VMware Hands-on Labs - HOL-1911-02-SDC


Lab Overview - HOL-1911-02-SDC - Getting Started with vSphere with Operations Manager

Lab Guidance


Note: It will take more than 90 minutes to complete this lab. You should expect to only finish 2-3 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.

This introductory lab will explore the components and their  capabilities within vSphere 6.7. It will cover how to implement these  in addition to basic administration topics. This lab also explores the  key features of vSphere 6.7 and how to operationalize them. You will  learn how to deploy and manage upgrades and migrations, enhance  availability, monitor and optimize workload performance, and learn how  proactive analysis of logs can detect problems before they affect your  workloads. This is an excellent place to begin your experience with VMware vSphere.

The lab is broken into 8 Modules which can be taken in any order:

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


 

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.

 

 

Click once in active console window

 

In this example, you will use the Online Keyboard to enter the "@" sign used in email addresses. The "@" sign is Shift-2 on US keyboard layouts.

  1. Click once in the active console window.
  2. Click on the Shift key.

 

 

Click on the @ key

 

  1. Click on the "@ key".

Notice the @ sign entered in the active console window.

 

 

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 - vCenter Server Appliance as a First Choice (60 minutes)

Introduction


This Module contains the following lessons:


vCenter Server Appliance Overview


With the release of vSphere 6.7, the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) has surpassed the feature set and performance of the Windows Installable vCenter server. Configuration maximums have been equal between the two since vSphere 6.0.  There are two components: vCenter and Platform Services Controller.  Depending on the size/deployment model, these can be embedded or external.  These concepts and the architecture will be covered later in this module.  


 

Why VCSA 6.7 Should Be The Default Deployment Choice

For starters, the installer has gotten an overhaul with a new modern look and feel. Users of both Linux and Mac will also be ecstatic since the installer is now supported on those platforms along with Microsoft Windows. If that wasn’t enough, the vCenter Server Appliance now has features that are exclusive such as:

There are several other general improvements:

 

 

Security

Although the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) has previously been built on a customized 'VMware edition' of a SUSE Enterprise Linux appliance, the vCSA 6.7 runs PhotonOS. PhotonOS is a Linux OS that is purpose-built for virtualization by VMware. Therefore it comes pre-hardened and does not support the installation of third party software. The configuration disables unnecessary services, uses special host firewall and network interfaces, and removes local accounts except for the application's administration. VMware pre-hardens the vCenter Server Appliance using the applicable guidelines of the Unix SRG STIG. Customers do not install software within the VCSA except for updates obtained from VMware. There is no general-purpose interface to the Linux operating system. Even the SSH interface, reserved for administrators, is disabled by default.

 

 

Module Lessons

The remainder of this module focuses on lessons around these feature enhancements.

 

vSphere Update Manager Integration


vSphere Update Manager is now integrated with the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). When you deploy the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA), the VMware vSphere Update Manager Extension service starts automatically. You can no longer connect a vSphere Update Manager instance that is installed on a Windows Server machine with the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). Attempts to connect vSphere Update Manager during installation on a Windows operating system to a vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) fail with an error.

With the release of vCenter 6.7 Server Appliance the Update Manager is now available in the HTML5 interface.  The initial release of the HTML5 Update Manager will accomodate host updating for now.  Later in 2018 the HTML5 interface will up updated for full support of Update Manager functions.

vSphere Update Manager deployed with the vCenter Server Appliance uses a PostgreSQL database. While vSphere Update Manager and the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) share the same PostgreSQL database, they use separate PostgreSQL databases instances which run on the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). In case you need to reset the vSphere Update Manager database, the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) database remains intact.

vSphere Update Manager enables centralized, automated patch and version management for VMware vSphere and offers support for VMware ESXi hosts, virtual machines, and virtual appliances (Upgrade and patch operations of virtual appliances will be deprecated in a future release).

With vSphere Update Manager, you can perform the following tasks:

  1. Upgrade and Patch ESXi hosts (HTML5 Support in initial 6.7 release)
  2. Install and update third-party software on hosts
  3. Upgrade virtual machine hardware, VMware Tools, and Virtual Appliances
  4. Indicates which hosts are Quick Boot Capable or disabling Quick Boot

vSphere Update Manager Web Client

  1. vSphere Update Manager Web Client for the vSphere Web Client - View scan results and compliance states for vSphere Inventory

It is also recommended to complete HOL-1911-03-SDC "vSphere with Operations Management: Advanced Topics" to gain in-depth knowledge about administering vSphere Update Manager.


 

What's new in vSphere Update Manager 6.7

 

 

Update Manager Web Client

 

The client component of Update Manager is a plug-in to the vSphere Web Client. The Update Manager client component provides you with the full set of capabilities you need to perform patch and version management for your vSphere inventory.

The Update Manager plug-in for the vSphere Web Client requires no installation. After starting the Update Manager service in the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA), the Update Manager client component is automatically enabled in the vSphere Web Client. An Update Manager icon appears on the Home screen, and the Update Manager appears amongst the top-level tabs in the vSphere Web Client.

You can access the Administration view of Update Manager from vSphere Web Client Home screen.
You can access the Compliance view of Update Manager by selecting an object from the vSphere inventory and navigating to the Update Manager tab.

 

 

Update Manager Download Service

vSphere Update Manager Download Service (UMDS) is an optional module of Update Manager that you can use to download patch definitions on a system that is separate from the Update Manager server. Use UMDS in case your Update Manager deployment system is secured and the machine on which the Update Manager server is installed has no access to the Internet.

You have two options for installation of UMDS. You can install UMDS on a 64-bit Windows operating systems. You must not install the UMDS on the same Windows machine where the Update Manager server is installed. 
You can also install the UMDS on a Linux-based system. In vSphere 6.7 release, an installer for UMDS 6.7 is delivered with the ISO file of the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). As a prerequisite to install the UMDS on Linux, you need a Linux server on which you must preconfigure the PostgreSQL database and a 64-bit DSN. Mount the ISO file of the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) to the Linux machine, and install and configure UMDS 6.7.

To use UMDS, the download service must be of a version that is compatible with the Update Manager server. For more information about the compatibility between Update Manager and the UMDS, see the Installing and Administering VMware vSphere Update Manager documentation.

 

 

 

Update Manager Utility

The Update Manager Utility allows you to change the database password and proxy authentication, re-register Update Manager with vCenter Server, and replace the SSL certificates for Update Manager. For more information about reconfiguring the Update Manager settings by using the utility, see the Reconfiguring VMware vSphere Update Manager documentation.

When you install Update Manager or UMDS, vSphere Update Manager Utility is silently installed on your system as an additional component.

 

 

Migration Options

VMware provides supported paths for migrating Update Manager from a Windows operating system to run in the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA).

Update Manager can be migrated to vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) in the following vCenter Server deployment models:

For detailed information how to perform migration, see the Installing and Administering VMware vSphere Update Manager  and the vSphere Upgrade documentation.

 

vCenter Server Availability



 

Architecture Overview

 

A vCenter HA cluster consists of three vCenter Server Appliance instances. The first instance, initially used as the Active node, is cloned twice to a Passive node and to a Witness node. Together, the three nodes provide an active-passive failover solution.

Deploying each of the nodes on a different ESXi instance protects against hardware failure. Adding the three ESXi hosts to a DRS cluster can further protect your environment. If using the Basic workflow to enable vCenter HA, then the workflow will automatically place the nodes on different hosts and create anti-affinity rules for you if DRS is enabled. If the Advanced workflow is being used then node placement is manual as is the creation of any DRS rules.

When the vCenter HA configuration is complete, only the Active node has an active management interface (public IP). The three nodes communicate over a private network called vCenter HA network that is set up as part of configuration. The Active node and the Passive node are continuously replicating data.

 

 

Roles for each type of node in a vCenter HA cluster

Active Node:

Passive Node:

Witness Node:

 

 

How does vCenter Server High Availability work?

Availability of the vCenter Server Appliance works as follows under the following failure conditions:

  1. Active node fails: As long as the Passive node and the Witness node can communicate with each other, the Passive node will promote itself to Active and start serving client requests.
  2. Passive node fails: As long as the Active node and the Witness node can communicate with each other, the Active node will  continue to operate as Active and continue to serve client requests.
  3. Witness node fails: As long as the Active node and the Passive node can communicate with each other, the Active node will continue to operate as Active and continue to serve client requests. The Passive node will continue to watch the Active node for failover.
  4. More than one node fails or is isolated: This means all three nodes - Active, Passive, and Witness - cannot communicate with each other. This is more than a single point of failure and when this happens, the cluster is assumed non-functional and the vCenter Server application shuts down to protect itself from data corruption.
  5. Isolated node behavior: When a single node gets isolated from the cluster, it is automatically taken out of the cluster and all services are stopped. For example, if an Active node is isolated, all services are stopped to ensure that the Passive node can take over as long as it is connected to the Witness node. Isolated node detection takes into consideration intermittent network glitches and resolves to an isolated state only after all retry attempts have been exhausted.

Note that the RTO for a failover is approximately 5 minutes.

VMware vCenter® Server Appliance™ (vCSA) sits at the heart of vSphere and provides services to manage various components of a virtual infrastructure like ESXi hosts, virtual machines, and storage and networking resources. As large virtual infrastructures are built using vSphere, vCenter Server becomes an important element in ensuring the business continuity of an organization. vCenter Server must protect itself from a set of hardware and software failures in an environment and must recover transparently from such failures. vSphere 6.5 and above provide a new high availability solution for vCenter Server, known as vCenter Server High Availability, or VCHA. VCHA is only available for the vCenter Server Appliance.

vCenter Server High Availability protects vCenter Server Appliance against host and hardware failures. The active-passive architecture of the solution can also help you reduce downtime significantly when you patch the vCenter Server Appliance.

vCenter High Availability is a three-node cluster that contains an Active, Passive, and Witness nodes. Two different configuration paths are available called Basic and Advanced. What you select depends on your existing configuration but both Basic and Advanced result in exact same capabilities. In other words, use Basic whenever possible. If the vCenter Server being enabled for vCenter HA is being managed by a different vCenter Server in a separate SSO Domain or the Active, Passive, and Witness nodes are going to be managed by different vCenter Servers, the Advanced workflow will be required.

 

Platform Services Controller Topologies & Platform Services Controller High Availability


The Platform Services Controller provides a set of common infrastructure services to the vSphere environment. The services include licensing, certificate management, and authentication with vCenter Single Sign-On.  In this module we will cover each of these topologies and the High Availability options for the Platform Services Controller.


 

vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller Deployment Types

As mentioned, you can deploy vCenter Server as an Appliance or install vCenter Server for Windows.  With Windows, you can also install/configure with an embedded or external Platform Services Controller. Like vCenter, the Platform Services Controller can be installed as an appliance or installed on Windows.

Before you deploy the vCenter Server Appliance or install vCenter Server for Windows, you must determine the deployment model that is suitable for your environment. The different types of deployment models are discussed in detail in the following lessons.

 

 

vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller

 

All services that are bundled with the Platform Services Controller are deployed together (embedded) with the vCenter Server services on the same virtual machine or physical server.

You cannot join additional vCenter Server or Platform Services Controller instances to this vCenter Single Sign-On domain.

In vSphere 6.0, replicating embedded PSCs (also called Enhanced Linked Mode) was deprecated. Therefore, in vSphere 6.5, connecting multiple embedded PSCs in Enhanced Linked Mode is not supported.  With vSphere 6.7, we have now brought back Enhanced Linked Mode and support up to 15 instances linked together.  With the additional capacity and maximum configuration limits in vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 this will allow robust deployments with the Embedded PSC.  Hybrid Linked Mode connectivity to cloud services are also supported for Embedded Platform Services Controller deployments.

Support for Enhanced Linked Mode will be available for Greenfield deployments.  There will not be a tool to convert existing External Platform Service Controller deployments back to an Embedded model.  You will not be able to mix Embedded and External PSCs.  

Embedded PSCs in vSphere 6.7 have the same performance and scale characteristics as external PSCs. The embedded PSC topology will be preferred by most customers because it is much simpler, requires no load balancers for HA, and the SSO Site construct is gone.

 

 

Deployment Workflow of a vCenter Server Appliance with an Embedded Platform Services Controller

 

Prerequisites:

Procedure:

Stage 1 - Deploy the OVF file as a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller.

Stage 2 - Set Up the newly deployed vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller.

Note: Due to the existing configuration required within vCenter for this lab, it was not possible to have you perform this process in this lab.

 

 

Platform Services Controller and vCenter Server Appliance with an External Platform Services Controller

 

You can deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller. This way you deploy two different appliances.

To have the Platform Services Controller and the vCenter Server instance deployed as two different appliances, first deploy the Platform Services Controller, then deploy vCenter Server as another virtual appliance. Then register the vCenter Server Appliance to the Platform Services Controller.

You can also register multiple instances of vCenter Server to work with one common external Platform Services Controller instance. All vCenter Server instances that are registered with one or multiple joined Platform Services Controller instances are connected in Enhanced Linked Mode.

Installing vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller has the following advantages:

Installing vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller has the following disadvantages:

 

 

Deployment Topologies with External Platform Services Controller Instances

Multiple external PSCs can be deployed at a single site serving one or more vCenter Server system. A load balancer is required to front-end the PSC instances. By having more than one PSC instance behind the load balancer, the PSC can be made highly available.

