Archives For ESX

A quick reminder of what the files that make up a virtual machine and what they do.

File Name Description
*.vmx Virtual Machine Configuration File
vmname.vmdk The disk descriptor file containing all the Virtual Hard disks settings
vmname-flat.vmdk The actual virtual hard disk containing the data
*.nvram VM BIOS
*.log VM Log Files, there maybe additional log file with vmname-(Number) that contain old versions of the logs
*.vswp Virtual Machine Swap File – This file is created when the virtual machine boots and is used to swap memory if access to physical memory isn’t possible
*.vmsd Snapshot descriptor file – This file contains the meta data regarding any snapshots that exist for the virtual machine
*.vmsn Stores the state of a virtual machine when a snapshot is taken, if you chose to include the memory state of the VM in your snapshots this file will be slightly larger than the RAM assigned to the VM. One of these files is created for every snapshot

Starting to look into FT a bit more and I am currently reading the following document from VMware http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_40_availability.pdf this has already raised some more points for me that I didn’t realise such as the system needs to be certified as FT capable by the OEM.

Looking into this more I found out the the HP DL380 G5 and G6 or at least for the models I checked here>> http://snurl.com/q3c22 were not listed as being FT capable! I had realised the CPU’s needed to be certified for FT on this list >> http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1008027 previously but not the physical host. It has also been pointed out to me by @FrankDenneman on twitter that the ever popular blade server by HP the BL460 is also not supported.

I think the more I delve into this the more difficult it is becoming to see use cases with such a high amount of restrictions and limitations.

Update

@FrankDenneman did a little more investiagting into this and has found the following utillity that can be used to check your hardware for FT compliance http://www.vmware.com/download/shared_utilities.html he also found in the following VMWare white paper http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/perf-vsphere-fault_tolerance.pdf that VMware are using A Dell PowerEdge 2950 which is also listed as not supporting FT. So this looks to be just a case of waiting for the manufacturers to certify specific hardware. Fingers Crossed.

Recently had to install a VI 3.5 enviroment and needed to use a proxy server for update manager downloads. Found this usefull post on the communities forum by TiBoReR which explains how to add the settings once you have already installed update manager.

 

1. On the virtualcenter server, stop the Vmware Update Manager Service
2. Edit the vci-integrity.xml file in the Update Manager installation directory
3. Edit these fields for your good proxy settings:
<proxyServer>yournewproxy.companydomain.com</proxyServer>
<proxyPort>3128</proxyPort>
4. Start the VMware Update Manager Service
5. Run the scheduled task to download patchs

 

If you need to authenticate with the proxy server rdo the following

Configuring Update Manager to Use with an Internet ProxyTo update proxy authentication information

1 Log in to the VMware Update Manager server as an administrator.

2 Stop the VMware Update Manager service.

a Right‐click My Computer and click Manage.

b In the left pane, expand Services and Applications and click Services.

c In the right pane, select VMware Update Manager, click Action, and click Stop.

3 Open the vum-proxyAuthCfg.exe file in the Update Manager directory.

4 Provide updated proxy authentication information.

5 Restart the Update Manager service

After making changes to the service console IP addresses I have found an issue with the APC agent on the ESX Server. When trying to change the configuration to reflect the new UPS IP addresses I got an error saying unable to edit configuration file. On trying to uninstall the RPM I recived an error saying it wasn’t installed, on trying to re-install it I recieved an error sayig it was already installed. To resolve this I ran the following command on the RPM

rpm -ihv –replacepkgs pcns-2.2.1-100.i386.rpm

This forced a reinstall of the RPM and corrected the issue, I am now able to reconfigure the UPS for network shutdown.

Recently after changing the IP address of several ESX hosts I was experiencing a problem with HA on one of them. Looking in the event log I was getting the following error “Configuration of host IP address is inconsistent on host” after a lot of troubleshooting I found the FT_Hosts still had the old IP’s. After updating this file all sprung into life.

I have since found this post by Duncan Epping that would have helped considerably at the time http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2008/06/04/changing-the-ip-address-of-an-esx-host-and-ha/

You need to log onto the SC and run these commands;

esxcfg-vswitch -l (lists all your vswitches and port groups)

Find the portgroup name that has the SC assigned to it (usually port group 0)

esxcfg-vswitch vSwitch0 -p “portgroup name” -v “VLANID” or
esxcfg-vswitch vSwitch0 -p “portgroup name” -v 0 to disable the VLANID

OK all I seem to go on about at the moment is Virtualization Eco Shell and powershell, being a bit of a newbie to Powershell I have been amazed by just what I can do with it and have been eager to learn more. Whilst I have been learning and modifying code I have found on the internet, I have also started using Virtualization Eco Shell since its release.

The Virtualization Eco Shell is now the first tool I open when I get to site, I find it quicker and easier to get the information I need about an enviroment than using the VI / vSphere client.

A few examples of how I have recently used it

Reporting number of CPU’s and RAM in all the VM’s in an enviroment, using the advanced reporting pack that can be downloaded here >> http://thevesi.org/downloads.jspa within seconds I was able to produce a customised report similar to that below for a system with well over a hundred VM’s.

vmsummary2

Upon discovering a large amount of VMs we not time syncing with the host through VMware tools you would usually have to change the setting on each guest. After posting a question on the www.thevesi.org forum Scott has now added this functionality to the Virtualization Eco Shell >> http://thevesi.org/message.jspa?messageID=29595#29595

I am now able to set all my VM’s to sync at the click of a button

synctimewithhost

As for the vDiagrams they are fantastic, having previously used Veeam reporter to draw diagrams for infrastructures the vDiagrams option does it miles better and for free. Although I haven’t used the latest version of Veeams Reporter so this may have improved significantly. I just want the option to be able to diagram my network now as well! Maybe thats asking a bit much for a free product.

vmdiagram

For the latest information keep an eye on www.thevesi.org and also be sure to check out their blog here >> http://blog.thevesi.org/