Sunday, June 24, 2012

Enabling FT on VM under nested ESXi 5 host


Note:- this article is Only for test and learning purpose not for production...

For test and development you can host esxi as a Nested VM and create HA/DRS cluster in that. But if you want to use FT in that scenario you need to 3 extra parameter under configuration parameters option 

 
Then you need three row  replay.supported true  replay.allowBTOnly true, replay.allowFT true after adding this it look like see the snap below:-


After adding the rows you can click ok and then again ok, now if all other requirement of FT are configured you can enable the FT on VM even this is running on nested esxi host.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Virtual Machine Swap file size (.vswp)


Swap File Size Calculation

Every VM have some amount of Memory configured. So when we power on the VM, vmkernel have to create the Swap file for VM (this file is different file than vmdk file), so that in case of memory contention overallocated memory can be delivered (in the storage there must be free space available to create that file otherwise we can't power on the VM).

Swap File is calculated using the below formula:-

Allocated Memory to VM - Reserve Memory to VM = Size of Swap file (.vswp)

Suppose VM is configure with 2048 MB of Memory and Reserve for that VM is 512 MB then swap file size is 1536 MB as per above formula:-

2048 - 512 = 1536 MB.

Even you reserve 100 % allocated memory to VM swap file still created but with 0KB in size.

Swap file created even you have enough memory on host, but vmkernel only use this file (in case of memory contention)  if demand of memory is more than the available amount of Memory on Host (ESXi).



Deploying and Configuring vCenter Appliance



Friday, June 22, 2012

Host Profile


What is Host Profile ?

The host profiles feature creates a profile that encapsulates the host configuration and helps to manage the host configuration, especially in environments where an administrator manages more than one host or cluster in vCenter Server.
Host profiles eliminates per-host, manual, or UI-based host configuration and maintains configuration consistency and correctness across the datacenter by using host profile policies. These policies capture the  blueprint of a known, validated reference host configuration and use this to configure networking, storage, security, and other settings on multiple hosts or clusters. You can then check a host or cluster against a profile’s configuration for any deviations.

How to Use Host Profile ?

You perform host profiles tasks in a certain workflow order.
You must have an existing vSphere installation with at least one properly configured host.
  •  Set up and configure the host that will be used as the reference host.
  •  A reference host is the host from which the profile is created.
  • Create a profile using the designated reference host.
  • Attach a host or cluster to the profile.
  • Check the host's compliance to the reference host's profile. If all hosts are compliant with the  reference host, they are correctly configured.
  • Apply the host profile of the reference host to other hosts or clusters of hosts (Host need to be in maintenance mode to apply the profile).

Note:- Using host profiles is only supported for VMware vSphere 4.0 hosts or later

Creating a Host Profile

You create a new host profile by using the designated reference host's configuration.
A host profile can be created from:
  •  Host Profile main view
  •  Host's context menu


Create a Host Profile from Host Profiles View

You can create a host profile from the Host Profiles main view using the configuration of an existing host.
Prerequisites
You must have a vSphere installation and at least one properly configured host in the inventory.
Procedure
1 In the Host Profiles main view, click Create Profile.The Create Profile wizard appears.
2 Select the option to create a new profile and click Next.
3 Select the host you want to designate as the reference host for the new host profile and click Next.
   The reference host must be a valid host.
4 Type the name and enter a description for the new profile and click Next.
5 Review the summary information for the new profile and click Finish to complete creating the     
  profile. The new profile appears in the profile list.
  
Create a Host Profile from Host
You can create a new host profile from the host's context menu in the Hosts and Clusters inventory view.
Prerequisites
You must have a vSphere installation and at least one properly configured host in the inventory.
Procedure
1 In the Host and Clusters view, select the host that you want to designate as the reference host for   
   the new host profile. The host must be a valid host to use as a reference host.
2 Right-click the host and select Host Profile > Create Profile from Host
    The Create Profile from Host wizard opens.
3 Type the name and enter a description for the new profile and click Next.
4 Review the summary information for the new profile and click Finish to complete creating the     
    profile. The new profile appears in the host's Summary tab.

Attach Profiles from the Host

Before you can apply the profile to a host you need to attach the host to the profile or the profile to the host. You can attach a profile to a host from the host's context menu in the Hosts and Clusters inventory view. When a host profile is attached to a cluster, the host or hosts within that cluster are also attached to the host profile. However, when the host profile is detached from the cluster, the association between the host or host within the cluster and that host profile remain.

Procedure

1 In the Host and Clusters view, select the host to which you want to attach a profile.
2 Right-click the host and select Host Profile > Manage Profile.
   NOTE   If no host profiles exist in your inventory, a dialog appears asking if you want to create   
   and attach the host to this profile.
3 In the Attach Profile dialog, select the profile to attach to the host and click OK.
   The host profile is updated in the Summary tab of the host.

