vCenter Server 6.5.0e Is Out

If you are experiencing the following issue your fix is available with the 6.5.0e release. Even if you are not experiencing this issue it is recommended to go ahead and apply this patch according to my VMware TAM.

vCenter Server 6.5 might fail with an error of the type ERROR: duplicate key value violates unique constraint “pk_vpx_guest_disk”
The vpxd service on vCenter Server 6.5 might intermittently fail with the following error stack in the log files:

YYYY-MM-DDT00:01:24.342Z error vpxd[7F8DD228C700] [Originator@6876 sub=Default opID=HB-host-476@72123-38e1cc31] [VdbStatement] >SQLError was thrown: “ODBC error: (23505) – ERROR: duplicate key value violates unique constraint “pk_vpx_guest_disk”;

–> Error while executing the query” is returned when executing SQL statement “INSERT INTO VPX_GUEST_DISK (VM_ID, PATH, CAPACITY, >FREE_SPACE) VALUES (?, ?, ?, ?)”

The VMware vCenter Server 6.5 vpxd log files are located in the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMWare\vCenterServer\logs\vmware-vpx folder.

The VMware vCenter Server Appliance vpxd 6.5 log files are located in the /var/log/vmware/vmware-vpx folder.

The error occurs because of a database key violation for the GuestDisks updates, causing duplicate entries in the table.

This issue is fixed in this release.

 

Source: VMware vCenter Server 6.5.0e Release Notes

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Journey to VCAP6-DCV Deploy Certification

Procrastination can be a wonderful thing when it comes to getting nowhere.But I really want to get somewhere with my journey to obtain VCAP6-DCV Deploy I vow to stop my procrastination journey to nowhere. As part of this vow I have started collecting resources to be successful in obtaining the VCAP6-DCV Deploy.

studying

Like 99% of the people in the world I Googled That Stuff (GTS) and here is the resource list I came up with:

VCAP6-DCV Deploy Exam Info and Blueprint

VCAP6-DCV Google+ Community

VCAP Study Sheet

Great way to make the perfect study sheet

 

Pluralsight VCP6-DCV Learning Path

My favorite way to learn online

VCAP6-DCV Deploy Exam Simulator – Free

VCAP Forum on VMTN

THESAFFAGEEK VCAP6-Deploy & Design

Various Study Guides in no particular order:

TheVirtualPaddy

vCallaway

vJenner

I hope these will be helpful to you and of course to myself on this journey.

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Review of VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale 6.5

I had the opportunity a few months ago to take the VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [6.5] class. The class was held at MicroTek Atlanta Training. The facility was very nice and not far from the hotel I stayed at for the week. The instructor was Brian Perry who is the Managing Partner with VUmbrella. He is a member of a very exclusive club VMworld Alumni Elite. Alumni Elite members (21) have attended every VMworld event and now have been given a free pass for life as long as they continue to go to each VMworld event and do not miss one.

The course is broken down into 11 sections. (You can get the outline from the course link above in the first paragraph) Going into this class after reading the outline I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough new material to justify taking this class in the first place. For experienced VMware admins this class is great because it allowed me to test drive many of the new feature of vSphere 6.5 before implementing in my lab.  In my case, whether intentional or not, I had been exposed to many of the more advanced parts of this class through VMware Support requests.  (Just a little training tidbit: If you can’t get your organization to pay for advanced VMware training, use VMware Support to get educated when you invariably have issues in your environment.  Most of the techs are more than happy to explain to you the why behind the what.  The other excellent resource is VMware Hands-On Labs which is free to everyone. If you need some free resources please refer to my previous article Top 13 Free VMware Training Resources)

Training2

Out of the 11 different sections the 4 sections on Optimization and the vCenter Server Availability and Performance were the best for me.  The Optimization sections cover CPU, Memory, Storage, and Network.  They especially get into the use of esxtop to troubleshoot and analyze your environment.  Setting up vCenter HA in the class was a great experience and within a couple of weeks after attending this class it was setup in my production environment.  Great Stuff!

The bottom line is that this class was great especially the instructor Brian Perry. After talking with Brian I think I found my next VMware training class.  VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting Workshop .  His description was that the instructor runs scripts to break various parts of vSphere and you have to fix it.  What better way to learn is there?

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Using PowerCLI to Patch ESXi Hosts

I have been looking to automate more processes at work and patching ESXi hosts was definitely in my top 5 PowerCLI projects.  I really like the simplicity of Ben Liebowitz’s script over at The Lowercase w.  I will use this as a starting point for my own script. (Not that it needs too much tweaking.  Good job Ben!)

Please follow the link below to see the script.

Source: Patching VMware ESXi Hosts via PowerCLI! « The Lowercase w

 

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vExpert 2016 Awards Announced

The vExpert 2016 Awards have been announced. Both Mark Coney  and I were chosen as first-time vExperts. As co-VMUG leaders of the Gainesville VMUG we are excited to get this recognition and hope to live up to the designation of vExpert.
To see the entire list of 2016 vExperts please look at https://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2016/02/vexpert-2016-award-announcement.html .

vexpert_logo

Don’t forget that the next Gainesville VMUG meeting is slated for February 25th.  For more details go to https://www.vmug.com/p/cm/ld/fid=13003 and don’t forget to register.

