Tuesday, February 27, 2018

VMware vCenter Editions

Recently a colleague hit into an issue with his setup on vCenter due to the expiry of license. A new license will be used however he is still hitting some problems. A quick check, he was using vCenter ROBO edition license and ESXi is running vSphere Enterprise Plus.

So here is to clarify the different editions of vCenter from VMware and the features available and limitation. Do note some features is dependent on the vSphere editions.

Refer to this KB for some of vSphere 6.x features comparison. I have also previously illustrated in vCenter 5.x here which basically stays the same other than new features in vCenter 6.x. For vCenter Desktop that would be another article here.


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vCenter Edition
Essential
Foundation
Standard
Availability
Bundled in Essential/Plus Kit
Sold separately. Manage up to 4 hosts (3 prior to 6.5 U1)
Sold separately.
Manage
vSphere Essential/ Plus
vSphere Standard and above
vSphere Standard and above
vCenter HA
NA
Yes
Yes
Enhanced Linked mode
NA
NA
Yes
vRealize Log Insight Lite
NA
NA
Yes
Fault Tolerance
No
Yes
Yes
Backup Restore
Yes
Yes
Yes
Appliance Migration Tool
Yes
Yes
Yes

Lastly, what happens to your vCenter when license expire? Check out my past post.


Update 6th Mar 2018
Update vCenter Foundation Edition and remove vCenter ROBO edition.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Horizon 7 with Nvidia GRID Setup Gotchas

Been setting up POC environment for customer and this time wrong got involve with using Nvidia GRID.

Encounter some setup steps that are missing from nVidia Deployment guide.
In fact, every single setup guide uses the nVidia K1 & K2 card as a reference and those cards have EOA.

Here will share with you if you are using any of the newer cards e.g. M60, M6, M10, etc.

Here are some resources you should refer to when setting GRID on Horizon 7.x.
  1. Register an account on nVidia to download the vibs for ESXi and nVidia License server and Nvidia Driver for Windows OS.
  2. Deploying Hardware-Accelerated Graphics with Horizon 7
  3. GIRD Virtual GPU
    I love to use this guide as a reference to what profile is available for each card type.
In a summary what needs to be done on the master image:
  1. Install VMware tools
  2. Install Horizon View Direct-Connect agent (you know why this needed later)
  3. Shutdown VM
  4. Edit VM settings, add shared PCI device, select your GRID profile
  5. Take a snapshot (in case you need to revert)
  6. Power up the VM
  7. Install Nvidia GRID drivers
  8. Reboot VM
  9. Use the IP and connect using Horizon Client (a bug due to Nvidia graphics driver in use, vSphere console no longer works)
Some of the Gotchas to watch out.
1. On ESXi 6.5 and above, remember to go to each ESXi server and under Configure, make sure the 2 things need to be in place:

Security Profile: X.Org Server service is started
Alternative you can run ESXi Shell or SSH with  > /etc/initi.d/xorg start

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Graphic: Change Shared to Shared Direct for both Host and Slot
Reference


2. If you are using the new Dell Gen 14 server, there is a bug stated in the release notes, page 9.

When running nvidia-smi you will receive the following error message "“failed to initialize NVML: unknown error”


Resolution
In the System BIOS Settings, Integrated Devices, Memory Mapped I/O Base, set to 12TB (default 56TB)


Lastly checking everything is in place:

ESXi Shell or SSH:

> nvidia-smi
This will return all the GPU found on the nVidia card on the server.

>dmesg | grep -i nvidia
This will show you if the driver on ESXi is loaded properly and successfully.

vMotion Between CPUs

With the release of vSphere 6.7, and the ability to have EVC on a per VM level instead of a per cluster level raise some questions. Before...