Yesterday I attended my second ever #LonVMUG and did my first ever VMUG presentation! Generally it was a great day, with loads of really good sessions and some really cool community and vendor content.
As ever it was great day for socialising and networking with people who you interact with on twitter. For me one of the major benefits of the VMUG is learning from other people’s experience. Twitter was alive with the hastag #LonVMUG and it definitely adds something to the day to be active
The VM estate that I manage is large: there are more than 20 different clusters and over 300 hosts of varying ages and hardware levels – as a consequence there are various different versions of ESX and ESXi running. Upgrading the hosts is somewhat akin to painting the Forth Bridge, a never-ending task. So keeping the thousands of VMs at the correct hardware and VMtools versions can be a bit of a losing battle.
What if I want a report showing me all the VM names, Hardware Version, VMtools Status, Tools Version Status and Tools Version – how do I go about finding that?
With the release of vCenter Log Insight Public Beta (http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vcenter/vcenter-log-insight) I thought I’d strike while the iron is hot and run through the installation and configuration.
Deploying the OVF
This is such a bread and butter task that it doesn’t require more than a few words – it’s definitely worth looking at the Sizing PDF before you deploy (VMware-vCenter-Log-Insight-1.0-Beta-Virtual-Appliance-Sizing.pdf) as it’s not small even for a test installation. If you’re using less than the recommended 8GB RAM there are additional steps to change the heap size for performance.
The vSphere UMDS provides a way to download patches for VMware servers that have an air-gap, or for some reason aren’t allowed to go out to the internet themselves – in my case a security policy prevented a DMZ vCenter Server from connecting to the internet directly. The solution is to use UMDS to download the updates to a 2nd server that was hosted in the DMZ and then update the vCenter Server from there. It also can save on bandwidth if you’re running multiple vCenter Servers, which again was the case (though bandwidth isn’t really a constraint).
If you work in company with strict password compliance rules, for example under SOX, you might well have to change administrator passwords every month. Doing this on any more than a few hosts is tedious work – even on two hosts it seems like a waste of time logging on the host via SSH (or even enabling it first) before changing the password. Then we also need to audit the change, there’s no point making it for compliance reasons if we can’t then prove we did it!