Thursday, December 8, 2016

VMFS 6 vs VMFS 5 in vSphere

Recently VMware announced Vsphere 6.5 has introduced a new version of VMFS version 6 with lot of new enhancements. This topic will cover major difference between VMFS 5 and VMFS 6.


The upgrade process is slightly change, we can’t upgrade directly existing VMFS 5 volumes to VMFS 6. You have to plan and create new VMFS 6 datastores and migrate the existing VMFS 5 datastores VMs using storage vMotion. Once everything complete then ensure and deleting the VMFS 5 datastores.


Device Sector Formats and VMFS Versions

A sector is a subdivision of a track on a storage disk or device. Each sector stores a fixed amount of data. Traditional 512n storage devices have been using a native 512-bytes sector size. In addition, due to the increasing demand for larger capacities, the storage industry has introduced advanced formats, such as 512-byte emulation, or 512e. 512e is the advanced format in which the physical sector size is 4,096 bytes, but the logical sector size emulates 512-bytes sector size. Storage devices that use the 512e format can support legacy applications and guest operating systems.

When you set up a datastore on a 512e storage device, VMFS6 is selected by default. For 512n storage devices, the default option is VMFS5, but you can select VMFS6.


Automatic Space Reclamation

vSphere 6.5 has introduced automate the configuration of the VMFS UNMAP capability to check current setting or to Enable / Disable it. vSphere 6.5 APIs that have introduced which differ from the vsphere 5.x version.

How to Enable UNMAP setting

New vSphere API called UpdateVmfsUnmapPriority() which accepts the UUID of a VMFS 6 datastore as well as an unmapPriority property which can either be "low" which means it is enabled or "none" which means it is disabled.

VMFS UNMAP settings, there is a new property under the Datastore->Info->Vmfs object called UnmapPriority.

I hope this has been informative and thank you for reading!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

vSphere 6.5: Next gen infrastructure for your next generation

VMware has released this new On Demand course

VMware vSphere 6.5 is the next gen infrastructure for next gen apps. With vSphere 6.5 you can now run, manage, connect, and secure your applications in a common operating environment, across clouds and devices. vSphere 6.5 introduces features that elevate your experience to an entirely new level including:



Be ready to take advantage of all everything vSphere 6.5 can provide with training from VMware Education Services.


Monday, November 7, 2016

vSphere 6.5 vCenter server backup and restore

Vsphere 6.5 vCenter server is built-in fail-based backup and restore option is available vCenter server Appliance.
This will help you to backup your vCenter while VC services are still running.

HTTP,HTTPS,FTP,SCP,SFTP transfer protocols supported vCenter server appliance backup and restore.

Here sharing details with FTP transfer protocol vCenter server appliance backup and restore steps.






This will help you to backup your vCenter while VC services are still running.

vSphere 6.5 VM and vMotion Encryption

Vsphere 6.5 new feature with VM encryption and vMotion, this will help you to secure VM's and VMotion. VM encryption securing the hypervisor level with the kernel doing most of the work. this keeps the VM from having to run its own encryption processes.

vMotion Encryption is designed VMs get a randomly generated certificate from vCenter which is packaged up and forwarded to the participating vMotion hosts for the VM's transfer, protecting the data. 




I hope this has been informative and thank you for reading!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.0

VMware announced Log Insight’s new major release 4.0, scheduled for a vague “later this year”. According to VMware’s announcement, this release is focused on delivering a brand new user interface based on Clarity standard, enhanced alert management capabilities, with a centralised interface and historical views, and better integration with vSphere, vRealize, and other VMware products.

