Monday, August 26, 2013

VMware vSphere 5.5 Application High Availability – AppHA

VMware has introduced new Application HA in vSphere 5.5. It is a new feature which enables to protect tier one applications like SQL, or IIS against failures. Those applications are monitored and in case their service fails, the App HA is able to detect and restart this application. The product present itself as a virtual appliance which gets deployed to your environment as an OVF template.

There are already some vendors which leverages the API that has been introduced in vSphere 5, like Symantec Application HA or Neverfail.

The vSphere AppHA works in conjunction with vFabric Hyperic Server, so you must install/and configure Hyperic in order to use vSphere App HA, and you must deploy a small agent to the VM which allows the monitoring. The whole solution is managed through a plugin visible through the vSphere Web Client only.

There are policies which acts during the recovery process:

  • When application fails, the service is restarted
  • But if the service restarts fails, the VM gets restarted
  • A vCenter Alarm gets triggered
  • E-mail notification is sent.

vSphere AppHA – those current Applications supported:

  • MSSQL 2005, 2008, 2008R2, 2012
  • Tomcat 6.0, 7.0
  • TC Server Runtime 6.0, 7.0
  • IIS 6.0, 7.0, 8.0
  • Apache HTTP Server 1.3, 2.0, 2.2.

The product is apparently very easy to setup and use. It takes only about 30-45 min to go.

You can create individual policy for each of the applications, or you can use the same policy for all of the applications. You can right click the application to put it into maintenance mode during which there is no remediation. And then when finished working with that application, you just switch back to the normal working mode.

vSphere 5.5 improvement

VMware vSphere 5.5 introduces many new features and enhancements to further extend the core capabilities of the virtualization platform.

vSphere ESXi Hypervisor Enhancements

·                     Hot-Pluggable SSD PCI Express (PCIe) Devices
·                     Support for Reliable Memory Technology
·                     Enhancements for CPU C-States

Virtual Machine Enhancements

·                     Virtual Machine Compatibility with VMware ESXi™ 5.5
·                     Expanded vGPU Support
·                     Graphic Acceleration for Linux Guests

VMware vCenter Server Enhancements

·                     VMware® vCenter™ Single Sign-On
·                     VMware vSphere Web Client
·                     VMware vCenter Server Appliance™
·                     vSphere App HA
·                     vSphere HA and VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler™ (vSphere DRS)
·                     Virtual Machine–Virtual Machine Affinity Rules Enhancements
·                     vSphere Big Data Extensions

vSphere Storage Enhancements

·                     Support for 62TB VMDK
·                     MSCS Updates
·                     vSphere 5.1 Feature Updates
·                     16GB E2E support
·                     PDL AutoRemove
·                     vSphere Replication Interoperability
·                     vSphere Replication Multi-Point-in-Time Snapshot Retention
·                     vSphere Flash Read Cache

vSphere Networking Enhancements

·                     Link Aggregation Control Protocol Enhancements
·                     Traffic Filtering
·                     Quality of Service Tagging
·                     SR-IOV Enhancements
·                     Enhanced Host-Level Packet Capture
·                     40GB NIC support

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Vblock Infrastructure

What is a Vblock Infrastructure platform ?

A Vblock infrastructure platform is an integrated solution that combines compute,network,storage and management components into a single package.

This package is a self-contained unit that can be utilized to deploy a single service, multiple service, or can be aggregated with additional Vblock platforms to support larger initiatives.

Best-in-class hardware and software from Cisco,EMC and Vmware.

Vblock platform was first introduced in late 2009, there were two models: Vblock 1, which was based on CLARiiON storage and Vblock 2, based on Symmetrix VMAX.

Now they introduced new models 300 and 700 on Unified storage that included the fully integrated. Over the year and a half, new UCS blades have been added, the addition of PowerPath/VE for automated path management, support for ESXi, and EMC UIM for single point of infrastructure management.

Vblock 100 Models

Vblock 200 Models

Vblock 300 Models

Vblcok 700 Models

Friday, May 31, 2013

VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2013

VMware Workstation 2013 Tech Preview

The news has come out few days back, that VMware Workstation Technology preview 2013 is available for testing. Anyone can download and test the Tech Preview of VMware Workstation with Virtual Hardware Version 10 (or vmx-10) which will be (or should be) part of the final release. Each major step forward in Virtual Hardware version introduces support for more RAM or CPU plus other enhancements. You could read my post about the current Virtual hardware version 9 in this post.

Interesting read if you ask me what were the previous versions of Virtual Hardware. If you want to see the history of  Virtual Hardware versions, there is a VMware Kb article for that: Virtual machine hardware versions.

The current VMware Workstation 9 has introduced the possibility to restrict and encrypt VMs too. A feature which gets further enhanced, where an encrypted VM with restrictions for modifications will expire in time. Useful when wanting to create restricted VMs for sharing with time as a limit.

