Update VCSA 6.5 to 6.5d from the CD-ROM

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After the last released patch, last month of the vCenter server appliance VCSA 6.5 many VMware customers will want to update their appliance to fix the known bugs on vSAN 6.6 and benefit from the new features.

vCenter Server 6.5.0d Release Notes

There are 3 ways to update the vCSA: from a zipped Update Bundle, from a VMWare Repository or using the CD-Drive of the virtual machine.  Today i will show you how to update using the ISO Patch file mapped to the CD-Drive.

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How to Upgrade vRealize Operations to 6.5

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VMWare released the new version of vRealize Operations 6.5 on 2nd of March 2017, including new features and improvements.

With this release VMWare deprecated the windows based vRealize Operation Manger. The last supported version was 6.4. Deploying new vRealize Operations in only supported as virtual appliance and RHEL installation package. Although the RHEL-based installation option is fully supported in vRealize Operations Manager 6.5, VMWare will be deprecating this support. The future availability of the RHEL options is not guaranteed.

What´s new in vROPs 6.5:

  • New security patches applied.
  • Automatic upgrade of Endpoint Agents.
  • Fully integration with Loginsight
  • Directly access to vRealize Business for Cloud within vREalize Operations Manager
  • REmove of the scale limitation from Predictive DRS
  • vRealize 6.5 includes the compliance alerts for vSphere Hardening Guide versions 6.0 and 6.5

Upgrade:

The upgrade from earlier version can be done directly and in one step. Only upgrade from 6.0 and 6.1 should be done in 2 Steps. First upgrade to 6.2, 6.3 or 6.4 and than to 6.5.

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IOInsight- New VMWare Fling to analyse VMs Storage I/Os

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I want to share with you today a very useful VMWare fling help you to understand a VM´s Storage behavior.

Ioinsight is a virtual appliance that provides a framework to monitor I/Os and run various analysis on them.

IOInsight should help the VMWare administrators to better optimize and tune their storage systems. If the administrator need a support in any storage issue, a report from IOInsight can be very helpfull to analyze the issue.

You have only to deploy the appliance in your vSphere environment. After a small configuration of password and if needed dedicated network you can start the web based UI and run the analysis.

It s recommended to configure the appliance with at least 2 vCPUs and more tan 2 GB RAM.

The VM appliance should be deployed in the same or closer network to the management network of the ESXi hosts being monitored.

 

Let´s start with the installation.

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Estimate Compression Rate on Storage Systems – IBM Comprestimator on ESX

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The Comprestimator utility uses advanced mathematical and statistical algorithms to perform the sampling and analysis process in a very short and efficient way. The utility also displays its accuracy level by showing the maximum error range of the results achieved based on the formulas it uses. The utility runs on a host that has access to the devices that will be analyzed, and performs only read operations so it has no effect whatsoever on the data stored on the device. The following section provides useful information on installing Comprestimator on a host and using it to analyze devices on that host. Depending on the environment configuration, in many cases Comprestimator will be used on more than one host, in order to analyze additional data types.

It is important to understand block device behavior when analyzing traditional (fully-allocated) volumes. Traditional volumes that were created without initially zeroing the device may contain traces of old data in the block device level. Such data will not be accessible or viewable in the file system level. When using Comprestimator to analyze such volumes, the expected compression results will reflect the compression rate that will be achieved for all the data in the block device level, including the traces of old data. This simulates the volume mirroring process of the analyzed device into a compressed volume. Later, when volume mirroring is actually used to compress the data on the storage system, it will process all data on the device (including both active data and traces of old data) and get it compressed. After that when storing more active data on the compressed volume, traces of old data will start getting deleted by new data that is written into the volume. As more active data accumulates in the device the compression rate achieved will be adjusted to reflect the accurate savings achieved for the active data. This block device behavior is limited to traditional volumes and will not occur when analyzing thinly provisioned volumes.

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VMWare Goodies: New PowerCLi 6.5 Reference Poster

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Vmware has released the new PowerCLI 6.5 Reference Poster

you can download it here

 

 

 

In VMWare

Upgrade VCSA 6.0 to 6.5

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With the last year released vSphere 6.5 VMWare provides new high availability features and optimized the scalability and performance of the vCenter appliance to surpass the classic windows installation.

i wrote last year two interesting post about the new features of vSphere 6.5 and how to migrate the vCenter 6.0 from windows to VCSA 6.5 .

Today we will make a simple upgrade from vCSA 6.0 u2 to vCSA 6.5

before starting please:

  • note that your old vCenter appliance will be shut down during the installation, but not deleted.
  • create a snapshot of your old appliance.

let´s start 🙂

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In VMWare

Create / configure Datastore Cluster and Storage DRS on vSphere 6.X

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To be able to provide Load Balancing and HA for your storage in VMWare vSphere you should use Storage DRS. This feature was introduced for the first time with vSphere 5.0 and needs an Enterprise Plus Licence.

