Restrict your virtual machines using Workstation 9

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Sep 292012
 

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to my series, The Support Outsider — a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihLast week I talked about encrypting virtual machines, a feature available in Workstation 9. Encryption adds an extra layer of security to your virtual machines; check out last week’s post for more information on this topic or watch the video on our KBTV YouTube channel to find out how you can encrypt your VM in VMware Workstation 9.

This week I want to discuss restricting virtual machines, another new feature in VMware Workstation 9.

Once you have encrypted a virtual machine, you can enable restrictions; this feature will allow you to prevent users from making any changes to the virtual machine’s configuration settings. Once restrictions are enabled, users will not be able to perform actions like remove virtual devices from the VM, change its memory allocation, change the network connection type, and various other actions (check out the Encrypting and Restricting Virtual Machines section in the Using VMware Workstation 9 guide to find out more about the actions that cannot be carried out once restrictions are enabled).

When you enable restrictions, you can also choose the ‘Require the user to change the encryption password’ option. This is a very useful feature if you wish to distribute a VM to multiple users. For example, if I wanted to provide my friends with a copy of the personal VM I use for software development purposes, I would select this restriction’s option which then will prompt my friends to change the encryption password when they open the VM. This saves a lot of time and effort as you only need to set a temporary encryption password for the VM once instead of setting passwords for all the copies of my VMs individually. Anyone who opens the copied VM now can change the encryption password at start up, to set up their own personal encryption password for their new personal VM.

Check out this video on our KBTV YouTube channel to find out how you enable restrictions on your VM in VMware Workstation 9.

If you have any problems restricting or encrypting your virtual machines, remember to check the VMware Knowledge Base (http://kb.vmware.com).

Come back next week to check on my adventures as I go exploring the world of virtualization more. Thanks for your time.

Registering a virtual machine with the vSphere Web Client

 Allgemein, Cloud, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware KBTV, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Registering a virtual machine with the vSphere Web Client
Sep 272012
 

Greetings KBTV fans!

Today we have a new vSphere 5 related video tutorial for you.

This video discusses and demonstrates the steps to register a virtual machine using the vSphere Web Client.

If you removed a virtual machine from vCenter Server, but did not remove it from the datastore of the managed host, you can return it to the vCenter Server inventory at any time by registering it with vCenter Server.

The process for registering a virtual machine in vSphere 5.1 using the Web Client is pretty straight forward and simple.

For more information on adding and removing virtual machines from the vCenter Server inventory, see VMware Knowledge Base article: Registering a virtual machine with the vSphere Web Client (2032904).

ALERT: Full disk on vShield Edge 5.1.x fails with error: VIX_E_DISK_FULL ERROR

 Allgemein, Cloud, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware KBTV, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für ALERT: Full disk on vShield Edge 5.1.x fails with error: VIX_E_DISK_FULL ERROR
Sep 242012
 

VMware Support Alert VMware has become aware of an issue whereby vCloud Networking and Security 5.1 release can go into an Edge disk full state approximately 14 days after the first edge is deployed.

Symptoms include:

  • In vCloud Director, attempting a reconfig fails with this error:VIX_E_DISK_FULL
  • In vCloud Director, when looking at Edge Gateways, you receive this error:Edge VM backing the edge gateway is unreachable

For further updates and more information on this alert, refer to KB article:
Full disk on vShield Edge 5.1.x fails with error: VIX_E_DISK_FULL ERROR (2035939)
.

ALERT: vSphere Replication 5.1 unable to recover protected virtual machines

 Allgemein, Cloud, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware KBTV, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für ALERT: vSphere Replication 5.1 unable to recover protected virtual machines
Sep 242012
 

VMware Support Alert VMware has become aware of an issue whereby when the Recovery workflow is invoked through the VR 5.1 user interface, the VRMS are instructed to sync to the latest changes from the primary virtual machine. However, since the primary host (or its storage) is not accessible, the sync fails, hence the entire recovery fails. Symptoms include:

  • vSphere Replication 5.1 (VR) cannot recover protected virtual machines after the ESX host on the primary site is down, disconnected from the network, or its storage is not available.
  • Affected deployment topologies: 1 vCenter Server (ROBO), 2 vCenter servers:
  • With VR 5.1, 1 vCenter Server (ROBO) topology (Site A)
  • vSphere Replication is configured on at least one virtual machine from ESX1 to ESX2
  • ESX1 becomes unavailable (such as a host failure, power outage, or network issue) or its storage becomes unavailable
  • An attempt to recover any replicated virtual machine on may ESX2 fail.
  • With VR 5.1, 2 vCenter Servers topology (Primary Site A and Secondary Site B)
  • vSphere Replication is configured on at least one virtual machine from ESX1 (in Site A) to ESX2 (in Site B)
  • The ESX1 host becomes unavailable (such as a host crash, power outage, or network issue) or its storage becomes unavailable
  • An attempt to recover any replicated virtual machine on may Site B fail.

Note: This issue does not occur if the vCenter Server in Site A is also down.

Important Note: This issue does not occur in any deployments of VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager where vSphere Replication is also being used.

For further updates and more information on this alert, refer to KB article:
vSphere Replication 5.1 (VR) unable to recover protected virtual machines (2035929).

Encrypt your virtual machines using Workstation 9

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Sep 222012
 

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to my series, The Support Outsider — a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihI had mentioned last week that I intended to discuss some cool Workstation 9 features that I have come across while making videos for this product, so this week I want to discuss the topic of encrypting virtual machines.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if someone was to get access to your virtual machines? I never used to care about it until one day, last week, one my ‘friends’ broke into a virtual machine that I carry with me on an external hard drive. Luckily, all my friend did was playfully change the wallpaper on the machine as a prank.  Even though setting my password to something stronger than password123 would have helped, it got me thinking that my virtual machine would have been a lot safer if I had encrypted it. That’s exactly what I set out to do.

Before you encrypt your virtual machine, one important item to note is that the encryption feature only supports virtual machines that have virtual hardware version 5. x or later. For more info on that, check out the Encrypting and Restricting Virtual Machines section in the Using VMware Workstation 9 guide for limitations.

Check out this video on our KBTV YouTube channel to find out how you can encrypt your VM in VMware Workstation 9.

I also want to point out that if you have any problems encrypting your virtual machine, remember, the VMware Knowledge Base (http://kb.vmware.com) should be the first place to come to mind for help.

Be sure to come back next week to check on my adventures as I go exploring the world of virtualization more.  Thanks for your time.

VMworld Blog: Social Media for VMworld 2012 Barcelona

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Sep 212012
 

VMworld2012-Barcelona.pngVMworld 2012 is ready to hit Barcelona, October 9-11. And with this conference, comes a huge opportunity to participate in VMworld social media -- before, during and after the conference. Be sure you are connected to as many social media channels and opportunities as possible to get the most out of the VMworld experience.

If you are planning to participate in social media at VMworld 2012 in Barcelona, whether attending the conference or following online, please consider these resources:

VMworld 2012 Barcelona Blogger Contributors: Sign-up | Blogger list

VMworld 2012 Barcelona Twitter Contributors: Sign-up | Twitter list

VMworld 2012 Barcelona Gatherings: Sign-up | Gatherings list

View or download the VMworld 2012 (Barcelona) Social Media & Community Guide

Here are a summary of social media pages/resources on VMworld.com:
VMworld Discussion Forum (Note: use this resource to post conference Q&A)
VMworld Social Media
VMworld on Twitter
VMworld Blogger Coverage
VMworld News Coverage
VMworld TV on YouTube
VMworld Community Tech Talks
VMworld Photos

Using the vSphere Web Client or PowerCLI to identify impacted VMs after a host failure

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Sep 202012
 

Do you have a vSphere 5.1 environment? Have you ever been faced with an issue where one of your ESXi hosts experienced an outage and you were tasked with trying to figure out what went wrong and what virtual machines were affected? Then this video should be of some use and interest to all of you who ever are faced with the need to troubleshoot ESXi outages and failures.

This video features a discussion and demonstration of using the vSphere Web Client or PowerCLI to identify which virtual machines were impacted and restarted after an ESXi host failure.

In this demo, we have our good friend Duncan Epping who is a Principal Architect within the VMware Technical Marketing team who focuses on Cloud Infrastructure, go through the various places where you can find some information and details concerning virtual machines that may have failed during the ESXi outage.