Compatible Load Balancers:

 

 

Example of a Pair of Platform Services Controller Instances in High Availability

 

 

 

Platform Services Controller Across vCenter Single Sign-On Sites

 

Limitations

 

 

Upgrade Considerations for Platform Services Controller with High Availability

You may refer to this KB article for upgrade considerations from Platform Services Controllers with various scenarios.

Remember to close your browser tab/window to return to the lab.

 

vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) Backup


In vSphere 6.7, the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) has an out-of-the-box file-based backup and restore solution. You can back up to a single folder all of vCenter Server’s core configuration, inventory, and historical data. All of this data is streamed over FTP (or SFTP / FTPS) or HTTP / HTTPS. When it is time to restore to a previous backup, you can deploy a fresh appliance, point to the folder location of the vCenter Server backup files, and restore all of vCenter Server's configuration and inventory data (with optional historical data) from the backup.  Improvements to the Backup functionality in vCenter 6.7 include a scheduling option!

In this lesson we will go through the steps to create a backup of the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) and then verify the back up.  The restore process will be described and shown in the following lesson Hands-on Labs Interactive Simulation: vCenter Appliance Restore in the next lesson.


 

Open Chrome Browser from Windows Quick Launch Task Bar

 

  1. Click on the Chrome Icon on the Windows Quick Launch Task Bar.

 

 

Gain screen space in Chrome by zooming out

 

  1. Select the Options menu in Chrome.
  2. Click the '-' button to zoom out to 90%

This will provide more viewing space while still allowing you to read the text.

 

 

Log in to Appliance Management UI

 

You will back up your vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) configuration files, inventory, and selected historical data to a folder of files placed on an FTP server.



Log in to the Appliance Management UI to monitor the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) and begin the vCenter Server backup process.

  1. Click the HOL Admin bookmark.
  2. Click the vcsa-01a Mgmt shortcut in the drop-down.
  3. Type root for the username.
  4. Type VMware1! for the password.
  5. Click the Login button.

 

 

Back up the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) using the Backup Appliance Wizard

 

Backing up the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) starts on the summary page of the Appliance Management UI (port 5480 of your vSphere web client IP / hostname).


To begin the process of backing up the appliance:

  1. Select the Backup Tab in the VAMI Console
  2. Click the Backup Now icon in the  Appliance Management UI.  This will start the backup wizard for an immediate backup.

To schedule a recurring backup job for the VCSA, vCenter 6.7 has now added a built in scheduler.  To configure this, go to the "Configure" in the Backup Schedule area.

 

 

Backup Appliance Wizard - Enter Backup Type and Location

 

 

You also have the option of encrypting your data before any of it is transferred to the backup location, by checking the “Encrypt Backup Data” box. Note that the password you set here would be needed during the Restore process to access the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) backup. For this lab, leave “Encrypt Backup Data” unselected.

You will need to access this FTP server to place your vCenter Server backup files. You can create a new folder on the FTP path by adding to the path name after the IP address of the FTP server. Please name the VC backup folder “vcsa01a-backup”.

  1. For the backup location, please use the following FTP address: ftp://192.168.110.60
  2. User Name: root
  3. Password: VMware1!
  4. Ensure the Stats, Events and Tasks is checked
  5. Give a description of the backup: HOL Test Backup
  6. Click on the Start button

Note: The path in the Backup UI should be entered without ftp://, so that the Backup location should start with the FTP server’s IP address itself. You will also notice (see arrows) that you can Encrypt the backup and it will warn you when you are using the unsecure FTP/HTTP protocols.  This is a fenced lab, so the need for a secured protocol is not necessary.

 

 

Backup Appliance Wizard - Status

 

This step provides a backup status summary which gives you a confirmation of your backup protocol, location, credentials, encryption, and optional data.  

NOTE: Due to the lack of storage in the lab, the transfer will error out.

 

 

Configuring a Schedule in the Backup Wizard

 

New to vCenter 6.7 is the ability to create a recurring backup schedule.  We will walk through setting up a schedule to finish off this part of the lab.

  1. Click on the Configure button in the Backup Schedule section.

 

To create the schedule we must select the destination, protocol (FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, SCP), user information, schedule information and retention as well as the data to backup.

  1. Enter ftp://192.168.110.60 in the destination
  2. Enter root for the username
  3. Enter VMware1! as the password
  4. Leave the default value for the schedule (Daily at 11:59PM ETC)
  5. Leave the retention at the default value
  6. Ensure the Stats, Events and Tasks are selected
  7. Click on the Create button to finish creating the scheduled backup job

 

 

Confirm the Schedule Creation

 

Click on the small chevron beside the Status to expand the Schedule selection.  Confirm that the schedule has been created.  You can use the Edit, Disable, or Delete buttons to manage the scheduled backup job.

 

Hands-on Labs Interactive Simulation: vCenter Server Appliance Restore


The vCenter Server Appliance Restore process consists of two stages:

This part of the lab is presented as a Hands-on Labs Interactive Simulation. This will allow you to experience steps which are too time-consuming or resource intensive to do live in the lab environment. In this simulation, you can use the software interface as if you are interacting with a live environment.

This simulation will go through each stage to restore a vCenter Server Appliance.

  1. Click here to open the interactive simulation.  It will open in a new browser window or tab.
  2. When finished, click the "Return to the lab" link or close the windows to continue with this lab.

Migration Assistant


VMware provides supported paths for migrating and upgrading from vCenter Server version 5.5 and version 6.0 installations on Windows to the vCenter Server 6.5 Appliance. This section will provide a brief overview of these migration paths and the Migration Assistant for vSphere 6.5


 

Supported vSphere Migration Paths

The upgrade to vCenter Server 6.7 affects other software components of the data center.  

vCenter Server 6.7 can manage ESXi version 6.0 or 6.5 hosts in the same cluster with ESXi 6.7 hosts. vCenter Server 6.7 cannot manage ESXi 5.5 or earlier hosts.

vSphere supports upgrades from vCenter Server 6.0 and later to vCenter Server 6.7.

To upgrade from vCenter Server 5.0, 5.1 or 5.5, you must first upgrade the vCenter Server instance to version 6.0 or later releases, and then upgrade to vCenter Server 6.7.

For information about upgrading vCenter Server 5.0, 5.1, or 5.5 to version 6.0 or 6.5, see the VMware vSphere 6.0 Documentation or VMware vSphere 6.5 Documentation

Please see the following vCenter Server 6.7 Upgrade Guide for further information.

 

 

Overview of Migration from vCenter Server on Windows to an Appliance

 

The Migration Assistant contains the following characteristics:

 

 

vCenter 6.7 High-level Migration Workflow

 

The workflow shown here describes the high level tasks for vCenter Server on Windows Migration to a vCenter Server Appliance on Linux.

Note: For a deeper understanding of the Migration Assistant, make sure to complete HOL-1911-02-SDC Module 7 - vCenter Server Appliance Migration as it demonstrates use cases for the Migration Assistant.

 

Conclusion


The vCenter Server Appliance is the new standard when it comes vCenter. It has surpassed the Windows based vCenter in functionality and matches it in scalability. This module introduced to many of the new features that are part of the vCenter Server Appliance, discussed architectural considerations, and described migrations paths to assist with moving to the Appliance.  We also explored some of the new functionality introduced in vCenter 6.7.

Congratulations on completing Module 1.

If you are looking for additional information on vCenter Server Appliance, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most.

 


 

How to End Lab

 

If this is the last module you would like to take in this lab, you may end your lab by clicking on the END button.    

 

Module 2 - Next Generation Management Clients (45 Minutes)

Introduction


This Module contains the following lessons:


VMware Host Client Overview


The VMware Host Client is an HTML5-based client that is used to connect to and manage single ESXi hosts.

You can use the VMware Host Client to perform administrative and basic troubleshooting tasks, as well as advanced administrative tasks on your target ESXi host. You can also use the VMware Host Client to conduct emergency management when vCenter Server is not available.

It is important to know that the VMware Host Client is different from the vSphere Web Client, regardless of their similar user interfaces.

VMware Host Client functions include, but are not limited to the following operations:

NOTE: The VMware Host Client only works for administrative users.


 

VMware Host Client Requirements

 

Make sure that your browser supports the VMware Host Client.

The following Guest Operating systems and Web Browser versions are supported for the VMware Host Client.

Supported Guest Operating Systems and Browser Versions for the VMware Host Client are shown here in the above table.

 

 

Using the VMware Host Client

The embedded VMware Host Client is an HTML5-based client that has a similar interface to the vSphere Web Client.

 

 

Open Chrome Browser from Windows Quick Launch Task Bar

 

  1. Click on the Chrome Icon on the Windows Quick Launch Task Bar.

 

 

Gain screen space in Chrome by zooming out

 

  1. Select the Options menu in Chrome.
  2. Click the '-' button to zoom out to 90%

This will provide more viewing space while still allowing you to read the text.

 

 

VMware Host Client and Log In

 

Procedure

In the Google Chrome Web browser enter the target host name or IP address using the address https://esx-01a.corp.local/ui

A log in screen appears.

  1. Enter User name: root and Password: VMware1!
  2. Click Login to continue.

You may or may not be presented with a VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) page.  If so, uncheck you want to join the program and click OK.

You are now logged in to your target ESXi host.

 

 

Host Management

 

A similar interface to the vSphere Web Client, it too has a Navigation pane and shortcuts that you can use to manage the individual host.

  1. Minimize Recent Tasks to expand your view of the Host window

 

 

Manage Advanced Settings in the VMware Host Client

 

With the VMware Host Client, you can manage advanced host settings, assign or remove licenses to your host, configure start and stop policies for host services, and manage time and date configuration for the host.

  1. Select Manage within Navigator
  2. Click each tab to view

 

 

Monitoring an ESXi Host in the VMware Host Client

 

When you connect to a host using the VMware Host Client, you can monitor the host health status, and view performance charts, events, tasks, system logs, and notifications.

  1. Select Monitor within Navigator
  2. Click each tab to view

 

 

Log Out of the VMware Host Client

 

When you no longer need to view or manage your target ESXi host, log out of the VMware Host Client.

NOTE: Closing a VMware Host Client session does not stop the host.

Procedure

You are now logged out of the VMware Host Client. Your target ESXi host continues to run all its normal activities.

 

vSphere HTML5 Client and Web Client Enhancements


New Web Client UI features like Custom Attributes, Object Tabs, and Live Refresh are presented alongside other performance and usability improvements.

In the following steps lets explore the vSphere Web Client's latest features as part of this overview.

 


 

HTML5-based vSphere Client

The HTML5-based vSphere Client (or just vSphere Client) is now the preferred method for managing your vSphere infrastructure. For the time being, there are some tasks which still require the Web Client, which has also been improved in 6.7.

There are currently two versions of the new HTML5-based vSphere Client (or just vSphere Client) – an unsupported Fling version that receives regular (sometimes weekly) updates with new features and bug fixes. There is also a GA (generally available) fully supported version that is bundled with vCenter Server 6.5 and later. As we add new features and functionality to the vSphere Client, they will be added first to the Fling version and once mature will be moved to the GA version of vCenter Server through patches and updates. For example, the original release of vCenter Server 6.5 (November 15, 2016) contained a version of the vSphere Client that was roughly v2.7 of the vSphere Client Fling. When VMware released vCenter Server 6.5.0b (March 14, 2017) the vSphere Client was updated to be roughly equivalent to version 3.2 of the Fling but in a fully supported package. More information about this particular update can be found here: https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2017/03/first-vsphere-client-html5-update-vsphere-6-5-b.html.

VMware will continue to release updates to the vSphere Client Fling on a frequent basis and then bring those features into the GA product through patches and updates until the vSphere Client is complete. The vSphere Client is a top priority for VMware and feedback remains to be very important. Please consider using the built-in feedback tool within both the Fling and GA versions of the vSphere Client to help us prioritize features and deliver a cross-platform client that enables a smooth, performant, and enjoyable vSphere administration experience.

 

Some of the key features of the HTML5 vSphere Client are:

Functionality Updates for the vSphere Client

http://pubs.vmware.com/Release_Notes/en/vsphere/65/vsphere-client-65-html5-functionality-support.html

 

Storage Features only in HTML5 vSphere Client are:

 

 

vSphere Web Client

As mentioned before, while the vSphere Client is the preferred tool to manage vSphere, there are some tasks that will still require you to use the vSphere Web Client. The rest of this lesson walks you through the Web Client to make sure you are familiar with it.

 

 

Open Chrome Browser from Windows Quick Launch Task Bar

 

  1. Click on the Chrome Icon on the Windows Quick Launch Task Bar.

 

 

Gain screen space in Chrome by zooming out

 

  1. Select the Options menu in Chrome.
  2. Click the '-' button to zoom out to 90%

This will provide more viewing space while still allowing you to read the text.

 

 

Navigation and shortcuts

 

  1. Open the vSphere Web Client for the RegionA vCenter using your Google Chrome web browser by clicking the "RegionA" folder and clicking the "RegionA vSphere Client (Flash)" link.
  2. User name: administrator@corp.local
  3. Password: VMware1!
  4. Click Login

Note: The Inventory Tree will be the default view.

