Friday, December 28, 2012

vCOPs 5.6 License file not found


My friend, Henrique and I were troubleshooting a weird issue yesterday, since we spent a few hours to solve it, I think it worth to share and may be save a few hours of you.

When you are adding a vCenter OperationsManager (vCOPs) 5.6 license to vCenter you got an error:
License error: 5
Diagnostic message: License file not found


Starting with vCOPs 5.6 the license has some kind of schema that vCenter cannot recognize it before you register your first instance of vCOPs on it.

So, the sequence to register your vCOPs 5.6 will be:

- Deploy the vAPP (vCOPs)
- Register the vCenter within vCOPs
- Add the license to vCenter
- License the vCOPs asset

But, if it’s not a fresh install and you are handling a vCOPs upgrade, from 5.0.X to 5.6, you might have the same issues as we did.

Probably you will need to change it’s license information, seems pretty straight for, right ?
 Well, it was not that easy on that particular environment, we could not simple change the license information through vSphere Client.
What we needed to do was unlicensed the asset from vCenter, remove it and then from the admin page of vCOPs register vCenter again, then vCOPs 5.6 asset appears on vCenter and you can license it.

Tip: if it’s not working, try using vSphere Client connected direct on vCenter server.

Some users might not be able to see vCOPs under the assets, VMware has a KB2032029 for that, but it basically says to re-register your vCenter, if still not working tries the tip above.

Tip2: Make sure the user you are using to register vCOPs within vCenter has the proper privileges.

*** Update *** 01/29/2013
The new license for vCOPs 5.6 just works with vCenter 5.1, if you have an older version of vCenter you must use the key that's available on the product download page.
see KB2040718

- go to the vCOPs product page.
- click on View Download corresponding with the version you want.

 - download the file VMware-vcops-5.6.0.0-ADV-License_Key_for_VC_5.0.txt




Good luck

Friday, December 21, 2012

VMware's releases during December 2012


At this time of the year you might be thinking just about the holidays, recipes, relatives, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc…

Well, why not take a break of all these nightmares : )

VMware has been busy this end of year releasing new versions of several products, while some of the improvements and fixes are huge others are just minor releases and bug fixes.
Bellow you can find what products have been updated and just a taste of what are the main improvements on each one.
I encourage you to go through the release notes of them to learn what has changed, improved and fixed.

The benefits, I think, which are the most important on this release are the SSO related issues, fix of Timeout error when login on vSphere WebClient and the ability to login on AD that has no-standard UPN.

This version now removes the vRAM limitation, added support for customization of Windows 2008 and 2012 and it’s now supported to run on Windows 2012.

This release adds support for Solaris 11, Solaris 11.1 and Mac OS X Server Lion 10.7.5 guest operating systems.

vCloud Networking and Security 5.1.2 | 20 DEC 2012 | Build 943471 
New REST APIs for configuration, VXLAN virtual wire visible on vCenter inventory and vShield Edge redeploy enhancements.

It’s a minor release which does not bring new great features, but it fixes several issues you might face when using vSphere Replication.

Added support for protection and IP customization on Windows 8 and 2012. Auto gerentare certificates of 2048 bytes is another improvement on this release.

That’s a huge upgrade with several new improvements and fixes.
We can highlight, support for vCenter 5.1 , integration with vCenter Infraestructure Navigator, Integration with vCenter Configuration Manager, integration with vSphere WebClient, improvements on the stress and peak utilization and much more.

Creation of manual application groups, Integration with vCenter Operations Manager and multi-tier application discovery.

Now you can migrate your VMs from your private cloud to a public cloud and keep your network settings, template synchronization between clouds and search across clouds are the main improvements on this release.

Merry Christmas.....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Configuring SRA for EMC DMX4 on SRM 5.0


Following my SRM Definitive Guide, today we will cover the configuration of Storage Replication Adapter (SRA) for the EMC DMX4 storage on SRM 5.0

Components:
VMware vCenter: 5.0
Site Recovery Manager (SRM): 5.0
Storage Vendor: EMC
Storage Model: DMX4
Replication Technology: SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility)

The first document you should take a look at is the one that comes with SRA, EMC SRDF Storage Replication Adapter.

As much as it gives a good start it’s does not have all the details you might need, in this case I recommend the Using EMC SRDF Adapter for VMware vCenter Site RecoveryManager 5.0 , which can be found on Powerlink (if you do not have an account yet, get a registration, it’s free!!)

 The firmware requirements and software requirements are very well documented, there’s no reason to repeat it here.

