Title : vCenter6.5 pre-upgrade checks issue

Title : vCenter6.5 pre-upgrade checks issue

While upgrading vCenter server from 5.5 to 6.5 this error occurred during pre-upgrade checks.

Error message: Please ensure extensions are compatible with the new vCenter server and re-register extensions with the new vCenter server after upgrade. Please refer to the vSphere documentation on extensions and the upgrade and interoperability guides. The user associated with the DSN has insufficient privileges. Resolution: provide sufficient privileges for the user by granting the user the following permissions: View server state and View any definition

Resolution

To resolve the issue, grant additional privileges to the vCenter Server database user.

  1. From the server that is hosting the vCenter Server database, open the Microsoft SQL Management Studio.
  2. Click New Query.

Run this query to grant the appropriate permissions to the user that the vCenter Server uses to connect to the database:

  1. use master
    go
    grant VIEW SERVER STATE to [VC database name]
    go
    GRANT VIEW ANY DEFINITION TO [VC database name]
    go

Understanding and remedies for Datastore FULL issues

This article explains about various issues encounter for datastores. We have a more insight on possible remedies and prevention measures by taking proactive approach.
Storage LUN is discovered and added to esxi hosts is called as datastore. Which is formatted with filesystem known as VMFS. Virtual machines reside on datastores.
When we create virtual machine, we select datastore to place VM in it. So, for datastores there are possibilities of issues may encounter such as datastore over provisioned and datastore usage full.
Now we see when these issues occur. For example, your datastore size is 4 TB, you create a VM hard disk of size 6TB with Thin format which you can place in 4TB however when user start to dump the data in hard disk which increases hard disk size in datastore. If the hard disk size goes beyond 4TB your VM will not be accessible. It causes outage for that VM which this below error message.
Solution: Always create VM hard disk of Thick Eager Zero format for better performance and to avoid datastore over provision issues. Make ensure datastore have at least 10-15% free reserved space for snapshots.
Some VMware infra have backup solution which takes snapshot of VMs as a backup. So daily backup snapshots will consume additional space in the datastores. This may also result in datastore over provision.
As a proactive approach you can configure 2 alarms which save you from VM outages.
1.   Datastore Over provision alarm: alerts will trigger after VM hard disks consumption size is greater than total capacity.
  • Which alerts you about datastore status while you create virtual machine.
  • When snapshots of VMs is taken and it results in usage of disks more than datastore capacity.
2.   Datastore Full Usage alarm: alerts trigger before VM hard disks consumption reaches maximum datastore capacity. In this alarm you can set threshold values for warning as 85% and red alert for 90%
Alarms configurations
  1. Give appropriate name for alarms
  2. Give alarm type as datastores – monitor for specific conditions or state
  3. Click on Enable this alarm
  4. Define threshold values to trigger alarms
  5. You can set actions to send email notifications, SNMP traps, run some script.
  6. There is an option to select – actions will repeat until the alarm type changes.
    Note: Once alarm is triggered take an action and acknowledge the alarm. If there is no action required for that particular datastore you can go to that specific datastore – right click and disable alarms.
    Datastore over provision alarm configuration
Datastore Usage on disk alarm configuration

vSphere versions, build numbers, EOL

vCenter Server and vSphere ESXi hosts available in various versions. VMware release latest version and later they release update for same version. For example vCenter Server 6.0 is the version released, later updated version released as vCenter Server 6.0 Update1, Update1a, Update 1b, Update 2 , Update 2a, etc.
each version has a build number. After you install vCenter server in vSphere client you can this build number. By using this number, you can determine what is the exact version it refers to. Keep ready with this numbers when you open case with VMware for any technical assistance.
While deploying esxi patches you got option to include rollup and updates like (update 2, update 3) as well. Always remember your vCenter Server version should be same or higher version compared to esxi hosts.
VMware release each product with release date and announces its EOL as ( End of General Support and End of Technical Guidance)
These are the very useful links for various vSphere products version & build numbers.
This article tells us about Correlating build numbers and versions of VMware products
https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1014508
Build numbers and versions of VMware ESXi/ESX
https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2143832
Build numbers and versions of VMware vCenter Server
https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2143838
Build numbers and versions of VMware vSphere Update Manager
https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2143837
Build numbers and versions of VMware Site Recovery Manager
https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2143851
This article has information of life cycle mgmt. like support policies and End of life.
https://www.vmware.com/support/policies.html#lifecyclepolicies

vCenter Server Upgrade from 5.5 to 6.5

In this article we will learn about how to upgrade vCenter server from existing version 5.5 to 6.5
  • As a pre-requisites must check compatibility of this version with your backup and storage software and hardware firmware versions.
  • Download iso image for vsphere 6.5
  • mount ISO to VC and recommended to copy ISO contents into VC server D drive.
  • right click on autorun.exe, run as administrator
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vSphere vCenter Server Install 5.5 and upgrade to 6.5

