Archive for the ‘virt’ Category

OMG OMG VMware Announces VSAN 6.2! ONE VSAN to Rule Them All! (Well, Kind of)

February 10th, 2016

Wow, we’re finally here! Version 6.2 has arrived and woot is it a hoot! (That wasn’t intended to rhyme, but welcome to the party regardless!

This blog post will be filled with lots of cool things, lots of announcements, and a commentary on the ‘ONE VSAN to Rule Them All’ which is strangely more true than you can imagine!

VSAN now with 3000+ Customers! VSAN OSU Quote

So let’s get started! OMG it’s for all workloads, yada yada. You can read marketing slides. This is one of them, simply saying “Yea we can do this”, a little side note. VSAN currently has over 3000 Paying Customers! Compare that to other ‘enterprise storage vendors’ who have products in the market place. I won’t EXPLICITLY call any out, but as I see various stock prices tumbling and I look at their user bases being similar, it leads me to say, “Hey! VSAN has grown and grown and grown year over year, well done!”

I did include a quote from Oregon State University because I live in Portland now, and I wanna Represent! :) <3

VSAN 6.2 Ready for all vSphere Workloads!

So there’s lots of cool slides I can share. I won’t. I’ll share a few poignant and selective ones, but my real focus here is on what is NEW and what things can be impacted and in general things to watch out for as well!

What’s New?!

What's new in VSAN 6.2!

I’m sure most of you can read, so you’ll see some things in particular which are exciting and I’ll go into greater detail are things like DEDUPLICATION, COMPRESSION, ERASURE CODING! Yea SAP Ready is nice, and blah blah blah….

Most new features you and I care about are ALL FLASH ONLY

I think I should repeat that just in case it was lost in translation.  In the following slides I’ll be including you will be wise to notice in the top right corner the phrase “ALL FLASH ONLY” okay, it’s not in caps on the slide, but I’m putting it in caps for effect. Why? Because if you’re thinking, “Yea, I can do this with a ROBO LICENSE and two servers” No! STOP IT! NO YOU CANNOT! ALL FLASH ALL FLASH ALL FLASH! And if you cannot read caps, “Most of the features I will be discussing require an all flash solution, which requires all flash in your servers as well as an All Flash license. Plan accordingly”

VSAN Deuplication and Compression!!! VSAN RAID5 Erasure Coding!  VSAN RAID6 Erasure Coding

So the above features so heavily anticipated. Deduplication and Compression, and Erasure Coding whether RAID 5 or RAID 6 – These require All Flash in order to work.

ALSO note that RAID5 requires a MINIMUM of 4 nodes and RAID6 requires a MINIMUM of 6 nodes.

I’m sure there’ll be dozens of blog posts released today which go into even further depth on this. So note, these are some of the key differentiators and points of importance should you choose to adopt this. So don’t expect erasure coding in your ROBO instance, that’s still a ‘mirrored’ configuration (Or in your 3 node Essentials licensed system – that’ll not only require you to be in vCenter Server Standard to do more than 3 nodes, but again… you’ll need the all Flash License…)

Oh look! Other protections!

Virtual SAN Core Software Checksums!

Yea, you have other means of protecting your investment… Well, you don’t per se, it’s built in so it will be doing it on your behalf, but it’s good to know that disk scrubbing does run in the background!

What else is new?!!?

Alright, there are some other new things, it won’t all be storage centric things as much as I had hoped!

VSAN now with QOS! VSAN supports IPv6 - Not that anyone cares! <3 VSAN for ANY Application! VSAN Health! VSAN with MORE Health! VSAN Cache and Sparse!

As you can see from the list there are definitely a few other new things, like QoS (Awesome), IPv6 support (Err, who cares?) Enhanced application support (Pretty awesome), better healthchecks (They were already GREAT, and now they’re better?!?) and lastly cache and sparse enhancements, a great way to finalize up the list!

So as you can see not only is 6.2 not a “Point” release it comes with it some pretty AMAZING functionality and capabilities! 

