Sunday, 16 September 2012

How to Install vCenter 5 with SRM 5 and Compellent Integration - Part 4

The following step-by-step walkthrough goes through the steps for installing a vSphere 5 infrastructure with SRM and integrating with Compellent Enterprise Manager. The article has been split up into 4 parts:

Part 4: Install the SRM Servers

4.1 Login with the VMService account
4.2 Download and install the SQL Server Native Client - SQLNCLI_AMD64.msi - from the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 Feature Pack.
4.3 Run odbcad32.exe from C:\Windows\SysWOW64 and create a new System DSN with the SQL Server Native Client 10.0 driver > and configure with name = “SRM”, to connect to the Database server Instance, with integrated Windows Authentication, and change the default database to = “SRM”
4.4 Launch the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Installer - VMware-srm-5.0.1.exe
Note: At the time of writing there is not yet a Compellent SRA for vSphere 5.1 which holds us back to using vSphere 5.0 U1
4.5 Following through the install wizard: Next > Next > I agree > Next > Install to Data drive > Next > Do not install vSphere Replication (because we are integrating with Compellent) > Next > Enter vCenter Server Details (default vCenter Server Port is 80) > Next > Accept the Security Warning > Automatically generate a certificate > Next > enter certificate generation details > Next > enter VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager extension information > Next > Database Configuration > Next > Install > Finish
4.6 via Services.msc change the Log On for the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Server service to the VMService account, and start the service
Note: For reasons unknown, the SRM installer puts the SRM service to log on as Local System - it won’t work that way!
4.7 via the vSphere Client - Plug-ins, download and install the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Extension
4.8 Download the, unpack and install on the SRM Server
4.9 via the vSphere Client > Home > Solutions and Applications > Site Recovery
Click on Array Managers and then Add an Array Manager
Note: The configuration of SRM is fairly straightforward via the Getting Started tab - configuration of SRM is out of scope of this article!
4.10 Add Array Manager: Array Manager Information - populate and Next >
4.11 Add Array Manager: Compellent Enterprise Manager - populate and Next >
4.12 Finish!
4.13 Repeat steps 4.1 to 4.11 for SRM02
4.14 via the vSphere Client > Home > Solutions and Applications > Site Recovery, select ‘Configure Connection’ to configure a connection between VC01 and VC02
Note: If all is correct - at this stage in Site Recovery you should have two Sites - ‘Site Recovery for vc01’ and ‘Site Recovery for vc02’, and under ‘Array Managers’ there should two folder called ‘Site Recovery for vc01’ with EM01, and ‘Site Recovery for vc02’ with EM02

The End

This document serves as a - straight-to-the-point - walkthrough for installing and integrating vCenter, SRM and Compellent. Hope it makes sense!

How to Install vCenter 5 with SRM 5 and Compellent Integration - Part 3

The following step-by-step walkthrough goes through the steps for installing a vSphere 5 infrastructure with SRM and integrating with Compellent Enterprise Manager. The article has been split up into 4 parts:

Part 3: Install the Compellent Enterprise Managers

3.1 Login with the EMService account/an account with local admin rights
3.2 Install Java 1.6 JRE or later
3.3 Launch the “Compellent Enterprise Manager Data Collector Setup” exe and run through the InstallShield Wizard
3.4 Run through the Enterprise Manager Data Collector Setup configuring as per requirements
Note 1: EM01 will be the Primary Data Collector
Note 2.1: In the image above the Data Source Type is chosen as File System for the embedded database
Note 2.2: Default install path for the embedded database is ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\Compellent Technologies\Compellent Enterprise Manager\msaservice\etc’ - change this to install on the D drive
Note 3: Enterprise Manager will need a license key, but can skip initially
Note 4: Will need to create an Administrator User - say emadmin
3.5 When the Enterprise Manager Data Collector Setup is Complete, connect to the Data Collector Web Site at https://{IP of Enterprise Manager Server}:3033/em/EnterpriseManager to download Client and Server Agent
3.6 Install the Enterprise Manager Client
Note 1: The Server Agent is not required here - it is allows Enterprise Manager to free volume storage space from expired Replays that would otherwise remain locked by Windows on Windows servers that use iSCSI or FC attached storage on the Compellent SAN
Note 2: Configuring Compellent Enterprise Manager is out of scope of this document

