ESXi 4.1 to 5.1 Upgrades with VUM

This is a really good post about how to remove software modules that are no longer needed. I came upon this issue when upgrading from ESXi4.1 to ESXi 5.1. One of my hosts wouldn’t remove the drivers.

esxupdate encountered error

I uploaded the offline bundle zip to VUM and created a host extension baseline and ran it against the host. The host had a kernel panic and didn’t boot up.

kernel panic

I had to upgrade that particular host from the ISO and forgo update manager so all is well.

I was even given this post from VMware technical support when I called. I’d already happened upon it, but it was impressive that his blog post was on the tech’s radar.

Grow (Extend) an LVM on a Linux VM

We’ve all been there, you’re running an app on a VM and you see that it is quickly running out of free space. Since we’re not constrained by any physical limitation, we can just allocate more space to the guest and grow the disk.

As with any hard drive partitioning, make sure you back up any critical data. Since this is a vm and I’m running VDR, I can run a quick backup and begin. Also, remove any snapshots if you have them.

Power down the VM. Add space to the hard disk under Edit Settings.

Edit Settings on the VM

Power the VM back up  and  run a  # df -Th  to see the current disk usage & filesystem type.

df -h output before growing the disk

Run  # ls -al /dev/sda* to view all the disks

fdisk /dev/sda

:n (new disk)

:p (create primary partition)

:3 (the partition number)

: first cylinder  (keep the defaults)

: p (print the partition table and review the new partition on /dev/sda#)

:w (write the table to disk and exit)

# reboot the server or run  # partprobe . If partprobe throws an error, just reboot. This is to make sure the partition table is actually written.

Run  # vgdisplay to view the volume group. In the FREE PE / Size section, you will see that there isn’t any free space yet. Take note of the proper name of the volume group.

Output from vgdisplay

Run a  #vgextend vg_insertyourvghere /dev/sda#

Do another #vgdisplay to confirm the free space on the volume group.

freespace

It shows you there is now 4GB free space that can be added to the volume group.  Now we extend the logical volume into that free space

Do an #lvdisplay to get the proper name of the logical volume you’re going to extend.

Now, time to extend the logical volume group.

#  lvextend -L +4G /dev/vg_kimathegreat/lv_root

lvextend

I reduced the size slightly to avoid the error about  “Insufficient free space”.

Now to resize the file system. If this is a partition that can be unmounted, run a # umount before running resize2fs.

#resize2fs /dev/vg_kimathegreat/lv_root

Run df -h to see the new size of the partition and the increased free space.

newfreespace

Now, there are a few caveats I’ve run across. Mainly when running fdisk /dev/sda. I will allow me to make a partition, but depending on where the sectors start and end, I won’t be able to run a pvextend.

If that happens, run # cfdisk and see where the partitions are and if you have any free space. If you do, that is where you create your partition.  You can make your corrections, between both fdisk and cfdisk , by deleting the small partition and creating a new one with the larger chunk of free space.  Just be careful and don’t delete anything critical.

As you can see, I’m missing sda3. That was because the 1st fdisk /dev/sda created a partition using only a few megs of space. I didn’t note the sector count and created the primary partition in the smaller block of free space. I used fdisk  (d) to delete that partition and then created a new one.

missingsda3

Having VT enabled on your CPU isn’t all you need to run a nested ESXi enviroment in VMware workstation 9

I built an ESXi 4.1 test environment in workstation 9 to test and document an upgrade from vSphere 4.1U2 to 5.1U1a

Overview of ESXi enviroment

My test box is:

  • Dell PowerEdge 2900 with (2) dual core Intel Xeon 5160’s
  • 24GB RAM
  • iSCSI Lun attached to hold my VMDKs
  • 2008 R2 Enterprise SP1 with VMware workstation 9.0.2 (upgraded from 8.0.2)

I wanted to install some 64-bit VMs inside of my ESX servers and after some cursory reading and searching, I was under the impression that I could. The first thing was to make sure that CPU could handle a 64-bit OS (Intel® 64) VT (Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x) and XD (Execute Disable Bit). I went to the Intel site and looked up my processor. Looks like I was ready to go. (I missed the part about EPT=No at the bottom  as Mike would say, “RTFM”)

After installing the DC,SQL, vCenter server and making sure communication between the 3 was working, I created my 1 ESXi VM and when I powered it on I got this warning:

Intel VT-X/EPT is disabled for this ESX VM

vt-xept_disabled

There is a setting on the VM under processors that should be enabled. I checked the box, proceeded with my installation.

esxinstall-eror-fixed
Edit the settings on the ESXi VM and enable VT

I configured the host, added it to the cluster. So I thought I was in the clear. Somewhere along the line, before I tried to install a guest, I saw this message.

Virtualized Intel VT-x/EPT alert
I clicked yes to continue. Clicking no wouldn’t let me proceed.

I searched this message and the previous one and found several posts that suggested  confirming the bios settings on the machine that’s running workstation, enabling VT in the settings (we did that) vmx or /etc/vmware/config hacks to fix it and nothing worked. I went so far as to update the bios on the server just in case there were some features that were not exposed on the version I was currently running.

