Slow or failed logon to VCSA 5.5 with vCOps in the environment

vsphere logoRecently I encountered this problem in a customer site whereby the logon to VCSA 5.5 would either time out, or take 3-5 minutes to actually log on.

Running a netstat on the VCSA during the attempt to logon showed there was a SYN packet sent to the vCOps appliance on port 443 that never established a connection. Another check was attempting to connect using curl https://<vCOpsIP> –k  – this would time out.

Ensuring connectivity to the vCOps appliance over port 443 fixed the logon timeout issue – presumably a the connection attempt holds up the logon process (single threaded?!) which causes a timeout in the logon process.

Installing vCOps 5.8 in the DefinIT Lab – 4GB RAM and 2 vCPU

vCOps There’s no doubt that vCOps is a great product for proactively monitoring your vSphere environment, but it’s a hefty package for the lab. The minimum recommended RAM is a whopping 16GB – in my lab that’s the whole of my management host! I recently needed to do some testing so I wanted to get it running in the lab with the barest minimum I could get working, and it turns out you can get working with just 4GB and 2 CPU…albeit you wouldn’t want to monitor much! I also want to use vFlash Read Cache to accelerate I/O in the lab – this requires upgrading VMtools and the VM hardware to version 10.

Bear in mind that this is a lab install, and production environments should follow the recommended minimums and configurations! [Read more…]

Installing VMware vSphere Update Manager Download Service and publishing via IIS

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). [Read more…]

Powershell – Generate Microsoft CA signed SSL certificates with vSphere 5.1

vmware logoThe 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:

  1. You have a working Certificate Authority
  2. You are in an Active Directory domain environment
  3. You have the relevant permissions to modify Certificate Templates, Request and Issue certificates.
  4. 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. [Read more…]