VMware Hands-on Labs - HOL-1804-02-CHG


Lab Overview - HOL-1804-02-CHG - vSphere Challenge Lab

Lab Guidance


Note: It will take more than 90 minutes to complete this lab. You should expect to only finish 3-4 of the modules during your time.  The modules are independent of each other so you can start at the beginning of any module and proceed from there. You can use the Table of Contents to access any module of your choosing.

The Table of Contents can be accessed in the upper right-hand corner of the Lab Manual.

The vSphere 6 Challenge Lab will do exactly that, challenge you to solve common vSphere problems that many experience on a daily basis! Each module places you in a different fictional scenario to fix common vSphere operational and performance problems.  Will you be able to fix a PowerCLI script that is not working?  Can you power on a VM that won't power on?  It's time to put your vSphere skills to the test.

Lab Module List:

 Lab Captains:

This lab manual can be downloaded from the Hands-on Labs Document site found here:

http://docs.hol.vmware.com/

This lab may be available in other languages.  To set your language preference and have a localized manual deployed with your lab, you may utilize this document to help guide you through the process:

http://docs.hol.vmware.com/announcements/nee-default-language.pdf


 

VMware Technology Network (VMTN)

For additional hints and to discuss the challenges presented in the lab further, be sure to visit the VMware Technology Netowork (VMTN) Community Pages:

https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/challenge-lab/vrealize-operations

 

 

Location of the Main Console

 

  1. The area in the RED box contains the Main Console.  The Lab Manual is on the tab to the Right of the Main Console.
  2. A particular lab may have additional consoles found on separate tabs in the upper left. You will be directed to open another specific console if needed.
  3. Your lab starts with 90 minutes on the timer.  The lab can not be saved.  All your work must be done during the lab session.  But you can click the EXTEND to increase your time.  If you are at a VMware event, you can extend your lab time twice, for up to 30 minutes.  Each click gives you an additional 15 minutes.  Outside of VMware events, you can extend your lab time up to 9 hours and 30 minutes. Each click gives you an additional hour.

 

 

Alternate Methods of Keyboard Data Entry

During this module, you will input text into the Main Console. Besides directly typing it in, there are two very helpful methods of entering data which make it easier to enter complex data.

 

 

Click and Drag Lab Manual Content Into Console Active Window

You can also click and drag text and Command Line Interface (CLI) commands directly from the Lab Manual into the active window in the Main Console.  

 

 

Accessing the Online International Keyboard

 

You can also use the Online International Keyboard found in the Main Console.

  1. Click on the Keyboard Icon found on the Windows Quick Launch Task Bar.

 

 

Activation Prompt or Watermark

 

When you first start your lab, you may notice a watermark on the desktop indicating that Windows is not activated.  

One of the major benefits of virtualization is that virtual machines can be moved and run on any platform.  The Hands-on Labs utilizes this benefit and we are able to run the labs out of multiple datacenters.  However, these datacenters may not have identical processors, which triggers a Microsoft activation check through the Internet.

Rest assured, VMware and the Hands-on Labs are in full compliance with Microsoft licensing requirements.  The lab that you are using is a self-contained pod and does not have full access to the Internet, which is required for Windows to verify the activation.  Without full access to the Internet, this automated process fails and you see this watermark.

This cosmetic issue has no effect on your lab.  

 

 

Look at the lower right portion of the screen

 

Please check to see that your lab is finished all the startup routines and is ready for you to start. If you see anything other than "Ready", please wait a few minutes.  If after 5 minutes your lab has not changed to "Ready", please ask for assistance.

 

Module 1 - Let's Start with the Basics (30 minutes)

Introduction


We'll start with the basics within this module to get your troubleshooting engine warmed-up.  In this lab, you'll be challenged to:


 

vSphere Client vs vSphere Flash Client

 

In the vSphere Challenge Lab, you will use both the existing vSphere Web Client (based on Flash) and the new vSphere Client (based on HTML5).  HTML5 is the future direction of the vSphere Client, so you will use it predominantly throughout this lab.

If you feel more comfortable using the vSphere Web Client, a shortcut to it (labeled vSphere Flash Client) is bookmarked within Google Chrome.

  1. The default client for the lab is the vSphere Client (based on HTML5).  Use the Home button within Google Chrome to access the vSphere Client.
  2. A bookmark to the vSphere Flash Client is available within Google Chrome.

Note:  As mentioned previously, the default client for this lab will be the vSphere Client based on HTML5.  Due to the fact that the vSphere Client does not have full feature parity with the vSphere Web Client (based on Flash), there will be some sections where you will be directed to use the vSphere Web Client.

 

 

Module Switcher

 

To prepare Module 1 for the challenges that will be presented to you, we need to run the Challenge Lab MS (Module Switcher).

  1. Double-click on the Challenge Lab MS shortcut located on the Main Console desktop.
  2. Select Start under Module 1.

Wait for the PowerCLI script to finish before proceeding.  Once the script has completed, press Enter to close the PowerCLI window.

 

Can't vMotion a VM


With vMotion, you can change the host on which a virtual machine is running, or you can change both the host and the datastore of the virtual machine.

When you migrate virtual machines with vMotion and choose to change only the host, the entire state of the virtual machine is moved to the new host.  The associated virtual disk remains in the same location on storage that is shared between the two hosts.

When you choose to change both the host and the datastore, the virtual machine state is moved to a new host and the virtual disk is moved to another datastore.  vMotion migration to another host and datastore is possible in vSphere environments without shared storage.

After the virtual machine state is migrated to the alternate host, the virtual machine runs on the new host.  Migrations with vMotion are completely transparent to the running virtual machine.

The state information includes the current memory content and all the information that defines and identifies the virtual machine.  The memory content includes transaction data and the bits of the operating system and applications that are in the memory.  The defining and identification information stored in the state includes all the data that maps to the virtual machine hardware elements, such as BIOS, devices, CPU, MAC addresses for the Ethernet cards, chip set states, registers, and so  forth.

When you migrate a virtual machine with vMotion, the new host for the virtual machine must meet compatibility requirements so that the migration can proceed.

Migration with vMotion occurs in three stages:

  1. When the migration with vMotion is requested, vCenter Server verifies that the existing virtual machine is in a stable state with its current host.
  2. The virtual machine state information (memory, registers, and network connections) is copied to the target host.
  3. The virtual machine resumes its activities on the new host.

If errors occur during migration, the virtual machine reverts to its original state and location.


 

Open Google Chrome

 

  1. Open Google Chrome using the shortcut on the taskbar.

If you did not Start Module 1 using the Challenge Lab Module Switcher outlined within the Introduction of this Module, please Stop and go back to the Introduction of Module 1 and follow the directions to Start the Module using the Challenge Lab Module Switcher.

If you already completed this step, please proceed to the next page.

 

 

Login to the vSphere Client

 

  1. Select the check box "Use Windows session authentication".
  2. Select Login.

 

 

Find challenge-01a

 

  1. Search for 'challenge-01a' using the Search box within the vSphere Client.
  2. Select challenge-01a.

 

 

Module 1, Challenge 1

Multiple Administrators have tried to migrate (vMotion) 'challenge-01a' to 'esx-04a', 'esx-05a' or 'esx-06a', as required by the Application Owner.

Your challenge is to:

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-36958

DO NOT proceed to the next step unless you want to see the solution to the challenge.

 

 

Module 1, Challenge 1 Solution

Reconfiguration of the vSphere environment increased the vCPU of 'challenge-01a' from 2 to 4.  ESXi hosts 'esx-04a', 'esx-05a' and 'esx-06a' only have 2 CPU, therefore you cannot migrate 'challenge-01a' to any of these hosts.

Therefore, in order to migrate 'challenge-01a' to 'esx-04a', 'esx-05a' or 'esx-06a', you need to modify the vCPU of 'challenge-01a' from 4 to 2.

Let's take a look at how to reconfigure 'challenge-01a' for 2 vCPU so that we can complete the challenge.

 

 

Edit challenge-01a Settings

 

We need to modify the CPU settings of 'challenge-01a' to fit within the resource restrictions of 'esx-04a', 'esx-05a' or 'esx-06a'.

