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Category Archives: Videos

How to backup and restore the embedded vCenter Server 6.0 vPostgres database

This video demonstrates how to backup and restore an embedded vCenter Server 6.0 vPostgres database. Backing up your database protects the data stored in your database. Of course, restoring a backup is an essential part of that function.

This follows up on our recent blog & video: How to backup and restore the embedded vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 vPostgres database

Note: This video is only supported for backup and restore of the vPostgres database to the same vCenter Server. Use of image-based backup and restore is the only solution supported for performing a full, secondary appliance restore.

How to backup and restore the embedded vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 vPostgres database

This video demonstrates how to backup and restore an embedded vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 vPostgres database. Backing up your database protects the data stored in your database. Of course, Restoring a backup is an essential part of that function.

Note: This video is only supported for backup and restore of the vPostgres database to the same vCenter Server Appliance. Use of image-based backup and restore is the only solution supported for performing a full, secondary appliance restore.

VSAN Troubleshooting Video Series

vmware-vsanVMware Technical Support University is very proud to present our Virtual SAN Troubleshooting Video Series, comprising of 26 bite sized videos- not only covering troubleshooting but also design, requirements, compatibility, and upgrades. These were first presented in the  VSAN trouble shooting webinar that was conducted 27 October, 2016. This video collection, presented by Francis Daly is not to be missed!

  1. Introduction to vSAN Troubleshooting – [1:27]
  2. vSAN Compatibility: Introduction – [2:51]
  3. vSAN Compatibility: vSAN Hardware & Software Requirements – [2:16]
  4. vSAN Compatibility: vSAN Architectural Best Practices – [7:57]
  5. vSAN Compatibility: Is My SSD Supported in vSAN? – [9:20]
  6. vSAN Compatibility: Is My RAID Controller Supported? – [8:00]
  7. Storage Policies: Introduction – [1:28]
  8. Storage Policies: vSAN Storage Policies In-Depth – [2:23]
  9. Storage Policies: What Are Witnesses? – [3:29]
  10. Storage Policies: Component States – [4:59]
  11. Storage Policies: Policy & Object States – [3:22]
  12. Storage Policies: Component Layout FTT1 SW1 – [3:25]
  13. Storage Policies: Component Layout FTT1 SW2 – [3:52]
  14. Storage Policies: Component Layout FTT1 SW1 VMDK 400 – [3:12]
  15. Storage Policies: FTT2 SW2 VMDK100 – [1:58]
  16. Storage Policies: Summary – [3:31]
  17. Common Issues: The Upgrade Process – [2:15]
  18. Common Issues: Upgrade Best Practices – [7:25]
  19. Common Issues: Inaccessible Objects – [3:25]
  20. Common Issues: Creation, Modification of Disk Groups – [3:43]
  21. Common Issues: Capacity – [1:34]
  22. Common Issues: Summary – [1:39]
  23. vSAN Software Components – [7:31]
  24. vSAN Troubleshooting Tools (Part 1) – [7:46]
  25. vSAN Troubleshooting Tools (Part 2) – [9:28]
  26. Summary – vSAN Troubleshooting – [1:23]

Troubleshooting “SSO log directory full” in vCenter Server Appliance 6.0

This video demonstrates how to troubleshoot “SSO log directory full” warnings in vCenter Server Appliance 6.0. This is a known issue affecting vCenter Server Appliance 6.0, and currently, there is no resolution. You see that the /storage/log directory is highly utilized in an Embedded vCenter Server Appliance or Platform Controller Server Appliance 6.0.

To work around this issue, reduce the maximum backup size and the maximum backup index in the log4j.properties file.

Note: In external Platform Service Controller (PSC) environments, log in to the Platform Service Controller instead to make the suggested changes.

How to recreate a missing vmdk AKA virtual machine disk descriptor file

This video tells you how to recreate a missing virtual machine disk descriptor, also know as the vmdk file.

Note: VMware recommends to attempt to restore the missing descriptor file from backups if possible. If this is not possible, proceed with recreating the virtual machine disk descriptor file.

Watch the video to see the steps taken to create a virtual machine disk descriptor file:

  • Identify the size of the flat file in bytes.
  • Create a new blank virtual disk that is the same size as the original. This serves as a baseline example that is modified in later steps.
  • Rename the descriptor file (also referred to as a header file) of the newly-created disk to match the name of the original virtual disk.
  • Modify the contents of the renamed descriptor file to reference the flat file.
  • Remove the leftover temporary flat file of the newly-created disk, as it is not required.