For SRM to works properly you need a way to manipulate the storage (local and remote). Solution Enabler is the tool for the job, it discovery and manages the storage arrays on behalf of SRM.
You could just point your SRM server to another server which already has Solution Enabler installed and working, but, IMHO, it just adds more complexity and dependency on your solution, my advice is to install it on the SRM server itself.

Solutions Enabler manipulates the storage through a small disk (6mb) called GateKeeper, it’s a kind of control LUN, so if you are installing SRM on a virtual server, provision a RDM/RAW disk in physical mode. (remember that this disk must be provided by the storage you have your replicated disks)

 During Solutions Enabler installation, make sure you install SYMAPI Server Daemon, it will create a service, that works on port 2707 that will allow the remote SRM to communicate with it’s local storage.


Install Solutions Enabler on both SRM servers (local/remote)

Next step would be installing SRA, on both servers, there’s not trick here, just NEXT, NEXT, NEXT…..

The final piece would be configuring the SRA, it’s done inside the SRM itself. Click on Array Managers and then on Add Array Manager.

Give it a descriptive name and choose the SRA type (in this case EMC SRDF)



On Local SYMAPI Server, just put the IP of local SRM server, or just type local.
On Remote SYMAPI Server, just put the IP of the remote SRM server.



Configure the SRA for the remote SRM server as well, just remember to switch the IP’s information.

Now you can Enable the arrays and Scan for your replicated disks.

Good luck


SRM Definitive Guide


Site Recovery Manager (SRM) implementation is always challenging, each storage vendor/model has it’s own requirements and ways of configuring it. For a successfully implementation you need to take into consideration several aspects like:

- HCL compatibility  (I don’t have to mention it’s mandatory right)
- replication engine/technology
- software requirements
- minimum storage firmware level

But, In my own experience, what really made a difference was having on the same boat, the storage guy, the one that really understands the environment, how the storage works and how to configure it, so, bring him on board.

Well, so what’s this post about ?!?!

I decided to create my own SRM reference guide. From time to time I’ve been pushing back to scenarios that I have worked before but I cannot remember some of the details.
While those posts will remember me about those specific scenarios, it can also help others facing it for the very first time.

The intention is not to cover SRM installation, it's pretty straighfor and there are plenty of resources out there covering it.





Thursday, November 8, 2012

Free Compliance Check Tool for vSphere


You guys out there, dealing with compliance, regulation and audits know how hard is to keep the environment compliant.

Since vSphere 4.0, VMware provides Hardening Guides containing best practices and detailed description of security vulnerabilities, threat severity, risk mitigation techniques for fixing the vulnerability and securing the system.

Despite the fact you do an amazing job keeping all hosts secure, mysteriously, some times you found one or two items not compliant ; )
Doing a manual check for every host is a hard task, thinking about it VMware released VMware vCenter Configuration Manager FreeCompliance Checkers.

And as you can image by it’s name, it’s a FREE tool.

The tool allows you to scan your environment checking against few guidelines:
  • VMware HIPAA Compliance Checker for Windows and Linux
  • vSphere 5.0 VMware Hardening Guidelines
  • vSphere 4.1 VMware Hardening Guidelines
  • vSphere 4.0 VMware Hardening Guidelines
  • PCI 2.0 Compliance Guideline

The installation procedure is pretty straight for, just download it and NEXT, NEXT, FINISH.
The only caveat is the installer does not search for the presence of java, so if it’s not installed on the default location, change the address during installation to point to the correct location.


 Once it’s installed you can point to your vCenter, type your username and password and hit “Assess Compliance”.


When it’s done it will automatically open a nice HTML report with the findings.


You can also expand the items to learn a little more about that specific finding.



As it’s a free tool there’s expected some limitations : (

If you need something more robust or If you need adjustments to include your own policies, or checking against Industry and regulatory mandates such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Payment Card Industry (PCI), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Federal information Security Act (FISMA),  VMwarevCenter Configuration Manager is the tool for the job, you definetely should take a look at it.

I’m heading out now, I have a few items to correct on my own environment.

