How to upgrade vShield manager

As part of my lab upgrade process of updating all the vCloud parts I wanted to document the vShield Manager update steps. Since vShield manager is a VMware appliance it has a database that holds your rules and settings that are distributed out to the various vShield App and Edge devices that you are using. So if you just did a rip and replace with the appliance to get to the new version you would break a lot of things and have to recreate your rules and re-deploy the agents to hosts. This would be a very bad thing in a production install. This is why you should use the update feature built in the vShield manager console. You can review my post on upgrading the vCloud appliance also.

To update vShield manager you need to download the gZip package from VMware. When you look at the download options for vShield there is an OVF package that deploys a fresh version of the appliance or there is a zipped package that you use for updates. Grab the update package and use for the next step.

In Figure 1 below you can see that after logging into the management page of the vShield Manager appliance you need to navigate to the “Settings & Reports” option in the left tree. Then choose the updates tab and then upload settings. This will present you with the option to upload the zipped update file that you downloaded earlier.

Figure 1 - vShield manager update

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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How to create an Elastic vDC in VMware vCloud director

Something that was slipped into vCloud 1.5 that did not get much press was the idea on an elastic vDC. This gives the ability to add extra capacity to the underlying provider vDC in vCloud. If you have worked with vCloud before you might be saying wait I could always do this by expanding the size of my cluster or pool that was providing the resources. And this was certainly one option for adding more capacity. But what if you had larger clusters that could not be expanded or if you were using linked clones (Fast Provisioning) and you reached the 8 host maximum for your cluster. You would have to create a new provider vDC and present this capacity as a new Org vDC to your cloud consumer.

The idea of an elastic vDC allows you to add another resource pool to a provider vDC which in turn presents this capacity up to the Org vDC. Now today this option is only available for Org vDCs that are setup for the Pay as You Go allocation model. What it allows you to do is add in the resources from additional vCenter resource pools to a provider vDC. Thus allowing you to grow the resources that are presented up to any Org vDCs using the proper allocation model.

You can see from the image at the bottom of this post that the first resource pool presented is marked as the primary and is what would be used to provide resources to Org vDCs that are using the Allocated or Reserved allocation models.

To add another resource pool you must navigate to the provider vDC that you wish to add the resources to and select the resource pool tab. Then simple click the green plus icon to add the resources by selecting from the vCenter that you choose. Below is a summary of the VMware KB that describes the features and limitations as they stand today.

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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How to upgrade vCloud VCD appliance to 1.5.1

I’ve been waiting a couple of weeks for the updated vCloud (VCD) appliance to be released. Not sure if its out yet, but after getting tired of waiting. I just decided to update the VCD appliance myself. But after some googling I noticed that no one had written anything about upgrading the appliance. There are some excellent articles by Chris Collotti about how to upgrade vCloud in a production install. So after feeling adventurous I took the leap and upgraded. If you need to upgrade your vShield manager also I have a post on there process also.

First step was to take a snapshot of the VCD appliance for a temp backup in case things went terribly wrong. So I shutdown the appliance and took the snapshot.

Step 1: Download upgrade .bin file and copy to VCD appliance

Step 2: Log into the console of the VCD appliance as root

Step 3: You should shutdown the VCD services before upgrading. See notes from VMware KB also listed below.

To gracefully shut down a cell in vCD 1.5.x:

  1. Log in to the target cell as root.
  2. Navigate to $VCLOUD_HOME/bin/ (typically /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/bin/).
  3. Suspend the scheduler by running this command:cell-management-tool -u username -p password cell -q true
  4. View the tasks that are running using this command:cell-management-tool -u username -p password cell -t
  5. When the task count reaches zero, shut down the cell by running this command:cell-management-tool -u username -p password cell -s

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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How to upgrade to VMFS 5 on VMware and VMFS 5 facts

I wrote this last year but never published, working on clearing out some old posts. Along with the long list of other features added to vSphere 5, VMware has included a new version of VMFS. The upgrade in VMFS brings us to version 5 of the file system.

The main focus of VMware while creating VMFS seems to be making it easier to manage storage in virtual environments. In VMFS-5 the number of storage related objects that need to be managed by an VMware administrator are far less. For example you can now use larger and fewer datastores, because the scaling limits of VMFS-5 have been increased.

 

VMFS-5 New Features

  • Unified 1MB File Block Size. Past versions of VMFS used 1,2,4 or 8MB file blocks. The larger block sizes would allow you to create files larger than 256GB. There is now just one block size in VMFS-5 allowing you to create up to 2TB VMDK files using the 1MB file blocks.
  • Larger Datastores. In previous versions of VMFS, the largest datastore size without extents was 2TB-512 bytes. With VMFS-5 this limit has been increased to 64TB.
  • Smaller Sub-Block. VMFS-5 introduces a smaller sub-block. The new size is now 8KB rather than the old 64KB size from previous versions. Now a small file less than 8KB but larger than 1KB in size will only consume 8KB rather than 64KB. This will reduce the disk space being consumed by these small files.
  • Small File Support. Support for files less than or equal to 1KB, now use the file descriptor location in the metadata for storage rather than file blocks. If they grow above 1KB, these files will then start to use the new 8KB sub blocks. The net result is a reduction in space consumed by small files.
  • Increased File Count. VMFS-5 now allows support for more than 100,000 files. In VMFS-3 the limit was 30,000 files.
  • ATS Enhancement. ATS is now used all through VMFS-5 for file locking. ATS (Atomic Test & Set) is a Hardware Acceleration primitive, and is part of the VAAI (vSphere Storage APIs for Array Integration). This improves the file locking performance over previous versions of VMFS.

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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vSphere ESXi 5 upgrade or install how to steps

This something that I wrote last year during the vSphere 5.0 beta and I had intended on using it with another project. After holding it for a longtime I finally decided to publish it here. There will be some other related content coming soon.

With the release of vSphere 5, VMware has entered the era of ESXi only hypervisors. This has been promised by VMware for the last couple of years, so it should be of no surprise to anyone. The ESXi platform has under gone a big coming of age journey since its first release. With each new version and update the ESXi platform has narrowed the feature gap that had previously existed with its brother ESX classic.

With this release VMware’s type 1 hypervisor has entered its fifth generation and in this book we are going to assume that you have a base level of experience. We will not be holding your hand showing each step of a base installation. We will be talking about topics that concern admins on important projects, daily tasks and showing you how to accomplish some of the new features in vSphere 5.

Upgrade considerations and dependencies

With any VMware related upgrade there are numerous items that should be considered when planning to move to the next release. Whether you’re going to be upgrading using existing hardware or purchasing new servers. You need to spend the time to examine the parts of your servers and validate they are supported by the release of vSphere that you plan on using. This can be done by using the VMware HCG or Hardware Compatibility Guide also commonly referred to as the HCL.

The release of vSphere 5 offers most of the same paths for upgrading, but also offers some not possible in the past. To make this easy to digest we have created Figure 1.0 that covers the upgrade paths and if they are possible with ESXi 5. Each of these methods will be expanded upon within the sections of this chapter.

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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