Tag Archives: Linux

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 »

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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Match Linux SCSI Devices (sdX) to Virtual Disks in VMware

This post explains how to correlate SCSI devices within a Linux virtual machine to the virtual disk configured in the Virtual Machine. This can be accomplished by comparing the SCSI ID listed the Linux Guest OS and the virtual machine configuration in the vSphere client.match-linux-scsi-devices

In the vSphere Client disks are numbered without any reference to their SCSI ID. Linux operating systems numbers disks based on their SCSI ID and in order of appearance. Usually, the first disk is /dev/sda, the second /dev/sdb and so on. But if you want to remove a disk for example you want to make sure to identify the disk correctly.

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How to identify that Linux is running as a Virtual Machine?

tuxFor troubleshooting or in scripts you might want to identify if you Linux is running as a Virtual Machine. If you work with puppet you might be familiar with facter which provides the facts "is_virtual" (true or false) and "virtual" (Virtualization type).

There is another handy tool called virt-what that is available in Fedora (13+), Red Hat Enterprise Linux (5.7+ and 6.1+), Debian, Ubuntu, ArchLinux and Gentoo, and it can be compiled from source on just about any Linux.

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VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 (vCSA) Enhancements

vCenter Server Virtual Appliance (vCSA) is still very rare in a production environment. This hasn't changed much with the enhancements in vSphere 5.5 where the embedded database scalability has been lifted. VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 does now support up to 1000 ESXi Hosts and 10.000 Virtual Machines with the embedded Postgres database. I hope i can deploy more vCenter Linux Appliances in the future. Read more »

Identify Disk Usage of a Thin Provisioned Virtual Disk

This post demonstrates various ways to identify the disk usage of a thin provisioned virtual disk.

I have a virtual machine with a 10 GB thin provisioned disk. You can verify the disk type from the virtual machine settings page.


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Howto Install Additional Software in VCSA 5

The vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) becomes an alternative to the Windows-based vCenter more and more. There are several reasons to install additional software in the VCSA. When you want to implement additional services like DNS for your lab, or you want to monitor the Appliance via Nagios or SNMP, you need additional packages. The Appliance is based on SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, so you can use YaST to install packages. In this post I am going to show how to configure the vCenter Server Appliance to enable the installation of additional packages.
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Howto Check Network Port Availability from vMA

VMwares vSphere Management Assistant does not have much tools available. When you vMA is behind a firewall you might want to check if ports are reachable for troubleshooting purposes. As the vMA does not come with telnet or netcat you can use the built in bash feature:

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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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Choose and Install VMware Tools on Linux Guests (Original vs. OSPs vs. open-vm-tools)

When you virtualize Linux Operating Systems with VMware you have 3 opportunities when it comes to the decision which VMware Tools to install. The well-known VMware Tools that come with the ESXi Hypervisor and can be installed from the vSphere Client, the VMware Operating System Specific Package (OSPs) and the open source project open-vm-tools. This post explains the differences between the variants and helps you to understand the advantages to choose the right package for your environment.

If you use Linux Guests inside VMware I encourage you to comment on what kind of VMware Tools you are using.

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