In detail the new functionalities introduced by vRealize Log Insight 4.0 are:


New Server Capabilities
  • New Clarity UI
  • vSphere 6.5 compatibility
  • New Admin Alerts Management UI
  • FIPS-compliant deployment
  • Octet-framing over TCP
  • Public Installer APIs


Improved Agent Capabilities
  • Agent Auto-Update

New General UI Items
  • DeviceID to name Aliasing
  • New “field does not exist” filter
  • New gauge chart
  • New “blur” on session timeout

New Tech Preview Features
  • Agent scripted-input
  • vIDM SSO Support


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What’s New in vSphere 6.5

VMware announced today the release of vSphere 6.5. With that comes a slew of features and functionality, here give you a quick update about vsphere 6.5 improvement and new features & enhancements.



New Features

vCenter server appliance 6.5 (VCSA)

Migration

vCenter Server Appliance is no longer an issue as the installer has a built in Migration Tool. the steps are easy to migrate and support both CLI and GUI methods.

Improved Appliance Management

Center Server Appliance 6.5 is the improved appliance management capabilities. The vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface continues its evolution and exposes additional health and configurations.

VMware Update Manager

This will be huge for customers who have been waiting to migrate to the vCenter Server Appliance without managing a separate Windows server for VUM.

Native High Availability

New native high availability solution that is available exclusively for the vCenter Server Appliance. This solution consists of Active, Passive, and Witness nodes which are cloned from the existing vCenter Server. Failover within the vCenter HA cluster can occur when an entire node is lost (host failure for example) or when certain key services fail. For the initial release of vCenter HA an RTO of about 5 minutes is expected but may vary slightly depending on load, size, and capabilities of the underlying hardware.

Built-in Backup / Restore

New in vCenter Server 6.5 is built-in backup and restore for the vCenter Server Appliance. This new out-of-the-box functionality enables customers to backup vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller appliances directly from the VAMI or API, and also backs up both VUM and Auto Deploy running embedded with the appliance.

HTML5-based vSphere Client

vSphere 6.5 is fully supported version of the HTML5-based vSphere Client that will run alongside the vSphere Web Client. The vSphere Client is built right into vCenter Server 6.5 (both Windows and Appliance) and is enabled by default.


Resource Management – HA, FT and DRS

Slightly restructured vSphere continues to provide the best availability and resource management features for today’s most demanding applications. vSphere 6.5 continues to move the needle by adding major new features and improving existing features to make vSphere the most trusted virtual computing platform available.

Improved Admission Control Policies : 

VM Restart Priorities: new restart priorities added such as highest and lowest in addition to High, medium, low which available from previous versions.

HA Orchestrated Restart: Enforce VM to VM dependency chains. This is great for multi-tier applications the require VMs to restart in a particular order. (DB, App and then Web Vm).

Proactive HA will detect hardware conditions of a host and allow you to evacuate the VMs before the issue causes an outage.  Working in conjunction with participating hardware vendors, vCenter will plug into the hardware monitoring solution to receive the health status of the monitored components such as fans, memory, and power supplies.  vSphere can then be configured to respond according to the failure.

vSphere HA Admission Control

vSphere 6.5, this configuration just got simpler.  The first major change is that the administrator simply needs to define the number of host failures to tolerate (FTT).  Once the numbers of hosts are configured, vSphere HA will automatically calculate a percentage of resources to set aside by applying the “Percentage of Cluster Resources” admission control policy.  As hosts are added or removed from the cluster, the percentage will be automatically recalculated.  This is the new default configuration, but it is possible to override the automatic calculation or use another admission control policy.



DRS Advanced Options

M Distribution: DRS detects a severe imbalance to the performance, it will correct the performance issue at the expense of the count being evenly distributed.
Memory Metric for Load Balancing: DRS uses Active memory + 25% as its primary metric when calculating memory load on a host. The Consumed memory vs active memory will cause DRS to use the consumed memory metric rather than Active.  This is beneficial when memory is not over-allocated.
CPU over-commitment: This is an option to enforce a maximum vCPU:pCPU ratios in the cluster. Once the cluster reaches this defined value, no additional VMs will be allowed to power on.