In this article we will learn about vCenter Server upgrade

 

  • Experiment with vCenter Server upgrade from v5.1 to v6.5
  • Upgrade from vCenter Server v5.1 to v5.5
  • Installation of vCenter Server v5.5
  • Upgrade from vCenter server from v5.5 to v6.5
Pre-requisites
  • Prior proceeding with the upgrade, you must check for software and hardware compatibility with this version for your existing backup, storage, hardware firmware versions.
  • Take snapshot of your vCenter server
  • Take backup of your database and vCenter server.
  • generate rvtools inventory
  • get all credentials in handy like SSO, Database, domain account.
  • Download required software version from VMware portal and generate license keys.
For this article I have chosen vCenter version “VMware-VIM-all-6.5.0-9451637”
For vSphere versions you must follow upgrade paths. For example, vSphere 5.1 can’t be upgraded directly to vSphere 6.5. first you must upgrade to vSphere 5.5 then go for vSphere 6.5.
In this article I did some experiment to show you what error message it will triggered if you won’t follow upgrade path.
This is the VMware article which shows about all upgrade paths for available vCenter server versions
https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/sim/interop_matrix.php#upgrade&solution=2
It is advised to take screen capture or note the details of affinity rules, roles, custom alarms. Technically these settings remain after upgrade however just prepare for the worst case.
After your vCenter server upgrade, you can upgrade esxi hosts and SRM. Remember higher vCenter version still can support lower esxi versions. That means if your VC is v6.5 still you can connect hosts with version 5.5 & 6.0
Experiement with not following upgrade path. vSphere 5.1 upgrade to vSphere 6.5 not possible !
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Note: Ignore this below image, it shows as premature ended. However it should be displayed as success.
vCenter Server version 5.5 Installation
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Please refer this article for vCenter Server upgrade from 5.5 to 6.5

http://www.techshareit.com/2018/09/vcenter-server-upgrade-from-5-5-to-6-5/

VMware SRM Configuration step by step

VMware SRM used as a solution to bring up VMs in disaster recovery. SRM can be used for storage replication and VM based replication. In this article we are going to explain about VMware SRM configured for Hitachi storage array-based replication. First setup servers (physical or VM) in both production and DR site. Install VMware SRM which is compatible with your vCenter server version.
Abbreviations
SRA – Storage Replication Adaptor
HORCM – Hitachi Online Remote Copy Manager
MU – Mirror Unit
RDM – Raw Device Mapping
P-VOL – Primary Volume
S-VOL -Shadow/Secondary Volume
CoW – Copy on Write
Preparation steps
You must get command devices from storage vendor and mount to SRM VMs as a RDM in both prod and DR sites. You have to get CCI binaries from storage vendor. Install in SRM both servers. The command device is used for running storage commands which interacts with storage array to execute the commands. CCI binaries have all storage related commands.
Install SRA which is compatible with your storage array. You can download this from vmware site and install in both prod and DR SRM VMs.
You must share replication LUNs naa id with storage team to prepare HORCM file. Storage team will prepare set of files for prod and DR based on your DR solution. You may have file names like this HORCM0 (prod site for P-VOL) and HORCM1 (DR for S-VOL), HORCM2 (DR for T-VOL). Storage LUNs which are in replication in production site are called P-VOL (primary volume) and replicated LUN at DR site are called S-VOL (secondary or shadow volume), You can perform DR for directly S-VOL or you can go for an option to take snapshot from S-VOL and create T-VOL (Temporary volume). It’s all up to the DR design solution.
In Horcm files MU value denotes that you are using S-vol or T-vol for DR.
Ensure VMs and its disks are in correct datastores to ensure SRM work smoothly without hassles.
VMs all hard disks must in datastores which are in replication.
If there are multiple storage VSPs then VMs associated disks can be in different LUNs but from same VSP storage.
If there are consistency groups configured for storage LUNs, make sure all VM disks are placed in same consistency groups.
If you miss any of these storage datastores pre-requisites your SRM configuration would be failed.
  1. Login to Prod SRM server and place the horcm0.conf file under C:\Windows
  2. Login to DR SRM server and place the horcm1.conf & horcm2.conf files under C:\Windows
  3. Go to C:\horcm\etc path and execute “horcmstart 0” to trigger the horcm file in Prod SRM server.
  4. Go to C:\horcm\etc path and execute “horcmstart 1 2” to trigger the horcm file in DR SRM server.
  5. Execute the “pairdisplay” command given by the storage team and ensure all are in “PAIR”status.

