $75 to upgraded the memory to 16 GB. Takes a little while to get everything booted up, but once the environment is up things run fairly well. When the vCenter Server Appliance, the vSphere Management Assistant appliance, and two ESXi hosts running several (3-5) nested DSL VMs are up they consume about 11 GB of the available RAM.
Here is a diagram of the way I have set up my lab in Workstation.
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September 29, 2011 in vHersey, VMware
Last night my vCenter server ran out of disk space. The transaction log for the vCenter DB filled until there was no more space on disk available for vCenter server services to write to so the the service stopped.
I received an email alarm early in the AM – “The transaction log for database ‘vCenter’ is full.” A quick check of the server showed the drive where the DB is stored was completely full and the DB transaction log was giant. Digging a little deeper I discovered the Recovery Model for the vCenter DB was no longer set to Simple, it had been changed to Bulk-logged.
It appears that when upgrading from vCenter 4.1 to vCenter 5 the recovery model for the vCenter database is changed to Bulk-logged as part of the upgrade process. Changing this back to simple and recovering the disk space is fairly easy and instructions can be found in the VMware KB article Troubleshooting transaction logs on a Microsoft SQL database server.
Searching through the KB it looks like this has been happening with upgrades since version 2.x. The Known issues when installing or upgrading vCenter Server KB article only makes mentions through version 4.x. It looks like there may be some of the same issues when updating to vCenter 5, though I could find anything in the KB that specifically mentioned these issues with 5.
Just a heads up for anyone that may be upgrading to vCenter 5. After you upgrade you may want to check the recovery model settings for you DB.
August 19, 2011 in vHersey, VMware
VMware Power Management or Distributed Power Management (DPM) powers down hosts when resources are not needed and powers the host on as the demand for resources increases. This feature has the potential to provide significant savings in power and cooling especially in a large cluster.
I recently implemented DPM on the VMware Lab at TCC, a 12 host cluster that is only utilized a couple nights a week for classes. When hosts are idle DPM powers them down (Standby Mode) and then powers them up during class times as student access VMs requiring additional cluster resources. With DPM enabled there are usually only 2 or 3 of the 12 hosts powered on outside of class hours when there is very little resource consumption . This greatly reduces the load on the UPS and the heat in the TCC server
After successfully getting DPM working in the school lab and a bit of testing I decided to set it up on my production environment. One difference between the school lab and the production environment (besides the size – 4 host instead of 12) is that I want ensure all of my host resources are available during business hours. I do not want to have to wait for hosts to power on when resources are needed especially at the start of the business day. This can be accomplished by configuring DPM and then setting up a vCenter Scheduled task to turn DPM off and on.
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July 8, 2011 in vHersey, VMware
Check out Boomerang, a handy little piece of fling from VMware Labs http://labs.vmware.com/flings/boomerang
It runs in the windows taskbar and allows you to add ESX/i and vCenter Servers to do some basic management of guest VMs without having to open the vSphere client. Using the app you can power off/on, suspend, or reset VMs. The app also allows you to quickly connect to a VM’s console using the VMware Remote Console. You can browse a list of VMs in inventory or you can “Favorite” VMs to keep them at the top of the list for quick access.
Couple of minor things that would be nice in a future release. First off the app shows templates as guests, would be nice to filter these out (especially if you have a number of templates) – this is easy to overcome by setting VMs you access frequently as Favorites. The second bigger issue is there is no quick way to tell what VMs are powered on or off, making the VM link a different color or adding a small image to indicate power would be extremely helpful.
Still pretty handy for quick access to VMs without needing to open the full vSphere Client. Download the Boomerang fling from here.
(The image above was borrowed from the Boomerang Fling page)