3.7 Repeat 3.1 to 3.6 for EM02, the difference is that we configure the Data Collector as a Remote Data Collector and will need to input the details for the Primary Data Collector on install
Note: The Primary Data Collector must be licensed otherwise receive an error “Primary Data Collector is not licensed …”

How to Install vCenter 5 with SRM 5 and Compellent Integration - Part 2

The following step-by-step walkthrough goes through the steps for installing a vSphere 5 infrastructure with SRM and integrating with Compellent Enterprise Manager. The article has been split up into 4 parts:

Part 2: Install the vCenter Servers

VC01 - vCenter Install
2.1 Login with the VMService account
2.2 Download and install the SQL Server Native Client - SQLNCLI_AMD64.msi - from the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 Feature Pack.
2.3 Administrative Tools > Data Sources (ODBC) > Add a new System DSN with the SQL Server Native Client 10.0 driver > and configure with name = “VMware vCenter”, to connect to the Database server Instance, with integrated Windows Authentication, and change the default database to = “VIM_VCDB”
Note: If the Database Server and Instance does not populate the “Which SQL Server do you want to connect to?” field, check Windows Firewall is not getting in the way.
2.4 Mount the VMware vCenter 5.0 U1a ISO and run the autorun.exe
2.5 Run the VMware vCenter Server Product Installer, using the DSN created in 2.3, and install to D drive, and - being the first vCenter - this will be a standalone VMware vCenter Server instance
Note: I always tick the box to increase the number of ephemeral ports available!
2.6 Restart when prompted

VC01 - Additional vCenter Components
2.7 Install vSphere Client
Note: The following 2.9 and 2.10 are required for the Compellent vSphere Plug-in
2.9 Run PowerShell as Administrator and enter the command> Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
2.10 Install vSphere PowerCLI
2.11 Install the Compellent vSphere Plug-in
Note: 2.12 is required for vSphere Web Client
2.12 Download and install Adobe Flash Player
2.13 Install vSphere Web Client (Server) and register at http://localhost:9090/admin-app

VC01 - vCenter Update Manager
2.14 Run odbcad32.exe from C:\Windows\SysWOW64 and create a new System DSN with the SQL Server Native Client 10.0 driver > and configure with name = “vCenter Update Manager”, to connect to the Database server Instance, with integrated Windows Authentication, and change the default database to = “VIM_VCDB”
2.15 Install VMware vSphere Update Manager
Note 1: Untick the ‘Download updates from default sources immediately after installation’ as Update Manager will be configured as per requirements later
Note 2: Remember to use FQDN’s and change the install paths to D
2.16 via Services.msc change the Log On for the VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Server service to the VMService account, and restart the service
2.17 via the vSphere Client - Plug-ins, download and install the VMware vSphere Update Manager Extension

VC01 - Further Configuration
Note: At this point, all vCenter softwares are installed; the following steps are done via the vSphere Client connected to vCenter
2.18 Create Datacenter object(s)
2.19 Create Cluster object(s)
2.20 Add Host(s)
2.21 Create VM Storage
2.22 Create/Add Virtual Machine(s)
Note: A recommended tweak for vCenter: vSphere Client > Home > vCenter Server Settings > Set Database Retention Policy to 100 days or less to limit the growth of the Database

2.23 VC02 Is configured as per VC01 and steps 2.1 to 2.22, the only difference being that that installation of vCenter is done as Linked Mode!

How to Install vCenter 5 with SRM 5 and Compellent Integration - Part 1

The following step-by-step walkthrough goes through the steps for installing a vSphere 5 infrastructure with SRM and integrating with Compellent Enterprise Manager. The article has been split up into 4 parts:


Starting Point:

Networking infrastructure in place
Compellent storage infrastructure in place
Server hardware in place

Servers on Each Site:

Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise template from which we’ll need provisioned 3 VMs - one will be the Database Server (DB01/DB02), another the vCenter (VC01/VC02), and the next the SRM server (SRM01/SRM02)

Available physical server or virtual server not on the Compellent SAN for use as the Compellent Enterprise Manager Server (EM01/EM02)

