EqualLogic Cloning an Inbound Replica

I have a dev server that’s my sandbox for VMware VCA studying. This Dell PowerEdge 2900 is on it’s last leg. It has an iSCSI disk that houses a bunch of ISOs, installers, docs, etc that is being replicated to another EQL array. The old PE is located behind my desk and is loud as a 747 taking off when it powers up.I will NOT miss this thing at ALL!

I have a new PowerEdge R420 that I’ve moved my development environment to and it lives in an offsite data center. I want my iSCSI disk attached to my new server, but I don’t want to stop replication on my current disk until the server is wiped and hauled off. The beauty of EqualLogic is their arrays are wonderfully easy to administer and makes any takes relatively easy.

Since the disk is replicated and I don’t want it to stop replicating right away, but still would like to have the current data to use and access immediately on my new server. Yes, I could have mapped a drive, but if the 2900 dies, I’m still up and running without even a hitch.

That’s where cloning an inbound replica comes in.

From the outbound group manager, make sure you’ve replicated your volume.

confirm_volume_replicated

From the inbound group manager, Go to replication and expand inbound replicas. Select your replica so the information appears in the right pane. Click clone replica.

clone_replica

The wizard will guide you through the process of cloning your replica. On step 2, change the snapshot reserve if you need to. Step 4, review the summary and click finish.

change_snap_reserve

finish_clone_replica

Your new volume will appear in the volume list. Present it to the new server if you didn’t during the clone volume replica wizard and you’re in business.

 

new_vol

 

 

 

 

Activating Windows Server 2012 with MAK key

It appears the default activation in Windows Server 2012 is KMS.

win_isnt-activated

Since I’m a primarily a 2008 R2 shop and this is my first ‘real’ 2012 server, I was waiting for the prompt to activate it with my MAK key, but when I clicked Activate, it gave me an error about KMS.

The quick way to activate your server with MAK is to Open a command prompt and run as administrator.

Run As Administrator

At the prompt, enter: slmgr.vbs /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

replace the Xs with your MAK Key and hit enter.

Enter Key

Your copy of Windows Server is now activated.

activated

Updating Java to 1.7 Breaks Dell EqualLogic VSM

I loathe updating Java because you never know what it will break. This morning, it was the Dell EqualLogic VSM plug-in for vCenter.

Upon launching the plug-in, I got these errors:

Image

Image

I thought to disable the current version and enable the previous version, but there is a way to add this URL as an exception.

Launch the Java control panel (I’m running 2008 R2) and click on the security tab.

Click the edit Site List button:

Image

Add the URL in the above mentioned error, by clicking Add, then typing in the URL.I also added the IP to vcenter as well. Click OK.

Image

Image

One more warning about the HTTP location you’ve entered. Just click continue. Apply the changes and close the java applet. Be sure to close the vCenter client as well.

Launch the client and log into VSM as usual.

Update- info on Windows 7

In Windows 7, there is no exception list under the security tab. To add your site to an exception list, you can create an exception.sites file and add the URL.

win7-java-securitytab

Browse to this location: C:\Users\username\AppData\LocalLow\Sun\Java\Deployment\security

If  there is a file named exception.sites, add the URL to that file. One URL per line.

If not, you can create it and add your URL.

exception-site

 

The command has timed out as the remote server is taking too long

I’m running vSphere 5.1 and I can’t launch the vSphere Client. I am able to launch the web client just fine. Upon launching the fat client, I get an error:

vsphere client could not connect

We updated our domain from 2003 to 2008 R2 and replaced all old domain controllers  (DCs). I’d changed the primary and secondary server URL (there was no port number previously) during the cut over and all has been working well for the past 26 days and today, nothing.

I logged into the web client as admin@system-domain to confirm I was pointing to the new domain controllers and I was. So now I’m really stumped. KB article 203918 solved the riddle.

Web client login as admin

To view the identity sources:  Administration > Sign-On and Discovery > Configuration. Here you can view the identity sources. Click the pencil to edit and see more detail.

Edit Identity Sources

Here are my current settings:

Current Server URL

I added the port number to both the primary and secondary server URLs and tested the connection. Click OK to close the dialog box.

Updated URL with Port Number

test-success

I was then able to launch the fat client without error.

Don’t forget to log out of the web client as admin@system-domain.

It’s safe to assume when I installed 5.1, I didn’t enter the port number as suggested in the Configuring vCenter Single Sign on doc and it worked just fine. Upon upgrading, the port became a required setting.

I passed the VCA

I am officially a VMware Certified Associate  in Data Center Virtualization (VCA-DCV)!

VCA-DCV-sm

Last week I attended the VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale (5.1) class at New Horizons and after hearing from a few of the attendees that the exam was a cinch if you worked with VMware and you sat through the online VMware Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals e-learning course, you could pass the VMware Certified Associate (VCA) exam with no problem. After watching the video, reading the exam blueprint, VMware vSphere Basics guide, and taking the practice exam twice, I was ready to schedule.

