How to use VMware VisualEsxtop

Esxtop is a powerful tool and you should be using it, if you are not then start today. It just got easier to use this powerful tool with the release of VisualEsxtop as a VMware Fling from the labs team. This allows admins an easier to understand and work with method to using esxtop. The new Gui that was added allows for people of all technical levels to use the tool and gain insight into their environments.

Upon launching VisualEsxtop you will see some very familiar looking details from the CLI version of the tool. You will be greeted with the same summary at the top as seen with the original tool. The summary gives you a high level view based on the tab that you are looking at. Below I am showing an example showing CPU related details.

summary

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMware vSphere and security scan false positives on OpenSSH vulnerabilities

This is something that we get on a regular basis from the security team. When doing their regular security scans for compliance and vulnerabilities I always get a long list of ESX hosts. The scans normally come back and complain about an OpenSSH x11 vulnerability or an OpenSSH Memory and Buffer Overflow.

These seem to be False positives from the tool being used to scan the hosts. We always make sure that we have installed the necessary updates related to OpenSSH as VMware releases them. But the tool always comes back with these issues. It seems to stem from the fact that the tool looks at OpenSSH in generic terms and assumes that all vendors implement it in the same way. From the documents listed below VMware indicates that since ESX 3.x VMware no longer included the x11 packages with their products. I would recommend that you make sure you are up to date on your patches and if the scans still come back dirty that you should discuss this results with the Application vendor that created the scanning tool. You might find out that this is common and they are just false positives.

Links:

VMware ESX Server and Security Issues in OpenSSH

Security Response: SSH Version Installed with ESX Server May Be Vulnerable

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Error while installing VMware license server on Windows 2008

While I was upgrading my vCenter server to Server 2008 I came across the following issue. I was trying to install VMware License Server on a Window Server 2008 32bit server and the install would fail saying it cannot start system services. After checking to make sure that I had not made some dumb mistake with my account I hit the intertubes and found that others had the same issue.

I was able to get pass this issue by downloading the latest copy of Virtual Center server 2.5 update 6 and then extracting the License server install file from the VPX folder. Seems that the copy from the install .iso file is newer than the file available for direct downloading. Maybe VMware can fix this soon. I did not try it but according to some other posts the version in VC 2.5 U5 might also work. Once I installed this version it worked the first time.

Error 1920.Service VMware License Server failed to start. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to start system services.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Location of VMware log files for ESX, ESXi, SRM and vCenter

Whether your tracking down an issue on your own or collection data to submit a support request to VMware your gonna need to round up the necessary log files.  I have collected and listed some of the main log locations from VMware and also linked to KB articles covering a full list of log file locations.

VMware ESX log files

You can see ESX logs:  (KB Link)
  • From the Service Console
  • From the vSphere Client connected directly to the ESX host (click Home > Administration > System Logs)
  • From the VMware Infrastructure Client connected directly to the ESX host (click Administration > System Logs)
The vmkernel logs (which log everything related to the kernel/core of the ESX) are located at /var/log/vmkernel.
The vmkwarning logs (which log warnings from the vmkernel) are located at /var/log/vmkwarning.
The vmksummary logs (which provide a summary of system activities such as uptime, downtime, reasons for downtime) are located at /var/log/vmksummary.
The hostd log (which is the log of the ESX management service of the ESX) are located at /var/log/vmware/hostd.log.
The messages log (which log activity on the Service Console operating system) is located at /var/log/messages.
The VirtualCenter Agent log is located at /var/log/vmware/vmware/vpx/vpxa.log.
The Automatic Availability Manager (AAM) logs are located at /var/log/vmware/aam/vmware_<hostname>-xxx.log.
The SW iSCSI logs are located at /var/log/vmkiscsid.log.
The System boot log is located at /var/log/boot-logs/sysboot.log.
VMware ESXi log files – (KB Article)
The vmkernel, vmkwarning, and hostd logs are located at /var/log/messages.
The Host Management service (hostd = Host daemon) log is located at /var/log/vmware/hostd.log.
The VirtualCenter Agent log is located at /var/log/vmware/vmware/vpx/vpxa.log.
The System boot log is located at /var/log/sysboot.log.
The Automatic Availability Manager (AAM) logs are located at /var/log/vmware/aam/vmware_<hostname>-xxx.log.
vCenter log files – (KB Article)
SRM log files – (KB Article)
The SRM configuration files are located at:
  • C:Program FilesVMwareVMware Site Recovery Managerconfigextension.xml
  • C:Program FilesVMwareVMware Site Recovery Managerconfigvmware-dr.xmlOr
  • C:Program FilesVMwareVMware vCenter Site Recovery Managerconfigextension.xml
  • C:Program FilesVMwareVMware vCenter Site Recovery Managerconfigvmware-dr.xml

The SRM Logs (on vCenter Server for connection with SRM and on SRM for SRM workflow) are located at:

  • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%VMwareVMware Site Recovery ManagerLogs, which translates by default to C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataVMwareVMware Site Recovery ManagerLogsOr
  • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%VMwareVMware vCenter Site Recovery ManagerLogs, which translates by default to C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataVMwareVMware vCenter Site Recovery ManagerLogs
The SRM Installation Logs (on the SRM Server, which may not be the vCenter Server) are located at C:Documents and SettingsAdministratorLocal SettingsTemp1.
The location of the SRA Logs (on the SRM server) depends on the SRA type and vendor. They may be located in:
  • C:Program FilesVMwareVMware vCenter Site Recovery ManagerscriptsSAN*logOr
  • C:Program Files<SRA Vendor or Name>

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Having trouble with VMware Fault Tolerance

I found a recent VMware KB article about FT and some common reasons that it might fail to start. The article goes on to explain some reasons why FT options might be greyed out, disabled or you cannot turn on Fault Tolerance. It also talks about requirements that must be met to enable FT. See the full article here.

VMware article that explains Fault Tolerance and what it can do. VMware KB

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Find the Service tag or Serial number of VMware ESX host

There might be a few reasons that you would need to do this. But if you need to locate the Serial Number of server or Service Tag of your Dell server you can do this from the service console command line.  In the past I have needed this to schedule service and also to confirm the identity of a server for the Vendor that was on site. In case you do not have a database to reference or maybe someone mistyped the digits you can always fall back to this method.

Type the following command from the command line on the service console and you will get some Vendor details and serial number information.

[root@host name]#  /usr/sbin/dmidecode |grep -A4 “System Information”

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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