But with any good release it comes with great responsibility…  Be sure you do your homework and research as you adopt down this path so you know what you’re getting yourself into.  You’ll be able to get the spread of economies of scale, compute and storage node calculations, and other jibber jabber differences! 

Get excited because this is one of the coolest things to hit VMware in a long time! <3

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Posted in EVO:RAIL, Oracle, vExpert, virt, Virtualization, vmware, VSAN | Comments (0)

VMware Log Insight EXPOSED! Splitting your Syslog with an axe!

June 17th, 2013

Well, for those of you who have read my “Exposed” expose’ as in the past… I’ll do my best to provide an in-depth coverage of this tool, lessons learned and so much more!  Allow me to disclaimer for a moment, this IS a beta, so your mileage may vary and your feedback has a chance to shape the product.

You can read the infamous Jon Herlocker’s breakdown of the tool at the Office of the CTO Blog; Introducing VMware vCenter Log Insight

Jon provides some great stock photos, descriptions, images, use-cases and all that jazz… What I’ll show you, is Production Use, and I won’t be using any screenshots I didn’t take myself! :)

Getting Started with #LogInsight

WTF YOU’RE ALREADY HASHTAGGING IT! Yea I am, but I digress. :)  Alright! Let’s focus on getting started!   First things first, you should visit the VMware Log Insight Beta Community – There you can join the ‘discussion forums’ okay, I know you won’t seriously do that, but you can download the product!

And once you get it downloaded and you deploy the OVA/OVF you’re pretty much set! You may experience ‘errors’ when going through the configuration process, I personally re-deployed my OVF 3 times (remember, it’s a beta) but once I got past that and little browser mess-ups, it’s been SOLD since!

Login Page

Look at that, nice clean login… seems pretty straight-forward (hint… it is :))

Cracking Open the Log (insight…)

I know what you’re saying DAMNIT MORE BAD LOG PUNS. Yea, that’s right! Alright, so you pop it open and here’s your dashboard!   You’ll notice events coming in, very simple interface, perhaps too simple but simple nonetheless.   The real keys will come into the next few sections.




Once you start diving into the details you’ll start to see more and more events coming in, and in their relevant and relative categories.


I want to share with you this little experience… Sometimes you may click on a tab and be all like WTF HAPPENED THERE WERE EVENTS HERE 5 MINUTES AGO. And that’s exactly it.  If you’re on the “Last 5 minutes of data” section, you’re literally only going to get the last 5 minutes of data.  Expand it out to an hour or so and you’ll start to see those messages you had seen just minutes before! 

vCenter_Servers Events_Tasks_Alarms

And lastly your main page happens to list again further various event types of screens… And I get it, this is all nice and interesting, but what does it mean?!

Diving into the weeds


Once you start to get into the “Interactive Analysis” you start to get into the details, or quite frankly into the damn SYSLOGs!


One particularly awesome piece of this is the ability to ‘type’ something into the Search bar.  What this does is, it indexes all types of requests in the background and gives you an idea of how many of certain types of events or names shows up.  For example, if you specify a Hostname you’ll see how many syslog messages had that hostname, or VM Guest, or you name it.  Just type something in, and you’ll start to get some details and insight! (For security reasons.. I chose details which had no particular relevance but still provided you some ‘search’ context!)

Configuring your ESX environment!

You may notice upon reading the manuals which come with the software (hah, you’re never going to read those! ;)) but it comes with a tool called ‘Configure ESXi’ which will configure your environment.  Let’s say you’re like me and cannot run that tool, or just outright choose not to… Well, here are some alternatives to get your ESX hosts configured so they can start reporting back to your newly created SYSLOG Server!


That’s right.  You find that your local traffic is okay, but you have a remote site which has a slower link, could be in a different country, or just over a Satellite like or something similarly ridiculous… Well, look no further!

