Being successful with VMware vSphere is largely about understanding “Who’s on first, What’s on second and Idunno’s on third,” at any given point in time. This is especially true with the VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), as it presents a several new console choices to the administrator. Continue reading “VCSA 6.5 consoles and connections”
From time to time, you will find it necessary to transfer files to or from your VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) or ESXi Servers. If you are working from a Windows desktop or server, there’s no more convenient utility than WinSCP for copying files securely between Windows and Linux Systems.
There are a few issues, however, when it comes to connecting to the VCSA with WinSCP that I will show you how to work around without reconfiguring the default shell of your VCSA! Continue reading “Using WinSCP with the VMware vCenter Server Appliance”
I recently went looking for information on password security for the VCSA 6.0 & 6.5 and ESXi 6.0 & 6.5. Most specifically, I was interest in the number of passwords remembered, so I could define that in documentation for a client.
Try as I might, I couldn’t find documentation for VCSA number of passwords remembered or how to configure it anywhere! Continue reading “VCSA and ESXi password security”
I’ve recently spoken with a number of VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6 (VCSA) users that have had issues with the root filesystem of VCSA running out of space.
This situation seems to be occurring more often now due to a combination of when the VCSA 6 went mainstream (18 to 24 months ago) and the default 365 day password expiration. The combination is just long enough for the root password to expire and after about 6 months (depending entirely on the size and activity of the vSphere environment) the /dev/sda3 disk fills! Continue reading “VCSA disks become full over time”
HPE has quietly withdrawn the HPE Custom Image for ESXi 6.5U1 July 2017 due to purple-screen issues being experienced on a number of current VMware-supported servers (http://vmware.com/go/hcl)!
The particular issue purple screen we saw when deploying this ISO against a HP BL460 G7 was:
#PF Exception 14 in world 6824:sfcb-smx IP 0x1 addr 0x1
I thought I would revisit scripted ESXi installation for my lab. It’s been since 5.0 or prior since I actually went into depth on this and there are some significant changes for 6.5. The example script draws heavily from other sources and it is now working.
Continue reading “Revisiting scripted installation for ESXi 6.5”
The Open Virtual machine Format (OVF) originally came about in 2007 as the result of a proposal by vendors (VMware, HP, Dell and others) to the Distributed Management Task Force (DTMF), the goal being to create an open standard for interchangeability (portability) of Virtual Machines between hypervisors.
VMware was an early and enthusiastic adopter of the OVF standard, with support for import and export of OVF packaged VMs included in its hypervisors by 2008. Other vendors have shown varying degrees of support for the OVF standard, possibly as a reaction to VMware’s early adoption of the OVF standard. Most vendors and Cloud architectures have supported the OVF standard since the DTMF announced OVF 2.0 in January 2013. Continue reading “OVF and OVA formatted Virtual Appliances”
In many situations it is desirable to patch your ESXi host(s) prior to being able to install or use VMware vSphere® Update Manager™.
UPDATED 4/18/2016: HP has a new URL for HP Customized VMware ISO’s and VIB’s
- Prior to installing vCenter in a new cluster
- Standalone ESXi installations without a vCenter Server
- Hardware replacement where you have ESXi Configurations backed-up with vicfg-cfgbackup.pl, but the rest of the hosts in the cluster are running a higher build number than the latest ISO available
- It is just convenient on a new ESXi host, when internet connectivity is available!
- Non-Windows environments that do not to intend to create a Windows instance just for patching ESXi
On the release of vCenter 6, I was personally very excited to see several email configurations which had not been previously possible. Listed under vCenter Server Settings > Advanced Settings were the following new keys:
One might be led to believe that the ability to configure a SMTP username and password implied that one could also use a SMTP username and password; unfortunately that is not the case!
I have confirmed, after many hours of frustrating calls with VMware Support, that VMware vCenter still does not support email servers which require authentication.
To answer your question about SMTP authentication – I expect this to work in one of the next versions and from my understanding username and password fields are there for that reason, just not implemented under the hood yet. -VMware Escalation Engineer
This fact is (and has been) noted in VMware KB 1004070 for quite some time, but the addition of the new keys led to some hope. I am told that KB 1004070 is being amended to reflect the fact that the keys “mail.smtp.password” and “mail.smtp.username” are fully without function in vCenter 6.
In the following steps, I am going to show you how to set all of the VMFS Volumes (LUNs) on an ESXi Host to use the PSP known as Round Robin, using only the ESXi Shell and/or SSH. This is clearly the simplest and most direct method of changing the PSP for existing volumes, and it is available from all ESXi Hosts in every environment.
There are other ways of changing the PSP, including using the vSphere Client and setting each VMFS Volume individually or using the VMware vSphere PowerCLI and setting the PSP for all of the VMFS Volumes at once, but either of these methods may be undesirable or unusable in any given situation:
- Using the vSphere client and setting VMFS Volume PSP for each LUN individually would be extremely time-consuming if there were more than just a few ESXi Hosts or volumes.
- Some environments may not have a vCenter Server, or the vSphere PowerCLI may not be available at the time you need to change the PSP.
Determining the default PSP for an ESXi Host
In the following example, we have an ESXi Host on which all of the VMFS Volumes have been created using the Most Recently Used (MRU) PSP, which is not the best or most optimal choice for our SAN.
To begin, let’s check what the default PSP is for ALUA arrays (VMW_SATP_ALUA) for new VMFS volumes on this ESXi Host.
Run the command:
esxcli storage nmp satp list
In the first line of the output, we can see that the default PSP for ALUA Arrays is Most Recently Used (VMW_PSP_MRU), which is not correct or desirable for our SAN.
Change the default PSP for new VMFS Volumes to Round Robin.
Run the command:
esxcli storage nmp satp set --default-psp=VMW_PSP_RR --satp=VMW_SATP_ALUA
And check your success by running the command:
esxcli storage nmp satp list
Notice, the association for VMW_SATP_ALUA is now VMW_PSP_RR; or put in simpler terms, we have changed the default PSP from Most Recently Used to Round Robin for ALUA Arrays. Unfortunately, even though we changed the default PSP for the ESXi, all of the existing ESXi volumes retain their former PSP.
Changing existing VMFS volumes to use Round Robin
Esisting VMFS volumes may either be changed to Round Robin one at a time, or by using a scriptlet, we can search for all VMFS Volumes on a host, and then change them all to use Round Robin at once!
First, list all of the LUNs by running the command:
ls /vmfs/devices/disks | grep naa.600
You will see two lines for each LUN, one is the device (first 36 characters) and the other is the first partition (:1).
Because we only need to set the PSP for the device and not the partition, we will cut the first 36 characters from our grep as a variable ‘i’, and pipe the variable to the command ‘esxcli storage nmp device set –device’ and insert the cut characters ‘$i’ in place of the device name, like this:
Run the command:
for i in `ls /vmfs/devices/disks/ | grep naa.600 | cut -b 1-36` ; do esxcli storage nmp device set --device $i --psp VMW_PSP_RR;done
When complete, you will find that all of the VMFS Volumes on this ESXi Host have been switched to using the PSP Round Robin!