DefinIT

Announcing Part 2 – #vROps Webinar series 2017 – “Full Stack” monitoring with vRealize Operations Manager

As promised, vROps Webinar Series 2017 is back with the second episode of the year. Last time around we looked closely into the features of vROps 6.5 and as stated during that webinar, we will now show you how you can unlock the full capabilities of vROps using the extensibility of the platform.

If you have been following the Webinar Series, by now you have a complete visibility into the capabilities of vROps, when it comes to monitoring the vSphere infrastructure. While this infrastructure is important for the IaaS provider, what business cares about is Applications. The good news is that vROps provides you an extensible platform which can be leveraged to extend the product capability into any area where metrics exist. This could be at the layers of your Software Defined Datacenter such as Compute, Network & Storage, or in the Application Stack and it’s tiers such as App, Web and DB.

While VMware provides a number of plugins which allow you to extend the platform capabilities into applications, they also leverage strategic partners such as Blue Medora to provide you with management packs which can go deep into applications to complete the “FULL STACK VISIBILITY” which is required in any IT shop.

To discuss this topic in detail and to bring life to the concept of FULL STACK VISIBILITY, joining Sunny and me will be Craig Lee and Brock Peterson from Blue Medora.
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vSphere Web Client – VSAN is Turned Off – Edit button disappears

| 16/09/2016 | Tags: , , , ,

I ran into a strange one with my lab today where the previously working VSAN cluster couldn’t be enabled. Symptoms included:

  • The button to enable VSAN was missing from vSphere Web ClientVSAN is Turned OFF
  • vsphere_client_virgo.log had the following error:

[2016-09-16T14:49:03.473Z] [ERROR] http-bio-9090-exec-18 70001918 100023 200008 com.vmware.vise.data.query.impl.DataServiceImpl Error occurred while executing query:
QuerySpec
QueryName: dam-auto-generated: ConfigureVsanActionResolver:dr-57
ResourceSpec
Constraint: ObjectIdentityConstraint
TargetType: ClusterComputeResource
Target: ManagedObjectReference: type = ClusterComputeResource, value = domain-c481, serverGuid = a44e7d15-e63f-46c2-a1aa-b9b1cbf972be

I was able to enable VSAN on the cluster using rvc commands

  1. SSH to VCSA
  2. Enable bash shell
  3. rvc administrator@vshere.local@locahost
  4. vsan.enable_vsan_on_cluster /localhost/<datacenter name>/computers/<cluster name>

Following the enabling of VSAN on the cluster, I was still getting errors:

  • “Unable to load VSAN configuration” when viewing the VSAN configuration for the cluster in the vSphere Web Client
  • “HTTP400 Error” when viewing the cluster summary tab, on the VSAN health widget

The HTTP400 Error led me to the following KB VMware Virtual SAN 6.x health plug-in fails to load with the error: Unexpected status code: 400 (2133384), following the resolution in this KB resolved the issue.

It seems that, yet again, VMware’s certificate tooling does not replace a key certificate, and this is the root cause of the problem. When I deployed the VCSA, I configured the PSC as a subordinate Certificate Authority and followed the documented procedure to replace the certificates. Clearly this one was missed!

#vROps Webinar 2016 – Announcing Part 8 : SDDC Operations with vROps Custom Dashboards

vROps webinar logoThis time around Iwan Rahabok will lead the next session of the vROps Webinar Series while Sunny and myself will support him to deliver some awesome content which Iwan has developed over the past few months.

Yes, this time around we will move our focus from vROps as a Product and related features to the concept of running your SDDC operations with vRealize Operations Dashboards. Just to clarify, this is not a session where we will teach you to create dashboards, but this is a session where we would share how a set of Customised Dashboards can help any organisation’s IT to get an insight into Storage, Network & Compute within your SDDC. While vROps is primarily a Performance Management and Capacity Planning tool, we will take you to the other important aspects as well such as Availability and Configuration.

The session would start with discussing the concept first. Then you will see the concept turning into reality with the Custom Dashboards which we are going to showcase. Later, we will also share details on how to get all those dashboards into your environments with a few easy steps and hopefully this will either get you started on your vROps journey, or accelerate the journey for those who have already started and now looking to maximise their investments they made in to vROps.