When using VMware Log Insight you may want to change the amount of SysLog data you’re receiving

You can check your current logging levels with this PowerCLI command(s)

  • Get-VMHost | Get-VMHostAdvancedConfiguration -Name "Config.HostAgent.log.level"
  • Get-VMHost | Get-VMHostAdvancedConfiguration -Name "Vpx.Vpxa.config.log.level"

Chances are you’ll be getting a load of data coming in at Verbose ~1000s, even as high as 5000-10,000 logs in a 5 minute period.

I switched hostagent and vpx levels from "Verbose" to "Warning" and went down to ~10-15 logs for a 5 minute span!    If you have low bandwidth links this could mean significantly less impact.

And if you want to outright change those down to Warning as I did, or to any other value (say, Info) you can do it with these handy one-liners!

  • Get-VMHost | Set-VMHostAdvancedConfiguration -Name "Config.HostAgent.log.level" -Value "warning"
  • Get-VMHost | Set-VMHostAdvancedConfiguration -Name "Vpx.Vpxa.config.log.level" -Value "warning"


I’m glad you asked that, I mean metaphorically of course, because I’m writing this, not you! NOT YOU!   I went through various iterations to make this possible, and I found setting the Syslog server easy, Configuring the Firewalls equally easy whether via vSphere Client or PowerCLI, but I found the reloading the syslogd to be a pain in the ass.  That is until I came across this little gem!

I’d like to note I am stealing/borrowing this from Caleb in his post; Changing VMware ESXi 5.1 Syslog settings via PowerCLI – It worked like a charm and you shouldn’t feel shamed to use it!   Be sure you thank Caleb for this code of course!

    • get-vmhost | Get-VMHostAdvancedConfiguration -Name
    • #Get Each Host Connected to the vC
    • foreach ($myHost in get-VMHost)
    • {
    •     #Display the ESXi Host that you are applying the changes to
    •     Write-Host ‘$myHost = ‘ $myHost
    •     #Set the Syslog LogHost
    •     Set-VMHostAdvancedConfiguration -Name -Value ‘,’ -VMHost $myHost
    •     #Use Get-EsxCli to restart the syslog service
    •     $esxcli = Get-EsxCli -VMHost $myHost
    •     $esxcli.system.syslog.reload()
    •     #Open the firewall on the ESX Host to allow syslog traffic
    •     Get-VMHostFirewallException -Name "syslog" -VMHost $myHost | set-VMHostFirewallException -Enabled:$true
    • }

And honestly, that is about it! Once you’re set with the right level of verbosity of information, and syslogs pointing to your newly built VMware Log Insight server… then it’s just a matter of collecting, and reviewing with the occasional troubleshooting as needed.  

I did come across this little bug which I’m sure they’ll fix eventually..


If you’re not seeing the bug, it simply is, if you have the Log Insight log viewer NOT in full-screen mode (like you have half the screen showing log insight, and the other half, oh I don’t know… with VLC finishing off the 4th season of Battlestar Galactica…) it’ll seemingly ‘truncate’ the text on the screen, instead of simply moving to the next line.   I’m sure it’d be pretty easy to fix, so don’t get too annoyed by it! :)

In Summation or Building a Log Cabin for your troubleshooting…

Wow, you couldn’t let it go without another bad pun? Yea, probably not… :)   There is a lot more to this tool than I could show you, unfortunately there are screens… which I could not edit down enough without destroying the value of what you’d be seeing.   This tool has vCenter Operations integration, the ability to pull and index all of your data points! I can see at a glance errors which are showing up, and then drill-down to find similarly correlated errors.   I mean, the tool isn’t overly too intelligent yet, but that is bound to come in time, and through our suggestions I hope!

I encourage you to check it out, especially if you don’t have something in place pulling your syslogs today, like Kiwi or Splunk.   This gives you a ‘single family’ set of solutions which in the end will have your virtual best interests at heart.   So check out the beta and let me know what you think.   I’ll keep rocking this tool out and continuing to pull in and index my extremely enormous virtual environment!   Enjoy!

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Posted in vCenter Operations Manager, vCOPS, virt, Virtualization, vmware | Comments (7)

PowerCLI One-Liners to make your VMware environment rock out!

