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Category Archives: Knowledge Base

Official VMware Knowledge Base

Top 20 Articles for January 2015

Here is our Top 20 KB list for January 2015. This list is ranked by the number of times a VMware Support Request was resolved by following the steps in a published Knowledge Base article.

1. ESXi host cannot initiate vMotion or enable services and reports the error: Heap globalCartel-1 already at its maximum size.Cannot expand (2085618)

2. Troubleshooting Fusion virtual machine performance issues (1015676)

3. VMware Response to CVE-2015-0235 – glibc gethostbyname buffer overflow, aka “Ghost” (2105862)

4. VMware ESXi 5.x host experiences a purple diagnostic screen mentioning E1000PollRxRing and E1000DevRx (2059053)

5. Installing async drivers on VMware ESXi 5.0, 5.1, and 5.5 (2005205)

6. Installing Windows in a virtual machine using VMware Fusion Easy Install (1011677)

7. Installing vCenter Server 5.5 best practices (2052334)

8. Installing VMware Tools in a Fusion virtual machine running Windows (1003417)

9. Purging old data from the database used by VMware vCenter Server 4.x and 5.x (1025914)

10. Investigating virtual machine file locks on ESXi/ESX (10051)

11. Re-pointing and re-registering VMware vCenter Server 5.1 / 5.5 and components (2033620)

12. Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in ESXi/ESX 4.x and ESXi 5.x (1027206)

13. Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.5 best practices (2052329)

14. Manually deleting linked clones or stale virtual desktop entries from the View Composer database in VMware View Manager and Horizon View (2015112)

15. Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5 best practices (2053132)

16. Correlating VMware products build numbers to update levels (1014508)

17. Methods for upgrading to ESXi 5.5 (2058352)

18. Resetting the VMware vCenter Server 5.x Inventory Service database (2042200)

19. Converting a physical machine for Fusion, Workstation, or Player using Converter Standalone (2005129)

20. Troubleshooting networking and internet connection issues in VMware Fusion (1016466)

Troubleshooting Composer for VMware Horizon View

***UPDATE: We just published a great troubleshooting KB article for Composer that covers a lot of the common issues customers encounter here.

At some point, every View administrator who uses a linked clone pool is going to need to do some troubleshooting. Most linked clone troubleshooting involves a component called Composer.
What is composer, and what does it do?
Composer is an add-on for VMware Horizon View and is used to build linked clone desktops. Details about linked clones and Composer operations can be found in my previous posts, What is a linked clone? and part II of that topic.

Today we will focus on troubleshooting Composer when it breaks.

We are in the process of compiling a KB which will serve as the go-to article for Composer. This will contain links to important KBs, common issues, and procedures for repair. In the meantime, I thought this tactic would be good to share.

Compatibility

Compatibility is more important than many admins realize. VMware builds, tests, certifies and supports components that are built to work together.

The Connection Server talks to:

  • Composer
  • View Agent
  • vCenter
  • Security Server
  • and the clients

Composer in turn, talks to:

  • vCenter,
  • Connection Server
  • The hosts
  • Active Directory
  • The guest OS

As you can imagine, it’s easy for problems to balloon out of control if a component doesn’t talk properly to another. So, you need to ensure that every component is compatible and is designed to work with every other.

Here’s how-

Identifying where a problem exists is the first step to solving it. Composer can be nonfunctional because of factors that are entirely outside of Composer itself. For example, View doesn’t build desktops, that step is done by vCenter through API calls. If you are trying to build desktops and nothing is happening, it doesn’t mean View or Composer are at fault. vCenter needs to be fully functioning properly for View to be able to provision desktops. Along the same lines, Composer needs to be able to talk to all of the hosts in a cluster plus your Active Directory to be able to customize VMs, so if you have a dead host, Composer will fail.

Is Composer at fault then if it doesn’t work? Well, what about the guest VM? Does it get an IP address? Does it boot? If the answer to any of these is no, then Composer can’t do its job.

One of the tactics I take when Composer fails is to manually step though all of the processes involved.

  • Can I clone the base image?
  • Can I change customize it?
  • Can I activate it?
  • Is it network accessible?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, the problem is outside of Composer. Understanding where the linked clone process fails is the key to resolving problems.