Fault Tolerance (FT)

vSphere 6.5 FT has more integration with DRS which will help make better placement decisions by ranking the hosts based on the available network bandwidth as well as recommending which datastore to place the secondary vmdk files.

Network-Aware DRS

DRS now considers network utilization, in addition to the 25+ metrics already used when making migration recommendations.  DRS observes the Tx and Rx rates of the connected physical uplinks and avoids placing VMs on hosts that are greater than 80% utilized. DRS will not reactively balance the hosts solely based on network utilization, rather, it will use network utilization as an additional check to determine whether the currently selected host is suitable for the VM. This additional input will improve DRS placement decisions, which results in better VM performance.

Content Library

Content Library with vSphere 6.5 includes some very welcome usability improvements.  Administrators can now mount an ISO directly from the Content Library, apply a Guest OS Customization during VM deployment, and update existing templates.

For more information , please visit http://blogs.vmware.com/

Sunday, October 16, 2016

VMware and AWS to partner to provide new Hybrid Cloud



VMware Cloud on AWS , announced at a press conference in San Francisco, will bring cloud-optimized versions of vSphere, VSAN and NSX software to the cloud platform. When users spin up a VMware environment on AWS, they'll get a cluster running the entire Software-Defined Data Center stack in the public cloud.

The service, which is currently in technical preview, will be operated and supported by vmware, running on purpose-built hardware in AWS's data Centers.

It's move that makes AWS more appealing for VMware customers looking to run applications on a hybrid cloud. Users will be able to manage the public cloud deployments, like their on-premises VMware deployments, using VMware's vCenter software.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Vmware SRM fail-over issues

Most Common issue we are facing test failovers is a problem mounting the snapshot datastores at the recovery site.

A typical error message may be "Failed to Create Snapshots of Replica Devices" or Time out 300 seconds while waiting for SRA to complete "discoverDevices" command. 

Always we are facing issue with related to the SRA and some tweaks can be made to the timeout setting.

To change advanced settings using vsphere or web client.


storageProvider.hostRescanRepeatCnt to 2
storageProvider.hostRescanTimeoutSec to something higher than 300.  
storageProvider.waitForAccessibleDatastoreTimeoutSec to something higher than 30, and again it depends.

I hope this information will help you, thanks for reading my blog.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) - advanced settings

I was facing configuration issue with Site Recovery Manager (SRM) for my customers, I often configure some advanced settings that let me avoid cosmetic errors or recovery failure.

This topic is cover those advanced settings to change advanced settings using vsphere or web client.




Note: By design, during an upgrade, SRM does not retain any advanced settings that you configured in the previous installation. Some advanced settings may require unprotect VM and protect it again because its apply only to virtual machines that you protect after you changed the settings. Please always follow documentation to a SRM version that you configure as VMware likes adding or changing some advanced settings.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Top 20 ESXi articles for July 2016

Here is our Top 20 ESXi articles list for July 2016. This list is ranked by the number of times a VMware Support Request was resolved by following the steps in a published Knowledge Base article.



The post Top 20 ESXi articles for July 2016 appeared first on Support Insider.

Monday, July 11, 2016

VMware vSphere vCenter Log location

Here i have shared the vmware vsphere vCenter log location , this will help you to troubleshoot and solve the problems.

vCenter 5.x / 6.x

The vCenter Server logs are placed in a different directory on disk depending on vCenter Server version and the deployed platform:

vCenter Server 5.x and earlier versions on Windows XP, 2000, 2003: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%Application DataVMwareVMware VirtualCenterLogs

vCenter Server 5.x and earlier versions on Windows Vista, 7, 2008: C:ProgramDataVMwareVMware VirtualCenterLogs

vCenter Server 5.x Linux Virtual Appliance: /var/log/vmware/vpx/

vCenter Server 5.x Linux Virtual Appliance UI: /var/log/vmware/vami

Note: If the service is running under a specific user, the logs may be located in the profile directory of that user instead of %ALLUSERSPROFILE%.



