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Showing posts from 2017

ESXi 6.5 U1 Host Client Login Issue

Today I did a fresh installation of ESXi 6.5 U1. During the installation, set up the root password.

After everything is working with IP address assigned, DNS and gateway, we started to try to access using the Host Client using IE 11.

Encounter this message "cannot complete login due to an incorrect user name or password". Thought that might have entered the wrong password. Type in a notepad and copy and paste. Same error message encountered on both servers.

Did some search but never encounter anyone having the same issue other than old post found on ESXi 6.0 with the old vSphere Client. Decide to try out one of the method.

Head right down to both server and use the DCUI and select Change Password option. Use back the same password.  Walah! Host Client works now.

Very strange behaviour. Apparently during installation seems like the host client didnt register the password.

Hope this help for those encountering the same issue.

VMware ROBO License

Recently there was some discussion over licensing in Facebook vExpert group.

One of the users questioned about licensing 3 hosts, each placed at one location. He wants to be able to do a snapshot and monitor the health of the ESXi host. He intends to add a fourth host in future. He was also told by the account executive that vSphere Essential cannot meet this requirement.

Let me explain some of the information which might be not clear enough.

vSphere Essential and Essential Plus kit is a bundle that comes with vCenter Server Essential (which is not available for sale) and vSphere Essential/Essential Plus licensing. ]vCenter Server Essential can only manage up to three ESXi servers. The vSphere Essential kit allows you to license up to 3 hosts or 6 CPUs whichever come first. But you cannot license more than 3 hosts even if each only has 1 CPU. This is because vCenter Essential can only manage up to 3 ESXi hosts. Also, the licensing would not allow you to manage using a vCenter Server S…

VMware vSAN 2017 Specialist

There are two specialist certifications release by VMware, namely vRealize Operations and vSAN.

Recently I took the attempt for vSAN Specialist Exam. Before we go into it, let see what is the requirement to take this exam.

You need to have a valid VCP 6.x on any track. No course requirement but the vSAN Deploy and Manage is recommended.

There is only a Digital Badge when you passed the exam and there is no certification for this exam.  The exam code is 2VB-601: VMware Specialist: vSAN 6.x Exam.

Do check out the exam guide. However, the guide does not indicate the exam time and the number of questions. Total questions were 60 from what I encounter and the time is similar to VCP about 240 mins. Cost for me is SGD363 (this might differ for other countries).

You are required to know everyone on vSAN from 6.0 to the latest now 6.6. Everything in these versions will be tested. It will be good to understand the concept and fundamentals of the technology as well all the features that have rel…

vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 1.0

Something got a release note today known as vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 1.0.  What is this software about?
VMware has a bundle known as vCloud Suite.  Just a breakdown what is in vCloud Suite/ vCloud Suite is a comprises of two things: vRealize Suite + vSphere Enterprise Plus.
vRealize Suite (depending on Editions) will consist of some or all of the below: vRealize AutomationvRealize BusinessvRealize Operations ManagervRealize Log Insight
vSphere (depending on edition) will consist of some or all of the below: vCenter Standard (purchase separately)ESXivSphere ReplicationvSphere Data Protection (last major edition)vSphere Big Data Extension
Looking at the above, you start to see that installing and managing the upgrade will be a big tedious process.  Lots of planning and double and triple check the compatibility matrix.
So here comes vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager.  This handles the deployment and patching the vRealize Suite components that you own.  For your Day 0 to Day 2 tasks …

Questions on vSphere Enterprise Edition

Recently, I get a lot of questions regarding vSphere Enterprise Edition and some confusion around it.

The reason of these questions because VMware announced the end of availability (EOA) of vSphere Enterprise Edition on 9th Feb.  What this means that if you want to purchase vSphere Enterprise, this will no longer be available, you are left with only 3 options; vSphere Standard, vSphere Enterprise Plus or vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus (vSOM) (excluding all those small kits e.g. vSphere Essentials, etc.).

What will happen to vSphere Enterprise in terms of support?
Support will still be valid until March 2020 as long support and maintenance is still valid.

Can I upgrade/downgrade my existing vSphere Enterprise to a valid edition?
You can only upgrade but not downgrade.  In this case, you can only move up to vSphere Enterprise Plus or vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus (vSOM).

Am currently on vSphere 6.0 Enterprise or below, can I still upgrade to 6.5 sin…

VMware Security Advisories

If you are new to VMware or not aware, VMware has a Security Advisories page that publishes any new vulnerabilities found in any of its products, including VMware Fusion and Workstation.