 

 

Task #1 - Use Keyboard Short Cuts for Navigation and View Them in Home Menu

 

Keyboard shortcuts are present in the 5.5 and 6.0 vSphere Web Client, but were not visible. You can now see these shortcuts by hovering your mouse over the Home menu(see above screen capture).

View the objects in your vSphere environment using the key combinations in the following steps to quickly navigate between Home, the vCenter Inventory Lists, and the 4 inventory trees:

  1. Ctrl+Alt+1 Home screen
  2. Ctrl+Alt+2 Hosts and Clusters tree
  3. Ctrl+Alt+3 VMs and Templates tree
  4. Ctrl+Alt+4 Storage tree
  5. Ctrl+Alt+5 Networking tree
  6. Ctrl+Alt+6 Content Libraries
  7. Ctrl+Alt+7 Global Inventory Lists

Note: On a Mac, Ctrl+Command is used.  In the HOL environment these keyboard combinations are not passed through.  

After reviewing these Click Home to enter the Home Screen

 

 

Object Details Titlebar: Action Icons

 

The Object Details titlebar displays the selected object’s icon and name, action icons, and the Actions menu. Using the action icons, you can now perform common actions with a single click.

This example shows "vcsa-01b.corp.local" is the selected object.

 

 

Custom Attributes

 

 The following steps will cover creating, renaming and deleting Custom Attributes.

  1. Select "vcsa-01b.corp.local"
  2. Click Home button
  3. Select Tags & Custom Attributes

 

 

Task 1. Creating Custom Attributes using the Global Custom Attributes View  (Copy)

 

 

  1. Select the Custom Attributes tab. You can see all the custom attributes defined in this vCenter Server.
  2. Select "vcsa-01a.corp.local"
  3. To create a new Custom Attribute, click the Add icon and the New Custom Attribute dialog appears. 
  4. Enter VM_custom in the Attribute field and choose Virtual Machine from the Type combo box.

The new attribute will be available for objects of the selected type. If you choose Global, the new attribute will be available for all object types. Click OK or press Enter. The new attribute appears in the list.


  5. Repeat steps 3-4 to create another custom attribute: Attribute name: vApp_custom Type: Virtual App

 

 

Task 2: Renaming Custom Attributes using the Global Custom Attributes view

 

  1. Select VM_custom in the list.
  2. Click the Edit… button. The Edit Custom Attribute dialog appears. The name is preselected in the Attribute text field. 
  3. Rename the attribute: VM_custom_upd and click OK. In the list, the selected attribute’s name changes to the one you just entered.

 

 

Task 3:  Deleting Custom Attributes using the Global Custom Attributes view

 

  1. Select VM_custom_upd from the list view
  2. Click the Delete button.
  3. A confirmation appears. Press TAB to highlight the Yes button and press Enter (or click Yes). The attribute is removed from the list and repeat the previous steps to delete custom attribute: VM_custom before moving to Step 4
  4. Click drop down arrow next to Administrator@vsphere.local
  5. Click Logout

 

 

Live Refresh

 

Live refresh improves the original mechanism for refreshing recent tasks, triggered alarms and the trees to now happen in real time. All users logged into vSphere Web Client will see the real time updates as long as they have permission to see the changes.

 

 

 

Conclusion

This concludes the section "vSphere HTML5 Client and Web Client Enhancements".  You should now have a solid understanding of the enhancements made to the vSphere Web Client and the difference between the various clients.

 

Conclusion


This module introduced you to the tools you will be using to manage your ESXi hosts and your virtual infrastructure. As you complete other Modules in this lab, you will be using the vSphere Client, they preferred client moving forward, except where one of the other clients is required.


 

You've finished Module 2

Congratulations on completing  Module 2.

If you are looking for additional information on Management Clients, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most. 

 

 

 

How to End Lab

 

If this is the last module you would like to take in this lab, you may end your lab by clicking on the END button.   

 

Module 3 - Getting Familiar with vRealize Operations (30 Minutes)

Overview of vRealize Operations Management


VMware vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) delivers an environment optimized for efficient server virtualization management. This is accomplished by pairing VMware vSphere, the world's leading virtualization platform along with vRealize Operations Manager.  This combination adds critical capacity management, intelligent alerting, performance monitoring and a host of other features/capabilities.  It is designed for businesses of all sizes to run applications at high service levels and maximize hardware savings through higher capacity utilization and consolidation ratios.


 

Simplify IT Management of Virtual Infrastructure Environments

 

vSphere with Operations Management offers a more intuitive user interface than vCenter Server and improves monitoring capabilities by adding predictive analytics to enable faster problem discovery and remediation as well as more efficient resource management.

Key Features of VMware vSphere with Operations Management

Unified Command Console displays key performance indicators in easily identifiable colored badges and provides a comprehensive view into what is driving current and potential future performance and capacity management issues.

Performance Monitoring and Capacity Management analyzes vCenter Server performance data and establishes dynamic thresholds that adapt to the environment and provide smart alerts about health degradations, performance bottlenecks and capacity shortfalls:

 

 

Video: vSphere with Operations Management - Overview (3:13)

Here is a short video that will show you the benefits of using vSOM in your environment.

 

Understanding the User Interface - vSphere Client Plugin for vRealize Operations


One of the most exciting parts of the vSphere 6.7 release is a new plugin for the vSphere Client. This plugin is available out-of-the-box and provides some great new functionality. When interacting with this plugin, you will be greeted with 6 vRealize Operations Manager (vROps) dashboards directly in the vSphere client! The dashboards are an overview, cluster view, and alerts for both vCenter and vSAN views.

The plugin requires vROps 6.7 to function. If you are already using vROps 6.7, the plugin will automatically connect through the vROps configured user. If you are not on vROps 6.7, you must upgrade to make use of this plugin. If you do not have vROps deployed at all, this plugin can help walk you through the deployment process to get vROps up and running within your environment!


 

Open Chrome Browser from Windows Quick Launch Task Bar

 

If the Google Chrome browser is not open from a previous lesson, launch the Chrome browser:

  1. Click on the Chrome Icon on the Windows Quick Launch Task Bar.

 

 

Gain screen space in vSphere Client UI by zooming out - (Chrome)

 

You may find that all information cannot be properly viewed on the screen.  If this is the case:

  1. Select the Options menu in Chrome.
  2. Click the '-' button to zoom out to 90% or whatever percent allows for adequate viewing.

Note: This will provide more viewing space while still allowing you to read the text.

 

 

Log into the vSphere Client

 

  1. Click on the Bookmark folder called RegionB.
  2. Click on the Bookmark RegionB vSphere Client (HTML).
  3. Check the box to Use Windows session authentication.
  4. Click Login

 

 

vRealize Operation Plugin

 

  1. Click on the Menu icon
  2. Click on vRealize Operations

 

 

vRealize Operations Overview Dashboard

 

The new vRealize Operations Manager plugin in vCenter Server, provides a mechanism to view specific metrics and high-level information about data centers, datastores, VMs, and hosts, for the vCenter Server and vSAN.  The overview dashboard contains information about the following:

  1. Environment Summary - Provides an overview of the environment.
  2. Are there any Issues? - Displays the critical alerts.
  3. Am I running out of capacity? - Displays whether there is sufficient storage, memory and CPU capacity.
  4. What can be reclaimed? - Displays the CPU, memory, and storage resources that can be reclaimed. Potential cost saving data is also displayed if present, in the appropriate currency.
  5. Scroll down the page to continue.

 

 

vRealize Operations Overview Dashboard (con't)

 

  1. How many VMs are running? - Displays the number of VMs that are running including details of VMs that are powered off and idle.
  2. What is the operating system distribution? - Displays the operating system distribution of the different VMs in the vCenter Server.
  3. Are clusters configured for HA? - Displays the number of clusters that are configured with and without HA.
  4. Are clusters Workload Balanced? - Displays whether DRS is enabled in a cluster.
  5. Lets now review the two remaining vSphere dashboards included with the plugin. Scroll back to the top of the page.

 

 

Open Cluster View Dashboard

 

  1. Click on the Quick Links drop down menu
  2. Click on Cluster View

 

 

Cluster View

 

The cluster view dashboard is focused on providing information related to a specific cluster from this dashboard you can view the number of hosts, VMs, and datastores in the cluster. You can also view whether the cluster is HA and DRS enabled. The following information is available on this dashboard.

  1. Are there any issues? - Displays the critical alerts.  
  2. Time remaining before capacity runs out. - Displays the time remaining before CPU, memory, and storage capacity runs out.
  3. What can be reclaimed? - Displays the CPU, memory, and storage resources that can be reclaimed.
  4. Scroll the view down to continue

 

 

Cluster View (con't)

 

  1. How is my infrastructure utilized? - Displays the time series data for the last 24 hours, for storage compute and network utilization data.
  2. Top VMs facing CPU contention. - Displays the top-five VMs that face CPU.
  3. Top VMs facing memory contention. - Displays the top-five VMs that face memory contention.
  4. Top VMs facing disk latency. - Displays the top-five VMs that face disk latency.
  5. When you have completed, scroll back to the top of this page.

 

 

Open Alerts Dashboard

 

  1. Click on the Quick Links button.
  2. Click on Alerts.

 

 

Alerts Dashboard

 

You can view alerts pertaining to objects in the vCenter Server. You can view the alerts based on their criticality. The datagrid displays a list of alerts and the relevant details such as the criticality of each alert, the object it is triggered on, and the type of alert. You can click the Open in vRealize Operations link at any time in the data grid to navigate to the user interface of vRealize Operations Manager. You can find out the object for which the alert is triggered and the remediation details.

 

 

Conclusion

This concludes the section "Understanding the User Interface - vSphere Client Plugin for vRealize Operations".  You should have a solid understanding of navigating and identifying where key content is located within the vSphere Client Plugin for vRealize Operations.

 

Conclusion


This module introduced you to the vSphere Client Plugin for vRealize Operations and how to use it  to manage your ESXi hosts and your virtual infrastructure. 


 

You have finished Module 3

Congratulations on completing  Module 3.

If you are looking for additional information on the vSphere Client for vRealize Operations, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most. 

 

 

 

How to End Lab

 

If this is the last module you would like to take in this lab, you may end your lab by clicking on the END button.   

 

Module 4 - Introduction to vRealize Log Insight (30 Minutes)

Overview of vRealize Log Insight


vRealize Log Insight delivers real-time log management for VMware environments, with machine learning-based Intelligent Grouping, high performance search and better troubleshooting across physical, virtual, and cloud environments.

High Performance Ingestion

vRealize Log Insight can process any type of log or machine generated data. vRealize Log Insight supports very high throughput rates and low latency. vRealize Log Insight possesses a collection framework, which accepts data through syslog, Windows and Linux agents, or via a RESTful Ingestion API.

Scalability

vRealize Log Insight can scale out by using multiple virtual appliance instances. This enables linear scaling of the ingestion throughput, increases query performance and allows for ingestion high availability. In cluster mode, vRealize Log Insight provides master and worker nodes. Both master and worker nodes are responsible for a subset of data. Master nodes can query all subsets of data and aggregate the results. vRealize Log Insight provides an internal Load Balancer for scale out, allowing you to load balance and scale out from out of the box.

Real-Time Search

Data ingested by vRealize Log Insight is available for search within seconds. Also, historical data can be searched from the same interface with the same low latency.

vRealize Log Insight supports complete keyword queries. Keywords are defined as any alpha-numeric, hyphen, or underscore characters. In addition to the complete keyword queries, vRealize Log Insight supports glob queries (for example, erro?, vm*) and field based filtering (for example, hostname does NOT match test*, IP contains "10.64"). Furthermore, log message fields that contain numeric values can be used to define selection filters (for example, CPU>80, 10<threads<100, and so on).

Search results are presented as individual events. Each event comes from a single source, but search results may come from multiple sources. You can use vRealize Log Insight to correlate the data on one or multiple dimensions (for example, time and request identifiers) providing a coherent view across the stack. This way, root cause analysis becomes much easier.

vRealize Log Insight Agent

vRealize Log Insight uses a native Windows and Linux agent to gather log data from Windows and Linux servers as well as desktops. You can collect events from Windows event channels and log files, and forward them to the vRealize Log Insight server. Some of the benefits are centralized configuration, ease of use, data compression, and encryption.  3rd party agents are supported as well, but those benefits listed above provide unique advantages by using our native agent.

Intelligent Grouping

vRealize Log Insight uses a new machine learning technology. Intelligent Grouping scans incoming unstructured data and quickly groups messages together by problem type in order to give you the ability to rapidly understand issues that may span your physical, virtual, and hybrid cloud environments. The Event Trends tab in the Interactive Analytics page provides automatic analysis of your events with context around new insights and anomaly detection. We can now see how events are trending in a specified time interval and easily detect ones that are potentially affecting the health of your environment or application.

Aggregation

Fields that are extracted from log data can be used for aggregation. This is similar to the functionality that GROUP-BY queries provide in a relational database or pivot-tables in Microsoft Excel. The difference is that there is no need for extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes and vRealize Log Insight scales to any size of data.