  1. Select 'challenge-01a'.
  2. Select Actions.
  3. Select Edit Settings.

 

 

Modify CPU Settings

 

  1. Select the CPU drop-down and change CPU from 4 to 2.
  2. Select OK.

 

 

Migrate challenge-01a

 

  1. Right-click on 'challenge-01a'.
  2. Select Migrate.

 

 

Change Compute Resource Only

 

  1. Leave the default selection 'Change compute resource only'.
  2. Select Next.

 

 

Select Compute Resource

 

  1. 'challenge-01a' needs to be migrated to 'esx-04a', 'esx-05a' or 'esx-06a'.  Select one of these three ESXi hosts.
  2. Select Next.

The ESXi host 'esx-03a' is not an acceptable migration target for 'challenge-01a'.

 

 

Select Networks

 

You should not need to make any changes on the Select networks window.

  1. Select Next.

 

 

Ready to Complete

 

 

Can't ping a VM


Before we proceed with the next challenge which involves troubleshooting a networking issue with a particular virtual machine, consider these best practices when you configure your network.


 

Open a Command Prompt

 

  1. Select the Command Prompt shortcut located on the taskbar on the Main Console.

 

 

Ping challenge-02a

 

  1. Enter the following text into the command prompt.
ping challenge-02a -t

The -t keeps the ping going infinitely which will allow you to test different solutions without having to repeat this step to determine if the problem is solved or not.

 

 

Module 1, Challenge 2

 

Notice the ping response is 'Destination host unreachable'.  Your challenge is to

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-36958

Do NOT proceed to the next page unless you want to view the solution to your challenge.

 

 

Module 1, Challenge 2 Solution

 

It appears that someone created a vSphere Standard Switch using the companies naming convention a long time ago.  The company has standardized on the vSphere Distributed Switch however they forgot to delete this vSphere Standard Switch from 'esx-06a'.  There are no network adapters attached to the vSphere Standard Switch that 'challenge-02a' is attached to, therefore it is unable to communicate on the network.

 

 

 

Edit Settings

 

  1. Select challenge-02a within the Inventory Tree.
  2. Select Actions.
  3. Select Edit Settings.

 

 

Change Network Adapter

 

  1. For Network adapter 1, select VM-RegionA01-vDS-COMP.
  2. Select OK.

Return to the command prompt.  Is the 'challenge-02a' now responding to ping?

If your continuous ping has stopped, restart the continuous ping using this command.

ping challenge-02a -t

 

 

Responding to Ping

 

Congratulations, 'challenge-02a' is now communicating on the network.  Great job diagnosing and resolving the problem before your manager called you asking why they couldn't login to the server.

 

 

Module Switcher

 

Now that you have completed Module 1, we need to reset the lab for your next challenge.

  1. Double-click on Challenge Lab MS (Module Switcher) located on the Main Console desktop.
  2. Select Stop under Module 1.

 

 

You've Finished Module 1

This concludes Module 1, Let's Start with the Basics.  We hope you have enjoyed taking it.  Please do not forget to fill out the survey when you are finished.

If you have time reamining, you can continue to the next page to proceed to Module 2 or jump to another module that is part of this lab.  Click on "More Options - Table of Contents" to quickly jump to a module within the manual.

 

Module 2 - Basic Operations Management (30 minutes)

Introduction


This module will challenge you on Basic Operations Management tasks.


 

vSphere Client vs vSphere Flash Client

 

In the vSphere Challenge Lab, you will use both the existing vSphere Web Client (based on Flash) and the new vSphere Client (based on HTML5).  HTML5 is the future direction of the vSphere Client, so you will use it predominantly throughout this lab.

If you feel more comfortable using the vSphere Web Client, a shortcut to it (labeled vSphere Flash Client) is bookmarked within Google Chrome.

  1. The default client for the lab is the vSphere Client (based on HTML5).  Use the Home button within Google Chrome to access the vSphere Client.
  2. A bookmark to the vSphere Flash Client is available within Google Chrome.

Note:  As mentioned previously, the default client for this lab will be the vSphere Client based on HTML5.  Due to the fact that the vSphere Client does not have full feature parity with the vSphere Web Client (based on Flash), there will be some sections where you will be directed to use the vSphere Web Client.

 

Update VMware Tools


VMware Tools is a set of services and modules that enable several features in VMware products for better management of, and seamless user interactions with, guests operating systems.  For example, VMware Tools has the ability to:

VMware Tools Lifecycle Management provides a simplified and scalable approach for installation and upgrade of VMware Tools.  It includes a number of feature enhancements, driver-related enhancements, and support for new guest operating systems.  Run the latest version of VMware Tools or use open-vm-tools distributed with the Linux OS distribution.  Although a guest operating system can run without VMware Tools, always run the latest version of VMware Tools in your guest operating systems to access the latest features and updates.  You can configure your virtual machine to automatically check for and apply VMware Tools upgrades each time you power on your virtual machines.  For information about enabling automatic upgrade of VMware Tools on your virtual machines, see the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration Guide.

More Information:


 

productLocker

When downloading ESXi from My VMware, you have the option to download ESXi with or without VMware Tools packaged within the ESXi installer.  ESXi with VMware Tools included is ~300MB in size, half of which is made up of the VMware Tools source files.  Therefore, you can save significant space within ESXi, especially when using features such as Auto Deploy, if using the ESXi installer that does not include VMware Tools.

To help streamline the updating of VMware Tools in the future, you're first challenge within this module is to create a shared VMware Tools source folder on a datastore shared amongst all ESXi hosts and copy the contents of the Product Locker folder to that shared folder.  Don't worry, we'll help guide you along the way.

 

 

Open Putty

 

  1. From the Windows taskbar, select the Putty shorcut

Module 2 does not require you to use the Challenge Lab Module Switcher to Start the Module.  Please proceed to the next step.

 

 

Connect to an ESXi Host

 

All ESXi hosts within the vSphere environment are running vSphere 6.5, therefore we can connect to any of the ESXi hosts within the environment.

  1. Select esx-01a.
  2. Select Open.

 

 

Explore productLocker

 

You will automatically connect to the ESXi host as root user.  The following 3 commands will walk you through accessing the contents of the ProductLocker folder, which contain the VMware Tools installation source files.

1. cd /productLocker/
2. cd vmtools
3. ls

The productLocker folder contains the VMware Tools installation files for each type of Operating System.  There are 3 types of files

 

 

Open Google Chrome

 

Open Google Chrome from the Windows desktop.  Or, open a new Tab if you still have Chrome open from a previous challenge.

  1. Open Google Chrome using the shortcut on the taskbar.

 

 

Login to vSphere Client

 

  1. Select the check box "Use Windows session authentication".
  2. Select Login.

 

 

Access Storage

 

  1. Select Menu.  A dropdown will appear with a list of vCenter choices.
  2. Select Storage.

 

 

Module 2, Challenge 1

We've helped get you started down the right path, but now it's your turn to complete the challenge.  Your challenge is to:

Tools you will possibly use to complete this challenge:

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-36959

DO NOT proceed to the next page unless you are ready to see the solution to your challenge.

 

 

Module 2, Challenge 1 Solution

 

You will use WinSCP to copy the VMware Tools installation files to the Main Console.

  1. Double-click on the 'WinSCP VMTools' shortcut on the desktop of the Main Console.

The shortcut is configured to automatically take you to the 'vmtools' folder on an ESXi host in the cluster.  You will be presented the following:

 

 

 

 

Download VMware Tools Installation Files

 

  1. Select all the files within the 'vmtools' folder on the right-hand side of WinSCP.

By default, the left-hand side of WinSCP should default to the 'VMTools' folder located on the desktop of the Main Console (not shown). The 'VMTools' folder is currently empty. If not, browse to 'C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop\VMTools' on the left-hand side of WinSCP.

  1. Download all of the files within the 'vmtools' folder (right-hand side of WinSCP) to the 'VMTools' folder (left-hand side of WinSCP).  

We need to copy the files we downloaded from the ESXi host to a folder shared amongst all ESXi hosts in the vSphere cluster.

 

 

Login to vSphere Client

 

You should still be logged into the vSphere Client from previous steps.  If not, login to the vSphere Client.