Good luck.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SQL 2008 R2 SP1 supported for vCenter 5.0


A couple of weeks ago, I was designing a VMware vSphere environment, when just checking the Interoperability Matrixes for the supported versions of Microsoft SQL for vCenter 5.0, I realized the Service Pack 1 for Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 was not supported.
I though it very disturbing, SP1 has been released several months ago, there’s no way it  still not supported !!
I decided to look for some more information internally.
My first find was several testimonials from others VMware consultants that have implemented successfully with that version.
Then I contacted the project manager, which has been in charge for the release of vCenter, she has confirmed me that this version (SP1) has been tested and it’s supported to work with vCenter 5.0 Update 1 a/b.
WOW, hold on to your hat…that’s the trick part:
Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 SP1 is just supported for vCenter 5.0 Update 1 a/b. (pay attention to releases a and b)
** Just to make sure. Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 SP1 IS NOT SUPPORTED on vCenter 5.0 Update 1. If you want to use this version of SQL, update your vCenter to version a or b.
To help you guys identify which version of vCenter you are running at, those are the build numbers you should be looking at:
-->
vCenter 5.0 U1 b – Build Number 804277
vCenter 5.0 U1 a – Build Number 757163
vCenter 5.0 U1    Build Number 623373

 
So, where did come all this mess from ?
Taking a second look at Interoperability Matrixes, I realized it does not list the releases A or B.

Right now I’m working internally to have this matrix updated.
I hope this post help some of you guys when deciding what database version to choose.


 

Friday, October 19, 2012

CPU utilization over 100%

-->
This week my client faced a weird situation, the CPU utilization of theirs ESXi host were over 100% !!!

Just as informational, the high utilization on their VMs, which caused the hosts to have a high CPU utilization, was not VMware related ; )

We know the hosts were in a high utilization period, but how was be over 100% possible ?


  
I started looking at vSphere Monitoring andPerformance, on page 49 I found a nice description of the CPU utilization.

 
The note on that description gave me the first clue

NOTE If a PCPU is running at frequency that is higher than its nominal (rated) frequency, then PCPU USED(%) can be greater than 100%.
Now that I confirmed that it’s possible, I decided to look for what could be allowing that.
Very soon I figured out that it’s a feature on Intel processors called Intel® Turbo Boost Technology.
When it’s enabled it allows the processor to transition to a higher frequency in order to give more horsepower during peak periods.
 
 I hope you don’t have to face extreme situations like this, but if you do that’s how you explain it to your boss.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

vSphere Replication hostname reverts to localhost.localdom


When implementing Site Recovery Manager (SRM) with VMware Replication solution, you must have to deploy one vSphere Replication Management Server (VRMS) at each site and at least one vSphere Replication Server (VRS).

As you would normally do with any device on your environment, you went to change it’s hostname and assign a unique name to each one of these components.

This task can be easily accomplish through the web interface of them.



But, once you reboot them, you will realize it reverts it’s name back to localhost.localdom.

So, How do we make VRMS and VRS to keep theirs hostname ?

On VRMS it’s an easier task.
During reboot, there’s a start up scripts which tries to solve it’s own IP address.
If it cannot resolve it’s DNS, it reverts it’s name to localhost.localdom.
To fix that you just need to create a reverse PTR entry on DNS for yours appliances.

VRS has the same start up script, but the problem is there are some missing packages, so it fails to set up it’s new name and reverts back to localhost.localdom.
To fix that you just need to install the missing RPMs.

As you can see bellow, the appliances are SuseLinux Enterprise Server 11, you could image that it’s just go to the Suse webpage and download them, right ?
Well, good look with that, I expend hours and could not find them there.


 The missing packages are bind-utils and bind-libs, but libcap is a dependency of those packages, so download and install it as well.
You can double check running: rpm -q -a bind-\*

I could find the files elsewhere. I will publish them here to make our lifes easier.
Use them at your own risk.


 
Once you downloaded them, copy it to a location where the appliances have access.
Then, just install the RPMs. The syntax is rpm –i “rpm_package”

Now you can change it’s hostname and it will stick after reboot.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

NIOC prioritizing specific VLANs/Subnets



It’s not unusual when presenting the NIOC feature for a client, they ask me:
 Is it possible to prioritizing the traffic of just a group of VMs ?

The answer is yes !!!
 
But first let’s remember what NIOC is:

Network I/O Control (NIOC) is a feature on the Distributed Virtual Switches (vDS) that when the hosts detects a congestion on it's network card, it will then starts to prioritize the traffic flowing from it.
To prioritize it's network traffic, it uses the SHARES concept (the same concept we are used to with vCPU and memory shares of a VM).

You can configure the shares on the following traffic types:

- vMotion
- iSCSI
- FT logging
- Management
- NFS (Network File System)
- Virtual machine traffic
- vSphere Replication traffic

That’s when the client realizes all the traffic for the virtual machines will get the same priority and then the inevitable question pops up.

Luck of us that the NIOC has been enhanced with vSphere 5.0 and now it includes the capability of creating a user defined network resource pool.
With that in mind, you can create a new network resource pool, give it a higher share than the Virtual machine traffic and associate this resource pool with a PortGroup.

