VMware

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