  1. Select the check box "Use Windows session authentication"
  2. Select Login.

 

 

Access Storage

 

  1. Select Menu.  A dropdown will appear with a list of vCenter choices.
  2. Select Storage.

 

 

Choose a Shared Datastore

 

  1. Select RegionA01-ISCSI01-COMP01.

 

 

Create a New Datastore Folder

 

  1. Select Files.
  2. Select New Folder.
  3. Enter a folder name of Shared-VMTools.

 

 

Use WinSCP to Copy VMware Tools Installation Files to New Folder

 

  1. Double-click on the WinSCP VMTools shortcut on the desktop of the Main Console.

The shortcut is configured to automatically take you to the 'vmtools' folder on an ESXi host in the cluster.  You need to locate the folder you created in the previous step on the VMFS datastore.

 

 

Browse VMFS

 

Follow these steps within the folder tree on the right-side of WinSCP to reach the 'Shared-VMTools' folder you created in the 'RegionA01-ISCSI01-COMP01' datastore.

  1. Select the drop-down arrow at the top of the WinSCP to move from the 'vmtools' folder to the 'vmfs' folder. Select the vmfs folder.
  2. Select volumes.
  3. Select RegionA01-ISCSI01-COMP01.

Notice that the 'RegionA01-ISCSI01-COMP01' folder has a shortcut icon. This shortcut will take you to the original folder that has a 32-character alphanumeric name. This is important as upcoming steps will reference the 32-character alphanumeric, not the friendly name.  For your information, the 32-character alphanumeric name is 5727fe90-1aaae6f7-7179-005056018fc3.

  1. Select Shared-VMTools.

 

 

 

Copy VMware Tools Installation Files

 

  1. Copy the VMware Tools installation files that you downloaded to the 'VMTools' folder (left-hand side of WinSCP) into the 'Shared-VMTools' folder (right-hands side of WinSCP) you created within the 'RegionA01-ISCSI01-COMP01' datastore.

 

 

Product Locker Location

 

While not required as part of this challenge, there is an additional step needed to update each ESXi host with the new location of the VMware Tools installation files.

Select a ESXi host and go to Configure > Advanced System Settings > UserVars.ProductLockerLocation.

Edit the location to reflect the new productLocker folder you created:  /vmfs/volumes/RegionA01-ISCSI01-COMP01/Shared-VMTools

If you have a large number of ESXi hosts, performing these steps on each ESXi host individually is not recommended.  The following PowerCLI script provides you with a way to update all ESXi hosts at once.

Connect to vCenter Server in PowerCLI

Get-VMhost -Location <cluster name> |  Set-VMHostAdvancedConfiguration -Name UserVars.ProductLockerLocation  -Value /vmfs/volumes/RegionA01-ISCSI01-COMP01/productLocker

A restart of ESXi is required to complete the updating of the productLocker location.

This completes this challenge.  

Proceed to the next page to continue with Module 2 or use the Table of Contents to select a different challenge or module.

 

My PowerCLI script isn't working


vSphere PowerCLI is a powerful command line tool that lets you automate all aspects of vSphere management, including networking, storage, virtual machines, tasks, and more.  vSphere PowerCLI is distributed as a Windows PowerShell snap-in, and includes more than 300 PowerShell cmdlets, along with documentation and samples.

More Information:


 

Run the Get-VM-Snapshots PowerCLI script

 

 

 

Module 2, Challenge 2

 

You'll notice the 'Get-VM-Snapshots' PowerCLI script fails to run.  Your challenge is to:

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-36959

DO NOT proceed to the next page unless you want to view the solution to the challenge.

 

 

Module 2, Challenge 2 Solution

 

Did you figure it out?  The error message will give you a hint to where the error is within the PowerCLI script.  Focus on the characters after the path to Get-VM-Snapshot.ps1.

3 char:1

This indicates the issue with the PowerCLI script is located on line 3 of the script.  Let's take a closer look at line 3 of the script.

  1. Right click on Get-VM-Snapshots.ps1 within the Challenge Lab Scripts folder.
  2. Select Edit with Notepad++.

The text on Line 3 begins with:

Get-Snapshot

The Get-Snapshot command is the incorrect command to start the script with.  You'll notice that the Get-Snapshot command is used later within the script.  The first command we need to run within the script is the 'Get-VM' command.  This will retrieve a list of VMs within vCenter.  After that, we run the 'Get-Snapshot' command to get a list of Snapshots for each VM.

Therefore, change the 'Get-Snapshot' command on line 3 to 'Get-VM'.  The PowerCLI script should look like the following:

Connect-VIServer -Server 'vcsa-01a.corp.local' -User 'CORP\Administrator' -Password 'VMware1!'

Get-VM | Format-Table Name, @{Label="NumSnapshots";Expression={(Get-Snapshot -VM $_ | Measure-Object).Count}}, @{Label="TotalSnapShotSizeMB";Expression={(Get-Snapshot -VM $_ | Measure-Object -Sum SizeMB).Sum}}

Read-Host -Prompt "Press Enter to Exit"

Once you've modified the script, Select Save then run the script again by right-clicking on the script and select Run with Powershell.

 

 

Get VM Snapshot Success

 

After correcting the 'Get-VM-Snapshot.ps1' PowerCLI script and Runnig with Powershell, we can see the number and size of snapshots associated with each virtual machine.

 

 

You've Finished Module 2

This concludes Module 2, Basic Operations Management.  We hope you enjoyed taking it.  Please do not forget to fill out the survey when you are finished.

If you have time remaining, you can continue to the next page to begin Module 3, or you can jump to another Module within this lab.  Click on "More Options - Table of Contents" to quickly jump to a challenge within the module.

Module 1 - Let's Start with the Basics (30 minutes)

Module 2 - Basic Operations Management (30 minutes)

Module 3 - Basic Resource Management (30 minutes)

Module 4 - Advanced Operations Management (45 minutes)

Module 5 - Advanced Resource Management (45 minutes)

 

Module 3 - Basic Resource Management (30 minutes)

Introduction


This module will challenge you on Basic Resource Management tasks.


 

vSphere Client vs vSphere Flash Client

 

In the vSphere Challenge Lab, you will use both the existing vSphere Web Client (based on Flash) and the new vSphere Client (based on HTML5).  HTML5 is the future direction of the vSphere Client, so you will use it predominantly throughout this lab.

If you feel more comfortable using the vSphere Web Client, a shortcut to it (labeled vSphere Flash Client) is bookmarked within Google Chrome.

  1. The default client for the lab is the vSphere Client (based on HTML5).  Use the Home button within Google Chrome to access the vSphere Client.
  2. A bookmark to the vSphere Flash Client is available within Google Chrome.

Note:  As mentioned previously, the default client for this lab will be the vSphere Client based on HTML5.  Due to the fact that the vSphere Client does not have full feature parity with the vSphere Web Client (based on Flash), there will be some sections where you will be directed to use the vSphere Web Client.

 

 

Module Switcher

 

To prepare Module 3 for the challenges that will be presented to you, we need to run the Challenge Lab MS (Module Switcher).

  1. Double-click on the Challenge Lab MS shortcut located on the Main Console desktop.
  2. Select Start under Module 3.

Wait for the PowerCLI script to finish before proceeding.  Once the script has completed, press Enter to close the PowerCLI window.

 

Troubleshoot a Poorly Performing VM


Before we get started troubleshooting a poorly performing virtual machine, let's review some troubleshooting suggestions.

The suggestions are not meant to be a comprehensive guide to diagnosing and troubleshooting problems in the virtual environment.  It is meant to provide information about some common problems that can be solved without contacting VMware Technical Support.

More Information:


 

Connect to challenge-01a

 

  1. Connect to 'challenge-01a' by double-clicking on the 'chg-01a.RDP' shortuct on the Main Console desktop.  Alternatively, you can right-click on 'chg-01a.RDP' and select Connect.

If you did not Start Module 3 using the Challenge Lab Module Switcher outlined within the Introduction of this Module, please Stop and go back to the Introduction of Module 3 and follow the directions to Start the Module using the Challenge Lab Module Switcher.

If you already completed this step, please proceed to the next page.

 

 

Connect to challenge-04a

 

Repeat the same steps for 'challenge-04a'.

  1. Connect to 'challenge-04a' by double-clicking on the 'chg-04a.RDP' shortuct on the Main Console desktop.  Alternatively, you can right-click on 'chg-04a.RDP' and select Connect.

Wait to be logged into both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a' before proceeding to the next step.