Note 1: I’d recommend a Windows 2008R2 Enterprise template with 4GB RAM and 2 vCPU; with a 40GB O/S drive C, 40GB Data drive D, 10GB Page file drive P (after sysprep-ing the template, assign the page file to P, assign CD to E, and Data drive to D.) With the latest Windows Patches installed, and .NET Framework 3.5.1 and Telnet Client (for troubleshooting) features
Note 2: It is important that the template is sysprep-ed before deployment - can get some very weird issues with SQL server and non-sysprep-ed VMs from the same template!
Note 3: All the VMs need to be joined to the domain.
Note 4: When domain joined, turning off the Windows Firewall will make the installation go more smoothly.
Note 5: For EM01/EM02 this doesn’t need a dedicated server, it is fine to install on say a physical backup server

Installation Accounts:

SQL Install Account - SQLService
vCenter and SRM Install Account - VMService
(Optional) Enterprise Manager Install Account - EMService
Note 1: These accounts should be domain user accounts, and they must be local admin on the relevant servers.
Note 2: The EMService is optional as can install the Enterprise Manager Data Collector as a Local Service Account

Part 1: Install the SQL Servers

1.1 Login with the SQLService account
1.2 Launch the en_sql_server_2008_r2_express_x64 application and follow the ‘New installation…’ wizard to install all components to the D drive
Note: A typical install of SQL 2008 R2 Express with all features, installed to the D drive is fine for hosting the vCenter and SRM databases
1.3 After installation of SQL 2008 R2 Express, open up SQL Server Configuration Manager, expand SQL Server Network Configuration, select Protocols for SQLEXPRESS, enable Named Pipes, enable TCP/IP, right-click TCP/IP, select properties, and for every IP Address listed in TCP/IP Properties, enter the TCP Port number 1433.
1.4 SQL Server Services - restart SQL Server (SQLEXPRESS)
1.5 SQL Server Services - SQL Server Browser set to automatic start and start
1.6 Install SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Studio Express x64
1.7 Open up SQL Server Management studio, and create the following databases - VIM_VCDB, VIM_UMDB, SRM
1.8 Create a new SQL login for the DOMAIN\VMService account and assign it the sysadmin server role, and db_owner roles for the newly created databases

1.9 Repeat 1.1 to 1.8!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Designing a Scalable vSphere, SRM, and Compellent Infrastructure

The following article outlines a suitable design for an effective green-field site implementation of VMware vSphere and Site Recovery Manager, with Dell Compellent Storage. The design requirements were for a best practice implementation, which would be easy to expand/scale as future needs require, and allows for failback in both directions (Active/Active SRM Site Configuration.)

The design

Fig. 1: A best practice and scalable, vSphere, SRM, and Compellent design showing how the components interact
Server Colour Coding Key:
Green = Virtual Server
Green/Blue = Can be virtual or physical - it depends …
Blue = Physical Server/Appliance


We have no existing suitable database servers, so we will build a virtual SQL Server in each site. To start off with we use the free SQL Server 2008 R2 Express which allows any number of up to 10GB databases to be created within it. As needs require; the SQL Server 2008 R2 Express can be upgraded to a full unlimited version of SQL Server 2008 R2.

For scalability and performance reasons, it is recommended to separate database server, VMware vCenter Server, and VMware Site Recovery Manager Server roles, and this is what we do here.

The Compellent Enterprise Manager Data Collectors by best practice should be on a physical server or a virtual server that is not on the Compellent SAN (this makes logical sense, since in the unlikely event there is a problem with the Compellent SAN, it is imperative to keep the Enterprise Manager data available.) In this scenario we will be deploying the Enterprise Manager Data Collector on available physical backup servers in either site - we can either use the embedded database that comes with the installer (this is good for a maximum of 30 days or 2 GB) or we could use any of the following databases - MySQL 5.0/5.1, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 to 2008 R2 with Express editions. The database used for storing Enterprise Manager data can be changed after installation.

Note 1: If we were using the Classic SRM Primary Site/DR Site Configuration, we would have just one Enterprise Manager Data Collector in the Recovery Site.

Note 2: Slightly off topic - the vCenter Servers in this scenario are configured in Linked Mode, and a requirement for Linked Mode is that the vCenter Servers are part of an Active Directory Domain.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Tech Round Up 12th September 2012

A list of must read/watch links when get the time, titbits, tools, and some nice graphics; all of which have entered my awareness since after the last Tech Round Up! With stuff from Cisco, Citrix, EMC, F5, LoginVSI, Microsoft, NetApp, PHD Virtual, and VMware

## Cisco ##

## Citrix ##

## EMC ##

YouTube video discussing VFCache 1.5 with the predominant use case for this server-side Flash Technology being SQL Server:
VFCache 1.5 features include:
- Automated vMotion
- Deduplication
- FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) VMAX management integration

## F5 ##

Excellent walkthrough from Damian Flynn to install and configure!