In fact, to keep yourself updated, it is good to subscribe for such new notices.  Just head over to the page to subscribe.

Just yesterday, 15th Sept, there is a critical vulnerability notice which affects ESXi 6.5 (not the Update 1).

Always good to stay up to date and apply such critical patches as soon as you can.

VMware License Is Latest Version What If I Needed a version Behind Or More?

I get this so often and decide to just clear this up.

In any ISV or software vendors where you purchase their software, the license received will always be the latest.  This applies the same for any VMware products.

You won't want to purchase something from the market to find that it was 1 year ago right?

So what if your environment is running an older version and you just acquire new licenses which are a newer version than yours when you want to scale?

Don't worry, you can always go to your VMware license portal and select a number of licenses that you want to downgrade to.  The version available is the Products version that is still supported.

You can also upgrade your older version of the product to the later or latest version as long your licenses are still under Support & Subscription (SnS).

At the time of writing, using vSphere version 5.5 is still supported so the lowest version will be 5.5.  This also to give you a reminder, never to run an out of support version o…

VMWorld 2017 Updates

Catch up with all these articles with the announcement page.

Day 1

VMware Cloud on AWS
It is now LIVE!
https://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-newsfeed.VMware-and-AWS-Announce-Initial-Availability-of-VMware-Cloud-on-AWS.2184706.html

AppDefense
Beyond what NSX provide you with micro-segmentation, today with AppDefense you will be able to identify and realize misbehavior in your VM and action on them if you have NSX for distributed enforcement.
https://blogs.vmware.com/networkvirtualization/2017/08/introducing-vmware-appdefense-expanding-beyond-micro-segmentation-threat-detection-response.html

NSX-T 2.0
Extension of supporting VM and containers alike and AWS workloads.  Ability to support vSphere and KVM.
https://blogs.vmware.com/networkvirtualization/2017/08/nsx-t-2-0.html/


OpenStack 4.0
Multiple vCenter Servers and containers support is one of the key release feature.
https://blogs.vmware.com/openstack/vmware-integrated-openstack-4-0/


Simplified Management of VMware Cloud on AWS with v…

VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6.5 - Data Center Virtualization Released

Yes the VCAP6.5-DCV has been released on 7th Aug 2017.  I was fortunate to be part of the exam creation, and experience the process to understand how much effort and time is put into creating an exam, is never simple.

You can find out the requirement to take this exam. Do read the exam guide to make sure you are up to the level to take this exam.

The exam is targeted at an advanced level that is someone who has the experience above VCP.  I have seen many try to attempt this exam and failed right after their VCP exam.  There is a different for a reason.  Some have attended the recommended vSphere Design Workshop and mention the exam is not covering what is covered in the workshop.

Do note that this is a certification exam and it is to assess your level of expertise and not your memorize work on a particular course like what we study in schools.  In all certification exams, it is to test on your know how and knowledge level.

This year, there is a catch, unlike the past version 5.x certi…

vExpert 2017 Second Half Announcement

The vExpert 2017 second half list is released. There is 105 new vExpert for 2017 on top of the existing 1471 which was previously announced.

Once again congrats to the new vExpert 2017 and hope to see each and everyone again next year.

Check out some of your benefit from the vExpert community forum and if you are heading to VMworld 2017, do check out some of the sponsor booth listed.

VMware Thinapp Support for Windows 10

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Recently I was tasked to do a demo on Thinapp.  I have a Windows XP SP3 32bit running with Thinapp version 4.x.

I did some thinapp on Internet Explore 7, 8 and 9.  Everything was working fine.

Next I spin off a Windows 10 64bit VM and try to run these Internet Explorer thinapp'ed and I got the error below:


Did a Google search and came across information that Windows 10 can only support Internet Explorer 8 and above which I find that weird since Thinapp should be able to support to run as it's a packaged container.

Eventually, I chanced upon Thinapp release notes to discover it only support Windows 10 in version 5.2.0 and 5.2.2 recently support Windows 10 Anniversary Update.  How silly of me not checking out my Thinapp version.

Upon updating my Thinapp on my Windows XP VM and using relink to update my Thinapp Package in the bin, it is now able to run in Windows 10.  Yes, I do not have to run through the prescan and post scan all over with relink.  Check out this KB to see how t…

vRealize Suite with App Monitoring Clarification

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Recently got into a requirement from a customer that a need for using vRealize Operations as a centralized monitoring and pulling in the metrics from other apps.  This would need to cover physical and VMware virtual environment.

