Ovftool can be pretty awesome, but it can also be very difficult to use. I seem to have a love/hate relationship with it.

Here I will go over some common issues I have with the tool. I’ve only tested on the Windows version of ovftool.

With plenty of unfinished drafts growing, I thought I’d procrastinate even more by jumping on the static website bandwagon. I’ve migrated from Blogger to Hugo, and hosted on AWS with CloudFront. The process to migrate from Blogger to Hugo has been incredibly time consuming. Honestly I have no valid reason to change except for the fact that I’m curious to find out why many others seem to be migrating to static websites in droves.

A lot of people have probably never tried vRealize Business. As more companies want a cloud like charging model, or to show the true cost of VMs, interest in these tools is picking up. Usually vRB is deployed with vRA or vIDM, as it will use them as an authentication source. One of the great features of vRB7.2 is that it can used in standalone mode without vRA or vIDM. This is great for a POC as it can use local accounts on the vRB appliance.

Larger environments tend to integrate their monitoring and ticketing systems. Some also add automated workflows based on alarms. The problem when setting up these workflows is how do you test the workflow is triggered based on specific alarms? With thanks to William Lam for the tips, it’s possible to trigger specific events that make up alarms. It’s not a simple task (for someone who’s not a developer), but you can do some trial and error to work out how to trigger each event.

I recently spent some time building kickstart files. Something I hadn’t done much since 2008. The most noticeable change in the process is I’m older and fatter. I re/learnt a few things, and did my first ever python script. First up, William Lam has plenty of articles on the topic, and the official vSphere installation doco is pretty good too. While testing, it’s much easier to link to a kickstart file or scripts from a webserver than directly embedded on the boot CD.

The list of 2016 vExperts was officially announced by VMware. This year sees a total of 1374 people awarded the title of vExpert. Australia / New Zealand represent 4.2% of the total vExpert numbers. This year the vExpert nomination form asked for your country, so lets hope VMware publish that info. So for now, this is a list of names we recognise as from Australia or New Zealand.

Using PowerCLI you can use Set-ScsiLun -MultipathPolicy “RoundRobin” to set the PSP, but I found it quite slow using it on a large scale. It would update one datastore on one host every 5 seconds. If there were 10 ESXi hosts with 200 Datastores, that’s 2000 operations, at 5 seconds each, it adds up to 3 hours. The same can be done using ESXCLI extremely quickly, but it’s run on each host.

VMware announced the list of 2015 vExperts during the week. Congratulations to all that made it. The list now contains over 1,000 vExperts. For something perhaps a bit more relevant in the A/NZ region, I’ve broken it down for us. The numbers haven’t changed that much due to the 3 selection rounds of vExperts in 2014. For the A/NZ region, the numbers increased by 3, with 4 people not renewed as vExperts (most likely because they didn’t submit an entry).

…if you want to use snapshots Pop Quiz Q: What’s the maximum size VMDK you could create in vSphere 5.1 or earlier? A: Most people that have studied for VCP will know the maximum VMDK size is 2TB minus 512 bytes. If you create a disk in the GUI, it allows you to choose 2TB, but it’s smart enough to minus 512 bytes. So technically that’s the maximum VMDK size, but you should NOT create it that big.

 Pop Quiz Q: What’s the maximum number of disks per SCSI Controller? A: It depends.. On your VCP exam, you would have said 15. Correct. Although if you want to clone or snapshot and quiesce a VM, the maximum is 7 disks per SCSI controller. Each SCSI Controller can control 15 disks and the quiesced snapshots in Windows 2008 require one available slot per existing disk. If you have more than 7 disks, the clone / quiesce part will fail, and you’ll have the following errors in vCenter and the VM’s vmware.

During an SRM (5.0) failover, a VM failed during the IP customisation failed at step 11. It was strange as we hadn’t seen this error in quite a while. 11. Power On Priority 3 VMs     Error – Cannot complete customization, possibly due to a scripting runtime error or invalid script parameters (Error code: -1). IP settings may have been partially applied. Looking through the SRM logs, they pointed to an error in C:WindowsTEMPvmware-imcguestcust.

Lets face it, there’s lots of things the web client sucks at. Using a console window in the browser is one of them. This bar at the top of the console window just takes up space. How about a useful hint, tell me how to get rid of this to make more use of the screen. Thankfully, on October 21st, 2014, VMware released the VM Remote Console (VMRC).