 

 

Start SPECjbb

 

Both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a' has some tools installed on it to help you monitor its well-being. On the desktop, you can see information about the virtual machine including its hostname, IP address, CPU usage, and memory usage. The CPU usage and memory usage update in real time.

In the CPU usage chart, you can see both the  total CPU used ("Total:") and the percentage of CPU usage that is consumed by the guest operating system's kernel ("Krnl:").

  1. Double-click on SPECjbb to start the performance measurement application.

 

 

Start Benchmark

 

A window titled SPECjbb2005 opens. A copy of SPECjbb2005 is installed on both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a'. SPECjbb2005 is a real SPEC java-based benchmark that can measure CPU and memory performance.

  1. Select Start Benchmark to start the benchmark.  Make sure you Start the Benchmark on both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a'.

 

 

SPECjbb Starts

Wait about a minute for the benchmark to begin running on both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a'.

 

 

Resize Windows

 

Resize both the 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a' desktops so that you can view the Performance results.

 

 

Module 3, Challenge 1

As you can see, 'challenge-01a' is performing poorly when compared to 'challenge-04a'.  Your challenge is to:

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-36960

DO NOT proceed to the next page unless you are ready to view the Solution to this Challenge.

 

 

Module 3, Challenge 1 Solution

 

If you look closely, you'll notice CPU Shares have been setup for both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a'.  The key difference though is 1000 Shares have been configured for 'challenge-01a' and 2000 Shares have been configured for 'challenge-04a'.  This would explain why 'challenge-01a' is performing poorly when compared to 'challenge-04a'.

Shares specify the relative importance of a virtual machine.  In this instance, 'challenge-04a' had twice as many CPU Shares as 'challenge-01a' and therefore is entitled to consume twice as much of that resource when multiple virtual machines are competing for resources.

There are a couple of ways to solve this challenge.

  1. You can modify the CPU Shares for 'challenge-04a' to match that of 'challenge-01a' so that they both equal 1000.
  2. You can modify the CPU Shares for 'challenge-01a' to match that of 'challenge-04a' so that they both equal 2000.
  3. You can modify the CPU Shares for both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a' to both equal 0.

We'll walk through modifying the CPU Shares to both equal 0 so that future VMs that reside on this host are not subjected to the same performance characteristics.

 

 

Open Google Chrome

 

  1. Open Google Chrome using the shortcut on the taskbar.

 

 

Login to the vSphere Client

 

  1. Select the check box "Use Windows session authentication".
  2. Select Login.

 

 

Edit Settings on challenge-01a

 

  1. Find 'challenge-01a' within the Inventory Tree on the left hand side of the vSphere Client.  Right click on 'challenge-01a' to launch the context menu.
  2. Select Edit Settings.

 

 

Edit CPU Shares

 

  1. Select the triangle next to CPU to expand the CPU menu.
  2. Select the drop down menu next to where it currently states Custom and change the value to Normal.

 

 

Repeat for challenge-04a

Repeat the same process for 'challenge-04a'.

  1. Find 'challenge-04a' within the tree on the left hand side of the vSphere Web Client.  Right click on 'challenge-04a' to launch the context menu.
  2. Select Edit Settings.
  3. Select the triangle next to CPU to expand the CPU menu.
  4. Select the drop down menu next to where it currently states Custom and change the value to Normal.

If the SPECjbb Benchmark application is still running, the performance of 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a' should equalize after a few cycles.  If the SPECjbb Benchmark application is not running, feel free to start the Benchmark on each virtual machine again to ensure that the virtual machines are performing similarly.

This completes this challenge.  

Proceed to the next page to continue with Module 3 or use the Table of Contents to select a different challenge or module.

 

Troubleshoot a Poorly Performing Host


Before your next challenge, let's review some solutions for Consistently High CPU Usage.

Temporary spikes in CPU usage indicate that you are making the best use of CPU resources.  Consistently high CPU usage might indicate a problem.  You can use the CPU performance charts to monitor CPU usage for hosts, clusters, resource pools, virtual machines, and vApps.

Solutions

Now you may be thinking that this challenge is related Host CPU Performance.  You may be right, but you may also be wrong.  The only way to find out is to proceed with your challenge.  Good luck!


 

Launch Google Chrome

 

  1. Open Google Chrome using the shortcut on the taskbar.

 

 

Login to vSphere Client

 

  1. Select the check box "Use Windows session authentication".
  2. Select Login.

 

 

Browse to the Poorly Performing Host

 

The Operations team informed you that 'esx-01a' is performing poorly.  We need to investigate further.

  1. Select the host esx-01a.
  2. Select Monitor.
  3. Select Advanced.  You may need to expand Performance to see Advanced by selecting the arrow to the left of Performance.

The current virtual machine workload on 'esx-05a' is consuming 50% of the available CPU resources available.  If you look closely at the Performance graph, you'll notice 5 different counters:  green, blue, purple,  orange and black.  Using the Performance Chart Legend, we see that the blue counter represents CPU 0, the purple counter represents CPU 1, the green counter represents CPU 2, the orange counter represents CPU 3 and the black counter represents overall CPU usage for the host.

 

 

View Memory Performance

 

Modify the view to show Memory Usage.  'esx-01a' has 8GB of memory available to it.  The current virtual machine workload is consuming close to 80% of available Memory.

Investigate the performance of 'esx-01a' by using the Advanced Performance Monitor.  Use the dropdown (CPU usage in %) in the upper right-hand corner of the Performance window to view metrics for Memory, Network and other host-based metrics.

 

 

Module 3, Challenge 2

Your challenge is to:

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-36960

DO NOT proceed to the next page unless you are ready to view the Solution to this Challenge.

 

 

Module 3, Challenge 2 Solution

 

The ESXi host 'esx-01a' was performing fine up until the point when a colleague accidentally started the memhog (memory hog) virtual machine on the same host as 'challenge-02a'.  The memhog virtual machine is only used to performance benchmarking within the environment.

To solve the performance issue on 'esx-01a', you could've performed any of the following:

 

 

Stop Module 3

 

Before you celebrate with colleagues, open the Challenge Lab MS (module switcher) located on the desktop of the Main Console.

  1. Double-click on the Challenge Lab MS (Module Switcher) shortcut located on the Main Console desktop.
  2. Select Stop under Module 3.

Wait for the PowerCLI window to close before proceeding to the next step.

 

 

You've Finished Module 3

This concludes Module 3, Basic Resource Management.  We hope you have enjoyed taking it.  Please do not forget to fill out the survey when you are finished.

If you have time remaining, you can proceed to the next page to begin Module 4 or you can jump to another Module within this lab.  Click on "More Options - Table of Contents" to quickly jump to a challenge within the module.

Module 1 - Let's Start with the Basics (30 minutes)

Module 2 - Basic Operations Management (30 minutes)

Module 3 - Basic Resource Management (30 minutes)

Module 4 - Advanced Operations Management (45 minutes)

Module 5 - Advanced Resource Management (45 minutes)

 

Module 4 - Advanced Operations Management (45 minutes)

Introduction


This module will challenge you on Advanced Operations Management tasks.


 

vSphere Client vs vSphere Flash Client

 

In the vSphere Challenge Lab, you will use both the existing vSphere Web Client (based on Flash) and the new vSphere Client (based on HTML5).  HTML5 is the future direction of the vSphere Client, so you will use it predominantly throughout this lab.

If you feel more comfortable using the vSphere Web Client, a shortcut to it (labeled vSphere Flash Client) is bookmarked within Google Chrome.

  1. The default client for the lab is the vSphere Client (based on HTML5).  Use the Home button within Google Chrome to access the vSphere Client.
  2. A bookmark to the vSphere Flash Client is available within Google Chrome.

Note:  As mentioned previously, the default client for this lab will be the vSphere Client based on HTML5.  Due to the fact that the vSphere Client does not have full feature parity with the vSphere Web Client (based on Flash), there will be some sections where you will be directed to use the vSphere Web Client.

 

 

Module Switcher

 

To prepare Module 4 for the challenges that will be presented to you, we need to run the Challenge Lab MS (Module Switcher).

  1. Double-click on the Challenge Lab MS shortcut located on the Main Console desktop.
  2. Select Start under Module 4.

Wait for the PowerCLI script to finish before proceeding.  Once the script has completed, press Enter to close the PowerCLI window.

