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Tag : vmware

vCloud Air VMware Photon

VMware Photon on vCloud Air

Tonight I wanted to provision one of VMware’s newest open source projects on VMware vCloud Info. Photon is a minimal Linux container host OS. It is designed to have a small footprint and boot extremely fast on VMware platforms. Photon is optimized for vSphere and validated on VMware product and provider platforms. Photon supports the following container specifications: Docker, rkt (rocket), and Pivotal Garden.

I would encourage you to sign up for a vCloud Air On Demand subscription if you haven’t already. If you are familiar with VMware products and would like to deploy VMs in the cloud for testing or for production this is the way to do it. vCloud Air Signup

If you sign up using my link you will get $300 in free credits. Which is plenty to play around on or even build a nice lab in the cloud.

My mic was messing up in this so I apologize, but let me know if you would like to see more videos like this in the comments below.

 

Official page of: VMware Photon

 

vmware vcloud air

VMware vCloud Air from Beta to Now

VMware OnDemand Early Access

I was given the privilege to test out what was formally called VMware vCHS on demand, and up until the beta phase of OnDemand you would have to size and buy chunks of resources if you were going to use the VMware vCHS service. When they announced the beta on demand program I was nothing but excited and intrigued as to how this new service would pan out.

Having the ability to spin up cloud resources ondemand from within a familiar interface (VMware vCenter) is everything a virtualization admin could ever want. I had my doubts about how easy it would actually be though. I assumed much coding or special plugins would be needed in order to administer virtual machines in a remote cloud. To my surprise however it was quite the opposite experience for me. When I logged in for the first time the interface was very clean and only showed me the basic options that I needed. Below is a screenshot of how easy it is to create a new virtual machine in vCloud Air, complete with a cost calculator.

Create a new VM in vCloud Air

Below you can see all of your resource usage across your own cloud. You can even get the same view on individual virtual machines with up to the latest hour worth of data.

vCloud-Air-real-time-cost

I am a long time user of VMware Workstation and with the release of Workstation 11, the is also support for vCloud Air. So for those of you that do not administer VMware ESX hosts/clusters you can still fire up virtual machines in the cloud. It surprises me how many IT professionals are still building home labs when they can be utilizing on demand cloud resources. You can build a hybrid cloud now from a laptop with VMware workstation and vCloud Air OnDemand. Below are some screenshots of the workstation integration:

workstation 11 vcloud air

vmware vcloud air workstation
Besides the native integrations and ease of use lets talk a bit more about one of the easiest use cases for vCloud Air… Disaster Recovery. Late adopters of cloud technologies can’t argue the fact that DR is still a great use case for cloud technologies. Some of the newer features released include:

  • Native failback support – Customers will now be able to resume normal data center operations in their primary data center following a failover to vCloud Air. Customers will be able to replicate workloads back from vCloud Air to their primary environment over the network and resume normal operations.
  • Multiple recovery points – Customers will have the option to roll back to multiple earlier snapshots of their data center environment. This is vital to recover from outages caused by data corruption, viruses or hacking attacks that compromise the most recent recovery point.

If you haven’t already, go ahead and check it out. VMware is currently offering $300 in service credits for your first 90 days which is plenty of time to try out all of the features. As always if you have any questions or need me to elaborate on anything please comment below or follow me on twitter.

 

 

vmware CBT changed block tracking

VMware CBT may not be giving your backups accurate data.

If you are currently using VMware vSphere and you are utilizing CBT (Change Block Tracking) for you backups you may be at risk of bad backups. Luckily this issue only effects vmdk files that have grown over 128GB in size, so this should narrow down your scope of affected backups. This issue can be reproduced by expanding a virtual disk (vmdk) file with Change Block Tracking (CBT) enabled. Your virtual machine may be at risk if the vmdk file was extended to a size greater than 128 G. Which would incorrectly calculate the in-use blocks in the vmdk file.

This affects esxi hosts versions 4.x and 5.x and there is no currently no fix or update; There is however a workaround.

Workaround:

Go to each of the affected VMs and disable and then re-enable Change Block Tracking (CBT) on the virtual machines.