You can generate aggregate views of the data and identify specific events or errors without having to access multiple systems and applications. For example, while viewing an important system metric, for example the number of errors per minute, you can drill down to a specific time-range of events and examine the errors that occurred in the environment.

Runtime Field Extraction

Raw log data is not always easy to understand, and you might need to process some data to identify the fields that are important for searching and aggregation. vRealize Log Insight extracts most fields automatically, and you can dynamically extract a new field from the data. It is as easy as double-clicking the message text and selecting “Extract Field”.  The regex is provided automatically based on your selection. The extracted fields can be used for selection, projection, and aggregation.

Dashboards

You can create dashboards of useful metrics that you want to monitor closely. Any query can be turned into a dashboard widget and summarized for any range in time. You can check the performance of your system for the last five minutes, hour, or day. You can view a breakdown of errors by hour and observe the trends in log events.

Security Considerations

IT decision makers, architects, administrators, and others who must familiarize themselves with the security components of vRealize Log Insight must read the VMware vRealize Log Insight Security Guide. For more information, you can visit the vRealize Log Insight Documentation found at https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/log-insight-pubs.html

The Security Guide contains concise references to the security features of vRealize Log Insight. Topics include the product external interfaces, ports, authentication mechanisms, and options for configuration and management of security features.


 

Dashboards Overview

 

Dashboards – Think of the dashboards page as an overview section.  Dashboards provide the ability to quickly visualize log data and determine potential issues within an environment. Log Insight provides two different types of widgets inside a dashboard: charts and queries. Charts are a visual representation of data and the most commonly used widget. Queries are saved pieces of information that provide both a visual and textual representation of data on the Interactive Analytics page, but they are listed only by a defined name on the dashboards page. Query widgets are typically used when a chart widget does not necessarily provide useful information.

Interactive Analytics – Allows administrators and engineers to perform searches using plain language or REGEX strings and view log message detail to determine problem areas and perform root cause analysis.

 

 

Interactive Analytics Overview

 

The Interactive Analytics page allows administrators and engineers to drill down into log messages, to determine problem areas, and to perform root cause analysis.

At the top of the page, just below the navigation bar, you will notice a section with a black background. This section gives you a visual representation of your log data.

The chart in this section should look similar to the chart widgets that you saw on the Dashboards page. By default, the overview chart is a bar chart that displays the count of all events over time for the log messages seen over the last five minutes. Log Insight refers to ingested data as events. The events visually represented on the overview chart can be manipulated in a variety of ways, but most commonly are changed through the use of functions and groupings.

There are many options available once you have created a custom query in the Interactive Analytics page:

 

 

Content Packs Overview

Content packs provide a powerful way to extend Log Insight through pre-defined knowledge about particular events. To browse to the Content Packs section, select the three bars icon in the navigation bar and select Content Packs.

A content pack is made up of various components. These components can include:

 

 

Administration Overview

The administration section provides health information as well as allows for the modification of configuration settings. All information displayed during the initial configuration wizard of the product can be modified from the administration section. There are other aspects of the administration section that are not configurable during the initial configuration wizard such as where cluster members and agents can be managed.

 

 

Configuring vRealize Log Insight

Now that we understand the purpose of vRealize Log Insight, the next step is to configure our environment.

 

Exploring vSphere Log Events


In this section we will use Log Insight explore the logs of a vSphere environment. Often, without a log analysis tools such as Log Insight, log errors are not viewed until production workloads have degraded or failed and the business is impacted. With Log Insight we can uncover log events and patterns that may ultimately lead to problems so we can take action beforehand. In this section we will focus on log analysis and dashboards, though you can use these same principles to create alerts and forward them to vRealize Operations or via SMTP.


 

Launch Chrome

 

  1. Open Google Chrome browser by double clicking on "Google Chrome" icon on desktop

 

 

View Logs in vRealize Log Insight

  1. Click on "vRealize Log Insight" Favorite in the tool bar

 

 

 

 

Login to Log Insight

 

  1. Username: admin
  2. Password: VMware1!
  3. Click Login

 

 

Log Insight Dashboard General Overview

 

If you have successfully connected to a vCenter, earlier in this module, the first screen you will see is the General Overview dashboard.

  1. If you are not already at this screen click the Dashboard tab.
  2. This is the dashboard category tile; it tells you the source of the dashboards that are available (to see a complete list of installed dashboards click the down arrow next to the category title). Dashboards are either created within Log Insight or come as part of a Content Pack. By default, the vSphere Content Pack comes pre-installed. Dashboards from any other content pack that you install can be found by clicking the arrow.
  3. This section is a list of actual dashboards for the current category - The image above shows the dashboards from the VMware - vSphere content Pack.
  4. This section of the screen allows you to apply a date/time range filter to limit the data you are viewing within the dashboard.
  5. This section shows the filters which are available as part of this dashboard. The filters allow you to quickly focus the dashboard on a specific object/item of interest.
  6. Widgets, the widget in Log Insight are configured to query the consolidated log database and show specific areas of regular interest. In this case, the widget is showing a graphical representation of all the vSphere log messages and when they were generated. Widgets can be arranged in multiple ways and sizes.

 

 

Switch to Interactive Analytics

 

  1. Click the Interactive Analytics tab

 

 

The Interactive Analytics Screen

 

The following describes the different sections of the Interactive Analytics Screen:

  1. This area shows the graphical representation of the current Query, because we have not specified anything as a query or filter all the events are being shown.
  2. This section modifies how the graph displays the data.
  3. With the Search box, you can enter anything here you would like to search for within the logs. For example, this could be a host name, error message or number.
  4. With Data Range, Log Insight auto-correlates all log data, in this field you can specify a specific time range you would like to search for log entries. By default, the time range field is set to Latest 5 minutes of data. Be advised: large date ranges will take a longer time to return the complete set of data, but that data will stream in as the query result is returned. In this lab we have only just connected to the vCenter thus we have a limited time range where data is available.
  5. Events are the log entries which match the query and will be displayed here. The key words (Fields) contained in each of the log messages will be called out in blue below the log message. By default, Log Insight understands all the Syslog defined fields. As part of content packs Fields are added which are specific to their domain. In this case all the vSphere and Syslog Fields are available.
  6. The Field List is all the defined fields from all the log messages which are part of the result set from the query. You can click on any one of them and they will show you a graphical representation of the number of log messages which are associated to that field.

 

 

Searching Log Events

 

As you enter keyword searches inside the search box, Log Insight will provide auto complete options as you type.

  1. In the search field type vcsa*  (remember to type in the asterisk), in this case we are looking for all messages which are related to the vCenter vcsa-01a. In English, simply type in what you are looking for and add an asterisk as the wildcard.
  2. Enter the data range, Latest 5 minutes of data.
  3. Click the search Icon.

 

 

Event Types

 

Event Types are used when troubleshooting to quickly narrow down the resulting set of log messages into pattern matched clusters.  This capability allows you to quickly eliminate irrelevant log messages.

  1. Click the Event Types Tab. This will sort the result set of log messages by Event type.
  2. The Events column will provide the count of messages of the pattern matched type
  3. Click the x to remove this message type from the result set and automatically creates a filter for that message type (you must hover the mouse over the area for the "x" to display.

 

Note:  The lab you are taking is a live dynamic environment.  What you see will differ from what is captured in the screenshot.  Please choose any event in the window and proceed to the next step.

 

 

Filters

 

After deleting the Event Type, the log messages are retained.  They are only removed from this query and the system automatically creates a filter or constraint excluding that specific event type.

 

 

Creating a Filter

 

Now we will create a new filter to only include log messages based on the text API invocations. This will show the number of API connections to your vCenter Server.

  1. Click Add Filter

 

 

Set Filter Constraints

 

 

  1. Set Filter to text.
  2. Set the Operator to contains
  3. Type API invocations
  4. Click the search button (you may need to adjust the time field to "All Time")
  5. At this point the result list will only show log messages related to the text API invocations that are not event_type you filtered.

NOTE: Now we have narrowed down our results.  Prior to adding filters there were over a dozen different event types.

 

 

Field Extraction

 

Extracted fields provide a powerful way to construct queries in Log Insight. You can also create your own custom extracted fields.

1. Switch back to the Events tab.

2. Highlight the value next to "API invocations:". In the example above, its listed as 1, but this number could be different.

3. A pop up window appears, select Extract field.

 

 

 

Fields configuration

 

A Fields configuration will appear on the right side of your screen. We now need to name the extracted field, determine who can use the field, then save the field for use in the future. You will use this extracted field later in this module when we integrate with vRealize Operations Manager.

1. In the Field Name input box, type vmw_vc_api.

2. Under Available for drop down, you have the option to make this extracted field available to just yourself or all users. Leave this as Me Only.

3. Click Save.

 

 

Extracted Field Complete

 

Notice that we now have a new field called vmw_vc_api. We will leverage this later in the module. For now, we will move to the next step.

 

 

Grouping Events

 

Now we want to group these events which add some additional data into our graph.

1. Select over time drop down

2. Place a check next to vmw_vc_auth_source (VMware - vSphere) and vmw_vc_auth_user (VMware - vSphere)

3. Click Apply

 

 

Legend Created

 

Notice that a legend has been created on the right side of the graph to display the IP address and the username for who was connecting to the vCenter appliance.

 

 

Add Query to Dashboard

 

Now we will create a new dashboard called API Invocation Events based on our search results.

  1. Click Add to Dashboard.

 

 

Add Chart to Dashboard

 

  1. Enter API Invocation Events in the Name field, replacing the default content
  2. Ensure the Dashboard 1 is selected. You can change the dashboard you are adding this query to any dashboard you have rights to modify or create a new dashboard
  3. Click Add

 

 

Navigate to the Dashboards page

 

  1. Click the Dashboards tab

 

 

Select My Dashboards

 

  1. Click the drop down arrow for the dashboard list
  2. Select My Dashboards

 

 

Observe the Modified Dashboard

 

Observe that a new widget named API Invocation Events is now included with Dashboard 1.

 

 

Section Complete

You now know how to use Log Insight to explore the logs of a vSphere environment. You can leave the browser open for the next section.

 

Module 5 - Administration Basics (60 Minutes)

Introduction


This Module contains the following lessons:


Cluster Management


A vSphere cluster is a construct that lets you aggregate compute resources. The Clusters construct allows for features like vSphere High Availability (HA) and vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS). The cluster construct provides the ability to manage a group of VMs and ESXi hosts to improve resource utilization. When you power on a virtual machine that is part of a cluster, it can be given resources from anywhere in the cluster, rather than being tied to a specific vSphere ESXi host.  If an ESXi host fails, the VM is restarted on another ESXi host within the cluster (assuming HA is configured).  If an ESXi host experiences contention, DRS provides the ability to vMotion the VM to another ESXi host in the cluster that has available resources.


 

Video: Create vCenter Inventory (Datacenter, Cluster, Hosts) for VMware vSphere (2:51)

The following video will show the basics to getting started creating your VMware vCenter Server Inventory using the vSphere Web Client. Please note that these tasks can also be completed using the vSphere Client, which is also known as the HTML5 Client.

 

Create and Edit a Virtual Machine


In this lesson, you will walk through creating a virtual machine and editing its settings.


 

Launch Google Chrome

 

  1. Click on the Chrome Icon on the Windows Quick Launch Task Bar.

 

 

Gain screen space in Chrome by zooming out

 

  1. Select the Options menu in Chrome.
  2. Click the '-' button to zoom out to 90%

This will provide more viewing space while still allowing you to read the text.

 

 

Login to the VMware vSphere Client

 

  1. Click RegionA from the Google Chrome bookmark.
  2. Click RegionA vSphere Client (HTML)
  3. Check the "Use Windows session authentication" checkbox
  4. Click the "Login" button.

Note: All of the user credentials used in this lab are listed in the README.TXT file on the desktop.

 

 

Create a Virtual Machine

 

There are several ways to create a new VM using the vSphere Client.  We will be using the Actions Menu under the VMs and Templates dropdown. 

  1. Click on the Menu dropdown at the top of the screen.
  2. Select "VMs and Templates" from the drop-down menu.

 

 

Starting the Virtual Machine Wizard

 

  1. Click on the "RegionA01" datacenter
  2. In the "Actions" dropdown
  3. Click the "New Virtual Machine..." option.

 

 

Virtual Machine Wizard - Select a creation type

 

  1. Insure you are highlighted on "Create a virtual machine".
  2. Click the Next button to advance to the next wizard option.

Note: There are many options for deploying a new virtual machine.  For this lesson, we will use the Create a New Virtual Machine option.

 

 

Virtual Machine Wizard - Select a name and folder

 

  1. In the "Enter a name for the virtual machine" text box, type linux-Web-01a.
  2. Insure "RegionA01" datacenter is selected.
  3. Click the "Next" button to advance to the next wizard option.

 

 

Virtual Machine Wizard - Select a compute resource

 

  1. Toggle the drop down triangle for "RegionA01-COMP01" cluster.
  2. Select "esx-01a.corp.local".
  3. Confirm Compatibility says "Compatibility checks succeeded".
  4. Click the "Next" button to advance to the next wizard option.

Note: If you know Distributed Resource Scheduling {DRS} is enabled you can select "RegionA01-COMP01" cluster and DRS will find the best location for the VM.  For the purposes of this lab we are showing the granular capability of being able to select a specific ESXi host.

