09 Dec 2008
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There is a problem with the with HA in VMware ESX 3.5 Update 3. Virtual Machines may reboot unexpectedly when migrated with VMotion or after a Power On operation. This is only when the Virtual Machine is running on an ESX 3.5 Update 3 Host and the ESX Host has VMware HA enabled with "Virtual Machine Monitoring" option active.To work around this problem: 

Option 1: Disable Virtual Machine Monitoring

1.     Select the VMware HA cluster and choose Edit Settings from the right-click menu.

2.     In the Cluster Settings dialog box, select VMware HA in the left column.

3.     Un-Check the Enable virtual machine monitoring check box.

4.     Click OK.

 

Option 2: Set hostd hearbeat delay to 0

1.     Disconnect the host from VC (Right click on host in VI Client and select "Disconnect" )

2.     Login as root to the ESX Server with SSH.

3.     Using a text editor such as nano or vi, edit the file /etc/vmware/hostd/config.xml

4.     Set the "heartbeatDelayInSecs" tag under "vmsvc" to 0 seconds as shown here:

<vmsvc>
     <heartbeatDelayInSecs>0</heartbeatDelayInSecs>
     <enabled>true</enabled>
</vmsvc>

5.     Restart the management agents for this change to take effect.

service mgmt-vmware restart

6.     Reconnect the host in VC ( Right click on host in VI Client and select "Connect" )

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11 Dec 2008
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To install the VMware tools on a Netware 6.5 Virtual Machine follow these easy steps: 

1. Power on the virtual machine.

2. Choose VM > Install VMware Tools.

3. Inside the guest OS,Load the CD-ROM driver if it's not already loaded: In the system console for a NetWare 6.5 virtual machine, type LOAD CDDVD

4. Run setup.ncf from the VMWTOOLS volume. Type: vmwtools:\setup.ncf

5. Restart the guest operating system. In the system console, type restart server

If the VMware Tools install ISO is still mounted, click: VM > End VMware Tools Install

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10 Dec 2008
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Today I've enabled PDA/Mobile Device functionality for this site. I've tested it on the Nokia E90 Communicator and the iPhone 3G. It seems to be working fine as far as I can see.

When you browse http://www.virtualvcp.com/ from your mobile device, you will see the PDA version, which should make your life a little easier in trying to browse for articles and technical tips from you mobile device.

 I will still be tuning this in the days to come to make it easier and faster to find articles.

Please contact me via the contact form or comment on this is you find any issues with the PDA site.

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09 Dec 2008
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I have decided to enable full article length RSS feeds as from yesterday, 08 December 2008.

Although I do realise that it may have an impact on the overall visitor count of the site, as users won't have to visit the site to read a full article anymore, I do hope that it makes life a little easier for my readers as you will be able to simply use your RSS reader without having to open your browser to get the article.

I will also NOT be running ads in the RSS feeds as it I myself really dislike being distracted by annoying ads while I'm reading articles on other sites.

Let's see how well this works. In the end, my main goal with the site is to post my findings in day-to-day tasks and troubleshooting, not to advertise.

 

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05 Dec 2008
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I don't know if anyone else has come across this issue, but since upgrading to ESX 3.5 Update 2 we've been having strange problems with VCB snapshots. I've not had much time for troubleshooting in the last 3 or so weeks, but I found a workaround. Before I get ahead of myself, let me just first explain the issue we are having.

When backing up our VMs with VCB, the snapshot delta files created by VCB needs to be merged back into the main VMDK. However, for the past few weeks I've seen cases on some of our ESX hosts where the snapshots never gets merged back, and the delta files just keep on stacking up every time a snapshot is created. In other words, here’s what happens:

1. VCB creates a snapshot of a VM. This creates delta files such as VMNAME-000001.vmdk.
2. When the backup process completes, the snapshot delta VMDK is supposed to merge back into the main or its parent VMDK file but fails to do so. Now, this is not normally a problem, as you can just go and "delete" the snapshot using the snapshot manager in the VI Client.
3. However, when you go to the snapshot manager in the VI client, there are no VCB snapshots but there may be a "consolidate helper" snapshot. Even if I delete this snapshot, the process fails to merge the VMDK files back.
4. If I then create another snapshot manually using the snapshot manager, this creates the second set of delta files such as VMNAME-000002.vmdk.
5. When I then try to delete the snapshot, the VI Client reports the Virtual Machine as having no snapshots, however when browsing the data store, I can still see all the delta files. Also, when I log onto the ESX server where the VM is running, and issue vmware-cmd /vmfs/volumes/<DATASTORE>/<VMNAME>/<VMNAME>.vmx hassnapshot, the ESX server returns no snapshots for that VM.

This is a strange problem. The Virtual Machine clearly has snapshots delta files in its data store; however the ESX host is unaware of any snapshots for that VM.Now I did find a workaround for this problem, but I've been unable to find the root cause of this problem as I've been way to busy the last few weeks to have a good look at it.

The workaround is:

1. Log onto the console of the ESX host where the VM with snapshot problems is running on.
2. Restart the management agent on that server with service mgmt-vmware restart.
3. In the VI Client, go to the snapshot manager and manually create a snapshot for the VM (without a memory snapshot).
4. Now, "Delete" all snapshots. This should merge all delta files back into the main VMDK file.

The workaround suggests that there is a problem with the management agent on the ESX hosts, but if so, it has to be something in the Update 2 release as my cluster has 16 hosts and the problem seems to be popping up on random hosts daily. I am now planning to upgrade to Update 3 to see if that will clear the problem.

If anyone else has come cross a similar issue, please drop me an email or a comment.

 

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13 Nov 2008
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So, in less than a year, VMware has gone from a strong fast growing public offering "to a company whose slowing growth and plummeting shares led to the ouster of its former CEO and co-founder Diane Greene." I remember just shortly after VMware listed on the NYSE, I bought some shares in VMW at around $70 per share. Shortly after that the stock went on a rally and turned at around $125 per share. Back then I thought that this is going to get good, but as the shares rose to $125 I realised that it would not be wise to buy more at such a high share price.

However, as fast as the share price went up, it came down. Lucky for me, I sold all my VMware shares at around $113 per share, so I still made some good profit in a very short period. Just after I sold my shares, the stock went on to crush down to around $70 again. It got even worse and dropped to around $50. Yeah sure, it went up a couple of times, but in the long run it went down more than up and that's when Dianne Greene got the sack! Surprise or not, but after she left the stock slumped even more to $35. On 12 Nov, the stock took another drop by $1.22 or 5% to $22. Back at the $125 mark, a $1.22 drop is not much, but at the $24 mark it does matter a lot.

Let's just hope that the new CEO, Paul Maritz can pull something back with the mounting battle over cloud computing. At the moment the computing power shift is moving towards tech giants like Microsoft, Google and Amazon. VMware needs to get it right if they want to be a player in the cloud computing league.

Call it lucky or not, but I'm just glad I sold off my stake in VMware at the best of times. I'm no stock broker so don't ask me where it's going but who knows, maybe a year from now they'll be back on the rise. Time will tell.

 

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