Last Week’s Most Interesting VMware KBs

Last Week’s VMware KBs of Interest for week ending May 27th, 2018

These are the KBs I found of the most interest to me in my environment.  They might be of interest to you as well.

vCenter Server Appliance Management Interface might not display the vCenter Server 6.7.0a patch  

If you were one of the psychos that likes to upgrade to the bleeding edge as soon as it goes GA then this one may have bitten you. There is currently no resolution but there is a workaround. 

 

While migrating from a Windows vCenter Server to a 6.5 vCenter Appliance, one or more services fail to start

If you utilize hosts files instead of a valid forward and reverse dns entry then this one my rear its ugly head during your migration.  There is a workaround with two parts.  You really should use the first part of the workaround and skip the second part which continues the use of hosts files.  This is why you are in this mess in the first place.  Please check it out.

Upgrading VM Virtual Hardware through Update Manager 6.x fails on Linux Virtual Machines

This is a known issue and there is no resolution currently.  Please see KB for a list of the symptoms to see if you are truly affected.

Hopefully these are helpful and hopefully reading these will prevent some issues before they happen. Please read the full list by clicking the picture below or the source link.

Get in there!

 

VMware Support News, Alerts, and Announcements

Source: VMware Support Insider

Backup VDS PowerCLI Script

I started doing all my VDS (Virtual Distributed Switch) backups manually which isn’t too hard. But you can do better with a Backup VDS script.  Even if you don’t realize it now, you will want to automate as much as possible.  Here is how I automated VDS backups. Starting with a powercli script from VCDX56 I made sure that I understood how it worked and modified it to fit my environment. 

Backup VDS PowerCLI Script Modification

You can edit your Backup VDS PowerCLI script to fit your needs. My modification started with a few variables which are automatically incorporated into the naming of the backup files.  To keep several versions of the backup files I added the date into the file naming as well. This really helps keep the vds backup files organized by name and date.  You will need a vCenter connection in the script.  If you want to utilize mine called Get-vCenter (It is very handy in a multi-vCenter environment) please feel free.

Backup VDS Code

For complete automation create a static array for all your vCenters and loop them. Then you nest this script in another loop.  Utilize Task Scheduler on a Windows computer to call the script on a schedule.  Then you have automated backups of all your VDS switches.

Caution: Like all code you download from the internet, please understand and modify the code accordingly to prevent unforeseen production problems.  Also known as career-altering events. 

 For this script the main command is Export-VDSwitch. I like to familiarize myself with any PowerCLI commands I am running in my environment.  The quickest way to get help and examples is to run from a Powershell prompt the command ‘help verb-noun -showwindow’.  In this case it would be help Export-VDSwitch -showwindow.

vCenter Server 6.7.0a Resolved Issues

Resolved Issues vCenter 6.7.0a

It is a good time to start planning your next upgrade so here are the highlights of all the Resolved Issues in 6.7.0a

Resolved Installation and Upgrade Issues

  • Upgrade to vCenter Server 6.7 might fail with an error 
  • The GUI installer might display one and the same error message caused by firstboot failures during stage 2 of the vCenter Server Appliance upgrade
  • Installation or upgrade to vCenter Server 6.7 might fail with an error “Failed to register Auto Deploy” during firstboot

Resolved vSphere Web Client and vSphere Client Issues

  • The vSphere Web Client might stop responding when you try to log in
  • You might not be able to disable the deduplication or encryption features by using the Allow Reduced Redundancy option in the Configure vSAN wizard in the vSphere Client
  • In a deployment without Internet connection, the VMware vSAN health service might alert that the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) database is out of date

For more information including patches and isos for 6.7.0a please click the source link or picture below.

Source: VMware vCenter Server 6.7.0a Release Notes

Planning

4 Months Till vSphere 5.5 Support Ends

As usual VMware magnanimously offers to provide extended support for a ‘small’ purchase price.

“In the event you are unable to upgrade before the End of General Support (EOGS) and are active on Support and Subscription, you have the option to purchase extended support in one year increments for up to two years beyond the EOGS date. Visit VMware Extended Support for more information.”

If support is just a best-case scenario and you can stomach going it alone (with Google searching) then Technical Guidance with be available for another year until September 19, 2020.

