Last chance to win your VMworld 2015 Ticket from VMTurbo

If you still have not got your VMworld 2015 ticket, it is not yet the time to quit your hunting for a free VMworld ticket. VMTurbo is still offering you the chance to win one of a pair of Two VMworld 2015 tickets through their sweepstakes taking place on July 9th. VMworld is the most looked after Virtualization/Cloud Computing event, and here is your chance to be there this year. Good luck everyone and looking forward for a winner within my blog readers.

Below is more details about VMTurbo VMworld 2015 Ticket Sweepstakes: (Click on the image below to be directed to the Sweepstakes page)

VMTurbo VMworld 2015 Sweepstakes

VMTurbo is giving 2 more lucky winners two Full Conference Passes to VMworld 2015 in San Francisco. The epicenter of all things virtual, VMworld is our industry’s biggest stage. VMTurbo will be there, and they want you there too.

VMTurbo will be giving away the last pair of tickets on July 9th, make sure to enter for your chance to win!

Who? 2 Winners (maybe you!)
What? 2 VMworld 2015 Passes
Where? San Francisco, California
When? August 30th – September 3rd… Read More

vRealize Automation iaas-service does not register after installation

While doing the usual vRA 6.2.2 large deployment distributed install, and after everything in the installation went smoothly without any errors, the vRA infrastructure tab was not working. Checking the vRA Services through the vRA Appliance VAMI, and noticed all of my services are up and running as  expected with its status being registered, beside the iaas-service which its status was left blank. Look at the below screenshot and notice where the service column ” iaas-service        com.vmware.csp.iaas.blueprint.service” status being blank.

vrealize automation iaas-service not starting

Going through every test I can think of, I could find no meaningful error in any of the logs, till I opened my infrastructure tab again but in Chrome this time and rather than getting the usual 404 error it was giving me earlier the below message came up: Invalid Argument. Host name may not be null

vra Infrastructure tab Invalid Argument Host name may not be null

 

After a bit of digging/research, I have found out that the VIP names the customer is using included under scores which is not supported by vRA for both hostnames or VIP names. This has been documented in the vRA 6.2 Installation and configuration document here as well in KB2086553.

Resolution for this issue: You will need to avoid this scenario before hand, else you will have to redo the full installation.… Read More

VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist features

Did you ever want to manage or monitor your vSphere infrastructure from your mobile device? You are in luck, VMware has a mobile application available for Android and iOS which helps you to manage virtual machines and hosts on your vSphere infrastructure . While this application is optimized for smartphones, it will work on tablets too.

VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist brings the following key capabilities to vSphere administrators on the go:

  • Easily create VM or Host watchlists: Search for and select a subset of VMs and hosts from your VMware vCenter or standalone ESXi server to monitor in one or more watchlists.

 

  • Awareness: Review the status of selected vSphere Mobile Watchlist VMs and hosts from your device:

• View VM or Host state
• View health alerts, resource usage, and related objects
• View configuration details
• View tasks and events for a VM or host

vSphere Mobile Watchlist interface

  • VMs and Hosts at a glance: Review the status of selected Watchlist VMs and hosts from your device including state, configuration details, resource usage, health alerts, view of the VM console, and related objects.

VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist Monitoring

  • Understanding: When an alert occurs on a VM or host, vSphere Mobile Watchlist allows you to view a number of different information sources to determine the root cause:

• View KB articles that are automatically retrieved based on a
given alert
• Continue the search for web articles related to the alert
• View performance charts of CPU, memory, disk, and network usage

VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist Alert and KBs

Remediate Remotely: Remediate problems directly from the phone:

 

• Initiate VM power operations: powering on or off, resuming/suspending, connecting/disconnecting, or restarting VMs and or hosts
• Initiate basic host operations, set maintenance mode, or connect and reconnect hosts
• Configure the VM’s CPU and memory
• Manage snapshots: taking a new snapshot, deleting an old snapshot, or reverting to a previous snapshot
• Interact with the VM console

  • Delegate to your team: For those situations where you are not able to fix an issue from the device, VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist will enable you to share the VM and alert information along with any suggested KB articles and other web pages relevant to the current problem.
Read More

vRealize Automation 6.2 moving to Internal replicated vPostgres

When delivering a vRealize Automation 6.1 and prior in a distributed install, the recommendation was always to have an external vPostgres instance. This has changed in vRealize Automation 6.2 and it’s briefly touched upon in the vRA 6.2 reference architecture found at: vRealize Automation 6.2 reference Architecture. I wanted to make sure to highlight this, as many have missed this change and others are still wondering how it can be implemented or why this change. It’s important to mention as well, you can use this replication architecture for any version of vCAC/vRA that’s higher than 6.0.1.