Thursday, June 23, 2016

All Paths Down (APD) and Permanent Device Loss (PDL)

vSphere ESXi datastores there are two distinct states a device can be in when storage connectivity is lost; All Paths Down (APD) or Permanent Device Loss (PDL). For each of these states, the device is in an All Paths Down condition, but how they are handled is different. All Paths Down (APD) is a condition where all paths to the storage device are lost or the storage device is removed. The state is caused because the change happen in an uncontrolled manner, and the VMkernal core storage stack does not know how long the loss of access to the device will last. The APD is a condition that is treated as temporary (transient), since the storage device might come back online; or it could be permanent, which is referred to as a Permanent Device Loss (PDL).

The Permanent Device Loss (PDL) is the permanent removal of a device. This is typically caused by a storage administrator removing a LUN at the storage array, either by unmapping or deleting it. The VMkernal core storage stack knows the device is not coming back because the storage array informs the host of a PDL state through a SCSI command response. The removal is considered permanent when all paths have the PDL error

There are two variants of PDL, planned and unplanned:

Planned PDL is when the administrator follows the recommend workflow to remove a storage device (Unmounting a LUN or detaching a datastore/storage device from multiple VMware ESXi 5.x/6.0 hosts)
Unplanned PDL is when the storage administrator just removes a storage device (at the storage array)

A device may return from a PDL, but there is no guarantee of data consistency at that point.

When a LUN is removed from an ESXi host without preparing the host, there is a potential for them to enter an All Paths Down (APD) state that will become host and virtual machine impacting; the hosts may disconnect from vCenter Server and the ESXi servers would require a reboot to resolve the problem. To address this issue, in vSphere 5.1 there was an advanced setting introduced called APDHandlingEnabled, which defaults to 1. When this setting is enabled, the host continues to retry non-VM I/O commands to a storage device in the APD state for a limited period only. If this value is set to 0, the behavior of retrying failing I/Os forever will be imposed. 

A configurable timer with a default of 140 seconds starts when a host first detects a datatstore is in All Paths Down (APD). Hostd will mark the datastore as inaccessible with an APD Started reason. The timeout parameter controls how many seconds the ESXi host will retry non-VM I/O commands to a device before determining the device is unreachable.

After the timer expires, the datastore will be identified as APD Timeout, pending non-VM I/O will be aborted and hostd will mark the datastore as inaccessible with an APD Timeout reason. Any further non-VM I/O will be fast failed with a status of NO_Connect.

This will ensure hostd does not become unresponsive, and prevents ESXi hosts disconnecting from vCenter Server.

You might want to increase the value of the timeout if there are storage devices connected to your ESXi host, which might take longer that 140 seconds to recover from a connection loss. You can enter a value between 20 and 99999 seconds.


What about the Guest OS initiated I/O? The Guest OS is responsible for retrying or aborting it's own outstanding I/O. vSphere has a feature to make VMX file writes more resilient, VMX I/O updates to the config file are atomic which mitigates corruption to the VMX file during an APD. It is initially written to a tmp file, and then swapped with the actual vmx.

Now that we have a better understanding of All Paths Down, lets create an alarm for APD Timeouts. vCenter Alarms can be specified for a particular object and it will apply to all the child-objects beneath in the vCenter server tree. In this instance, we are going to create an alarm to specific event that applies to all the ESXi hosts.

To start, we are going to go into the vSphere Web Client and go to the Manage tab and click on the Alarm Definitions view. In the Definitions view, we are going to click on the green + button to create a new alarm.


On the General view, we are going to give our alert a name and description. You will set the Monitor For to specific event occurring on this object, for example VM Power On and then click Next.


Next we are going to add the trigger. The Event is going to be esx.problem.storage.apd.timeout with the Status of Alert.


On the Actions view, this is where we are going to setup the action taken when the alert hits a threshold.