 

Assigning the Correct Permissions


Permissions are access roles that consist of a user and the users assigned role for an object such as a virtual machine or ESXi  host.  Permissions grant users the right to perform the activities specified by the role on the object to which the role is assigned.    

For example, to configure memory for the host, you must grant a role to a user that includes the Host > Configuration > Memory Configuration privilege.  By assigning different roles to users for different objects, you control the tasks that users can perform in your vSphere environment.

Users other than root and vpxuser initially have no permissions on any objects, which means they cannot view these objects or perform operations on them.  A user with Administrator privileges must assign permissions to these users to allow them to perform tasks.  

The list of privileges is the same for ESXi and vCenter Server.

Multiple Permissions

Many tasks require permissions on more than one object.

Permissions applied on a child object always override permissions that are applied on a parent object. Virtual machine folders and resource pools are equivalent levels in the hierarchy.  If you assign propagating permissions to a user or group on a virtual machine's folder and its resource pool, the user has the privileges propagated from the resource pool and from the folder.

If multiple group permissions are defined on the same object and the user belongs to two or more of those groups, two situations are possible:

Permission Examples

These rules can help you determine where you must assign permissions to allow particular operations:


 

Module 4, Challenge 1

If you did not Start Module 4 using the Challenge Lab Module Switcher outlined within the Introduction of this Module, please Stop and go back to the Introduction of Module 4 and follow the directions to Start the Module using the Challenge Lab Module Switcher.

If you already completed this step, please proceed to the next page.

The Developer Manager sent you an email with the following permission requirements for the new Junior Developer.

  1. Needs access to virtual machines and templates, including ability to provision new virtual machines from template.
  2. Should not be able to add or remove CPU or memory from any virtual machines.
  3. Complete snapshot capabilities including create, rename, remove and revert to for virtual machines.
  4. Ability to create new folders.
  5. Ability to perform all power operations for virtual machines.
  6. Ability to clone virtual machines.

An Active Directory account has already been created for the new developer within the CORP.LOCAL domain.  Those details are as follows:

Your challenge is to

Before you get started, your Director has implemented security standards, therefore all requested permissions for the Junior Developer should only be applied on the Development folder within vCenter.

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-36961

DO NOT proceed to the next page unless you want to view the solution to this challenge.

 

 

Module 4, Challenge 1 Solution

Were you able to assign the correct permissions to the Junior Developer?  Let's put your resolution to the test and walk through the solution.

 

 

Open Google Chrome

 

  1. Open Google Chrome using the shortcut on the taskbar.

 

 

Login to the vSphere Client

 

  1. Select the check box "Use Windows session authentication".
  2. Select Login.

 

 

Create New Role

 

We need to create a new role with the requested permissions to assign to the Junior Developer.

 

 

Create New Role

 

  1. Select Roles.
  2. Select the Plus sign to Add a new role.

 

 

Provisioning

 

  1. Select Virtual machine.
  2. Select Create template from virtual machine and Deploy template.

 

 

Snapshot Management

 

  1. Select Snapshot management.  Selecting the 'Snapshot management' privilege will propogate all privilege's located within Snapshot management.

 

 

Power Operations

 

 

 

Clone Virtual Machine

 

  1. Select Clone virtual machine.  That should cover all requested privileges for the Junior Developer.
  2. Select Next.

 

 

Name Role

 

  1. Name the Role Junior Developer.
  2. Select Finish.

 

 

Browse to the Development Folder

 

  1. Select Menu.
  2. Select VMs and Templates.

 

 

Browse to Development Folder

 

  1. Select the Development folder.  You may need to expand 'vcsa-01a.corp.loca'l and 'RegionA01' in order to see the Development folder.
  2. Select Permissions.
  3. Select the Plus sign to add a new permission.

 

 

Add New Permission

 

  1. Select CORP.LOCAL from the dropdown list.
  2. Enter jdev.
  3. Select the Junior Developer role from the dropdown list.
  4. Check the box Propogate to children.
  5. Select OK.

Notice Development at the top of the window next to Add Permission.  This helps you identify which vCenter object you are applying the new permission to.

 

 

Permission Added

 

This completes this challenge.

Proceed to the next page to continue with Module 4 or use the Table of Contents to select a different challenge or module.

 

My VM Won't Power On


You can often obtain valuable troubleshooting information by looking at the logs provided by the various services and agents that your implementation is using.

Most logs are located in C:\ProgramData\VMware\vCenterServer\logs for Windows deployments or /var/log/ for vCenter Server Appliance deployments.  Common logs are available in all implementations.  Other logs are unique to certain deployment options (Management Node or Platform Services Controller).

Common Logs

More Information:


 

Open Google Chrome

  1. Launch Google Chrome using the shortcut on the Main Console desktop.

 

 

 

Login to vSphere Client

 

  1. Select the check box "Use Windows session authentication".
  2. Select Login.

 

 

Search for challenge-05a

 

  1. Within the Search field located next to the Menu drop down, enter challenge-05a and press Enter.
  2. Select challenge-05a.

 

 

Power On challenge-05a

 

  1. Select Actions.
  2. Expand Power to see all available Power options.
  3. Select Power On.

 

 

Module 4, Challenge 2

 

  1. Expand Recent Tasks by selecting it at the bottom of the window and check to make sure 'challenge-05a' powered on successfully.

It appears 'challenge-05a' won't power on.  Examine the error message to begin troubleshooting the issue.  Your challenge is to:

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-36961

DO NOT proceed to the next page unless you want to see the solution to the challenge.

 

 

Module 4, Challenge 2 Solution

 

Select the 'challenge-05a' virtual machine within the Inventory Tree.  Notice that the virtual machine is configured for 8 CPU(s).  This is preventing the 'challenge-05a' virtual machine from being powered-on as ESXi host 'esx-05a' does not have sufficient CPU resources to meet the current CPU requirements (8 CPU) of the 'challenge-05a' virtual machine..

 

 

Edit Settings

 

To resolve the misconfiguration issue for the 'challenge-05a' virtual machine:

  1. Right-click on 'challenge-05a'.
  2. Select Edit Settings.

 

 

Correct CPU Configuration

 

  1. Select the Core per Socket drop-down menu.  Notice that the only options available to you are 1 or 2.  Select 1 or 2.
  2. Select OK.

Notice that vCenter Server prevents you from misconfiguring the virtual machine within the User Interface.  Now you may be asking yourself how the 'challenge-05a' virtual machine was configured with 8 CPU if the vCenter Server User Interface will not allow you to choose such a setting.

The numvcpus line within the virtual machines VMX file (configuration file) was modified to 8 CPU.  This shows the danger of modifying the VMX file directly, as it can override the measures put in-place within vCenter Server to prevent a misconfiguration.

 

 

Challenge Completed

 

Good job, after modifying the number of CPU from 8 to 1 or 2, the 'challenge-05a' virtual machine successfully powers on.

This completes this challenge.  

Proceed to the next page to continue with Module 4 or use the Table of Contents to select a different challenge or module.

 

My Host is Out of Compliance


The Host Profiles feature creates a profile that encapsulates the host configuration and helps to manage the host configuration, especially in environments where an administrator manages multiple hosts or clusters invCenter Server.

Host Profiles provide an automated and centrally managed mechanism for host configuration andconfiguration compliance. Host Profiles can improve efficiency by reducing reliance upon repetitive, manualtasks.  Host Profiles capture the configuration of a pre-configured and validated reference host, store the configuration as a managed object and use the catalog of parameters contained within to configure networking, storage, security, and other host-level parameters.  Host Profiles can be applied to individual hosts, a cluster, or all the hosts and clusters associated to a host profile.  Applying a Host Profile to a cluster affects all hosts in the cluster and result in a consistent configuration across the applied hosts.

Host Profiles can be used to validate the configuration of a host by checking compliance of a host or cluster against the Host Profile that is associated with that host or cluster.

More Information:


 

Getting Started with Host Profiles

 

Host Profiles is not available yet within the vSphere Client (HTML5), therefore we must use the current vSphere Flash Client.

  1. Select the Google Chome shortcut on the taskbar.

 

 

vSphere Flash Client

 

  1. Select vSphere Flash Client from the Bookmarks Bar.

 

 

Login to vSphere Flash Client

 

  1. Select the check box "Use Windows session authentication".
  2. Select Login.

 

 

Explore Host Profiles

 

  1. Select the Home icon within vSphere Web Client.
  2. Select Policies and Profiles.

 

 

Explore Host Profiles

 

  1. Select Host Profiles from Navigator.

 

 

Production Host Profile

 

A team member has already created a Host Profile appropriately named 'Production Host Profile'.  Notice that one host is currently attached to this host profile and it is showing as 'Not Compliant'.  Let's determine why the host is showing as 'Not Compliant'.

  1. Select Host Profile Compliance.

Wait for the 'Check Compliance' task to complete.  Use the Recent Tasks windows to check the status of the 'Check Compliance' task.

 

 

Not Compliant Hosts

 

After the Check Compliance task completes, notice that 1 ESXi host is not compliant.

  1. Select Production Host Profile.

 

 

Not Compliant

 

Notice that 'esx-05a' is Not Compliant against the Production Host Profile.

 

 

Module 4, Challenge 3

Now that you've started down the correct path, it's time for you to take control.  Your challenge is to:

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-36961

DO NOT proceed to the next page unless you want to see the solution to this challenge.

 

 

Module 4, Challenge 3 Solution

Were you able to resolve the issue with the Non-Compliant host?  The Solution to this Challenge is as follows:

 

 

Take a Closer Look

 

  1. Select Monitor.
  2. Select Compliance.
  3. Highlight the esx-05a.corp.local row.  Do not select the 'esx-05a' object as it will take you to the host you selected.  If this happens, select the Back button in the top right-hand corner of the vSphere Web Client to return to this page.
  4. Notice the Host Value and the Host Profile Value fields are different.  The Host Value has the additional NTP Server which is causing the host to be Not Compliant.

 

 

Modify the NTP Server Settings

 

The NTP Server Settings can be modified within the vSphere Client (based on HTML5), therefore we will proceed with modifying the NTP Server Settings there.

  1. Open a new tab within Google Chrome by selecting the reverse parallelogram.
  2. Select Home.

You will automatically be logged into vCenter since you are currently logged-in as CORP\Administrator within the vSphere Flash Client.  If you are not automatically logged-in, check the box to "Use windows session authentication" to login to vCenter.

 

 

Hosts and Clusters

 

  1. Select Menu.
  2. Select Host and Clusters from the drop down list.

 

 

Time Configuration

 

  1. Select esx-05a.corp.local.
  2. Select Configure.
  3. Select Time Configuration.
  4. Select Edit.

 

 

Edit Time Configuration

 

Notice the additional NTP Server 'ntp.corp.local' within the NTP Servers text box.  Delete 'ntp.corp.local' from within the text box.

 

 

Check Host Compliance

 

Now that you have removed the invalid NTP Server entry, we need to re-check the Compliance of the host against the Host Profile.  The vSphere Flash Client tab that you were working in within the first part of this lab should still be open.

  1. Select the Check Host Profile Compliance icon to check the compliance of 'esx-05a' now that you have modified the NTP Server Settings.

 

 

Compliant

 

Great job.  The host 'esx-05a' is now Compliant against the Production Host Profile.  Your manager thanks you and your company can now move forward with standardizing their ESXi environment.

If 'esx-05a' is still not compliant, there is no need to worry.  The Hands-On Lab environment is delivered to you from many cloud environments.  Due to this, sometimes the labs are created with slight differences from one cloud to another.

Bonus Challenge:  Examine the additional profile items that still make 'esx-05a' Not Compliant against the Production Host Profile.  Edit the 'Production Host Profile' to make 'esx-05a' Compliant.

If you're not interested in the Bonus Challenge, feel free to proceed to the next step.

 

 

Stop Module 4

 

Before you celebrate with colleagues, open the Challenge Lab MS (Module Switcher) located on the desktop of the Main Console.

  1. Double-click on Challenge Lab MS (Module Switcher) shortcut located on the desktop of the Main Console.
  2. Select Stop under Module 4.

Wait for the PowerCLI window to close before proceeding to the next step.

 

 

You've Finished Module 4

Congatulations on finishing Module 4.

You can now proceed in the manual to Module 5, or you can jump to a different module more suited for your skill level.

Module 1 - Let's Start with the Basics (30 minutes)

Module 2 - Basic Operations Management (30 minutes)

Module 3 - Basic Resource Management (30 minutes)

Module 4 - Advanced Operations Management (45 minutes)

Module 5 - Advanced Resource Management (45 minutes)

 

Module 5 - Advanced Resource Management (45 minutes)

Introduction


This module will challenge you on Advanced Resource Management tasks.


 

vSphere Client vs vSphere Flash Client

 

In the vSphere Challenge Lab, you will use both the existing vSphere Web Client (based on Flash) and the new vSphere Client (based on HTML5).  HTML5 is the future direction of the vSphere Client, so you will use it predominantly throughout this lab.

If you feel more comfortable using the vSphere Web Client, a shortcut to it (labeled vSphere Flash Client) is bookmarked within Google Chrome.

  1. The default client for the lab is the vSphere Client (based on HTML5).  Use the Home button within Google Chrome to access the vSphere Client.
  2. A bookmark to the vSphere Flash Client is available within Google Chrome.

Note:  As mentioned previously, the default client for this lab will be the vSphere Client based on HTML5.  Due to the fact that the vSphere Client does not have full feature parity with the vSphere Web Client (based on Flash), there will be some sections where you will be directed to use the vSphere Web Client.

 

 

Module Switcher

 

To prepare your lab for the Challenges, you will need to run the Challenge Lab MS (Module Switcher).

  1. Double-click on the Challenge Lab MS shortcut located on the Main Console desktop.
  2. Select Start under Module 5.

Wait for the PowerCLI script to finish before proceeding.  Once the script has completed, press Enter to close the PowerCLI window.

 

My Application is Sensitive to Latency


ESXi is optimized for high throughput to minimize virtualization overhead for a wide-range of applications, including business critical applications such as databases.  Latency, measures the time it takes to transfer data from one endpoint to another and is typically measured in milliseconds.  Latency-sensitive applications typically include VoIP services or high-frequency trading, where low response times are critical.

More Information:


 

Open Google Chrome

 

  1. Open Google Chrome using the shortcut on the taskbar.

If you did not Start Module 5 using the Challenge Lab Module Switcher outlined within the Introduction of this Module, please Stop and go back to the Introduction of Module 5 and follow the directions to Start the Module using the Challenge Lab Module Switcher.

If you already completed this step, please proceed to the next page.

 

 

Login to vSphere Flash Client

 

The Latency Sensitivity feature is not available yet within the vSphere Client (based on HTML5), therefore you must use the vSphere Web Client to complete this challenge.

  1. Select the vSphere Flash Client bookmark in Google Chrome.

 

 

Login to vSphere Flash Client

 

  1. Check the box "Use Windows session authentication".
  2. Select Login.

 

 

Module 5, Challenge 1

Your Manager has informed you that the 'challenge-02a' virtual machine needs to have the Latency Sensitivity feature enabled on it.  Your challenge is to:

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-37002

DO NOT proceed to the next page unless you want to see The Solution to the Challenge.

 

 

Module 5, Challenge 1 Solution

To enable Latency Sensitivity on the 'challenge-02a' virtual machine, the following steps need to be completed.

Proceed to the next page to walk through this process step-by-step.

 

 

Edit challenge-02a

 

  1. Right click on challenge-02a within the Inventory Tree.
  2. Select Edit Settings.

 

 

Examine Virtual Hardware

 

Examine the current virtual hardware settings for the 'challenge-02a' virtual machine, paying particular attention to the Reservation settings within CPU and Memory.

  1. Select VM Options.

 

 

Latency Sensitivity

 

Scroll down to Latency Sensitivity.  

  1. Use the dropdown to modify the Latency Sensitivity setting from Normal to High.  Notice the Check CPU reservation warning.  Select the information button to display a dialog box stating the following:

For best performance, High Latency Sensitivity requires you to set 100% CPU reservation for this VM.

  1. Select OK.

 

 

Review Virtual Hardware

 

Review the virtual machine virtual hardware settings to ensure the proper Reservations have been set.

  1. Right click on 'challenge-02a'.
  2. Select Edit Settings.

 

 

Review Virtual Hardware

 

  1. Expand CPU and Memory.
  2. Notice that setting Latency Sensitivity to High does not automatically set Reservations for CPU and Memory, therefore you will need to complete the process of enabling Latency Sensitivity on the 'challenge-02a' virtual machine.

 

 

Set Reservations

 

  1. Select the CPU Reservation drop-down and select Maximum to configure the Maximum CPU Reservation for the virtual machine.  For 'challenge-02a', that is 2880 MHz of CPU.
  2. Select the Memory Reservation drop-down and select Maximum to configure the Maximum Memory Reservation for the virtual machine.  For 'challenge-02a', that is 512 MB of Memory.

 

 

More Information

While you only receive a warning for CPU Reservation when setting Latency Sensitivity to High, it is highly recommended to set memory reservation to 100% as well.  Without the memory reservation, vMotion will fail.  If the virtual machine is powered-off, it cannot be powered-on until the reservation is set.

If multiple virtual machines are latency sensitive, spread them across hosts and tag them as Latency Sensitive.  This will avoid over-utilization of hosts and results in better resource distribution.

If you want to learn more about running latency sensitive applications on vSphere, consult these white papers:

This completes this challenge.

Proceed to the next page to continue with Module 5 or use the Table of Contents to select a different challenge or module.

 

I Created a Resource Pool and now Performance is Worse


Resource pools allow you to delegate control over resources of a host (or a cluster), but the benefits are evident when you use resource pools to compartmentalize all resources in a cluster.

Using resource pools can result in the following benefits:


 

Open Google Chrome

 

  1. Open Google Chrome using the shortcut on the taskbar.

 

 

Login to vSphere Client

 

We will use the vSphere Client in this challenge.

  1. Select the check box "Use Windows session authentication".
  2. Select Login.

 

 

FavoriteVMs Resource Pool

 

Browse the Inventory Tree.  Notice the 'FavoriteVMs' Resource Pool has already been created.  Additionally, the 'challenge-01a' virtual machine has already been moved into the 'FavoriteVMs' Resource Pool.

 

 

Remote Desktop

 

Open a remote desktop to both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a' using the shortcuts located on the Main Console desktop.

 

 

Start Benchmarking Tool

 

  1. A shortcut to the benchmarking tool, SPECjbb, is located on the desktop of both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a'.  
  2. Double-click on the SPECjbb shortcut to open the benchmark tool.
  3. Select Start Benchmark on both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a'.
  4. A widget has been placed on the desktop of both virtual machines that will allow you to monitor both CPU and Memory during the benchmark.

 

 

Module 5, Challenge 2

 

Modify the window size of the remote desktop sessions show that you can compare the performance results.  Notice that 'challenge-04a' is performing better than 'challenge-01a'.

Your challenge is to

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-37002

DO NOT proceed to the next page unless you want to see the solution to the challenge.

 

 

Module 5, Challenge 2 Solution

 

Both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a' have the same resource configuration, therefore the issue must be related to the 'FavoriteVMs' Resourcee Pool.

  1. Right-click on the FavoriteVMs Resource Pool in the Inventory Tree and select Edit Resource Settings.

If you look closer at the 'FavoriteVMs' Resource Pool, you will notice that Shares have been configured for the resource pool.  Since the 'challenge-01a' virtual machine is located within the 'FavoriteVMs' Resource Pool, that virtual machine does not utilize resources available to it, which includes the Custom Shares setting.

  1. Select OK to close the Edit Resource Settings window.

 

 

Shares

 

  1. Right-click on 'challenge-04a' and select Edit Settings.

The 'challenge-04a' virtual machine has a Shares setting of Normal.  Look closely at the Shares setting for 'challenge-04a' and you will notice a greyed-out Shares value of 2000.  Toggle the Shares setting on 'challenge-04a' to Low and High.  You will see the values changing based on the selected setting.  Notice a setting of Low changes the Shares value to 1000, and a setting of High changes the Shares value to 4000.  Do not modify the Shares setting at this time.

  1. Select OK to close the Edit Settings window.

 

 

Impact of Resource Pool

Because the 'challenge-01a' virtual machine is located within the FavoriteVMs Resource Pool, it inherits the CPU Shares value of 1000.  The 'challenge-04a' virtual machine has a Shares setting of Normal and after investigating further, the Normal setting has a Shares value of 2000.

This would explain why 'challenge-01a' is performing roughly half as well as 'challenge-04a'.

To resolve the issue you could do one of the following:

This completes this challenge.

Proceed to the next page to continue with Module 5 or use the Table of Contents to select a different challenge or module.

 

vNUMA Troubleshooting


NUMA is becoming increasingly more important to ensure workloads, such as databases, allocate and consume memory within the same physical NUMA node that the vCPUs are scheduled.  When a virtual machine is sized larger than a single physical NUMA node, a vNUMA topology is created and presented to the guest operating system.  This virtual construct allows a workload within the virtual machine to benefit from physical NUMA, while continuing to support functions like vMotion.

More Information:


 

Open challenge-04a Remote Desktop

 

If the 'challenge-04a' Remote Desktop session is not already open, double-click on the 'chg-04a.DRP' desktop shortcut to open a remote desktop session to the virtual machine 'challenge-04a'.

 

 

Examine NUMA

 

  1. Double-click on the NUMA coreinfo shortcut located on the desktop of the 'challenge-04a' virtual machine.

 

 

Examine vNUMA

 

Notice that currently 'challenge-04a' is mapped to a single NUMA Node.  You will also see the NUMA configuration using the tools provided by Microsoft Windows.

 

 

Open Server Manager

 

Coreinfo is a third party tool that has been installed on 'challenge-04a' make it easy to view the NUMA architecture.

You can also natively examine the NUMA configuration on Microsoft Windows Server by performing the following:

  1. Open Server Manager using the shortcut on the taskbar.

 

 

Open Resource Monitor

 

  1. Select Tools.
  2. Select Resource Monitor.

 

 

Resource Monitor

 

  1. Select the CPU tab.
  2. Select the Views drop-down menu.
  3. Select Small.
  4. You can see that Windows 2012 detects two CPUs.  There is no mention of NUMA nodes.

 

 

vNUMA

As of vSphere 6.5, changing the corespersocket value no longer influences vNUMA or the configuration of the vNUMA topology. The configuration of vSockets and corespersocket only affects the presentation of the virtual processors to the guest OS (generally required for licensing).  vNUMA will automatically determine the proper vNUMA topology to present to the guest OS based on the underlying ESXi host.  For example, if you create a 4-vSocket virtual machine with 4 corespersocket (total of 16 vCPU) on a dual-socket, 16-core physical ESXi host, prior to vSphere 6.5, vNUMA would have created 4 vNUMA nodes based on the corespersocket setting.  As of vSphere 6.5, the guest OS will still see 4 sockets and 4 cores per socket, but vNUMA will now only create 1 vNUMA node for the entire virtual machine since it can be placed in a single physical NUMA node.  This new disconnection of the corespersocket setting with vNUMA allows vSphere to determine the best vNUMA topology automatically in all circumstances.

To revert to the earlier behavior in vSphere 6.0, use the advanced setting:

numa.FollowCoresPerSocket = 1

More Information concerning vNUMA can be found in the following articles:

 

 

Module 5, Challenge 3

 

In this challenge, the Database Manager is not comfortable with the new NUMA setting as it relates to the Database servers.  Therefore, the Database Manager would prefer the NUMA behavior mimic that of vSphere 6.0.

Your challenge is to:

Need a Hint?

You can also view hints on the VMware Technology Network Communities here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-37002

DO NOT proceed to the next page unless you are ready to view the solution to this challenge.

 

 

Module 5, Challenge 3 Solution

If the Hot Add vCPU virtual hardware setting is enabled, then the architecture presented to the virtual machine will be uniform memory access (UMA) only.

To solve this issue:

  1. Power off the 'challenge-04a' virtual machine.
  2. Within the vSphere Web Client, right click on 'challenge-04a', select Edit Settings.  Within CPU, deselect Enable CPU Hot Add.
  3. Select OK.
  4. Power on the challenge-04a. Did the NUMA Architecture change on 'challenge-04a'?

Additional steps are needed to force 'challenge-04a' to use 2 NUMA Nodes.  We will complete the configuration of 'challenge-04a' in the upcoming steps.

You should keep the Enable CPU Hot Add setting disabled unless you know that you need it.