Here are several errors I got when I tried to install 2003 R2 64bit on the ESXi host:

buildingcluster-01

buildingcluster-error01
buildingcluster-error02

I posted on a vmware community for workstation and got a response that I really didn’t anticipate:

The implication of the message, “Virtualized Intel VT-x/EPT is not supported on this platform,” is that your host does not support EPT.

OK, so there is one more technology that is required to run a nested  64-bit environment. But what is EPT and when did it become so important?

The ability to run a nested environment is fairly new. The newer processors (AMD and Intel both) have begun to include Extended Page Tables (EPT) in to their procs (Nested page tables in AMD). EPT allows each guest VM to have it’s own page table to keep track of virtual & physical memory.

I have my nested environment running fine, there just aren’t any 64-bit VMs running on any of the ESXi 4.1 hosts.

For more info on EPT and Memory Management read here and here.

Adding space to a vDisk on a PERC 5/i Controller Part 1 of 3

We’ve all been there, running a server that’s way past it’s prime on 6 year old hardware. The application grows, the size on the partitions shrink. Then one day, you get the call and things aren’t working ‘right’ because there is no space. You suggest P2V or reinstalling the application on a VM. You’re met with stares, grumbles of “I’m too busy” and looks of utter discontent.

The only thing to do is add more disks and grow the drives in question.

How to add drives to a vDisk on a PERC 5/i integrated controller

(disclaimer! These are the steps I took, they may not work for you in your environment)

  • Before performing any hard disk reconfigurations, please make sure you have a good (tested) backup of your server. As with all HD reconfigurations, there is a risk of data loss.
  • Confirm the Dell Open Manage Server Administrator is installed. If not, download and install it.
  • Add the hard drives to the server and reboot. They should be the same size or larger.
  • Boot to the PERC (raid controller) in the bios. On the Dell PowerEdge it’s CTRL+R
  •  There is an additional menu  that now appears up top called Foreign View. CTRL+N  over to the Foreign View menu and view the additional disk group. You’ll see it’s marked as foreign.

PERC 5/i Integrated Bios Configuration

  • Highlight the Controller where the foreign configuration exists, press F2 . Use the arrow keys expand the menu with the arrow keys and select clear. Clear will delete the foreign configuration (example, if you’re using disks from another server). Press Enter.

Clear foreign configuration

  • Press OK if you’re sure you want to clear the configuration.

Confirm Clear

  • Press OK. You’ll see that the foreign view menu has disappeared.

noforeignview

  • Exit the BIOS utility by pressing ESC. Reboot the server.
  • Log into the server and launch Server Administrator. Expand the Connector and the physical disks. The state of the disks should read “Ready” and the used RAID disk space as 0GB.

disk ready

  • From the left pane, click on the virtual disk and click the down arrow next to Available Tasks. Select Reconfigure and click execute.

osma-reconfig

  • Click the connector to view the physical disks. Select the disks that you just installed by clicking the check box.

Select Physical Disks to add to the vDisk

  • The new disks are now listed under selected physical disks. Click continue.

osma-reconfigvdisk-1of3b

  • Select the current raid level of the current disks. If your virtual disk is currently RAID-5, make sure you select RAID-5. Click continue.

Select Disk Attributes

  • Review the new virtual disk configuration. Click finish.

osma-reconfigvdisk-3of3

  • The disk reconstruction will begin and the progress will be displayed.

omsa-reconstruct

  • This will take several hours to complete.  Once finished, view disk management. There you can see the new unallocated space at the end of the disk.

diskmgmt-unallocated

  • To grow C:\ the free space must be immediately following that partition.  Use disk part to move the partitions around (steps to follow). First, you can grow D:\ by using diskpart.

Continue on to Step 2

Adding space to a vDisk on a PERC 5/i Controller Part 2 of 3

To Grow the D:\ Drive

This is part 2 of the “Adding space to a vDisk on a PERC 5/i Controller” post.

Back to Part 1

  • Launch diskpart from the command prompt.  #diskpart (enter)
  • It opens in another window.  Enter  #LIST DISK (enter) and review the disks of the server.
  • Enter #LIST VOLUME   (enter) to view the volumes. Note the volume numbers next to the drive letter.  You will select the volume that you would like to grow.

diskpart-listvolume

  • #LIST PARTITION (to view the partitions)

diskpart-listpartition

  • Enter #SELECT DISK # (the number of the volume you’re growing). This is to bring focus on the disk that you’re working with. OR
  • Enter #SELECT VOLUME 2 (the D:\  is what we’re growing so we will have enough space to ‘give’ to C:\)
  • Decide on the size that you’d like to grow the disk by (in MB). In this example, we grew the disk by 100GB. Enter #EXTEND SIZE=100000 (100GB~)
  • You’ll see the success message immediately  following.
  • Enter #LIST VOLUME (to review the size of the new volume.  It will have an asterisk beside it)

diskpart-extend

  • Enter #LIST DISK to view the available space on the vDisk.

diskpart-listdisk-done

  • Enter #EXIT to close diskpart.
  • Go back to disk management and view the size change of D:\ and the unallocated space.

diskmgmt-unallocated2

Next Step: Growing the C:\ Drive

Adding space to a vDisk on a PERC 5/i Controller Part 3 of 3

To Grow the C:\ Drive

This is part 3 of the “Adding space to a vDisk on a PERC 5/i Controller” post.