If all your VMS are on the same Port Group you wound not be able to prioritize the atraffic among them.
You will need to segregate your VM's traffic, creating new PortGroups/ VLANs, let’s say for critical VMs, or databases then you can give them a higher priority over the others.

Let’s see how to configure it.

- On vCenter, go to Home/Networking
- select the vDS that has the portgroup you want prioritize.
Make sure the NIOC is enable.
- click on “New Network Resource Pool”



- add a name, a description (optional) and adjust the share as you wish.

 - click OK

as you can see the New Network Resource Pool has been created



It’s time to associate this resource pool with a Port Group
- click on Manage Port Groups



- Select the Port Group you want to change and on the Network Resource Pool Column select the Network Resource Pool you just created. Click OK



There’s also another way to associate a Port Group with a Resource Pool.

- Right Click on the Port Group you want to change and select Edit Settings


- Select Resource Allocation
- Change it for the desired Network Resource Pool.


 - Click OK.

Now you can give the network priority your VMs deserves.




Friday, August 31, 2012

SYSPREP or QUICKPREP ?


During my VDI projects with VMware View, it’s inevitable to reach a point where the customer asked me: Should I use SYSPREP or QUICKPREP ?

As you know, the most correct answer for a Consultant is, it depends !!! : )

Take some time to understand the differences between them.  
For a quick reference I’m putting the table bellow.



Seems the most relevant question is raised about the change of the SID.
I’m not here to discuss if duplicated SIDs imposes an issue or not, there are several article on the internet discussing about it…

My best advice is,  test each one of them on your own environment with your own applications. Some applications could be designed to rely on SIDs to identify the machine on the network or to perform some other operation.

When using Quickprep to create your pool of Full VMs or Linked Clones VMs, on the Guest Customization screen you just need to select it and go ahead with the wizard.

When using Sysprep to create your pool of Full VMs or Linked Clones VMs, on the Guest Customization screen, you might not be able to proceed, because the NEXT button will not be available after you chance to Sysprep.



That’s because you need create a Sysprep customization file first.
Go back to your vCenter and at the Home screen click on Customization Specification Manager, click “NEW” and follow the wizard to create the customization answer file,  the process of creating a customization is easy and I wont go into details here, I’m pretty sure you can handle that ; )



Once it’s done, you can go back to the pool creation and after selecting the customization answer to be used with Sysprep, you will see that the NEXT button is available and  you can proceed with your pool creation.



Also, don’t forget if you are creating virtual desktops olders than Windows 7 you need to copy and setup the sysprep files on vCenter..check it out how.

I hope it helps you on your VMware View projects.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Attending VMware World 2012 remotely




 VMware World 2012 is just right around the corner.
This year it will take place in San Francisco from August 26th to 30th  and in Barcelona from October 9th to 11th.

There will be several, if not hundreds of sessions and labs to attend. That will be awesome. Just check the agenda to learn what will be available.

But, at this point, if you did not get an invitation, an sponsorship or could not convince your boss about sending you to VMware World, it’s rarely likely that you gonna make it.

So, How could you be part of the event, learn about the most innovation news and products on this area ?!?!

The answer is easy, REMOTELY !!!!

VMware provides a live experience through a web site, so, if you could not make it, access the Experience Live portal to check shared live feeds, videos, photos, tweets and event coverage from the conference.

There’s also VMware Now which will provide a digital experience for products announcements demos and more, once you registered, you will start receiving links for the events.

Good Event…

Thursday, August 16, 2012

VMware Forum 2012 - Brazil




This post is for the ones living in Brazil, of course if you are on vacation over there and want to spend one day learning the wonders of cloud computing, then it's for you too.

VMware Forum 2012 Brazil 2012 is out of there for registration.

It will gonna happen in São Paulo, October 24th at Transamérica Hotel.

It's one day long with several session along the day with VMware and Sponsors, it's a great opportunity to learn more about how Cloud computing is changing the technology world and modernizing IT environments everywhere.
Check the agenda..

Best of all, IT'S FREE. 
Just fill out the registration form to waiting for the approval. REGISTER HERE !!!



Who am I

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I’m and IT specialist with over 15 years of experience, working from IT infraestructure to management products, troubleshooting and project management skills from medium to large environments. Nowadays I'm working for VMware as a Senior Consultant, helping customers to embrace the Cloud Era and make them succefully on this journay. Despite the fact I'm a VMware employee these postings reflect my own opnion and do not represents VMware's position, strategies or opinios.

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