This procedure will not work on virtual disks configured with a Para-virtualized SCSI controller in the virtual machine

How to install Windows in VMware Fusion using Easy Install

This video demonstrates how to install Windows guest operating system using the Easy Install feature in VMware Fusion.

Before creating a virtual machine, you must obtain the operating system and any necessary product keys for installation in that virtual machine. VMware Fusion does not come with any operating systems to install in virtual machines you create.

This method assumes that you are using a physical CD or a disk image (.iso / .cdr /.dmg file). You cannot create a Windows virtual machine by using .exe files downloaded from Microsoft, as those files need to be run on a Windows PC.

Troubleshooting Virtual SAN Providers status- Disconnected

This video demonstrates how to troubleshoot Virtual SAN Providers which display the status as disconnected in the vSphere Web Client. This issue occurs if the SMS certificate for vCenter server is expired.

To resolve this issue, expired certificate will be removed and a new certificate will be generated.

Troubleshooting Virtual SAN on-disk format upgrade to 3.0 failures

This video demonstrates how to troubleshoot Virtual SAN on-disk format upgrade to 3.0, which may fail in small Virtual SAN clusters or ROBO/stretched clusters.

Attempting an on-disk upgrade in certain VSAN configurations may result in failure. Configurations that can cause these errors include:

  • The stretched VSAN Cluster consists of two ESXi Hosts and the Witness Node (ROBO configuration)
  • Each Host in the Stretched Cluster contains a single VSAN Disk Group
  • A Virtual SAN cluster consists of three normal nodes, with one disk group per node
  • A Virtual SAN cluster is very full, preventing the “full data migration” disk-group decommission mode

To allow an upgrade to proceed in these configurations, a compromise as to availability must be made. Data accessibility will be maintained, but the redundant copy of the data will be lost and rebuilt during the upgrade process. As a result, data will be exposed to faults and failures such as the loss of a disk on another node may result in data loss. This exposure to additional failure risk is referred to as “reduced redundancy,” and must be manually specified in the Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) to allow the upgrade to proceed. It is not possible to specify reduced redundancy when using the vSphere Web Client to start the upgrade.

Caution: During upgrade, a single point of failure is exposed. Follow all VMware best practices, and your business practices, regarding the backup of important data and virtual machines.

Tips and tricks on Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) for managing a Virtual SAN environment

In this latest KBTV Webinar you will learn some great tips and tricks you can use in Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) for managing a Virtual SAN environment.

Covered in this video demonstration are various commands that can be used within Ruby vSphere Console (RVC), including:

  •  “vsan.disks_stats” Useful for capacity planning, management of disk groups and monitoring the health of physical disks
  •  “vsan.check_state” Useful for troubleshooting data unavailability situations and understanding object health in the VSAN cluster
  •  “vsan.resync_dashboard” Useful for visibility into data resync when changing storage policies
  •  “vsan.whatif_host_failures” Useful for capacity planning on future VSAN nodes and understanding VSAN’s ability to tolerate node failures

Troubleshooting Virtual SAN 6.2 on disk upgrades which fail after 10%

This video demonstrates how to troubleshoot Virtual San 6.2 upgrades which fail after 10% of the upgrade procedure. The resolution provided in this video tutorial will be useful to you if you experience the following symptoms within your VMware Virtual SAN environment:

  • When upgrading VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) to version 6.2, the Virtual SAN Disk Format Conversion task fails at 10%.
  • In the vSphere Web Client, you see an error similar to:

    A general system error occurred: Failed to realign following Virtual SAN objects, due to being locked or lack of vmdk descriptor file which requires manual fix
  • The Convert disk format for Virtual SAN task fails with a General Virtual SAN error status.

When upgrading the on-disk format, during the 10% – 15% phase, Virtual SAN realigns objects to prepare them for new features. The process is performed in two steps:

        • In the first step, Virtual SAN realigns objects and their components to have a 1 MB address space. The process fails in this step if the cluster is unstable or if there is not enough disk space.
        • In the second step, Virtual SAN realigns vsanSparse objects to be 4k aligned. The process fails if there are objects which cannot be upgraded to version 2.5.

An object will fail to upgrade under these conditions:

        • The object is left behind and no longer referenced by anything.
        • The disk chain is not complete or is corrupted.

For additional information, see VMware Knowledge Base article Virtual SAN 6.2 on disk upgrade fails at 10% (2144881).