Showing posts with label VMware. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VMware. Show all posts

Friday, 20 January 2017

Increasing/reducing RAM and CPU capacity of a VM after taking snapshot.

Or, is it possible to increase RAM/CPU capacity of a VM after taking snapshot?
Or, is it possible to reduce RAM/CPU capacity of a VM after taking snapshot?

Descriptions: If wondering whether CPU/RAM capacity of a virtual machine can be increased/reduced or not, the answer is Yes. You can reduce or increase the Memory as well as CPU capacity of a VM even after taking snapshot of the VM.

Logically, when you take snapshot of the Virtual Machine, the CPU and Memory state of the Virtual Machine get preserved. Means, no matter whether you want to increase or decrease the CPU/RAM capacity of the VM, whenever you will revert the snapshot the earlier configurations and status will be restored.

Test Case: When I tested this concept in my lab environment, I found that I am able to change the CPU and RAM configurations (increase or decrease) after taking snapshot of the Virtual Machine. When reverting the snapshot, the original status of the Virtual Machine is enforced.

No, No, No, you can’t increase or decrease drive capacity of any Virtual Machine after taking snapshot. J

Cheers, Please write me back if you have any query or feedback.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Step by step guide for installing ESXi 6.0

Or, How to install VMware ESXi 6.0
Or, Installing VMware ESXi 6.0

Descriptions: Its not a big deal for experienced VMware administrators to install or upgrade ESXi server with any of the installation/upgrade methods but for friends who have just begin learning VMware, they may need to have a look at steps and options available to perform ESXi installation.

Yes, there are many ways of doing it, you can choose to do it with ISO if you have KVM supported on your hardware host, you can do it using VMware Update Manager, you can do it using CD/DVD drive attached with the physical hots etc..

In my scenario, I am using my lab environment to show you what all are the steps are there to complete the ESXi installation.

Steps: (installing ESXi hypervisor).

Boot your server with VMware ESXi 6.0 OS Disk or ISO image (in my case, I have VMware ESXi 6.0 Custom CISCO Installer) > Select the OS and hit Enter > Wait for the progress bar to be completed.

Hit Enter to continue when asked

Press F11 to accept the license terms and continue

Select the Installation storage/local storage and Hit Enter to continue

Select the desired language and hit Enter to continue

Press F11 to start the Installation

Wait for installation to be completed

Upon successful ESXi host installation, you may receive below message. Hit Enter to reboot the server.

After the reboot completion, you should be getting ESXi 6.0 DCUI like below. From this window onward, you can do the ESXi configuration you wish e.g. network, DNS etc configurations.

Cheers, Please write me back if you have any query of feedback on this..

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

VMware converter tool error “The File System On "Datastore1" Does Not Support File This Large. Please Check the File System Block Size.”

Or, P2V conversion error “the file system on datastore1 does not support file this large. please check the file system block size.”

Descriptions: This error was encountered while performing P2V conversion of a Physical server containing large storage capacity (more than 6-7 TB of drive capacity).

The error screenshot (how it looks like):

Possible reasons of this error:
1. One of the volume size on this server is more than 2TB (Here I am referring to whole Volume Size of one of the RAID volume configured in this server on hardware level).

Example:  It’s possible that one of the RAID volume on your physical server is having 4TB of total capacity. This 3TB RAID volume may have multiple logical disk partitions inside the OS e.g. D, E, F etc…).

2. The VMware Converter tool you are using is not the latest one as per your VMware vSphere Infra.

1. Use latest version of VMware Converter tool.
2. Instead of default option, use Advance Feature of Data Copy Type Selection
3. Use only occupied disk conversion method selection. To do this, you can edit data copy option (shown in error screenshot) and choose only occupied disk. Don’t be afraid, you can easily increase the partitions size once this physical machine is converted in Virtual Machine.

Cheers, if you have any query or feedback, please write me back...

VM shutdown when performing snapshot restore in VMware vSphere.

Or, VM shutdown automatically when restoring to previous snapshot restore point.

Descriptions: This not an error… Its normal behaviour of Virtual Machine snapshot restoration feature. Depending upon the state when the snapshot was taken, virtual machine will go to that state while performing the snapshot restore.

Example-1: If the Virtual Machine is Powered On and you have taken a snapshot in this state, this is not going to reboot or shutdown the VM when you perform the Revert Snapshot task from Snapshot manager.

Example-2: If you the Virtual Machine is Powered Off and you have taken a snapshot in this state, this is going to shutdown the Virtual Machine when you perform the Revert Snapshot task from snapshot manager.

