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Marcelo Soares's Blog

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Thatś right, you read correctly: now VCP 6 is composed of TWO exams, and you need to get a minimum score of 300 on each one.  Check here the requirements, proces and details  to do the test.

 

Two tests now. The 2V0-620 (vSphere 6 Foundations) is needed for any VCP 6 level certification  (DCV – Data Center Virtualization, Cloud, Desktop and NX – NSX and networking). If you are planning some certification besides DCV, you ony need to do this exam once. It have 65 questions, and is simmilar to the VCA test but with more technical questions, specifically about the new products of the vSphere 6 family (VSAN 6.x, vRealize, VVOLs) and new features  (Content Catalog, long distance vMotion, etc). There is a exam simulator (click here)that can be useful to understand the level of the questions present on the exam. Detailed information about the exam can be found in vSphere 6 Foundations Exam.

 

The 2V0-621 test, Data Center Virtualization, is more complex and have  85 questions. Is a good test as it require a good practical knowledge in VMware environments - you can't only make the vSphere ICM course. There is also a simulate test, which you can find it here.

 

Some tips about the exam content, as I have passed both BETA (few months ago) and also the actual exam yesterday:

 

  • A ot of questions about resource pools (shares and reservations). Check exactly what are the default values of the shares high, medium and low because some questions needs mathematical calculations over these values and don't provide them.
  • A lot of questions about permissions, some about COntent Libreries permissions. Check exactly what kind of permission each vCenter predefined role have. There are also questions about the ESXi integration with AD.
  • Some questions aboutVSAN, what happen if there is a failure, fault domaisn, and new features on version 6.1.
  • Check the new traffic types enabled on vmkernel interfaces and what each one does.
  • Some questions about VMware Converter, how to change/add disks during the conversion, advanced options, etc.
  • Know how to operate a VM from command line, using SSH or DCUI, and also how to use esxcli.
  • Know what are and how the native multipathing policies work (MRU, Fixed, RR).
  • Know PSC/SSO. A ot of questions were regarding Identity Sources, how to configure it and what types are.
  • There were no questions about maximuns, just indirect questions about it (i.e. is it possible to create a VM with 150 vCPUs?)

Some other tips:

  • Read the blueprint, now directly availabe on the links provided above. There are some questions that are referenced on the most hidden paces fro the blueprint content.
  • Some questions from the simulate tests are on the actual test, but slightly different (usually with different answers options).
  • Read all questions CAREFULLY, mostly if english is not your native language.

 

These tips were related to MY TEST, each one is different and there is a big number of possible questions. Your test may be different from mine.

 

Hope this helps, if you need any other information, don't hesitate in contacting me over the comments or twitter (@mtsoares42).

Well, there are some vouchers on the web - I need to say I am not the only one offering this. BUT, if you want to do the VCA certification with 50% discount, here goes the steps and a voucher code to use:

 

VOUCHER NUMBER: VMRT7A0F0E24

 

  • If you still don't have one, create an account on pearsonvue.com/vmware ;
  • Log into mylearn.vmware.com and, also if you don't have one, create an account with the same email address you used on the  pearsonvue.com website;
  • Go to vmware.com/go/vca , and do the free e-learning. It is just below “VCA-Data Center Virtualization” at “Free e-learning” (for the DCV certification);
  • Also at vmware.com/go/vca, there is a “Learn more and register” link. Here you can go to register for the exam (this is fast and takes 10 mins).
  • When ready to take the exam (50 questions in 1.5 hours) go to pearsonvue.com/vmware, and go for it. Here is when you need to tell the voucher, right into the section where you should tell your credit card number (which is needed to complete the 50% value).

 

Good luck, any feedback if you passed or not will be appreciated. Also, any questions about the exam, here I am.