## LoginVSI ##

The Login VSI Express license allows you to test up to 50 user sessions for FREE!

## Microsoft ##

Check the overview for list of updates and enhancements!

## NetApp ##

“No other storage vendors can offer what is possible with Data ONTAP Cluster-Mode …”, “… NetApp ‘One Cloud’ - a single shared storage infrastructure for hundreds of private clouds, and one Agile Data Infrastructure …”, “Instant Provisioning – Creating a virtual storage system (vSAN) in 10 seconds for a hosted customer”, “Non-Disruptive Operations – … non-disruptively migrating a 30 VM Oracle DB eco-system nearly instantaneously from SATA to SSD drives …”, “Immortal data infrastructure – Attested to the storage savings and high performance available with NetApp data deduplication …”

A series on Data ONTAP 8 clustering - well worth checking out!

## PHD Virtual ##

A useful little web tool that can help with corrupt/missing VMDK disk descriptor files!

## VMware ##

Duncan Epping’s tech marketing updates - check out the interesting links!

Useful KB articles for vSphere 5.1 including links to best practice guides!

Excellent walkthrough for configuring VXLAN via the vCloud Networking and Security appliance, vSphere Web Client, and VMware vCloud Director!

Nice graphic that summarizes how it all goes together:

PowerCLI scripts to find, check, and amend any erroneous VM Memory Limits.

“… the manageability benefits of VDI, but for physical desktops and laptops …”

Slightly different to the VMworld 2012 Awards:
Best Cloud Application: HotLink Hybrid Express
Best Backup and Data Protection Product: Dell AppAssure
Best Free Tool: Veeam ZIP
Best Innovation: Cloud Physics
Best IaaS Cloud: Opscode Chef
Best SMB Product: Dell vStart 100
Best Cloud Management Tool: Puppet Labs - Puppet Enterprise
Best New Product of 2012: Nutanix Complete Cluster

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Event 113, MSiSCSI - iSCSI discovery via SendTargets failed

If you have a Hyper-V environment and are running SCVMM 2012 or SCVMM 2008, you might notice the following Warning in the System log repeating at intervals of roughly 30 minutes:

Source: MSiSCSI
Event ID: 113
Level: Warning
Description: iSCSI discovery via SendTargets failed with error code … to target portal …

This can be caused by configuring the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator on the Hyper-V host with a Target portal as the Default Adapter, and not assigning the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator as the Adapter, in circumstances where the operating system recognises cards in the server as being Hardware iSCSI HBA’s.

An Example to Clarify the Situation

We have a HP Blade server with two HP NC553i Dual Port FlexFabric 10Gb Converged Network Adapters - these adapters are Hardware iSCSI HBA capable.
We are using the Microsoft Software iSCSI Initiator.
We configure the Discover Target Portal with the Adapter as Default.

Fig. 1: iSCSI Initiator Properties > Discovery > Target portals > showing Default Adapter being used
We get the Event ID 133 Warning every 30 minutes, which is when SCVMM’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager Agent sends a refresh to the host, which triggers the two Hardware iSCSI Adapters to try a discover via SendTargets and they fail.
What we should have done is configured the Discover Target Portal with the Local adapter as the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator.

Fig. 2: iSCSI Initator Properties > Discover Target Portal > Advanced Settings > Selecting Microsoft iSCSI Initiator as the Local adapter (notice the HP NC553i’s appear as adapters)
A Test

Test by doing a refresh of the host from SCVMM; does the Event ID 133 Warning occur?

Fig. 3: System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager Console > Refresh host
A Not Recommended Fix

Another way to stop the error repeating every 30 minutes would be to stop the System Center Virtual Machine Manager Agent Service on the Hyper-V host; this is not recommended as stopping the service renders SCVMM unable to manage the Hyper-V host!

Fig. 4: Services.msc > System Center Virtual Machine Manager Agent

Monday, 10 September 2012

How Many IPs Do I Need For My Dual Controller HA Compellent iSCSI SAN

Question: How many IP address assignments do I need for my Dual Controller HA Compellent iSCSI SAN?