Like DRS for VMs and Hosts, the LUNs will be grouped into a Storage Cluster controlled by the vCenter. If the Performance of a data store decrease or there is no more enough space on one of the data store , vSphere can move VMs to another one.  When creating a new VM, you can select on which DRS cluster the VM is to be stored. If data storage is available in the cluster, which are not part of a DRS cluster, these can also be used at this point. The use of Storage DRS does not exclude the parallel use of other data stores.

Creating affinity rules, remove or add a new data store from and to an existing SDRS Cluster is easy and can be configured at any time.

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How to upgrade vRealize Operation Manager from 6.2 to 6.4

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vRealize Operation Manager is a Monitoring tool from the vRealize Suite help you to proactively identify and solve issues in your virtual environment.

Upgrading or patching vRops is a very simple action but before we start, let we see what are the new improvements coming with the new version 6.4.

  • vROps introduces a brand new Home dashboard, which is also the new default landing dashboard for users.
  • a new DRS dashboard: overview the clusters available within vROps and display information about them.
  • The ability to separately visualize workloads
  • Access to perform the Rebalance Container action directly from the Dashboard.
  • Combined Configuration of vCenter and Action adapter.
  • One Button Ease of Enabling or Disabling Actions.
  • New CaSA Public REST API Interface.
  • Added Support for the vSphere 6.0 Hardening Guide.
  • Log Insight management Pack pre-installed.

for all other needed information about System requirements, installing and updating vROps and the known Issues in the new Release  please consult the Release Notes

How to Upgrade to vrealize Log Insight 4.0

Migrate vCenter 6.0 to vCSA 6.5

Please note: if you are upgrading an older version of vROps like 6.0 or 6.1 you should use atwo-step upgrade. First upgrade to 6.3 and then to 6.4. In my case i have 6.2 so i can make a direct upgarde to 6.4.

let we start 😉

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In VMWare

Create/add a RAW Device to a virtual Machine in vSphere 6

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I recently had the case to map two RAW devices to a virtual machine which run as a Node of a Microsoft SQL cluster.
The questions that went through my mind and i should clarify; Does it make sense to attach RDMs as quorum disk? Which compatibility mode is suitable for this scenario and what are the limitations of the respective mode?

What are RAW Device Disks:

The LUN is directly provisioned from the SAN to the virtual machine bypassing the virtualization level. Thus, the disk formatting will be done on the operating system and not in the VMKernel.
The RDM Mapping File provides direct access to storage and allow the use of SAN inherent features (for example, SAN-level snapshots)

raw

When is the use of RDM recommended?

You should use RDM instead of VMDK when configuring Microsoft Cluster systems, whether it’s P2P, P2V or V2V. The data and quorum disks are mapped in this case as RDM.
Previously, the size of the VMDK was also decisive which type od disks we use, VMDK or RDM, now no longer. Theoretically we can now also attach VMDK with 62 TB to a VM. Does it make sense? may be 😉

Compatibility mode:

Physical Mode:

  • Minimal SCSI virtualization and great flexibility for the SAN software
  • All SCSI commands except the REPORT LUNs command are passed to the device, thus the VMKernel isolates the LUN to the VM
  • It allows a V2P cluster configuration for Low Cost HA
  • Snasphot, cloning or convert to template are not possible with this mode

Virtual Mode

  • The virtual mode sets the full virtualization of the mapped device. The VMkernel only sends READ and WRITE to the assigned device. The associated device appears to the guest operating system just like a virtual disk file in a VMFS volume.
  • Take full advantage of VMFS: snapshot, clones, templates
  • Flash Read Cache support only RDMs in virtual mode.

The size of the disc is no longer decisive which mode you should take
Raw Device Mapping size (virtual compatibility) – 62TB
Raw Device Mapping size (physical compatibility) is 64TB

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How to “Upgrade to vRealize Log Insight 4.0”

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After upgrading our vCenter and compatible hosts to vSphere 6.5, we will take  one of the important components of the vRealize suite: vRealize Log Insight.

The new version (Download here) comes with many new features and a face lift of the web interface (UI).

A small overview of the products improvements and updates to the previous release

  • vSphere 6.5 compatibility.
  • Support for custom SSL certificates in the vCenter Server edition.
  • New overall user interface based on the VMware Clarity standard.
  • New speedometer-like gauge chart type for event count visualizations.
  • New Admin Alert Management tool and UI to view and manage all user alerts.
  • New filter called Does Not Exist to find events that do not contain some specified field.
  • Default REST APIs for installing Log Insight servers and clusters.
  • SSL for the vRealize Log Insight is now enabled by default.
  • Users can now subscribe to the content pack.

Further improvements are listed in the Realese Notes.

In my LAB i have actually a non clustered Log Insight 3.6 installed

2016-11-24-09_17_59-host-fuer-die-windows-shell-oberflaeche

First, please verify the upgrade path and the compatibility of your installed vCenter. The support of the vCenter version 5.0 and 5.1 has been removed.

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In VMWare