So join us for this edition and learn more about how to operationalize Software Defined Datacenter.

Day & Date          : Thursday, 25th August 2016
Time                     : 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM  (SGT)
Event                    : vROps Webinar 2016

Topic                     : Part 8 : SDDC Operations with vROps Custom Dashboards

Speakers               : Iwan Rahabok / Simon Eady / Sunny Dua

WebEx Link          : JoinWebExMeeting

PernixData FVP 3.0 GA and Lab Install

pernixdataI’ve been running “Pernix-less” since vSphere 6 was released, simply because I can’t afford to wait on learning new versions until 3rd party software catches up. It makes you truly appreciate the awesome power of FVP, even on my less than spectacular hardware in my lab, when it’s taken away for a while.

Now that FVP 3.0 has GA’d, I’m looking forward to getting my lab storage accelerated – it makes a huge difference.

What’s new in FVP 3.0? Well, to quote the release notes:

A stand alone, browser based FVP Management Console.

Support for vSphere 6.0

Performance and scalability improvements.

Ability to rename the PRNXMS database.

Online and offline license activation via the new standalone UI.

Obviously support for vSphere 6.0 was the big one I was waiting for, but don’t discount the rather understated “Performance and scalability improvements”. Not sure if renaming the database is a headline for release, but I’ll let that go. I’m really, really, REALLY hoping the license activation has improved because I found it a little clunky and frustrating before…we’ll see… (more…)

Blogger briefing with Satyam Vaghani – PernixData

Recently I had the good fortune to be invited along to a blogger briefing with Satyam Vaghani CTO and Co-founder of PernixData.satyamvaghani-304

Those of you not in the know Satyam already has quite the track record, more notably for authoring 50+ patents, Principle engineer and Storage CTO for VMware (10 years). So it is safe to say he knows a thing or two about storage and related technology!

Nine of us (bloggers) were in attendance. (@dawoo @Archie_Hendryx @Craig_Kilborn @GreggRobertson5 @dellock6 @egrigson @julian_wood @simoneady @virtualisedgeek)

At the time of meeting Satyam, PernixData was 2 years and 2 months old and already has had a large impact on the storage industry.

FVP was of course at the forefront of discussion and how it stands unique in the  storage market place by providing clustered read and write acceleration of any shared storage.

Satyam was very clear, he believes customers should be less focused on renewing/replacing your shared storage in an effort to maintain or improve existing performance but rather focus on simply increasing the overall shared storage capacity and scale out your caching system (clustered flash) to deliver that consistent predictable high performance applications and end users demand and expect. He also highlighted how right now the storage industry has never been more fluid, after 20 years of predictable changes and advances the emergence of SSD and flash has turned the industry upside down. Flash based technologies have already been proven to exceed the performance limitations of well known products like SQL Server where the code is now having to be reviewed to take advantage of the new speeds available.

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Book review: Networking for VMware Administrators

NetworkingForVMwareAdministratorsI recently got my hands on a copy* of Chris Wahl and Steve Pantol’s Networking for VMware Administrators and was very keen to read it – especially given the reputation of the authors. I came to the book as someone who is at CCNA level (although now expired) and someone who regularly designs complex VMware networks using standard and distributed switches. I would class myself as having a fairly decent understanding of networking, though not a networking specialist.

The book starts out at from a really basic level explaining OSI, what a protocol is etc. and builds on the foundation set out as it progresses. Part I of the book gives are really good explanation of not only the basics of networking, but a lot of the “why” as well. If you’ve done CCNA level networking exams then you will know most of this stuff – but it’s always good to refresh, and maybe cover any gaps.