Let’s start by highlighting the change, we are moving from having a separate/external vPostgres  machine to host the vPostgres (being a vRA appliance that is re-purposed to be used as vPostgres or a full vPostgres install) to using the internal built-in vRA Appliance vPostgres and replicate across the two vRA Appliances. The below image demonstrate this change:

vRA internal vPostgres replication
So what do you get of moving to this new model? Actually there is few advantages of implementing your vRA 6.2 this way, below is couple of them.

1- You have less machines to manage by eliminating the extra one or two external vPostgres machines you needed in the 6.1 reference architecture setup.… Read More

Resource Actions does not show up in vRealize Automation 6.2.1

I had an instance of vRealize Automation 6.2 with few resource actions that were built under Advanced Services with things like take snapshot and move VMs to a different folder in vCenter. These were working like a charm in vRealize Automation 6.2, but as soon I upgraded to 6.2.1 they stopped showing in the items actions menu. I have re-checked my configuration and tried few additional resource actions with no luck.

After a bit of research I have found out that its a known problem caused by a bad DLL within the 6.2.1 and its easy to fix by following KB2111713. I have as well happen to be able to reproduce the same issue with a fresh install of vRA 6.2.1, so if your resource actions does not show up in the actions menu, although you have done all the right steps KB2111713 or the step below is your way to fix it.

1- Download the new DLL by following the download link in KB2111713, the download name is vRA_621.zip, where it includes a single DLL file which in turn called  “DynamicOps.Api.v61.dll".

2- Stop all of your vRA IaaS Services in the following order: 1- Proxy Agents 2- DEMs, 3- DEM Orchestrator 4- vCloud Automation Center Manager service

3- Backup your old DynamicOps.Api.v61.dll found at C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\vCAC\Web API\bin by copying it to a different location.… Read More

No Excuse for not having backup!

If you are working in the SMB market, you might be facing with the usual challenge of having a very limited to no budget for backup. Please don’t take that as an excuse to skip backup all together, as your management will not tolerate not having backup when things go south. It’s important to recognize that Virtualization availability features while help improve your availability should not be considered a replacement to backup.

The good news, there are quite a few good SMB focused free backup solutions for virtualized environments. In this post, I will be covering one of those options by Unitrends that is not only free, but offer some advanced features that you can usually only find in paid versions of other solutions like Instant VM Recovery.

Unitrends LogoYou will be happy to know that an advanced free backup solution such as “Unitrends Free”, does not require advanced knowledge or training to run. The installer will guide you through the installation and deploy the virtual appliance for you and get you ready in no time and ensure you get it right the first time.

Below are the top features of Unitrends Free:

  • Deployed as a Virtual Appliance – This not only save you on OS licensing, but as well streamline the installation process and ensure a consistent experience for customers.
Read More

How to change the certs for VAMI on VMware vCAC Appliance

I have been working with several customers & after changing the certs for things like vRealize Auotmation using VAMI, they notice that when they access VAMI at port 5480 (ex: https://vra.vt.com:5480), they noticed they still get the self signed cert instead of the signed cert they have installed. The reason for that is the cert that you install through VAMI is not used for VAMI, but to secure connection to the application where in the vRA/vCAC example it’s used to secure connections to the vRA/vCAC portal that is being served at 443.

vRA 62 VAMI invalid security Certificate

For those who want to have a secure signed certs for VAMI, you will have to do it through the command line for now. Below is the instructions provided to me by GSS on how to do so for both the vCAC/vRA identity appliance as well the vCAC/vRA appliance. Please note you can use very similar steps for most of the other VMware appliances that uses VAMI.

Logon to the appliance console (EXVMware Identity Appliance console and execute the following commands:

  1. Copy the rui.pem file (certificate pem file) to the /tmp folder
  2. ls -l /opt/vmware/etc/lighttpd/server.pem and make a note of the server.pem timestamp
  3. cp /opt/vmware/etc/lighttpd/server.pem /opt/vmware/etc/lighttpd/server.pem.bak
  4. cp /tmp/rui.pem /opt/vmware/etc/lighttpd/server.pem
  5. ls -l /opt/vmware/etc/lighttpd/server.pem and verify the server.pem has been updated
  6. service vami-lighttp restart

Logon to the vCAC Appliance console

  1. ls -l /opt/vmware/etc/lighttpd/server.pem and make a note of the server.pem timestamp
  2. cp /opt/vmware/etc/lighttpd/server.pem /opt/vmware/etc/lighttpd/server.pem.bck
  3. cp /etc/apache2/server.pem /opt/vmware/etc/lighttpd/server.pem
  4. ls -l /opt/vmware/etc/lighttpd/server.pem and verify the server.pem has been updated
  5. service vami-lighttp restart

