Archive for the ‘VMware’ Category

VMware Command Cheat Sheet

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment
esxcfg-advcfg Set/Get Advance Configuration Parameters (Stored in /etc/vmware/esx.conf)
esxcfg-auth Configure authentication (ADS, NIS, Kerberos)
esxcfg-boot Configure Boot-Options
esxcfg-configcheck Checks format of /etc/vmware/esx.conf (e.g. Used after esx-updates)
esxcfg-dumppart Configure partition for core-dumps after PSOD
esxcfg-firewall Configure ESX-server firewall
esxcfg-hwiscsi Configure hardware iSCSI initiators
esxcfg-info Get information about hardware, resources, storage, … of the ESX-Server
esxcfg-init Used Internally on boot
esxcfg-linuxnet Setup/Remove linux network devices (ethX)
esxcfg-module Enable/Disable/ Add new/ Query VMKernal modules and set/ get parameters for them.
esxcfg-mpath Configure multipathing for Fibre-Channel and iSCSI
esxcfg-nas Configure NFS-datastores (“NFS-client”)
esxcfg-nics Configure physical nics (VmnicX).
esxcfg-pciid Recreate PCI-device list /etc/vmware/{pci.ids, pcitable, pcitable.linux, } from the configuration files /etc/vmware/pciid/*.xml
esxcfg-rescan Rescan a SCSI/FC/iSCSI adapter.
esxcfg-resgrp Configure resource groups
esxcfg-route Configure the VMKernel default route
esxcfg-swiscsi Configure /Rescan software iSCSI initiator
esxcfg-upgrade Used for upgrades from ESX2.x to ESX3
esxcfg-vmhbadevs Get information about attached LUNs with /dev/sdX/mappings
esxcfg-vmknic Add /Remove /Configure VMKernel NICs.
esxcfg-vswif Add/Remove/Configure ServiceConsole NICs
esxcfg-vswitch Add/Remove/Configure Virtual Switches


Diagnostic information about Console NICs (Gives Errors in ESX-3.5.0)


Live Statistics of Virtual Machines (with VM-Names)
esxupdate Tool for updating ESX-3.x
Vmware-authd For internal use only (authentication)
Vmware-cmd See vmware-cmd section
vmware-configcheck Check Virtual Machine configuration files (*.vmx) Configure ESX-hostd port, recompile/install VMware VmPerl Scripting API
vmware-hostd Demon for VI Client connections (should only be

started by mgmt-vmware start-script)

vmware-hostd-support Creates /var/log/vmware/hostd-support.tgz
vmware-mkinitrd Creates initrd (initial ramdisk)
vmware-vim-cmd Please see vmware-vim-cmd section
vmware-vimdump Get information about ESX-Server configuration and Virtual Machines.
vmware-vimsh Interactive shell – comparable to vmware-vim-cmd with additional commands
vmware-watchdog Watchdog-Demon to keep vmware-hostd running

(should only be started by mgmt-vmware start-script)

vmware-webAccess WebAccess-Demon for browser based management (should only be started by

vmware-webAccess start-script)

vmfsqhtool Prints UUID of a device header
vmfsqueuetool Formats all partitions in vmfs queue
vmkchdev Manage PCI devices (give control over the device to VMKernel or Service Console)
vmkdump Manage VMKernel dump partition
vmkerrcode Give description of VMKernel error codes base on decimal or hex value
vmkfstools Create/Remove/Configure VMFS-Filesystems and Virtual Machine .vdsk files (Virtual Disk File)
vmkiscsid iSCSI demon
vmkiscsi-device iSCSI device information
vmkiscsi-ls List iSCSI devices
vmkiscsi-tool Configure software iSCSI initiator
vmkiscsi-util Get information about iSCSI devices
vmkloader Load and unloads the VMKernel
vmkload mod Load/Unload VMKernel modules (e.g. device drivers)
vmklogger Create logmessages (like logger for VMKernel


