Monday, 17 September 2012

vCenter Alarms - bulk "Set Email Notification" change

Recently I have installed a new vCenter server and, as a good practice, was going to to configure the most critical Alarms to send email to my mailbox. Surely, it was going to be manual process as I have zero scripting knowledge except the PowerCLI minimum which was part of VCAP exam. But frankly speaking, I barely remember half of the PowerCLI command  I used to know.

However, I thought I might try to refresh my rusty PoweCLI knowledge. Therefore, I picked up the first article in search results which provided a good PS script for vCenter 5.0 and useful links for automation of the boring process of setting "Send Email" action for all Alarms. Definitely, there is still no descent explanation why VMware hasn't provided such configuration option.

While I was applying this script to my infrastructure I found out that number of Alarms differ from version to version. Here, in my company we have vCenter 5.0 Update 1a in production and vCenter 5.1 in test environment. Therefore, I have decided to adjust the script for both our versions.

So, here are the links to the scripts which might be useful for you.
There are plenty opportunities to customize these scripts for more sophisticated actions, but for my scarce PoweCLI skills just an email is more than enough :)

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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Great collection of vSphere Best Practices

I really like reading Best Practices. They broaden one's horizons, but the best thing about them is that they give you plenty of ideas what to read about and provoke to go deep into technologies. You read them through and make list of things you want to try or would like to implement in your production environment. Then you familiarize yourself with new technologies reading Technical Resources documents on VMware site. You end up with myriad of tabs opened in your browser and you think you have to read all of them and even comment some of the posts. Well, that is how it works for me.

So, here is the best collection of the Best Practices -

I have already started bookmarking the most interesting docs.

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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Fixing Site Recovery Manager credentials

Today I have discovered that my Site Recovery Manager is not working anymore. The error was obvious - the credentials which were used on SRM server to connect to vCenter had been changed.

Very soon I found VMware KB explaining how to update these credentials. I accurately followed the steps in KB, but I have gotten another problem.

Well, I used the command and set the credentials for the SRM Database, but while learning the syntax of installcreds command I discovered that there is an option to use installcreds for vCenter credentials. 

So I ran installcreds.exe -key "" -u\username, restarted SRM service and voila!, everything went back to normal.

Moreover, the original command from VMware KB hasn't worked for me at all, even after set credentials for SRM database, which made my findings even more useful :)

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Saturday, 8 September 2012

VMware Hands-on Labs from VMworld 2012 are being offered online!


if you have missed VMworld 2012 you still have an opportunity to access VMware Hands-On Labs online which were offered during the VMworld 2012. The registration has been opened a couple of days ago. So you still have a good chance to be amongst the first luckiest persons to play with new VMware products without tiresome and time-consuming process of building home lab for each of the scenarios.

So, proceed with the Registration and be ready to provide a good feedback :)

Personally, I have spent already half a day to rebuild my home lab with vSphere 5.0 so as to be able to test and to document the upgrade steps for vSphere 5.1. However, if you have a look at the list of possible labs you will understand how many efforts and time you will save using pre-configured and well-instructed labs from VMware.

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Friday, 7 September 2012

The new certification roadmap from VMware

Well, VMware is way more faster at generating news than I am at processing them. Still catching up with all interesting pieces of news I have missed while being on vacation.

In the shade of the bright and sparkling announcement of vSphere 5.1 the introduction of new Certification Roadmap has been overlooked by many bloggers.

Here is how it looks like now

The picture depicts four areas of certification

  • Cloud - this is mostly to prove you are good at administering vCloud Director (vCenter Chargeback, vCloud Networking and vCloud Organizations)
  • Datacenter Virtualization - this certification shows your expertise in administration of vSphere
  • End User Computing - this is all about building Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
  • Cloud Application Platform - purely developers' area.
Each category is divided into 2/3 levels showing different levels of skill sets. Some of the exams are not available yet, but coming out soon.

Currently I am trying to figure out my own certification roadmap for the next year and I still don't know which direction to go - Cloud or End User Computing. Both fields look very interesting, therefore first I need to understand which area has more prospects and potential demand on job market. Though first I have to site VCAP5-DCA which is fortunately now available to take in my country.

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Licensing changes brought by vSphere 5.1 release - no vRam entitlements

While I have been torn apart by temptation to learn all new features of vSphere 5.1 by creating a long list of documents and blogs to read I have missed probably the most important change in VMware vSphere Licensing model - the is no more vRAM entitlement/limitation.

VMware claims they have carefully listened to their clients:
"Our customers spoke clearly," VMware Chief Marketing Officer Rick Jackson said at a press conference after Monday's opening keynote. "They don't want to think about things like vRAM. We're changing it back to what our customers want."
To me it seems more like another answer to Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0 which is about to be released and has already changed the virtualization market's landscape. But I personally liked the fact that VMware has enough courage to admit they had made a mistake with presenting vRAM.
"Yes, it is an admission that we had made things overly complex, and we are rectifying that mistake," outgoing VMware CEO Paul Maritz says bluntly. "Mea culpa."
So, there is no more vRAM and Cores per CPU limits now. Plain and clear licensing model with only requirement to have 1 license per each CPU/Socket in your server. It is quite an improvement which definitely makes life of VMware customers and VMware salesmen easier. I guess the total number man-hours spent last year worldwide in debates about vRAM could have been sufficient to build a space ship.

Another significant benefit of new licensing and pricing model is that all vSphere editions (except Essentials Kit) have gotten plenty of nice features included:  vSphere Replication, vShield Endpoint, High Availability and Data Protection (previously known as VMware Data Recovery). 

Free vSphere Hypervisor's limitations have caused some confusion as different part of VMware website and documents were providing different information. Here is the latest and most precise information from GabesVirtualWorld
“There is no vRAM in vSphere 5/5.1, including the free vSphere Hypervisor. If a host licensed with vSphere Hypervisor has more than 32GB of physical RAM it will error when applying the license or on boot. Before the vSphere Hypervisor license is applied, it will be running in 60-day evaluation mode (functionally equivalent to Ent+).  So in the case of a host with more than 32GB of physical RAM, when assigning the vSphere Hypervisor license fails the host will remain in the evaluation mode. If they do want to proceed they either need to find a box with 32 or less or go into the BIOS of the offending machine and turn off the additional RAM.”
The last interesting new fact is the special vSphere Standard edition which includes vCenter Operations Management Suite Advanced and vCenter Protect Standard. I am wondering why there is no similar Enterprise Edition? 

Now I am looking forward to the 11th of September when vSphere 5.1 will be available for download so I can start rebuilding my home lab.

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