Top 20 Articles for December 2014

Here is our Top 20 KB list for December 2014. This list is ranked by the number of times a VMware Support Request was resolved by following the steps in a published Knowledge Base article.

  1. VMware ESXi 5.x host experiences a purple diagnostic screen mentioning E1000PollRxRing and E1000DevRx (2059053)
  2. Installing async drivers on VMware ESXi 5.0, 5.1, and 5.5 (2005205)
  3. Investigating virtual machine file locks on ESXi/ESX (10051)
  4. Commands to monitor snapshot deletion in VMware ESX/ESXi (1007566)
  5. An ESXi 5.x host running on HP server fails with a purple diagnostic screen and the error: hpsa_update_scsi_devices or detect_controller_lockup_thread (2075978)
  6. Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in ESXi/ESX 4.x and ESXi 5.x (1027206)
  7. Broadcom 5719/5720 NICs using tg3 driver become unresponsive and stop traffic in vSphere (2035701)
  8. Unmounting a LUN or detaching a datastore/storage device from multiple VMware ESXi 5.x hosts (2004605)
  9. VMware ESXi 5.x host experiences a purple diagnostic screen mentioning E1000PollRxRing, E1000DevRx and Net_AcceptRxList (2079094)
  10. vSphere handling of LUNs detected as snapshot LUNs (1011387)
  11. Recreating a missing virtual machine disk descriptor file (1002511)
  12. Using esxtop to identify storage performance issues for ESX / ESXi (multiple versions) (1008205)
  13. Storage device performance deteriorated (2007236)
  14. Committing snapshots when there are no snapshot entries in the Snapshot Manager (1002310)
  15. Snapshot consolidation in VMware ESXi 5.5.x fails with the error: maximum consolidate retries was exceeded for scsix:x (2082886)
  16. Testing VMkernel network connectivity with the vmkping command (1003728)
  17. Information about the error: state in doubt; requested fast path state update (1022026)
  18. Identifying and addressing Non-Maskable Interrupt events on an ESX/ESXi host (1804)
  19. Understanding virtual machine snapshots in VMware ESXi and ESX (1015180)
  20. Best practices for virtual machine snapshots in the VMware environment (1025279)

Come see us at VMworld!

Once again this year, the folks behind Knowledge Experience are coming to VMworld to showcase all the new things we’ve been up to since last year. I am sure you are asking why it is called Knowledge Experience – we have a new mission and vision and that is to provide contextual content to the customer to ensure they can solve their issue before they need to create a service request – we are looking for your insights and feedback on how you would like to see this.

Some of you will remember the great vSphere networking posters we were handing out last year. We’re happy to announce we have another one – this time for VMware View. All the interconnecting ports/protocols… these look great on the wall! To get yours, come say hello to Rick Blythe at the VMware Communities Info Desk in the Hang Space during these times:

  • Monday: 11am – 2pm
  • Tuesday: 11am – 2pm
  • Wednesday: 1pm – 4pm

That’s not all — in the Solutions Exchange Sharon, Robyn, and Rick have two demos for you:

  1. New My VMware Web Portal prototype
  2. New My VMware iPhone App prototype

We’re really pumped to hear what you have to say about how we can provide you more contextual content to help you solve problems before creating a support request and therefore reducing your time and effort so that you can get back to your day jobs – We’ll be right next to the My VMware pod.  Our pod is titled:

Using Knowledge to Get Answers Quickly

  • Leverage online self-help support
  • Prevent or resolve problems quickly
  • Provide input to new concierge model

We hope you drop by; we’d love to hear what you think!

See you there!

Popular tweets

Here’s an interesting top 20 list. In the last 30 days, these were the tweets form our @vmwarekb account that got the most sharing from our customers. Perhaps you missed something on our list you’d be interested in.

Oh, and if you don’t follow us on Twitter, why not?