vmkpcidivy deprecated
vmkping Ping on VMKernel network Creates HTML output with Uptime/Downtime/Availability deprecated
vmsnap all Snapshot all Virtual Machines on a ESX-Server deprecated
vmstat (this is a standard linux command – lists memory/disk access statistics)
vm-support Creates /etc/init.d/esx-<date>.tgz
vmware internal use – can not be started manually
Other Commands
vdf Show free disk space of mounted partitions (like df with vmfs-support)
Scripts inside /etc/init.d/
mgmt-vmware Start/Stop/Restart the demon for the VI-Client connections
vmkhalt internal use – can not be started manually
vmware internal use – can not be started manually
vmware-functions internal use – can not be started manually
vmware-late internal use – can not be started manually
vmware-vmkauthd internal use – can not be started manually
vmware-vpxa Start/Stop/Restart the demon for the Virtual Center connections
vmware-webAccess Start/Stop/Restart the demon for the Web-Interface connections
Running Processes
crond Schedule jobs at specific intervals
gpm Mouse support in the text console
init First process which runs every other process
klogd Kernel log demon
logger Logs messages to /var/log
sshd Provides secure shell access
syslogd Log/Filter demon with a remote logging ability
vmware-hostd Demon for VI Client connections
vmkload app Loads vmware applications (internal use only)
vmklogger Logs VMKernel messages to /var/log/vmware


Web Services Management
vmware-vmkauthd Demon for user authentication
vmware-vmx Provides context for a Virtual Machine (internal use only)
vmware-watchdog Checks if vmware processes are running (no connection test à does not restart hung


vpxa Virtual Center agent
webAccess Web-Interface (TomCat-Server)
xinetd Listen on network ports for other demons and start them on-demand
vmware-cmd Commands
Commands for a Virtual Machines (vmware-cmd -h).
getconnectedusers List name and IP of connected users (non-working with esx3.5.0?)
getstate Show current state of VM (Ofi/On/…)
start Start a VM
stop Stop a VM
reset Reset a VM
suspend Suspend a VM
setconfig Set a variable in the vmx-configuration-file
getconfig Get a variable from the vmx-file
setguestinfo Set guest info variable
getguestinfo Get guest info variable
getproductinfo Get various product info
connectdevice Connect a device
disconnectdevice Disconnect a device
getconfigfile Get path/filename of config file
getheartbeat Get current heartbeat
gettoolslastactive Time since last notification from vmware-tools (in seconds)
getresource Get a VM resource
setresource Set a VM resource
hassnapshot Determine if VM has a snap-shot
createsnapshot Create a snapshot
revertsnapshot Revert to last snapshot
removesnapshots Remove all snapshots
answer Answer a question (if VM requires input)
vmware-vim-cmd Commands
hostsvc/ ESX-Server commands
internalsvc/ ESX-Server internal com-


proxysvc/ Web-SDK proxy commands
vimsvc/ VirtualCenter commands
vmsvc/ VM commands
Log Files
Logs are in /var/log/vmware/ if no other path is specified)
/etc/syslog.conf Configure logging behaviour
esxcfg-boot.log Boot messages
esxcfg-firewall.log List of executed firewall commands and log messages
esxcfg-linuxnet.log LinuxNet messages
esxupdate.log Debug messages for updates
hostd.log hostd messages
vpx-iupgrade.log Logs for package installations/removals by

Virtual Center (e.g. output of rpm –hiv VMware-vpxa-2.5.0-64192.i386.rpm)

vpx/vpxa.log Virtual Center Agent messages
vmfsqueuetool.log VMFSQueueTool messages
webAccess Web-Access messages
/proc/vmware/log VMKernel messages
/var/log/ storage-Monitor VMKernel storage monitor messages
/var/log/ vmkernel VMKernel messages (info messages only)
/var/log/ vmkproxy VMKernel userworld proxy messages
/var/log/ vmk-summary VMKernel messages (notice and higher)

/var/log/ vmk-warning VMKernel warning messages
Categories: VMware Tags:

Avoid Server 2008 VMtools and VUM Woes with PowerCLI

October 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Last week after upgrading to vSphere 4.1U1 I noticed a lot of our guests did not have the proper VMtools installed. After a quick look I realized they were all Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 guests. The initial update for all of the guest was done using VUM, but the tools install was completely hung on all those systems.

Prepare to wait.

Apparently VUM triggers the “Interactive Services Dialog Detection” in Windows which looks like the message below.

Just login and click this on all your guest; you’ll be done by update 2.

Luckily there is an incredibly easy workaround. Using PowerCLI you can type 2 commands to update your VMtools install without triggering this nasty little message.

Get-VM | Update-Tools

If you don’t want the machines to reboot just add -NoReboot to the end of the Update-Tools command. Here is the syntax for pulling only Windows 2K8 guests in a cluster named QA.