What’s New in the VMware Workstation Technology Preview May 2013

Note that:

There are no guarantees that changes in this preview will be forward compatible with other VMware software, nor that these changes will be present in future supported releases of VMware Workstation.

New in this release - Virtual Hardware 10:

16 vCPUs – Quite monster, isn’t it? To be able to use it you’ll need a PC or server with at least 8 cores with hyper-threading enabled to create and power on a VM with this configuration

Expiring Virtual Machines

The encrypted VMs with restrictions, introduced in Workstation 9 has been enhanced to time limit restriction.  Pretty cool.

This feature establishes a secure connection to a web server at to validate the current time and prevent users from rolling back their host clock.

New Converter built in

This Workstation Technology Preview includes a preview of the next version of VMware Converter.   The Converter enables users to make Physical machines virtual.  This version of the Converter includes support the following enhancements:

  • Guest operating system support for Microsoft Windows 8 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Guest operating system support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with GUID Partition Table (GPT) disks
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
  • Support for EXT4 file system
  • Support for vSphere 5.1 virtual machine hardware version 9

SSD passthrough

Windows 8 can optimize performances when run from SSD. VMware Workstation can detect when the Virtual Machine Disk file is being stored on an SSD drive and pass this information to the guest operating system to enable Windows 8 to make the same optimizations when it is running in a virtual machine.

Pre-Release OVF Tool

OVF tool is used when manipulating Open Virtualization Format (OVF) packaged VMs. The latest pre-release version of the OVFTool is included in this Technology Preview of VMware Workstation and is used by Workstation to upload and download virtual machines to and from vSphere.   The OVFTool is also used to import an .OVF file which may come in handy when importing virtual machines created using desktop virtualization software developed by Oracle.

Requirements before you install.

It’s pretty common today to have a CPU which is VT-x support, but still. If you have an Intel CPU that has VT-x support, you must verify that VT-x support is enabled in the host system BIOS. The BIOS settings that must be enabled for VT-x support vary depending on the system vendor. See the VMware knowledge base article at for information about how to determine if VT-x support is enabled.

When you install a 64-bit operating system, Workstation performs checks to make sure the host system has a supported processor. You cannot install a 64-bit operating system if the host system does not meet the processor requirements.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

How to rollback ESXi 5.1 to 5.0

VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1 was released last month, after upgrading my hosts I had some really annoying issue’s, I couldn’t connect my iSCSI (QNAP) datastores and the hosts failed with a PSOD.. once I checked the HCL at the VMware website I saw that my HP DL360 G5 isn’t supported anymore.. time to rollback the latest installation.


(Re)boot the host and press R to start the Recovery Mode..

Installed hypervisors:

HYPERVISOR1: 5.0.0-623860 

HYPERVISOR2: 5.1.0-799733 (Default)



Press Y to start the roll back


The host is downgraded and back online again with VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0.0

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

The VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 includes the following new functionality:

  • Support for virtual machine hardware version 9
  • Guest operating system support for Microsoft Windows 8 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Guest operating system support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with GUID Partition Table (GPT) disks
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
  • Support for EXT4 file system


Converter Standalone 5.1 supports the following sources.

  • Physical machine running an operating system noted in Supported Guest Operating Systems
  • VMware Desktop products
             Workstation 7.x, 8.x, and 9.0
             Fusion 3.x, 4.x, and 5.0
             Player 3.x, 4.x, and 5.0
  • VMware vCenter virtual machines
           vSphere 5.1
        vSphere 5.0
        vSphere 4.1
          vSphere 4.0

Third-party backup images and virtual machines
  • Acronis True Image Echo 9.1 and 9.5, and Acronis True Image Home 10 and 11 (.tib)
  • Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery (formerly LiveState Recovery) 6.5, 7.0, 8.0, and 8.5, and LiveState Recovery 3.0 and 6.0 (.sv2i format only)
  • Norton Ghost version 10.0, 12.0, and 14.0 (.sv2i format only)
  • Parallels Desktop 2.5, 3.0, and 4.0 (.pvs and .hdd). Compressed disks are not supported
  • Parallels Workstation 2.x (.pvs). Compressed disks are not supported
  • StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop, ShadowProtect Server, ShadowProtect Small Business Server (SBS), ShadowProtect IT Edition, versions 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2 (.spf)
  • The Microsoft VHD format for the following sources:
  • Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 and Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (.vmc)
  • Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 and 2005 R2 (.vmc)
For conditions and limitations about converting Backup Exec System Recovery, ShadowProtect, and Consolidated Backup images, see the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone User's Guide. 
Parallels Virtuozzo Containers are not supported in Converter Standalone.

Depending on the selected source, you can convert it to the following destinations.

VMware vCenter virtual machines
  • ESX 4.0 and 4.1
  • ESXi 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, and 5.1
  • vCenter Server 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, and 5.1
VMware Desktop virtual machines

  • VMware Workstation 7.x, 8.x, and 9.0
  • VMware Player 3.x, 4.x, and 5.0
  • VMware Fusion 3.x, 4.x, and 5.0

Earlier releases of Converter Standalone (versions 3.x and 4.x) might not be compatible with VMware vSphere 5.x.