Saturday, May 21, 2016

End of General Support for vSphere 5.0 and vSphere 5.1

The End of General Support for vSphere 5.0 and vSphere 5.1 is August 24, 2016.  To maintain your full level of support and subscription, you will need to upgrade to a supported version of vSphere, for more details refer the below link.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

vSphere HTML5 Web Client fling. Its good to see some progress towards HTML5 based web client. vmware published vsphere HTML5 web client supporting both the vCenter server appliance and vCenter server ( Windows).

Following features are available HTML5 web client.

VM Power Operations (common cases)
VM Edit Settings (simple CPU, Memory, Disk changes)
VM Console
VM and Host Summary pages
VM Migration (only to a Host)
Clone to Template/VM
Create VM on a Host (limited)
Additional monitoring views (Performance charts, Tasks, Events)
Global Views (Recent tasks, Alarms–view only)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

ESXi Queue Depth

The HBA LUN queue depth determines how many commands the HBA is willing to accept and process per LUN and target.

ESXi 5.x the ddefault value for ql2xmaxqdepth=64, if a single VM is issuing IO, the queue Depth setting is applicable.

When multiple VM's are simultaneously issuing IO's to the LUN, the ESX parameter Disk.SchedNumReqOutstanding (DSNRO) value becomes the leading parameter, and HBA Queue Depth is ignored.

Increading the Queue Depth value without changing the Disk.SchedNumReqOutstanding setting will only be beneficial when one VM is issuing commands. It is considered best paactice to use the same value for the Queue Depth and DSNRO.


AQLEN

Type esxtop and press d:disk adapter:

The value listed under AQLEN is the queue depth of the storage adapter. This is the maximum number of ESX VMKernel active commands that the adapter driver is configured to support.

DQLEN

Type esxtop and press u: disk device:  

DQLEN limits the commands per storage device.
The value listed under DQLEN is the queue depth of the storage device. This is the maximum number of ESX VMKernel active commands that the device is configured to support.


So basically I can multiply the LUN queue with the number of connected datastores to know how much active commands my host is allowed to issue down to the storage. This value will be limit by AQLEN to 2176 per vmhba.

What’s the Best Setting for Queue Depth?


VMware default settings are usually preferred. However, It is highly unlikely that all hosts perform at their maximum level at any one time. Changing the defaults can improve throughput, but most of the time it is just a shot in the dark. Although you are configuring your ESX hosts with the same values, not every load on the ESX server is the same.. Please do not change the default settings unless directed to by VMware in conjunction with the storage vendor. Changing these settings without analyzing the environment can be more harmful than useful.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

ESXi Standalone update / Patch without update Manager

Easy way to update standalone ESXi host via command line. 
  • Use vSphere Client to connect to your ESXi host (or vCenter server)

  •  Browse a VMFS datastore (e.g. the local ESXi VMFS datastore if it has one)
  •  Upload your VMware ESXi update/patch (.zip file) to the VMFS datastore
  •  Put your host in maintenance mode (VMs will need to be powered off or  vMotioned to other hosts if in a cluster)
  •  SSH to the ESXi server and login as "root".
  •  Verify the ESXi version and build details using vmware -v 


  • Install the update using esxcli command
Command :  esxcli software vib install -d  /vmfs/volumes/datastore info/ESXi550-201501001.zip

      


  • Reboot the ESXi server
  • After reboot Exit Maintenance mode
  • Power on or if DRS is enable all the VM's has been migrate using vMotion. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

VMware products End of Support (EOS)


VMware products reach their End of Support (EOS) phase. It’s very important to keep an eye on support because products that are “EOS” do no longer receive security updates or bugfixes from VMware. Always keep your environment up to date and supported.

Lifecycle Support Phases

General Support Phase

The General Support phase begins on the date of general availability of a Major Release (“GA”) and lasts for a fixed duration. During the General Support phase, for customers who have purchased VMware support, VMware offers maintenance updates and upgrades, bug and security fixes, and technical assistance.


