“No host data available” Reported in Hardware Status Tab

Just noticed a issue that nothing reported in ‘Hardware Status‘ tab of ESXi hosts in vSphere Web Client. KB 2112847 gives a solution but not works for me. The feature can be used to monitor hardware failures. I figured out a way to workaround it. You just need to login by Administrator account and click ‘Update‘ button under ‘Monitor‘ – ‘Hardware Status‘ for each ESXi host. You will get the status after few minutes.

微信公众平台是否适合数据中心领域的纯技术文章?

最近迷恋于罗胖的“得到App“订阅专栏和其中的各种有声图书,罗胖说他的公司要做信息提供商,又说在信息大爆炸的时代一个有价值的服务就是帮人甄选好信息。这让我思考一个问题:微信公众平台究竟是否适合数据中心领域的纯技术文章?

我觉得要先定义什么是“纯技术文章”。我的理解是细致的讲解操作过程、实现原理以至于这篇文章可以当作操作步骤在实际工作中使用的文章。这也是我写这篇文章的前提限定条件。我的思考如下:

首先数据中心领域的纯技术的文章有时需要用较复杂的形式和较长的篇幅来表达,微信公众平台暂时还不具备这个功能,这个可以比较一下微信公众平台和WordPress的文章编辑器功能。

其次从用户的角度来考虑,当一个供职于数据中心的IT Pros遇到问题时,第一时间应该会想到的是搜索引擎,而不是相对封闭、搜索能力较差的微信公众平台。我一直认为微信是在中国特色信息化政策下的特定产物,信息在流动,但又相对于其他社交产品更加孤岛化。

再者从实用性来看,微信生来就带着移动互联网特性,甚至PC端也是很久以后才有的。而数据中心的IT Pros在工作中还是用PC多过用移动终端的,日常业务中的复制粘贴可能用的很多,微信在这方面总感觉弱一些。

最后从目标用户来看,个人理解是一个重社交的平台,聚集的人群并不是大量的专业用户。而IT专业用户可能也没多少时间看微信、朋友圈、订阅号等。而作为一个公众号能提供的大量纯技术领域专业文章一定是单一方面的,对于普通订阅者来说,很容易产生倦怠。

基于以上这几个思考,我认为这个平台暂时还是不适合作为IT Pro的专业文章发布平台,倒是更适合比较泛泛的介绍功能、原理、架构、思路等的文章。你觉得呢?

Host Cannot Download Files From VMware vSphere Update Manager Patch Store

You may see following error when you scanning ESXi hosts by vCenter Update Manager.

Host cannot download files from VMware vSphere Update Manager patch store. Check the network connectivity and 
firewall setup, and check esxupdate logs for details.

You also see similar logs in /var/log/esxupdate.log.

[Errno -2] Name or service not known

The root cause could be following:

  1. ESXi host cannot resolve DNS name of vCenter Update Manager Server.
  2. One of the DNS servers incorrect if you set multiple DNS servers on ESXi host.

Migrate vCenter Server 5.5 Windows to 6.0 Virtual Appliance 

Virtual appliance is future of how VMware delivery their product to customers. It’s pain to migrate from vCenter Server Windows version to virtual appliance. The only way was build up new virtual appliance and move everything out of Windows vCenter Server. The challenge is you lost data if you have integrated vCenter Server with other VMware products, or using DVS.

VMware released vCenter Server Migration Tool after VMworld 2016. It gave me confidence to give it a try. I assume vCenter Server is embedded SSO. I did the migration 2 or 3 times, following is summary of my experience. The migration tool only support migrate vCenter Server 5.5 windows edition to vCenter Server 6.0 U2.

Prerequisites

  1. vCenter Server is more like core services today since lot of 3rd party software call vCenter API to interactive with VMs. You may have some products integrated with vCenter Server already. Please upgrade to vCenter 6 compatible version before migration.
  2. I suggest create a local account on source vCenter Server if your server is domain member. You can login back source vCenter by local account in case migration failed.
  3. vCenter Server Migration Tool applies temporary IP address on destination vCenter virtual appliance during migration. It’s used to communicate with source vCenter. Please register a temporary IP address for destination vCenter Server.
  4. A helper VM is required to run migration image. Please make sure you have a free Windows VM be ready to mount migration image.
  5. SQL database is exported to source vCenter Server if you want migrate performance and event data. So you need to make sure enough space on C: drive on source vCenter. The free space should be much bigger than vCenter database size.
  6. Of course you need a vCenter Server 6 license key since old key doesn’t support the version.
  7. Some cases show migration process stopped during export SQL database. That’s because memory of source vCenter is too small. Please make sure RAM of source vCenter should be equal or greater than destination vCenter Server.
  8. The other tricky is database table. You may see migration processes is completed but destination vCenter Server doesn’t come up, and no data actually imported. That’s because ‘checksum‘ column existing in table [dbo].[VMO_ResourceElementContent] in vCenter DB. You can run following SQL query to remove it before migration.
    alter table dbo.VMO_ResourceElementContent drop column checksum;

Procedure

The items above can be done anytime before the migration window. Following steps should be token during migration.