Hope this help!… Read More

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 & vCenter Customization Specifications

While on a vRealize Automation 6.2 engagement, the customer wanted to be able to deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 VMs from a blueprint. The customer has prepared a RHEL 7 Template for me to use for deployment. I have created as well a vCenter Customization Specification to customize the VM and apply the desired IP Address & Host Name to VMs as they get deployed. While VMs deployment worked smoothly,  I have noticed no customization was carried out. I have tried to deploy VMs from the template directly using vCenter to test my vCenter Customization Specification and that did not work either, which eliminated vRA of being the source of the issue.

Red Hat Logo

As many others can still face the same issue with or without vRA, as its a vCenter Customization Specification related issue rather than vCloud Automation Center, I have decided to document what we had to do to fix it:

1- Make sure you are running vSphere Components (vCenter/ESXi/VMware Tools) versions that support your version of Red Hat Enterprise. For RHEL 7 the guest customization started being supported at vCenter 5.5U2 as per VMware Guest OS Customization support in vCenter Document.

2- Make sure to install VMware version of VMware tools.Read More

vCAC 6.x using gugent to run scripts

Lately, I have been getting a lot of questions about how to use the vCAC Gugent to run scripts within the guest OS of your deployed VM. While if you are deploying simple VMs using vCAC this use case might not sound obvious, it has a lot of uses to it in the real world. Before I go through how to get your vCAC Gugent or now called vRA Gugent (Guest Agent) to run scripts, let’s take few examples of why you want to do this:

– Imagine the use case where you want to assign an IP Address in a Guest OS that is not supported by VMware Customization tool. You can actually assign an IP Addess to it by running after deployment  script using the Guagent to change the IP Address of that machine. Actually while I had this post in mind for a while, it end up getting to my top priority today as a colleague was asking me about this use case scenario.

– Imagine the use case where you want to run some security scanning scripts after the OS was fully deployed. This is will be any easy way of doing it.

– Imaging the use case where you want to initialize a client or agent for application deployment/management tool (Ex: Puppet, Chef, Altiris, TSM Client, …)

– It can be even be used as a cheaper dirty way of deploying applications or services.… Read More

Is it time to upgrade your homelab? VMTurbo is giving you the chance to win it!

If you are like me, you are always looking for a new hardware to upgrade your home lab. Unfortunately, maintaining your home lab up to date has proven to be not cheap. For that reason, it seems VMturbo is giving away home labs for three lucky winners who register for their upcoming  VMTurbo 5.1 Release Webinar. The lab they are offering can be a great test bench for many of the Virtualization/SDDC/Cloud product that you love to test/play with. Below is the specs of the Home Lab they are offering you a chance to win!

  • Intel NUC with Intel Core i5-4250U
  • G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (2x8G) 204-Pin DDR3 Memory
  • SAMSUNG 840 EVO 250GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive
  • Synology DS415+ Diskless System DiskStation 4-Bay NAS
  • 2x Dell 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Hard Drive
  • Cisco SG300-10 10-port Gigabit Managed Switch
  • Rosewill 7ft. Cat 6 Network Cable

VMTurbo has valued this Lab configuration at $1600 USD, and would be really nice to put your hands on it for free. Below is what VMTurbo ad look like:

VMTurbo Home Lab Offer

 

I have registered for my chance to win, what about you? Remember its like the Lottery, you can not win unless if you Sign Up, beside this one is free!… Read More

Myth busted: vCenter Site Recovery Manager using vSphere Replication for Datacenter migration causes data loss

It seems there is a lot of confusion out there on how vCenter Site Recovery manager work with vSphere Replication when used for a data center migration, thanks in big part to competing products FUDs. Many admins still believe that using vSphere Replication with vCenter Site Recovery Manager for data center migration you will still lose up to 15 minutes of Data. This confusion has evolved due to the following two limitations of vSphere Replication:

  • Lowest RPO possible using vSphere replication  is 15 minutes
  • You cannot replicate powered-off virtual machines. Replication begins when the virtual machine is powered on. You cannot use vSphere Replication to replicate virtual machines templates. <== This statement right of the vSphere documentation.

