vCenter

Backup of VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

It’s always a good idea to backup your work to provide you a way to recovery if things go wrong with your environment. Running an home lab I have cause my own share of issues many of times which had forced me to reinstall and configure my vCenter environment. Moving forward I will be taking advantage of the backup features included with the vCSA.

Using The vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface (VAMI) an administrator uses the HTML5 web interface to perform administrative tasks to the appliance configuration. These tasks included changing the host name, the network configuration, NTP configuration, applying patches / updates and performing backups.

Once logged into the VAMI, under the Summary tab, Click on “Backup” to start the backup of the vCenter Sever appliance.

There are options allowing you to perform a backup using different protocols and location settings. These include the following: FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, SCP.

Next specify the protocol of choice and then the credentials for accessing the remote location where the backup will be stored. As an added option, you can encrypt the backup data before transferring.

Click Next

 

A minimum set of data needed to restore the appliance will be backed up by default. This includes the data such as OS, VC services, vCenter Server database, inventory and configuration. Historical data such as tasks, events, and alarms.

Click Next

You get a final review before you click Finish to start the backup process

Depending on the data size of the vCenter server appliance, backups will take a few minutes to complete.

When completed, Click on OK

 

Tech Short: Modify vCenter Single Sign-On Password Policy

Warning:  I do not advocate that anyone to make modifications which extend outside of their organizations security policies. Doing so may put account security as risk.

By default, passwords associated with vSphere Single Sign-On expire every 90 days. As a user approaches this expiry point they will be reminded that their password is about to expire.

In my lab I wanted to avoid the need to change my password so frequently so I decided to extend the number of days required between password changes.

The steps below can be followed:

  1. Log in to the vSphere Web Client as a user with vCenter Single Sign-On administrator privileges
  2. Browse to Administration > Single Sign-On > Configuration
  3. Click the Policies tab and select Password Policies
  4. Click Edit
  5. Modify the “Maximum Lifetime”
  6. Click OK

Under the password policies you may take note of various options which can be modified based on your criteria or organization password policy.

Here are the password policy options:

 

Maximum lifetime:

Maximum number of days that a password can exist before the user must change it.

Restrict reuse:

Number of the user’s previous passwords that cannot be selected. For example, if a user cannot reuse any of the last six passwords, type 6.

Maximum length:

Maximum number of characters that are allowed in the password.

Minimum length:

Minimum number of characters required in the password. The minimum length must be no less than the combined minimum of alphabetic, numeric, and special character requirements.

Character requirements:

Minimum number of different character types that are required in the password. You can specify the number of each type of character, as follows:

  • Special: & # %
  • Alphabetic: A b c D
  • Uppercase: A B C
  • Lowercase: a b c
  • Numeric: 1 2 3

The minimum number of alphabetic characters must be no less than the combined uppercase and lowercase requirements.

In vSphere 6.0 and later, non-ASCII characters are supported in passwords. In earlier versions of vCenter Single Sign-On, limitations on supported characters exist.

Identical adjacent characters:

Maximum number of identical adjacent characters that are allowed in the password. The number must be greater than 0.

For example, if you enter 1, the following password is not allowed: p@$$word

 

Ref: ESXi and vCenter Server 5.1 Documentation > vSphere Security > vCenter Server Authentication and User Management > Configuring vCenter Single Sign On

[SOLVED] Unable to migrate VM’s to other host

I had encountered the following issue when attempting to migrate a live VM to another host w/in my lab cluster.
The error received was: 

Currently connected network interface” ‘Network adapter 1’ cannot use network ‘VM Network’, because “the destination network on the destination host is configured for different offload or security policies than the source network on the source host”.

I was able to fix this by checking the configuration of the virtual switch (vSwitch0) on the ESXi host I was moving the virtual machine guest to.

  1. I click on each host went to the configure
  2. Under the Networking subsection located the virtual switch
  3. Selected edit on that virtual switch.
  4. Reviewed the settings in the Security tab and the Traffic Shaping tab between the hosts.

In my case the issue was with the Security tab.  The destination host did not match the source.
Just another reasons to use host profiles between systems so that settings all match.

 

VMware vCenter 6/6.5: Creating Host Profiles

This post describes how to perform the basic task of creating a host profile.
Description of Hos Profiles:

VMware Host Profiles are available through VMware vCenter Server and enable you to establish standard configurations for VMware ESXi hosts and to automate compliance to these configurations, simplifying operational management of large-scale environments and reducing errors caused by mis-configurations.

