Tag Archives: Howto - Page 2

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.

pernixdata-fvp-replay-workload

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
alarm-trigger-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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Pre-installed ESXi 6.0 on SD Cards or Flash Drives

Many ESXi installations are running on SD Cards or flash drives. In my opinion, it's a good practice. The hypervisor itself requires about 150MB, and the full installation on a SD Card is less than 1GB, without diagnostic partitions. VMware recommends using a 4GB or larger USB/SD device. When you want to install ESXi and you don't use auto-deploy, install servers or other automation tools you typically have to mount an ESXi ISO file to your server management system (iLO, iDRAC,...) or work with a physical installation media. This is somewhat slow and uncomfortable, but there is a little trick to make the installation faster.

You can prepare the USB/SD device with the ESXi installer, plug it into your server and install it to the device itself by overwriting the installer. You can also use customized installers when your hardware requires special drivers. Read more »

How to hide a Virtual Machine

This post explains how you can hide a VMware based Virtual Machine from designated users or the entire vCenter Server infrastructure. I'am explaining different scenarios where you can hide Virtual Machines including:

  • Hide Virtual Machines from Groups or Users in vCenter
  • Hide Virtual Machines from the entire vCenter Server
  • Hide Virtual Machines from root on Single ESXi instances
  • Find hidden Virtual Machines

To clarify, this post does not cover techniques to cloak that the Guest OS is running on a virtual machine, instead of bare metal.

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