Get-Cluster "QA" | Get-VM | where {$_.Guest -like "*Server 2008*"} | Update-Tools
Categories: VMware Tags: , ,

Set NetApp NFS Export Permissions for vSphere NFS Mounts

October 3, 2011 Leave a comment

One of the things missing from the NetApp VSC is the ability to set permissions on NFS exports when you add a host to an existing cluster.  If you have a lot of NFS datastores and don’t feel like setting permissions across NetApp arrays when you add a new host this should ease the pain.  Here are a few other use cases.

  1. You change a VMkernel IP for NFS traffic on a host
  2. You add a VMkernel IP for NFS traffic on a host
  3. You add a new host to a cluster
  4. You remove a host from a cluster
You’ll see removing host is a reason to run this script.  This is an important thing to note.  Running this script will replace existing NFS export permissions with those associated to the vCenter you run it against.  If you have any additional IP addresses assigned to the export they will get blown away by this script!  I also thought it would be cool to turn this into a form so I used PrimalForms to design a very simple front-end you can see below.
The DataONTAP PowerShell Toolkit 1.2 has support for networking, but we don’t have any systems running 7.3.3 or greater so I wasn’t able to make use of those cmdlets in this script.  Because of that I hard code the NetApp VIFs.  Additionally the way I parse the data is related to the length of the VIF used, and I have no support for VIFs of different lengths.  The VMkernel ports for NFS are found using a wildcard search for “NFS” in the port group name.
Don’t be intimidated by all this code, 99% of it was generated by PrimalForms in order to build the GUI.  Modify the 5 variables up front to add your NetApp VIFs and controller names.  You can make a simple batch file to call the script and run it with just a desktop icon to get a nice easy way to modify your NFS permissions on vSphere.  Thanks to @jasemccarty and @glnsize for help with finding the NFS mount in vSphere!


$array1VIF = "", "", "", ""
$array2VIF = "", "", "", ""

$array1Name = "netapp1"
$array2Name = "netapp2"

$vCenters = "server1", "server2"

$vifLength = $array1VIF[0].Length
$volStart = $vifLength + 9

#Generated Form Function
function GenerateForm {
# Code Generated By: SAPIEN Technologies PrimalForms
#(Community Edition) v1.0.8.0
# Generated On: 10/24/2010 9:34 PM
# Generated By:

#region Import the Assemblies
[reflection.assembly]::loadwithpartialname("System.Windows.Forms") | Out-Null
[reflection.assembly]::loadwithpartialname("System.Drawing") | Out-Null

#region Generated Form Objects
$form1 = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.Form
$cancelButton = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.Button
$okButton = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.Button
$groupBox1 = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.GroupBox
$vcenter = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.ComboBox
$groupBox2 = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.GroupBox
$nfsDatastores = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.ListBox
$InitialFormWindowState = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.FormWindowState
#endregion Generated Form Objects

#Generated Event Script Blocks
#Provide Custom Code for events specified in PrimalForms.

Connect-VIServer $vcenter.SelectedItem

$nfsDS = get-datastore | where {$_.Type -eq "NFS"} | get-view | select Name,@{n="url";e={$_.summary.url}}
$nfsDS | % {$nfsDatastores.Items.Add($_.URL.substring($volStart)) | Out-Null }



$nfsDS | % {$nfsDatastores.Items.Remove($_.url.substring($volStart)) | Out-Null }
$nfsDatastores.Items.Remove("Select a Virtual Center to gather NFS mounts.")|Out-Null



$esxNFSIP = Get-VMHostNetworkAdapter -VMKernel | where {$_.PortGroupName -like "*NFS*"} | select IP -Unique
$esxNFSIP = $esxNFSIP | % {$_.IP}

Foreach ($ds in $nfsDS) {

 $nfsVIF = $ds.url.substring(8,$vifLength)
 $nfsMount = $ds.url.substring($volStart)
 $nfsName = $

 #//// Set permissions on source NFS exports

 $array1VIF | % { If ($_ -eq $nfsVIF) { $storageArray = $array1Name } }
 $array2VIF | % { If ($_ -eq $nfsVIF) { $storageArray = $array2Name } }

 Connect-NaController $storageArray

 Set-NaNfsExport $nfsMount -Persistent -ReadWrite $esxNFSIP -Root $esxNFSIP






{#Correct the initial state of the form to prevent the .Net maximized form issue
 $form1.WindowState = $InitialFormWindowState

#region Generated Form Code
$form1.Text = "Set VMware NFS Permissions"
$form1.Name = "form1"
$form1.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 344
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 379
$form1.ClientSize = $System_Drawing_Size