  1. You need to disable firewall and anti-virus software on old vCenter to avoid communication issue between Migration Assistant and new vCenter Server.
  2. To avoid any unstable, resource contention, or potential network connectivity lost issue, I suggest temporarily disable DRS and HA on source and destination cluster if they are virtual machine.
  3. Copy Migration Assistant from migration image to old vCenter.
  4. Take snapshot on old vCenter and backup database of old vCenter.
  5. Connect to console of source vCenter and run Migration Assistant.
  6. Mount vCenter Server 6 U2m image on helper VM. Launch vCenter migration. The migration process is straightforward. I wouldn’t introduce more here.

After Migration

Basically you need to revert all the temporary changes made before. Such as delete snapshot and DB backup, enable DRS and HA, and disable vNIC on source vCenter Server to avoid any human error.

How to Integrate PowerCLI 6.5 with PowerShell and PowerShell ISE

I wrote an article to introducing how to integrate PowerCLI with PowerShell and PowerShell ISE. VMware just released PowerCLI 6.5 R1, it includes lot  of new features and modules. And somehow my way doesn’t work. Following is new way to integrate PowerCLI 6.5 with PowerShell and PowerShell ISE in Windows 10.

PowerShell and PowerShell ISE both have it own $profile. So we need to do two times.

Before we start

Please make sure your PowerShell execution policy is not restricted. You can get the setting by run  following command:

Get-ExecutionPolicy

PowerShell Integration

  1. Open PowerShell window. Run following command to confirm profile file is not existing.
    Test-Path $profile

    If return is ‘False’, go to step 2.
    If return is ‘True’, Backup the file and go to step 3.

  2. Run following command if the  profile file  doesn’t existing.
    New-Item -Path $profile -type file -force | Out-Null
    
    Test-Path $profile

    The return above should be ‘True’. Profile file is created.

  3. Run following command to include VMware PowerCLI modules in  PowerShell.
    Add-Content -Path $profile -value "# Load Windows PowerShell cmdlets for managing vSphere `r`n. 'C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\PowerCLI\Scripts\Initialize-PowerCLIEnvironment.ps1'"

    The blue text above maybe different in your environment base upon where your PowerCLI is installed.

PowerShell ISE Integration

PowerShell ISE process is same to PowerShell, only different is all the operation should be completed in PowerShell ISE window.

Reboot is not required in my environment. But anyhow please reboot if you see any issue.

The processes above integrate PowerCLI 6.5 with PowerCLI and PowerCLI ISE for  current user only. If you want to integrate for all users on the machine, you need to refer to this article.

VMworld 2016

本年度VMworld重回拉斯维加斯,相比旧金山各方面都要好很多,参会这几天有不少乐趣。技术层面,本年度vmworld主要聚焦于用户端统一管理、公有云、以及vmware自家的“超融合软件”。
第一天的主题演讲回顾了近十几年来传统IT、私有云、公有云的增长趋势,这里有个很有意思的地方。我一直以为IT的转变方式应该是从传统到私有,最终到公有的。但是从演讲看,私有云和公有云占有率同时保持增长,公有云甚至一直比私有云要高一些。但直到今年云的占有率依旧不敌传统IT架构,这还是在国际大公司接近80%虚拟化的现状下。演讲中还提出了一个观点——数字化商业。今天,企业都在追求创新、高效的商业,IT已经不像过去仅仅支持企业内部的信息系统,而是引导企业走向何方,IT更加紧密的和商业结合在一起,很难想象一家没有技术驱动的企业可以高效的与客户沟通和分析数据、快速的对市场做出反应、自动化的生产经营。第二天的主题演讲介绍了一些用户层面的新解决方案,由于本人不关注该层面,没有太多了解。

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思科UCS刀片服务器B200 M4停止在发现进程的58%

新的B200 M4刀片服务器可以使用最新的英特尔四代处理器,如果ucsm固件版本低于2.2.7c会导致发现失败。前几天装一台M4时候就遇到这个问题了。FSM在58%阶段很久然后失败了。

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