The first thing that came to my mind was to use vSphere Enterprise Plus and utilize the old vRealize Operations Insight which comprises of vRealize Operations and Log Insight.  However, this bundle has EOA as stated here.

That was a bummer.  As cost is a big issue, we cannot just quote vCloud Suite (vCS) Enterprise where vRealize Operations Enterprise is provided and App Monitoring will be covered.  However, there are many components in it which my customer will not be using and cost does not justify it (though it would be nice for me :) but bad for my customer's pocket).

Just for those who ain't aware vCloud Suite just consists of vRealize Suite + vSphere Enterprise Plus.  The editions of vCloud Suite is in line with vRealize Suite.

So I took a look a…

vSAN Witness Licensing

With vSAN 6.2, the support for ROBO site been introduced.  There have been lots of questions regarding how do we license the witness in a more effective manner.  Some of the thought in using vSphere ROBO licenses, vSphere Essentials licenses, and even free ESXi hypervisor.

Here this article is to explain the do-able methods that have not been very clear.  Before we start, check out the vSAN 6.5 Licensing Guide.

First of all the common way to place the vSAN Witness are normally in a vSphere cluster.  So this cluster is already licensed.  It doesn't matter if its the lowest Essential Edition to Enterprise Plus Edition.  So if you like to run this even using a vSphere ROBO license, this can be done since ROBO is meant for a small site, not more than 25 VMs.  Do take note that, using vSphere ROBO, you will not be able to power on more than 25 VMs (assuming your license is 25VMs pack and has not been divided).  You cannot combine the license.  Even if you have a lot of hosts, you still…

vExpert 2017 Round 2 with vExpert NSX and vSAN

The 2nd round of applying to be a vExpert 2017 starts now.  Sign it now and awarded for your personal contribution to the VMware community.

Recently there is a separate specific NSX and vSAN vExpert. So if you are focusing on vSAN or NSX, do sign them up here respectively; vSAN and NSX.

If you are unsure whether you meet to be accredited with vExpert, there is no harm trying.  The details of the area you can be in are all listed in the vExpert 2017 sign up page above.


While you are reading this, the top vBlog 2017 voting has started.  Do help do your part and vote.  If you find my blog useful spare some time and look at number 88.

Once again thank you and good luck for your application.

Understand Your OEM Support

Previously I have talked about the difference between an Open and OEM licensing here.   Why OEM license are cheaper in general since they are provided by OEM vendor instead of direct from the Principle.  This applies not to just software but also hardware although I used software as a subject in writing.

Following on the different support structure contact point between Open and OEM licensing here. Support are typically directly from OEM rather than from the original Principle vendor of the hardware of software.

Question why would OEM support cost cheaper than Principle support or why Principle support is more expensive than OEM support?  Is it because the Principle owns the product (software/hardware) that makes it more expensive?

There are several reasons why OEM is less expensive if you do a study.  Below is what I have observed:

1) Principle vendor owns the product, in such, it cost more.  OEM vendors use their own support and only to a certain level will they have support from Pr…

New Certification Release: VMware VCP 6.5-DCV

Few months back, I wrote on how you can enrol to help in contributing VMware certification exams. If you are interested do just head over and sign up.

Now, VMware has announce the availability of VCP 6.5 for Data Center Virtualization.  This include the full exam with foundations and the delta exam.

It was lots of effort to get this exam going live and been part of developing the exam, hope that what we ask for are the required knowledge based on the product and your experience.

To those taking or renewing your certification, all the best.  Follow the blueprint as always and understand what you need to know and understand what you need to improve on.

Good Luck!

VMware Discontinuation of 3rd Party vSwitch Program for vSphere

Starting from vSphere 6.5 Update 1 and next major release, VMware will discontinue 3rd party vSwitch Program.  A kb that has stated this is found here.

3rd party vSwitches including Cisco Nexus 1000V, Cisco VM-FEX, Cisco AVS, HPE 5900v and IBM DVS 5000v.

VMware has release a migration tool which can be found here.

A blog post of what is the strategy forward in terms of virtual switch on vSphere is mentioned here which include virtual Standard Switch (vSS) and virtual Distributed Switch (vDS) and Open Virtual Switch (OVS).

For customer who are on 3rd party virtual switch, you might have to change back with your vendor for your support in future vSphere version.  Understand Cisco has mention to their customer that they will continue to support the use of Nexus 1000V.

