So VMware's Support Assistant is pretty awesome and it's free! I thought I'd do a quick run through of the installation and set up for anyone who was interested, it's fairly straightforward and if you raise a lot of calls or have multiple calls on the go it's a time saver!
VMware's official page for the Support Assistant is here - https://www.vmware.com/products/datacenter-virtualization/vcenter-support-assistant/overview.html
I'm very pleased to say that as of 21st December, I passed my VCP510 exam and am now VCP5 qualified! It's something that I've wanted to do for a long time (since VCP3) but have never been able to get funding for the required course. My current employer sent me on the vSphere 5 Fast Track course earlier this year, so I was all set to take the exam.
My exam experience was somewhat marred by a very poor first attempt which I narrowly failed. The exam I sat had dozens of spelling and grammatical mistakes, inaccuracies and other problems and I spent far too long commenting on those than concentrating on the questions. Fortunately I was eventually able to speak with VMware Education and they issued me with an exam voucher (they will also be releasing a new version of the exam soon, which I'm assured will resolve these problems). My second attempt was a lot better and I smashed the 300 point pass mark by 128 points, which went some way to restoring confidence in my own knowledge of the subject!
I'm now looking forward to studying for the VCAP-DCA and DCD exams with a view to completing them in 2013...
Without wishing to bore the pants off of any would be reader I shall summarize my ruminations as someone whom is still quite new to the VMware world.
The first thing that comes to mind is a a couple of recent meetings I have had with VMware. Learning that they are now very keen to engage with 'the rest of us' and by that I mean those of us working in SME's as we represent well over 50% of their business revenue. For me personally this was excellent news as we have already invested heavily into the VMware product range and plan to carry on doing so in the future. The recent release of VMware suites was a good step forward but I still feel they need to do a lot better in communicating to SME's about their vast (and ever increasing) product range as there are many gems that can often go unoticed. Our discovery of vCops earlier this year was a good example of this.
Save the QuizMe.ps1 file into a folder and then place one or more text file in the same folder containing a comma delimited set of questions and answers. Then run QuizMe.ps1!
The process of requesting certificates for vSphere 5.1 is a fairly grim, manual process. It's repetitive and easy to make a mistake on any step of the way. Since I've got to do this for quite a few VirtualCenter Servers, I thought I'd script the certificate generation if nothing else. I am following the excellent documentation provided in Implementing CA signed SSL certificates with vSphere 5.1 and more specifically in Creating certificate requests and certificates for vCenter Server 5.1 components.
The script assumes that:
- You have a working Certificate Authority
- You are in an Active Directory domain environment
- You have the relevant permissions to modify Certificate Templates, Request and Issue certificates.
- You have installed OpenSSL v1.0.1c or later.
You will need to modify the configuration section to suit your environment and the $WorkingDir folder should exist before you run the script.
DataStore conflicts with an existing DataStore in the DataCenter – Manually disabling Storage I/O Control
I ran into this issue yesterday while reconnecting hosts in our vCenter Server following a complete reinstall - the reasons for which are a long story, but suffice to say that there were new certificates and the host passwords were encrypted with the old ones.
The LUNs had been unpresented at the hardware level by the storage team, but had not been unmounted or removed from vCenter. This is *not* the way to remove storage - let me re-iterate: remove storage properly. Unfortunately in this case the storage was removed badly - doing this can lead to a condition called "All Paths Down" or APD which is best explained by Cormac Hogan (@vmwarestorage) in the article Handling the All Paths Down (APD) condition.
So recently we upgraded our cluster monitoring suite to it's latest iteration (Veeam ONE), it was not long before I began to receive emails from the monitor informing me of Host disk write latency "errors" (Datastore write latency had exceeded the defined threshold in the monitor) on several of the Datastores on our SAN.
Naturally I began the process of cross referencing backup routines and any heavy I/O routines that may have been running at the time the warning messages were generated. My conclusion was that even under average load these alerts were being generated, which was far from ideal even if we had not noticed any performance problems with any of the busy VMs.
After consulting the web/reference material and a few very knowledgable friends it was clear the first port of call was the Host Datastore Multipath policy. Upon quick inspection, all of the offending Datastores were configured with the Path Selection "Most Recently Used (vmware)". I had the option to set the Path Selection to "Round Robin (vmware)" but before doing so I double checked our MSA2312i SAN could support such a policy, which in this case it did.