vCenter

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.

 

 

Deploy Template Using VMware Guest Customization Specification

Using templates save you lots of time when it comes to deploying virtual machines. And if you are looking to get a slight edge on your deployments in lab or production using customization specifications may be the way you want to go.

Here are some quick steps to deploy using this method:

 

  1. From the home page of  vCenter Web click VMs and Templates
  2. Right click on the template of choice and select New VM from Template…
  3. Enter the name of your virtual machine guest as you would refer to it in vCenter. Choose your data center and click Next to continue
  4. If you are using clusters, choose your cluster and click Next to continue
  5. Select your data store and click Next
  6. On the select clone option screen choose customize the operating system option; you may also set the machine to power on after creation to start the process which customizes the guest – Click Next to continue
  7. On our last screen we are shown our customization choices.  Choose your template configuration and click next
  8. Clicking Next on the confirmation screen start our deployment

And that’s all folks  — posted this for a friend with screenshots to illustrate the process.

– 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

VMware: vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 Update 1

That time has come, when you upgrade vCenter 6.0.  Here are some quick simple steps to see this done.

As always, its a good idea to have a backup before proceeding.  In my case I used a snapshot of my appliance. This was done by me connecting directly to the ESXi and creating a snapshot.

And here are the steps to start this process:

  1. Download the VCSA 6.0 Update 1 from  the VMware Patch Download Website. File-name: VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-6.0.0.10000-3018521-patch-FP.iso
  2. Mount the VCSA 6.0 Update 1 Patch ISO to your VCSA 6.x appliance. I attached the ISO by logging into the ESXi and then attaching to the guest appliance
  3. Next is to be logged into the VCSA 6.x appliance via SSH – note this must be an admin account.  I used the local root user and password
  4. Run the following command to begin the installation process: software-packages install –iso –acceptEulas

  5. When completed issue the reboot command: shutdown reboot -r “Updated, thanks to my buddy jermsmit”

     

Congrats you have upgraded.

Info sources:

VMware KB – for additional info

William Lam – who’s tweet informed me of this release, thanks dude

 

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