For additional details concerning this topic and demonstration, head on over to Duncan’s blog post here.

Duncan owns and manages a personal blog, Yellow-Bricks, and would certainly be worth following on Twitter.

Enjoy the video!

vCO Team: Code snippets : Using vCloud Director object metadata

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für vCO Team: Code snippets : Using vCloud Director object metadata
Sep 202012
 

Setting metadata on vCloud Director objects is a convenient way to extend their properties with whatever information you need to attach to these. This is very useful to include information on the object lifecycle or to reference other objects. For example I like to reference the vApp Template a vApp was issued from with adding a "vAppTemplateReference" metadata. Another use of the metadata is that you can search for these using the query service.

The vCloud DIrector plug-in has built in workflows for managing custom properties on vApp and VMs (storing these in the productSection if the OVF) but these are not the same as the metadatas. The metadatas can be applied to a lot more objects such as VDC, storage profile, catalog, catalog item, disk, Org VDC network, media, external network).

This article shows how to use these in vCloud Director 1.5 and in 5.1.

The functionality we will be looking for is simple: an action to set a metadata string entry on an objet and one to get it back.

Inputs for the setMetadataStringEntry action:

  • object of type "any"
  • key "string"
  • value "string"

Inputs for the getMetadataStringEntry action:

  • object of type "any"
  • key "string"

vCloud Director 1.5.

vCloud Director 1.5 has a very simple metadata API limited to string values

setMetadataEntry action

{code; class="auto-links:false"}var metadata = object.getMetadata();
return metadata.updateEntry(key, value);{/code}

Which returns a vCloud task.

getMetadataEntry action

{code; class="auto-links:false"}var metadata = object.getMetadata();
var entries = metadata.getEntries();
return entries.get(key);{/code}

Which returns the value if present.

vCloud Director 5.1

vCloud Director has extended the metada with typed entries (number, string, boolean, date) and also with access control. You can read all the details in the vCloud API programming guide.

All these new features come with a drawback : the API has changed and the code above will not work. This is what happened to me and I thought it would be worth sharing how I adapted it to work with vCloud Director 5.1.

We will assume we still want to use a string as the value. If you need one of the other type it will be easy to adapt.

setMetadataStringEntry action

{code; class="auto-links:false"}

var metadata = object.getMetadata();

var vclMetadataStringValue = new VclMetadataStringValue() ;
vclMetadataStringValue.value = value;

var vclAbstractValueObject = new VclAbstractValueObject();
vclAbstractValueObject.setValue(vclMetadataStringValue);

var vclMetadataEntry = new VclMetadataEntry();
vclMetadataEntry.key = key;
vclMetadataEntry.typedValue = vclAbstractValueObject;

System.log("Setting key " + key + " with value " + value);
return metadata.updateTypedEntry(vclMetadataEntry);

{/code}

Which returns a vCloud task.

getMetadataStringEntry action

{code; class="auto-links:false"}var metadata = object.getMetadata(); //All objects that support metadata return something, even if there are no metada yet

var metadataEntries = metadata.getTypedEntries().enumerate();
var value = null;
for each (var metadataEntry in metadataEntries) {
    if (metadataEntry.key == key) {
        value = metadataEntry.typedValue.getValue(new VclMetadataStringValue).value;
        System.log("Got key : " + key + " with value : " + value);
        break;
    }   
}

return value;{/code}

Which returns the value if present.

Testing the actions

To test these actions you can create a workflow with as input an object (for example a vAppTemplate), a key and a value. You can either drag and drop the two actions or create a workflow per action. As long as you set the metadata before you get it it should work. Do not forget to link the inputs and create the attributes. Also do not forget to add a "Wait for a task" workflow right after setting the metadata. It should look like this:

alt

The output of the getMetadata action should of course return the same of what you entered in the workflow input.

Package

The actions above are available as an instllable package:

Office of the CTO Blogs: Innovation at VMworld 2012

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Sep 202012
 

As I look back on VMworld in San Francisco, I can’t stop thinking about how the theme of Innovation permeated throughout the conference this year!  Things got rolling when Steve Herrod showed demos of new product and feature ideas we’re working on during his Day One keynote.  Following Steve’s keynote, I had the pleasure of sharing a behind the scenes look at how we innovate at VMware via a Spotlight Session.  My talk included three idea pitches that were presented during VMware’s internal innovation offsite – providing an inside look at the broad and novel ideas we encourage our engineers to pursue.  The pitches covered ideas on how to make data centers environmentally aware to account for heat, power and other challenges, several ways to leverage social media concepts for virtualization management and concepts around how to optimize calendaring via geo-location algorithms.  Cool stuff!

