Exploring vSphere 6.7-Part-3: VUM What’s New And Feature Walkthrough Using HTML5 Client

With the release of vSphere 6.5, vSphere Update Manager (VUM) was inegrated with VCSA which made customers very happy as we no longer needed an additional windows server for installing VUM.  

With vSphere 6.7, VMware integraded few of the VUM funtionality in the new HTML5 client. Not all the features are available in HTML5 client and few features like VUM configuration changes, VMware tools upgrade etc can only be performed via vSphere Web Client (flash).

VMware is working hard on incorporating all the VUM features in the new HTML5 client as soon as possible and we might see them in upcoming updates of vSphere 6.7. Isn’t it exciting to get rid of flash based Web Client (yeah screw that VMware !!!) Read More

Exploring vSphere 6.7-Part-2-Installing and Configuring VCSA

In last post of this series we installed Esxi host and navigated around the HTML client to explor various options. In this post we will deploy VCSA host and will explore the new vSphere Client (HTML based).

Like Esxi host, installation of VCSA 6.7 has not much changed from previous version. Only the UI has become a slight better. I have outlined the steps in below slideshow.

Deploying VCSA

Once the Stage 1 of VCSA deployment completes, hit Continue to trigger the second stage of deployment to configure NTP settings and SSO domain configuration. Read More

Exploring vSphere 6.7-Part-1-Installing and Configuring Esxi

vSphere 6.7 was announced by VMware just a day before their 20th foundaton day i.e yesterday. Although this release isn’t as feature-packed as the previous release, but still a lot of enhancements are introduced such as:

  • Instant clone API
  • Quick Boot of Esxi 
  • Per-VM EVC
  • VM Hardware version 14 introduced

I have not tested these features yet so I am not writing in detail about these. The best way to learn and test the new features introduced is to deploy stuffs in lab and start playing around and hence the first post of this series is dedicated to installing Esxi host.

This post will be covered in 2 parts where in first part I will demonstrate installation of Esxi host and in second part we will explore the vSphere Client (HTML based) to configure basic stuffs.  Read More

Installing PowerShell/PowerCLI on RHEL 7

Today I was reading about influxDB and Grafana as I am planning to deploy it in my lab to monitor my vSphere infrastructure and while going through the installation/configuration steps, I stumbled on one step where we needed to have powercli installed on the box where grafana is installed.

Since I am planning to deploy the influxdb/grafana on my centos 7 box, I started looking for how to configure PowerCLI on top of unix variants. Read few articles and finally deployed it my lab.

PowerShell Core v6.0 was released few days ago by Microsoft with support for Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Around same time, VMware released PowerCLI 10.0 which is VMware’s “PowerShell-like” utility. PowerShell version for linux can be downloaded from here Read More

DRS/SDRS Affinity & Anti-Affinity Rules

Although there are 1000 of articles written on this topic, purpose of writing this article is to cover few objectives of VCAP6-Deploy exam. When I published my VCAP6 study guide, few topics I left purposefully as I had planned to write them later when I get some time.

So in this post we will be discussing about DRS & SDRS affinity/anti-affinity rules. 

Affinity Rules – VM to VM

Affinity rules are used by DRS to keep 2 virtual machines always running together. Affinity rules are generally used to keep virtual machines toether which have dependency on each other. Read More

VCAP6-DCV Deploy Study Guide

Section 1 – Create and Deploy vSphere 6.x Infrastructure Components

Objective 1.1 – Perform Advanced ESXi Host Configuration

Objective 1.2 – Deploy and Configure Core Management Infrastructure Components

Objective 1.3 – Deploy and Configure Update Manager Components

Objective 1.4 – Perform Advanced Virtual Machine Configurations

Section 2 – Deploy and Manage a vSphere 6.x Storage Infrastructure

Objective 2.1 – Implement Complex Storage Solutions

Objective 2.2 – Manage Complex Storage Solutions Read More

Back To Basics: Migrating from vSS to vDS in vSphere 6

In this post we will see how to migrate from vSphere Standard Swith to vSphere Distributed Switch. Let’s get started.

Before performing any migration, make sure you have a vDS deployed and fully configured i.e portgroups created, uplinks created, appropriate uplinks placed in respective portgroups.

Here is a review of my environment.

1: I have a vDS created and different port groups for separation of duties. 

vssmg-1

2: Uplinks created and meaningfully named.

vssmg-2

3: Teaming and Failover configured. Each of the portgroup in my lab have only one active uplink. Rest of them I have placed in unused.  Read More

VCAP6-DCV Deploy Objective 3.1

In this post we will cover following topics:

  • Create and manage vSS components according to a deployment plan:
    • VMkernel ports on standard switches
    • Advanced vSS settings
    Configure TCP/IP stack on a host Create a custom TCP/IP stack Configure and analyze vSS settings using command line tools

    Lets get started by going through each topic one by one.