Part II of the book translates the foundations set out in Part I into the virtual world and takes you through the similarities and differences with between virtual and physical. It gives a good overview of the vSphere Standard Switch (VSS) and vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS) and even has a chapter on the Cisco 1000v. One of the really useful parts of the book are the lab examples and designs, which takes you though the design process and considerations to get to the solution. (more…)

Pernixdata – ICM and initial impressions – part 1

| 28/02/2014 | Tags: , , , ,

pernixdataSince the keynote by Frank Denneman at the LonVMUG many months ago the PernixData product has been something I wanted to test to see what benefits it may or may not bring to our SQL environment, I did have the good fortune to briefly beta test it last year but this blog post will cover the current full version (FVP 1.0.2.0). I am aware that 1.5 is just around the corner and with it comes full support for vSphere 5.5 whereas the current version that I will be installing supports ESXi hosts on 5.0 or 5.1 and vCenter 5.5 (not mentioned in the minimum requirements)

Environment

  • 3x Dell R715
  • 3x Dell SSD (1 installed in each host)
  • iSCSI connected SAN

ESXi Host preparation

The first job is to install the PernixData host extensions to the hosts, I opted to copy the extension to a data store that was accessible to all the hosts. After putting the first host into maintenance mode I quickly encounter my first issue.

2014-02-27_135234

 

 

 

This was simply as a result of not removing the previous install from this particular host so it was easy enough to fix by simply removing the previous installation with the following command cp /opt/pernixdata/bin/prnxuninstall.sh /tmp/ && /tmp/prnxuninstall.sh (as outlined in the PernixData FVP install guide)

After a reboot of the host (just to make sure) I reran the installation with success.

Management server install

As per the PernixData documentation I created a new AD account which had the appropriate admin permissions on vCenter and  local admin rights on the dedicated VM for the FVP management server.

Because this environment uses a vCenter 5.5 Appliance I created a small dedicated VM (Server 2008 R2) for the FVP management server, I installed SQL Express 2008 R2 and then the SQL Express management studio. Once SQL was installed I proceeded to install the FVP Management server, the installation went ahead with no problems. I rebooted the VM (just to be sure) and then once back up I reopened my vSphere client hoping to see the Management plugin listed in the Plugins, however it was not there. I checked the PernixData Windows service which had indeed started successfully.

Checking the logs (<INSTALLDIR>\server\log\prnxms.log) there was clearly a problem.

2014-02-28 11:50:53,371 [pool-3-thread-1] ERROR Context – Logging by SSPI failed
javax.xml.ws.soap.SOAPFaultException: A general system error occurred: User mydomain\pernixuseraccount, cause: N3Vpx6Common3Sso23DomainNotFoundExceptionE(No Domain found with ID: mydomain)

I went and double checked the username and its credentials, everything seemed perfectly fine, I restarted the service still the same error.

I wanted to see what configuration was actually being used so I took a quick look at the Configuration file (<INSTALLDIR>\server\conf\prnxms.config)

The following lines in the config file were empty

prnxms.vcserver.username=
prnxms.vcserver.password=

So as a test I populated the fields with the correct information

prnxms.vcserver.username=username@domain
prnxms.vcserver.password=userpassword

It is also important to ensure the following line is set to cleartext (as shown) before restarting the service

prnxms.vcserver.password.format=cleartext

After restarting the Management server service it will encrypt the password text and reset the line entry to the following

prnxms.vcserver.password.format=encrypted

I then closed and reopened the vSphere client and voila! the FVP Management plug was listed as an available plugin.

After installing the plugin I created a flash Cluster but at this point did not add any SSD devices to the cluster, this will allow us to then add any targeted VMs and gather existing metrics for a few days so we can then compare how much benefit the targetted VMs actually get after “switching it on”.

In my next post I will go over the results and my overall experience of using the PernixData product.

VMware ESXi Maximum paths includes local storage

| 20/08/2012 | Tags: , , , , ,

If you are close to the VMware ESXi storage path limit of 1024 paths per host, you may want to consider the following: local storage, including CD-ROMs, are counted in your total paths.

Simply because of the size and age of the environment, some of our production clusters have now reached the limit (including local paths) – you see this message in the logs

[2012-08-20 01:48:52.256 77C3DB90 info ‘ha-eventmgr’] Event 2003 : The maximum number of supported paths of 1024 has been reached. Path vmhba3:C0:T4:L0 could not be added.

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