June 14th, 2013

So I hadn’t touched PowerCLI in a long while (Hey, I hadn’t touched the CONSOLE OF ANYTHING near production after having been in management for so long!   So, the first thing I decided to do was, “Well, what data is important to me… and what will make my life easier!”   Below you’ll see examples of some of those very scenarios, One-Liners and collections of data points! If you haven’t worked with PowerCLI this is a good way to get started.  I’ll also explain WTF I did and why, so you have some good logic and reasoning behind why to use some of these measures!  Also if you happen to have any really cool one-liners and scripts you’ve used, feel free to toss them into the comments!

Let’s start with … Well, getting started!

Launch PowerCLI CMDLine as an elevated user (This is especially important if you have a different administrative acct than your login)


// You can paste in all of the vCenter Names in order to execute a ‘command’ against all of them.

Example, You can simply launch Connect-VIServer, hit enter and then paste a list of vCenters to connect to.  This is especially important if you happen to be managing more than one vCenter.

Get-VMHost | Get-VMHostNetwork | Select Hostname, VMKernelGateway -ExpandProperty VirtualNic | Where {$_.ManagementTrafficEnabled} | Select Hostname, PortGroupName, IP, SubnetMask

// This will then dump the ESXi Hostnames, IPs and Subnets – For the Management Network

Get-VMHost | Get-VMHostNetwork | Select Hostname, VMKernelGateway -ExpandProperty VirtualNic | Where {$_.vMotionEnabled} | Select Hostname, PortGroupName, IP, SubnetMask

// This will then dump the ESXi Hostnames, IPs and Subnets – For the vMotion Network

Get-VMHost | Get-Cluster | Select Name, DrsEnabled, DrsMode, DrsAutomationLevel

// Dump DRS Status

Get-VMHost | Get-Cluster | Select Name, VMSwapfilePolicy

// Dump VMSwapfilePolilcy

Get-VMHost | Get-Cluster | Select Name, HAAdmissionControlEnabled

// Check status of HA Admission Control

Get-VMHost | Get-Cluster | Select Name, HAFailoverLevel, HARestartPriority, HAIsolationResponse

// Check HA Status Levels

Get-VMHost | Get-VMHostNetwork | Select Hostname, VMKernelGateway -ExpandProperty VirtualNic | Select Hostname, PortGroupName, IP, MTU

// Check for MTU Mismatches

Get-VirtualSwitch | Select VMHost, Name, MTU

// Shows what the MTU settings on the Virtual Switches are

Get-VMGuestNetworkInterface –VM VMNAME | Select VM, IP, SubnetMask, DefaultGateway, Dns

// Dumps a hosts Name, IP, Subnet, Gateway and DNS configuration

Append ‘| Export-Csv “c:\location\filename”’

// This will allow you to export the results to a CSV file  – This is called out so you’re aware of the syntax to do CSV type exports!

Get-VMHost | Get-ScsiLun | Select VMHost, ConsoleDeviceName, Vendor, MultipathPolicy

// This will dump the Multipath Policy of the storage on the systems to determine what the MP configuration is.

Get-VMHost | Get-ScsiLun | Select VMHost, ConsoleDeviceName, Vendor, MultipathPolicy | Where {$_.Vendor –eq “NETAPP”} | Select VMHost, ConsoleDeviceName, Vendor, MultipathPolicy

// This will dump the Multipath Policy of ONLY NetApp systems

Get-VMHost | Get-ScsiLun | Select VMHost, ConsoleDeviceName, Vendor, Model, LunType, MultipathPolicy | Export-CSV “C:\temp\MultipathPolicyFull.csv”

// This will dump the Multipath Policy into a CSV as it’ll be a tad bit longer with multiple attributes specified!

