Tag Archives: Appliance

Getting Started with the Free Log Insight for vCenter

li-logoVMware gives away a 25-OSI pack of vRealize Log Insight 3.3 for all users with a supported vCenter Server license. VMware vRealize Log Insight is a log management software with intuitive dashboards, sophisticated analytics and broad third-party extensibility. It provides deep operational visibility and faster troubleshooting.

Log Insight is not a new product. I’ve already written about it during the beta phase and the final product was introduced back in 2013. With the release of vSphere 6.0 Update 2, VMware has included a 25-OSI package to all vCenter installations allowing all customers to use the product in small environments for free.

In this post I am goging to explain how to obtain the 25-OSI pack and deploy Log Insight for vCenter.

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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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Howto: AD Authentication in vCenter SSO 5.5

With the recently released VMware vSphere 5.5, the component Single-Sign-On (SSO) has been completely rewritten. The biggest change is that the RSA database has been removed, which eliminates much of its complexity. There is also a new identity type (Active Directory (Integrated Windows Authentication)) that works without specifying the AD Controllers directly, like the old vSphere 4.x / 5.0 authentication. The whole process is much easier. This post shows how to enable Active Directory Authentication within the new vSphere 5.5 Single-Sign-On. If you are using vSphere 5.1, read this post.

The method shown in this post allows you to manage users and groups in your central directory. This works for both, the vCenter Server 5.5 installed on Windows Server and the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA).

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VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 (vCSA) Limitations

vCenter Server Virtual Appliance (vCSA) is still very rare in a production environment. This might change with the current enhancements to the scalability made in vSphere 5.5. The maximum supported numbers of the embedded database have been lifted to 100 ESXi hosts and 3000 virtual machines. From now on, there are only a few imitations remaining. I do not think that many environments hit the scale limit, so the only remaining limitations are Windows-related limitations.

Here are the limitations from VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5

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vCenter Log Insight Beta Quickstart Guide

VMware has just release a new log aggregator called vCenter Log Insight. It’s a new tool that collects and aggregate logs from vCenter Server and ESXi Hosts. vCenter Log Insight is delivered as virtual appliances and can be deployed in less than 10 minutes. If you know Splunk you might be familiar with the user appearance. In my opinion a tool like vCenter Log Insight is indispensable for troubleshooting purposes.

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Building a VSA with Open-E DSS V7 inside ESXi

When you run a VMware platform there is usually no way around a shared storage system. A SAN is very expensive and you throw away the opportunity of using local storage. Common usage of ESXi hosts and storage Systems on x86 hardware also leads to a dilemma: Standard Servers usually have plenty of CPU, Memory and local Disks. With ESXi Hosts you waste the local storage and with storage systems you waste CPU and Memory. Combining both on the same hardware leads to an efficient usage that has the option to scale automatically. Today there are already some vendors in the market that provide SAN-free solutions with high available replicated local storage. This howto shows you how to share local storage by installing Open-E DSS V7 as a VSA inside an ESXi host using local storage with RDM.

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Howto: SSO – Simple AD Authentication with VMware 5.1

With vSphere 5.1 a new component called Single-Sign-On (SSO) has been introduced. The new SSO service is mandatory since 5.1. There is no way around, you have to use it. The good thing about it is that it has various authentication options and can be deployed in an redundant fashion. Unfortunately it adds a lot of complexity to your configuration but if you understand all of it’s components and functions, you won’t  miss it.

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VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 (vCSA) Limitations

One of my favorite developments by VMware is the vCenter Server Virtual Appliance (vCSA) as I want to get rid of as much Windows Machines as possible in my environments. It also simplifies the administration because you do not to have to configure and patch another operating system. Unfortunately the vCSA is really rare in a production environment. In my opinion this is caused by the fact that the vCenter Server Appliance always has some limitations, which are often not completely understood.

Here are the limitations from the current version of VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.1: Read more »

Free Active Directory for your VMware Lab using Samba 4 (UCS 3.1)

Are you looking for a free alternative for a Windows based Active Directory controller? The recently published version 4 allows Samba to be an Active Directory domain controller, participating fully in a Windows Active Directory Domain. This is a great replacement for a Windows based AD Controller if you want to use Active Directory features in your Lab.

With the new release of the Univention Corporate Server 3.1 (UCS) you can deploy your Samba 4 Controller in a few minutes. The quickest way is to use the preinstalled VMware Images. Read more »

vSphere 5.1 – Issues and Limitations you need to know

[Last Update: 8. Jan 2013]

VMware vSphere 5.1 is now global available since about one week. It’s time to wrap up the issues and limitations you should know if you are planning to upgrade your environment. I am tracking all of this issues and will report if there are any changes. Please subscribe if you want to get notified. Read more »