Mission Critical Virtual Machines on VMware vSphere

Building Mission Critical VMs on VMware vSphere is pretty simple. There are just a few commonly acknowledged Best Practices with which to adhere, regardless of whether you are installing Windows or Linux:

  • Use Paravirtualized drivers wherever possible
  • Remove unnecessary hardware from the VM (settings)
  • Disable unnecessary or unused devices in BIOS
  • Assign no more resources to the VM than are actually required

In the following steps, I am going to be building a VM to serve as Active Directory Domain Controller for my lab (jb-lab.local) on Windows Server 2012. Continue reading

Installing open-vm-tools on Ubuntu Server

Most every Virtual Machine needs to have some sort of VMware Tools running. In the “Old Days,” the norm was to mount an ISO provided by VMware and install their version of the VMware Tools. More recently, VMware has been encouraging Operating System vendors and communities to develop their own version of the VMware tools, which are known as the “open-vm-tools.” The VMware Tools (VMware ISO) installations for most Operating Systems are now described as “deprecated”.

In the following steps, we will install open-vm-tools for Ubuntu from the command line. In order to do this, our VM needs to have access to the internet to be able to download the packages from the configured repositories.

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Diagnosing and fixing Virtual Machine Remote Console MKS problems

vCenter_client_connectionsVirtual Machine Remote Console (VMRC) issues, also known as MKS Errors, seem to be more and more common these days. The causes and solutions to most of these problems are the same for the large-scale user of vSphere Enterprise Plus as they are for the home-lab user on a trial license. It usually boils down to one fulcrum: The client (vSphere Client for Windows or the Web Client) does not “see” your vSphere Cluster the same way that vCenter “sees” all of the ESXi Hosts. Try to answer the following questions, and then we’ll get started with diagnosis. Continue reading