Technical Guidance Phase

Technical Guidance, if available, is provided from the end of the General Support phase and lasts for a fixed duration.  Technical Guidance is available primarily through the self-help portal and telephone support is not provided. Customers can also open a support request online to receive support and workarounds for low-severity issues on supported configurations only.  During the Technical Guidance phase, VMware does not offer new hardware support, server/client/guest OS updates, new security patches or bug fixes unless otherwise noted.  This phase is intended for usage by customers operating in stable environments with systems that are operating under reasonably stable loads. ( See Lifecycle Support Summary Table)

End of Support Life (EOSL)


A product has reached its end of support life when it is no longer generally supported by VMware. End of support life for a specific product is either end of General Support or end of Technical Guidance, if available for that specific product.

End of Availability (EOA) / End Of Distribution (EOD)

A product has reached its end of availability when it is no longer available for purchase from VMware. A product has reached its end of distribution when VMware can no longer make it available as a download from vmware.com or distribute the product in other ways. The end of availability.


vCenter


ESXi

SRM

VCenter operation Manager

Nexus 1000v

VCenter converter

VRealize log Insight


When a product has reached its end of support (EOS) life, VMware does not offer new hardware support, server/client/guest OS updates, new security patches or bug fixes. During the Technical Guidance Phase support is available primarily through the self-help portal. Customers can open a support request online to receive support and workarounds for low-severity issues on supported configurations.

Friday, February 19, 2016

VMware announces vRealize Log Insight 3.3


Log Insight is a log aggregation, management and analisys tool, that VMware first introduced in 2013 and now is fiercely competing against.

Today the company announced Log Insight 3.3 that will be released shortly.


Among the new capabilities you can find:

  • Multiple VIPs with Tags that now allow to tag incoming traffic
  • Webhooks sent by both system and user alerts
  • Enhanced vSphere Integration which mainly covers new tagging capabilities for vCenter Servers and ESXi hosts
  • Additional OVF properties which includes DNS searchpath and DNS domain
  • New Parsers that includes LTSV (Labeled Tab-Separated Values), Regex and Syslog
  • IPv6 Support
  • copytruncate Support from logrotate
  • Windows 10 Support
  • A set of new APIs including Authentication API, Query API and a new Importer Utility

Log Insight 3.3 will also include in TP an Agent Configuration Builder, pure IPv6 support for the Virtual Appliance and a new set of Configuration APIs.

Friday, January 15, 2016

vSphere 6.0 Update 1b released

VMware release vSphere vCenter Server and ESXi 6.0 Update 1b. A few updates and fixes i think will be useful for at least some of my readers are listed below:

  • VMware now supports Cisco Nexus 1000V
  • Virtual machines protected by VMware vShield App lose network connectivity on the ESXi 6.0 hosts
  • Windows 10 VM VMX fails
  • Hostd repeatedly stops responding with Signal 11 error
  • Attempts to take a backup on VMware vCenter Server might fail
  • The esxtop utility reports incorrect statistics for DAVG/cmd and KAVG/cmd on VAAI supported LUNs
  • Virtual machine stops responding during snapshot consolidation on ESXi 6.0
  • Expansion of eager zeroed VMDK causes the VM to be inaccessible
  • Attempts to upgrade VMware Tools fail with a 21009 error code
  • Update to the OpenSSL library
  • If user is a member of more than 300+ groups in the Active Directory, the Windows Session Authentication login might fail due to an error in the VMware Client Integration Plugin
  • Unable to configure an ESXi host for Active Directory authentication
  • The esxcli vm process list command might display old VM name after you rename a powered on VM
  • CBT functionality, QueryChangedDiskAreas API, might return incorrect sectors
Download vCenter Server 6.0 U1b here and read the entire release notes here

Download ESXi 6.0 U1b here and read the entire release notes here

New Certification - VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist

The VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist badge holder is a technical professional who understands the vSAN 6.6 architecture and its complete ...