Automating VMware Workstation LAB

I am often working with quite large test environments. Powering on ESXi hosts with nested VMs can be a pain when you need to get it running quickly.

Here are some of my tricks to automating VMware Workstation

Continue reading Automating VMware Workstation LAB

Nested or Native

Should you buy dedicated hardware or a OP workstation for you next testing environment. If you are not sharing it with others, this might be useful for you.

History

For many years now VMware Workstation has been my secret weapon an daily tool for just about everything in regards to customer remote connections, test environments as so on.

Recently I needed to do some advanced testing with NSX-V and NSX-T. This required a lot more power than what I normally use so I needed to upgrade my testing platform.

The consideration is always with these things. How much are you going to invest, and what are the benefits. For a long time I have been considering buying 4 Intel NUC PC’s for doing these tests, but the problem is that to get a real setup that is flexible you need to invest a lot. Also it is not very flexible as you need to maintain them, and reinstall them everytime you need to play with a newer or older version.

Continue reading Nested or Native

vCenter services not starting after 6.7 Update 3f upgrade

After upgrading a 3 vCenter Enhanced Link Mode environment a customer experienced the following error:

Server is at a higher functional level (1) than partner (<partner vCenter server>)(0) and cannot perform at a lower level.

When checking the domain functional level of each of the three servers, they all state that they are at level 1. The other server are starting like normal.

One server is not starting the vmdir service and it is also that service that is reporting the error. Most of the other services on a vCenter is dependant on this the vmdir.

I do not have a solution as of now. I might have a reason for the issue, and I might have a workaround. VMware is currently trying to figure out how to fix this.

Continue reading vCenter services not starting after 6.7 Update 3f upgrade

ESXi 6.7 PSOD with qfle3 driver version above 1.0.69.1

Had a ESXi PSOD today. That does not happened that often, so I was quite surprised to find out that it was not a hardware related issue that was the root cause.

VMware did an analysis of the memory dump, and it turned out to be a faulty driver. That made sense since the PSOD often comes from drivers og agents when it is not a hardware issue.

The PSOD i got was the following:

#PF Exception 14 in World xxxxxxx:vmnicX-pollw IP xxxxxxxxxx addr xxxxxxxx
Continue reading ESXi 6.7 PSOD with qfle3 driver version above 1.0.69.1

Error: cannot install the vcenter agent service. cannot upload agent after vCSA upgrade

I was just updating a vCenter server and some ESXi hosts, but after running the vCenter update I found vCenter full of HA Agent install fails. To stop this fail loop, I turned off VMware HA while figuring out what was wrong.

Error: cannot install the vcenter agent service. cannot upload agent after vCSA upgrade
Continue reading Error: cannot install the vcenter agent service. cannot upload agent after vCSA upgrade

Update Manager ELX_bootbank_elx-esx-libelxima.so driver conflict

Just provisioned the HPE ESXi 6.7 Update 3 custom OEM image onto some HP DL560 Gen10 servers.

After I updated the servers using update manager and the HPE vibsdepot I ran into problems. Turns out there is a conflict between the VMware provided driver and the HPE provided driver.

The result is that I cannot install all updates to satisfy compliance.

Checking the esxupdate.log file on the ESXi hosts I get the following error:

ValueError: VIBs ELX_bootbank_elx-esx-libelxima.so_12.0.1108.0-03 and ELX_bootbank_elx-esx-libelxima.so_12.0.1108.0-03 have unequal values of the 'payloads' attribute: '[elx-esx-libelxi: 1602.936 KB]' != '[elx-esx-libelxi: 1493.833 KB]'
Continue reading Update Manager ELX_bootbank_elx-esx-libelxima.so driver conflict

How to upgrade to VMware Tools 10.3.10

So VMware released a security advisory (VMSA-2019-0009) about vulnerable VMware Tools.

In short it is recommended to upgrade all VMware Tools to at least version 10.3.10 (Build 10346) which is the newest at the time of writing.

After patching ESXi to the latest build, you might realize that the VMware tools you are left with, after upgrading the tools, in a VM, is 10.3.5 (build 10341) Continue reading How to upgrade to VMware Tools 10.3.10

VMware vCenter Appliance Installer on Ubuntu Linux

I have found that, when working with VMware vSphere, there are many benefits of running Linux on your workstation.

Things like tight integration with SSH, ISO files, API’s, Python are all things that make your life easier not only on Linux, but also when working with VMware.

Continue reading VMware vCenter Appliance Installer on Ubuntu Linux

vSAN – Downgrading NVMe driver in ESXi 6.7 Update 1

Recently ran into a HPE Proliant m510 server running vSAN, where vSAN complained that the controller driver for the NVMe disk where too new.

The health error said that the current driver nvme (1.2.2.17.-1vmw.670.1.28.10302608) was to new and the recommended driver was nvme (1.2.1.34-1vmw.670.0.08169922)

Downgrading is not always a breeze. When going to VMware compatibility guide, the NVMe disk is supported for vSAN 6.7 Update 1, and there are no download links to a specific driver, so how do you get the old driver? Continue reading vSAN – Downgrading NVMe driver in ESXi 6.7 Update 1

VMware PowerCLI on Powershell Core

I recently installed Powershell Core om Ubuntu 18.04, and after installing the PowerCLI module. I ran into an error.

The error is not an uncommon one, but on Windows the error message makes a lot more sense, so I just wanted to let you know what this error actually means.

The error you might get when you try to connect to your vCenter server using the connect-viserver is the following:

Connect-VIServer : 9/27/18 10:41:37 AM	Connect-VIServer		The SSL connection could not be established, see inner exception.	
At line:1 char:1
+ Connect-VIServer <servername>
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Connect-VIServer], ViError
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : Client20_ConnectivityServiceImpl_Reconnect_SoapException,VMware.VimAutomation.ViCore.Cmdlets.Commands.ConnectVIServer

The only hint here is “The SSL connection could not be established…”

This actually means that you do not have a valid certificate. And if you want to connect to vCenter without a valid certificate, you have to allow this.

You can either change you vCenter certificate to a trusted one, which is the correct solutions or you can ignore invalid certificates, which circumvents all security, but makes it work right now.

Set-PowerCLIConfiguration -InvalidCertificateAction:ignore

Please comment if this was helpful.