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Intel-AMD

Suppressing CPU compatibility checks in vSphere 5.x

I have been meaning to post this information for ages, and fortunately after replying to a question in the VMware communities Andreas Peetz picked up on this and wrote a comprehensive article about these advanced settings, crucially explaining when to use them and why not to use them in production - thanks Andreas, excellent information! So to save duplicating this, I have posted the summary here and if you want to read the full article, then head over to Andreas's post - How to vMotion from Intel to AMD - and why not to do it. Ok, these are vCenter advanced settings using the vSphere Client and give you some options of suppressing the CPU compatibility checks in vSphere 5.x when performing a vMotion operation. Administration --> vCenter Server Settings --> Advanced Settings Here is the sledgehammer … [Continue Reading]

VMXNET3-Overview

How can I be connected at 10Gb when I only have 1Gb adapters in my hosts?

In this scenario you have an ESXi host with 1Gb physical adapters, and a virtual machine with the guest network speed showing connected at 10Gbps. The host configuration looks like this; But the guest VM shows this; This is rather confusing at first, especially considering that you don't have any 10Gb interfaces in your hosts. So how is this possible? If you think about the virtual networking and how this VM is connected, then it makes perfect sense. The VM has a VMXNET3 adapter (see KB1001805 for adapter types) with the VM Tools installed and is connected to a virtual switch and since both of these components understand 10Gb so it's expected behaviour. The same would apply in a scenario with physical servers, you would see the speed that your server is connected to the physical switch. I always find it easier to understand with visuals … [Continue Reading]

vmax

Creating custom SATP claimrules for EMC Symmetrix

As part of my migration work to EMC storage I need to create a custom SATP rule on each of my vSphere 5.0 hosts. The two obvious options are using ESXCLI from a SSH session to each host, or using PowerShell where ESXCLI is exposed using the Get-EsxCli cmdlet. The PowerShell option suits me better as I can add this claimrule to all my hosts in one go. These are the two options; Using ESXCLI via SSH; For the PowerShell method, make sure you check out the ESXCLI syntax; Refer to the vSphere documentation for ESXCLI options, and Robert van den Nieuwendijk blog for the ESXCLI syntax; #$esxcli.storage.nmp.satp.rule.add(boolean boot, string claimoption, string description, string device, string driver, boolean force, string model, string option, string psp, string pspoption, string satp, string transport, string type, string vendor) Using … [Continue Reading]

Annotations

Work Smart, not Hard – Automate Custom Attributes

I'm not sure how widely vCenter custom attributes are used in general, but I certainly find them useful for a summary of important information in a single view (the VM summary tab). The only problem with using additional annotations, is that the data only becomes useful if it is maintained and can be relied upon. So with this in mind I am setting out to create a series of workflows which will automatically populate these values without any manual intervention. From the custom attributes that I use there are two sources of information (vCenter and a MSSQL database). This post will cover the vCenter data, and a future one will cover the SQL data. Since I use fully automated HA/DRS clusters including storage DRS I want to know (from the summary tab) which datastore the VM is located on. Yes, I know which cluster it's on but I cant see the actual … [Continue Reading]

vmax

Creating custom SATP claimrules for EMC Symmetrix

As part of my migration work to EMC storage I need to create a custom SATP rule on each of my vSphere 5.0 hosts. The two obvious options are using ESXCLI from a SSH session to each host, or using PowerShell where ESXCLI is exposed using the Get-EsxCli cmdlet. The PowerShell option suits me better as I can add this claimrule to all my hosts in one go. These are the two options; Using ESXCLI via SSH; For the PowerShell method, make sure you check out the ESXCLI syntax; Refer to the vSphere documentation for ESXCLI options, and Robert van den Nieuwendijk blog for the ESXCLI syntax; #$esxcli.storage.nmp.satp.rule.add(boolean boot, string claimoption, string description, string device, string driver, boolean force, string model, string option, string psp, string pspoption, string satp, string transport, string type, string vendor) Using … [Continue Reading]