Get-ScsiLun –Hba [software iSCSI HBA] | Set-ScsiLun –MultipathPolicy “RoundRobin”

// You can use these parameters to change the LUNs from Fixed to RoundRobin

e.g.) Get-ScsiLun –Hba vmhba39 | Set-ScsiLun –MultipathPolicy “RoundRobin”

Get-VMhost | Get-SCSILun | Where {$_.Vendor –EQ “NETAPP”} | Select VMHost, Vendor, MultipathPolicy

// Identify the Netapp LUNs

Get-VMhost | Get-SCSILun | Where {$_.Vendor –EQ “NETAPP”} | Where {$_.MultipathPolicy -EQ "Fixed"} | Select VMHost, Vendor, MultipathPolicy

// Identify the Netapp LUNs which are “Fixed”

Get-VMhost | Get-SCSILun | Where {$_.Vendor –EQ “NETAPP”} | Set-SCSILun –MultipathPolicy “RoundRobin”

// Set the NetApp LUNs to RoundRobin

Get-VMhost | Get-SCSILun | Where {$_.Vendor –EQ “NETAPP”} | Where {$_.MultipathPolicy -EQ "Fixed"} | Set-SCSILun –MultipathPolicy “RoundRobin”

Get-VMHost | Sort Name | Select Name, @{N=”NTP”;E={Get-VMHostNtpServer $_}}

// This will dump NTP Configuration settings

Get-VMHost | Get-View | foreach {$_.Summary.Hardware.OtherIdentifyingInfo[3].IdentifierValue}

// This will dump the Dell Service Tags

Get-VMHost | Get-View | Select Name, @{N=”Service Tag”;E={$_.Summary.Hardware.OtherIdentifyingInfo[3].IdentifierValue}}

// This will dump the Host name and the Dell Service Tag

Get-VMHost | Sort Name | Get-View | Select Name, @{N=”Tag 3”;E={$_.Summary.Hardware.OtherIdentifyingInfo[3].IdentifierValue}}, @{N=”Tag 2”;E={$_.Summary.Hardware.OtherIdentifyingInfo[3].IdentifierValue}}, @{N=”Tag 1”;E={$_.Summary.Hardware.OtherIdentifyingInfo[3].IdentifierValue}}

// This will dump the Host name and the Dell Service Tag values across all 3 identifiers

Get-View -ViewType HostSystem | Sort Name | Select Name,@{N="BIOS version";E={$_.Hardware.BiosInfo.BiosVersion}}, @{N="BIOS date";E={$_.Hardware.BiosInfo.releaseDate}}

// This will dump the hosts BIOS version and date(s)

get-vmhost | Get-VMHostAdvancedConfiguration -Name

// Dump the current SYSLOG Configuration

You may notice that a lot of the Scripts identified in here are very selfishly scripts I’ve personally used… and I’ll tell you… that’s not all that bad ;)   I figure as time goes on, I’ll find other various switches and flags which are important and others ought to check out!  I’m constantly building and adding to this list as there are various scripts I’ll be running on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.   As I start to identify which items fall into the lists I’ll share my experiences with ya’ll here! Enjoy!

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Posted in PowerCLI, virt, Virtualization, vmware, vSphere | Comments (2)

Want to attend #VMworld for Free?!!? vDestination’s contest ends 14 Jun 2013!!!

June 4th, 2013

So, I knew about this contest that Greg Stuart @vDestination was running and I wanted to make sure that YOU knew about it too!

vDestination is sending you to VMworld 2013… for free!!!

Every year since Greg has been doing this, I’ve been telling you about it, and hoping that one of you will win! I mean, ONE of you will win, certainly.. and I want to make sure that as many people get their opportunity for their free pass and all the rest to get there and experience VMworld for themselves!

I’m in the process of writing the 2013 Guide to VMworld as I write this, but you have –10- days to enter and win this contest, so I wasn’t going to let it wait any longer! Get over to and ENTER and hopefully WIN!

Some of you might be asking, “Is anyone else running a contest like this?” Well… a FEW companies were, but they aren’t running it anymore. As in, it’s over.  This may be your last chance.   But also, let it be known… if you’re buying passes for VMworld, Early-Bird discounts are still available and good until June 10th.  So you have 6 days to get $500 off… so if you work for a not-so-cheap-ass company who can send you, get them a discount! :)


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Posted in Free, virt, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld | Comments (0)

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