$cancelButton.TabIndex = 5
$cancelButton.Name = "cancelButton"
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 103
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 23
$cancelButton.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$cancelButton.UseVisualStyleBackColor = $True

$cancelButton.Text = "Cancel"

$System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 204
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 328
$cancelButton.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$cancelButton.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0


$okButton.TabIndex = 4
$okButton.Name = "okButton"
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 103
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 23
$okButton.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$okButton.UseVisualStyleBackColor = $True

$okButton.Text = "Set Permissions"

$System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 45
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 328
$okButton.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$okButton.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0


$groupBox1.Name = "groupBox1"

$groupBox1.Text = "Virtual Center"
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 265
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 94
$groupBox1.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 42
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 26
$groupBox1.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$groupBox1.TabStop = $False
$groupBox1.TabIndex = 2
$groupBox1.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0

$vcenter.FormattingEnabled = $True
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 226
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 21
$vcenter.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$vcenter.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0
$vcenter.Name = "vcenter"
$vCenters | % {$vcenter.Items.Add($_) | out-null}
$System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 19
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 35
$vcenter.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$vcenter.TabIndex = 0


$groupBox2.Name = "groupBox2"

$groupBox2.Text = "NFS Mounts"
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 262
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 167
$groupBox2.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 45
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 141
$groupBox2.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$groupBox2.TabStop = $False
$groupBox2.TabIndex = 3
$groupBox2.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0

$nfsDatastores.FormattingEnabled = $True
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 226
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 134
$nfsDatastores.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$nfsDatastores.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0
$nfsDatastores.Items.Add("Select a Virtual Center to gather NFS mounts.")|Out-Null
$nfsDatastores.HorizontalScrollbar = $True
$nfsDatastores.Name = "nfsDatastores"
$System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 16
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 24
$nfsDatastores.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$nfsDatastores.TabIndex = 0


#endregion Generated Form Code

#Save the initial state of the form
$InitialFormWindowState = $form1.WindowState
#Init the OnLoad event to correct the initial state of the form
#Show the Form
$form1.ShowDialog()| Out-Null

} #End Function

#Call the Function
Categories: netapp, VMware Tags: , ,

Safely Virtualize Oracle on NetApp, VMware, and UCS

October 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Virtualizing your Tier1 applications is one of the last hurdles on the way to a truly dynamic and flexible datacenter. Large Oracle databases almost always fall into that category. In the past a lot of the concern revolved around performance, but with faster hardware and support for larger and larger virtual machines this worry is starting to fade away. The lingering issue remains what is and what isn’t supported in a virtual environment from your software vendor?
Although Oracle has relaxed their stance on virtualization, they take the same approach that most do when it comes to support in virtual environments. Take for example the following excerpt from Oracle’s database support matrix: Oracle will provide support for issues that are known to occur on the native OS, or can be demonstrated not to be a result of running on the server virtualization software. Oracle may request that the problem be reproduced on the native hardware.

That last part is the killer for most companies. How could you quickly re-create a multi-terabyte database on physical hardware once it is virtualized if there is a problem? Luckily NetApp, VMware, and Cisco UCS provide a very elegant solution to address this issue. Let’s take a look at a simple diagram depicting a 10TB virtualized Oracle DB instance connected via 10GbE and utilizing Oracle’s Direct NFS client.
The guest OS has been virtualized and resides on the VMFS datastore, the vSphere host is booting from SAN, and the database is directly hosted and accessed on the NetApp array using NFS. Each data volume in the picture is connected using a different technology to illustrate protocol independence (outside of Oracle where NFS is used for simplicity of setup).
As you can see from the diagram the real challenge is re-creating that 10TB database in a way that is cost effective and fast. NetApp’s FlexClone technology allows the instant creation of zero space virtual copies. The process is similar to VMware’s linked clones, but NetApp does it with LUN’s or file data, and with no performance hit.
To build your safety net follow the steps below.
  1. Create LUN on NetApp array
  2. Create UCS Service Profile Template
  3. Configure Service Profile Template and set to boot from LUN in step 1
  4. Deploy Service Profile from template
  5. Install same OS as virtualized instance (OEL 5.5 in this case)
  6. Create FlexClone of Oracle files/volumes
  7. Create exports and set permissions for newly created server
  8. Configure OS with mount points designed for FlexCloned file/volume
At this point you have a full physical environment of that 10TB virtualized Oracle database. The diagram below shows what this looks like.
The next step is to clean this up since you don’t want this UCS blade occupied with the test environment.
  1. Shut down the OS
  2. Delete the Service Profile (not the template)
  3. Delete the FlexClone(s)
Now in the event you have some nasty database issue, and Oracle tells you to reproduce the issue on physical hardware, you can listen on the phone as the support guys jaw hits the floor when you tell him to give you 5 minutes. The entire process can be scripted easily using the Data ONTAP and UCS PowerShell Toolkit, or using an orchestration tool of your choice.
Reserving a blade or two for this unlikely scenario may seem wasteful to some, but because of the flexibility of UCS you can quickly spin that hardware up into production for things like hardware maintenance without a performance hit or capacity on demand for your vSphere environment. With NetApp, VMware, and Cisco you can safely and efficiently take your company to a 100% virtualized private cloud environment.
Categories: netapp, VMware Tags: , , ,

