ESXi

VMware vSphere 6.5 Nested Virtualization – Create and Install ESXi 6.5

With vSphere 6.5 and nested ESXi 6.5 hosts I enable myself to get hands on with vSphere advanced features with vCenter without having the physical hardware in my home lab. The advantages to this setup allows me to test out new VMware features or simulate issue that could happen in production.

The term “nested virtualization” is used to describe a hypervisor running under another hypervisor. In this case, I will be installing ESXi 6.5 inside a virtual machine hosted on a physical ESXi 6.5 host.

Requirements:

  • Physical ESXi Host (ESXi 6 – 6.5 – )
  • Physical hardware supporting either Intel EPT or AMD RVI

Steps to setup ESXi 6.5 virtual machine guest:

Log into vCenter or ESXi host with a user with admin credentials. In my case I am using the vSphere web client. *spoiler alert* no more C# (Thick) client for vCenter. However it still works with the ESXi 6.5 hosts.

Switch to the “VMs and Templates” view. Right click a folder and select New Virtual Machine > New Virtual Machine…

Choosing “Custom” configuration select type Other for OS family, doing the same for Guest OS version. *note* Ensure you are choosing 64-bit (Other 64-bit)

Once at the configuration hardware screen; Make a few modifications to the default values.

VM Guest Configuration Settings:

  • Define the CPU to a minimum of 2 or more. This includes cores.
  • Define memory to a minimum of 6GB RAM
  • Define Disk to 2 GB (Thin Disk)
  • Change network adapter type to VMXNET 3
  • Add an addition network adapter (also VMXNET 3)

Additional Configuration Step: Enabling support for 64-bit nested vms

Locate the and expand the CPU properties page and tick the check box next to “Expose hardware assisted virtualization to the guest OS”. This setting will allow you to 64-bit vms inside nested ESXi hosts. Read more about this feature here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardware-assisted_virtualization

Click next and exit configuration

At this point you are ready to install ESXi 6 – 6.5 as a Guest VM.

I leave you with this video of the full process. Thanks for visiting and I hope this helps any of you looking to do the same.

 

Originally posted on my LinkedIn Page:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vmware-vsphere-65-nested-virtualization-create-install-jermal-smith

Installing vCenter Appliance 6.5

With the general availability (GA) release of vSphere 6.5 I decided to upgrade my home lab and learning environment to the latest and greatest of VMware’s product. Not only for learning, but for running the systems I use daily in my lab.

Preparation work:

  • Download and Install ESXi 6.5 to my new lab hardware – Configure ESXi 6.5
  • Download the VCSA 6.5 Installation media and start the install process – See below

I mounted the installation media (ISO) on my Windows notebook and started the installation by navigating to \vcsa-ui-installer\win32\ and starting the installer.exe application.

This will display the Center Server Appliance 6.5 Installer. Seeing how this install will be a new installation of vCenter I selected “Install”

Here you find a two step installation process. The first step will deploy a vCenter Server 6,5 appliance and the second step will be configuring this deployed appliance.

Accept the standard End User License Agreement (EULA) to move forward into the installation.

Next you select the type of installation you need for your environment needs. In my case I have chosen the embedded Platform Services Controller deployment.

Next, choose the ESXi host where you would like to have this vCenter appliance deployed and provide the root credentials of the host for authentication.

Then, provide a name for the vCenter appliance VM that is going to be deployed and set the root password for the appliance.

Based upon your environment size, select the sizing of the vCenter appliance. I went with Tiny as it fits the needs of my Lab environment. Note: It will configure the Virtual Appliance with 10GB of ram so be sure you can support this in yours.

Next, select the datastore where the vCenter appliance files need to reside.

Configure the networking of vCenter appliance. Please have a valid IP which can be resolved both forward / reverse prior to this to prevent any failures during installation.

Review and finish the deployment, and the progress for stage 1 begins. Upon completion, Continue to proceed to configure the appliance. This is stage 2.

The stage 2 wizard begins at this point. The first section is to configure Network Time Protocol (NTP) setting for the appliance and enable Shell access for the same.

Next configure an SSO domain name, the SSO password and the Site name for the appliance. Once the configuration wizard is completed you can login to the web client.