Note: No worries, in both conditions you should be able to get your VM up and running. If the VM get powered off while performing the snapshot restore, you can just power it on soon after the snapshot restore operation is completed successfully.

Cheers, If you have any query of feedback on this, please write me back..

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Understanding, Zeroing, Lazy Zeroed, Eager Zeroed, and Thin Provision concepts in VMware vSphere.

Or, VMware Disk Provisioning Concepts about Lazy Zeroed, Eager Zeroed and Thin Provision.
Or, Lazy Zero Vs Eager Zero Disk Provisioning.
Or, Difference between Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed, Thick Provision Eager Zeroed, and Thin Provision Disk Provisioning.

Before the VM can actually use the allocated drive space, there are some operations that take place on ESXi host level. When you allocate a disk space from your Datastore, Datastore also maintain itself to allocate that amount of Disk space with clean/formatted sectors.

This disk sectors cleaning process is basically referred as Zeroing term. As you do disk formatting at Guest level to make it ready to use, the same task is performed by ESXi Host at Datastore level when you add any partition/disk to a VM from any Datastore.

Thin Provisioned Disk: Allocate and zeroed on first write. When you create a disk with thin provisioning method, it only writes a small amount of metadata to the Datastore where it resides. When the write operation is performed, vSphere first updates the allocation metadata of the VMDK, then zeros out the blocks, lastly it writes the data. Thin provisioned VMDKs have the lowest performance logically at some points.

Once the Zeroing is completed for allocated disk blocks, almost all disk types performs equally.

Thick Provisioned Lazy Zeroed Disk: Allocate in advance and zero on first write. Do nothing to empty blocks, it zeros all the blocks at first access... Provisioning of this disk type is little faster than other disk type. Performance of this disk type is slower than Eager Zeroed Disk type and it is not supported for clustering.

Example: If you have 10GB disk size and having only 5GB data in it, then 5GB will be zeroed at first access, rest 5GB will be left.

Thick Provisioned Eager Zeroed Disk: Allocate and zero in advance. Writes 0 to empty blocks. Write is performed on whole allocated disk.  Means, its pre-zeroing all the blocks on the disk. Performance of this disk type is better than all others but provisioning time may take little longer than other disk types. 
It also supports clustering features.

Example: If you have 10GB disk size and have only 5GB Data in it, then 5GB will be used and rest 5GB will be written with 0. No further Zeroing is required while any write operations.

Cheers, Please write me back if you have any query or feedback on this..

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Understanding Thick Provisioning and Thin Provisioning in VMware

Or, Difference between Thick Provisioning and Thin Provisioning in VMware
Or, How Think Provisioning and Thin Provisioning works in VMware

Descriptions: Thin Provisioning disk allocation method in VMware vSphere is one of the cool feature to use your storage to a limit beyond the storage capacity limit… There are some pros and cons of each provisioning method whether it is Thick or Thin but it’s all depends on your requirement and criticality of servers and how you want to use it.

e.g. For database servers, I rarely think of allocating Thin Provisioned Disk. Because, Database log files and even Database can increase anytime drastically and if you don’t have enough free space on the respective Datastore, This VM will go in Answer mode (its equal to down till the time you fix it).

Thick Provisioning: This provisioning refer to disk provisioning method where all the allocated disk space is occupied by the Virtual Machine.

Example: When you allocate 40GB drive space to a Virtual Machine with thick provisioning method, it reserves all 40GB allocated disk space from your Datastore. Even if the VM is having 10GB of data inside that drive, it will take complete 40GB space from the associated Datastore. There are further two type of thick provisioning, Lazy Zeroed and Eager Zeroed.

Thin Provisioning: This provisioning method refers to disk provisioning method where only used space is occupied by the Virtual Machine.

Example: When you allocate 40GB drive space to a virtual machine with thin provisioning, it does not reserve the complete 40GB allocated disk space from your Datastore. If your VM is using only 10GB of out of 40GB allocated drive space, then thin provisioning helps remaining free 20GB disk space to be released from that particular VM. Means, no matter how much drive space you have allocated for your VM, it will utilize only what it required.

You can try it by assigning 40GB drive space with Thin Provisioning method to any VM even if you have 30GB of drive space free in your Datastore. It will allow you to do so.

Reference screenshot-1: I have 20GB free space in Datastore and adding a Disk with 40GB capacity to my Test-VM-1 with Thick Provisioning Method.

If you will dare to go with this option, you are going to end up with below error.

Reference Screenshot-2: I have 20GB free space in Datastore and adding a Disk with 40GB capacity to my Test-VM-1 with Thin Provisioning Method.