Trainsignal

VMware vSphere Optimize and Scale (VCAP5-DCA)

I have been keen to do the VMware vSphere Optimize and Scale (VCAP5-DCA) course for a while now, but since I pay for all my own training myself I've been waiting for someone to offer it at a reasonable price before parting with a few thousand pounds. Well, at last, that time has finally come because Trainsignal now offer a fantastic monthly price for all there course and have also recently added the VMware vSphere Optimize and Scale (VCAP5-DCA) course to their portfolio. This is the first Trainsignal course that I have taken, and am thoroughly enjoying the delivery method and content. If you're feeling generous and would like to give me some free credits towards my own subscription, then please sign up using this custom link - thanks! … [Continue Reading]

VMnews

VMnews – why didn’t I think of that?

I have only recently come across http://www.vmnews.co.uk/, and think that the concept is awesome. The presentation both simple and elegant - the perfect mix in my opinion. I really like the fact that you get a clear overview from many sources and can very quickly pick out the relevant articles that you're interested in - this is the future! If you haven't already seen it, then head over to VMnews for the full user experience. … [Continue Reading]

Recent Posts

intel-xeon-e5-2600-v2-jm

Intel microcode issue affecting E5-2600 v2 series processors

We recently experienced a number of recurring, unexpected restarts of guest VM’s, all Windows 2008 R2 servers running MSSQL Server 2008. These VM's were all hosted on ESXi 5.0.0 build-1489271 (update 3). All hosts in the cluster are relatively new HP DL380p Gen 8 servers, with two Intel Xeon E5-2667 v2 processors @3.3GHz. My first thoughts were that it was something to do with the MSSQL Server 2008 as these were the only guest VM's affected. I used the Windows debugging tools (including the correct symbols) to analyse the kernel dumps, and in all cases the probable cause was memory … [Continue Reading]

vmax

Creating custom SATP claimrules for EMC Symmetrix

As part of my migration work to EMC storage I need to create a custom SATP rule on each of my vSphere 5.0 hosts. The two obvious options are using ESXCLI from a SSH session to each host, or using PowerShell where ESXCLI is exposed using the Get-EsxCli cmdlet. The PowerShell option suits me better as I can add this claimrule to all my hosts in one go. These are the two options; Using ESXCLI via SSH; For the PowerShell method, make sure you check out the ESXCLI syntax; Refer to the vSphere documentation for ESXCLI options, and Robert van den Nieuwendijk blog for the ESXCLI … [Continue Reading]

EMC_SYMM_VMAX_40K_NMP_RR_IOPS_1

EMC Symmetrix VMAX 40K testing on vSphere 5.0

We are in the process of migrating from HDS to EMC storage and I have been testing our Symmetrix VMAX 40K on vSphere 5.0. This has been an interesting journey and has highlighted that although similar concepts (ie. block storage with FC connectivity), storage arrays differ and need careful implementation if you want to get the best performance from your infrastructure. This post will cover my testing with this specific storage array and hopefully prompt some feedback on other implementations. Perhaps it will help identify any obvious areas that I have missed and need to address? Either way, … [Continue Reading]

Network-Time-Icon

Update NTP configuration on multiple ESXi 5.0 hosts

We recently upgraded our NTP infrastructure and I had to reconfigure 46x ESXi 5.0 hosts to reflect this change. I'm not keen on doing these types of operations manually so I wrote this script to automate the process. I'm sure there are definitely more elegant scripts available, but this one works perfectly well. Just change the highlighted rows to reflect your own environment;   PowerShell Script; … [Continue Reading]

RVTools 3.6 (February, 2014)

RVTools Version 3.6, FREE download

RVTools has been publicly available since 2008, and the latest version is now available for FREE download - thanks Rob de Veij, awesome work! Version 3.6 (February, 2014) New tabpage with cluster information New tabpage with multipath information On vInfo tabpage new fields HA Isolation response and HA restart priority On vInfo tabpage new fields Cluster affinity rule information On vInfo tabpage new fields connection state and suspend time On vInfo tabpage new field The vSphere HA protection state for a virtual machine (DAS Protection) On vInfo tabpage new field quest … [Continue Reading]