Google Support
Google Support

“Technical Guidance for vSphere 5.5 is available until September 19, 2020 primarily through the self-help portal. During the Technical Guidance phase, VMware does not offer new hardware support, server/client/guest OS updates, new security patches or bug fixes unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit VMware Lifecycle Support Phases.”

Technical Support is always a good option to have and for all of you knowledge seekers it is a great way to learn the nuances of VMware products.  See my previous post Tech Support is Not a Dirty Word for my take.

You Need VMUG Advantage

What is VMUG Advantage? It is a more advanced membership for all VMware admins, VMUG members, and those who want to learn VMware technologies and receive other benefits and discounts as well.  It includes many of the best technologies from VMware with a 1-year license. It is the single best and least expensive way to get access to VMware technologies to teach yourself in your own lab environment. If you haven’t heard of VMUG Advantage then this post is for you.

Here is a comparison of memberships:

VMUG Advantage Comparison
VMUG Advantage Comparison

Please click the image to read the full benefits list and get yours today.  While you are at it please check out your local VMUG Group. VMUG groups meet 3-4 times per year and sometimes more.  You can learn so much about emerging technologies from interesting speakers and sponsors.  You will also meet interesting people going through the same trials and successes while using VMware products.  Click Gainesville VMUG to check out my local group.

Cross SSO vMotion Between vCenters

This week I am sharing a very helpful PowerCLI script to vMotion a vm from one SSO domain to another SSO domain.  I shamelessly borrowed this script from Romain Decker’s site Cloud Maniac. The original script was very good and functioned well.  I just took it a step further and added some functions to customize it for our environment.  These functions are:  Get-SourcevCenter, Get-DestvCenter, Ask-VMNameForMigration, Ask-DCForMigration, Ask-ClusterForMigration, Choose-StorageForVMMigration.  The names of each function should explain their use.   Essentially you will need to edit the script to customize some of these functions for your environment. 

I have used it dozens of times and it works flawlessly with one exception.  If your EVC modes don’t quite match between vCenters there may be some vms that cannot be vMotioned while powered on.  Just arrange for a downtime and try again with the vm powered off.  It will work well.  This sure beats downloading a vm to your desktop and then uploading it to the new vCenter environment.  If you need any explanation or help with modifying this code to fit your environment please feel free to comment.

( If you like this please check out some of my other PowerCLI posts like PowerCLI Get-vCenter Function )

Caution: Like all code you download from the internet, please understand and modify the code accordingly to prevent unforeseen production problems.  Also known as career-altering events. 

Cross SSO vMotion PowerCLI Code: 

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels
Thinking equals coding

 

 

PowerCLI Get-vCenter Function

Since I work in a multiple vCenter environment, it is nice to have a function that allows for a connection choice when running a PowerCLI script.  The Get-vCenter function has an array of all the vCenters I potentially might connect with to run a PowerCLI script.  This array is presented in a numbered format that allows the script user to choose the vCenter they want to use for the rest of the script. You can make the array as large or small as you want.  It will dynamically create a numbered choice next to each vCenter.  It is simple but comes in very handy.

Caution: Like all code you download from the internet, please understand and modify the code accordingly to prevent unforeseen production problems.  Also known as career-altering events. 

PowerCLI Code:

vami_config_net To Change VCSA Hostname

After reading the title of this article I’m sure you’re saying, ‘You can’t change VCSA hostname.  You have to redeploy.’  That is what I was told and all the documentation I have read says you have to redeploy.  Well it is not true.  With that said here is your warning about mucking with the VCSA configuration.  Don’t do it!  Unless you are working in your test environment and you came across a ‘workaround’ that you wanted to try.  I still wouldn’t recommend using this ‘workaround’ in your production environment without extensive testing and upon recommendation from VMware Support.

Why did I need to change the hostname in my test lab?  I applied 6.5 U1 to the VCSA in my test lab.  I then checked the VCSA and saw that the hostname was changed to ‘localhost’ and AD authentication was broken.  It also broke ssl certificates.  I was getting ready to redeploy the VCSA when I came across this ‘workaround’ and I gave it a try.  It worked great.

Change VCSA 6.5 U1 Hostname with vami_config_net

The ‘workaround’ is  really a built in utility called vami_config_net. The full name of this utility is configure-network command-line utility. Here is what the utility looks like in use with relevant configuration names blacked out.  