Scenario: Working with the Dell Enterprise Deployment Team (EDT) on a Compellent iSCSI SAN implementation as a Solutions Integrator, and integrating with a VMware vSphere environment.

The I/O cards we have in each SC8000 controller are: 2 x dual port 10 GbE cards, and 1 x dual port 1 GbE card. The 10 GbE cards are used for iSCSI traffic to VMware hosts and external physical servers accessing the iSCSI SAN. The 1 GbE cards are used for iSCSI replication traffic.

Fig. 1: Connections to a Dual Controller HA Compellent iSCSI SAN

In the diagram below, we split the 10 GbE iSCSI NICs into Fault Domain A, and Fault Domain B. We also have have the 1 GbE iSCSI NICs as Fault Domain R (for Replication.) Also, notice we have circled the Eth0 Management connections.

Fig. 2: HA Compellent iSCSI Controllers with Fault Domains

Controller A will have one iSCSI IP in Domain A (which will “float” across the two available NICs,) one iSCSI IP in Domain B (which will similarly “float”,) and one iSCSI IP in Domain R (again “floats”); also, we have iDRAC and Eth0 Management IPs. Controller B will be similarly configured. Then Fault Domain’s A and B (the 10 GbE iSCSI) will have one Virtual IP, fault domain R (the 1 GbE replication iSCSI) will have one Virtual IP, and there will be one Virtual IP for Management.
Note: iSCSI Fault Domain’s A and B are not different subnets.

Answer: 13
Note: This is using virtual ports mode as opposed to legacy mode.

The 13 IPs required are illustrated with the table below.

Fig 3: Table for IPs required for a Dual-Controller HA Compellent iSCSI SAN solution

Final Word: As always, comments most welcome, especially since it took me a little while to get my head around this!

A Design for Integrating Compellent iSCSI Storage with Dell M1000e, VMware, and External Switches


We have two sites and we have two Dell Compellent SC8000 Controllers per site. Each controller has - for front-end connectivity - 2 x 10 GbE dual port I/O cards, and 1 x 1 GbE dual port I/O cards. On each site we have a Dell M1000e blade chassis with 4 x M8024-k 10GbE blade switches, and 2 x M6348 blade switches. For performance reasons, we are going to keep most of the iSCSI and network traffic contained inside the chassis; there will uplinks to top of rack switches for iSCSI expansion to physical servers, uplinks to the core switches, and uplinks to edge switches for iSCSI replication across to the other site.

Fig. 1 Connections to Compellent Controllers

Our blades will be Dell Poweredge M620’s, and they have dual 10 GbE NICs on the motherboard, Mezzanine 2 (Fabric B) is a quad port 1 GbE card, and Mezzanine 1 (Fabric C) is a dual port 10 GbE NIC card.


1. Blade Chassis Fabric A - 10 GbE used for iSCSI Traffic

This design uses the blade chassis fabrics A1 and A2 for two independent iSCSI fabrics. Here we are using the SFP+ 10 GbE copper cabling. Because each Compellent controller has 4 x 10 GbE NICs for a total of 8, this necessitates purchasing the additional 4 port SFP+ expansion modules for each of the M8024-k’s used for iSCSI. All the internal ports would be access ports for either the default VLAN or a chosen iSCSI VLAN.

Fig. 2: M1000e Chassis and iSCSI on Fabrics A1 and A2

2. Blade Chassis Fabric B - 1 GbE used for Management and vMotion

It could be argued that the addition of a quad port 1 GbE NIC to a blade server with 2 x dual port 10 GbE NICs is unnecessary, but in this scenario we have the M6348’s blade switches, and the quad port 1 GbE NICs, and one very useful thing that the M6348 does have is external 1 GbE connections that we can use for management links. All the internal ports would be trunk ports.

Fig. 3: M1000e Chassis and Management/vMotion on Fabrics B1 and B2

3. Blade Chassis Fabric C - 10 GbE used for VM Networks

Here we use the M8024-k’s for virtual machine network traffic (we could at a later date also add the ESXi host Management and vMotion VMkernels here if require more throughput than the 1 GbE NICs on Fabric B will give.) It is important here to have the correct connectors for uplinks to the core switch. All internal ports would be trunk ports.