The following short video I made gives you an feel for the install process. Enjoy.

 

 

vSphere 6.5 release notes & download links

 

This weekend I had the fun of getting my hands and feet wet with installs of VMware’s ESXi 6.5 and vCenter 6.5. The links below should be useful to any of you looking to learn about the new release and download bits to install.

Release Notes:

Downloads:

Documentation:

VMware Flings: Embedded Host Client Update

I am excited about the release of VMware Labs Flings release of  version 3 of the Embedded Host Client. For those of you who find yourself out of the loop at time, no worries it happens.  Here is some details about the the embedded host client:

The Embedded Host Client is written purely in HTML and JavaScript, and is served directly from your ESXi host. The installed client is in its development phase at this time and does not have full feature sets, but has implemented a very useful feature set.

These features include:

  • VM operations (Power on, off, reset, suspend, etc).
  • Creating a new VM, from scratch or from OVF/OVA (limited OVA support)
  • Displaying summaries, events, tasks and notifications/alerts
  • Providing a console to VMs
  • Configuring host networking
  • Configuring host services

 

Installation Steps:

  1. Enable SSH on your ESXi host, using DCUI (Direct Console User Interface) or the vSphere web client.
  2. SCP the VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_0.0.2-0.1.3172496.vib to a directory on your ESXi host. In my case I used a shared storage LUN or NFS volume as I will apply this to multiple hosts.
  3. Next issue the following command:

     

Upgrade Steps

  1. Enable SSH on your ESXi host, using DCUI (Direct Console User Interface) or the vSphere web client.
  2. SCP the VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_0.0.2-0.1.3172496.vib to a directory on your ESXi host. In my case I used a shared storage LUN or NFS volume as I will apply this to multiple hosts.
  3. Next issue the following command:

     

Example output from running the above command:

[root@esx1:~] esxcli software vib update -v /vmfs/volumes/nfs/installs/flings/VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_0.0.2-0.1.3172496.vib
Installation Result
Message: Operation finished successfully.
Reboot Required: false
VIBs Installed: VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_0.0.2-0.1.3172496
VIBs Removed: VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_0.0.2-0.1.2976804
VIBs Skipped:

 

Tools of choice

WinSCP – http://winscp.net/eng/index.php

Putty – http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html

 

For more info on ESXi Embedded Host Client: https://labs.vmware.com/flings/esxi-embedded-host-client

 

Thanks for visiting – jermal

 

OVF Deployment Issue Ubuntu Snappy 15.04-stable (5 cloud)

When you have time, you do something.

Tonight I was headed over the Ubuntu site to grab me the latest version because I was thinking of installing OpenStack when I noticed on their landing page and noticed “Get Ubuntu Core” ; yes something new.

But where is my Raspberry Pi? No worries they have OVF images I can use to deploy to my vCenter Lab here at home. So I started just this and encountered an issue I once had.

Lets walk you through my events.

Downloading the image

  1. Found myself on the Ubuntu Internet of Things landing page: http://www.ubuntu.com/internet-of-things
  2. Located the OVF section of the getting started page: http://developer.ubuntu.com/en/snappy/start/
  3. Downloaded the OVA image (x86): 15.04/stable

Deploying the OVF Template 

  1. Using the vSphere Client, connected to vCenter (or stand alone ESXi host)
  2. Select server to deploy to and choose file > Deploy OVF Template
  3. Browse to the path were you downloaded your OVF image and select it

This is when I received the following error:
The following manifest file entry (line 1) is invalid: SHA256(core-stable-amd64-cloud.ovf)= d4b8922ed38a4eb9055576f7b46f8e92f463398298f3a42af942f25457d4d41c

Troubleshooting Step 1

  1. I extracted the OVA image (core-stable-amd64-cloud) with 7zip
  2. Once extracted attempted the steps detailed above “Deploying the OVF Template”

The same error was thrown once more.

Troubleshooting Step 2

Within the extracted folder exists the following file types: certificate, manifest, ovf (instruction / configuration) and disk image

  1. I remove the SHA256(core-stable-amd64-cloud.ovf)= d4b8922ed38a4eb9055576f7b46f8e92f463398298f3a42af942f25457d4d41c line from the .MF (manifest)
  2. Once removed I attempted the steps detailed above “Deploying the OVF Template”

It failed also, only this time the error started the the remaining SHA256 was also invalid.

