vExpert 2016

vexpert-badge

As you could probably guess I am a vExpert 2016! I’m very thankful and honored to be part of this group. Already getting emails/info/perks from the community and Corey Romero is pretty amazing. One of the best perks being a FREE year of PluralSight access.

I can’t thank Corey and everyone else involved enough for all of the hard work they put in to make this program happen. Congrats to all of the other 2016 vExperts!! The full directory can be found here https://communities.vmware.com/vexpert.jspa and I can’t help but link to my own listing as I’m very proud of this – Me!

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vCNS / NSX + vCenter(s) + Single PSC potential license issues

During the course of upgrades/installs/adding capacity people hit many different errors. One such error or issue came up and I just want to make people aware going forward about it.

If you are thinking about adding NSX to your environment and are currently running vCNS please be careful if you are using a SINGLE PSC that your vCenters are connected to. Once you add a NSX license(EVAL or full license) it will AUTO UN-SELECT your vCNS license!vspherelicense1

Then if you are using something like vCloudDirector you might see errors like the following: “VSM response error (214): Not licensed for Entity : vcloud-netsec feature : vxlan : add on :”

vspherelicense2

To resolve this and revert back to your vCNS licenses, under Licenses click the Assets Tab, click on Solutions, select the license you want to assign again and then under the All Action gear dropdown you can click assign license. vspherelicense3.PNG

 

This is a short post but hopefully it will save some people frustration in the future.

 

VCIX-NV

VMW-LGO-CERT-IMPLMT-EXPRT-NTWRK-VIRT_K

A few days ago I sat the VCIX-NV exam. This was not the first time that I had taken this exam but it was the last as I did manage to pass ! I will try and break down what I used to study for this exam and how my experience was.

To start, I do not work extensively with vSphere/NSX networking daily as far as installing/configuration goes but I do get a good amount of exposure to troubleshooting these areas. I was able to get some more hands on experience and some great breakdown thanks to my colleagues @Virtsouthwest(Mike A) and @Tompkins_23(John T).

Resources used:

Overall there are many resources out there for this exam and I will list a few that I found very helpful in preparing.

Jason Nash’s pluralsight courses found here were fantastic. I have always found pluralsight courses helpful for learning something new or getting more in depth into things. There are two courses, an intro course and a NSX Network Services course.  If you have a subscription these are a must watch.

Iwan Hoogendoorn’s set of NSX videos found on YouTube are a great breakdown in video form of the blueprint for this exam. HUGE thank you to Iwan for this content since it seems if you know all of the points in the VMware exam blueprint you will do just fine.

Martijn Smit’s blog LostDomain has a downloadable guide that breaks down the VCIX blueprint in detail with screenshots(I really like screenshots). Again it is vital to know each point in the blueprint for VMware exams. This guide is a perfect resource for knowing each point.

Exam experience:

Overall I had some issues much like others that have written about this exam. There are just some bugs with the version of NSX used in the exam. Be sure that if you do have an issue you get some help ASAP. I ran into issues that I can’t go into but I ended up needing assistance which resulted in a fix. I was able to keep moving forward with my exam and I was still in a decent mood(keep calm if you run into issues). Moving past the issues, I thought the exam itself did a good job of covering a wide range of network items that one could expect to run into in the course of being a VMware Admin/NSX Admin/vNetwork Admin. As I said above, know and be able to complete each point in the blueprint!

In Guest VMware Tools CLI commands

In general it seems typical that VMware Tools gets installed on the Guest OS and then left alone after that. While doing some reading and working on some “slowness” issues, I’ve found the Tools CLI to become very handy and powerful.

On the Windows side of things here are a few “common” commands to use tools via the command line. First we need to get into the directory where tools is installed and the toolbox command can be run. The default directory is “C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools”

The command below in the screenshot lists the base commands available with the VMwareToolboxCmd: VMwareToolboxCmd.exe help

vmwaretoolbox-help

I’m not covering all of the commands there but the documentation from VMware does a good job.

I’ve been using the VmwareToolboxCmd.exe stat “subcommandhere” for seeing stats within the GuestOS and I’ve included the snipit from the VMware doc with a little detail for each stat subcommand:

vmwaretoolbox-help-statsubcommands.PNG

As you can see it covers many useful areas to see if the VM is having performance issues related to CPU Limits perhaps or to see if any memory is ballooning, or swapping(I’ve also included memres and cpures just to see if your VM has any reservations):

vmwaretoolbox-stats

You can manually turn timesync with the host on/off/and check status:

vmwaretoolbox-timesync

Another command that I would imagine is useful would be the disk command and shrink subcommands that can be used to actually shrink and reduce the space the virtual disk takes up. As you can see from the screenshot my test VM is a linked clone and this can not be run against it. This doesn’t work against thick provisioned VMs as it wouldn’t shrink the virtual disk since the space has already been allocated for the virtual disk:

vmwaretoolbox-help-disk

**NOTE certain version of Fusion have a “Clean Up Virtual Machine” button and Workstation has a “Compact” menu command that will do the same thing.