The Death of vSphere Data Protection

VMware today announce the end availability of vSphere Data Protection (VDP) here.  vSphere 6.5 will be the last version of VDP provided.

Abit of history, VDP was included since vSphere 5.0 to replace VMware Data Recovery (VDR).

For existing VDP deployment, please check the respective version end of general support here.  Customer can continue to use any backup solution that utilize vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection framework (VADP).

Since VDP is an OEM from Dell-EMC Avamar, the closest product is Avamar Virtual Edition. Customers are recommended to take advantage of a Dell-EMC special migration offer to transition VDP VM protection to Dell-EMC Avamar Virtual Addition.  Check this with your local Dell-EMC team and read about it here.

VMware Threat Exploit Found During Pwn2Own Event

The threat was first discovered on Workstation during Pwn2Own hacking event.  With further investigation, it is now found possible on ESXi 6.0U1 and above.

Do check out the VMware Security Advisories here.  The patches are all available currently.

Read about the how this was found during Pwn2Own event on the blog post here.

VMware Certification Exam Price Increase

If you have been following the exam news that has been release, starting from 1st April, the price of the exams for all level starting from Foundation, Associate, Professional, Advanced Professional and Expert have all increased.  You can read up the official post here.

I will skip the Foundation and Associate exam since these are just entry level exams.

Looking at Professional (VCP), Advanced Professional (VCAP) and Expert (VCDX), each has increased from $225 to $250, $400 to $450 and $300 + $900 to $995 + $3,000 respectively.  If you look at it its a gradually increase in tier except for the Expert level which one would think twice attempting with an increase over 130%.  With this increased, this exam will be a company sponsored exam moving forward and not meant for one to self sponsor himself at close to $5,000.  Though these prices are affecting the developed countries.

Not sure why the move but it seems like VMware it controlling the number of people attaining VCDX and keeping th…

VMware vSphere 6.5 Security Questions

Been to many customers and have many questions on how our vSphere 6.5 Security enhancement does and how different is it from others.

So to clear some of the questions and also the articles that are available below will provide more details.

A good place to start is read up this VMware blog post by Mike Foley.  This post detail the new UEFI for ESXi and for VMs and on VM Encryption.  Let us break down some questions that are asked often or unclear:

1) Does all OSes support UEFI?
Modern versions of OS like Microsoft Windows 2012, RedHat 5 and Suse Linux Enterprise 11 SP2 and above .  Unless we are talking about older OS that are dependent on BIOS.

2) Who provide the UEFI firmware?
The hardware server vendors that allows OS or hypervisor to be installed on to be boot from.  Hypervisor or virtualization software vendor that allows running of virtual machine to boot from.

3) How can we prevent BIOs, hypervisor and OS been compromise?
The use of UEFI is to ensure digital signature are in pl…

VMware vExpert 2017 Announced!

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Congrats to all vExpert 2017 announced earlier today here.  This year we have 1471 of vExperts.  This is growing year after year.  As stated, for those who signed up for it but was not granted this title, you may email vexpert@vmware.com to seek guidance what you are missing.

As for those who have missed the application, you can watched out for it between May and June 2017.

Am grad am still staying this accreditation since I started in 2012.  This marked my 6th year.  So for those who are just starting, good work.  For those who are retaining, there isn't much effort needed, all you got to do is pen down their knowledge for sharing or even just sharing it with a simple text in twitter or share a post.



VMware VCIX Certification Clarification

I got lot of ask and question regarding the new VCIX certification from VMware.

So how do I get qualified?
What do I need to do?
Do I need to upgrade VCP first?
I am confused which VCAP to take as I have already had one?

The proper way to get to VCIX certification is stated here.
The scenarios for VCP certification is stated here.

So in the past, passing a VCAP allows you to upgrade your VCP.  However, with the expiry program and VCP certification article above on inheritance, only the expiry of existing VCP will be extended. No inheritance of VCP when passing a VCAP of the same track.

Example:
Hold VCP5-DCV, passing VCAP6-DCV Design, does not upgrade VCP5-DCV to VCP6-DCV.  Only VCP5-DCV expiry period is further extended.


In order to attempt VCDX of any track, you will need to attain VCIX for that track.  Below is how you can attain your VCIX using Data Center Virtualization track as a scenario.
Scenarios:
For one who has valid VCP5-DCV, VCAP5-DCV Deploy (work the other way around with …