How to Obtain Diagnostic Information for VMware ESXi 5.0 hosts using the vSphere Client

When you lodged a support request to VMware Technical Support, they routinely requests the diagnostic information from you. This diagnostic information contains product specific logs and configuration files from the host on which the product is run or from the host that may have issues and need further troubleshooting. This information is gathered using a specific script or tool within the product. Collecting diagnostic information is the same as collecting or gathering log files. This post will provides procedures for obtaining diagnostic information for ESXi 5.0.

VMware Official Knowledge Base

ESXi 5.0 host diagnostic information can be gathered using the vSphere Client connected to the ESXi host or to vCenter Server.

To gather diagnostic data using the VMware vSphere Client:

1.  Open the vSphere Client and connect to vCenter Server or directly to an ESXi 5.0 host.
2.  Log in using an account with administrative privileges or with the Global.Diagnostics permission.
3.  Select an ESXi host, cluster, or datacenter in the inventory.
4.  Click the File > Export > Export System Logs.
5.  If a group of ESXi hosts are available in the selected context, select the host or group of hosts from the Source list.
6.  Click Next.
7.  In the System Logs pane, select the components for which the diagnostic information must be obtained. To collect diagnostic information for all the components, click Select All.
8.  If required, select the Gather performance data option and specify a duration and interval.

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9.  Click Next.
10.  In the Download Location pane, click Browse and select a location on the client’s disk where you want to to save the support bundle.
11.  Click Next.
12.  In the Ready to Complete pane, review the summary and click Finish. The Downloading System Logs Bundles dialog appears and provides progress status for the creation and downloading of the support bundle from each source. A Generate system logs bundles task is created.
13. When complete, upload the logs to the FTP site. For more information, see Uploading diagnostic information to VMware (1008525).

How to Download VMware vSphere Command-Line Interface (vSphere CLI)

The vSphere Command-Line Interface (vSphere CLI) command set allows you to run common system administration commands against ESX/ESXi systems from any machine with network access to those systems. vSphere CLI provides a set of commands that you use to manage, configure, and automate administrative activities for ESXi and your vSphere virtual environment. It’s includes the ESXCLI command set, vicfg- commands, and some other commands. This are the current version of the vSphere CLI at the time this post is written.

Version: 5.0
Release Date: 8/24/2011
Target Platform: ESXi 5.0, ESX 4.x, vCenter 4.x and later, VMware Infrastructure 3.5 u2 and later

To install vSphere CLI version 5.0 on your workstation, please follow the steps :

1. Browse to ESXi 5.0 server’s ip address. As example, http://192.168.1.50,
Under For Administrator –> vSphere Remote Command Line, Click “Download Windows Installer(exe)“. This vSphere CLI installer is for windows operating system platform such as Windows 7 and Windows XP :
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2. Click Download to proceed :
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3. If you have registered to vmware.com, please login, otherwise register it for free :
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4. Please select download option either using Download manager or use web browser. Recommended way is to use Download manager as i may faster than usual. By the way, I have use web browser :
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5. Wait for downloading.
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How to Install VMware Tools on a Solaris Guest

It is recommended to install VMware Tools in the guest operating system. Although the guest operating system can run without VMware Tools, you lose important functionality, convenience and performance improvement.

When you install VMware Tools, you install the following components:

a) The VMware Tools service (vmtoolsd.exe on Windows guests or vmtoolsd on Linux and Solaris guests). This service synchronizes the time in the guest operating system with the time in the host operating system. On Windows guests, it also controls grabbing and releasing the mouse cursor.

b) A set of VMware device drivers, including an SVGA display driver, the vmxnet networking driver for some guest operating systems, the BusLogic SCSI driver for some guest operating systems, the memory control driver for efficient memory allocation between virtual machines, the sync driver to quiesce I/O for Consolidated Backup, and the VMware mouse driver.

c) The VMware Tools control panel, which lets you modify settings, shrink virtual disks, and connect and disconnect virtual devices.

d) You can also use the command-line interface of the VMware Tools configuration utility in the guest operating system to perform these tasks. See the VMware Tools Configuration Utility User’s Guide.

e) A set of scripts that helps you to automate guest operating system operations. The scripts run when the virtual machine’s power state changes if you configure them to do so.

f) The VMware user process (VMwareUser.exe on Windows guests or vmware-user on Linux and Solaris guests), which enables you to copy and paste text between the guest and managed host operating systems.

To install VMware Tools in a Solaris guest operating system, follow the following steps :

1. Ensure that your Solaris virtual machine is powered on. In the vSphere Client inventory, right-click the virtual machine and select Power > Power On.

