VMware

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The PolygraphTest

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 vCenter 6 Phantom Snapshots

I’ve been using vCenter 6 for a while now and noticed an odd issue pertaining to snapshots. It seems that all guest show a “revert to current snapshot” state even if a snapshot does not actually exist.

However viewing under the Snapshot Manger… shows no existing snapshots associated with the virtual machine guests.

I’ve noticed this this issue does not exist when using the vSphere Web Client.

These symptoms have been confirmed by VMware official in the following KB: https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2111363

For now there are no resolution steps…

Symptom Recap:

  • There are no snapshots on virtual machine(s).
  • Virtual machines show Revert to current snapshot (right-click on the virtual machine > Snapshot > Revert to current snapshot) enabled in vSphere Client when connected to the vCenter Server 6.0.
  • When viewing the Snapshot Manager (right-click on the virtual machine > Snapshot > Snapshot Manager) for the virtual machine in the vSphere Client, there are no snapshots present.
  • Directly logging into the ESXi host using the vSphere Client shows the Revert to current snapshot grayed out.
  • Creating and deleting a snapshot does not resolve this issue.
  • In the vSphere Web Client Revert to current snapshot appears grayed out.

Work around: 

  1. Ignore the vSphere Client results and use the vSphere Web Client
  2. Use PowerCli to display snapshots.

Example command I like to use:

 

ntopng on Ubuntu 14.04

I just completed my ntopNG appliance setup. Once more I can look into my network traffic to get an idea of what’s going on.

Below you will find the steps to complete the install

Here are the steps

Log into the ubuntu server host and issue the following commands:

  1. sudo into root: sudo -i
  2. wget http://www.nmon.net/apt-stable/14.04/all/apt-ntop-stable.deb
  3. dpkg -i apt-ntop-stable.deb
  4. apt-get update
  5. apt-get -y install pfring nprobe ntopng ntopng-data n2disk nbox
  6. service apache2 restart

The steps provided here are the official ntop.org directions for their stable build packages.

Please note you will need to have a management and monitoring interface for your configuration.

In my configuration, I will be listening on a mirrored port to capture network traffic to be displayed under ntopNG

 

Are you interested in learning more about Ubuntu.  Check out the following book:  Ubuntu Unleashed 2016 Edition

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 datacenter and click Next to continue
  4. If you are using clusters, choose your cluster and click Next to continue
  5. Select your datastore and click Next
  6. On the select clone option screen choose customise the operating system option; you may also set the machine to power on after creation to start the process which customises 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

My eth0 is now called eno16777736

Interesting and new to me is that my network interface which was known to be called eth0 is now called eno16777736 in my new installs.

The following document indicates that 16777736 is the device’s acpi_index as provided by the firmware (BIOS/EFI)

This seems to happen on my VMware hosts where I’ve installed the latest Ubuntu OS releases. I am still looking into why this is happening and will update as soon as I have a better understanding.

For now, here is some info I found:

What does “eno” stand for?

en is for Ethernet
o is for on-board
The number is a firmware/BIOS provided index.

 

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

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