 

 

Virtual Machine Wizard - Select Storage

 

We need to select a datastore to place the new virtual machine.

  1. Confirm the VM Storage Policy is set to Datastore Default.
  2. Confirm RegionA01-ISCSI01-COMP01 datastore is highlighted.
  3. Confirm Compatibility says Compatibility checks succeeded.
  4. Click the Next button to advance to the next wizard option.

Note:  If you have Storage Policy Based Management, you can enable and configure storage policies for the VM.  For the purposes of this demonstration, we are not enabling this feature.

 

 

Virtual Machine Wizard - Select Compatibility

 

The version of virtual hardware that your virtual machine is built on will determine which hosts it can run on.  If you have older hosts in your environment, you would need to select the corresponding version of virtual hardware.  

  1. Confirm "ESXi 6.7 and later" is selected from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click the "Next" button to advance to the next wizard option.

 

 

Virtual Machine Wizard - Select a Guest OS

 

We need to identify which guest OS will be installed on the new virtual machine.  This will allow the wizard to provide appropriate default installation parameters

  1. From the "Guest OS Family" drop-down select "Linux".
  2. From the "Guest OS Version" drop-down, scroll to the bottom and select "Other Linux (64-bit)".
  3. Click the "Next" button to advance to the next wizard option.

Note: You may see an operating system is not fully supported.  This is expected as we are in a lab situation with limited resources.

 

 

Virtual Machine Wizard - Customize Hardware

 

We can now verify the virtual hardware for our new virtual machine and make modifications if necessary. We can easily add or modify hardware for the virtual machine including CPU. Memory, or Hard drive space if necessary from the corresponding drop-down boxes on this page. 

  1. Make sure "VM-RegionA01-vDS-COMP" is the selected network.
  2. Ensure that the "Connect..." Checkbox is checked
  3. We are not making any other changes, so click the "Next" button to advance to the next wizard option.

 

 

Virtual Machine Wizard - Ready to complete

 

  1. Review the settings for the new virtual machine.
  2. Click the "Finish" button to start the creation task.

 

 

Power On linux-Web-01a

 

Once the virtual machine has been created, we can now power it on.

  1. Toggle the drop down triangles for "RegionA01".
  2. Click on "linux-Web-01a:.
  3. Click on the "Actions" drop-down.
  4. Expand the drop-down menu by hovering over "Power".
  5. Click "Power On".

 

 

Power Off linux-Web-01a

 

Let's power off our virtual machine now.

  1. Right-Click on "linux-Web-01a".
  2. Expand the drop-down menu by hovering over "Power".
  3. Click "Power Off" from drop-down and select "Yes" in the pop-up box.

 

 

Delete linux-Web-01a

 

Let's delete linux-Web-01a.

  1. Right-Click on "linux-Web-01a".
  2. Click on "Delete from Disk" and select "Yes" when prompted from the pop-up box.

Note: Worth noting is there is "Remove from Inventory" and "Delete from Disk".  We selected "Delete from Disk" to remove the VM from inventory and also remove it from the disk.

 

 

Video: Create VM, Install Guest OS and Install VMware Tools (4:09)

We have just completed creating our virtual machine, but at this point, there is no operating system installed.  The Hands-on Lab Environment does not have sufficient resources to allow us to complete the process of installing the guest OS and VMware tools.  The following video will show the remainder of the process. Note that the video uses the vSphere Web Client. This will give you a chance to see what that client looks like. All of these tasks can also be completed using the vSphere Client.

 

 

Edit the Settings of a Virtual Machine

 

Once we have created a virtual machine, we can change the hardware that is associated with it, just like a physical machine.

  1. Right-Click on "core-01a".
  2. Click "Edit Settings" to add additional physical resources to the virtual machine.

 

 

Add a New Device to the Virtual Machine

 

We now see the hardware associated with the VM.  From this screen we can add additional hardware to the VM.  For this example, we will add a second network adapter.  

  1. Click the "Add New Device" drop-down list.
  2. Click the "Network Adapter" option.

 

 

Configure the New Hardware

 

We have added the new network adapter, now we need to configure it.

  1. Toggle the drop down triangle next to "New Network" to expand and view its settings.  At this time, you will also select which network to connect the NIC to as well as what type of Adapter you would like to use.  Notice that the MAC Address is blank at this point.  A new MAC address will be generated once this NIC is added or we can specify (with some rules) our own MAC address.  
  2. Deselect the "Connect At Power On" checkbox.
  3. Click the "OK" button to add the device to the VM.  When you select "OK" a new task to create the network adapter is started.

 

 

Prepare to Delete the New Hardware

 

We will can also delete resources from our virtual machine.  

  1. Right-Click on "core-01a".
  2. Click "Edit Settings" from the drop-down menu.

 

 

Delete the Network Adapter

 

Now that we are done with this portion of the lab, let's remove the new network adapter since we're not going to use it.

  1. Hover or click on "Network Adapter 2".
  2. Click on the "X" that appears on the right side of the window.  The device details will change and will show as "Device will be removed"

 

 

Delete the Network Adapter - Confirm

 

  1. Confirm "Network adapter 2" says "Device will be removed".
  2. Click the "OK" button to commit the change.

 

Migrate a Virtual Machine


VMware vMotion enables the live migration of running virtual machines from one physical server to another with no perceivable impact to the end user.  vMotion is a key technology for creating a dynamic, fully automated datacenter.

With vMotion you can:


 

Migrate Powered-On Virtual Machine with vMotion

 

First we want to confirm where the Virtual Machine (VM) is running.

  1. Confirm you are still highlighted on the VMs and Templates tab in the navigation pane.
  2. Verify that the core-01a VM is powered on, and if not, power it on.
  3. Click on "core-01a".
  4. Click the "Summary" tab in the context pane.
  5. Note that the IP address for the VM is 192.168.120.51
  6. Confirm the "Host" the VM is running on. In this case, the VM is running on "esx-02a.corp.local".

 

 

Start the Migrate wizard

 

You can use the Migrate wizard to migrate a powered-on virtual machine from one host to another using vMotion technology. To relocate the disks of a powered-on virtual machine, the Migrate wizard uses Storage vMotion technology.

Before migrating a virtual machine with vMotion, you should ensure that your hosts and virtual machines meet the requirements for migration with vMotion.

  1. Locate "core-01a" and right-click on the virtual machine.
  2. From the drop-down menus, select "Migrate...".

 

 

Migration Wizard - Select the migration type

 

The Wizard will prompt you to select the type of migration you wish to perform: compute resource, storage, or both.  For our lab, we will migrate to the other host in "Region01A"

  1. Confirm the "Change compute resource only" radio button is selected.
  2. Click the "Next" button to advance to the next wizard option.

 

 

Migration Wizard - Select a compute resource

 

Currently, the virtual machine is running on host esx-01a.corp.local.  Let's migrate it to the other host in the cluster.  

  1. Confirm the "Hosts" tab is selected.
  2. Select the host "esx-01a.corp.local".
  3. Confirm "Compatibility" says "Compatibility checks succeeded".
  4. Click the "Next" button to advance to the next wizard option.

 

 

Migration Wizard - Select networks

 

Select the destination network from the dropdown box to provide network connectivity for the virtual machine.

  1. We are not changing the virtual switch, so confirm "VM-RegionA01-vDS-COMP" is still selected in the drop-down menu.
  2. Confirm "Compatibility" says "Compatibility checks succeeded".
  3. Click the "Next" button to advance to the next wizard option.

 

 

Migration Wizard - Select vMotion priority

 

  1. Confirm the "Schedule vMotion with high priority (recommended)" radio button is selected.
  2. Click the "Next" button to advance to the next wizard option.

 

 

Migration Wizard - Ready to complete

 

  1. Review the information in the wizard to make sure it is correct.
  2. Launch a Command Prompt and type: ping 192.168.120.51 -t
  3. Click the Finish button to start the migration.

The migration task is now complete.  You will notice the VM is still reachable via the ping that was executed.

The running virtual machine has been migrated to the other host in our cluster.  You have now accomplished moving a running workload between physical hardware without interruption.

 

Working with Virtual Machine Snapshots


Snapshots preserve the state and data of a virtual machine at the time you take the snapshot. Snapshots are useful when you must revert to a previous virtual machine state. You can also take multiple snapshots of a virtual machine to create restoration points in a linear process. With multiple snapshots, you can save many positions to accommodate many kinds of work processes. The Snapshot Manager in the vSphere Web Client provides several operations for creating and managing virtual machine snapshots and snapshot trees. These operations let you create snapshots, restore any snapshot in the snapshot hierarchy, delete snapshots, and more.

A Virtual Machine snapshot preserves the following information:

In this lesson, you will create a Virtual Machine snapshot, make changes to the Virtual Machine's hardware and configuration state, and then revert back to the original state of the Virtual Machine by leveraging the vSphere Client Snapshot Manager.


 

Taking a Snapshot

 

The previous lesson left the vSphere Client open at the VMs and Templates navigation pane.  If you closed Google Chrome or the Web Client, navigate back to VMs and Templates in the vSphere Client.

To start the VM Snapshot Wizard:

  1. Locate core-01a and right click on the VM
  2. Hover over Snapshots
  3. Select Take Snapshot in the drop-down menu

 

 

Snapshot Wizard - Take Snapshot

 

  1. Type Snapshot-1 in the Name field
  2. Type  Snapshot prior to settings changes. in the Description field. You should always provide a meaningful description for the Snapshot
  3. Click the OK button to complete the process

Note: The snapshot creation will be visible in the Recent Tasks pane.

 

 

Manage Snapshots

 

We can view the snapshot history of the virtual machine with the Snapshot.

  1. Locate core-01a and right click on the VM
  2. Hover over Snapshots
  3. Select Manage Snapshots in the drop-down menu

 

 

Manage Snapshots - View VM Snapshot Details

 

  1. Click on Snapshot-1. Note the operational state of the VM relative to the snapshot timeline. We can see the current state of the virtual machine as well as the snapshots that are present.
  2. There are buttons to Delete All, Delete, and Revert To, which can be used to manage snapshots.
  3. There is also an Edit button to change the snapshot's name or description.
  4. Click Done to exit this window.

Note: Snapshots are not a substitue for back-ups. If you "Revert" to an earlier snapshot, then all changes since the snapshot are lost, so backing up data remains a critical infrastructure process.

 

 

Reconfigure the Virtual Machines - Power Off VM

 

Let's power off our virtual machine now:

  1. Right-Click on core-01a
  2. Expand the drop-down menu by hovering over Power
  3. Click Power Off from drop-down and select Yes in the pop-up box

 

 

Reconfigure the Virtual Machines - Edit the Virtual Machines Settings

 

In this step, we will adjust the Memory setting for the Virtual Machine:

  1. Locate core-01a and right click on the VM
  2. Select Edit Settings from the drop-down menu

 

 

Reconfigure the Virtual Machines - Change the CPU/Memory Settings

 

  1. Select the drop-down menu for the CPU Settings and select "2"
  2. Enter "512" (MB) for the memory
  3. Click the OK button to save the changes.

 

 

Manage Snapshots - Revert Virtual Machine Settings

 

In this step, you will revert the VM's CPU/Memory configuration back to the original state using the latest snapshot

  1. Select core-01a in the navigation pane, if it is not already highlighted
  2. Click on the Actions drop-down
  3. Hover over Snapshots
  4. Click Revert to Latest Snapshot
  5. Click Yes

Note: This could also be completed by selecting "Manage Snapshots". That method provides greater control when you have multiple snapshots.

 

 

Manage Snapshots - Confirm Revert Virtual Machine

 

  1. Locate core-01a and right click on the VM
  2. Select Edit Settings from the drop-down menu

Note: If there had been any changes to data on the disk, this would be lost as well.  Snapshots have many use-cases, but are not a substitue for backups.

 

 

Confirm the VM state

 

Reverting to the Snapshot will take the VM back to the state it was in before we added the additional CPU/Memory.  To confirm:

  1. Confirm the CPU has been reset to 1 CPU from 2 CPUs
  2. The Memory has been reset to 256 MB from 512 MB
  3. Click the OK button to close the window

Note: You may see that Network adapter 2 that was deleted in an earlier lesson has re-appeared.  This will be a rare circumstance in the lab when the VM times out on deleting the network adapter. If this has happened in your lab, just ignore this and continue on with the lessons.

 

 

Lab Clean-up - Delete Snapshots

 

  1. Locate core-01a and right click on the VM
  2. Hover over Snapshots
  3. Select Manage Snapshots in the drop-down menu

 

 

Lab Clean-up - Delete Snapshots (Continued)

 

  1. Click the Delete All button, and click OK on the pop up that appears.
  2. Click Done.

 

 

 

Video: Virtual Machine Snapshots for VMware vSphere (2:32)

For our lab, the snapshot was used to revert our virtual machine to a previous hardware state.  A typical use case can be to take a snapshot of a virtual machine before the installation of a software package.  If something goes wrong, you can revert to a previous state and retry the installation.  The following video will provide additional insight into the value of virtual machine snapshots. Note that the video uses the vSphere Web Client. This will give you a  chance to see what that client looks like. All of these tasks can also  be completed using the vSphere Client.