For the first time at a VMworld event, we had an Innovation Lounge on the Solutions Exchange which showcased posters from the three idea pitches, as well as seven other posters that represented other innovative projects underway VMware. The engineers behind each of these innovation projects accompanied their poster, and answered numerous conference attendee questions throughout the week. We even had one of our star summer interns showing off his cool robot that is under development for touch screen device testing.  The lounge also included information and demos about some of the innovation programs we run inside VMware to get new ideas cooking amongst attendees such as our Academic Program and one of our soon-to-be-released new projects, the Next-generation Education Environment (NEE) which is a cloud-scale solution for education providers.  Check out this video I did touring the lounge so you can see more.  Based on the popularity of the innovation demos and the lounge, you can expect to see more of this at future VMworlds!

Also new this year at VMworld was the opportunity for the Diamond sponsors to showcase new ideas they’re developing onstage during the General Session.  EMC, NetApp, Cisco, HP and Dell each got four minutes to pitch a new idea on how their product(s) can work best with VMware and get audience ratings.  It was a great way to learn about the innovation happening within our ecosystem and what customers can take advantage of from a technology perspective. You can see this along with all the cool demos Steve shared in the Day Two keynote here

Many of the VMware breakout sessions were focused on sharing previews of our new technology innovations either recently or soon to be released.  The Mirage project, which is an advanced technology for abstracting user profiles from the operating system, was just one example and the VMworldTV guys captured it well here.

Another innovation highlight at VMworld was the new way VMware is driving innovation by announcing our very first Open Innovation Contest. We’re asking our community to send us their best Fling ideas, and the contest winner will have their Fling built by VMware engineers. The winner also gets a free pass to VMworld 2013.  There are already close to 60 Fling ideas on the contest site, so check them out and vote for your favorites or suggest your own!  The contest runs through October 31, 2012.

Did you see something especially innovative at VMworld in San Francisco? I would love to hear from other attendees about what inspired them this year.  Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to doing this all over again at VMworld EMEA in Barcelona next month!

Sep 192012
 

OK, so we have been uploading a lot of vSphere 5.1 related video content over the past two weeks and there is more vSphere content on its way. But we had promised some new Workstation content as well.

Installing ESXi 5.x in VMware Workstation So just to freshen things up and switch the spotlight back over to Workstation for a small little bit of time, here we have a new video for all of you Workstation fans.

But don’t fear my vSphere-loving friends and followers, this video may also be of some interest to you as well because in this video tutorial we discuss and demonstrate installing vSphere ESXi 5.1 in a virtual machine running on VMware Workstation 9.x.

Installing ESXi in a virtual machine provides a way to try the product without dedicating hardware to it. A virtual ESXi machine can be very useful if you are studying to become a VCP (VMware Certified Professional) for example.

It is worth noting that by default you can only run 32-bit virtual machines in ESXi. If you need to run 64-bit virtual machines, see the Additional Information section in VMware Knowledge Base article Installing ESXi 5.x in VMware Workstation (2034803).

Note: From a Technical Support perspective, VMware does not support running nested ESXi/ESX servers in production environments. For more information, see VMware Knowledge Base article Support for running ESX/ESXi as a nested virtualization solution (2009916)

Enjoy the video!

Managing licenses on ESXi hosts using the vSphere Web Client

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Sep 192012
 

A new day, a new video!

In this video we discuss and demonstrate managing licenses on ESXi hosts in vSphere 5.1 using the vSphere Web Client.

You can use the license management function in the vSphere Web Client to manage the licensing of assets in your vSphere environment from a central location. You can add license keys in the vCenter Server inventory, assign license keys to multiple assets at a time, view information about the available products and licenses, and export licensing information in a CSV file.

To be able to use certain features and functionality of an ESXi host, you must assign it a license key when the evaluation period of the host expires.

For more information, see VMware Knowledge Base article: Managing licenses on ESXi hosts using the vSphere Web Client (2032903).

Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.1 best practices

 Allgemein, Cloud, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware KBTV, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.1 best practices
Sep 182012
 

This presentation provides best practice information on implementing a new install or upgrading ESXi 5.1

Let us walk you through it!

VMware provides several ways to install or upgrade to ESXi 5.1 hosts. For more information on this topic, refer to KB article:
Installing or upgrading to ESXi 5.1 best practices (2032756).

Retaining resource pools when disabling VMware DRS clusters

 Allgemein, Cloud, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware KBTV, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Retaining resource pools when disabling VMware DRS clusters
Sep 182012
 

Retaining resource pools when disabling VMware DRS clustersHere is another video for your consumption where once again we demonstrate how to perform various tasks within vSphere 5.1 using the vSphere Web Client.

In this video we discuss and demonstrate how to retain resource pools when disabling VMware DRS Clusters in vSphere 5.1 using the vSphere Web Client.

After disabling DRS, the cluster’s resource pool hierarchy and affinity rules are not retained when DRS is turned back on. If you disable DRS, the resource pools are removed from the cluster.

To avoid losing the resource pools when disabling DRS, you can save a snapshot of the resource pool tree on your local machine. You can then use the resource pool tree snapshot to restore the resource pool when you enable DRS.

For additional information, see VMware Knowledge Base article: Retaining resource pools when disabling VMware DRS clusters (2032893).

Registering a vCenter Server 5.0.x system with the vSphere 5.1 Web Client

 Allgemein, Cloud, Knowledge Base, Updates, vCenter Server, VMware, VMware KBTV, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Registering a vCenter Server 5.0.x system with the vSphere 5.1 Web Client
Sep 182012
 

Bonjour KBTV fans!

Now that I have exhausted my extensive knowledge of the French language (hope I got the spelling right) it is time to get down to business and make some more KBTV announcements.

It is that time again where we start uploading some new videos for this week for your viewing pleasure. To start the week off we are going to stick with our current trend of providing some tutorial videos showcasing how to perform various different tasks in vSphere 5.1 using the vSphere Web Client.

To start things off, here we have a video that discusses and demonstrates registering a vCenter Server 5.0.x system with the vSphere 5.1 Web Client.

To enable connectivity to a vCenter Server 5.0 system with the vSphere Web Client 5.1, you need to register it with the vSphere Web Client using the vSphere Web Client Administration Tool. The vSphere Web Client is a Web application that can reside either on the same system as vCenter Server or a separate system. Before you can connect to a vCenter Server 5.0 system with the vSphere Web Client, you must register the vCenter Server 5.0 system with the vSphere Web Client. Un-register a vCenter Server system when you no longer want users to be able to access it using a particular instance of the vSphere Web Client.

You need not register vCenter Server 5.1 systems that use the same vCenter Single Sign On server as the vSphere Web Client. The vSphere Web Client can locate such vCenter Server systems by using VMware Lookup Service.

Note: vSphere Web Client does not support vCenter Sever systems prior to 5.0.

You can register multiple vCenter Server systems with a single vSphere Web Client.
Register a given vCenter Server system with only one vSphere Web Client instance, rather than using multiple vSphere Web Client instances to manage that vCenter Server system.

For additional information, see VMware Knowledge Base article: Registering a vCenter Server 5.0 system with the vSphere 5.1 Web Client (2032895).

VMworld Blog: VMworld 2012 Barcelona

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für VMworld Blog: VMworld 2012 Barcelona
Sep 172012
 
Barcelona_next.jpegVMworld 2012 is coming to Barcelona, Spain this October 9-11.  Not only is this an exceptional networking experience and real-world training for anyone in the IT industry, but this year's Europe event will offer new announcements and highlights for all audiences.

Be sure to register today, book your transportation & hotel and prepare for VMworld 2012 in a premier location -- Barcelona!  Do you need to convince your manager to let you attend? Try the VMworld Europe ROI Letter to help your boss understand the importance of sending you.

Once registered and booked, be sure to plan and build your schedule using schedule builder and content catalog.  And share your questions and comments with other attendees using VMworld discussion threads or social media channels.



For a full video recap of VMworld 2012 San Francisco, read the VMworld 2012 Video Roundup