Public Catalog Access for vApp Authors fails post-v5.5.1 Upgrade

vAppAuthor

This one stumped me for a little bit. The private cloud in my lab is fairly simple in layout - 2 RHEL cells with a vCNS load balancer, shared NFS server and DB server. The Organisations are provisioned such that of the 3 tenants, one is a master tenant that is only used for creating and maintaining vApp templates, via a Public Catalog for sharing the templates for cloud provisioning and vCAC blueprint testing. Running this configuration in with no changes to the default vCloud Director (vCD) roles worked fine - delegated LDAP users in the 2 user organisations were able to select vApp templates from the Public Catalog and deploy them locally. All good. The issue came when the cells for vCD were upgraded to the latest v5.5.1 build. … [Read more...]

Concept Explained: Running Multiple vSphere Replication Appliances

vSR-Concept

Playing with vSphere Replication in my lab recently (following my joyous experiences with my HP MSA P2000 detailed here), I came across a small gotcha that might catch out some of those who (like me) learn stuff by playing with them, whilst reading about the deployment technical aspects alongside. vSphere Replication in vSphere 5.5 has been enhanced over the v5.0/1 release, to enable multiple replication appliances to be deployed and managed by the same vCenter instance. vSphere 5.5 allows upto 10 replication appliances per vCenter, selectable on configuring a VM for replication or available for auto-selection. The gotcha comes when registering subsequent appliances to a vCenter after initial replication connection has been … [Read more...]

HP P2000, Controller Crashes & ESXi PSOD!

I've recently been dealing with an interesting issue in my lab, as a result of deciding to upgrade the entire infrastructure to vSphere 5.5GA from vSphere 5.1. I'm lucky to have a pair of HP MSA P2000 units in my lab, connected to (amongst other boxes) some HP hosts - these items are the focus of this post. The MSAs and hosts were in the configuration as follows: MSAs paired over L2 network, each connected to a different /24 network. No QoS applied to either network. Hardware fully patched to the latest HP revisions. MSAs paired together using HP RemoteSnap replication software (for testing VMware Site Recovery Manager). Snapshots taken and replicated from 'primary' to 'secondary' every 30 minutes. Single vDisk defined per … [Read more...]

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’

vcd5.5cellupgrade

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...]

Fusion HR Link: Process Workflows & Automation

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It's not often that we here at vSpecialist write-up specific vendor technologies, or blog about our workplaces. This is, after all, a generic virtualization blog where we discuss all aspects of IT. However, once in a while, interesting pieces of technological integration comes along that transcends the specific target audience and appeals to the wider IT audience as a whole due to the way the different elements fit together or a new approach. HR Link is one of those occasions. Before I start, in the interests of transparency, I need to point out that I work for Fusion Business Solutions, the developers of the HR Link integration application. HR Link is built on the BMC RemedyAR workflow platform. AR is short for the Action Request … [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...]

Multimon: Software My Chiropractor Made Me Buy

Well, he didn't exactly do that. The big frown and look of disapproval at the photo I had been instructed to take of my work area told me almost all I needed to know about what he was about to say. I work from home quite often and although I've never had a problem with how my desk is arranged etc, it came up when I needed to visit a chiropractor for the first time in my life. He wasn't too impressed with where my laptop was on my desk and my second screen that I used for my Fusion VM, Twitter and my less used apps. After he explained all of the reasons why, he then proceeded to suggest what I needed to do to remedy the problems that he perceived. I've taken his advice and interpreted it in the way that suits my methods of working … [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’

vcloud error

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...]