Tag Archives: Howto

vMA 6: Recover vi-admin Password and Remove Password Complexity

When you’ve installed the vSphere Management Assistant 6.0 (vMA) you very like came across its very strict password policy. With this requirements, the password recovery for vMAs is a common tasks. This post explains how to recover forgotten vMA passwords and how to use insecure, simple passwords for lab uses.vma-bad-password

Please provide a password for the vi-admin user.
BAD PASSWORD: to short
BAD PASSWORD: it is based on a dictionary word
BAD PASSWORD: is too simple
…Have exhausted maximum number of retries for service

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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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How to properly initialize PowerCLI 6.x in PowerShell ISE

With the release of vSphere 6.0 VMware has started to transform their distribution model of PowerCLI cmdlets from PSSnapins into modules. This is a good thing because modules are the preferred method of adding cmdlets to PowerShell. Unfortunately the changed behavior breaks plenty instructions on how to load VMware PowerCLI in ISE, including my own. The old method works for core cmdlets, but functions related to Distributed Switches or Storage Policies for example are missing.

If you have the latest version of PowerCLI installed but cmdlets are missing in PowerShell ISE, maybe you are using the old method to load cmdlets.

Get-VDSwitch : The term ‘Get-VDSwitch’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program.

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Integrate VMware NSX in Log Insight

VMware Log Insight provides an easy, at a glance, view of an entire VMware environment including NSX and other components. Additional available content packs provide predefined knowledge about events. Problems with a vSphere environment can be identified by simply looking at the Overview dashboard.
nsx-log-insight-integrationThis post describes how to integrate all NSX Components into VMware Log Insight.

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Manage NSX 6 with Active Directory Users

When you login as a user from an external authentication source like Active Directory or LDAP, configuration of NSX is not possible. The Network & Security button is present, but no NSX Managers or other configuration objects are visible, despite the user has administrative permissions at the vCenter Object. Network & Security configuration is empty. The default vCenter Administrator can see everything.nsx-missing-permissions
VMware NSX has its own permissions structure, separated from vCenter Server Permissions.

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VMware NSX 6.2 Beginners Guide – From Zero to Full Deployment for Labs

NSXVMware NSX is the SDDC technology of the future. What ESX was once for Servers, NSX is now for Networks. I highly encourage everyone to make yourselves familiar with this technology. NSX with all its features is quite complex, but the entry point is quite simple and requires only basic vSphere and networking skills. This beginners guide explains how to deploy NSX in your homelab even with limited physical ressources by downsizing NSX Manager and NSX Controller VMs. The guide starts at zero and quickly explains how to deploy NSX and connect your first Virtual Machine to a VXLAN based logical switch that is able to communicate to the physical world through an NSX Edge Gateway.

What do you need to create the Lab?

  • vCenter 6 with some physical ESXi Hosts
  • vSphere Distributed Switch (dvSwitch)
  • NSX Manager Appliance (Download: NSX 6.2.2)
  • There is no special physical Switch requirement

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Evaluate PernixData FVP with replayed Production IO Traces

Using synthetic workloads to test drive PernixData FVP might result into odd findings. The most meaningful approach to test FVP is to deploy the software to production in monitor mode, let Architect do its magic and enable acceleration after checking the recommendations after a couple of days. Despite it is possible to deploy FVP, test drive, and remove it, without any downtime to virtual machines, this approach might not fit to all environments.


If you have separate DEV/QA environments with sophisticated load generators, the solution is obviously. If you don’t have that, there is another option by record production I/O traces and replay them in a FVP accelerated test platform.

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Howto NOT Benchmark PernixData FVP

Whenever I evaluate a new storage hardware or technology, I do some basic performance testing with VMware I/O Analyzer. I/O Analyzer is virtual appliance (Fling) provided by VMware that runs Iometer to generate synthetic I/O workloads. After installing PernixData FVP my first idea was to compare the raw performance of my storage, against the performance with PernixData FVP. However, I quickly noticed that synthetic workloads do not create any useful results. The upside is that I’ve learned much about how their caching operates so I’m publishing my results anyway. Actually, it’s not a problem with PernixData FVP itself, it’s just how host based caching works.pernixdata-fvp-vmware-io-analyzer

Conclusion: Don’t use synthetic workloads to test caching solutions! PernixData FVP works as expected but synthetic I/O workloads are no meaningful benchmarks for host based caching. I am going to test with realworld applications in another article to show how they can take advantage of FVP.

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How to create custom vCenter Alarms from Events

In my last article I’ve created a custom vCenter alert with a special event trigger. I’ve received a question about how to figure out the trigger event string to be used for creating alarms.

The vSphere Client shows the following error event:vcenter-event

To create an alarm based on this event, you have to create a new alarm and use the following event trigger: com.vmware.vc.vsan.RogueHostFoundEvent

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Building a Single-Node VSAN

single-node-vsanI was wondering if it possible to speed up my Intel NUC based ESXi with Virtual SAN. The idea is that compared against vSphere Flash Read Cache, Virtual SAN can use the SSD not only as read cache but also as write buffer. This post explains how you can create a Virtual SAN Datastore on a single ESXi host from the command-line without a vCenter Server.

It goes without saying that this is neither the idea behind Virtual SAN nor officially supported by VMware. It also violates VMware’s EULA if you are running Virtual SAN without a VSAN license. To assign a licence you need a vCenter Server and wrap the single ESXi into a Cluster.

My configuration for this test:

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