Fig. 4: M1000e Chassis and VM Networks on Fabrics C1 and C2

4. Compellent iSCSI Replication Connections to Edge Switches

Finally, we need to integrate the Compellent controllers with the Edge switches for the iSCSI Replication traffic. The image below shows connections to either one edge switch or a stacked edge switch.

Fig. 5: Compellent iSCSI Replication Connections to Edge

Final Word

The title is for a reason ‘A Design…’ and this alludes to the fact that there can be many different designs that will fit different implementation scenarios. The most important thing any design must do successfully is integrate with the existing infrastructure, and satisfy potential needs for future expansion. As always, comments are most welcome!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Tech Round Up 2nd September 2012

Interesting things worth making a note of since the last Tech Round Up!
With content from: Cisco, Citrix, Dell, F5, HP, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, NetApp, PHD, Silver Peak, Veeam, VMware, and Xangati!

## Cisco ##

Note: There is not yet a Part 2
Highlights examples of the following:
1. # bgp-policy destination ip-prec-map
2. # aaa local authentication attempts max-fail 5
3. # file verify auto

## Citrix ##

Solves problem of browsing corporate internal websites without needing full VPN connectivity, or having to see broken links…

“AppDNA will save you time, reduce your risk of failure and save you money on your desktop transformation or application management …”


## Dell ##

“The PowerVault MD3 delivers 60 3TB, 3.5-inch disk drives in a 4U rack shelf; that's 180TB of raw data.”

Interesting: “… great storage acquisitions … Compellent … (Dell) has no high-end array to match HDS’s VSP, IBM’s DS8000 or EMC’s VMAX. What can it do?”

## Dell Customer Stories ##

Services: Dell™  Compellent™ Copilot™  Support
Hardware: Dell Compellent Storage Center with Series 40 Controllers
Dell Compellent Data Instant Replay
Dell Compellent Data Progression
Dell Compellent Dynamic Capacity
Dell Compellent Enterprise Manager
Dell Compellent Remote Instant Replay
Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008
Windows Server® 2008

## F5 ##

Figure: The solution - A FIX environment with a BIG-IP ADC in place to provide security, authentication, SSL offload, and traffic switching from one controlled, centralized location.

## HP ##

## Juniper Networks ##

Available for Kindle

## Microsoft ##

Guided labs for private cloud solutions built on System Center and Windows Server

Came across this in a technet post about needing more customisation/configurable options when using SCVMM 2012; and it was recommended to focus on App Controller as the solution


Open source to the rescue!

Excellent resource for all product sets!

Released in July - an excellent new tool - ADREPLSTATUS!

## NetApp ##

Figure: NetApp diagram for positioning Flash Accel

## PHD ##

Releasing early September 2012
Includes PHD Motion - useful if your environment is not licensed for Storage vMotion

## Silver Peak ##

Silver Peak Agility – plugin for VMware vSphere to optimize WAN traffic

## Veeam ##

Published: 15th of August

Interesting tweaks to up the backup speed:
1. Set Receive Side Scaling Queues from default value of 1 to 8 queues
2. Disabled auto tuning: netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disable
3. Updated Intel Quad NICs with latest drivers / PROset software
4. Turned off file and print sharing on the NIC connection

“New Capability Provides Fast, Flexible Recovery for VMware VMs on HP LeftHand and HP StoreVirtual VSA Storage”

## VMware ##

Interesting PDF to see how hackers use a few simple bugs to gain control
Note: This was for vCenter 4.1


Interesting article from Wikibon - with EMC VNX topping the charts, followed by closely by Netapp and EMC VMAX, with HP 3PAR and Compellent completing the top 5; with the rest a bit adrift!

With new features and abilities!

## Xangati ##

“New feature present in Xangati’s enhanced product detects Storms in the Clouds.”

Note: The amount of content in the Tech Round Up posts is dependent on having time to do research.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Veeam nworks MP for VMware with SCOM Integration Ports Map

The following diagram below attempts to illustrate port connections required in a working Veeam nworks architecture design. Here we just cover the default ports. This map is useful to know in an environment where firewalls are imposed with strong restrictions, and - as the implementation engineer - you may need to test that the required ports are open.

