Someone asked me a question a while back and I figured it was time to write it down… Or in this case to record a video. The vSphere Web Client is a powerful tool when it comes to finding events and problems. This video shows how you can use the vSphere Web Client to figure out which virtual machines were impacted by a host failure and restarted by HA. On top of that I also show you how you can use PowerCLI to list all virtual machines that were restarted recently by HA. No I didn’t write that PowerCLI blurb myself, I elegantly stole it from the infamous PowerCLI guru Jonathan Medd. So if you need the blurb, hit his article and check the “update 2” section as it contains the code for vSphere 5.0 and up. (I tested it on 5.1 and it works as you can see in the video.)
I received two questions on the same topic last week. The question was around using the PDL enhancements in a non-stretched environment… does it make sense? The question was linked to a scenario where for instance a storage admin makes a mistake and removes access for a specific host to a LUN. For those who don’t know what a PDL is read this article, but in short it is a SCSI sense code issued by an array when it believes storage will be permanently unavailable.
First of all, the vSphere HA advanced option “das.maskCleanShutdownEnabled” is enabled by default as of vSphere 5.1. In other words, HA is going to assume a virtual machine needs to be restarted when it is powered and isn’t able to update the config files. (Config files contain the details about the shutdown state normally, was it an admin initiated shutdown?)
Now, one thing to note is that “disk.terminateVMOnPDLDefault” is not on by default. If this setting is not explicitly enabled then the virtual machine will not be killed and HA won’t be able to take action. In other words, if your storage admin changes the presentation of your LUNs and removes a host accidentally the virtual machine will just sit there without access to disk. The OS might fail at some point, your application will definitely not be happy, but this is it.
To answer the question, yes even in a non-stretched environment it makes sense to enable both disk.terminateVMOnPDLDefault and das.maskCleanShutdownEnabled. Virtual machines will be automatically restarted by HA if they are killed by the VMkernel when a PDL has been detected.
Installing vSphere Data Protection is just a couple of steps. I downloaded the vSphere Replication virtual appliance. Note there are three different versions available and depending on how large your environment is you will need to select a version. I selected the 0.5TB version as I have a limited amount of virtual machines. This is how you import it and configure it, but before you begin I recommend ensuring DNS records are created before deploying the appliance!
- Open the Web Client
- Go to your cluster under “vCenter” —> “Hosts and Clusters”.
- Right click the cluster object and click “All vCenter Actions” —> “Deploy OVF Template”
- As a source I select the ova file I downloaded, now click “Next”
- Validate the details and click “Next”
- If you agree “Accept” the EULA and click “Next”
- Enter the “Name” of the virtual machine and select the “Folder” this virtual machine will needs to be placed in and click “Next”
- Select the “Datastore” it needs to be provisioned to and click “Next”
- Select the “Network” it needs to be connected to and click “Next”
- [Read more…]
One of the coolest features that has been included with vSphere 5.1 in my opinion is vSphere Replication. (Make sure to read the what’s new paper) The reason for it being is that it now brings “advanced” technology to everyone (Essentials Plus and upwards). I have used vSphere Replication in 5.0 and it was nice, but with 5.1 the installation and configuration process has been improved. For instance the database is now included in the appliance and it isn’t as DNS sensitive as it was with 5.0. This makes installing and configuring it a matter of minutes.
I am going to assume you have “vSphere Replication” traffic enabled on a VMkernel NIC, if you do not know how to create a VMkernel NIC check this article
Lets get started. I downloaded the vSphere Replication virtual appliance and imported and configured it in just a couple of steps using the vSphere 5.1 Web Client: [Read more…]
I really love this youtube video by various VMware people about the Software Defined Datacenter. Especially the animations in there are awesome. I suggest to just watch it,