Storage Optimization for VMware vSphere

This is meant as a dynamic article for looking up best practice settings for different storage arrays when adding them to VMware.

Why modify the default settings?

When datastores are added to an ESXi host, there are multiple ways that ESXi can leverage the storage. In some cases ESXi will use Most Recently Used path (Active/Standby or MRU) by default, which means that you only leverage one path at the time. This could result in a bottleneck in your storage infrastructure. Many arrays are able to handle Round Robin (Multi path Active/Active or RR) By enabling this will distribute your storage traffic onto multiple adapters, provided that you have multiple adapters.

Other settings can involve how many I/O ESXi should send to a path before switching to another path, or advanced settings that alters the way ESXi handles the storage.

Getting these settings correct will most often result in better performance, but can also help you stay out of trouble that can lead to breakdowns. Continue reading Storage Optimization for VMware vSphere

Assigning vCenter tags using vRealize Orchestrator

Today I needed to assign some vCenter tags to some VMs I was deploying using vRealize Automation.

The scenario was that the customer did not want backup of VMs deployed by the vRA test environment, and in production they wanted a specific backup tier.

They are using Veeam backup, so the vRA test environment needed to have a NoBackup Tag, and production needed some other tag, depending on the type of server being deployed.

vRO does not provide very extensive support for these operations out of the box, but vRO 7.2 does come with some sample workflows.

To get started with vCenter tagging you need to configure a vAPI endpoint and a vAPI metamodel.

Continue reading Assigning vCenter tags using vRealize Orchestrator

Cross SSO and vCenter VMotion using PowerCLI

Roman Decker wrote an article about how to move virtual machine between vCenters that are not part of the same SSO domain, using PowerCLI.

Continue reading Cross SSO and vCenter VMotion using PowerCLI

VMware ESXi Update on IBM Servers fail

I ran into an error the other day, when updating an IBM based vSphere 6.0 environment using Update Manager, and I want to share my solution with you and myself, so I do not need to find it the next time I run into it.

ERROR: The host returns esxupdate error code:15. The package manager transactions is not successful. Check the update Manager log files and esxupdate.log files for more details.

Continue reading VMware ESXi Update on IBM Servers fail

Should you enable Network health check for your Distributed Virtual Switches

Network health check is a very useful feature that was introduced with vSphere 5.1 vDS.

What does it do?

The purpose is to test if the VLANs, MTU and Load Balancing settings you defined are actually working. The old way of doing this would be to disconnect all port except one, by either doing a shutdown on the switch port, or pulling out the cable, and then testing, with a VM, if every VLAN still works. This can be a very lengthy process if you have many adapters, but also a necessary step if you want a stable environment.

If you want to know more about how it check the different settings, Joseph Griffiths did a good article on this you can read here:

So why would you ever disable this feature?

Well the health check feature generates a lot of mac table entries as explained in VMware KB 2034795.

An example given is that you have 35 Hosts with 2 Network Adapters each, and 60 VLANs. This will generate (35 * 2 * 60) 4200 mac table entries in your physical switches. And as you can see, this quickly increases. Some switches only has room for 32.000 records or less. Continue reading Should you enable Network health check for your Distributed Virtual Switches

Automating Windows Update

Tired of having to update all your servers manually, or with Microsoft WSUS, but without control?

Are you tired of wasting 1-2 hours, every time you deploy a template, for it to install all the latest patches?

Why not automate it the easy way?

Continue reading Automating Windows Update

Free IPAM solution – 3. Enabling REST

Today we will look at how to enable REST on phpIPAM. This is an essential part when integrating with vRealize Orchestrator, since REST is an excellent interface for automation.

REST might scare you at first, but don’t loose faith, you will soon enough begin to like it, when you vRealize the power it brings.

Continue reading Free IPAM solution – 3. Enabling REST