2. Click VM in the virtual machine menu, then click Guest > Install/Upgrade VMware Tools and click OK.

3. Copy vmware-solaris-tools.tar.gz from /cdrom/vmwaretools to a temporary directory (/tmp/).

[root@solaris ~]# cp /cdrom/vmwaretools/vmware-solaris-tools.tar.gz /tmp
[root@solaris ~]# cd /tmp

4. Decompress the file using gunzip command.

[root@solaris tmp]# gunzip vmware-solaris-tools.tar.gz

5. Extract the contents of the tar file with the command:

[root@solaris tmp]# tar xvf vmware-solaris-tools.tar

6. Change directory using the command:

[root@solaris tmp]# cd vmware-tools-distrib

7. To install VMware Tools, run this command from the directory vmware-tools-distrib :

[root@solaris vmware-tools-distrib]# ./vmware-install.pl

Important Note :It is recommended to respond to the configuration questions and press “Enter” to accept all of the default values. Reboot the virtual machine for changes to take effect.

8. Check if VMware tools service is running with the command:

[root@solaris ~]# /etc/init.d/vmware-tools status

The output is similar to:

vmware-guestd is running
vmware-memctld is running

How to Add a New Hard Disk Without Rebooting VM Guest on RHEL 6/CentOS 6

Assumed that you need additional hard disk for your Linux RHEL 6 server to provide more storage space but this the server cannot be reboot due to production environment. This server also assumed to be running on the VMware ESXi machine. In order to add additional hard disk without reboot, you have to perform the following steps. This steps has been tested on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL 6). It may works on RHEL 5 and CentOS 5.

1. Perform the steps to add a new disk to VM Guest through VMware vCenter Server/VMware vSphere. In this case i will add 12 GB space to second hard disk space which on raw devide /dev/sdb.

2. Find scsi_host value using the following command:

[root@rhel6 ~]# ls /sys/class/scsi_host
host0  host1  host2

In this rhel 6 server, there are three scsi_host exist, host0, host1 and host2.

3. Rescan the SCSI Bus to Add a SCSI Device Without rebooting the VM

[root@rhel6 host0]# echo "- - -" > /sys/class/scsi_host/host0/scan
[root@rhel6 host0]# echo "- - -" > /sys/class/scsi_host/host1/scan
[root@rhel6 host0]# echo "- - -" > /sys/class/scsi_host/host2/scan

4. Check the new hard disk /dev/sdb :

[root@rhel6 ~]# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 12.9 GB, 12884901888 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1566 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0000690f

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1          64      512000   83  Linux
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2              64        1567    12069888   8e  Linux LVM

Disk /dev/dm-0: 10.2 GB, 10242490368 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1245 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Disk /dev/dm-0 doesn't contain a valid partition table

Disk /dev/dm-1: 2113 MB, 2113929216 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 257 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Disk /dev/dm-1 doesn't contain a valid partition table

Disk /dev/sdb: 12.9 GB, 12884901888 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1566 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Disk /dev/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table

How to Take, Revert and Delete the VMware Snapshots

In this post, i will share with you the YouTube video that guides you through on how to take, revert, delete the VMware Snapshots and also the available process while you working with snapshots.

What is a snapshot? What is it for?
A snapshot preserves the state and data of a virtual machine (VM) and the system memory of your VM at a specific point in time. Taking snapshots of your VMs is very useful as it enabling you to revert to the snapshot in case something goes wrong with your VM. But it need proper management in order to avoid performance problems in the future.

A snapshot:

  • Represents the state of a virtual machine at the time it was taken.
  • Includes the files and memory state of a virtual machine’s guest operating system.
  • Includes the settings and configuration of a virtual machine and its virtual hardware.
  • Is stored as a set of files in the same directory as other files that comprise a virtual machine.
  • Should be taken when testing something with unknown or potentially harmful effects.
  • Is not meant to be a robust method of backup and recovery. If the files containing a virtual machine are lost, its snapshot files are also lost.
  • Negatively impacts the performance of a virtual machine. This is based on how long it has been in place and how much the virtual machine and its guest operating system have changed since the time it was taken. It is not recommended to run production virtual machines off of snapshots on a permanent basis.
  • Can take up as much disk space as the virtual machine itself. If multiple snapshots are possible, the amount of disk space used increases with the number of snapshots in place.

References :
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1009402
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1015180

How to Fix VMware Tools Installation Error

Symptom 1 : Missing Compiler Program

    Setup is unable to find the "gcc" program on your machine. Please 
    make sure it is installed. Do you want to specify the location of this
    program by hand?
    
    Setup is unable to find the 'make' program on your machine. Please 
    make sure it is installed. Do you want to specify the location of this 
    program by hand? [yes]
    

Solutions :
Install the following development tool that related with Vmware-tools software.