The commands are pretty much the same within a Linux OS, below is a screenshot of a CentOS VM. The default directory for this is /usr/sbin/ and the command is “vmware-toolbox-cmd”:vmware-toolbox-cmd-help

There are many more commands that can be run from within the Guest OS, as I stated I’ve been using and seeing these commands used to track down slowness issues within VMs.

Note these commands were taken from the following User’s Guide from VMware and VMware vSphere 6.0 Documentation Center.

Memory Reservation Reporting & Changing Values via PowerCLI

I know there are many sources out there for setting values as far as limits are concerned (See Alan Renouf’s blog)with PowerCLI but I could not find anything about setting or removing reservations with commands found in PowerCLI.

I would like to thank Dean Grant (blog here) for the script to report on what VMs have either CPU or Memory reservations that do NOT equal 0. I have made a couple of slight changes as I was wanting to report VMs that only have Memory reservations and that did not match a specific name.

Here is the script for the reporting that will export to a CSV file(again this is mostly the script from Dean’s Blog with a few tweaks):

**Please note that -notlike could be changed to many different options such as -like or -eq. Also to select a specific # of VMs add the following after the closing } on the first line to select the first 5(or a number of your choosing) objects

| Select-object -First 5 

 $(
$VMs = Get-VM | Where-Object {$_.ExtensionData.ResourceConfig.MemoryAllocation.Reservation -ne "0" -and $_.Name -notlike "InsertVMNameHere*"}

ForEach ($VM in $VMs)

{
"" | Select @{N="Name";E={$VM.Name}},
@{N="Memory Reservation";E={$VM.ExtensionData.ResourceConfig.MemoryAllocation.Reservation }}

}
) | Export-Csv C:\FILENAME.CSV

If you are wanting to change the reservations to a specific reservation value AND VM Share value you can use the below script which I had a bit of help from a VERY knowledgeable colleague VirtualServerGuy

**USE AT YOUR OWN RISK**

**Please note that -notlike could be changed to many different options such as -like or -eq. Also to select a specific # of VMs add the following after the closing } on the first line to select the first 5(or a number of your choosing) objects. Also note you need to replace the “#” for the MemReservationMB with a numerical value and you can alert the -MemSharesLevel to High/Low/Normal (or Custom but I have yet to test that) 

$VMs = Get-VM | Where-Object {$_.ExtensionData.ResourceConfig.MemoryAllocation.Reservation -ne "0" -and $_.Name -notlike "InsertVMNameHere*"}

ForEach ($VM in $VMs){

Get-VM $VM | Get-VMResourceConfiguration | Set-VMResourceConfiguration -MemReservationMB "#" -MemSharesLevel Normal

}

VCAP-DCD5.5 – 3rd time is the charm

Yesterday I sat the VCAP-DCD5.5 exam for the 3rd and thankfully the FINAL time. It has been the most difficult exam I’ve take yet but well worth it. Coming from pretty much just an admin background I had plenty to learn.

A quick summary of the resources that I really needed in order to pass and thanks to the people that created them:

PluralSight – Scott Lowe <–Really hard to say how much this course helped me out. Not just for the exam but for my overall design knowledge. I HIGHLY recommend watching this entire training and keep a copy of the VCAP blueprint handy to take some notes.

Paul McSharry’s blog called Elastic Sky and his book found HERE which is the Official VCAP-DCD Cert guide. This is a must read, I read this book twice and it is loaded with great information. I couldn’t have passed the exam without this book(in case you are wondering yes I have the paper version…just a personal preference).

Gregg Robertson’s blog TheSaffaGeek is loaded with amazing resoures. Gregg has resources for all sorts of exams including the VCDX which Gregg now holds.

James Burd’s blog Burdweiser has a fantastic write up about Auto Deploy dependencies which I was personally weak on.

Like I said the 3rd time was the charm 🙂

vcap-dcd-pass

VCAP-DCD5.x attempts and resources

I’ve been working on and off for about a year trying to get my level of knowledge up in order to pass the VCAP-DCD5.x Cert. At the time of typing this up I have failed the exam with a 287(which 300 is required) but feel really good about taking this again soon! This is not an easy exam for me as I am more of an Admin and do not have a Design background.

I have been using resources from all over but would like to note a few places that really have helped me:

PluralSight – Scott Lowe <– Can’t say how much this course has helped and I really enjoy the PluralSight courses. Overall it is a VERY helping part in my studies.

Paul McSharry’s blog called Elastic Sky <– The site in general is very helping and worth browsing over the entire thing for virtualisation ideas and answers. I found the page dedicated to the VCAP-DCD very useful and it provided a nice write-up of the exam and links to many other resources that have helped me along my journey. I also happened to have purchased his book that is written for the DCD and find it to be a MUST read before taking this exam.

Gregg Robertson’s blog TheSaffaGeek  <– Has many resources linked and reviewed on this page. All of which are worth reading. Greg is a great resource for any VMware cert it seems 🙂

Hopefully the next post I make about the DCD is one with me passing it in time to focus on the VCIX and vSphere6 exams… If I do end up using other resources I will be sure to add them here. Best of luck to all of the others who hope to pass this!