 

Cloning Virtual Machines and Using Templates


VMware provides several ways to provision vSphere virtual machines.  One method is to create a single virtual machine, install an operating system on it and then use that virtual machine as a base image from which to clone other virtual machines. Cloning a virtual machine can save time if you are deploying many similar virtual machines. You can create, configure, and install software based on a single virtual machine. You can clone it multiple times, rather than creating and configuring each virtual machine individually.

Another provisioning method is to clone a virtual machine to a template. A template is a master copy of a virtual machine that you can use to create and provision virtual machines. Creating a template can be useful when you need to deploy multiple virtual machines from a single baseline, but want to customize each system independently of the next. A common value proposition for using templates is to save time. If you have a virtual machine that you will clone frequently, make that virtual machine a template and deploy your virtual machines from that template.

In this lesson, you will clone an existing Virtual Machine to a Template and deploy a new Virtual Machine from that Template.


 

Clone Virtual Machine to Template

 

You should still be on the VMs and Templates tab in the navigation pane.

  1. Locate core-01a and right-click on the VM.
  2. Hover over Clone
  3. Select Clone to Template

 

 

Clone Virtual Machine to Template Wizard - Select a Name and Folder

 

  1. Type Tiny Linux Template In the "VM template name" field
  2. Confirm the location is RegionA01
  3. Click the Next button to advance to the next option

 

 

Clone Virtual Machine to Template Wizard - Select a compute resource

 

  1. Toggle the drop down triangles for RegionA01 and RegionA01-COMP01
  2. Click on esx-02a.corp.local
  3. Confirm "Compatibility" says "Compatibility checks succeeded."
  4. Click the Next button to advance to the next option

 

 

Clone Virtual Machine to Template Wizard - Select Storage

 

  1. Click the "Select virtual disk format:" drop-down and select Thin Provision (This is a lab environment, so Thick Provisioned will utilize unnecessary space)
  2. There is only one datastore in the lab, so RegionA01-ISCSI01-COMP01 will already be highlighted
  3. Confirm "Compatibility" says "Compatibility checks succeeded."
  4. Click the Next button to advance to the next option

Note: The datastore with the most free space is automatically chosen.

 

 

Clone Virtual Machine to Template Wizard - Ready to Complete

 

  1. Review the VM Template Settings
  2. Click the Finish button to start the clone process

 

 

Monitor Task Progress / Confirm Template creation

 

  1. If your Recent Tasks pane is minimized, you can open it and view the status
  2. You can also confirm by viewing the navigation pane and locating  the Tiny Linux Template Template object

 

 

Deploy a Virtual Machine from a Template

 

  1. Right Click the Template Tiny Linux Template
  2. Click on "New VM from This Template..."

 

 

Deploy from Template Wizard - Select a name and folder

 

  1. Type TinyLinux-VM In the "Enter a name for the virtual machine" field
  2. Confirm the location is RegionA01
  3. Click the Next button to advance to the next option

 

 

Deploy from Template Wizard - Select a compute resource

 

  1. Toggle the drop down triangles for "RegionA01" and "RegionA01-COMP01"
  2. Click on esx-02a.corp.local
  3. Confirm "Compatibility" says Compatibility checks succeeded
  4. Click the Next button to advance to the next option

 

 

Deploy from Template Wizard - Select Storage

 

  1. Click the "Select virtual disk format:" drop-down and select Thin Provision (This is a lab environment, so Thick Provisioned will utilize unnecessary space)
  2. There is only one datastore in the lab, so RegionA01-ISCSI01-COMP01 will already be highlighted
  3. Confirm "Compatibility" says Compatibility checks succeeded
  4. Click the Next button to advance to the next option

Note: The datastore with the most free space is automatically chosen.

 

 

Deploy from Template Wizard - Select clone Options

 

  1. Check the Power on virtual machine after creation checkbox
  2. Click the Next button to advance to the next option

Note: In order to manage the time to complete this module, the template OS installed will not be customized.

 

 

Deploy from Template Wizard - Ready to Complete

 

  1. Review the Deploy From Template Settings.
  2. Click the Finish button to start the "Deploy from Template" process

 

 

Monitor the Task Progress

 

  1. Note the new VM TinyLinux-VM in the navigation Pane

 

 

Cleanup - Power Off TinyLinux-VM

 

Let's power off our virtual machine now:

  1. Right-Click on TinyLinux-VM
  2. Expand the drop-down menu by hovering over Power
  3. Click Power Off from drop-down and select Yes in the pop-up box

 

 

Cleanup - Delete TinyLInux-VM

 

Let's delete this Virtual machine from our environment:

  1. Right-click on TinyLinux-VM
  2. Click Delete from Disk from the drop-down menu and select the Yes button when prompted from the pop-up box

 

 

Video: Virtual Machine Cloning and Templates for VMware vSphere (4:04)

For additional features of cloning and templates for vSphere, please watch the following video. Note that the video uses the vSphere Web Client. This will give you a  chance to see what that client looks like. All of these tasks can also  be completed using the vSphere Client.

 

Abstraction of Storage for More Efficient Management and Better Control



 

vSphere Storage Overview

The following lesson provides an overview of the different types of storage available in vSphere.  The vSphere Hypervisor, ESXi, provides host-level storage virtualization, which logically abstracts the physical storage layer from virtual machines.  

A vSphere virtual machine uses a virtual disk to store its operating system, program files, and other data associated with its activities. A virtual disk is a large physical file, or a set of files, that can be copied, moved, archived, and backed up as easily as any other file. You can configure virtual machines with multiple virtual disks.  

To access virtual disks, a virtual machine uses virtual SCSI controllers. These virtual controllers include BusLogic Parallel, LSI Logic Parallel, LSI Logic SAS, and VMware Paravirtual. These controllers are the only types of SCSI controllers that a virtual machine can see and access.  

Each virtual disk resides on a vSphere Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) datastore or an NFS-based datastore that are deployed on physical storage. From the standpoint of the virtual machine, each virtual disk appears as if it were a SCSI drive connected to a SCSI controller. Whether the actual physical storage device is being accessed through parallel SCSI, iSCSI, network, Fibre Channel, or FCoE adapters on the host is transparent to the guest operating system and to applications running on the virtual machine.  

The vSphere storage management process starts with storage space that your storage administrator allocates on different storage systems prior to vSphere ESXi assignment.  vSphere supports two types of storage - Local and Networked. Both are detailed in the following pages.

 

 

Local Storage

 

The illustration depicts virtual machines using Local VMFS storage directly attached to a single ESXi host.

Local storage can be internal hard disks located inside your ESXi host, or it can be external storage systems located outside and connected to the host directly through protocols such as SAS or SATA.

 

 

Networked Storage

 

The illustration depicts virtual machines using networked VMFS storage presented to multiple ESXi hosts.

Networked storage consists of external storage systems that your ESXi host uses to store virtual machine files remotely. Typically, the host accesses these systems over a high-speed storage network. Networked storage devices are typically shared. Datastores on networked storage devices can be accessed by multiple hosts concurrently, and as a result, enable additional vSphere technologies such as High Availability host clustering, Distributed Resource Scheduling, vMotion and Virtual Machines configured with Fault Tolerance. ESXi supports several networked storage technologies - Fiber Channel, iSCSI, NFS, and Shared SAS.

 

 

Viewing a Datastores Configuration

This lab will show you where you can examine details about the storage used by your virtual infrastructure.

 

 

Open Chrome Browser from Windows Quick Launch Task Bar

 

  1. Click on the Chrome Icon on the Windows Quick Launch Task Bar.

 

 

Gain screen space in Chrome by zooming out

 

  1. Select the Options menu in Chrome.
  2. Click the '-' button to zoom out to 90%

This will provide more viewing space while still allowing you to read the text.

 

 

Login to the VMware vSphere Client

 

  1. Click "RegionA vSphere Client (HTML)" from the Google Chrome bookmark.
  2. Check the "Use Windows session authentication" Checkbox
  3. Click the "Login" button.

Note: All of the user credentials used in this lab are listed in the README.TXT file on the desktop.

 

 

Navigate to Storage

 

  1. Select "Storage" from the Menu drop-down.

 

 

Storage - Summary

 

You will now see the datastores that are provisioned in your environment.  

  1. Toggle the drop down triangles for "vcsa-01b.corp.local" and "RegionB01".
  2. Select the "RegionB01-ISCSI01-COMP01" datastore.
  3. Click on the "Summary" tab for additional information about the datastore.
  4. Toggle the drop down triangle for the "Details" sub-pane.  This pane provides the Location; Type; and the number Hosts connected, Virtual Machines risiding on the storage and templates residing on the storage.

Note: There is also a handy image showing you the used and free capacity fo the particular datastore.

 

 

Storage - VMs

 

  1. Click on the "VMs" tab.
  2. Click the "Virtual Machines" sub-tab. You now have a list of the three virtual machines mentioned in the "Summary" tab.
  3. This includes a summary of all the virtual machines running on the highlighted datastore.

Note: You can also click on the "VM Templates in Folders" sub-tab to see the two templates.  Your lab may only have one template, if you did not complete the lesson that generated the second template.

 

 

Common Virtualized Storage terms

This lesson will wrap up by providing an overview of a few common terms:

 

 

Virtual Machine Disks

 

The illustration depicts virtual machines using different types of virtual disk formats against a shared VMFS Datastore.

When you perform certain virtual machine management operations, such as creating a virtual disk, cloning a virtual machine to a template, or migrating a virtual machine, you can specify a provisioning policy for the virtual disk file format. There are three types of virtual disk formats:

Thin Provision

Use this format to save storage space. For the thin disk, you provision as much datastore space as the disk would require based on the value that you enter for the disk size. However, the thin disk starts small.  When deployed, it only uses as much datastore space as the disk needs for its initial operations.  It then expands on the physical disk as more space is required.  Thin Provisioned disks can be converted to thick assuming there is sufficient physical storage available.

Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed

Creates a virtual disk in a default thick format. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated when the virtual disk is created. Data remaining on the physical device is not erased during creation, but is zeroed out on demand at a later time on first write from the virtual machine.  Using the thick-provision, lazy-zeroed format does not zero out or eliminate the possibility of recovering deleted files or restoring old data that might be present on this allocated space. You cannot convert a thick-provisioned, lazy-zeroed disk to a thin disk, however you can use the migrate wizard to perform this function.

Thick Provision Eager Zeroed

A type of thick virtual disk that supports clustering features such as Fault Tolerance.  Space required for the virtual disk is allocated at creation time. In contrast to the thick provision, lazy-zeroed format, the data remaining on the physical device is zeroed out when the virtual disk is created. In general, it takes much longer to create disks in this format than to create other types of disks.  For disk write intensive and disk latency sensitive applications, the disks should be prepared as Thick Provision Eager Zeroed to maximize write performance.

 

 

Storage vMotion

Planned downtime typically accounts for over 80% of datacenter downtime. Hardware maintenance, server migration, and firmware updates all require downtime for physical servers. To minimize the impact of this downtime, organizations are forced to delay maintenance until inconvenient and difficult-to-schedule downtime windows.

The vMotion. and Storage vMotion functionality in vSphere makes it possible for organizations to reduce planned downtime because workloads in a VMware environment can be dynamically moved to different physical servers or to different underlying storage without service interruption. Administrators can perform faster and completely transparent maintenance operations, without being forced to schedule inconvenient maintenance windows. With vSphere vMotion and Storage vMotion, organizations can:

Note:  There are not two datastores in this lab to demonstrate a storage vMotion, although storage vMotion uses the same "Migrate" wizard as vMotion.

 

 

Datastore Cluster

A vSphere Datastore Cluster balances I/O and storage capacity across a group of vSphere datastores. Depending on the level of automation desired, Storage Dynamic Resource Scheduler will place and migrate virtual machines in order to balance out datastore utilization across the Datastore Cluster.

 

 

vSphere Replication

VMware vSphere Replication, the VMware proprietary replication engine, provides data protection and disaster recovery for the vSphere platform by replicating virtual machine disks within the same site and across sites. It is tightly integrated with vSphere and is managed using the vSphere Web Client. It is included with vSphere Essentials Plus Kit and higher editions of vSphere. Multiple points in time recovery can be enabled to provide as many as 24 recovery points for a replicated virtual machine. vSphere Replication is used as a standalone solution and as a replication engine for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager and VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery.

For more on VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, take the "HOL-1805-01-SDC Site Recovery Manager  Data Center Migration and Disaster Recovery" lab.

The recovery point objective (RPO) can be set on a per–virtual machine basis and can range from 5 minutes to 24 hours. After initial synchronization between the source and the target locations, only changes to the virtual machines are replicated, enabling vSphere Replication to minimize network bandwidth consumption. New to vSphere Replication in vSphere 6.5 to further improve efficiency is the option to compress replicated data as it is sent across the network. It is now possible to easily isolate network traffic associated with vSphere Replication. This enables vSphere administrators to control bandwidth by configuring more than one network interface card in a vSphere Replication virtual appliance and by using vSphere Network I/O Control to separate network traffic. The result is improved performance and security.

Enhancements have been made to the way vSphere Replication performs a full synchronization. Previous versions of vSphere Replication requested and compared remote checksums with local checksums to determine the regions of a virtual disk that had to be replicated. With some storage platforms and vSphere 6.5, vSphere Replication can query vSphere for storage allocation information, to reduce the amount of time and network bandwidth required to perform a full synchronization.

vSphere Replication is fully compatible with VMware vSphere Storage vMotion at both the source and target locations. Prior to vSphere 6.0, moving a replica at the target location required vSphere Replication to perform a full synchronization. With vSphere 6.0, migrating a replica with vSphere Storage vMotion no longer requires this. That makes it much easier to balance storage utilization with vSphere Storage vMotion and VMware vSphere Storage DRS while avoiding RPO violations. Improvements have also been made to VMware Tools for Linux virtual machines. With some Linux OSs, VMware Tools features the ability to quiesce the guest OS during replication and backup operations. vSphere Replication can utilize this new functionality to enable file system–consistent recovery of Linux virtual machines.

 

 

Virtual Volumes

 

Virtual Volumes (VVOL) is a new integration and management framework that virtualizes SAN/NAS arrays, enabling a more efficient operational model that is optimized for virtualized environments and is centered on the application instead of the storage infrastructure.  Currently, storage management is generally LUN-centric, or volume-centric.  With VVOL's, we can manage our storage based on the requirements of the application.

Virtual Volumes simplifies operations through policy-driven automation that enables more agile storage consumption for VMs and dynamic adjustments in real time.  It simplifies the delivery of storage service levels to individual applications by providing finer control of hardware resources and native array-based data services that can be instantiated with per VM granularity.

 Some of the key features are:

For more on Virtual Volumes (VVOL), take the "HOL-1827-01-HCL VMware Storage  Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based Management" lab.

 

Managing Your Storage


vRealize Operations Manager has various tools that will assist you in managing your storage.  Alerts that will identify when there are problems in the environment, dashboards that will allow you to monitor your environment proactively, and out of the box reports that can be fully customized.


 

Open Chrome Browser from Windows Quick Launch Task Bar

 

  1. Click on the Chrome Icon on the Windows Quick Launch Task Bar.

 

 

Gain screen space in Chrome by zooming out

 

  1. Select the Options menu in Chrome.
  2. Click the '-' button to zoom out to 90%

This will provide more viewing space while still allowing you to read the text.

 

 

Log into vRealize Operations Manager

 

  1. Click the "vROps" bookmark in Google Chrome. Insure you are connecting to "vrops-01a.corp.local".
  2. In sure the "Authentication Source:" is "Local Users".
  3. Type admin in the User name field.
  4. Type VMware1! in the Password field.
  5. Click the "Log in" button.

Note: All of the user credentials used in this lab are listed in the README.TXT file on the desktop.

 

 

Navigate to Dashboards

 

  1. Click on Dashboards
  2. Click on the All Dashboard dropdown menu
  3. Check the Operations checkbox

 

 

vSphere Datastores Dashboard

 

vRealize Operations has numerous dashboards that we can use to help manage our infrastructure, including our storage.

  1. Under the Dashboards list, click on Datastore Usage Overview.

 

 

vSphere Datastores Dashboard - Exploring content

 

When we open the vSphere Datastore Dashboard, we will see a view of the Datastore data via a heatmap dashboard widget.  Dashboards remain a very powerful way to depict objects/metrics in your environment and illustrate the interaction between different objects/metrics.

The Datastore Heatmaps widget depicts "Commands per Second" and "Total Latency" organized by Virtual Machine.  The heat map is a powerful two dimensional view.  The size of the block represents the first metric (Commands per Second). The color represents the second metric (Total Latency).   We can quickly see that while some VMs do have more disk activity, the latency for all the VMs fairly low.  In the lab environment we are all good and there is no need to do any form of redistribution.

  1. It might not look like there is much value in just looking at a heatmap, because there is no visible data displayed.  To see the data, hover or click on a box which represents a specific Virtual Machine. In the screen capture, Virtual Machine db-01a was selected and we get back information about the metrics displayed along with the cluster compute resource associated with this VM.  
  2. We could easily click the Show Sparkline link to drill down even further. Because this is a lab environment, the sparklines will not have any data to show as the VMs will not have been running long enough. In an environment where vROPs has had the chance to collect data for a while, these sparklines will populate with a historical line graph.

 

 

Operations Overview

 

  1. Under Dashboards click on Operations Overview

 

 

Operations Overview - Widget Types

 

This Dashboard has a number of different types of widgets including:

  1. Scoreboard which shows the current value for each metric of an object you select
  2. Object List - In this case this widget is being used to populate some of the other widgets. We will discuss this further in the next step.
  3. Health Chart - shows the Health, Risk Efficiency, or custom metric for a selected object or objects
  4. Alert Volume - A trend report of alerts generated for an object
  5. Top-N widgets -  Display the top-n (in this case 15) results from analysis of an object or objects.

There are more than 45 widget types to select from when building custom dashboards.  Custom dashboards do require Advanced or Enterprise versions of vRealize Operations.

 

 

Operations Overview - Exploring Widget Interaction

 

At times, interacting with one widget will effect the output of another widget. In this case:

  1. The Select a Datacenter Object List widget would allow to change the focus of the other widgets on this dashboard if you had more than one datacenter. Selecting another datacenter in the Select a Datacenter (DC) widget would change the:
  2. Cumulative Up-TIme of all Clusters (in selected DC)
  3. Alert Volume (in selected DC)

 

 

Native vSAN Management

 

vSAN Management is natively integrated with the latest versions of vRealize Operations Manager.

  1. The lab environment does not use vSAN, however clicking on the vSAN Operations Overview or the Optimize vSAN deployments would provide you important information to help you manage any vSAN clusters that are in use.

For additional visibility into your storage environment, the vRealize Operations Management Pack for Storage Devices (MPSD) can be installed on any Advanced or Enterprise edition of vRealize Operations Manager.  The Management Pack can connect to any storage device that has a VASA provider, and SAN/NAS Switches from Brocade or Cisco using SMI-S. Performance Data is collected from Host HBA’s, NIC, VMs, and SAN/NAS switches.

MPSD provides visibility into your storage environment. Using Common Protocols to collect performance and health data from the storage devices. Pre-defined dashboards allow you to follow the path from a VM to the storage volume and identify any problem that may exist along that path. There is no visibility beyond the storage path unless additional vendor hardware storage management packs are installed and these again would require Advanced or Enteprise editions of vRealize Operations Manager.  Here are some of the benefits of MPSD:

Note:  Management Packs allow for extensibility of vRealize Operations Manager.  Management Packs dealing with infrastructure components require Advanced or Enterprise editions of vROps.  There are also application level management packs for SQL, Oracle and others.  Application level management packs require the Enterprise edition of vROPs.

 

Build and Manage your Virtual Infrastructure - Scale Out


vSphere with Operations Manager is suitable for small environment and scales up to meet the demands of large enterprises. With a scale up and scale out architecture vSOM can grow with your environment.  The flexible architecture allows for geographical deployments.


 

vCenter Server - Configuration Maximums

 Note: Click on the link for a complete list of current vSphere v6 Configuration Maximums. Guidance for future releases are provided at GA (General Availability).

 

 

vRealize Operations - Architecture Overview Video (3:30)

 

 

vRealize Operations Manager - Configuration Maximums

vRealize Operations (vROps) provides a scalable cluster/node architecture that can scale to the largest of environments.

Note: Configuration maximums apply to vRealize Operations v6.1 and v6.2.  Guidance for future releases are provided at GA (General Availability).

 

 

vRealize Operations - Scalability Video (3:03)

 

Conclusion


This module walked you through many of the daily management tasks that are performed by virtualization administrators world wide on a daily basis. You learned various ways to create, edit, and manage Virtual Machines. You also learned about the various types of storage that Virtual Machines can leverage, and the tools that vSphere with Operations Management provides to help you monitor that storage. Finally you learned about vSphere's scalability.

We hope you have enjoyed taking this module and have a better understanding of using vSphere 6.5. Be sure to take the survey at the end.


 

You've finished Module 5

Congratulations on completing Module 5.

If you are looking for additional information on administering and managing vSphere with Operations Management, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most. 

 

 

How to End Lab

 

If this is the last module you would like to take in this lab, you may end your lab by clicking on the END button.    

 

Module 6 - Upgrading vCenter (30 Minutes)

Introduction


This Module contains the following lessons:


Upgrading vCenter


vSphere provides many options for upgrading your vSphere deployment. For a successful vSphere upgrade, you must understand the upgrade options, the configuration details that impact the upgrade process, and the sequence of tasks.  This module will discuss how to upgrade vCenter Server to the latest version using the standard upgrade workflows. Due the time required to upgrade an environment, we will only be discussing each upgrade path.


 

Overview of the vCenter Server Upgrade Process

VMware provides many options to upgrade to vCenter Server 6.7.

You can upgrade or migrate your vCenter Server version 6.0 or later installation to version 6.7 using the method that best addresses your deployment goals and requirements. You will not be able to upgrade directly to vCenter Server 6.7 from vCenter Server 5.5 or earlier. You must first upgrade to vCenter Server version 6.0.

 

 

vCenter Server High-level Upgrade Tasks

 

Select your upgrade:

 

 

vCenter Server Supported Upgrade Methods

If you plan to run vCenter on a Physical Server on Windows, verify your hardware meets the necessary to requirements to run vCenter.

 

 

Graphical User Interface (GUI) Installer

The GUI installer provides a two-step upgrade method using OVF and the vCenter Server Appliance Management GUI. The first step deploys an unconfigured Platform Services Controller appliance or vCenter Server Appliance as an OVF file. The second step uses the vCenter Server Appliance Management GUI to configure the new appliance using the source deployment data.

 

 

Command Line Interface (CLI) Installer

The CLI installer provides advanced users with a CLI method for upgrading the vCenter Server Appliance or migrating vCenter Server on Windows to an appliance. You can upgrade or migrate to vCenter Server Appliance configurations using customized CLI templates.

 

 

Migration Assistant Interface for Migrating vCenter Server (6.0 or 6.5) on Windows to vCenter Server Appliance 6.7

When you migrate a legacy vCenter Single Sign-On, Platform Services Controller, or vCenter Server on Windows to an appliance using the Migration Assistant interface. You can use either the GUI method or the CLI method to migrate the legacy Windows installation data to a target appliance (This will be covered in "Module 7 - vCenter Server Appliance Migration").

 

 

vCenter Server Components and Services

vCenter Server 6.7 provides a centralized platform for management, operation, resource provisioning, and performance evaluation of virtual machines and hosts.

When you upgrade to vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller, or to vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller, vCenter Server, the vCenter Server components, and the services included in the Platform Services Controller are deployed on the same system.

When you upgrade to vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller, or deploy the vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller, vCenter Server and the vCenter Server components are deployed on one system, and the services included in the Platform Services Controller are deployed on another system.

The following components are included in the vCenter Server and vCenter Server Appliance installations:

 

 

vCenter Server Upgrade Compatibility

The upgrade to vCenter Server affects other software components of the data center. vCenter Server 6.7 can manage ESXi version 6.0 hosts in the same cluster with the next version ESXi.

As mentioned at the beginning of this module, you cannot upgrade to vCenter Server 6.7 from vCenter Server 5.5 or earlier. You must first upgrade to vCenter Server version 6.0 or 6.5.

 

Conclusion


This module introduced you to some of the considerations you will have when upgrading from a previous version of vSphere to vSphere 6.5


 

You've finished Module 6

Congratulations on completing Module 6.

If you are looking for additional information on upgrading for vSphere 6.5, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most. 

 

 

How to End Lab

 

If this is the last module you would like to take in this lab, you may end your lab by clicking on the END button.    

 

Module 7 - vCenter Server Appliance Migration (30 Minutes)

Introduction


This Module contains the following lessons:


Hands-on Labs Interactive Simulation: vCenter Server Appliance Migration


The purpose of this module is to demonstrate how to upgrade and migrate a “Windows vCenter Server 5.5” with a local “SQL Server Database” connected to an external “Windows SSO Server” to the new “vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA)” with a “vPostgres Embedded Database” connected to an external “Platform Services Controller (PSC)”.

You can accomplish this by using the Migration Assistant for vSphere 6.5, which is initiated separately on the source Windows vCenter Server and Windows Single Sign-On Server respectfully.

Please note: VMware recently announced vCenter Server Migration Tool: vSphere 6.0 Update 2m. This is a separate release from the Migration Assistant for vSphere 6.5 we are discussing in this module.  During 2013, VMware released the VCS to VCVA Converter Fling based on a winning idea from the annual Fling contest. The VCS to VCVA Converter Fling allowed customers to migrate their entire Windows vCenter Server 5.5 which included configuration, inventory, historical data, and identity to a vCenter Server Appliance 5.5. While the VCS to VCVA Converter Fling was able to address our needs for an end to end migration tool, it was released with a subset of features. This allowed for quicker availability of the Fling and customer feedback. VMware took its learning from the VCS to VCVA Converter Fling improving and adding more features, resulting in vSphere 6.0 Update 2m.

A key difference between these two releases is vSphere Update Manager 5.5 / 6.0 is able to be upgraded and migrated to vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 using the Migration Assistant for vSphere 6.5.  This is because vSphere Update Manager will run on the vCenter Server Appliance version 6.5.