PSOD-LINT1-full

PSOD : LINT1 motherboard interrupt

I had a Dell R815 host crash yesterday, with the following PSOD error message; The system has found a problem on your machine and cannot continue. LINT1 motherboard interrupt. This is a hardware problem; please contact your hardware vendor. When I checked the system logs on the iDRAC, I could see a bus fatal error logged; I ran the integrated hardware diagnostics using the system services on boot (F10) which confirmed these errors, but only because it read the system logs. I find this really annoying because if I had cleared the event logs prior to running the hardware diagnostics no … [Continue Reading]

Trainsignal

VMware vSphere Optimize and Scale (VCAP5-DCA)

I have been keen to do the VMware vSphere Optimize and Scale (VCAP5-DCA) course for a while now, but since I pay for all my own training myself I've been waiting for someone to offer it at a reasonable price before parting with a few thousand pounds. Well, at last, that time has finally come because Trainsignal now offer a fantastic monthly price for all there course and have also recently added the VMware vSphere Optimize and Scale (VCAP5-DCA) course to their portfolio. This is the first Trainsignal course that I have taken, and am thoroughly enjoying the delivery method and content. If … [Continue Reading]

DELL-VC-PLUGIN

Dell VC Plugin – iDRAC Queued Jobs

I've been doing some standard maintenance on my Dell R815 hosts (upgrading BIOS, firmware, drivers etc.) and ran into some difficulty with one particular server. I use the Dell Management Plugin for VMware vCenter to carry out these operations, and besides being slow it works well. I simply run the firmware upgrade wizard which stages the current versions to the iDRAC and schedules the deployment job to execute on boot using UEFI system services. The process automatically enters the host into maintenance mode and reboots to start the UEFI jobs. On this particular server, the job failed and I … [Continue Reading]

Annotations

Work Smart, not Hard – Automate Custom Attributes

I'm not sure how widely vCenter custom attributes are used in general, but I certainly find them useful for a summary of important information in a single view (the VM summary tab). The only problem with using additional annotations, is that the data only becomes useful if it is maintained and can be relied upon. So with this in mind I am setting out to create a series of workflows which will automatically populate these values without any manual intervention. From the custom attributes that I use there are two sources of information (vCenter and a MSSQL database). This post will cover the … [Continue Reading]

PSOD-R815

FIX : PSOD on hosts with AMD Opteron 62xx series processors

If you're running ESX/ESXi on either HP or Dell hosts with AMD Opteron 62xx series processors and were affected by the PSOD issue, then you will be happy to know that both vendors have now released BIOS updates to address this. My understanding is that this was actually a problem with the AMD microcode rather than a VMware, HP or Dell issue. I was affected by this using Dell PowerEdge R815 servers immediately after upgrading the BIOS on my hosts from a mix of version 2.8.2 and version 2.9.0 to version 3.0.4. The workaround up till now was to downgrade the BIOS version on all hosts back to … [Continue Reading]

VMnews

VMnews – why didn’t I think of that?

I have only recently come across http://www.vmnews.co.uk/, and think that the concept is awesome. The presentation both simple and elegant - the perfect mix in my opinion. I really like the fact that you get a clear overview from many sources and can very quickly pick out the relevant articles that you're interested in - this is the future! If you haven't already seen it, then head over to VMnews for the full user experience. … [Continue Reading]

SuperPi

Why are my new servers so much slower than the old ones?

I had a support call today where I was asked to have a look at some servers to find out why they seemed so much slower than the existing ones. With not much detail to go on I first looked at some basic metrics; The first thing that stands out is that the new server is from a different hardware vendor, but a higher spec, later generation system - so what could be wrong? I decided to have a look in the BIOS first to see if there were any obvious misconfigurations, and noticed that the power management settings were not set to "Maximum Performance" and that the C1E state was enabled. Before … [Continue Reading]