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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Restrict your virtual machines using Workstation 9

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to my series, The Support Outsider — a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihLast week I talked about encrypting virtual machines, a feature available in Workstation 9. Encryption adds an extra layer of security to your virtual machines; check out last week’s post for more information on this topic or watch the video on our KBTV YouTube channel to find out how you can encrypt your VM in VMware Workstation 9.

This week I want to discuss restricting virtual machines, another new feature in VMware Workstation 9.

Once you have encrypted a virtual machine, you can enable restrictions; this feature will allow you to prevent users from making any changes to the virtual machine’s configuration settings. Once restrictions are enabled, users will not be able to perform actions like remove virtual devices from the VM, change its memory allocation, change the network connection type, and various other actions (check out the Encrypting and Restricting Virtual Machines section in the Using VMware Workstation 9 guide to find out more about the actions that cannot be carried out once restrictions are enabled).

When you enable restrictions, you can also choose the ‘Require the user to change the encryption password’ option. This is a very useful feature if you wish to distribute a VM to multiple users. For example, if I wanted to provide my friends with a copy of the personal VM I use for software development purposes, I would select this restriction’s option which then will prompt my friends to change the encryption password when they open the VM. This saves a lot of time and effort as you only need to set a temporary encryption password for the VM once instead of setting passwords for all the copies of my VMs individually. Anyone who opens the copied VM now can change the encryption password at start up, to set up their own personal encryption password for their new personal VM.

Check out this video on our KBTV YouTube channel to find out how you enable restrictions on your VM in VMware Workstation 9.

If you have any problems restricting or encrypting your virtual machines, remember to check the VMware Knowledge Base (http://kb.vmware.com).

Come back next week to check on my adventures as I go exploring the world of virtualization more. Thanks for your time.

Registering a virtual machine with the vSphere Web Client

Greetings KBTV fans!

Today we have a new vSphere 5 related video tutorial for you.

This video discusses and demonstrates the steps to register a virtual machine using the vSphere Web Client.

If you removed a virtual machine from vCenter Server, but did not remove it from the datastore of the managed host, you can return it to the vCenter Server inventory at any time by registering it with vCenter Server.

The process for registering a virtual machine in vSphere 5.1 using the Web Client is pretty straight forward and simple.

For more information on adding and removing virtual machines from the vCenter Server inventory, see VMware Knowledge Base article: Registering a virtual machine with the vSphere Web Client (2032904).

ALERT: Full disk on vShield Edge 5.1.x fails with error: VIX_E_DISK_FULL ERROR

VMware Support Alert VMware has become aware of an issue whereby vCloud Networking and Security 5.1 release can go into an Edge disk full state approximately 14 days after the first edge is deployed.

Symptoms include:

  • In vCloud Director, attempting a reconfig fails with this error:VIX_E_DISK_FULL
  • In vCloud Director, when looking at Edge Gateways, you receive this error:Edge VM backing the edge gateway is unreachable

For further updates and more information on this alert, refer to KB article:
Full disk on vShield Edge 5.1.x fails with error: VIX_E_DISK_FULL ERROR (2035939)
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ALERT: vSphere Replication 5.1 unable to recover protected virtual machines

VMware Support Alert VMware has become aware of an issue whereby when the Recovery workflow is invoked through the VR 5.1 user interface, the VRMS are instructed to sync to the latest changes from the primary virtual machine. However, since the primary host (or its storage) is not accessible, the sync fails, hence the entire recovery fails. Symptoms include:

  • vSphere Replication 5.1 (VR) cannot recover protected virtual machines after the ESX host on the primary site is down, disconnected from the network, or its storage is not available.
  • Affected deployment topologies: 1 vCenter Server (ROBO), 2 vCenter servers:
  • With VR 5.1, 1 vCenter Server (ROBO) topology (Site A)
  • vSphere Replication is configured on at least one virtual machine from ESX1 to ESX2
  • ESX1 becomes unavailable (such as a host failure, power outage, or network issue) or its storage becomes unavailable
  • An attempt to recover any replicated virtual machine on may ESX2 fail.
  • With VR 5.1, 2 vCenter Servers topology (Primary Site A and Secondary Site B)
  • vSphere Replication is configured on at least one virtual machine from ESX1 (in Site A) to ESX2 (in Site B)
  • The ESX1 host becomes unavailable (such as a host crash, power outage, or network issue) or its storage becomes unavailable
  • An attempt to recover any replicated virtual machine on may Site B fail.

Note: This issue does not occur if the vCenter Server in Site A is also down.

Important Note: This issue does not occur in any deployments of VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager where vSphere Replication is also being used.

For further updates and more information on this alert, refer to KB article:
vSphere Replication 5.1 (VR) unable to recover protected virtual machines (2035929).