Prerequisites:

  1. You need to have a vSphere installation
  2. You need to have admin rights
  3. You need a configured ESXi host that acts as the reference model

Steps:

  1. In vCenter Navigate to the Host profiles view
  2. Click the Extract profile from a host icon
  3. Select the host that will act as the reference model host and click Next
  4. Enter the name and  a description for the new profile and click Next
  5. Review the summary information for the new profile and click Finish
  6. The new profile will appear in the profile list

Video:

Done!

VMware / vCenter: Terms, Acronyms, Glossary {Tag your IT}

Recently I have taken, failed later taken and passed my VMware 2V0–620 – vSphere 6 Foundations Exam and passed. I am now in the process of practicing and studying for proctored exam(s) for the VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization Certificate.

With that there are many terms, acronyms, and Glossary items I will need to remember.
I am adding a list of terms and will expand on them as I come across new ones.

 

VM: Virtual Machine – a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications. https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/topic/com.vmware.vsphere.vm_admin.doc_50/GUID-CEFF6D89-8C19-4143-8C26-4B6D6734D2CB.html

ESXi: The vSphere Hypervisor from VMware (formerly ESX) is an enterprise-class, type-1 hypervisor.

VMFS: Virtual Machine File System for ESXi hosts, a clustered file system for running VMs

DCUI: Direct Console User Interface

iSCSI: Ethernet-based shared storage protocol.

SAS: Drive type for local disks (also SATA).

FCoE: Fibre Channel over Ethernet, a networking and storage technology.

HBA: Host Bus Adapter for Fibre Channel storage networks.

LUN: Logical unit number, identifies shared storage (Fibre Channel/iSCSI).

IOPs: Input/Outputs per second, detailed measurement of a drive’s performance.

pRDM: Physical mode raw device mapping, presents a LUN directly to a VM.

vRDM: Virtual mode raw device mapping, encapsulates a path to a LUN specifically for one VM in a VMDK.

SAN: Storage area network, a shared storage technique for block protocols (Fibre Channel/iSCSI).

NAS: Network attached storage, a shared storage technique for file protocols (NFS).

NFS: Network file system, a file-based storage protocol.

DAS: Direct attached storage, disk devices in a host directly.

VAAI: vStorage APIs for Array Integration, the ability to offload I/O commands to the disk array.

SSD: Solid state disk, a non-rotational drive that is faster than rotating drives.

VM Snapshot: A point-in-time representation of a VM.

ALUA: Asymmetrical logical unit access, a storage array feature. Duncan Epping explains it well.

VMX: VM configuration file.

VMEM: The page file of the guest VM.

NVRAM: A VM file storing the state of the VM BIOS.

VMDK: The virtual machine disk format, containing the operating system of the VM. VMware’s virtual disk format.

VMSN: Snapshot state file of the running VM.

VMSD: VM file for storing information and metadata about snapshots.

VMSS: VM file for storing suspended state.

VMTM: VM file containing team data.

VMXF: Supplemental configuration file for when VMs are used in a team.

Quiesce: The act of quieting (pausing running processes) a VM, usually through VMware Tools.

NUMA: Non-uniform memory access, when multiple processors are involved their memory access is relative to their location.

Virtual NUMA: Virtualizes NUMA with VMware hardware version 8 VMs.

VSAN: Virtual SAN, a new VMware announcement for making DAS deliver SAN features in a virtualized manner.

vSwitch: A virtual switch, places VMs on a physical network.

vDS: vNetwork Distributed Switch, an enhanced version of the virtual switch.

ISO: Image file, taken from ISO 9660file system for optical drives.

vSphere Client: Administrative interface of vCenter Server.

vSphere Web Client: Web-based administrative interface of vCenter Server.

Host Profiles: Feature to deploy a pre-determined configuration to an ESXi host.

Auto Deploy: Technique to automatically install ESXi to a host.

VUM: vSphere Update Manager, a way to update hosts and VMs with latest patches, VMware Tools and product updates.

vCLI: vSphere Command Line Interface, allows tasks to be run against hosts and vCenter Server.

vSphere HA: High Availability, will restart a VM on another host if it fails.

vCenter Server Heartbeat: Will keep the vCenter Server available in the event a host fails which is running vCenter.

Virtual Appliance: A pre-packed VM with an application on it.

vCenter Server: Server application that runs vSphere.

vCSA: Virtual appliance edition of vCenter Server.

vCloud Director: Application to pool vCenter environments and enable self-deployment of VMs.

vCloud Automation Center: IT service delivery through policy and portals, get familiar with vCAC.

