Download patch definition queued in recent tasks

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In my VIclient I saw Download patch definitions queued since yesterday.

Looks like a restart of the VUM service took care of it.

the service is VMware vCenter Update Manager Service



VMWARE ESXi host – Best Practice – Hardrive or SD card ?

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Good post on reddit from /r/kcbnac:


As with many things in IT – It Depends.

SD card is identified by ESXi/vSphere as being flash-based media, so it won’t log to it – you’d need another volume somewhere for logs and dumps to go (not a bad idea anyway; but then if THAT goes down you have no logs – which isn’t helpful when the Vendor Blame Game begins)

SD is cheaper in a large cluster, provided you can meet the above logging requirement. (Saved ~$10k on 8 blade hosts buying SD cards instead of a RAID-1 mirror’d pair of drives for each; and nothing big/fancy either – would’ve been 300GB 10K SAS in Gen8 HP blades)

HDD/SSD gives you room on not-shared-storage to put some critical VMs in a pinch, or just ones that can’t live on the SAN. (I’m picturing the VMs that assist the SAN that shouldn’t live on the arrays they support; or extra space in a shuffle)

HDD uses more power, generating more heat. Another moving part.

Its a choice of tradeoffs, as usual.



Different schedules for weekday vs weekend for Veeam backup jobs

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Excellent writeup on having different schedules for weekday vs weekend for Veeam backup jobs



by cffit on veeam forums


It takes some time to setup, but after that it should work ongoing with minimal effort. However, I’m still frustrated this isn’t in the GUI as things that run as scripts and scheduled tasks tend to get forgotten about when changes are made.

VEEAM B&R installs the VEEAM PowerShell snap-in so you don’t have to do anything to get that. You can access it by going into the B&R software and clicking on the blue box with the dropdown arrow in the top left and choosing PowerShell.

I used the service account for VEEAM B&R to create the scheduled tasks and run the PowerShell scripts. For me, this account is a local admin on the server. If yours isn’t, you might have to adjust as necessary.

I created two text files named something like “WeekdayScheduleChange.txt” and “WeekendScheduleChange.txt”. I then edited them to read like this..

The WeekdayScheduleChange.txt file looks like this:

Add-PSSnapin VeeamPSSnapin
Set-VBRJobSchedule -Job "Exact_Name_of_Backup_Job01" -At "17:00" -Daily -DailyKind Weekdays
Set-VBRJobSchedule -Job "Exact_Name_of_Backup_Job02" -At "17:15" -Daily -DailyKind Weekdays
Set-VBRJobSchedule -Job "Exact_Name_of_Backup_Job03" -At "17:30" -Daily -DailyKind Weekdays
Set-VBRJobSchedule -Job "Exact_Name_of_Backup_Job04" -At "18:00" -Daily -DailyKind Weekdays

The WekendScheduleChange.txt file looks like this:

Add-PSSnapin VeeamPSSnapin
Set-VBRJobSchedule -Job "Exact_Name_of_Backup_Job01" -At "4:00" -Daily -DailyKind SelectedDays -Days Saturday
Set-VBRJobSchedule -Job "Exact_Name_of_Backup_Job02" -At "6:30" -Daily -DailyKind SelectedDays -Days Saturday
Set-VBRJobSchedule -Job "Exact_Name_of_Backup_Job03" -At "10:00" -Daily -DailyKind SelectedDays -Days Saturday
Set-VBRJobSchedule -Job "Exact_Name_of_Backup_Job04" -At "14:00" -Daily -DailyKind SelectedDays -Days Saturday

Obviously change the name of the backup jobs to what yours are named, exactly. Rename both files from .txt to .ps1

Setup two scheduled tasks, one to run each one of these files. I run the WeekendScheduleChange.ps1 script at 2AM Saturday morning and the WeekdayScheduleChange.ps1 script at noon on Monday.