Shows vami_config_net command
vami_config_net
shows Main Menu for vami_config_net
vami_config_net Main Menu
show Current Configuration in vami_config_net
vami_config_net Current Configuration
shows Hostname vami_config_net
vami_config_net Hostname

Option # 3 will prompt with ‘New hostname’ and show the current hostname.  I made this change in my test lab and it did not require a reboot to start working.  However, I made this change after the VCSA had lost domain trust.  I had to take the VCSA completely out of the domain, delete the computer object, and join it to the domain again.  The VCSA is working wonderfully once more.

If I had tried to change the ip address it would have failed without changing the dns to reflect this before making the change.  In this very limited use case vami_config_net worked because I changed the hostname back to the original name. I would not have faith in using this utility to just to change from one hostname to a completely different hostname until I have tested further.

More info on vami_config_net

Allocate a static IP address to the VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA)

How to “fix” VCSA IP settings from command line.

Automating VCSA Network Configurations For Greenfield Deployments

Let me know if this article helps you.  Please share your experiences with vami_config_net.  I look forward to hearing from you!

shows silhouette with working gears for a brain

 

Changing vCenter Default Domain

One of the less annoying things I encounter on a daily basis is the wrong default domain on my vCenter appliance. Changing the vCenter default domain is necessary in my environment because the empty-root domain is default. Our main domain where all of our user accounts reside is a sub-domain of the empty-root domain. That means that you can’t just login with your normal credentials without using the domain\username or username@domain.com formats. This isn’t a large problem but anything that speeds up my day is always appreciated.

It turns out that this is a known problem for users in a child domain where the vCenter has been upgraded from version 5.5.0 to 5.5.0b or later.  In my case the users can login still if they put the domain prefix as part of their login.  I just don’t want to have to worry about that especially for those in our enterprise that can’t figure out how to login by using a domain prefix.

Resolution

To change the behavior of the identity source, the default domain can be changed on the Single Sign-On (SSO) server from the domain that was created during the upgrade.

Windows-based Single Sign-On (SSO)

Connect to the machine that is running the SSO instance.
Create the defaultdomain.ldif file containing this information using a plain text editor:

dn: cn=vsphere.local,cn=Tenants,cn=IdentityManager,cn=Services,dc=vsphere,dc=local
changetype: modify
replace: vmwSTSDefaultIdentityProvider
vmwSTSDefaultIdentityProvider: example.com

Note: Replace example.com with the desired default domain from your environment. Contents of .ldif file should be terminated with “-” .

As an Administrator, click Start > Run, type cmd and then click OK.
Run C:\>ldifde command to confirm that the ldifde tool is available. This list returns a list of available commands.
If the tool is not present, install it by running this command:

C:\>ServerManagerCmd -i RSAT-ADDS-Tools

For Windows 2012 run this powershell command:

Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS

Run this command to update the default domain:

C:\>ldifde -i -f filepath\defaultdomain.ldif -s localhost -t 11711 -a “cn=Administrator,cn=Users,dc=vsphere,dc=local” *

 

When prompted, enter the Administrator@vsphere.local Single Sign-On (SSO) password.
The command should complete successfully.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance with local Single Sign-On (SSO)

Connect to the machine that is running the SSO instance.
Create the defaultdomain.ldif file containing this information using a plain text editor:

dn: cn=vsphere.local,cn=Tenants,cn=IdentityManager,cn=Services,dc=vsphere,dc=local
changetype: modify
replace: vmwSTSDefaultIdentityProvider
vmwSTSDefaultIdentityProvider: example.com

Note: Replace example.com with the desired default domain from your environment. Contents of .ldif file should be terminated with “-” .

Open a console to the vCenter Server Appliance.
Run this command to update the default domain:

/opt/likewise/bin/ldapmodify -f filepath/defaultdomain.ldif -h localhost -p 11711 -D “cn=Administrator,cn=Users,dc=vsphere,dc=local” -W

 

Enter the Administrator@vsphere.local SSO password.
The command should complete successfully.

 

Here is the link to kb2070433  if you would like to read the full article for yourself. It is a trivial change to fix a trivial problem but I am glad to say it works like a charm.

VMworld Sessions Now Available

Thanks to William Lam over at virtuallyGhetto for creating an easy way to directly playback all of the VMworld Sessions from VMworld Europe and VMworld U.S.

I will be spending the next couple of months catching up on all the sessions I missed.  Head over to virtuallyGhetto to see all the other awesome things William Lam posts.