 Cheers, please write me back if you have any query or feedback on this…

Saturday, 14 January 2017

How Limit, Shares and Reservation works in VMware?

Or, Understanding Limit, Reservation and Shares in VMware.
Or, How to use VMware Virtual Machine’s resources features Limit, Shares and Reservations

Descriptions: For small VMware Infrastructure, these features may not be so important to consider but in large scale VMware Infrastructures these features play very crucial roles in managing different type of Servers and applications depending on their nature criticality and availability commitments.

Virtualization is a platform where we forget about most of limitations that exist at hardware level, but it means not that we should forget about limitations of Virtualization.

In Virtualization, we over provision the resources being it CPU or RAM and just to keep your critical applications and servers safe from over provisioning caused contention scenarios, these features of resources allocation come in to the picture.

Let’s see this example below:

In the above, example you have One ESXi Server, with 40 Logical CPUs after enabling HT on the Physical CPU and you have 20 Virtual Machines each having 4 vCPUs allocated. So, now if you will calculate the total allocation of vCPUs, its 20*4=80. Imagine, you have only 40 logical CPUs at ESXi Host level but you have allocated just double number of vCPUs to your Virtual Machines.

Its real that, all of these Virtual Machines will work well as per the Virtualization concept, but the Situation will be just opposite if in case at any point of time, all VMs demand their complete allocations. ESXi host going to be dead due to contentions.. J

So, here my friends you still have a chance to keep your CRITICAL VMs alive if this situation occurs in your environment. Yes, you are right... You have to use the Reservation, Shares and Limit features here…

Let’s see how…….

Limit: Limit means Limit...that a Virtual Machine can be entitled for. You can define limit at both CPU or Memory level. Memory limit defines the maximum capacity of physical memory that a Virtual Machine can use. Same way, CPU limits defines the maximum capacity of CPU can be used by a VM.

Memory Limit: Be careful while settings up memory limit as setting it up wrongly may drastically decrease the performance of the Virtual Machine.

Example: If you have allocated 8GB RAM to a VM, and have set the limit of 4GB, this VM is going to give you very slow performance as it will not be able to get required resources when in need.  Inside Guest OS, its 8GB RAM but on top of it its only 4GB what ESXi will allow this VM to use.
Now, this VM will create ballooning and multiple vMotions among available hosts.

CPU Limit: Likewise, RAM limit, CPU limits also limits the CPU resources that a VM can use. Even if the Resources are available on the base ESXi host, the Virtual Machines sets with certain limits can’t go beyond the defined limit for them. In some cases, its useful but in most of the cases ESXi is intelligent enough to manage how much resources should be given to which VMs.

You can use this method more practically on Development of Test Servers where you may need to assign more CPU account to a VM but can limit the usage of allocated CPUs when work test/development is done.

Share: By default, Shares are equally distributed among Virtual Machines. The reason shares are equally distributed is, VMware does not know which Virtual Machine is important for you. So, it treated all your Virtual Machines equally important.. J
Shares defines, which Virtual Machine is going to have priority to be kept alive with enough resource allocation in any kind of contentions in VMware Infrastructure.

Example: If you have two VMs (VM-1 and VM-2) and both having shares value 1000, means the ESXi host will allow both of them to use 50% of available resources in case of any contention.
If there is no contention and no VMs are struggling for resources, no shares will come in to the picture. Shares are to prioritize the VMs resources availability in case of resources crunch.

Let’s see the below calculations, how shares will work in case of contentions if two VMs are struggling for resources on the same ESXi Host.

Reservations: Reservation defines the amount of resources that remains reserved forever for the Virtual Machine. This is majorly used in most CRITICAL VMs where you can’t compromise to slow down the performance of the Virtual Machine in any case.

Reservation helps a VM to reserve the specified amount or resources whether it’s being used or not. Even if contention situation pop-ups, the Virtual Machine will be having its reserved resources.

Example: If you have a VM with 8GB memory and you have set the reservation of 4GB, This VM will reserve 4GB memory always. When contention occurs, this VM will have at least 4GB of memory to ensure the applications in this server are having enough compute to perform well.

If there is no contention and this VM requires 8GB of memory, it can use it. Because, the allocated memory size of the Virtual Machine is 8GB.

Cheers, please write me back if you have any query or feedback on this...

VMware vSphere Comparisons 5.5 vs 6.0 vs 6.5 vs 6.7 at one place

Or, What all are the major capacity supporting changes or enhancements across VMware vSphere 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, and 6.7.
Or, Major maximums differences of VMware vSphere 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, and 6.7

Descriptions: As the new release 6.7 of VMware vSphere is out in the market, it’s important for you to check out what all are the major capacity support enhancements or changes are done in this release before you think of upgrading your current ESXi Infra to any of the next releases.