    [root@centos62 ~]# yum install gcc make kernel-headers kernel-devel -y
    

Symptom 2 : Failed Locating and Installing the C Header Files

    What is the location of the directory of C header files that match your running kernel?
    

Solutions :
Try to update the server kernel and reboot.

    [root@centos62 ~]# yum update kernel-headers kernel-devel -y
    

Reboot Server.

    [root@centos62 ~]# reboot
    

How to Fix “Failed to Install VMware Tools” Error

Question : I am trying to install VMware tools on CentOS and RHEL but failed and return below error:

    Searching for a valid kernel header path...
    The path "" is not valid.
    Would you like to change it? [yes]
    

Answer : This is because your server have not installed required dependencies or any of the required compiler. To fix this issue, please run below command to install required dependencies.

[root@server ~]# yum -y install gcc make perl kernel-headers kernel-devel

How to Enable ssh Access for a Privileged User in VMware ESXi 4.1

On the previous post, i have teach you on how to create the additional user on VMware ESXi 4.1 host. That new user will successfully connect to ESXi host using vSphere client but will failed when you try to connect using ssh access. This error message will be prompted:

    Access Denied
    

Example:

    Login as: demoroot
    demoroot@ESXi4.1host's password:
    Access denied
    

To resolve this issue, follow below steps:

1. Connect the ESXi 4.1 host via Tech Support mode (local or remote SSH) as the root user.
2. Issue the following commands:

usermod -s /bin/ash <username>
mkdir -p /home/<username>
chown <username> /home/<username>

Example:

    ~ # usermod -s /bin/ash demoroot
    ~ # mkdir -p /home/demoroot
    ~ # chown demoroot /home/demoroot
    

Reference

How to Resolve Number of Virtual Devices Exceeds the Maximum for a Given Controller

I believed most of system administrator and vmware administrator experiencing these issues when cloning a virtual machine on ESXi vCenter server.

Symptoms
Cloning process fails at approximately 90% with error message:

    Number of virtual devices exceeds the maximum for a given controller
    

Solutions:
1. Make sure there are no CDs or ISOs mounted to the VM
2. Make sure that the source machine has been Power off before the clone to get a clean copy.
3. Clone the virtual machine again, without selecting the Edit Virtual hardware (Experimental)option.
4. Finish

References:
1. www.extropy.com
2. kb.vmware.com

How to Remove an VMware ESX/ESXi Host From vCenter Server

I will guide you the simple steps on how to remove esx/esxi host from vcenter server. This guide assume that you already have the vCenter server to manage esx/esxi hosts.

Steps:
1. Go to Esxi Host that you want to remove from vcenter
2. Right click and click remove
3. You will be warn before you remove the host
4. Click yes
5. Finish

How to Add ESX/ESXi Host Into vCenter Server

There are the simple steps to add new host into existing vCenter server. Follow these steps to proceed:

1. Login to vCenter server
2. Right click TestDataCenter
3. Then click Add host and ‘Add Host Wizard’ will appear
4. On Add Host Wizard fill in the following info:

  • Enter Host or ip address of the host to add to vCenter.
  • on Authorization, enter the administrative account information for the host such as username and password.

5. Click Next and the proceed to complete the wizard.

How to Convert Provisioning Thin to Thick VMware Disk

There are two different types of disk provisioning which are thick (or preallocated) and thin (or dynamically). Both of these related with disk size.

Thick (or preallocated)
While we creating thick provisioning disk, whole defined space allocated on physical disk, for examples we planning to allocate 80GB disk space to new virtual machine that 80GB disk space fully consumed on your physical drives.

Thin (or dynamically)
In thin disk provisioning system, It will consume the space for physical disk as per grow size only. For examples, if you create a 50GB disk but only use 10GB of that disk, the actual disk consumption on your physical drives will be 10GB.

In the condition that you already created the the VM machine with disk provisioning type is thin. But you want to change the provisioning type from thin to thick. In this post i will show you the simple steps to change the disk provisioning type. I have tested this in the ESXi 4.1 host server. Before follow this steps, make sure that you are appointed VMware administrator.

Steps:
1. Login as root in ESXi host if you dont have VCenter Server.
2. Browse the datastore
3. Select the VM machine that you want to convert the disk provisioning type and double click the folder.
4. Find the .vmdk then right click.
5. Click Inflate to change it to thick provisioning type. This will take sometimes to completed.

6. SSH using root to ESXi host and find the .vmdk that your already inflated.
7. To change format, you should do something like this:
vmkfstools -i CentOS5.5_mythin.vmdk -d zeroedthick CentOS5.5_mythick.vmdk

CentOS5.5_mythin.vmdk = your old dmdk
CentOS5.5_mythick.vmdk = your new vmdk