How to restart the Management agents on a VMware vSphere ESXi or ESX host
Poor network performance when using VMXNET3 adapter for routing in a Linux guest operating system (2077393)
Configuring the ESXi host with Active Directory authentication
Configuring the ESXi host with Active Directory authentication (2075361)
ESXi host initiates ARP Broadcast storm to NFS server (2080034)
Veeam virtual machine backups fail with the error: The host is not licensed for this feature (2080352)
Downgrading device drivers in VMware ESXi 5.x (2079279)
ESXi 5.5 … purple … screen error:#PF Exception 14 in world 33426: vmkeventd IP 0x418002c71507 addr 0×0 (2061842)
Storage Controllers previously supported for VSAN that are no longer supported (2081431)
VMware ESXi 5.1, Patch Release ESXi510-201406001 (2077640)
VM loses network connectivity during migration … in vCNS 5.1.4 and 5.5.2 and NSX for vSphere 6.0.4 (2080479)
Copying a file is slow on HTTP connections in vCenter Server (2081624)
VMware ESXi host in the vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS) are out of sync (2081052)
Preparing Windows 2008 R2 SP1 Server as a desktop to be deployed by Horizon DaaS (Desktone) (2080765)
Adding an Integrated Active Directory (IWA) Identity Source without the vSphere Web Client for vCenter SSO (2063424)
Upgrade paths and product compatibility for PowerCLI versions that feature OpenSSL security fixes (2082132)
Upgrading VMware vCenter Server 5.5 to a 5.5.x version using Simple Install fails (2074676)
VMware ESXi 5.1, Patch ESXi-5.1.0-20140604001-standard (2077642)
Dell EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module (MEM) in View environments storage performance degradation (2078451)
Booting the ESXi host fails at Initializing scheduler (2077712)

Top 20 Articles for April 2014

Here is our Top 20 KB list for April 2014. This list is ranked by the number of times a VMware Support Request was resolved by following the steps in a published Knowledge Base article.

  1. Response to OpenSSL security issue CVE-2014-0160/CVE-2014-0346 a.k.a: “Heartbleed” (2076225)
  2. VMware ESXi 5.x host experiences a purple diagnostic screen mentioning E1000PollRxRing and E1000DevRx (2059053)
  3. Installing Windows in a virtual machine using VMware Fusion Easy Install (1011677)
  4. Installing async drivers on VMware ESXi 5.0, 5.1, and 5.5 (2005205)
  5. Re-pointing and re-registering VMware vCenter Server 5.1 / 5.5 and components (2033620)
  6. Resolving OpenSSL Heartbleed for VMware vCenter Server 5.5 (2076692)
  7. Resolving OpenSSL Heartbleed for ESXi 5.5 – CVE-2014-0160 (2076665)
  8. Purging old data from the database used by VMware vCenter Server 4.x and 5.x (1025914)
  9. Troubleshooting Fusion virtual machine performance issues (1015676)
  10. Investigating virtual machine file locks on ESXi/ESX (10051)
  11. Unmounting a LUN or detaching a datastore/storage device from multiple VMware ESXi 5.x hosts (2004605)
  12. Uninstalling and manually installing VMware Tools in VMware Fusion (1014522)
  13. Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in ESXi/ESX 4.x and ESXi 5.x (1027206)
  14. Resetting the VMware vCenter Server 5.x Inventory Service database (2042200)
  15. Installing VMware Tools in a Fusion virtual machine running Windows (1003417)
  16. Permanent Device Loss (PDL) and All-Paths-Down (APD) in vSphere 5.x (2004684)
  17. Manually deleting linked clones or stale virtual desktop entries from the View Composer database in VMware View Manager and Horizon View (2015112)
  18. Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5 best practices (2053132)
  19. Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.5 best practices (2052329)
  20. Installing vCenter Server 5.5 best practices (2052334)

Top 20 Articles for March 2014

Here is our Top 20 KB list for March 2014. This list is ranked by the number of times a VMware Support Request was resolved by following the steps in a published Knowledge Base article.