NetApp and VMware View 5,000-Seat Performance Report

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

This report is a follow up to the 50,000-Seat VMware View Deployment white paper where NetApp analyzed a single pod of 5,000 virtual desktops.  This report is an in depth storage performance analysis of what VDI really is.  VDI is not only about steady state, login, or boot.  It’s about all phases, in the life span of the virtual desktop.  Below is one of the many charts and graphs that helps to demonstrates this fact.  The chart demonstrates that each phase has its own unique characteristics and such impacts storage very differently.


For simplicity NetApp takes a unique approach in this document and overlay the performance tests on top of a calendar.  This way each of the different events in a “2 weeks in the life” of a virtual desktop can be easily analyzed and explained.

NetApp measured the deployment of 2500 virtual desktops using the NetApp Virtual Storage Console. We then look at first login where the user has never logged into this virtual machine before.  This simulates a scenario where the desktop has been re-provisioned after patching or something similar.  We look at a cached login for example “a Tuesday” where the user has already logged onto the desktop and this is the second time they log in.  Here the user logs in and starts working, which is probably the most common login workload.  We then look at a boot storm where the environment has to be shutdown and rebooted to demonstrate that with NetApp and VST, rebooting an entire VDI environment can be done quite rapidly (5,000 VMs in 18 minutes to be exact).  This demonstrates that the workload of booting or rebooting an entire environment doesn’t have to take forever!

Screen Shot 2011-08-29 at 3.10.58 PM.png

So what does all this mean and what do we look at in this paper?  We  dive deep into read write ratios, IO sizes, Sequential Randomness, and demonstrate that its not just all about IOPS.

Customers are often asked by their partners, virtualization vendors and storage vendors, “how many IOPS are your desktops doing”, they often reply with a number like 16 IOPS or maybe even more generic response like “we have a percentage of task workers, a percentage of power users, and a percentage of developers”.  If the response is along these lines, it will be sized wrong, almost guaranteed.

Lets take the simplest sizing approach…

Vendor: “Mr Customer, how many IOPS do you need each of your desktops to do?”

Customer: “Great question, I need my desktops to each do 16IOPS!”

Vendor: “Thanks for the info!  I’ll get you a sizing right away!”

Ok, does anyone else see the significant flaw in this methodology of sizing?  Lets do some simple math to figure out how this could go wrong…

If my IO size is 4K then: 16IOPS x 4K / IO = 64K/sec

If my IO size is 32K then:  16IOPS x 32K / IO = 512K/sec

So 16 IOPS != 16IOPS  There is a difference of 440Kb/sec in the two calculation

Why does everyone then size for only IOPS and not ask more difficult questions?  There are so many other questions that MUST BE ASKED!!!!

Are the IOPS 4K or 32K or a blend of all sizes? Are these reads or writes? Are they sequential or random?  Each of these has a SIGNIFICANT impact on storage as you can see by the example above!

This is why it is so important to perform an assessment with a product like Liquidware Labs Stratusphere Fit .  Then and only then are you able to get it sized right the first time!

Here are a couple of key takeaways from the paper!

  1. Assessments are the only way to get VDI right!
  2. VDI is not all small block random reads
  3. Theres more to VDI then steady state
  4. Login storms are the hardest workloads as it is reads and writes
  5. IOPS is only one part of the much larger story.
    1. Saying my desktops NEED 16 IOPS is useless!!!
    2. Saying 16 IOPS, 80%r/20%w, 20K reads / 8K write sizes, 50% sequential / 50% random reads gets you correct sizing’s!!!!!
  6. Memory overcommitment hurts really bad… The answer, buy more memory for your host or buy more storage!

