Tag Archives: vCenter

vSphere 5.5 Client Integration Plug-In on Mac OSX Error

This took me quite a while to track this down so I decided to post a quick article on it.

Symptom:  Getting page cannot be displayed errors when attempting to access a virtual machine’s (VM) console while using Safari, Firefox, or Chrome on a mac.  This only applies for people using the VCSA (VMware vCenter Server Appliance) and running version 5.5.

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vSphere: Move Hosts to New vCenter Server

host migrationI recently set out to recreate my vCenter installation since I was still running on Windows Server 2003 R2 64-bit and wanted to the set it up on Windows Server 2008 R2.  The problem here was that my Management Network was attached to a dvSwitch (Distributed Virtual Switch).  I’ll briefly outline the process of how I removed each host (3 hosts in total) from vCenter, attaching the host to the brand new vCenter installation with only about 10 minutes total virtual machine (VM) downtime.  This can actually be done with no downtime if planned properly and aware of the possible hiccups.

The new environment is now up and running, and after refining the process (poking around a lot), it only takes about 10 minutes to move each host.  This was done on vSphere 5 (moving from vSphere 5 to Update 1).

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My vSphere 5 Upgrade – Notes and Lessons

vSphere 5 box shot
vSphere 5 box shot
With the release of VMware vSphere 5, I decided to upgrade my lab from 4.1.  The process was pretty painless for the most part, but I thought I would right a few notes about the experience and a couple of things I did to help my scenario along.

I upgraded 3 vSphere 4 (ESXi) hosts and a virtual vCenter Server.

Virtual Center Server or vCenter Server low on disk space?

Over the last month or so, I’ve noticed that my VMware Virtual Center Server has been losing disk space like mad.  When I finally got around to just being frustrated by low performance and wondering just when the server would actually run out of space and choke, I decided to investigate.  I downloaded an awesome tool called WinDirStat which will let you actually see in pretty short order, just how your hard drive is being used and by what.

Turns out the culprit was Virtual Center itself, not a bloated SQL database, or Windows Update files, but the Virtual Center Update Manager to be specific.  Update Manager allows you to patch Guest and ESX host systems which is great, but it keeps a copy of all the updates it downloads, applied or not, on the local disk’s storage.

If you’re looking for this motherlode of files, on my system it was located at: C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataVMwareVMware Update ManagerData.

Hope this helps someone.  Good luck.

vCenter Server Upgrade from Virtual Center

So tonight, I ran the VMware vCenter Server Upgrade from Virtual Center 2.x.

001

I got a warning from the installer shortly after it began saying that I have IIS installed and there may be conflicts.  I pressed on since I know the default website on IIS is set for port 81 and is currently serving nothing, and is only installed as a pre-requisite for SQL Server 2005 which is serving as the Virtual Center backend.

After paying close attention to some of the wizards instructions, like making sure to update VMware Update Manager and VMware Converter to a compatible version, and making sure the SQL Server Browser service was running, which it wasn’t, I pressed on with the upgrade.

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VMware VI Toolkit for Windows – Tip: Regular Expressions

The importance of having a naming schema for your virtual machines in VMware VI (ESX / Virtual Center) has become much more important with the release of the VI Toolkit for Windows.

If you’re not sure what the VI Toolkit for Windows is, please see a post that I wrote earlier this month: VMware VI Toolkit For Windows.

The VI Toolkit can allow you to automate and script a lot of tasks that would require quite a bit of UI interaction with the VI client.  Something that you can do to facilitate this effort is by naming your virtual machines with a consistent pattern.  A typical naming convention might end with a tag about the server’s function and a number representing the server’s redundancy.

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Getting Started with Virtualization and Server Consolidation

ConsolidatinQuick

Virtual what?

Many people over the last several years have used the word Virtualization and the phrase Server Consolidation as buzzwords.  Meaning they used the words to sound knowledgeable in specific areas or felt the oncoming rush of what is now upon us.  These are no longer buzzwords and catch-phrases.  It is an actual movement within the technical community that is gaining momentum on a daily basis.  Virtualization is the running of a physical server as a software server, while server consolidation is the converting of physical servers to software based servers.  If this seems to be a strange and foreign concept, that’s because it is.  People are used to installing operating systems on a physical machine and now you can install operating systems on non-physical (virtual) machines, so that any single physical machine can run multiple virtual machines.  The obvious gains are increased server utilization, ability to provision new servers without the need to purchase new hardware, lower power usage due to less hardware running, lower equipment and maintenance costs, and lower physical space needed as far as server footprints.

One of the biggest questions involved in getting started with virtualization for the first time, is what software to use and how to use it.  I’ll begin by saying that in this blog entry, I’ll only be discussing VMware products.  I’ve come to love and adore the VMware offerings, and it’s not just because I work for EMC.  I’ll mention some other products that you can research on your own if you should so choose, and actually I’d advise you to, so that you can arrive at your own decision as to product quality.  Onto the VMware products and how I’ve used them over the past several years.

VMware offers a multitude of virtualization products that are designed to meet a multitude of business needs.  Fortunately over the last few years, competition with Microsoft, and VMware’s efforts to increase the market’s interest in virtualization (completely my opinion and not backed by VMware or EMC) VMware has begun to offer a few top of the line products for free.  The products that I intend to cover in this article are:

VMware Workstation – low costs
VMware Server – free product
VMware ESXi – free product
VMware ESX / Virtual Center (also known as VI3) – costs

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