  1. VMware ESXi 5.x host experiences a purple diagnostic screen mentioning E1000PollRxRing and E1000DevRx
  2. Downloading and Installing VMware Fusion
  3. Installing async drivers on VMware ESXi 5.0, 5.1, and 5.5
  4. Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in ESXi/ESX 4.x and ESXi 5.x
  5. Installing Windows in a virtual machine using VMware Fusion Easy Install
  6. Troubleshooting Fusion virtual machine performance issues
  7. Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5 best practices
  8. Investigating virtual machine file locks on ESXi/ESX
  9. Re-pointing and re-registering VMware vCenter Server 5.1 / 5.5 and components
  10. Uninstalling and manually installing VMware Tools in VMware Fusion
  11. Installing vCenter Server 5.5 best practices
  12. Purging old data from the database used by VMware vCenter Server 4.x and 5.x
  13. Troubleshooting Fusion virtual machine startup issues
  14. Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.5 best practices
  15. Creating a persistent scratch location for ESXi 4.x and 5.x
  16. Unmounting a LUN or detaching a datastore/storage device from multiple VMware ESXi 5.x hosts
  17. Broadcom 5719/5720 NICs using tg3 driver become unresponsive and stop traffic in vSphere
  18. Update sequence for vSphere 5.5 and its compatible VMware products
  19. Installing VMware Tools in a Fusion virtual machine running Windows
  20. Methods of upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5

ALERT: Response to Heartbleed OpenSSL security issue

heartbleedThis week, a new vulnerability was discovered affecting SSL, a protocol most of the Internet uses to encrypt and secure communications. The VMware Security Engineering, Communications, and Response group (vSECR) is investigating the OpenSSL issue dubbed “Heartbleed”. For information on which VMware products may be affected and resolution/remediation steps, refer to the two KB articles at the bottom of this post.

For the curious, we would like to quickly explain why this particular vulnerability could be a risk across the Internet. The bug — dubbed “Heartbleed” — allows anybody to read the memory on a system that is supposed to be protected by SSL.

An anonymous attacker could potentially steal any information from an SSL-secured communication when the issue is not addressed. Best practices dictate that websites and web service providers should always use SSL-encrypted communication when dealing with sensitive information like usernames, passwords, and bank info. Heartbleed could breach that information to anybody who knows how to extract it without leaving a trace.

Top 20 vSphere 5.5 Support Topics

Here’s our Top 20 vSphere 5.5 Knowledgebase articles for vSphere 5.5 and VMware Hypervisor 5.5

These KBs address the bulk of calls into our call centers for these products. See anything familiar in this list?

  1. VMware ESXi 5.x host experiences a purple diagnostic screen mentioning E1000PollRxRing and E1000DevRx
  2. Installing async drivers on ESXi 5.0, 5.1, and 5.5
  3. Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in ESXi/ESX 4.x and ESXi 5.x
  4. Collecting diagnostic information for VMware ESX/ESXi using the vSphere Client
  5. Re-pointing and re-registering VMware vCenter Server 5.1 / 5.5 and components
  6. Unmounting a LUN or detaching a datastore/storage device from multiple VMware ESXi 5.x hosts
  7. Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5 best practices
  8. Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.5 best practices
  9. Investigating virtual machine file locks on ESXi/ESX
  10. Creating a persistent scratch location for ESXi 4.x and 5.x
  11. Reducing the size of the vCenter Server database when the rollup scripts take a long time to run
  12. Broadcom 5719/5720 NICs using tg3 driver become unresponsive and stop traffic in vSphere
  13. Methods for upgrading to ESXi 5.5
  14. Permanent Device Loss (PDL) and All-Paths-Down (APD) in vSphere 5.x
  15. Installing vCenter Server 5.5 best practices
  16. Restarting the Management agents on an ESXi or ESX host
  17. Powering off a virtual machine on an ESXi host
  18. Migrating the vCenter Server database from SQL Express to full SQL Server
  19. Resetting the VMware vCenter Server 5.x Inventory Service database
  20. Methods of upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5

New VSAN Resources

Just hours ago VMware announced the General Availability (GA) of Virtual SAN (VSAN) 5.5. This new product is the cornerstone of our Software-Defined Storage strategy and a key pillar of our Software-Defined Data Center vision.

In typical fashion, our Documentation and KB team have lots of fresh articles you may want to be aware of as you try this new and exciting product.

Release Notes

https://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere5/doc/vsphere-esxi-55u1-release-notes.html

Download

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_virtual_san/5_5