Categories: netapp, VMware Tags: ,

Convert VMware SQL Server Express to SQL Server

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

One of the things that I realized in having SQL Server Express installed with the vCenter server is that if the vCenter Server crashes (if it is a stand-alone physical server). You are stuck! You are trying like hell to get this server up. However, if you have a SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition Database server. Why NOT use it. Also, if you can convince your company, non-profit, or hospital to pony up on the SQL Server 2008 License. I would say go for it! Yes, you “can” install SQL Server 2008 Express on a server and have vCenter connect to this also. However, this tutorial is for an environment where you want a centralized SQL Server 2008 Database Server. This server will be the DB SVR for vCenter, VUM and whatever else you want to use it for.

Scenario is based on 2 Physical stand-alone Dell PowerEdge R310 Servers (DC/vCenter) and 5 Dell PowerEdge R710 Servers. Windows 2008 Server Datacenter Edition, VMware ESXi 4.1, vCenter Standard 4.1, and NetApp 3270.

40 VM’s consisting of 2K3, 2K8, 2K8R2, RHEL 5.5, SUSE11-4VMware, UBUNTU10.4 Templates, DHCP on VM, DC2, DC3, File Server Cluster (2 Clustered on iSCSI SAN drive), Print Server Cluster (2), AV, WSUS, SQLSRV2K8 DB SRV, PROXY RHEL Cluster (2), VUM, VDR, VSHIELD (5), vDistributed Switches for 1GB Ethernet Intel NICs, HA/DRS Clusters.

Here we go…Screenshots soon to come.

1. Make sure your ISO’s are on a share so that you can access them.  Use Virtual Clone Drive to kick off the ISOs. Virtual Clone Drive should be an ABSOLUTE MUST for your VMware Arsenal.

1. Stop all of the VMware vCenter Services (i.e. vCenter, VUM, etc).
—-> START >> Run >> services.msc (If it says vCenter stop it. Leave the VMware Tools alone).

2. Copy all of the VIM_VCDB.mdf Database Files to your SQL 2008 Server.
—->START >> Run >> \\SQLSRV2K8DB\c$\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\ and then hit
the enter key. You want to go to the “Data” Folder and drop the databases into this folder.

3. Login to your SQL Server. Launch SQL Server. Connect to the server and right-click on Databases and “attach” the database. (I created a database and imported the migrated DB to the new created DB. You may decide to use the attached DB, but I wouldn’t.)

4. Right-click on the database and Backup the Database with a Full Backup.

5. Open up ODBC (under Administrator Tools). Go to System DSN and Test Connectivity to the SQL Server Native Client. Make sure your DB is the default (I named mine VCENTER since you can’t jack this up and even Joe new guy will know not to touch this database.).  Make sure you can connect to the server because if you can’t guess what. vCenter won’t either.

6. Uninstall vCenter Server from the Server and just re-install it. Point the vCenter DB to the new SQL Server 2008 Server and make sure you DO NOT OVERWRITE THE DATABASE!!!

7. Launch vCenter and if it comes up. Your golden!


Unable to commit VMware snapshot after VADP backup

May 8, 2011 Leave a comment

When doing a health check I found the following error during the remove if a snapshot in vCenter:

Unable to access file <unspecified filename> since it is locked


There is a problem when committing the snapshot after the vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) backup of the VM.

In the snapshot manager in vCenter there was no snapshot visible. I needed the be sure that no snapshot is active in the background.  This can be very dangerous when snapshots still active and grows. The snapshot can allocate al the free disk space on the datastore and slow down the VM.

By enabling remote Tech Support Mode (TSM)  on the VMware ESXi server I needed the be sure that no snapshot is active by using the following command:

find /vmfs/volumes/ -iname “*delta.vmdk”

2011-05-02 15h16_20

The command displays all the “delta.vmdk” snapshot files on all the VMFS volumes.  This command show that the snapshot is still active.

To “temporally” solve this problem:

Create a manual snapshot of the VM. When the snapshot is created the old “Consolidate Helper-0” is added to the snapshot manager.

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Hit the Delete All Button and the two snapshots are committed. When the remove snapshot task is completed (this can take a while depending on the size of the snapshot). Run the find command again and verify if the snapshot is committed.

I see this problem lately with more customers who using VMware vSphere 4.1 Update 1 with different backup solutions such ad Symantec CommVault and Veeam  that use VADP.  Let’s create a support incident.

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