I had a lot of trouble getting into PowerCLI. I knew some of the basic commands, but I never used it to do anything productive. The biggest site I managed had 150 VM’s, and I could do most tasks quickly through the vSphere client. Since then I’ve changed jobs, and now there’s thousands of VM’s to manage! Coming into such a large environment, I’ve had to learn Powershell and PowerCLI out of necessity.

It’s been 2 weeks since I blogged about the XtremIO Gotcha, and the story has since been covered by many people and news services (See previous post for links). Chad Sakac quickly responded on his blog, and if you read through the comments, he says they’ll take care of customers: “I’ll say one thing more: we planned a ton of free services (and swing hardware!) to help customers and partners that need it – at NO COST TO THEM.

17th Sept update:  I’ve been contacted directly by EMC, and they say they’ll work through this with us. Sounds promising. There’s been a lot of coverage on the topic. I’ve provided additional links at the end of the post.The funniest comment I’ve read so far is “More like Xtrem uh-oh”. 16th Sept update: here’s an official response from Chad Sakac While at VMworld last month, I was networking with attendees when I mentioned my current employer purchased an XtremIO half X-Brick for a VDI project.

You’ve got flights & accommodation, VMworld ticket, and sessions picked. There’s a few more of the boring, but important tasks that you should take care of before you leave for VMworld. Spoken like a true dad. Travel Insurance – hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s something you should get in case you lose items or need medical assistance. Make sure you understand what’s covered.  Register with smarttraveller.

Back in April, I did a post when VMware announced 754 vExperts for 2014. This week, 123 were named vExperts from the Q2 nominations. That adds another 2 Aussie vExperts to the list; Tim Williams (@ymmit85) and Matthew Healy (@matt232h). By my count, we now have 24 vExperts in Australia. Melbourne: 17 Brisbane: 4 Perth: 2 Sydney:1 (Nick Marshall moved to USA VMware HQ) 2014 APAC vExperts Name Last Twitter Region Alastair Cooke @DemitasseNZ New Zealand Andre Carpenter @andrecarpenter Melbourne Andrew Brydon @sidbrydon Melbourne Andrew Dauncey @daunce_ Melbourne Andrew Brydon @sidbrydon Melbourne Anthony Burke @pandom_ Melbourne Anthony Spiteri @anthonyspiteri Perth Arron Stebbing @ArronStebbing Melbourne Benjamin Troch @virtualb_me Singapore Chris Jones @cpjones44 Melbourne Craig Waters @cswaters1 Melbourne Dan Frith @penguinpunk Brisbane David Manconi @dmanconi New Zealand David Barclay @davidbarclay99 Brisbane Faisal Rahman @frtamal Frank Fan @frankfan7 Melbourne Grant Orchard @grantorchard Melbourne Greg Mulholland @g_mulholland Melbourne Iwan Rahabok @e1_ang Singapore Josh Odgers @josh_odgers Melbourne Justin Warren @jpwarren Melbourne Keiran Shelden @Keiran_Shelden Brisbane Mandeepak Sidhu @MannySidhu2 Melbourne Michael Webster @vcdxnz001 New Zealand Nathan Wheat @wheatcloud Melbourne Rob Waite @rob_waite_oz Melbourne Ryan McBride @RyanMcBride81 Sydney Shane White @ausvmguy Melbourne Tas Tareq Brisbane Tim Williams @ymmit85 Perth vExpert 2014 Q3 nominations are open until September 2014.

The storage views tab in the vSphere client disappeared, and vCenter System Services displayed some of the following errors: unable to retrieve health data from https://localhost:443/vsm/health.xmlunable to retrieve health data from https://localhost:443/eam/eamService-web/health.xmlunable to retrieve health data from https://localhost:443/SMS/health.xml VMware KB article 2016177 (vCenter Server Health status reports the error: Error retrieving health from url (2016177)) had the fix. This issue & kb is only for vCenter 5.

Coming in to manage a virtual environment that’s already up and running, you guess it’s set up correctly for the most part. As time goes on, you may pick up a few things here and there to improve it. But what got me recently was the business’s interpretation of VMware’s HA. Know your environment, understand the options During a switch failure causing network isolation of a host, the business wanted to know why their VM’s weren’t restarted on the remaining hosts.