In this article, I will take through some major difference within vSphere version 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, and 6.7. This article is focused on checking out capacity enhancement/maximums and not covering other enhancements and features which may be ESXi OS level, Graphics or etc... I tried consolidating some data points from all datasheets of vSphere Maximums which really effects each level of VM Infra.

Here are the comparisons

Updated: 02/05/2017
There may be some further maximum and minimum supported capacity of ESXi hosts and other VMware components. To know more in-depth and explore all possible segregation of supported capacity limits, please refer the below VMware KB:

Updated: 02/01/2019
Added vSphere 6.7 in the list of comparison.

Cheers, please write me back if you have any query or feedback on this…

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Understanding and performing P2V or V2V Conversion in VMware?

Or, How to convert a Physical Machine to a Virtual Machine?
Or, How to do V2V or P2V migration of a Virtual Machine?

Descriptions: One of the best loving feature of VMware is, converting Physical Machine to a Virtual Machine or Converting Virtual Machine to Virtual Machine (V2V migration required rarely in some tricky situation). I mentioned it here because, you should not be surprised when someone asks “Can you do V2V conversion?” ….

Scenario-1: (P2V): It is required when you are going to convert your physical server in to a Virtual Machine due to business requirements (may be you don’t have much memory available on the physical box and want to allocate more memory capacity to the server to full fill the application’s demand for better performance, etc…). In this situation you simply convert your physical machine to a Virtual Machine and add resources as much as you can (subjected to maximum supported capacity by the OS and availability of resources on the ESXi host). No need to worry of a long procurement process of additional hardware capacity… 

Scenario-2: (V2V): Guys this is something you are going to says, hmmmm…. See, decreasing Drive Capacity of a Virtual Machine is not supported by VMware. Means, if you have allocated 500GB disk space to a VM’s drive D:\, you can’t decrease it to 200GB latter... Off course, if you want to increase the drive’s capacity from 500GB to 600GB, its 4-5 clicks of job...

This is where the V2V trick works like charm. Yes, by using V2V conversion method you can decrease the Drive capacity of a Virtual Machine. It’s easy but needs downtime.
All the steps for performing V2V will be almost same like P2V. Here in V2V, you need to select the Powered On Virtual Machine option instead of Local Machine.

See Also:

Steps: P2V conversion in VMware

Install VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client on your Physical Machine which to be converted to a Virtual Machine.

Open Console of VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client.

Go to File > New > Convert Machine

Select Source Type: Powered-on Machine > Check on This Local Machine (means your local physical machine to be converted to a VM) > Click Next

Now as shown in below screenshot, select Destination Type: VMware Infrastructure Virtual Machine > Fill required credentials and IP of your ESXi Host Server > Server- ESXi server IP > User Name- ESXi Server User Name (root) > Password- ESXi server root password > Click Next...

Click on Ignore to ignore certificate warning message > Click Next

Verify if the Source and Destination are correct > Hit Next

Select desired Datastore and Virtual Machine Version > Hit Next

If no errors on this page hit Next to Continue….

Click Next….

Click Finish….

P2V Conversion will start now…and the screen will appear like this (as highlighted below).

Wait till the time this P2V Conversion process is completed successfully. 

Please Note, it may take longer depending on your physical machine storage and data size. Once its completed, you can shutdown your physical machine and power on the Virtual Machine.

Wohoo, enjoy the virtualization now...

Cheers, If you have any query or feedback on this, please write me back..

VMware tool Installation Error 2203 on windows server 2008 R2

Or, VMware tools installation failed with ‘internal error 2203’.
Or, Error 2203 while installing VMware tool, Installation Error 2203.

Descriptions: If you have tried too many random KBs and still struggling with this small issue, you must give a try to the solution explained in this KB.

In my case, the cause of the problem was, Program Files directory’s permission was not inherited to its parent folder and the current user I am logged in with is not having any permission on ‘VMware Tool’ folder.

Steps: workaround to get rid of this error.
1. Navigate to C:\Program Files\VMware
2. Assign Full Permission to Everyone on "VMware Tool" folder or assign Full Permission 3. to the current user with which you are logged in on the windows machine.
4. Assign Full Permission to Everyone on "Windows\Temp" folder.
5. Once the above trick steps completed, take a reboot of the machine and then you can proceed to initiate the VMware Tool Installation again.

Cheers. Please write me back if you have any query of feedback..