There is no class prerequisite to take the VCA like the VCP5 and such!

The test is administered by Pearsons Vue and you must request authorization from VMware first to schedule your exam.  There is a PDF that outlines the exam registration procedure in great detail. Once you’re registered, signed up with Pearsons and pay for your exam ($120) you’re ready to go. There are tons of discount codes out there that will either give you a 50% discount or maybe even a freebie. Check the VCA forums and see which one works.

The test was 50 questions, 75 minutes long and for but a few questions, they come straight from the e-learning course. My advice, read the question, re-read it and focus on the sentence in the middle that gives you the most clues about what the answer may be. Did I say READ the question?  To pass, you need to score a 300. The scale is 100-500 and I got a 420.

My next stop is to study for the VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) exam. To obtain this one, you must have taken qualifying coursework prior to obtaining your certification. In the meantime, I’ll take the VMware Certified Associate – Cloud (VCA-Cloud) & VMware Certified Associate – Workforce Mobility (VCA-WM) as well.

I’ll post my training plan and will let you know of my progress. Good luck to you if you’re on the path to becoming VMware certified.

Configure and Install the Multipath Extension Module for vSphere and EqualLogic

The MEM (Multipath Extension Module)  by EqualLogic (EQL) handles path selection and load balancing to the storage array. Upon install, it will add another path selection policy called ‘dell_psp_eql_routed’ in addition to the 3 default policies. Using this PSP is ideal when you’re datastores reside on EQL since the module is written by EQL, it has been designed to perform more efficiently in regards to path selection and load balancing to the array.

Here is how I installed and configured MEM on my esxi hosts. I’m running ESXi 5.1 Update 1 with vSphere CLI installed on vCenter.

Prerequisite: Be sure to configure an iSCSI vSwitch for multipathing before installing MEM. Please read  TR1075 for more information on how to configure the vSwitch.

Download MEM from EQL support site. Login is required. Review the release notes, TR1074 as well as the installation & user guide before proceeding.

On the vCenter server,  launch vCenter client. From the home screen, open Update Manager and click on the patch repository tab. Click import patches and browse to the MEM offline bundle zip  and click next to upload.

import-mem-offline-bundle

browse-mem

upload-mem

Next, create a baseline. Enter a name and description for your new baseline, select ‘Host Extension’ then click next.

newbaseline1

Add the extension to the baseline. Click next.

newbaseline2

Review your  setting and click finish.

newbaseline3

Your newly created baseline is now listed under the Baselines and Groups tab.

baseline-and-groups

Now it’s time to install. Begin by putting your host into maintenance mode.Click the update manager tab of the host and click attach.

attachbaseline

Check the box next to the MEM install and click attach.

attachbaseline2

Highlight the attached baseline and click scan.
scanhost

Confirm that you’re scanning for patches and extensions. Remove the check next to upgrades. Click scan.

confirmscan

The host will now be labeled as non-compliant. Click remediate in the lower right corner.

remediate

Click next twice in the remediate wizard if you’re accepting the defaults. On the schedule window, type in a new task name and description (optional) and select a remediation time. I did mine immediately, but this task can be scheduled for a later time. Click next.

remediate-sched

Edit any host remediation options and click next. Edit any cluster remediation options and click next. Review your remediation settings and click finish.

review-remediate

Monitor the recent tasks pane to see the status of the installation. Upon completion, the host will be listed as compliant in the update manager tab.

compliant

 

Reboot.

From a system with vMware vSphere CLI installed on it, run the following command to verify the MEM installation. You will need the setup.pl script in order to run it. It’s included in the MEM download.

Enter the following command using your esxi hostname or IP:
# setup.pl --server=esxhostname_or_IP --query

Enter the credentials for the host. After a few moments, the command will display the version of the MEM installed, the default PSP that is now set as well as the vmkernal ports used by MEM.
verifymem

To list the new Dell EQL PSP as well as the defaults, use the following command:

# esxcli --server esxhostname_or_IP storage nmp psp list

Enter the credentials for the host.
listpsps

Multipathing is available immediately after installation. You can see the paths to the disk as well as the new PSP. On the host, go to the configuration tab+ hardware+storage+right-click the datastore + properties+ managed paths.

after-paths

This is what it looked like before the install:

before-paths

Here you can see that there were 2 active connections to each controller, however, only 1 was being used for I/O. Once MEM is installed, there are redundant active connections to each controller and the load is more evenly balanced.

As I mentioned before, the MEM is totally functioning, however, in order to use the new esxcli commands that are available to manage and report on, you’ll have to restart the hostd agent on the esxi host.

Enable SSH on your host and log into it.

Restart the hostd service:

# /etc/init.d/hostd restart

restart-hostd

The new commands are now available. To list them:
# esxcli equallogic

eql-cmds

Log out of the host and disable SSH.

Done!
For more information on Dell’s MEM, read this great blog post from Cormac Hogan of vMWare.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial