With the Windows template set and our first VM working, its time to make an ESXi template we will use in the home lab. I mean it is small – I typically install with only a 1GB OS drive but why not use the features in VMware Workstation, so I am going to setup a clone. Setting up the ESXi VM is pretty much the same as what we did in part 1, so I am not going to rehash that (hopefully you learned something in part 1) but I’ll note some tips here none the less.
First, when creating the disk use only 1024MB, ESXi will install fine for our use it just won’t have any place for logs but that is okay, we will fix that later. Also, while VMware Workstation should take care of this when you select ESX as your VM type, check to make sure Virutalize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI is enabled in the processor section in Virtual Machine Settings. Finally, mount your ESXi ISO in your CD/DVD drive and power on the VM.
While it has been documented pretty well, I will walk through the ESXi install steps here for completeness. Also, once you click into the console, you will lose control of your mouse since ESXi doesn’t have VMware Tools installed, press CTL-ALT to return it to your computer
Now that we have the base ESXi install done, it is time to install a couple of extra Flings into our ESXi template – VMware Tools for ESXi and the ESXi Mac Learning dvFilter. In order to install these, we need to log into the console of our ESXi virtual machine in VMware Workstation; click into the console and press the F2 button to get started.
To install VMware Tools:
esxcli software vib install -v http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmw-tools/esxi_tools_for_guests/esx-tools-for-esxi-9.7.1-0.0.00000.i386.vib -f
To install Mac Learning dvFilter
esxcli software vib install -v http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmw-tools/esxi-mac-learning-dvfilter/vmware-esx-dvfilter-maclearn-1.0.vib -f
You should receive a message that the VIBs were installed like the image below
Note the dvFilter is installed here for testing purposes, since my home lab is built on Windows and VMware Workstation, typically you would install this on your physical ESXi hosts running ESXi virtual machines. Now that we have done that we “could” power down the ESXi VM we just built and start using it as a template, however we would need to manually reset ESXi every time we cloned it (and if you are doing this in a FC storage based environment you will need to do that anyways) but why would we want to do that. The following steps are courtesy of William Lam and virutallyghetto.com, check out his site and the blog post for full details on resetting the virtual machine. Since we do not have any VMFS datastores, there are only two steps we need to do before cloning, then once the ESXi virtual machine is clone you will need to log in and set networking information before we join them to vCenter (to be installed shortly).
esxcli system settings advanced set -o /Net/FollowHardwareMac -i 1
Once the virtual machine powers off take a snapshot to use for future cloning. You should have two VMs in your template folder, along with your running Windows linked clone which is current a domain controller. You are now ready to start cloning your nested ESXi virtual machines.
As a side note, and not required, you may also want to install the simple web client, an open source(?) simple client so you can manage the ESXi host without the DCUI or vSphere Client. You can find this project on GitHub.
Posted in Tech Tagged with: Certification, ESXI, HOL, Home, home lab, lab, Lab Series, nested esxi, Shared, Technology, Training, Vendors, Virtualization, VMware, vmware workstation, vSphere, workstation
*Disclaimer – I work for EMC. I was not asked to write this post nor was it reviewed/approved by my employer prior to publishing. It is simply based on my learning experience as I get to know this solution*
I’ve had the opportunity for the last few days to spend some time getting to know EMC VPLEX, and wow – I wish I knew about this a few years ago. VPLEX enables continuous available of storage arrays either locally (Local) or over distance (Metro and Geo). In addition of continuous availability in the event of array maintenance or failure it also provides the means to migrate data from different arrays. Now before you keep reading know that I am still learning about this solution as well – if you know this solution well and I’ve got something wrong here please let me know.
VPLEX works by sitting between the hosts and storage arrays. Rather than zoning a host to a physical array, you zone the host to the VPLEX. Then the VPLEX is zoned to the storage array to present available storage to the host. Since my host is access storage through the VPLEX, and not on the array directly I can take out entire physical arrays behind the VPLEX and depending on my configuration have no affect on the host or the availability of storage.
Of particular interest to me is the Metro configuration, I could stretch a distributed volume and VMware cluster across data centers (assuming < 5ms round trip between data centers) and in the event of a site outage have access to my original virtual infrastructure. Now a site outage could be many things – an array failure, network failure or natural disaster scenario that takes out accessibility to that physical location. I had the opportunity in a course I was teaching last week to have some folks who helped me whiteboard what this looks like:
What we have here are two arrays behind a VPLEX Metro setup – one array each in site A and B and one VPLEX in site A and B. A distributed volume is created on the VPLEX and hosts are zoned to the VPLEX like you would typically directly to the array. Since it is zoned to the VPLEX, and the VPLEX is setup in a Metro configuration each host can access the VPLEX in each site. If a site fails, multipathing rules for the host would move to the VPLEX in site B and continue operation. The witness in the middle is in a 3rd failure domain and used to monitor the VPLEXs to ensure the failure is not just communication between the VPLEXs and manage VPLEX rules appropriately.
Now as I said in the beginning I am still getting to know VPLEX, if you want to learn more check out the free EMC Education Services VPLEX eLearning on ECN. There is also a VPLEX practice test available if you want to test your VPLEX knowledge after the eLearning and figure out what, if any other training you want to purse.
Posted in Tech Tagged with: ca, Certification, cluster, continuous availability, dr, EMC, emc vplex, Home, network, Performance, SAN, Shared, Storage, Technology, Training, Vendors, VPLEX, vplex geo, vplex local, vplex metro
News of the new VCP5-DCV delta exam (VCP550D) was bitter sweet for me. Not minutes before the announcement I decided it couldn’t push back my VCAP-DCA any longer or risk needing to re-take the VCP exam to remain certified for 2 more years…now I have another excuse not to dive in. However, after carefully reviewing the blueprint published at https://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=51919&ui=www_cert I found that they blueprints are almost idential – I actually had to look several times to make sure I wasn’t looking at the wrong blueprint!
So, what’s new?
Yup…that’s it – one new section in the blueprint. This feels a bit more like a new version of the 5.5 VCP, time will tell once I take the “delta” exam. Of course this exam is intended for differences between 5.0 and 5.5 yet is still 65 questions. Curious if anyone has already taken the plunge?
Why, because you may not be a SQL person, so here it is!
You’ve probably download SQL Server 2012 as a DVD ISO, move the ISO some place accessible by your server; maybe a datastore where you can mount the ISO or expanded so you can access the files directly on the server – I have mine save to the desktop of the server I am installing it on.
One last item you might like to do is verify that TCP/IP is enabled, this is done by launching SQL Server Configuration Manager. I believe this was changed in 2008, in 2005 the default was to leave TCP/IP disabled, because you know who needs network access to SQL services but I still like to check Happy SQL’ing!
**Disclaimer: I am an EMC employee. This post is my opinion of the test and training materials and was not paid for, asked for, required, reviewed or edited by anyone at EMC other than myself. **
Last week I passed the EMC Cloud Infrastructure and Services (EMCCIS), the first step in achieving the Cloud Architect Expert certification. Having taken CompTIA (A+, Network+, iNet+), Microsoft (MCSE 2000), Cisco (CCNA) and VMware (VCP-DCV, VCAP-DCD) I can say that this particular exam and related course work are quite a bit different than what I am used to.
I think all of the exams I have taken have focused on a very specific product or technology (CompTIA being vendor agnostic), however the Cloud Infrastructure and Services exams really focused on process and design considerations versus just knowing how a specific piece of EMC technology worked. This exam was very broad, and covered areas such as storage (obviously!), virtualization, security and business process. While many exams may expect you to know how to make certain features work, this exam wanted you to know how different processes and disciplines applied to a business, for example understanding the role of Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC); something that all of us should think about every day but is generally out of sight from our every day lives as vPeople. There were a few “exam questions” but that is par for the course on any technical certification test (at least that I’ve taken).
The exam is broken into a few different sections including:
If you have been working with virtualization, storage and cloud computing for several years, you might pass this test without any study (there are no class requirements) however there were some concepts I had not considered which caught me off guard.
Given what I learned through the training and test, I am looking forward to taking the Virtualized Data Center and Cloud Infrastructure Planning and Design, the “specialist” level which is the next step moving towards Cloud Architect. You can find out more about the Cloud Architect track here (https://education.emc.com/guest/campaign/CloudArchitect/default.aspx)