Troubleshooting Step 3 – Third time is the charm

  1. Moved into the extracted OVA folder
  2. Deleted the .mf (manifest) file
  3. Followed steps above “Deploying the OVF Template” only this time using the OVF located in the extracted folder

This go around everything worked

So why did this happen?

The template was changed after its creation which invalidated the SHA256 key.  I have made templates myself, only to have to edit something out such as removing a CD Rom reference which later caused me issues.

I hope this helps if you face this incident or something similar

 

Thanks for visiting – jermal

Also published here

HowTo: Export VMware vSphere Sessions

I moved myself to a new workstation and followed my previous steps to export my putty sessions.  This time around I am exporting my Virtual Infrastructure Client settings

  1. From the run prompt (shortcut keys: WinKey+R) enter regedit,, this opens the registry editor
  2. Locate the following branch: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\VMware
  3. On the File menu, click Export
  4. In File name, enter a name for the registry file.
  5. Choose a location to save the file; You can now copy this file and import your the sessions data on the new system.

This saves me a lot of time.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this post, thanks for visiting – jermal

Back on vCenter in my home lab

Oh yeah; anyone else have the warm fuzzy feeling right now; Hashtags: #‎VMware‬ ‪#‎vCenter‬ ‪#‎ESXi‬

 

All in my home lab. Once again I have the management capabilities over systems that I prefer. VMware vCenter 6 is awesome and I am in love with the web interface

Next — Storage upgrade 3.0. That will be 16TB of usable RAID10 storage


There will be NFS, iSCSI and DLNA, and SAMBA

Power Off & On VMware Guest with a Scheduled Task

 

Using Windows task scheduler you can schedule power off and on events for guest systems running in VMware vCenter or a standalone ESXi host.

My steps:

  1. Create a basic task – give it a name and description (optional)
  2. Choose when you want this task to stat
  3. Select the start date and time
  4. Choose “Start a program”
  5. Choose the program you would like to run.  In this setup we will be running the following:
  6. C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -NoLogo -NonInteractive -File “C:\work\task\jermsmit.ps1”

     
  7. Click Next, Select Yes when Task Scheduler prompts you
  8. On the Finish screen, click Finish  – You can open properties to set this to run unattended

 

The script I am now using does the following:

  1. Loads the VMware PowerCli modules to powershell
  2. Connects to Specified ESXi or vCenter Server
  3. Issues a stop to specific VM Guests
  4. Issues a start to the VM Guest

Script Example:

 

Use cases:

  1. Powering systems down to conserve energy (earth day initiative)
  2. Allow for systems with large workloads to have full system resources without contention during scheduled down periods of the systems that are offline.
  3. Quick restore of nonpersistant environments

 

Thanks for visiting – jermal

VMware vSphere PowerCLI – Power Off & On Guests

Looking for a method to restart a non-persistent environment in ESXi or vCenter, I was able to use PowerCLI to issue the commands needed. Originally I was looking to automate the recovery of a snapshot when it dawned on me that a non-persistent disk would facilitate the same thing.  However I would need to power off the server and back on again for it to work.

And this is what came from my searching and trial and error

Powering Off

Powering On

Both – Power Off wait then Power On

Next was to use a batch file to run a task to execute the PowerCLI commands. This was done by doing the following set as a scheduled task

 Thanks Hristo for your help

Quest to automate snapshots in ESXi

I am looking for a way to run a instance and have it revert back to its snapshot every 24 hours. I started toying around with the idea to use the vim-cmd features however there doesn’t seem to be a way to set a task for this.

So far here are the steps I used

Looked up the ID of the VM in question by running:

vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms

View your VM’s snapshot tree by passing its ID to this command (this example uses the VM with ID 50):

vim-cmd vmsvc/get.snapshotinfo 80

And issues the command to revert the snapshot

vim-cmd vmsvc/snapshot.revert VM_ID 0 SNAPSHOT_ID suppressPowerOff

 

The output looks something like this in my testing

This works and now all I need is to somehow automate and schedule this.