Supported Guest Operating Systems

Converter Standalone 5.1 supports the following guest operating systems:

  • Windows XP Professional SP3 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Vista SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 SP2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2012 (64-bit)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Ubuntu 10.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Ubuntu 11.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Ubuntu 12.x (32-bit and 64-bit)
CAUTION: During cloning of powered on Linux machines, Converter Standalone 5.1 preserves the following source file systems on the destination: ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, and vfat. All other source file systems are converted into ext3 file systems on the destination virtual machine.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

VMware vCenter Operations Manager 5.7: Overview of What's New

VMware has announced the availability of vCenter Operations Manager 5.7 which is the key component of vCenter Operations Management Suite
Whats new in version 5.7?
  • More Flexibility with Capacity Planning
  • Improved Self-Monitoring
  • Widgets with Improved Flexibility and Usability
  • New Custom Relationship Widget
  • Custom UI Import and Export Changes for Dashboards and Super Metrics
  • Balanced Metrics Profile
  • VMware vCenter Infrastructure Navigator Filtering Capability
  • New Browser Support
  • Security Hardening

The below table provide the overview of new features in different editions

Here is overview video on whats new vCenter Operations Manager 5.7 in by VMware.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

VMware Announces VMware NSX and the vCloud Hybrid Service

VMware has long been the established leader in enterprise virtualization. VMware's vSphere virtualization platform is used in 100 percent of the Fortune 100 companies and VMware has about 70 percent of the enterprise virtualization market. However, that success in virtualization has not necessarily translated into success into the cloud.

In the past, VMware has relied on partners to provide cloud services for its vSphere and vCloud offerings, but that strategy has let competitors like Microsoft, with their Azure services, and Amazon, with its AWS cloud services, to gain a clear advantage in the cloud services market. Both Amazon and Microsoft were able to take advantage of their existing global infrastructure to directly provide cloud services to customers. VMware worked with partners and didn't possess this type of infrastructure themselves. VMware's recent announcements have shown that it intends to expand its cloud presence with a new hybrid cloud offerings and enhanced network virtualization.

VMware NSX: a platform for Network Virtualization

VMware NSX will be the world’s leading network and security virtualization platform providing a full-service, programmatic, and mobile virtual network for virtual machines, deployed on top of any general purpose IP network hardware.  The VMware NSX platform brings together the best of Nicira NVP and VMware vCloud Network and Security (vCNS) into one unified platform.  VMware NSX exposes a complete suite of simplified logical networking elements and services including logical switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers, VPN, QoS, monitoring, and security; arranged in any topology with isolation and multi-tenancy through programmable APIs – deployed on top of any physical IP network fabric, resident with any compute hypervisor, connecting to any external network, and consumed by any cloud management platform (e.g. vCloud, OpenStack, CloudStack).

The VMware NSX platform is assembled with five basic components: Controller Cluster, Hypervisor vSwitches, Gateways, Ecosystem partners, and NSX Manager.

VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager

VMware has released the beta the public beta of VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.1. This beta supports Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V or Hyper-V Server 2012. Another new capability is  to migrate VM’s from your Hyper-V to your VMware vSphere environment .
The VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.1 is a minor release which introduces the following new capabilities:
  • Migration of virtual machines from Hyper-V to ESX or ESXi hosts.
  • Support for the latest Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor (as well as earlier Hyper-V versions).
  • Increased scalability with regards to an increased number of supported third-party hosts to 50 (from 20 in vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.0).
  • Ability to provide custom certificates for the vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager server from the installer wizard.
  • Multiple objects selection in the UI of the vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager plug-in and a number of other usability improvements.
  • vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager server and client-side bug fixes.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

vCenter 5.1 unable to login using vsphere client

Issue: When user tries to log into vcenter 5.1 using vsphere client by checking use windows credentials it fails with errors. It was a mixed environment with 1 vcenter 5.1 & 4.1

"Cannot complete login due to an incorrect username or password"

what didnt work :

Log into the vSphere Web Client using the Admin@System-Domain credentials.
  1. Click Administration.
  2. Under Sign-On and Discovery, click Configuration.
  3. Click the Active Directory identity source.
  4. Under Actions, click Edit Identity Source.
  5. Make note of the information in the identity source.
  6. Click Cancel.
  7. Under Actions, click Delete Identity Source.
  8. Recreate the identity source using the short NETBIOS name in the Domain Alias field.
  9. Click Test Connection.
  10. Click OK.
Tried all the above but no go.
now another error started coming up
VMware Infrastructure Client could not establish a connection with server "<server>". Details: You do not have permission to login to the server: <server> . (please see this link from vmware)


Upgrading your vSphere Site Recovery Manager

vSphere 5.5 going end of life in September 2018, we have been traveling all over doing workshops for upgrading to vSphere 6.x. However, wi...