Tag Archives: VCSA

VCSA 6.5 Broken Filesystem - "Welcome to Emergency Mode"

Today I managed to crash the storage used in my home lab. After fixing the FreeNAS box, my vCenter Server Appliance (Version 6.5 Update 1) refused to boot and after opening the console, it welcomed me with the following error message:

Welcome to emergency mode! After logging in, type "journalctl -xb" to view system logs, "systemctl reboot" to reboot, "systemctl default" or ^D to try again to boot into default mode.
Give root password for maintenance
(or press Control-D to continue):

Typically, this problem is caused by filesystem issues. This article explains how to fix the filesystem and get the appliance back up.

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vCenter Service Appliance 6.5 Tips and Tricks

The following tips and tricks might come handy when working with the vCenter Service Appliance 6.5:

  • Enable SSH
  • File Transfer with SCP/SFTP (WinSCP)
  • Login with Public Key Authentication
  • Disable or Increase Shell Session Timeout
  • Reset vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 root password
  • VIMTop
  • Certificate Warning

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Homelab: Downsizing vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

In vSphere 6.5 the smallest supported memory configuration for the vCenter Server Appliance has been raised from 8GB to 10GB. The smallest "Tiny" deployment size allows up to 10 ESXi Hosts and 100 Virtual Machines. Resources in Homelabs are limited and you might want to lower the memory consumption of the vCenter Servcer Appliance. This article explains how to lower the resource consumption to be able to lower the memory to about 6GB without noticable impacts.

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How to Join the vCSA 6.5 to an Active Directory Domain

In vSphere 6.5 the underlying operating system from the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) has been changed to VMwares PhotonOS. With the new OS, you can still join an Active Directory domain to comply with company policies, or if you want to use windows session authentication. Joining an Active Directory domain is included in the infrastructure node configuration which is part of the Platform Services Controller. Please verify standard AD requirements like time synchronization and naming prior to joining a domain.

If you want to log in with the "Windows session authentication" checkbox, you have to add the appliance running the Platform Services Controller (PSC) to the domain. For embedded deployments, join the appliance running both, the vCenter and the PSC to the domain.

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VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 (vCSA) Enhancements

migrate2vcsavCenter Server Virtual Appliance (vCSA) is the future. If you are still running the Windows-based vCenter, it's time to migrate to the appliance with vSphere 6.5.

Since vSphere 6.0, the appliance offers the same feature and scale as the windows based vCenter. vSphere 6.5 adds an X-Large deployment size, the update manager and a fully supported migration assistant to the appliance. Read more »

How to Increase VCSA External PSC Disk Space in vSphere 6

The vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 uses the Linux Logical Volume Management (LVM) that allows you to dynamically increase the disk size of the vCenter Server disks. For the vCenter server itself the process to increase the capacity is well documented in KB2126276. When you have an external Platform Services Controller, the tool mentioned in the KB is missing. You can't use "vpxd_servicecfg storage lvm autogrow" to increase the space automatically so you have to do it manually.

This post explains how to increase the disk space for an external platform service controller.

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VCSA6 Bash and SSH Key Authentication

The Linux Version of the vCenter Server is not new anymore but with vSphere 6.0 the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) has overtaken the Windows Version in many aspects. The completely rewritten linked mode removes the need for a Windows-based vCenter and the scalability of both appliances are identical.

VCSA6 is delivered as appliance based on openSUSE. Nevertheless its a Linux, VMware want's you to use the GUI. Unless you are in a testing environment I would highly recommend to limit shell usage to the following usage scenarios:

  • During Service Requests under advice of VMware GSS
  • For advanced troubleshooting
  • When required for complex deployments (eg. PSC 6.0 High Availability)

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How to get "Use Windows session" Checkbox to work in VCSA6

You've just installed vSphere 6 vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and want to use the "Use Windows session authentication/credentials" checkbox like you know it from the vCenter Server running on a Windows Server?

You've already added an Active Directory as Identity source, and you can login with AD users, but the "Use Windows session authentication/credentials" still does not work?

You see the following error messages in the vSphere Client:
Windows session credentials cannot be used to log into this server.
windows-session-credentials-cannot-be-used

Or in the vSphere Web Client (If the checkbox is greyed out, install the Client Integration Plugin from the bottom of the login page):
Incorrect username/password
vsphere-web-client-incorrect-password

This post explains how to get the "Use Windows session" checkbox to work

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How to Install VCSA6 in VMware Workstation

If you want to install the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) from vSphere 6 in VMware Workstation you might have noticed that the new guided installer is not suitable for you. The appliance is still available as ova, but it's a little bit hidden. This post explains how to deploy VCSA in VMware Workstation.

vcsa-in-workstation

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VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 Guided Installer Walkthrough

The vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) does now have a guided installer. It is no longe available as .ova or .ovf. The deployment of vCSA is now done by mounting an ISO and configure vCSA with a browser. Read more »