vCAC 6.0.1, Inaccessible Tenants, and Missing Identity Stores

With vCAC 6.0.x, there is a bug in the SSO appliance where several symptoms present all at the same time: Authentication to AD or LDAP identity stores fails, returning the user to the blank authentication screen. When logged-in to the default tenant as administrator (usually 'administrator@vsphere.local'), accessing tenant identity stores results in a 'System Exception' error. Tenant Admins cannot add or edit identity stores. This is a documented bug, as listed in VMware KB Article 2075011, and at the time of writing there is a workaround. The issue as documented is the administrator account in the default tenant expires 90 days after implementation of the appliance. I came across this issue, and was for a while not … [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

flashwebsettings

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...]

IT Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark

drpb

Disaster Recovery (and Business Continuity) were sometimes an afterthought even as recently as a few years ago. When I started out in IT the attitude was usually similar to that of an ostrich burying its head in the sand. Thankfully times have clearly moved on. Yesterday a press-release was brought to my attention that I'd like to share. It concerns a new research advisory council that has been created to help provide IT professionals (and, by extension, businesses) with a reflective measure of how prepared they are to handle Disaster Recovery situations. The DRP Council, as it's known, have launched an online survey that takes just a few minutes to complete: As recent cyber-attacks and natural disaster events have shown, the need for … [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...]

vCAC Agent Install ‘RepoUtil.exe’ Error

vcac-agent-error

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...]

Synology DS1513+ Released

DS1513+

The Synology DS1512 has been a popular choice for many home labs in recent years. I hoped that the company's raft of recent product updates would reach this model eventually. Well my wish was granted as Synology have announced the DS1513+. There are a few modifications to note. The one that stands out the most at first glance is the doubling of LAN capability.  The DS1513+ boasts no fewer than 4 RJ45 ports. That does seem like quite a lot. It does open up some interesting possibilities though... The full specifications for the DS1513+ can be found here. … [Read more...]