VADP: vSphere APIs for Data Protection, a way to leverage the infrastructure for backups.

MOB: Managed Object Reference, a technique vCenter uses to classify every item.

DNS: Domain Name Service, a name resolution protocol. Not related to VMware, but it is imperative you set DNS up correctly to virtualize with vSphere.

vSphere: Collection of VMs, ESXi hosts, and vCenter Server.

vCenter Linked Mode: A way of pooling vCenter Servers, typically across geographies.

vMotion: A VM migration technique.

Storage vMotion: A VM storage migration technique from one datastore to another.

vSphere DRS: Distributed Resource Scheduler, service that manages performance of VMs.

vSphere SDRS: Storage DRS, manages free space and datastore latency for VMs in pools.

Storage DRS Cluster: A collection SDRS objects (volumes, VMs, configuration).

Shares: Numerical value representing the relative priority of a VM.

Datastore: A disk resource where VMs can run.

vSphere Fault Tolerance: An availability technique to run the networking, memory and CPU of a VM on two hosts to accommodate one host failure.

DPM: Distributed Power Management, a way to shut down ESXi hosts when they are not being used and turn them back on when needed.

vShield Zones: A firewall for vSphere VMs.

vCenter Orchestrator: An automation technique for vCloud environments.

OVF: Standards based format for delivering virtual appliances.

OVA: Packaging of OVF, usually as a URL to download the actual OVF from a source Internet site. Read more here.

VMware Tools: A set of drivers for VMs to work correctly on synthetic hardware devices. Read more on VMware Tools.

vSphere Licensing: Different features are available as the licensing level increases, from free ESXi to Enterprise Plus.

vCloud Suite: The collection of technologies to deliver the VMware Software Defined Data Center.

VMware Compatibility Matrix: List of supported storage, servers, and more for VMware technologies. Bookmark this page!

vSphere role: A permissions construct assigned to users or groups.

Configuration Maximums: Guidelines of how big a VM can be; see the newest for vSphere 5.5.

Transparent page sharing: A memory management technique; eliminates duplicate blocks in host memory.

Memory compression: A memory management technique; applies a compressor to active memory blocks on the host.

Balloon driver: A memory management technique; reclaims guest VM memory via VMware Tools.

Hypervisor swap: A memory management technique; puts guest VM memory to disk on the host.

Hot-add: A feature to add a device to a VM while it is running, such as a VMDK.

Dynamic grow: A feature to increase the size of VMDK while the VM is running.

CPU Ready: The percentage of time that the VM is ready to get a CPU cycle (higher number is bad).

Nested hypervisor: The ability to run ESXi as a VM either on ESXi, VMware Workstation, or VMware Fusion.

Virtual hardware version: A revision of a VM that aligns to its compatibility. vSphere 5.5 is hardware version 10, for example.

Maintenance mode: An administration technique where a host evacuates it’s running and powered off VMs safely before changes are made.

vApp: An organizational construct combining one or more VMs.

Cluster: A collection of hosts in a vSphere data center.

Resource pool: A performance management technique, has DRS rules applied to it and contains one or more VMs, vApps, etc.

vSphere folder: An organizational construct, a great way to administer permissions and roles on VMs.

Datacenter: Parent object of the vSphere Cluster.

vCloud Networking and Security: Part of the vCloud Suite; provides basic networking and security functionality.

vCenter Site Recovery Manager: An automated solution to prepare for a site failover event for the entire vSphere environment.

NSX: New technology virtualizing the network layer for VMware environments. Read more here.

VDI: Virtual desktop infrastructure, also called DaaS (Desktop as a Service) from Horizon View; run as ESXi VMs and with vSphere.

VXLAN: VMs with a logical network across different networks.

vCenter Configuration Manager: Part of vCloud Suite that automates configuration and compliance for multiple platforms.

vCenter Single Sign on: Authentication construct between components of the vCloud Suite.

VM-VM affinity: Sets rules so two VMs should run on the same ESXi host or stay separated.

Storage I/O Control: I/O prioritization for VMs.

NIOC: vSphere Network I/O Control – Enabled by default network I/O control is enabled, distributed switch traffic is divided into the following predefined network resource pools: Fault Tolerance traffic, iSCSI traffic, vMotion traffic, management traffic, vSphere Replication (VR) traffic, NFS traffic, and virtual machine traffic.