 

This post in spanish: http://vmsoares.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/certificacion-vmware-vca-voucher-y-tips/

This post in portuguese: http://vmsoares.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/certificacao-vmware-vca-voucher-e-dicas/

 

NOTE: until december 1st, the discount was FREE. After december 1st, the discount was reduced to 50%.

vSphere 5.5 is already GA. Earlier than I thought, already downloading and installing, will have more impressions on the next blog posts. For now, I can say installation procedure is the same using the ISO, no changes on that.

 

esx55_install_1.jpeg

 

vSphere Client 5.5 also available, no changes on the software as far as I could see, and as stated by VMware. There seems to exist some problems on manipulating the new VMDK sizes (in fact I could not create a VMDK greater than 16TB, or even increase an existing one).

 

Some thins I could see so far and I liked:

 

  • VMDK size now can be up to 62TB (before it was 2TB-512B - the new size is available only for VMFS-5, and only in VMs that resides on an ESXi 5.5  - be very careful with mixed environments). RDMs with virtual compatibility also can be up to 62TB.
  • Double physical memory limit for the ESXi box, from 2TB to 4TB. Consequently, the maximum number of vCPUs per logical processor increased from 25 to 32 (meaning, for example, you can have up to 256 single CPU VMs on a 2 x QuadCore processor, or 128 VMs with 2 vCPUs, just examples). The number of maximum logical CPUs also was increased to 320, with HT enabled for example.
  • Fault Tolerance still have all the same limitations - mainly the only one vCPUs on FT protected VMs.

 

vCenter Server Appliance (VCVA) brought one good new: using the internal vPostgres database, you no longer have the 5 hosts and 50 VMs limit (this is only reserved for SQL Express with Windows installations). The limit is not 400 hosts and 4000 VMs, but you need to be sure your VM supports this. Check KB http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2057376 for more information on this.

 

Full release notes for the ones who want more details: https://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere5/doc/vsphere-esx-vcenter-server-55-release-notes.html

As this seems to be a very common issue with VMware Converter, and it can have multiple causes, I will try to help those who get to this situation and can't resolve it. The error message itself is not clear, but usually the problem resides on the fact that the Converter Agent (if you are converting a phýsical and/or power on machine) or Worker (if converting a set of files from another VMware product, or an OVA/OVF file) can't read the source machine disk, or some configuration file inside it. Based on that, the best medicine is to know where to look for the error.

 

Basic example

 

Trying to convert a VMware Workstation VM to a vCenter Server. Got the error: "Unable to obtain hardware information for the selected machine", as the screeshot stands:

 

converter_error_unable.png

The first most important thing to do is to "Export diagnostic logs", so you will keep the troubleshooting data even after finishing the program or performing other conversions. Is important to note that keeping the diagnostig logs will avoid logs contamination by other operations. Also keep note of the time (hour, minutes) the error was reported.

 

First thing to do is to uncompress the logs:

 

~/temp/converter# ls

ConverterDiagnostics20130912092012.zip

~/temp/converter# unzip ConverterDiagnostics20130912092012.zip

Archive:  ConverterDiagnostics20130912092012.zip

  inflating: vmware-converter-server-1.log 

extracting: worker-source-diagnostics-gye.zip 

extracting: converter-gui-1.log.gz 

extracting: converter-gui-2.log.gz 

extracting: converter-gui-3.log.gz 

extracting: converter-gui-4.log.gz 

extracting: converter-gui-5.log.gz 

extracting: converter-gui-6.log.gz 

extracting: converter-gui-7.log.gz 

  inflating: converter-gui-8.log    

~/temp/converter#

 

(I am using Linux, feel free to use your OS to open files and manipulate them). For this example, I have uncompressed the ConverterDiagnostics20130912092012.zip file and got the listed files. Including worker-source-diagnostics-gye.zip, which is the file where the worker logs reside. The worker is the process that runs when the source is directly accessible to the Converter software - if not, it uses the Converter Agent, that I will mention forward.