In order to setup scheduled tasks to run PowerShell scripts there are a few ways to do this. I set the task to run as the VEEAM service account (which is a local admin). I set it to run whether logged in or not and to use highest privileges and also configure for the version of Windows I’m using. The trigger is the schedule which I mention a few lines above. For the Action, I find it’s easiest to create a new action of “Start a program” and then for Program/script I enter “powershell” (without quotes) and then under “Add arguments” I enter “-file C:\PathToScript\WeekendScheduleChange.ps1” (again without the quotes). If your path has spaces in it you will need to put quotes around the path only like -file “C:\PathToScript\WeekendScheduleChange.ps1”. That’s all I set. Enter the password for the account you are using for the task and you are good. I then tested by right clicking the task and running it.

Doing this will in essence just change the job schedule within the job. All the other parts of the job will remain the same such as whatever day you set for the full backup and methods. It only changes the checkmarks/time on the scheduling section. This way you can still have all your options set in the GUI and ONLY change when the job runs. I didn’t want to have to specify all the job options via PowerShell as I’m not super great with PowerShell and the VEEAM syntax added in makes it even more of a challenge for me.

Hope this makes sense and helps some people out. When I realized v9 wasn’t going to resolve this for me, I decided to put the time into figuring out how to do it with PowerShell.

Thanks to Tom and Vladimir from VEEAM for helping me with the syntax of PowerShell. Good luck everyone!

Cannot power off or reset virtual machine in vSphere

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Had a vm that after a reboot would not come up.

Tried to do a reset and then the reset just hung there for a long time.

I logged on the host bypassing vsphere and the power off command wouldn’t work since another task was in progress.

then I ssh’d into the host, getting the vmid tried to kill it with command  vim-cmd /vmsvc/power.off VMID#

which gave me “power off failed”


As a last resort I thought I would have to vacate the host and restart it.


Then I noticed  that I had the thick client at another workstation hosting an ISO to the vm. Reason: the vm and host were remote so I wanted to feed the iso local to the vm via client connected iso.

So I terminated the viclient on the remote site, and my vm eventually came back.

something so simple yet probably overlooked often.


Problems logging into newly created vCloud Air virtual machine.

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Have you created a virtual machine but are having problems logging in?

If you visit my last post on virtual machine creation in vCloud Air , you will see that there were no options to preselect usernames and passwords for the vm.

How do we logon in??


To resolve this we are going to have to go through a few steps.

Go back to the vCloud Air portal and power off the machine.

In this image I’m waiting for the vm to go down.


Once the vm is off,

Select the virtual machine,

Then in the actions drop down box choose: “Manage in vCloud Director”


A new window will pop up.

In this windows, on the upper left corner click “My cloud”


Now the view changes.

Click vms and find your virtual machine.


Right click your virtual machine and select properties


Select the “Guest OS customization tab”

You should see the auto generated password for your vm


Now hit cancel and go back and power on your vm

Then open the console. (right click the vm to pop out the console)



Now you should be able to logon and change your password.


Creating a virtual machine on vCloud Air

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Objective here is to create a new virtual machine in vCloud Air.

As you can see I have no virtual machines in my Virtual Data Center

Click on “create your first virtual machine”


Several default options to choose appear.

These are a handful of default options which incluse (as of this posting)

  • CentOS 6.3 (32/64)
  • CentOS 6.4 (32/64)
  • Ubuntu Server 12.04 (32/64)
  • Windows 2008R2 Standard (64)
  • Windows 2012 Standard (64)
  • Windows 2012R2 Standard(64)

Of course you can upload your own options but at the moment we will chose one of the defaults:

I’m choosing Ubuntu server 64.


Now customization options will appear.

Here you can name your vm, and allocate resources,

The cost per hour is generated as you play around with the options.

The more resources you consume, the greater the charge.


Now you see the vm being created, and the status will circle.

Still waiting on the status to update.


Once the vm is ready the status will show that its powered off

I chose to leave it powered off at first

The option to start powered on was also there.


Check the box next to the vm and power it on

You could also select the drop down and power it on or just the nice big button above.


Once the vm is on the status changes.


To view the console of our newly powered on vm

  • Select the vm,
  • Select the actions drop down
  • Choose “open in console”


Now the Console pops out and we can see the console and use the vm.

