Thursday, April 15, 2010

VMware KB video showing patching of ESX Host. vSphere 4 Update Manager in action.

If you never used VMware vSphere 4 update manager before, this video shows you how to get started and how to successfully apply a necessary security patches to your ESX host.
The GUI interface seems to be difficult to understand, but hopefully with this video you’ll be able to find your way around. A terms like schedule patches definitions download, baselines, remediation,  ESX hosts, scan of ESX host,  maintenance mode will be shown. It’s an easy step-by-step video you can follow if you’re new to VMware and managing Virtual Infrastructure with VMware vSphere 4.
This video details installing patches or updates to your VMware ESX host using VMware vCenter Update Manager. This video was created using ESX 4.0 and Update Manager 4.0. The same basic steps apply to other versions of ESX. This video also shows you how to determine how often your host checks for patches or updates, where to schedule the task, and how to run the task manually.
Source: VMware KB

How to maintain a the same MAC address all the time within your vSphere 4 installation.

In VMware vSphere 4 environement, when you move your VM to another host or the VM has different path on the same host, the MAC adress of the VM is changed.
If you want to guarantee that the same MAC address is assigned to a given virtual machine every time, even if the virtual machine is moved, or if you want to guarantee a unique MAC address for each virtual machine within a networked environment you have 2 choices. You can do it on the VM configuration level or you can do it on the guest level.
On the VM level you can do it via GUI or by editing your VMX file (just make sure that you unregister the VM from vCenter first, otherwise vCenter will overwrite the value) you go to Menu VM > Edit Settings > Network Adapter and you set the radio button on Manual. Then you can assign a static MAC address there between the authorised range by VMware. The MAC address range is:

If in some rare cases you need to keep the same MAC as for exaple on your Physical server (for some software license files tightened to a MAC address for exemple), and the MAC adress is outside of the range, you have the possibility to do it inside of your Windows (linux) VM.
On the Windows VM you do it in the properties of your NIC:
Start the VM and in the Windows system go to Control panel > network connections > Properties

Click the Configure button and go to Advanced Tab where on selecting Locally administered value you are able to enter your own value.

And for linux VM you can try this:
ifconfig eth0 down
ifconfig eth0 hw ether xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
ifconfig eth0 up
There is reference webpage I found about MAC addresses ranges on VMware’s Website here. The page is is for VMware ESX Server 2.1, but it’s still valuable… There might be other resources on that, feel free to post a comment…

Source : Feeds

VMware Update manager does not scan hosts??? Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration on Win2k8

VMware update manager hated me and wouldn’t scan any of my hosts, one of the many fixes I was trying was making sure that my VMware Update Manager server could reach the patch stores to download updates and do patch checks and so decided to make sure of this I wanted to remove the painfully irritating Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration. Now before I get loads of comments saying this is dangerous etc etc and that it’s a security risk,I know it is but for testing purposes I wanted to do it so I did. Now the point of this blog is that to disable it isn’t as easy as it used to be in 2003 as you used to just:
  • Go to Control Panel
  • Add/Remove Programs, 
  • Add/Remove Windows Components on the left hand side

  • Untick it from the drop down list

    But for Windows Server 2008 I couldn’t find it anywhere in the features drop down lists which has replaced the Windows Components in Server 2008. Fortunately while on another Server 2008 server I noticed the place to disable it. In the Server Manager root page under the Security Information section is Configure IE ESC

     All you need to do is click on this link and disable it for either Administrators and/or for Users. I only needed for Administrators so this is what I selected for the testing.

    Source : EMC Feeds

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Rename VMDK files – else you may have to experience Backup Problems

    What if you end up with the same vmdk file name on different datastores?

    A simple case scenario that can happens:

    A single VM has several hard disk attached to it. The hard disk VMDK files are located on different datastores. When creating a new hard disk which location is on different datastore to a VM, the name given to this VMDK is the same as the first VMDK.

    For exemple, you VM has a disk called TS01.vmdk which is located on DATASTORE1, and you create a second disk located on DATASTORE2. This disk takes the same name as the first one…. This is not a problem for VMware, but it is for third party backp products like Symantec Backup Exec 2010. In fact what happens to the backup job wanting to backup a VM like this? The VMDK is marked as a corrupted and the job fails, so it's impossible to restore either.

    What's the solution? VMware KB had give me an simple answer what to do in the case like this. You'll have to use vmkfstools via command line to do the job. Don't worry, it's not difficult.

    How to:

    01. First, make sure that the VM has NO Snapshots. Then power down your VM go to menu Edit Settings.

    On the next screen you just go to the hard disk you want to rename. Select the hard disk and click the remove button. The screen change and you have the possibility to check a radio button to delete the disk from datastore. Don't check this radio button. Otherwise your disk gets deleted..

    02. Validate your choice on clicking OK.

    03. Then you must connect to the console of the ESX server to which the datastore2 is attached to. Use putty or go directly to the server room.

    04. Via putty navigate to the folder where the hard disk is located and execute following command:
    vmkfstools -E <old_name> <new_name>
    So in our case the command looks like this (I'm renaming from ts01.vmdk to ts01_2.vmdk):

    vmkfstools -E ts01.vmdk ts01_2.vmdk

    05. Then go to your VI client and add the renamed disk back to the virtual machine. In the Inventory browser by right clicking the datastore and where the VM is stored and select "Browse Datastore", select the folder of the VM than right click the vmx file and select "Add to Inventory".

    This works fine for ESX 4, but to be able to use it with ESXi 4 you have several choices:

    01. You can use the unsupported (Tech Support Mode) to get to the console of ESXi 4 since the CLI tools won't work for writing data in the free version of ESXi 4.

    02. If your ESXi 4 is licensed with paid VMware License you can use PowerCLI or VMA to do the job.

    Source    :