Improving vSphere Web Client Performance

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With the release of the (now maturing) VMware vSphere 5.5 release, more and more operations (but not all - yet) are being migrated to the vSphere Web Client. Functionality of the vSphere 5.1 features are all fully available in the vSphere 5.5 .Net Windows client (the traditional client) along with Site Recovery Manager and Update Manager administration functions, but any and new vSphere 5.5 features are now only available via the web client. Lots is made of the performance of the web client, and having used it on my home lab and now in Production environments, I can see why some users report on there being some perceived performance lag in the web client compared to the Windows client (population of menus, general navigation etc). … [Read more...]

vCloud Director 5.1 to 5.5 Cell Upgrade ‘cpio: chown failed’

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Upgrading my lab environment from vCloud Director v5.1 to v5.5, I came across an interesting error whilst upgrading the cells. My lab has the following vCD configuration: 2 x RHEL 6.2 Cells 1 x RHEL 6.2 NFS Server 2 x vShield load balancer instances 1 x Windows 2008 R2 DB server running SQL Server 2005 The upgrade process was: Quiesce the cell using the Cell Management Tool commands. (Upgrade Guide) Upload the vCD .BIN file to the /install directory of the cell (using WinSCP or similar). Change the execution parameters for the vCD .BIN file. (Upgrade Guide) Running the installation .BIN file. (Upgrade Guide) Confirm the existing v5.1 cell instance can be upgraded. This is where the interesting error came in. The … [Read more...]

Force Removal of Licensed vCenter Products

Once in a while, you need to remove or update licensing in vCenter to account for products that have been registered or interact with vCenter Server. Unfortunately in some cases you need to force unregister products for vCenter Server - say if a product was registered and then deleted without being unregistered, or if an evaluation period has expired but the Evaluation version is still present in vCenter. The solution is simple if not at first immediately obvious. Follow this process to force unregister a prodult from vCenter: Login to vSphere Client. Home > Licensing. Switch to View by: 'Asset'. Right-click the asset or evaluation you want to remove. Select the bottom option: 'Remove Asset'. Accept the warning … [Read more...]

Windows VM Keyboard Layout in Fusion

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After I rebuilt my Windows 7 VM in Fusion some months ago, I never quite got around to sorting out the keyboard layout. Having changed job roles recently, I'm now using my Windows VM a lot more and the keyboard layout is becoming a PITA! Specifically, having the @ and " keys the wrong way round can cause plenty of authentication and email sending problems. It's pretty easy to sort out though. You can either: Go download the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator and build your own layout to install. Install the Boot Camp drivers into your VM. Rather than reinvent the wheel (option 1), this is how to get up and running with option 2... Assuming you're running OSX Lion or Mountain Lion, fire up the Boot Camp Assistant.¬†Continue … [Read more...]

Troubleshooting vCloud Automation Center Endpoints and vCloud Director 5.1

BACKGROUND Note: For this troubleshooting article, I'm using vCloud Director 5.1 and vCloud Automation Center 5.2. Having fun with my lab. Lots of fun - and as readers may have noticed, my current focus is around deploying vCloud Director (vCD) and integrating it with vCloud Automation Center (vCAC). However, all is not plain sailing. Firstly, the installation of vCAC v5.2 is much better than installing v5.1. By better I mean more streamlined, the deployment packages retain more explanation, and lots of the installation 'gotchas' have been either removed, fixed or simply hidden from the installation process. I'll not detail the installation process here as there are lots of other guides out there. This break-fix article is about a … [Read more...]

vCloud Director vApp Error ‘Cannot Update’

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Came across another strange issue in a production environment the other day that was also a bit of a facepalm monent. Users of a private vCloud Director instance were complaining of issues with updating vApps - specifically around adding and managing assigned storage associated with these vApps. The errors presented within the vCloud interface were randomly brief and not a little vague - 'Details: Error, Status: Error' etc. This error in the example was taken directly from the vCloud GUI, with no associated vSphere Tasks (that list being blank). The error presented wether the vApp was running or stopped, and wether the VM concerned was running or stopped - each time it was the same. Looking a little deeper into the vCloud logs … [Read more...]

vCAC Agent Install ‘RepoUtil.exe’ Error

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Like many out there, I am upgrading my lab environment to the new vCloud Automation Center, since 5.2 was released. The installation process is a little different, and shows evidence of the transition from the old DynamicOps product to one more inline with the other vCloud Suite offerings. I will write-up another post about the full installation of vCAC 5.2 in due course, but in the meantime this is a quick heads-up to make sure to read the requirements documents before completing the install. vCould Automation Center 5.1 used to require DotNet 4.0 to be installed for Endpoint agents to run correctly. If you are in a lab environment and are happy to build and burn your existing vCAC deployment, then mostly an installation in situ will … [Read more...]

‘There are no logon servers available’ – Rebuilding AD Laptop Remotely With VPN

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A recent upgrade to my work laptop (replacing the standard SATA 250GB drive with a super fast 256GB OCZ Vector SSD) prompted me to rebuild my OS with a fresh copy of Windows 7 Professional x64. As you would expect, my work laptop is domain connected, so my main user profile is within the domain - but only being in the office very infrequently meant that I was actually building the new Windows instance at home away from the domain. Here was the rub: laptop needs to be domain connected to restore a domain profile - but I'm at home and the AD servers are remote and require a VPN. Also, once restored, the domain account cannot authenticate to a remote AD server without a VPN connection, but the VPN isn't available until after first … [Read more...]

vSphere ‘Invalid configuration for device ‘0’ error’ Solution

Using vSphere 4 hosts (in this case a legacy un-patched host that was being migrated off and decommissioned), we came across an interesting and ambiguois error - 'Invalid configuration for device '0', plus a note of time, the target object and the vCenter Server. In this case, I was trying to migrate a powered-off VM to different storage - resulting in the error. I also found that the issue was related to the second disk attached to the VM. Editing the VM showed the size as 0MB, but removing this disk also threw the error in vCenter. The solution was to follow these steps: Remove the VM from the vCenter inventory. Update the VM VMX file. There are 2 ways to do this - SSH to the host / datastore using a tool like Putty, or use … [Read more...]

Manual vCNS / vShield Edge HA Little Gem!

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Recently, I have been doing lots with vCNS and manual creation / manipulation of vShield Edge devices (posts coming soon). One thing that drive me crazy is a tiny little thing that prompted me to write this quick Little Gem - 'Edge HA' sat on my to do list, and gloated at me..... When creating a manual vShield Edge device in vCNS, there is the usual opportunity to create an pair of appliances for running the pair in High Availability mode. Trouble is, the options for deployment are limited and not very clear. (This might be clear / obvious to some, but weren't to me!) When creating an HA pair, in the vShield Manager console editing the Edge device in question under Settings - the HA Configuration gives few options. Essentially, … [Read more...]