The buttons on the upper right are for

  • sending control alt del
  • going full screen


if you just created your vm you may have problems logging on.

See the next post for updates

Failover using Vmware Site Replication Manager (SRM) 5.5 And Dell Equallogic Storage Replication Adapter (SRA )

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Datacenter Site A:

There is a problem where we know we have power outages coming or we have one currently:

In this example: volumesiteA is volume with vms that needs to be failed over to recovery site B.


Recovery to start actual failover to Datacenter Site B:

A warning will pop up:

The difference between planned migration and disaster recovery is that if there are errors the recovery will stop if its planned.

In a true DR situation where site A is down use forced recovery.



One we hit start the recovery begins.


On the Equallogic side you can see that the volume status is set to offline


On recovery site B you will see a new volume appear


Once recovery is complete you can test your migrated servers



If we go back to the failed over datastore on site B, we will see

The volume is not replicated


You may get “amount of in-use snapshot reserve exceeds the warning limit”


Go over to the snapshot windows and delete some snapshots or increase space dedicated to snapshots


If we look at the volume on site A

We will see that the volume is still has a replication job to site B, though it will fail (notice the cancel)


VSA : vSphere Storage Appliance : Review

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VSA : vSphere Storage Appliance


What is it?

The precursor to VSAN, the VSA enabled hosts to have software based shared storage without the need for a dedicated storage platform .


“this appliance is aimed at our SMB (Small and Mid-size Business) customers who may not be in a position to purchase a physical SAN or NAS array for their virtual infrastructure, and as a result, these customers do not have shared storage”

Vpshere Blog


Current status:

As of April 1, 2014. all VSA has entered end of life and can no longer be purchased.


How does it work?

The software would divide up the disk allocation in such a way that a volume from one host is mirrored on another.

The selling point is that you can use a minimal set of hardware, or even an existing one, to take advantage of the great features vSphere offered while having to forgo unneeded expenditures that a company ,may not be willing to make.


A company can use high availability and DRS with a smaller investment rather than using tens of thousands to potentially hundreds of thousands on shared storage.



Why replaced?

VSAN is a MUCH better product than VSA.

Where VSA was aimed at small to medium business, VSAN is focused on the enterprise market, moving away from what Duncan Epping likes to call “San Huggers”.

VSAN is built into the vSphere kernel, it has SSD caching, scalable and ready for the prime time.


Here is a nice comparison thanks to vSphere blog



VMWARE VSAN vs VSA comparison
VMWARE VSAN vs VSA comparison



end notes:

Vmware ended a product line that, while an interesting concept at the time, has fulfilled its need. Its features have been placed into the kernel itself, integrating the best, while adding new fatures. So VSA isnt gone in a way, just renamed. Like a lot of other Vmware products.


Project Onyx : Capture click, make code

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Project Onyx: A nice Vmware fling developed by vmware to turn mouse clicks in to command text.

How does it work?

It’s a proxy between your thick client and your vcenter server.

You connect to vcenter via Onyx. Then you use the thick client to connect to the Onyx proxy server

Of importance:

Onyx makes use of direct api calls, rather than powercli.

In the example from the vmware blog, rather than using start-vm to power on a virtual machine,

Onyx will use the API PoweronMultiVM_Task.


So why use it?

True there may be a lot of things that are easier to do using some powercli commands, but if there is something that can’t be automated, you are curious, or just need a hint, at what calls to make, it is still a good tool to have in the tool kit.

Where to get it?


Is there support?

There is (inactive) community driven support


Does it work with Vcenter6?

I haven’t test that yet.


Here is a nice introduction video by Carter Shanklin:


What type of output?


Raw Soap messages

c#.net 2.0

vCO javascript

How to connect?

Press the connect button

Enter your vcenter server name

Open viclient

once connected you will see the listening port on the pc where you ran onyx

Connect to that port

In this case

The vi client interface is a little slow since it has to run though the onyx proxy:

Here in the client we can see that I changed the network of one of my vms to not connect on poweron