vSphere 6 Setting up vFlash Read Cache

This example is being performed on a Dell R630 with the Perc RAID controller running ESXi 6.  I didn’t do anything special with the Flash disk in the RAID controller, I simply created a RAID 0 volume group with the single drive.

A lot of the inspiration for this fix is from this Yellow Bricks post.

Once the Host has ESXi installed, network configured, booted up, added to vCenter (and all the extra gubbins done), you will first need to mark the disk as a Flash disk …… ESXi won’t pick this up automatically.

vsphere_6_vflash_read_cache_1Manage > Storage > Storage Devices > Highlight disk and click the F button to mark as Flash.

vsphere_6_vflash_read_cache_2Now right-click the ESXi host > Storage > Add Virtual Flash Resource Capacity.

At this point I ran into a problem.  As far as I can see you should simply be able to add the Flash drive as Virtual Flash Resource Capacity, however, by default it was greyed out and isn’t selectable……

vsphere_6_vflash_read_cache_3…… and it only becomes selectable if you click the “Enable remote flash selection” tickbox.

vsphere_6_vflash_read_cache_4When you click OK, vCenter tells you it has completed, however, there are no Flash Datastores available for use and I was getting the following error under the ESXi Host > Monitor > Events:-

Configuration on disk /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.614187704de041001e622fd406f5f19e failed. Reason : A specified parameter was not correct: naa.614187704de041001e622fd406f5f19e

This fix for this is to tag the disk from esxcli, so next SSH into your Host and run

You will see that ESXi has detected this disk as a remote SAS SSD.

vsphere_6_vflash_read_cache_5If you try and add the disk as local (as per the comments in the Yellow Bricks post) you will get the following error:-

Error adding SATP user rule: Duplicate user rule found for SATP VMW_SATP_LOCAL matching device naa.614187704de041001e622fd406f5f19e PSP and PSP Options

vsphere_6_vflash_read_cache_6So to resolve this you will need to remove the rules, readd them correctly, run reclaim and then (back in the Web Client) retag as flash.

Once this is done you should be able to add flash correctly.

vsphere_6_vflash_read_cache_7

vCenter 6 Appliance (vCSA) ESXi Net Dump Collector configuration

Login to your vCenter as [email protected] (or use an account which has been put into the “Administrators” group from Home > Administration > Single Sign-On > Users and Groups > Groups).

Now go to Home > Administration > Deployment > System Configuration > Services > VMWare vSphere ESXi Dump Collector

vCSA_6_net_dump_1Now right click the service and tick Automatic so the services comes up at boot time.

vCSA_6_net_dump_2Now right click the service and hit start.

Now to set your hosts to use the Dump Collector on the vCSA its probably easier to do via PowerCLi.  The post below has a simple and quick way to do this:-

vSphere Dump / Syslog Collector: PowerCLI Script

So in powershell, you can grab the setting for all hosts in a datacenter like this:-

And to set the Dump Collector, you can do something like this:-

One thing I did notice was that if you go to to the vCenter > Manage > Settings and click on ESXi Dump Collector I got an “ESXi Dump Collector Service is not running. Enable ESXi Dump Collector and refresh”.

vCSA_6_net_dump_3

I double checked that the service is running in the GUI and via the appliance shell:-

vCSA_6_net_dump_4Even a reboot didn’t fix it!

If / when I find a fix for this I will update this post …..

 

 

vSphere 6 Web Client TIPs and TRICKs

This post is just a collection of various TIPs and tricks to make the VMware vSphere web client more bearable.

To be fair to VMware it sounds like they are working hard to make the web client better and as of 6.0 U1 and 5.5 U3 there are some big improvements.  This video from last years VMworld runs through the various changes they have made and are planning (INF5093):-

However, until the HTML5 version comes out this page will be here as a collection of as many tips as possible…….

Adobe Flash bitching about storage?

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2109770

Want to see all users tasks in the web client (be warned this can have a knock on performance wise on busy setups).

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2104914

Client integration plugin not working in FF (i.e. can’t upload files etc)

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2125623

If you have more feel free to comment and I will update this page……

SSO [email protected] account expiry

The other day I hit the “Associated user’s password is expired” when trying to login to my SSO as the [email protected] account.

You can just reset the password for the account as per VMware KB 2035864. However, on vSphere 5.1 this causes some confusion over the SSO user password and the so called master password (which never changes) – see this communities post for more info.

A quick and dirty fix for this (if you are running the vCenter with a SQL DB) follows.

  1. Take a backup of your RSA DB (if you don’t and you trash your DB then don’t complain to me :)).
  2. Open SQL Server Management Studio, expand the RSA DB, expand the Tables folder and find the dbo.IMS_AUTHN_PASSWORD_POLICY table.
  3. Right click and select Edit Top 200 Rows.
  4. Now edit the MAX_LIFE_SEC column (this is in seconds), so for example if you want to set it to 5 years it would be 157680000 (apparently you can set this to 0 for never expire).  I’m setting mine to 90000000 (1014 days).

  1. Restart the SSO service.
  2. Log back into the Web Client as [email protected]
  3. Go to Administration, Configuration, Policies tab.  It should now look like this:-

vCenter 5.1 Backups for SSO, SSL and MSSQL DB

Overview

When I upgraded to vCenter 5.1 and being the conscientious IT pro that I am 🙂 I made sure I had good backups for all the relevant bits to restore in case of an emergency.  This is not intended to replace a proper backup solution like Veeam Backup and Replication (which is an excellent bit of software which I actually use and highly recommend) but rather as a “belt and braces” supplement.

I have separated vCenter and MSSQL DB servers running on 2 VMs running Windows 2008 R2 (64bit).  My DB server is holding the vCenter, SSO (Single Sign On) and VUM (VMware Update Manager) databases.  Just to be clear here, this is not the vCenter Appliance.

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