Encrypt your virtual machines using Workstation 9

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to my series, The Support Outsider — a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihI had mentioned last week that I intended to discuss some cool Workstation 9 features that I have come across while making videos for this product, so this week I want to discuss the topic of encrypting virtual machines.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if someone was to get access to your virtual machines? I never used to care about it until one day, last week, one my ‘friends’ broke into a virtual machine that I carry with me on an external hard drive. Luckily, all my friend did was playfully change the wallpaper on the machine as a prank.  Even though setting my password to something stronger than password123 would have helped, it got me thinking that my virtual machine would have been a lot safer if I had encrypted it. That’s exactly what I set out to do.

Before you encrypt your virtual machine, one important item to note is that the encryption feature only supports virtual machines that have virtual hardware version 5. x or later. For more info on that, check out the Encrypting and Restricting Virtual Machines section in the Using VMware Workstation 9 guide for limitations.

Check out this video on our KBTV YouTube channel to find out how you can encrypt your VM in VMware Workstation 9.

I also want to point out that if you have any problems encrypting your virtual machine, remember, the VMware Knowledge Base (http://kb.vmware.com) should be the first place to come to mind for help.

Be sure to come back next week to check on my adventures as I go exploring the world of virtualization more.  Thanks for your time.

Using the vSphere Web Client or PowerCLI to identify impacted VMs after a host failure

Do you have a vSphere 5.1 environment? Have you ever been faced with an issue where one of your ESXi hosts experienced an outage and you were tasked with trying to figure out what went wrong and what virtual machines were affected? Then this video should be of some use and interest to all of you who ever are faced with the need to troubleshoot ESXi outages and failures.

This video features a discussion and demonstration of using the vSphere Web Client or PowerCLI to identify which virtual machines were impacted and restarted after an ESXi host failure.

In this demo, we have our good friend Duncan Epping who is a Principal Architect within the VMware Technical Marketing team who focuses on Cloud Infrastructure, go through the various places where you can find some information and details concerning virtual machines that may have failed during the ESXi outage.

For additional details concerning this topic and demonstration, head on over to Duncan’s blog post here.

Duncan owns and manages a personal blog, Yellow-Bricks, and would certainly be worth following on Twitter.

Enjoy the video!

Installing ESXi 5.x in VMware Workstation

OK, so we have been uploading a lot of vSphere 5.1 related video content over the past two weeks and there is more vSphere content on its way. But we had promised some new Workstation content as well.

Installing ESXi 5.x in VMware Workstation So just to freshen things up and switch the spotlight back over to Workstation for a small little bit of time, here we have a new video for all of you Workstation fans.

But don’t fear my vSphere-loving friends and followers, this video may also be of some interest to you as well because in this video tutorial we discuss and demonstrate installing vSphere ESXi 5.1 in a virtual machine running on VMware Workstation 9.x.

Installing ESXi in a virtual machine provides a way to try the product without dedicating hardware to it. A virtual ESXi machine can be very useful if you are studying to become a VCP (VMware Certified Professional) for example.

It is worth noting that by default you can only run 32-bit virtual machines in ESXi. If you need to run 64-bit virtual machines, see the Additional Information section in VMware Knowledge Base article Installing ESXi 5.x in VMware Workstation (2034803).

Note: From a Technical Support perspective, VMware does not support running nested ESXi/ESX servers in production environments. For more information, see VMware Knowledge Base article Support for running ESX/ESXi as a nested virtualization solution (2009916)

Enjoy the video!

Managing licenses on ESXi hosts using the vSphere Web Client

A new day, a new video!

In this video we discuss and demonstrate managing licenses on ESXi hosts in vSphere 5.1 using the vSphere Web Client.

You can use the license management function in the vSphere Web Client to manage the licensing of assets in your vSphere environment from a central location. You can add license keys in the vCenter Server inventory, assign license keys to multiple assets at a time, view information about the available products and licenses, and export licensing information in a CSV file.

To be able to use certain features and functionality of an ESXi host, you must assign it a license key when the evaluation period of the host expires.

For more information, see VMware Knowledge Base article: Managing licenses on ESXi hosts using the vSphere Web Client (2032903).

Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.1 best practices

This presentation provides best practice information on implementing a new install or upgrading ESXi 5.1

Let us walk you through it!

VMware provides several ways to install or upgrade to ESXi 5.1 hosts. For more information on this topic, refer to KB article:
Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.1 best practices (2032756).

Retaining resource pools when disabling VMware DRS clusters

Retaining resource pools when disabling VMware DRS clustersHere is another video for your consumption where once again we demonstrate how to perform various tasks within vSphere 5.1 using the vSphere Web Client.

In this video we discuss and demonstrate how to retain resource pools when disabling VMware DRS Clusters in vSphere 5.1 using the vSphere Web Client.

After disabling DRS, the cluster’s resource pool hierarchy and affinity rules are not retained when DRS is turned back on. If you disable DRS, the resource pools are removed from the cluster.

To avoid losing the resource pools when disabling DRS, you can save a snapshot of the resource pool tree on your local machine. You can then use the resource pool tree snapshot to restore the resource pool when you enable DRS.

For additional information, see VMware Knowledge Base article: Retaining resource pools when disabling VMware DRS clusters (2032893).