6. Right click on DR site -> connect -> Use the credentials to establish connectivity between Prod and DR SRM servers.

7. Ensure it’s the icon is changed. This entails that the sites are now connected.

8. Right click on the Prod VC folder and click on “Add Array Manager”

9. Give a relevant display name and click “Next”.

10. Add the CCI server as HORCMINST=0 and enter “dummy” as username and password and click “Next”

11. Click “Finish” when it’s successful

12. Add the “Array Manager for DR site” by changing the HORCMINST value to 1 & 2 as below. All the other procedures remain same.

Creating Protection Groups in SRM servers 
  • Click on “Protection Groups tab”.
  • Right click on “All Protection group” and click “Create Protection Group”.

 

  • Click on the first RAID pair and click “Next”.
  • Ensure all the checkboxes are enabled next to all the “Datastore Groups” and click “Next”.

 

  • Note that all the virtual machines which are in the chosen datastores are listed in the bottom section in the above picture.

 

  • Mention any meaningful name and description. Click “Next” when done.
  • Review the summary and click “Finish”.
  • Click on the “Protection Groups” tab and click on the newly created “Array Pair”. All the associated VMs can be seen in the “Virtual Machines” tab.
    • Note: Errors can be solved by detaching the “CD/DVD Drive” of the reported VM. Right click on the VM à Properties à Click on the CD and click “Detach”.
Creating Recovery Plan

Click on “Recovery Plans” tab and right click on “All Recovery Plans” à “Create Recovery Plan”.

  • Click on “DR site” à “Next”.
  • Ensure all the protection groups and chosen and click “Next”.
  • Review the network information here for all the “In-scope” virtual machines and set the DR network accordingly and click “Next”. Note that the VLAN information is available with “DXC BCS team”.
  • Name the recovery plan with description (if needed) and click “Next”.
    • Review the summary and click “Finish”.
    • Now the “SRM DR” recovery plan is ready to be tested.
Testing the Recovery Plan
  • Right click on “SRM DR” à “Test”. 
  • Verify the protected and recovery site details and click on “Next”
    • Note: “Number of VMs” may display the count higher as there could be “Out of DR scope” VMs present in the datastore groups. It’s a known issue and can be safely disregarded.
      • No need to choose the checkbox “Replicate recent changes to recovery site” as we are using TVOL which is in “SPLIT” state. There is no replication happening between SVOL and TVOL during the DR.

      Verify the details and click on “Start” to trigger the failover

  • Below is the summary of the test result which displays the total duration & number of errors. Full report can be viewed/exported from “History” tab
Clean-up the DR VMs via SRM
  • Click on “Recovery Plans” tab.
  • Find the recovery plan that needs to be cleaned up. Right click and choose “Cleanup”
  • Click “Next”
  • Review the information and click “Start”
  • Make sure it completes successfully.

RVtools for collecting VMs inventory

Rvtools is the very good tool to get complete information about hosts and VMs running on them.
You can connect to vcenter server by providing IP address and credentials to  login.