For those using Dell hardware, when you log the job with Dell Support, they’ll ask you to run a DSET report. This collects various information of the server including service tag, all hardware devices, firmware versions etc. There’s 3 ways to get DSET info. 1) Install DSET locally 2) Run DSET LiveCD 3) Run DSET remotely and create a report on a local server. Each option has their pros and cons.

Dell OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) provides detailed information about the hardware. Handy to find out details of the physical drives, memory sticks and if there’s any failed components. If you log a support call with Dell, chances are they will ask for more details, and possibly a DSET report, and having OMSA already installed, makes life easier. Dell also leaverage the features of OMSA with other management packages such as OpenManage Essentials and the vSphere plugin.

Last week we had the quarterly VMUG meeting at the Telstra Conference Centre. We paid homage to the creator of the VMware community, John Troyer, as he’s moved on from VMware after 9 years. John was responsible for the vExpert program, in which 16 were from Melbourne this year. If you want to participate in the VMUG community and perhaps become a vExpert, contact us about doing a community presentation.

Congratulations to all the vExperts from Australia, New Zealand & Singapore. It’s an honour to be included with such great local talent. Back in 2010, Greg Mulholland was the only vExpert that I actually knew in Australia. Now we have 23 in Australia, and 5 in New Zealand & Singapore. It’s great to see Melbourne VMUG members dominate the list of vExperts in our region. This is probably why the Melbourne VMUG has such a great turnout and so many community sessions.

Virtualisation is thirsty work Because there’s never enough time at the Melbourne VMUG to catchup with members, we’re having an in-between VMUG vBeers at Trunktown. If you can’t wait for the next VMUG, this should keep you going for another 6 weeks until the next Melbourne VMUG, on 15th May, 2014. There’s no official agenda, meeting topic, speakers or sponsors. It’s a social occasion of virtualisation folks having a few drinks.

You’re all winners Eric Siebert announced the results of the top virtualisation blogs the other day and it was great to see the local Australia/New Zealand guys score well. These bloggers really are “community guys”. They’re all active on twitter, and have participated in a VMUG at some level. Here are the Australia/New Zealand voting results… Blog Rank Previous Change Total Votes Total Points #1 Votes Long White Virtual Clouds (M.

Record attendance Wow, we had 374 attendees at the Melbourne VMUG User Conference. The awesome turnout to this and other Melbourne VMUG events show’s we’re the premiere VMUG is the region. The steering committee of Craig Waters, Damien Calvert, Tony McPhail, Nathan Wheat and myself put in a huge effort to pull this one off. Keynotes International vRockstars Brad Hedlund (@bradhedlund), Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl) and Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe) rocked it with the main keynotes.

It’s on again! This years Melbourne VMUG User Conference is coming up next month on Tuesday 4th February at Hilton on the Park. This will be the third User Conference Melbourne has done. We’re expecting more than 350 attendees this year. International special guests Scott Lowe, Brad Hedlund and Chris Wahl will each be doing a keynote session. There’ll be 24 sponsors in the solutions exchange to show you their products and answer questions on how they work.

Last year I went to vForum in Sydney (October 2013). This is the premier virtualisation event in the ANZ region. Lost in Translation I called the hotel the day before to confirm the reservation of a room with 2 singles. They informed me all they had was a room with 1 queen bed. This wasn’t going to work, as I was sharing a room with a mate to keep costs down.

A long time ago in a galaxy far away.. Looking back at my younger days of IT, I had plenty of time and disposable income. I spent plenty of all-nighters installing and breaking linux distros and various other toys, and when it did break, it took many hours of troubleshooting or eventually re-installing and re-configuring again. (backups? pfft). As I get older, I find myself paying extra for better quality products that save me time and make my life easier.

The Disappearing Act A VM went off the network, and actually lost the NIC from within the VM’s hardware. Pouring through logs, (some thanks to LogInsight, more on that later), I discovered in vmware-xx.log: 2013-11-19T07:33:01.246Z| vcpu-0| Powering off Ethernet0 2013-11-19T07:33:01.246Z| vcpu-0| Hot removal done. ah ha! This shows Ethernet0 was removed via the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon in the Windows system tray. The solution is to add a new NIC of the same type.