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Category Archives: Highlights

vSphere 5.5 is here! – KBs you need to know about

vSphere 5.5 has been released for all to download. We’re sure vSphere users are all eager to install a copy and start kicking the tires, and we’re just as eager to see that you get started on the right foot. With this in mind, we have created the following list of Knowledgebase articles that are brand new, or have been updated for vSphere 5.5 You’ll notice lots of best practices KBs here.

The first grouping contains absolute ‘must know’ information, the second grouping gets a bit more into details.

Also not to be missed:

New Network port diagram for vSphere 5.x

Over the past few weeks we have been working on constructing a brand new network diagram, depicting ports in use for vSphere 5.x

These diagrams have been very popular in the past and we hope you like this one too! We created Knowledgebase article: Network port diagram for vSphere 5.x (2054806) as a container for the pdf diagram. The pdf also lists all of the ports used in tabular format.

If you’d like to see more of these, tell us in the comments section below!

Network port diagram for vSphere 5

Alternate download location.

Note: This information provided is on a best effort basis. VMware will endeavor to update the diagram as new releases come out.

Trending Issues in ESXi and vCenter Server

As we spoke about in this announcement, here are our currently trending KB articles related to ESXi and vCenter Server. These are the issues the majority of users are encountering. See anything familiar?

Trending Issues in VMware Fusion

Something you’re going to see starting today are a new breed of KB articles, titled “Trending Issues: <topic of interest>“. Our plan is to run reports on incoming support traffic and determine which KB articles are used most often. As well, we are interviewing our front-line support engineers and asking what issues they are experiencing the most. The plan is once they are established to update them periodically, depending on the trends we see.

Our first set of articles will be of interest to our users of VMware Fusion.

How to deploy SSO in a multisite configuration

For those of you administering multiple vSphere environments, getting a SSO multisite deployment up and running in a correct configuration is very important. Multisite deployments are where a local replica is maintained at remote sites of the primary vCenter Single Sign-On instance. The process of setting this up is not complicated, but it is possible to take a wrong turn and end up wasting a whole lot of time correcting it. That is why we have created a best-practice Knowledgebase article titled: Multisite Single Sign-On deployment best practices. (2042849). We highly recommend you look at the examples in that article.

We’ve written extensively in this blog about SSO in the past. You can see all the other posts on the topic here: http://blogs.vmware.com/kb/tag/sso

If you are still at the point where you are asking yourself- what is SSO? and why do I care? we recommend you start with this great introduction from Justin King: vCenter Single Sign-On Part 1: what is vCenter Single Sign-On?

Top 10 KB Articles for Infrastructure

The following three lists of Knowledgebase articles comprise our top 10 articles that our Infrastructure Support Engineers are using to solve customer Support Requests during the month of January. When we say Infrastructure, it’s more of an internal term we use to group support teams. The Infrastructure guys cover issues including storage, networking, and system faults (crashes).

The first list is the overall top ten. The second and third lists are known infrastructure issues and how-to / informational KB articles that apply to ESXi 5.1 and vCenter Server.

Top 10 Infrastructure Articles (ESX/i 3.x/4.x/5.x, vCenter Server)

  1. Broadcom 5719/5720 NICs using tg3 driver become unresponsive and stop traffic in vSphere (2035701)
  2. Unmounting a LUN or Detaching a Datastore/Storage Device from multiple ESXi 5.x hosts (2004605)
  3. Installing async drivers on ESXi 5.x (2005205)
  4. Investigating virtual machine file locks on ESXi/ESX (10051)
  5. Using esxtop to identify storage performance issues (1008205)
  6. Recreating a missing virtual machine disk (VMDK) descriptor file (1002511)
  7. Commands to monitor snapshot deletion in ESX 2.5/3.x/4.x and ESXi 3.x.x/4.x.x/5.x (1007566)
  8. Committing snapshots when there are no snapshot entries in the Snapshot Manager (1002310)
  9. Permanent Device Loss (PDL) and All-Paths-Down (APD) in vSphere 5.0 (2004684)
  10. Creating a snapshot for a virtual machine fails with the error: File is larger than maximum file size supported (1012384)

Top 10 vSphere 5.1 Infrastructure known issues

  1. Broadcom 5719/5720 NICs using tg3 driver become unresponsive and stop traffic in vSphere (2035701)
  2. Unmounting a LUN or Detaching a Datastore/Storage Device from multiple ESXi 5.x hosts (2004605)
  3. Creating a snapshot for a virtual machine fails with the error: File is larger than maximum file size supported (1012384)
  4. ESXi/ESX hosts with visibility to RDM LUNs being used by MSCS nodes with RDMs may take a long time to boot or during LUN rescan (1016106)
  5. An ESXi/ESX host reports VMFS heap warnings when hosting virtual machines that collectively use 4 TB or 20 TB of virtual disk storage (1004424)
  6. ESXi 5.x host fails with a purple diagnostics screen when using Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2### and E5-46## (2033780)
  7. ESX/ESXi hosts might experience read/write performance issues with certain storage arrays (1002598)
  8. vHBAs and other PCI devices may stop responding in ESXi 5.x and ESXi/ESX 4.1 when using Interrupt Remapping (1030265)
  9. ESXi 5.x hosts fail to mount VMFS5 volumes that are formatted with ATS-only capabilities (2006858)
  10. Cannot take a quiesced snapshot of Windows 2008 R2 virtual machine (1031298)