This is the best tool for collecting VM inventory beyond basic info like cpu, memory, harddisks, networks, C drive, some configuration settings. It is advised to schedule task to send rvtools data every weekly through email.
This is the script you can copy it in bat file and schedule task to send email with attachment.

rem =====================================
rem Include robware/rvtools in searchpath
rem =====================================
set path=%path%;C:\Program Files (x86)\Robware\RVTools 3.9.5
rem =========================
rem Set environment variables
rem =========================
set $VCServer= give vc ip
set $AttachmentDir=path where to save file
set $AttachmentFile=filename.xls
rem ===================
rem Start RVTools batch
rem ===================
rvtools.exe -passthroughAuth -s %$VCServer% -c ExportAll2xls -d %$AttachmentDir% -f %$AttachmentFile%
In the schedule task you add start a program – add script here
Send an email – give all recipient email ids
Don’t forget you need to open SMTP rely to send emails

Rvtools data looks like this

You can download rvtools from this link
https://www.robware.net/rvtools/download/

 

VMware Fundamentals Training

VMware History
Hypervisor Types
  • Type 1 – Bare metal hypervisor
Example : Vmware, Hyper-v, Xen
  • Type 2 – host OS + Hypervisor
Example : Vmware workstation, player
what is the difference between ESXI and ESX
The functionlity and performance of VMware ESX and ESXi are the same; the difference
between the two hypervisors resides in their packaging architecture and operatiional
management.VMware ESXi is the latest hypervisor architecture from VMware.
Last Update:Jun 1,2009
  • What is VMware ESX ?

    ESX (Elastic Sky X) is the VMware’s enterprise server virtualization platform. In ESX, VMkernel is the virtualization kernel which is managed by a console operating system which is also called as Service console. Which is Linux based and its main purpose is it to provide a Management interface for the host and lot of management agents and other third-party software agents are installed on the service console to provide the functionalists like hardware management and monitoring of ESX hypervisor.
  • What is VMware ESXi?

    ESXi (Elastic sky X Integrated) is also the VMware’s enterprise server virtualization platform. In ESXi, Service console is removed. All the VMware related agents and third party agents such as management and monitoring agents can also run directly on the VMkernel. ESXi is a ultra-thin architecture which is highly reliable and its small code-base allows it to be more secure with fewer codes to patch. ESXi uses Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) instead of a service console to perform management of ESXi server. ESXi installation will happen very quickly as compared to ESX installation.
  • The first step in the vCenter Simple Install process is to install vCenter Single Sign On. Authentication by vCenter Single Sign On makes the VMware cloud infrastructure platform more secure by allowing vSphere software components to communicate with each other through a secure token exchange mechanism.
  • Inventory Service stores vCenter Server application and inventory data, which lets you search and access inventory objects across linked vCenter Server instances.
  • The vSphere Web Client runs in your browser and lets you manage your vSphere environment.
  • From 5.0 onwards vcenter available in windows server and appliance
  • vCenter Server 5.x requires a 64-bit operating system and cannot be installed on a 32-bit operating system
  • Microsoft SQL server Database Support:
  • Oracle Database Support:
  • IBM DB2 9 Support:
vMotion
The VMware vMotion process is completed in three steps:
  • The virtual machine health is verified to be stable by vCenter Server
  • The memory, registers, and network connections are copied to the target host (virtual machine state)
  • The virtual machine is then able to resume operations on the new target host
There are a few considerations to be made in preparing the VMware ESXi host for vMotion. They include:
  • CPU architecture is compatible between the source and target ESXi host
  • Access to the datastores on which the virtual machine VMDKs are located
  • If using VMware Standard vSwitches (VSS), virtual switches need to be labeled the same. This ensures network connectivity is maintained with the vMotion process for the virtual machine between hosts
  • Making sure the virtual switch physical network connections and their respective network labels are consistent across the ESXi hosts
  • VMware vMotion requires at least a gigabit network connection
A vmkernel port must be enabled with the vMotion service
Storage vMotion
  • What are the requirements of storage vMotion? The following must be considered:
  • VM disks must be persistent mode or RDMs
  • If VMware Tools is in the process of installing on a virtual machine, the virtual machine cannot be storage vMotioned
  • VMFS versions need to be considered. If moving from a newer version of VMFS to an older, the virtual disk sizes must be considered
  • The host must be licensed for storage vMotion
  • VMware vSphere hosts running ESXi 4.0 and later do not have to have vMotion configured to perform storage vMotion
  • VMware Enhanced vMotion CompatibilityStarting in vSphere 5.1, VMware enabled the Enhanced vMotion Compatibility or EVC mode. The enhanced vMotion compatibility allows vMotion operations between dissimilar processors in ESXi hosts within the same cluster.