Note: Below we have the Veeam nworks Enterprise Manager Server (EMS) and EMS Web UI installed on the same box (can see no reason to split these roles as not heavy hitters in terms of processing.) We have 2 SCOM servers, 2 Collectors, and 2 vCenters for illustration. It is recommended to have SCOM Agents on the nworks EMS and vCenter servers - this is not illustrated below. The Veeam nworks MP scales easily by adding additional collectors as required.

SCOM Agent on Collectors to SCOM Management Servers - port 5723
Workstation to EMS Web UI - port 4430
Collectors to EMS - port 8084
Collectors and EMS to vCenter Servers - port 443

Figure: Veeam nworks MP for VMware with SCOM Integration Ports Map

System Center 2012 Operations Manager - Beware of SQL Server Collation!

One thing to beware of when installing System Center 2012 Operations Manager is that the SQL Server you install SCOM 2012 OperationsManager database onto, must have the SQL Server Collation set to SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS.

An Illustration:

In this example we have an SQL Server 2008 R2, installed pretty much using defaults, and notice that - using a typical install - the Server Collation is Latin1_General_CI_AS:

Figure 1: SQL Server Management Studio > Server Properties > General > Server Collation

Then we install SCOM 2012 onto this SQL Server.
Notice that the OperationsManager database is created as Latin1_General_CI_AS:

Figure 2: SQL Server Management Studio > Databases > OperationsManager Properties > Options

But notice that the SCOM 2012 installer has created the OperationsManagerDW database (Data Warehouse) as SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS:

Figure 3: SQL Server Management Studio > Databases > OperationsManagerDW Properties > Options

This is unsupported as the OperationsManager and OperationsManagerDW databases need to be on the same collation; and - alas - the only way to go back from this point is reinstall SQL and OpsMgr with the correct SQL collation.

Note 1: Using the drop-down menu to select the SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS collation for the OperationsManager database, will not work.
Note 2: Using scripts to change the collation of the OperationsManager database is very unlikely to work (please comment if you have had success.)
Note 3: It is likely that this configuration error will go unnoticed (as it will work okay with the Collation mismatch) until someone comes along and installs the Veeam MP for SCOM, at which point the Veeam MP exposes the configuration error (it is not a problem with the Veeam MP) and you’ll see an error like the below in SCOM.

Figure 4: Data Warehouse failed to deploy database component

Further reading:

VMworld 2012 Tech Round Up

VMworld 2012 San Francisco, has been and gone in the last week, and below is a quick compilation of exciting and noteworthy news, and some links for more information:

Exciting news:

> VMware has killed the vRAM memory tax with vSphere 5.1 - hurray! [1]
> VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) replaces vSphere Data Recovery, and is built on EMC’s Avamar deduplicating backup technology [2]
> New 5.1 versions for vSphere, vCloud Director, vCloud Networking and Security, Site Recovery Manager [4]
> Best of VMworld 2012 awards including the winners - FalconStor RecoverTrac 2.5, Layer 7 API Portal, HotLink Hybrid Express, Tintri VMstore T540 with Tintri OS 1.4, Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI, Piston Enterprise OpenStack, DynamicOps Cloud Suite 4.5, Intigua Systems Management Virtualization [5]

Other noteworthy news regards vSphere 5.1 / ESXi 5.1:

> Anticipated release date September 11th! [3]
> Shared nothing vMotion live migration (running VMs can be teleported between servers using their own locally attached storage) [1]
> Virtual Machine Version 9 hardware [1]
> Any VM that was generated on ESX 3.5 or later can run atop ESXi 5.1 unchanged [1]
> Support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 [1]
> VMs now support up to 64 vCPUs (up from 32), whilst memory support is unchanged at 1TB/VM (identical to Hyper-V 2012 with up to 64 vCPU and 1 TB memory per VM) [1]
> Support for over 1 Million IOPs per VM [1]
> New and improved CPU virtualization technique for VMs: virtualized hardware virtualization or VHV for “near native access to the physical CPU” [1]
> A new web-based client that can be used instead of the vSphere Client Console, and snaps into vCloud Director [1]
> A new Standard Edition with Operations Manager [1]
> Costs: Essentials $495 across 3 hosts with maximum two sockets each, Essentials Plus $4,495 across those same 3 hosts, Standard $995 per socket, Standard with Operations Manager $1,995 per socket, Enterprise Edition $2’875 per socket, Enterprise Plus $3’495 per socket [1]