Apply a Profile from the Host

You can apply a profile to a host from the host's context menu.
Prerequisites
The host must be in maintenance mode before a profile is applied to it.
Procedure
1 In the Host and Clusters view, select the host to which you want to apply a profile.
2 Right-click the host and select Host Profile > Apply Profile.
3 In the Profile Editor, enter the parameters and click Next.
4 Continue until all the required parameters are entered.
5 Click Finish.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


How to change Virtual Machine Snapshot files location (vSphere 5)

I have taken an example, I have created two datastore like below:-





VM-Datastore dedicated for VM related files like vmx,vmdk etc
Snapshot-Datastore dedicated for VM Snapshot  files like vmsn, delta.vmdk etc.

If you want to change the snapshot files location for different datastore than default, you need to shut down the VM first. Then remove the VM from inventory, and then use esxi Local Shell or SSH Shell and edit the .vmx file of that VM with vi editor and add the lines at the end of the file:- 

Snapshot.redoNotWithParent = “true”
workingDir  = “Location of your datastore”    like see the snapshot below:-





After this save the file and add the VM to inventory back using the vSphere client. When you power on the VM, and after this you will take snapshot the snapshot, files will created under the defined datastore. You can browse and confirm the snapshot file  are under the new datastore like:-






So now snapshot files location is as per your requirement.


How to change Virtual Machine swap file location VMware ESXi

I have taken an example, I have created two datastore like below:-

VM-Datastore dedicated for VM related files like vmx,vmdk etc
Swap-Datastore dedicated for VM Swap files.


If you want to change the swap file location to different datastore than default, you need to shut down the VM first. Once VM is offline then go to Edit Setting of that VM and then click on Options tab like see the screenshot below:-













Then click on Configure Parameters  button. Then you’ll get another window like below and then you need to click on add row button :-


















Under the name filed you need to type “sched.swap.dir” and in the value field you need to type the path of datastore where you want swap files. Like in my case I have dedicated datastore for Swap files, so I have defined the path “/vmfs/volumes/Swap-Datastore” and the click on OK
After that when you powered in that VM the swap file get created under new datastore. You can browse and confirm thenswap file is under this like:-






So now swap file location is as per your requirement.

Monday, June 18, 2012


New virtual machine capabilities (vSphere 5)  
  

ESXi 5.0 introduces a new generation of virtual hardware with virtual machine hardware version 8, which includes the following new features:- 
  • 32-way virtual SMP. ESXi 5.0 supports virtual machines with up to 32 virtual CPUs, which lets you run larger CPU-intensive workloads on the VMware ESXi platform.
  • 1TB of virtual machine RAM. You can assign up to 1TB of RAM to ESXi 5.0 virtual machines.
  • Software support for 3D graphics to run Windows Aero. ESXi 5.0 supports nonhardware accelerated 3D graphics to run Windows Aero and Basic 3D applications in virtual machines.
  • USB 3.0 device support. ESXi 5.0 features support for USB 3.0 devices in virtual machines with Linux guest operating systems. USB 3.0 devices attached to the client computer running the vSphere Web Client or the vSphere Client can be connected to a virtual machine and accessed in it. USB 3.0 devices connected to the ESXi host are not supported.
  • UEFI virtual BIOS. Virtual machines running on ESXi 5.0 can boot from and use the Unified Extended Firmware Interface (UEFI).

Friday, June 15, 2012


Resource Pool Management (vSphere5)
You can create, manage and delete the Resource Pool, While you are managing stand-alone host esxi (before adding to vCenter Server). Once you add host to vCenter Server after that Resource pool management is only using vCenter, direct connection to host (esxi) do not allow resource pool management, until you remove host (esxi)  from vCenter inventory.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

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Meanwhile if not yet completed, you can go for VCA (VMware Certified Associate) exams for free !

VMware Certified Associate certification is available now for all the who have attended VMware vSphere Training program, or even who have the vmware product knowledge and want to have some recognition to that, You can go for the VCA certification.


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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Considerations – Upgrade or Create New (VMFS-5)

While a VMFS-3 which is upgraded to VMFS-5 provides you with most of the capabilities as a newly created VMFS-5, there are some differences. Both upgraded and newly created VMFS-5 support single-extent volumes up to 64TB and both support VMDK sizes of ~2TB, no matter what the VMFS file-block size is. However additional differences, although minor, should be considered when making a decision whether to upgrade to VMFS-5 or create new VMFS-5 volumes.