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VCS to VCSA Fling Experience

We’ve been discussing using the VCS to VCVA fling converter appliance.  We spent a few days installing the lab and re-installing due to not reading all the requirements for the VMware Migration Fling. I built the test vCenter server with Windows 2012 Server which has specifically been shown to be buggy and does not work.  I shouldn’t have done that anyway since our production vCenter servers are Windows 2008 R2.

After spending time re-reading all the caveats and known issues with the fling at William Lam’s virtuallyGhetto it was time to test and get comfortable with how the fling works. We scheduled some conference room time and went through the deployment of the migration appliance and just followed the instructions.

Troubleshooting

The only issue that we experienced is that the converter appliance would not accept my domain credentials to access the existing vCenter server. Our default administrator account on all of our Windows servers is renamed in our domain.  It appeared that the converter appliance would only try the vCenter local account called Administrator. After several tries with domain\username, username, localusername, etc. we created a local account on the vCenter server called Administrator. Once that was done the conversion continued on smoothly.  After looking around I didn’t see anyone else having this issue but I thought I’d mention it in case someone else experiences this issue as well.

We were very happy with the result in the lab and will be scheduling the conversion of one of our production vCenter servers to the VCSA soon.

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Killing SSLv3 Tip

This week brought another unusual problem. We have a multi-domain environment that includes 2 different active directory forests with a trust. Like most of the world we have disabled SSLv3 on desktops as well as servers to prevent SSLv3 connections but this was only done completely in our main active directory domain. Everything has been working fine until this week.   Over the weekend a new change was introduced to the environment in the form of a new sha2 certificate for domain controllers in the other active directory domain. Once this change was implemented user accounts from the other domain would no longer authenticate for our Horizon View vCenter.

Settings were checked and the LDAPs identity source was identical on both our vCenters in our main domain but one did not work. Certificate stores were checked and they both had the relevant certificates.  After digging further there was one difference between the 2 vcenter servers concerning SSL.

Look under vCenter Server Settings.

SSLv3-SS1

There is a setting located under Advanced Settings called SSL.Version.

SSLv3-SS2

Choose TLSv1 to completely stop vCenter from trying to communicate over SSLv3.

SSLv3-SS3

 

 

 

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Do Work Politics and VMware Ignorance Rule Your Datacenter?

ServerDiagnosis  Do you ever find that as a VMware admin that you have to defend your choices when it comes to virtual machine sizing? We’ve all been there when our customers (i.e. internal I.T. analysts) or even your co-workers on your team question why you didn’t give their vm as much cpu or memory as originally requested.
How do you deal with it? Often it is easy to just declare I am the VMware admin and I obviously know more than you so just accept what I am saying. Besides, you are just an ignorant newb when it comes to VMware. The other response is to elevate the conversation and educate the ignorati.
I like to think that I choose the latter but I sometimes fantasize about the former.
In that vein I choose to highlight some basic troubleshooting methods that VMware recommends to determine if indeed that vm is worthy of a bump in cpu, memory, or even diagnose storage or network issues. A great knowledge base article to start with is Troubleshooting ESX/ESXi virtual machine performance issues (2001003) .

Hopefully this is a good start in troubleshooting ESXI performance issues and hopefully your political and ignorance issues are few and far between.  I’d love to hear from you about your experiences!

 

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Tech Support Is Not a Dirty Word

Sooner or later you will have an occasion to call VMware tech support in your career as a VMware admin. If you’re anything like me you want to figure things out for yourself but not take too long. You don’t want to admit you don’t know the answer but logically how can you know all the answers all of the time. Over the past 6 months my co-worker and I have been in this very situation more than a few times with our VMware environment. What I have learned is to be more humble and maybe a little quicker in making that support call. In every case I have learned so much from support that I feel like I received free VMware training. As much as you can learn from reading a technical book and researching a knowledge base article it just pales in the face of real world experience. Don’t be afraid to quickly assess your ability solve a technical problem in a timely manner versus calling support. You will gain experience by working with those more experienced than you that tackle these problems on a daily basis.

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Top 13 Free VMware Training Resources

For those of us who have to constantly keep our VMware skills updated training is never far out of our thoughts.  IT Training is often quite expensive and VMware training can be even more expensive.  Training on a budget is always a difficult proposition but it can be done if you have enough resources at your disposal. These resources consist of websites, videos, online labs, and podcasts.

I have scoured the internet and come up with my Top 10 Free VMware Training Resources:

  1. VMware Education Top Free Courses
  2. VMware HOL Online (Hands On Labs)
  3. VMware TV Intro to Virtualization Video Training Course
  4. VMwareVideos
  5. Backup Academy VMware Training Videos
  6. VMsources Virtualization
  7. VCP5 Practice Exams
  8. Paul Braren YouTube Channel
  9. Online VMware Training Podcast
  10. VMware KBTV
  11. Free VMware Training Videos
  12. VMware TechPubs
  13. VMware Technical Papers

The resources above should be a good start.  They definitely will supplement official VMware training for those seeking certifications.

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