Back to Part 1 or Part 2.

Growing the system partition is a much more elaborate task. Download gparted (do not use 0.15.0, it’s buggy) and burn the ISO to disk. Make sure you have a full system backup before performing any disk modifications. Yes, that means YOU if this a production system.

Reboot the system with the gparted ISO in the drive. Press the enter key when you get to the boot screen. Follow remaining prompts to get you to the GUI. When asked which mode do you prefer, press 0 then enter.

gparted-1

  • Review the partitions and the familiarize yourself with your disk layout. Note which partition is the boot partition. For Windows, that is your C:\ drive. In this example, C:\ is /dev/sda2 and D:\ is inside the extended partition, /dev/sda5
  • Now this is where it gets tricky. Here I shrunk the /dev/sda5 partition from the left to add space to the beginning of the partition. Then I shrunk /dev/sda3 (the extended partition). Lastly, I grew the C:\ drive partition, /dev/sda2.

gparted-resize

gparted-resize2

gparted-resize3

gparted-resize4

  • Notice the several unallocated slices between the partitions, these occur when you have cylinder aligned and MiB aligned partitions on the same disk. Also, notice the unallocated space at the end of the partition (like when we started) this will taken care of in Windows, however we could handle it hear, but it seems quicker to do from the OS.
  • Once your partitions appear as you like them to, click Apply. This will queue up all 3 disk operations to disk. Depending on the size of your disk, this may take some time.
  • Click Details for more information about what’s happening.

gparted-apply

  • Once the operations are complete, click close.

gparted-done

  • Reboot the server and remove the CD.  Your system will run a check disk on C:\ (and maybe D:\). Let it complete and allow the system to boot to windows
  • When your system boots up, open Disk Management and view the newly sized C:\ and D:\. Note the unallocated space still on the end of the drive. Also note, D:\ no longer has a drive letter. Reassign the same drive letter.

diskmgmt-unallocated3

  • Now Run dis part and extend the volume.
  • Enter #List DISK
  • Enter #LIST VOLUME
  • Enter #SELECT VOLUME #
  • Enter #EXTEND. This will take all available space and use it to extend the partition.
  • Reboot the server and allow for another check disk to run. This time it will be for the D:\ drive. Depending on the size of the drive, this may take some time.
  • Once the server reboots, open up disk management and review the disk layout.

diskmgmt-done

Adding AD Users and Computers to Windows 2008R2

I’m human. Someone asked me how to get to Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) on a 2008 R2 and my first response was, look under Administrative Tools.  Well, as luck would have it, it’s not there. Where is it, MMC? admintools? adminpak?  I wasn’t sure. This is a new server and not under my purview so I just assumed it was there.   Sometimes I think I’ve forgotten more that I remember, but then, It dawned on me, this is 2008R2 and EVERYTHING is either a role or a feature.

Problem

How to add Active Directory Users and Computers to a Windows 2008 R2 Server

Solution

  • Launch Server Manager
  • Click on/Expand Features
  • Click Add Features
  • Scroll down and expand Remote Server Administration Tools
    • Expand Role Administration Tools + AD DS and AD LDS Tools
    • Select AD DS Snap-Ins and Command-line Tools

    Add Remote Server Administration Tools

  • Click Next. Confirm installation selections and Click install.
  • Click Close when the installation succeeds.

aduc-installed

 

 

 

 

When powering on a VMA template- Cannot initialize property ‘vami.netmask0.vSphere_Management_Assistant…has no associated network protocol profile.

I’m new to 5.1 and I’m chugging along, getting my new cluster up and running. Deploying a template was a walk in the park in 4.1. This is where you find out you don’t know what you don’t know.

Problem

When I power on the VMA template I get this error:

 

VM Power-On Error

This is caused by not having created an IP Pool for your vAPPS. What is an IP Pool you say?  Here is an explanation from the vSphere 5.1 online documentation:

IP pools provide a network identity to vApps. An IP pool is a network configuration that is assigned to a network used by a vApp. The vApp can then leverage vCenter Server to automatically provide an IP configuration to its virtual machines.

Solution

You’ll have to configure an IP Pool in order to get your template powered on. Click on the Datacenter in vSphere client. There is a new tab called IP Pools, click on it to configure a pool.

IP Pool Tab

Click Add. The New IP Pools Properties box appears.  Give the pool a name. Depending on which version of IP you’re using, click on the corresponding tab.

New IP Pool Properties

Enter the subnet and gateway information as it pertains to your environment. I did not check Enable IP pool and you may or may not have to depending on your environment. Click on the DNS tab and configure DNS as needed. Go through the other tabs and configure them as they apply. Since I’m only using IPv4 without DHCP, it requires limited config. Click OK when you’re finish.

ippool-finish

You should now be able to power on your VMA template.

Similar information can be found here:

 

 

 

 

 

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