 

Migration Process Overview

 

Migrating a Windows vCenter with an external SSO to the new vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller is a 2-step process.  If you choose to, the process will enable you to migrate everything (Configuration, events, tasks, and performance metrics) to the new vCenter Server Appliance.  This is optional and may impact migration's length of time to complete.

Prior to this tool, a manual migration like this would result in a new Universal Unique Identifier (UUID) and new Managed Object Reference (MoRef) ID, thus causing challenges for external applications.

This vCenter Server Appliance migration process consists of two stages (for each source):

• Stage 1: Deploy a fresh appliance / OVF

• Stage 2: Setting up the appliance server

This simulation will go through each stage of the vCenter Server Appliance Migration which is too time-consuming and resource intensive to do live in the lab environment.

1. Click here to open the interactive simulation.  It will open in a new browser window or tab.

2. When finished, click the "Return to the lab" link or close the window to continue with this lab.

 

Conclusion


In this module you were able to step through the migration process to move to vSphere 6.5. The built in migration tool greatly simplifies this process as compared to previous versions of vSphere.


 

You've finished Module 7

Congratulations on completing  Module 7.

If you are looking for additional information on vCenter Server Appliance Migration, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most. 

 

 

 

How to End Lab

 

If this is the last module you would like to take in this lab, you may end your lab by clicking on the END button.    

 

Module 8 - High Availability and Business Continuity (60 Minutes)

Introduction


This Module contains the following lessons:


vCenter Server High Availability Overview


The next release of vCenter introduces a native option to protect a vCenter Server deployment from hardware failures

High availability (HA) involves setting up a vCenter Server passive node and a witness node in addition to the vCenter Server active node that you are trying to protect. vCenter Server HA provides a much improved HA experience. This lab will explain vCenter Server HA


 

vCenter Server High Availability

 

The high availability setup involves setting up a vCenter Server passive node and a Witness node in addition to the vCenter Server active node that you are trying to protect. The three nodes form the vCenter Server HA cluster.

 

 

Basic and Advanced Workflows for vCenter Server HA

There are two workflows that can deploy vCenter server HA – Basic & Advanced. The Basic workflow can be used in most circumstances such as when a vCenter Server is self-managed (i.e. the vCenter Server is managing the hosts that itself is running on) or if it is running under another management vCenter Server that is part of the same SSO Domain. As its name suggests, this workflow is very simple and creates the Passive and Witness nodes automatically. It also creates DRS anti-affinity rules if DRS is enabled on the destination cluster and uses Storage DRS for initial placement if enabled. There is some flexibility built into this workflow such that users can choose specific destination hosts, datastores, and networks for each node. But the idea is that this is a very simple, easy way to get a vCenter HA cluster up and running.

The alternative is the Advanced workflow. This workflow can be used when the Active, Passive, and Witness nodes are to be deployed to different clusters, vCenter Servers that are not part of the same SSO Domain, or even other data centers. This process requires the administrator to manually clone the source vCenter Server for the Passive and Witness nodes and then place those nodes in the desired locations with the appropriate IP address settings. This is certainly a more involved process but allows for greater flexibility for those customers who require it.

 

The graphic above breaks down when to use the Basic or Advanced workflows to enable vCenter HA. Remember that these two workflows produce an identical solution. There is no additional functionality gained by using the advanced workflow. The Basic workflow should be used whenever possible as it is really the easy button for enabling vCenter Server HA. There is far more work when performing the Advanced workflow.

 

 

vCenter High Availability Additional Information

For more information in VCHA, please refer this lightboard video. Also, the next lesson will walk you through configuring VCHA using a simulation.

 

vCenter Server Appliance: Platform Services Controller High Availability (PSC HA)


The vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 introduces a native option to protect a vCenter Server deployment from failures in hardware, hosts, and vCenter Appliance services.  

The Platform Services Controllers (PSC) will also support High Availability natively, but do require an external load balancer when configuring external Platform Services Controllers for High Availability. In this lab, we have provided an Interactive Simulation (iSIM) on configuring High Availability for the vCenter Server Appliance. Also configuring the Platform Services Controllers for High Availability is an advanced task, so we have only provided some basic architectural information about this configuration.


 

Platform Services Controller High Availability (PSC HA)

In a few pages from this one, we have an Interactive Simulation (iSIM) on configuring vCenter Server High Availability, it contains the previous version of the vSphere Web Client. So be aware in the simulation after clicking on the vCenter server, we then click on the Manage tab instead of the Configuration tab that is in the new version. There will be some name differences as well as what is in the pages that will look different between the old and newer version of the vSphere Web Client. But the setup is essentially the same process.

 

We are also providing Platform Services Controller High Availability (PSC HA) which means you will need to use a third-party load balancer to get High Availability (HA) for your Platform Services Controller (PSC) infrastructure.  

The PSC will operate more like DNS, where each vCenter will now know where all the Platform Services Controllers are in it’s domain. In the event that any Platform Services Controllers service fails, then the vCenter will automatically fail over to the next Platform Services Controller. The diagram above shows how this works. The large arrows are where the vCenter is affinitized to (where it was installed against). If a Platform Services Controller fails, the vCenter can fail over through one of the dotted lines to another Platform Services Controller.

The High Availability mode is realized when the vCenters and Platform Services Controllers are all at the same functional level (everything is at same major build level). You can operate in mixed mode but PSC HA won’t be operational.

For more detailed information on how to configure High Availability for the Platform Services Controllers along with the vCenter Server Appliance 6.7, refer to this VMware KB article here.

NOTE: Links in the lab manual are for reference only and the Hands On Lab environments MAY NOT be connected to the internet. So we are unable to access them in most cases, however we can save the link by taking note of the web address or taking a picture with the camera on a cellular phone.

 

 

vSphere Web Client (Newest Version)

 

NOTE: In this lesson, we are only referring the screen captures and not actually looking at and manipulating anything in the lab environment you are currently working in.

Depending on what version of the vSphere Web Client we may be looking at, we will see some slight differences such as names of tabs and buttons in the main content pane. In this particular lesson where we are discussing the configuration of High Availability for the vCenter Server:

  1. We see that the tab name is called Configure to get to the configuration section for vCenter Server High Availability. (in the new version the tab is called Manage)
  2. Then once we click on vCenter HA, we then click on the Configure button. (in the old client the button is called New Configuration)

 

 

vSphere Web Client (Previous Version)

 

In the Interactive Simulation (iSIM) that we will watch shortly, we have the previous version of the vSphere Web Client than what is currently in the lab environment:

  1. The simulation has us click on the vCenter Server and then the Manage tab. (in the new client the tab is called the Configure tab)
  2. Then we will select vCenter HA and click on the New Configuration button to start to configure High Availability. (in the new client the button is called Configure)

 

 

Hands On Labs - Interactive Simulation (iSIM): vCenter Server High Availability

Now we are going to launch the Interactive Simulation (iSIM). This simulation will walk us through the configuration of vCenter Server High Availability. Once finished with the Interactive Simulation (iSIM), please return to this page of the lab manual to continue with this module.

Interactive Simulation (iSIM): vCenter Server High Availability - CLICK HERE TO START THE INTERACTIVE SIMULATION (iSIM)

NOTE: The current video was recorded with the previous version of the vSphere Web Client. So you will see some the tab names and screens are slightly different from the most current version of the vSphere Web Client. Also, when in the Interactive Simulation (iSIM) where it has you type something into a text field, it will enter in the proper text for you no matter what you try to type into the text fields.

 

 

vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller High Availability Overview Complete

Although this was a brief overview of the architecture associated to setting up external Platform Services Controllers in High Availability, we hope that the options for vCenter Server architecture makes more sense now as to why and how you may architect a vSphere environment based on individual needs.

 

Demonstrate resilience to network component failures


This lab shows how to use the VMware vSphere web client to enable and configure network redundancy to protect the systems against network failures.


 

Open Chrome Browser from Windows Quick Launch Task Bar

 

  1. Click on the Chrome Icon on the Windows Quick Launch Task Bar.

 

 

Gain screen space in Chrome by zooming out

 

  1. Select the Options menu in Chrome.
  2. Click the '-' button to zoom out to 90%

This will provide more viewing space while still allowing you to read the text.

 

 

Login to vCenter

 

Firstly let’s look at the status of the lab and the Platform Services Controller configuration:

Login in to RegionA vCenter and verify it is operating as expected

  1. Click on link in Favorites Bar - RegionA - RegionA vSphere Client (Flash)
  2. Check the Use Windows session authentication checkbox
  3. Click Login

 

 

Navigate to Hosts and Clusters

 

  1. First, go to the "Home" button
  2. Select "Hosts and Clusters"

 

 

Verify the Teaming and failover virtual switch

 

  1. Ensure you are on the Networking navigation tab.
  2. Expand vcsa-01a vCenter and Click VM-RegionsA01-vDS-COMP.
  3. Select the Configure tab.
  4. Click the Policies under Settings section.
  5. Observe the Teaming and Failover configuration for the VM Network portgroup.

Here we can see that the portgroup has been configured to distribute the network traffic across all available uplinks using the Route based on originating virtual port policy. It will detect a network failure only if a link is declared down at the layer 2 level. We can also see that if an uplink comes back online again after a failure, it will be automatically added to the network team.

 

 

 

  1. Ensure you are on the Hosts and Clusters navigation tab.
  2. Click esx-01a.corp.local under RegionA01 cluster
  3. Select the Configure tab.
  4. Under Networking, select Virtual switches from the menu.
  5. click RegionA01-vDS-COMP
  6. Expand the first and the second uplink of the VM-RegionA01-vDS-COMP01 virtual switch
  7. Confirm that the app-01a VM is running, and if it isn't, start it.

From that screen you can easily observe that there are two active uplinks for RegionA01-vDS-COMP on that host. The first uplink is vmnic0. As we can see, the Management Network, the Storage Network and the vMotion Network rely on the two uplinks to communicate with storage, other ESXi hosts and allow remote management.

We will simulate an uplink failure, where one of the two uplinks will get disconnected.

 

 

 

Using the vSphere Web Client, we can easily trace the network interfaces being used by a virtual machine for example. In this case we can see that virtual machine app-01a has network traffic being routed through vmnic0 and vmnic1.

 

 

Test network connectivity

 

  1. Click the Command Prompt icon on the ControlCenter Desktop.
  2. Type ping 192.168.110.104 -t and press Enter.
  3. Confirm that you are receiving a response from app-01a.

Let the ping command continue sending requests.

 

 

Connect to the ESXi host

 

  1. Click the Putty icon on the ControlCenter Desktop.
  2. Select esx-01a.corp.local in the Saved Sessions list.
  3. Click Load
  4. Click Open

 

 

 

Type

esxcli network nic down -n vmnic0

and press Enter.

 

 

Network response time

 

Switch back to the Command Prompt and stop the ping command by pressing CTRL-C

Scroll up until you can spot slightly longer response time. In this example we were consistently getting our response under 1ms. At the moment we disabled the uplink, the response time increased to 2ms.

Please note that because of the HOL environment, you may not see a ping with a delayed response.

 

 

Taking note of the error message

 

Switch back to Chrome

  1. Select RegionA01-COMP01.
  2. Click on the Summary tab.
  3. Observe the error message being displayed.

 

 

 

  1. Select esx-01a.corp.local.
  2. Select the Configure tab.
  3. Click Virtual switches.
  4. Select RegionA01-vDS-COMP.
  5. Scroll to see the uplinks status.

Here we can see that the state of the uplink is being reflected on that screen.

 

 

Physical adapter status

 

  1. Click on Physical adapters
  2. Select vmnic0
  3. Observe the detailed information for the vmnic0 that we disabled.

 

 

 

Type

esxcli network nic up -n vmnic0

and press Enter.

 

 

Conclusion

This concludes the Teaming and Failover lesson.

We were able to successfully demonstrate the vSphere is able to transparently balance network traffic and failover in the advent of a network link failure.

Lesson clear up - please close the command prompt and putty session.

 

vSphere Replication


VMware vSphere Replication is a hypervisor-based, asynchronous replication solution for vSphere virtual machines. It is fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client. vSphere Replication delivers flexible, reliable and cost-efficient replication to enable data protection and disaster recovery for all virtual machines in your environment.

VMware Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) solutions drive automation, efficiency, data protection, and validation of an organization's enterprise-level BC/DR strategy. Learn how to reduce downtime and increase availability for your applications and services with Site Recovery Manager (SRM).

 For a deeper level of understanding of Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and vSphere Replication, please consider the following lab: HOL-1805-01-SDC: Site Recovery Manager - Data Center Migration and Disaster Recovery.


Conclusion


This module introduced you to the tools and features that you have access to that will help you ensure that your virtual infrastructure stays available through a variety of use cases and scenarios. It discussed the new High Availability feature for the vCenter Server Appliance. It also showed you you could protect your network against failure, and this in introduced some advanced Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery topics.


 

You've finished Module 8

Congratulations on completing Module 8.

If you are looking for additional information on High Availability and Business Continuity, try one of these:

Proceed to any module below which interests you most. 

 

 

 

How to End Lab

 

If this is the last module you would like to take in this lab, you may end your lab by clicking on the END button.  

 

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-1911-02-SDC

Version: 20181104-125235