“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.

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.

Cisco UCS blade B200 M4 discovery pending on 58%

New B200 M4 blades can running on Intel v4 processors. You may see discovery issue if your UCSM firmware version lower than 2.2.7c. I hit that problem few days ago when I install a new M4 blade. The FSM hung on 58% a real long time and failed eventually.

Continue reading “Cisco UCS blade B200 M4 discovery pending on 58%”

Virtual Machine Console in vCenter is Opened by VMware Workstation

If you have VMware Workstation and VMware Remote Console both installed on Windows 10 you may see vCenter virtual machine console in vSphere Web Client is opened by VMware Workstation instead of VMware Remote  Console. If you see same case your VMware Remote Console may be hijacked. I call it “hijack” since there is no easy way to revert it back.

Continue reading “Virtual Machine Console in vCenter is Opened by VMware Workstation”