Here is how the confusion came to life. If you have experienced or read about vCenter Site Recover Manager with storage replication and looked at the sequence of events when doing a data center migration, you will notice it will do a final sync of the data between the two sites right before it cut the replication between the the two sites. If you try to compare the same method with what is happening in vSphere replication and knowing the above two limitations, you will think that when the Data Center Migration is initiated in SRM, it will shutdown the VM and at that time the VM replication was lagging with up to 15 minutes behind based on the provided RPO and as vSphere replication can not replicate after the VM is turned off, the VM will be losing up to 15 minutes of data when coming on the other site, but that is not true as its missing a very minor but important detail that many people seems to over look.… Read More

Configure VBuzzer as a VOIP Provider in 3CX Phone System

After creating my previous post PBX in the Cloud, there was a small detail that grabbed a surprising attention from the community. I have mentioned that I have setup VBuzzer as a VOIP Provider in 3CX Phone System, and the only reason I did that was it was I had a  readily available VBuzzer account, but there seems a good amount of users interested in how I got VBuzzer to work as a VOIP Provider in 3CX, as it was one of the none out of the box providers and as I got the question from few different readers, I thought I will document how I have done it.

1- Make sure the following ports are forwarded in your firewall to your 3CX Phone System:

5060
5090
9000 – 9099

2- Using the ADD VOIP Provider Wizard, choose ‘Generic’ from the Country drop down menu and ‘Generic VOIP Provider’ from the Provider drop down menu. Click Next.

3CX add VBuzzer as a VOIP Provider

3- Configure the VOIP Provider general tab as in the below screenshot.

3CX VBuzzer SIP Configuration

– Extension Number: is the phone number assigned to you by VBuzzer

– Authenication ID: is your VBuzzer username

– Authenication Password: is your VBuzzer user account password

– The rest of the field fill them exactly the same as in the above image.… Read More

PBX in the Cloud

Most companies today have one sort of PBX or another. It no longer makes sense to buy a phone line from the telecom for each employee. This over time has made PBX a very attractive solution from a cost perspective and companies have rushed to adapt it. Unfortunately, it does not take long after a traditional PBX solution is installed for the business to notice the amount of required specialized equipment and skills they need to maintain it. Actually after a few years, most PBX systems seem to get out of hand with how many wires are running loose with no one figuring out which user it belongs to. Further, simple features like voicemail, call forwarding, and call conferencing might require you to change your full PBX system or require additional expensive systems.

When VOIP PBX systems came out, they seemed like the knights in shining armour who will be saving the day for business owners. It sounded like a very appealing alternative, as it uses the same network infrastructure the company has already invested in, and provides tons of features that were never possible with a traditional PBX. Further, large VOIP PBX players made it look very easy to setup and maintain.… Read More

vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) 6 limitations removed.

If you have been using the vCenter Appliance (vCSA) in vSphere 5.5 or been considering it, then you are more likely aware of its limitations. You might have in the past as well looked at my blog post that highlighted the vCSA 5.5 limitations found at: vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 limitations. The good news in vCSA 6.0 seems to over come the biggest one of these as follow:

– vCenter Linked mode is now supported with vCSA 6.0. This one by far was the biggest limitation of the vCSA 5.5 and the one that had been most mentioned by my customers who were considering vCSA 5.5 at that time. Now this has been resolved for you and you can use vCenter Linked mode with vCSA 6.0. Wohooooo!

– You were limited to 100 hosts and 3000 VMs when using the embeded DB with vCSA 5.5, where you had to use an external Oracle Database to expand beyond these limits, which did not make larger customers happy. The good news these limits were waived in vCSA 6.0 and you will be able to use up to 1000 hosts and 10,000 VMs using the embedded database. I am sure between this one and the availability of vCenter Linked mode, many customers who were considering to move to the vCSA appliance, they will be eager to put their hands on the vCSA 6.0 to make the shift.… Read More

VMware vCenter 6 Installation Steps

I wanted to demonstrate how VMware vCenter 6 installation is a bit different than vCenter 5.x, and the below post show the installation steps of VMware vCenter 6 basic install.

1. Make sure you have minimum requirements and the OS you are using is on the compatibility list of vCenter 6.0. The below table demonstrate the minimum hardware requirements for vCenter 6.0.

2. Make sure the user to run vCenter Server service under has the log on as a service rights

3. Run the vCenter installer executable

4. Hit Install

5. Hit next

6. Accept license agreement and hit next

7. Choose your deployment type and hit Next.

8. Choose System Network Name and hit next

9. Provide the Single Sign-On Configuration & make sure your password meet the password complexity requirements ad demonstrated in the below screenshots

10. Choose the service account to run the vCenter Service under

11. Choose your vCenter DB Configuration

12. Confirm the network ports to use

13. Confirm the installation destination folder

 

14. Hit install

 

 

15. Hit launch the vsphere web client to start using it and hit finish the installation

 

16. Check out your new vCenter in the vSphere web client

 

You are now ready to enjoy your vCenter 6!… Read More

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