No Uniform Block Size

VMFS-5 upgraded from VMFS-3 continues to use the previous file-block size, which may be larger than the unified 1MB file-block size. This can lead to stranded/unused disk space when there are lots of small files on the datastore.

No New Sub-Block Size

VMFS-5 upgraded from VMFS-3 continues to use 64KB sub-blocks and not the new 8KB sub-blocks. This can also lead to stranded/unused disk space. The upgraded VMFS-5 also continues to use the original number of sub-blocks from the VMFS-3.

No Increase to the Maximum Number of Files per Datastore

VMFS-5 upgraded from VMFS-3 continues to have a file limit of 30,720 rather than new file limit of > 100,000 for newly created VMFS-5. This has an impact on the scalability of the file system.

Uses MBR

VMFS-5 upgraded from VMFS-3 continues to use MBR (Master Boot Record) partition type; when the VMFS-5 volume has grown beyond 2TB, it automatically and seamlessly switches from MBR to GPT (GUID Partition Table) with no impact on the running virtual machines.

Starts on Sector 128

VMFS-5 upgraded from VMFS-3 continues to have its partition starting on sector 128. Newly created VMFS-5 partitions will have their partition starting at sector 2048.

For more details you can see the link below:-
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/VMFS-5_Upgrade_Considerations.pdf
VMFS-5 Enhancements

The following is a complete list of enhancements made in VMFS-5.

New Unified 1MB File Block Size

Earlier versions of VMFS used 1, 2, 4 or 8MB file blocks. These larger blocks were needed to create large files (>256GB). These different file blocks sizes are no longer needed to create large files on VMFS-5. Very large files can now be created on VMFS-5 using the new unified 1MB file blocks. Earlier versions of VMFS will still have to use larger file blocks to create large files.

Large Single Extent Volumes

In earlier versions of VMFS, the largest single extent was 2TB - 512 bytes. An extent is a partition on which one can place a VMFS. To create a 64TB VMFS-5, one needed to create 32 x 2TB extents /partitions and join them together. With VMFS-5, this limit for a single extent/partition has been increased to 64TB. This significantly reduces the management overhead when using very large VMFS volumes.

Smaller Sub-Blocks

VMFS-5 introduces smaller sub-blocks. Sub-blocks are now 8KB rather than 64KB as used in the earlier versions. With VMFS-5, small files (< 8KB, but > 1KB) in size will consume only 8KB rather than 64KB. This will reduce the amount of disk space stranded by small files. Also, there are many more sub-blocks in VMFS-5 than there were in VMFS-3 (32,000 on VMFS-5 compared to approximately 4,000 on VMFS-3).

Small File Support

VMFS-5 introduces support for very small files. For files less than or equal to 1KB, VMFS-5 uses the file descriptor location in the metadata for storage rather than file blocks. When these files grow beyond 1KB, they will then start to use the new 8KB sub-blocks. This will again reduce the amount of disk space stranded by very small files.

Increased File Count

VMFS-5 introduces support for greater than 120,000 files, a four-fold increase when compared to the number of files supported on VMFS-3, which was approximately 30,000.

ATS Enhancement

The Atomic Test & Set (ATS) Hardware Acceleration primitive is now used throughout VMFS-5 for file locking. ATS is a part of VAAI (vSphere Storage APIs for Array Integration). This enhancement improves the file locking performance over earlier versions of VMFS.

GPT

To handle much larger partition sizes, the GUID Partition Table (GPT) format will now be used to create VMFS-5 volumes. Historically, Master Boot Record (MBR) was used; however, this was limited to a maximum partition size of approximately 2TB. GPT overcomes this limitation and allows for much larger partitions to handle single extents up to 64TB (using VMFS-5).

New Starting Sector

VMFS-5 partitions will now have a starting sector of 2048. This is different from VMFS-3 which had a starting sector of 128. Moving to a starting sector of 2048 helps avoid alignment issues.


For more details you can see the link below:-
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/VMFS-5_Upgrade_Considerations.pdf
Default Location for Sysprep Files on VMware vCenter Server 5.0


If vCenter Server is installed on Windows Server 2008 and above, <directory_path> is %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprepwhich generally translates to C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep by default.

Note: C:\ProgramData may be a hidden folder.

If vCenter Server is installed on any other Windows operating system, <directory_path> is %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep\ which generally translates to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Sysprep\ by default.

if vCenter is appliance then /etc/vmware-vpx/sysprep/

Under above mentioned location as per the vCenter version you have there are folder for Operationg Systems
like for Server 2003 32 bit there is folder svr2003. you need to copy the sysprep files after this while you deploy the VM using template or clone, wizard will offer you the choice to customize the OS...

for more details you can see
 http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1005593