Top 10 vSphere 5.1 Informational/How To Articles

  1. Installing async drivers on ESXi 5.x (2005205)
  2. Investigating virtual machine file locks on ESXi/ESX (10051)
  3. Using esxtop to identify storage performance issues (1008205)
  4. Recreating a missing virtual machine disk (VMDK) descriptor file (1002511)
  5. Commands to monitor snapshot deletion in ESX 2.5/3.x/4.x and ESXi 3.x.x/4.x.x/5 .x (1007566)
  6. Permanent Device Loss (PDL) and All-Paths-Down (APD) in vSphere 5.0 (2004684)
  7. vSphere handling of LUNs detected as snapshot LUNs (1011387)
  8. Best practices for virtual machine snapshots in the VMware environment (1025279)
  9. Manually regenerating core dump files in VMware ESXi/ESX (1002769)
  10. Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in ESXi/ESX 4.x and 5.x (1027206)

Help for consumers using VMware Workstation

Here is a list of Hidden Gems you might find handy if you encounter a problem with VMware Workstation. These are Knowledge Base articles that we know many of you are encountering, because our Support Engineers are using them to solve Support Requests, but we thought the rest of you might not be aware these treasures even existed.

  1. Installing VMware Workstation or VMware Tools fails with the error: 1327 or 1606 (1017886)
  2. Starting a virtual machine in Workstation 9.x or Fusion 5.x fails with the error: This virtual machine’s policies are too old to be run by this version of VMware (2034362)
  3. Repairing a virtual disk in Workstation (2019259)
  4. Updating VMware Tools fails with the error: Update Tools failed. Edit the virtual machine’s vmx file (2007298)
  5. Cleaning up after an incomplete uninstallation on a Windows host (1308)
  6. Installing Windows 8 as a guest operating system in Workstation 9.x (2033640)
  7. Troubleshooting an MSI error during a VMware product or Tools installation (1031302)
  8. Installing VMware Tools in an Ubuntu virtual machine (1022525)
  9. Powering on a virtual machine fails with the error: The VMware Authorization Service is not running (1007131)

VMware vCenter Support Assistant KB Articles

As a quick follow-up to our Introducing VMware vCenter Support Assistant 5.1 launch post, we put together a list of all the KB articles for the product.

If you’re jumping on this new plug-in, and we don’t see why you wouldn’t, then it’s always good to be armed with official support documentation for those corner cases when something goes wrong.

As time passes and new issues come up, this list will grow. To get the full listing just go to the main Knowledgebase page kb.vmware.com and select VMware vCenter Support Assistant as the product.  Then click search.

Our top posts of 2012

To wrap up the just-ended year, we thought we’d put a slightly different slant on the typical “Top-10 List of 2012″ style of post. Instead of sorting the list by number of views, we’ve sorted our list by the number of comments we received (in descending order). This tells us a bit more about what content you like to engage with. It’s interesting because we see three different types of posts: those which specifically ask a question, those which addressed frequently asked questions, and those which generated a bit of an emotional response, if even not always in a favorable light.

  1. VMware Workstation 9 is here. Any Questions?
  2. ALERT: vSphere 5.1 is not compatible with any versions of VMware View
  3. VMware Fusion 5 is here. Questions?
  4. Where is the Best Practice Guide for SSO?
  5. My VMware Improvements
  6. Implementing CA signed SSL certificates with vSphere 5.1
  7. Configuring and Using WSX in VMware Workstation 9
  8. vSphere SSO Resources
  9. ALERT: vCenter Server Services hang on startup after upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1
  10. Restricting virtual machines in VMware Workstation 9.x

We love hearing your comments! In fact, why not take a moment right now and jot down below which topics you’d like to read about here on the Support Insider? For instance:

  • How do you like our Engineer deep-dives?
  • What about ALERTS? How valuable are these to you?
  • Rich content like video? Is this the way to go for technical content?
  • Anything else! This blog is for you. How may we help you?

Where is the Best Practice Guide for SSO?

We recently received a tweet request from a customer directed at our @vmwarekb account asking:

@VMwareKB Also when can I expect a best practice guide from VMware on SSO?

The answer is, while we don’t have one single document with our best practices for Single Sign On (SSO), we do have 65 and counting KB articles on the subject. That amount of content would not fit nicely if it were crammed into one article! Thinking that more of you may be asking the same question, I present for you a listing of all of our current SSO articles. In the meantime, we’ll keep working hard on providing the content you want.