Note that the VM is configured with 2 vCPUs and 1 cores per socket. Typically, you should leave Cores per Socket = 1 which results in the best performance.  When Cores per Socket is left at its default value of 1, this allows ESXi to automatically choose the optimal vNUMA configuration for the VM based on the physical server, which generally results in the best performance.  Leave Cores per Socket = 1 unless you have a very specific reason to do otherwise, such as for licensing purposes.

If your guest OS does not see a vNUMA architecture and you think it should, check the following:

By default, vNUMA is enabled only for virtual machines with more than eight vCPUs. You can enable vNUMA for virtual machines with eight or fewer vCPUs by changing the VM setting numa.vcpu.min  from its default value of 9 to the number of vCPUs in the virtual  machine. This setting controls the minimum number of vCPUs required to  enable vNUMA.  This setting was modified on 'challenge-04a'.

vNUMA requires virtual hardware version 8 or later.

Other factors that may completely disable NUMA (for the host and the VM) are BIOS settings such as enabling node interleaving.  Node Interleaving is generally disabled by default, but if you enable it, it will present a UMA architecture to the ESXi host.

 

 

Open Google Chrome

 

  1. Open Google Chrome using the shortcut on the taskbar.

 

 

Open vSphere Flash Client

 

  1. Select the vSphere Flash Client bookmark within Google Chrome.

 

 

Login to vSphere Flash Client

 

  1. Select the check box "Use windows session authentication".
  2. Select Login.

 

 

Power Off challenge-04a

 

Before proceeding to the next step, Power Off the 'challenge-04a' virtual machine.  If 'challenge-04a' is already Powered-Off, you can proceed to the next step.

  1. Right-click on 'challenge-04a'.
  2. Select Power to expand the Power context menu.
  3. Select Power Off.

 

 

Edit Settings

 

  1. Right-click on 'challenge-04a' within the Inventory Tree.
  2. Select Edit Settings.

 

 

Advanced VM Options

 

  1. Select VM Options.
  2. Expand Advanced.
  3. Select Edit Configuration.

 

 

Advanced VM Options

 

The numa.vcpu.maxPerVirtualNode Advanced Settings needs to be modified in order to enable multiple NUMA nodes on 'challenge-04a'.  Change the numa.autosize.vcpu.maxPerVirtualNode value to 1.  If you don't modify this setting for 'challenge-04a', the virtual machine will fit within a single NUMA node and will be presented as such .  With the maxPerVirtualNode value set at 1, we are forcing NUMA to recognize NUMA in multiples of 1, as opposed to 2 or 4.

 

 

2 NUMA Nodes

 

Check the NUMA Node configuration after modifying the "maxPerVirtualNode" setting to determine if a 2nd NUMA Node was successfully created on the 'challenge-04a' virtual machine.  Use the desktop 'NUMA coreinfo' desktop shortcut once again to view the NUMA Node configuration.

Great job, the 'challenge-04a' virtual machine can now take advantage of multiple NUMA nodes.

Go to Server Manager > Resource Monitor and select the CPU tab.  Notice that NUMA Node 0 and NUMA Node 1 are now visible within Resource Monitor.

If you're curious to see if both NUMA nodes will be utilized, use the SPECjbb benchmark application located on the desktop to Start a Benchmark.  View NUMA Node usage within Resource Monitor to ensure both NUMA Nodes are being utilized.

If you DO NOT see 2 NUMA Nodes, be sure that you deselected Enable CPU Hot Add within the virtual machine settings.

 

 

Stop Module 5

 

Before you celebrate with colleagues, open the Challenge Lab MS (Module Switcher) located on the desktop of the Main Console.

  1. Double-click on Challenge Lab MS (Module Switcher) shortcut located on the desktop of the Main Console.
  2. Select Stop under Module 5.

Wait for the PowerCLI window to close before proceeding to the next step.

 

 

You've Finished Module 5

This concludes Module 5, Advanced Resource Management.  We hope you enjoyed taking it.  Please do not forget to fill out the survey when you are finished.

If you have time remaining, you can proceed to a different Module that interests you.  Click on "More Options - Table of Contents" to quickly jump to a different Challenge within the Module.

 

Module Hints

Module 1 - Let's Start with the Basics



 

Module 1, Challenge 1, Hint

The challenge is to migrate the 'challenge-01a' virtual machine from ESXi host 'esx-01a' to 'esx-04a', 'esx-05a' or 'esx-06a'.  Why not 'esx-03a'?  Try to determine the similarities between 'esx-01a' and 'esx-03a' and differences between between 'esx-01a' and esx-03a' and the hosts your attempting to migrate 'challenge-01a' to.

Bonus Hint:  Examine the error message you receive when attempting to migrate the 'challenge-01a' virtual machine to ESXi host(s) 'esx-04a', 'esx-05a' or 'esx-06a'.

Return to Module 1, Challenge 1

 

 

Module 1, Challenge 2, Hint

Examine all the networking properties for 'challenge-02a' within vCenter Server including the virtual NIC, port group and virtual switch.  You may need to compare the settings of 'challenge-02a' to another challenge virtual machine to determine where the error is.

Return to Module 1, Challenge 2

 

Module 2 - Basic Operations Management



 

Module 2, Challenge 1 Hint

A couple of hints that will help you down the path of solving this challenge:

Return to Module 2, Challenge 1

 

 

Module 2, Challenge 2 Hint

Look closely at line 3, character 1 of the 'Get-VM-Snaphshots' PowerCLI script.  That is where the syntax error is.  Look for any duplicate commands within the script as there should only be unique commands within the script.

 Return to Module 2, Challenge 2

 

Module 3 - Basic Resource Management



 

Module 3, Challenge 1 Hint

Look closely and compare the resource settings for both 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a' including CPU and Memory.  In order for 'challenge-01a' to be performing poorly when compared to 'challenge-04a' with both running the same benchmarking application, there must be a resource configuration on 'challenge-01a' and/or 'challenge-04a' that is causing the performance behavior.

Return to Module 3, Challenge 1

 

 

Module 3, Challenge 2 Hint

There are multiple ways to alleviate the memory pressure being put on 'esx-01a'.  There are 5 other ESXi hosts within the cluster that do not have memory pressure, therefore perhaps using one of the other ESXi hosts within the cluster.  Also, it's mentioned that the 'memhog' virtual machine was started by accident, therefore you could take action against that virtual machine.

Return to Module 3, Challenge 2

 

Module 4 - Advanced Operations Management



 

Module 4, Challenge 1, Hint

In order to assign unqiue permissions to a particular user, it's much easier to create a Role first, then assign that Role to the user.  You define the requested permissions within the Role.  A role provides flexibility for the future.  If permissions need to be modified, you can modify the role as opposed to modifying permissions on the user object.  Also, if more than one user needs the same permission, you can assign a Role to multiply users as opposed to assigning permissions to individual users.

Return to Module 4, Challenge 1

 

 

Module 4, Challenge 2 Hint

 

 

Module 4, Challenge 3 Hint

Within the 'Production Host Profile' Host Profile, details are provided as to why the ESXi host 'esx-05a' is not compliant.  You may need to look deeper within the Compliance window to determine why it is not compliant.

Return to Module 4, Challenge 3

 

Module 5 - Advanced Resource Management



 

Module 5, Challenge 1 Hint

These hints will help you solve the Latency Sensitivity challenge:

Return to Module 5, Challenge 1

 

 

Module 5, Challenge 2 Hint

First, examine the resource settings of both the 'challenge-01a' and 'challenge-04a' virtual machines.  Are they both configured the same or does one have more/less CPU and/or Memory that could be causing the difference in performance?  Also, look closely at the configuration of the 'FavoriteVMs' Resource Pool.  Is the Resource Pool configured in such a way that would cause the difference in performance.

You could also move the 'challenge-01a' virtual machine out of the Resource Pool to further determine if the Resource Pool is the cause of the difference in performance.  Remember to allow the benchmark tool to run a few cycles before determining if the Resource Pool is the cause of the difference in performance or not.

Return to Module 5, Challenge 2

 

 

Module 5, Challenge 3 Hint

These hints will help you solve the vNUMA Troubleshooting challenge:

Return to Module 5, Challenge 3

 

Conclusion

Thank you for participating in the VMware Hands-on Labs. Be sure to visit http://hol.vmware.com/ to continue your lab experience online.

Lab SKU: HOL-1804-02-CHG

Version: 20180202-122349