                                              Create and Manage vSphere Standard Switch

    When Esxi is installed, a standard switch aka vSS is also created by default. Working mechanism of a standard switch is very similar to a physical switch in the sense that a standard switch works at layer 2, forwards frames to other switch ports based on the MAC address, and supports features such as VLANs and port channels. Read More

My VCAP6-DCA Deploy (3V0-623) Exam Experience

I haven’t blogged for quite a bit of time as I was busy in my VCAP6-Deploy exam and finally I passed my exam last saturday. There is a lot of things which I want to share about my exam experience and the things I learned during my preprations. 

I passed my VCP 6 exam back in june 2017 and since then a strong feeling about going for VCAP exam started darting every now and then in my mind. I have few certifications but none of them were advance level and this thought pumped me up for going for this exam. Read More

How To Perform LUN Masking in vSphere 6

What is Lun Masking?

LUN masking is a way to control which LUNs to be made visible to Esxi host. If you have a storage array with multiple LUN’s and you want that an Esxi host should only be seeing a subset of LUN’s and not all, you can use lun masking technique.

Lun masking is totally opposite of lun zoning, where the storage array configuration determines which LUNs are visible to a host.

Last year I was doing a lab on vSphere Replication setup and wanted a subset of LUN’s from my openfiler appliance to be visible in my source site and remaining lun’s in my protected site. That was the first time when I felt need for masking the paths to storage array so that all my Esxi host from both sites, should not be seeing/mounting all the Lun’s which I created on my openfiler appliance. Read More

VCAP6-DCV Deploy Objective 2.3

Objective 2.3 of VCAP6-Deploy exam covers following topics

  • Analyze and resolve storage multi-pathing and failover issues
  • Troubleshoot storage device connectivity
  • Analyze and resolve Virtual SAN configuration issues
  • Troubleshoot iSCSI connectivity issues
  • Analyze and resolve NFS issues
  • Troubleshoot RDM issues

Lets discuss each topic one by one

                               Analyze and resolve storage multi-pathing and failover issues

There can be hundreds of reason for multipathing and failover issues and troubleshooting these issues comes with experience only. Issues with multipathing can be because of issues on storage side (SAN Switch, Fibre configuration etc)  or from vSphere side. In this post we will focus only on vSphere side troubleshooting. Read More

VCAP6-DCV Deploy Objective 3.4

Objective 3.4 of VCAP6-Deploy exam covers following topics

  • Perform a vDS Health Check for teaming, MTU, mismatches, etc.
  • Configure port groups to properly isolate network traffic
  • Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify configuration issues
  • Use command line tools to troubleshoot and identify VLAN configurations
  • Use DCUI network tool to correct network connectivity issue

Lets discuss about these topics one by one.

                      Perform a vDS Health Check for teaming, MTU, mismatches, etc.

The network configuration for the vSphere infrastructure is a very cumbersome task and if the process is not automated then there are chances of configuration error. Typical network configuration includes tasks like configuring VLAN, Setting uplinks, NIC teaming, configuring VLAN etc. 

Now if anyone of the above configuratin is misconfigured, it can lead to host disconnection, VM traffic not traversing to destination, storage disconnection (if using iSCSI) or any other issues. Read More

VCAP6-DCV Deploy Objective 7.3

Objective 7.3 of VCAP6-Deploy exam covers following topics:

  • Backup and restore distributed switch configurations

  • Backup and restore resource pool configurations

  • Export Virtual Machines to OVA/OVF format

  • Use a Host profile to recover an ESXi host configuration

Lets learn about these topics one by one

                                         Backup and restore distributed switch configurations   You can export vSphere distributed switch and distributed port group configurations to a file. The file preserves valid network configurations, enabling distribution of these configurations to other deployments. To export vSphere Distributed Switch configurations using the vSphere Web Client:   1: Browse to a distributed switch in the vSphere Web Client navigator and Right-click the distributed switch and click Settings > Export Configuration  vds-bkp-1.PNG 

2: Select the Export the distributed switch configuration or Export the distributed switch configuration and all port groups option.

vds-bkp-2.PNG

3: Click Yes to save the configuration file to your local system.  Read More

Hardening Virtual Machine Security

Securing virtual machines in a virtualized environment is equally important as securing physical servers. In this post we will learn a few techniques for hardening a virtual machine security. Although its not possible to cover everything in a single post. 

1: Remove Unnecessary Hardware Devices

If you have work inside a datacenter, you might have noticed none of the physical servers are equipped with CD RM/Floppy drive. This is done intentionally so that no one can use these removeable devices to perfor actions for which they are not authorized to. Read More

List services registered with SSO in vSphere 6

Method of listing services registered to SSO in vSphere 5.x and 6.x are very different. In vSphere 5.x list of registered services can be found by running command ssolscli.cmd.

In vSphere 6 a new python script “lstool.py” was introduced for this purpose and which can be found in directory : /usr/lib/vmidentity/tools/scripts/

If you are using vCSA and vCenter is deployed with external PSC, then login to psc node via root user and run below command to see list of available option

Read More