How to Disable CBT:

  1. Power off the virtual machine.
  2. Right-click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings.
  3. Click the Options tab.
  4. Click General under the Advanced section and then click Configuration Parameters. The Configuration Parameters dialog opens.
  5. Set the ctkEnabled parameter to false for the corresponding SCSI disk.

How to Enable CBT

Note: Ensure that you power off the virtual machine before performing these steps.
  1. Right-click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings.
  2. Click the Options tab.
  3. Click General under the Advanced section and then click Configuration Parameters. The Configuration Parameters dialog opens.
  4. Click Add Row.
  5. Add thectkEnabled parameter and then set its value to true.
  6. Click Add Row, add scsi0:0.ctkEnabled, and set its value to true.
    Note: scsi0:0 in scsi0:0.ctkEnabled indicates the SCSI device assigned to the hard disk that is added to the virtual machine. Every hard disk added to the virtual machine is given a SCSI device that appears similar to scsi0:0, scsi0:1, or scsi 1:1.
  7. In the home directory of the virtual machine, verify that each hard disk contains a vmname-ctk.vmdk file.

 

Sources:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2090639

http://www.reddit.com/r/vmware/comments/2keko3/major_bug_in_vmwares_cbt_function_causes_data/

VMware Project Mystic Marvin

VMware Project Mystic – MARVIN Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance

Word on the internets is: VMware is coming out with a new Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance. I plan to use this page to centralize any and all information I find out about this appliance.

The converged infrastructure market will hit $17.8 billion in 2016, up from $4.6 billion in 2012. Converged infrastructure will account for 12.8 percent of total storage, server, networking and software spending by 2016, up from only 3.9 percent in 2012. With this momentum it is no surprise that VMware is ready to release their own appliance. It excites me to see a virtualization giant like VMware explore the appliance market.

Project Codenames:

VMware Project Mystic

VMware Project Marvin

 

From Twitter:

“Introducing the world’s first 100% VMware powered hyper-converged infrastructure appliance.” The poster also displayed the name “MARVIN” and stated: “Arriving summer 2014.”
I have a feeling the first version of these appliances will be marketed to more of the SMB space, just as vSAN is.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Unable to find this VDP in the vCenter inventory

VMware VDP Advanced 5.5 “Unable to find this VDP in the vCenter inventory”

A quick troubleshooting blog… I recently came across this error when deploying the VMware VDP appliance: “Unable to find this VDP in the vCenter inventory”

I took a look a look at the following log file on the VDP appliance:
/opt/vmware/var/log/vami/vami-ovf.log

The following entries were present:

[info] [process id: 4062] Hostname property is not present, querying and setting hostname.
[info] [process id: 4062] Output:Host name has been set to localhost.localdom

From these entries I realized that I did not setup DNS for the new appliance. After creating  the entries I rebooted the appliance and retried the configuration wizard only to see the same thing.  I’m assuming at this point (and confirmed via the admin guide; page 17) that the appliance deployment relies on the DNS entries. I removed the previous deployment and also provisioned the appliance from the web client on the second pass and was able to configure without issue.

Avamar Backup of a Windows VM fails with the error: Protocol error from VMX

Recently on a new install of Avamar version 6.1; I had a VMware Image based backup fail with error 10007. Upon further investigation of the backup job log I noticed that the snapshot failed with: A general system error occured: Protocol error from VMX. This is a good example of two very vague errors on both the backup system and the virtual infrastructure. So to further investigate we needed to look deeper into the vmware.log file…

Avamar VMware Image Level Backup

Avamar 6.1 Unified Proxy Appliance for VMware

I’m going back over some of the new differences in Avamar 6.1 and am very impressed with the enhancements that Avamar now has with VMware image based backups. Before version 6.1 you needed a seperate image proxy for Linux and a seperate proxy for Windows, now with the new proxy design both Operating Systems have been integrated into one proxy. Not only does the proxy support both OS’s but now it also supports File Level Recovery to both OS’s where as Windows was only supported previously. To be more specific; the Unified Proxy now supports Windows NTFS, and Linux ext2, ext3, and LVM. The proxy does NOT support the following: Windows GPT Partitions, Windows Dynamic disks, Extended Partitions, Encypted Partitions, Compressed Partitions, or XFS.