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Installing vCenter Server 6.0 on Windows Server with embedded Platform Services Controller

Or, How to install vCenter Server 6.0 on windows server 2012 R2?
Or, vCenter Server 6.0 installations guide step by step….

Descriptions: In this article we are going to see, how we can install vCenter Server 6.0 on windows server operating system platform including embedded platform service controller. If you have larger infrastructure of Virtual Servers, you can think to have separate platform service controller but if you have 50-100 or 200 VMs approx, its good to go with single vCenter server with inbuilt platform service controller.

Steps: (Installing vCenter Server 6.0)

Open the vCenter Installer > Right Click on the Autorun Application > Run As Administrator > Click OK if prompted

Select vCenter Server for Windows > Click on Install

Click Next

Accept the license agreement > Click Next

Select vCenter Server and Embedded Platform Services Controller > Click Next

On this screen, make sure the System name is appearing as local machine’s FQDN > Click Next

Select Create a new vCenter Single Sign-on domain > fill the all required fields as per your environment > Click Next

Better to go with option Specify a user service account > Use any privileged account as per your requirement > Make sure the user account you are using here is member of local admin group on the local system > Click Next

Click Use an Embedded Database or if you want to use any external database, it’s your choice..., I am going with default

Leave all field to default and Click Next

Choose the Installation directory or leave it to default and Click Next

Click Next

Click Install

Wait for Installation to be completed……

Click Finish to close the installation Wizard

To verify of the installation is done correctly, you can use vSphere client to login to your vCenter Server..

For the first time login, you can use following details to connect your vCenter server:
IP/Host Name:  Your vCenter server IP
User Name:        administrator@vsphere.local
Password:           the password you gave while installation of vCenter server.

After successful logon, this is how it will look like..

Cheers, have a happy virtualization… Please write me back for any query or feedback….

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

VMware vSphere Client Login Error (The type initializer for ‘VirtualInfrastructure.Utils.ClientsXml’ threw and exception).

Or, getting error while login in vSphere Client (The type initializer for ‘VirtualInfrastructure.Utils.ClientsXml’ threw and exception).

Error Message Screenshot (How it looks like):

Solution/Workaround (Worked for me):

1. Reinstall vSphere Client
2. Recreate your Windows User Profile.

Updated: 08/03/2017

See AlsoHow to delete windows users profile?


Friday, 30 December 2016

Creating and configuring new VLANs in CISCO UCS Blade chassis and associating to VMware vSphere Port Groups.

Or, How to create and configure new VLANs in CISCO UCS Blade Chassis?
Or, How to create new VLAN and Virtual Network Port Group in VMware vSphere?

Descriptions:  This article will guide you to create and configure new VLANs in CISCO UCS Blade Chassis and associating that to VMWare vSphere port groups. Here you have two choices, either you can use the newly created VLAN ID details in CISCO UCS with any of the exiting VMware vSphere Port Groups or You can choose to create new Virtual Network Port Group VMware vSphere to associate newly created VLANs ID details.

Scenario:  We are running with a requirement to create a Seprate VLAN for IT Infra Servers. To achieve this requirement, we have to first create and configure the VLAN details in CISCO UCS Blade Chassis and after that we have to associate this VLAN details with newly created VMware Port Group which is created specifically for IT Infra Servers.

You must have a VLAN ID, VLAN subnet details, and VLAN Name already decided.
Make sure the VLAN is fully functional at switch level (check and confirm with your network team).
Admin rights or equivalent appropriate rights on CISCO UCS Infra and VMware Infra.

Steps (Configuring new VLANs in CISCO UCS Blade Chassis):

Login to CISCO UCS Blade Chassis using administrative credentials.

Navigate to LAN > VLANs > Right Click on VLANs > Click in Create VLANs

Give a suitable VLAN Name > Fill the VLAN ID number you received from your network Team > Click OK to save the changes

Now go to VLAN Groups > Select your VLAN Group > Click on Edit VLAN Group Members

Enable Check Mark on VLAN Name you had created in last step > Click Next > Click on Finish

Now, Go to Servers tab > Service Profiles > Select the Service Profile for any Blade Servers > Go to vNICs > Modify VLANs > Enable Check mark on the VLAN Name you created already > Click OK

Note: You have to repeat this step for All Service Profiles and each vNICs associated with these Service Profiles.

Steps (Creating Virtual Network Port Group in VMware vSphere):

Login to VMware vSphere Client with administrative access

Choose the ESXi Host > Go to Configuration tab > Networking > Properties

Click on Add

Select Virtual Machine > Click Next

Provide the suitable Network Label > Fill in the VLAN ID Click Next

Click Finish to close the wizard

Cheers, please write me back if you have any query or feedback on this.