 

Uncompressing the worker logs, you will get some additional files, starting with vmware-converter-worker*.log. Checking fot the mos recent of these files, I could get to the following error:

 

2013-09-10T17:59:38.170-03:00 [09824 info 'Default'] Parsing C:\Users\anyuser\Desktop\VM\Lite.vmwarevm\Lite.vmx

2013-09-10T17:59:38.179-03:00 [09824 error 'Default'] Sysimgbase_DiskLib_OpenWithPassPhrase failed on disk file 'C:\Users\anyuser\Desktop\VM\Lite.vmwarevm\Virtual Disk.vmdk' with 'The system cannot find the file specified' (error code:25)

 

The error points to the fact that Converter is parsing the VMX file, but could not find a specific VMDK file. Checking the files I have, could see the following list:

 

Lite.vmx

Virtual Disk-s007.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s008.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s009.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s010.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s011.vmdk

Virtual Disk.vmdk

 

So, Virtual Disk.vmdk exists. I verified and I could open the file, and read it, so no permission problem (this could be a potential problem). Opening the Virtual Disk.vmdk file,I could see it pointed to several VMDKs (as it was a sparse 2GB type):

 

Virtual Disk-s001.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s002.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s003.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s004.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s005.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s006.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s007.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s008.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s009.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s010.vmdk

Virtual Disk-s011.vmdk

 

So, basically, in this case, there were 6 files missing (1 to 6). Something wrong happened on my copy. Just copied again files 1 to 6 and all worked as expected.

 

Remote conversions

 

When converting remote machines, there is a sowftware that is installed on the machine to be converted, named VMware Converter Agent. The logs for this agent are stored at %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Agent\logs\vmware-converter-agent-1.log, and usually are the ones that will help to troubleshoot the issue. One example can be seen on my last post, clicking here.

 

In case of need, I will be glad to try to help if you send me logs attached (you can create a VMware Communities discussion and send me the link also). You can find me on twitter: @mtsoares42 or here at Communities.

 

Hope this helps.

NOTE: This article is only for a specific scenario. If you need help with problems that not fit this scenario, check here, or send me a direct message, or even contact me at twitter: @mtsoares42

 

Scenario:

 

 

  •     VMware Converter 5.0 Standalone;
  •     Windows 2003 Server physical machine;
  •     When trying to convert the machine, the error "Unable to obtain hardware information for the selected machine." was seen on the conversion wizard. Remote or local installation,same error.

 

In the Converter Agent logs, located at %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Agent\logs\vmware-converter-agent-1.log could see:

 

2013-06-10T16:52:32.997-03:00 [04488 warning 'Default'] Failed to get capacity for \\.\PhysicalDrive0: error opening disk device: The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process (32) 2013-06-10T16:52:32.997-03:00 [04488 warning 'Default'] Skipping hard disk '\\.\PhysicalDrive0' 2013-06-10T16:52:32.997-03:00 [04488 warning 'Default'] Failed to get capacity for \\.\PhysicalDrive1: error opening disk device: The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process (32) 2013-06-10T16:52:32.997-03:00 [04488 warning 'Default'] Skipping hard disk '\\.\PhysicalDrive1' .... 2013-06-10T16:52:32.997-03:00 [04488 error 'Default'] [LiveWindowsComputer] Unable to find any disks attached to the computer.

 

No antivirus installed, hmmm.... using local administrator credentials, full access. Using Windows Explorer could access both volumes, C: and D:.

 

Verified services: HP Insight Manager running. Just stopped all HP related services and voilá, conversion working.

 

Hope this helps

 

With Guilherme Pfeifer's collaboration. If you need this post in spanish, click here.

If you need to check if someone is really certified by VMware, or you are a VCP and need to demonstrate you are certified, VMware have a very useful online tool for that. Just go to http://www.vmware.com/go/verifycert and enter the person certificate Verification Code.

 

If you are a VCP and don't know how to find your Verification Code, you can:

 

- Log in to MyLearn (http://www.vmware.com/education)

- Go to My Transcripts

- You now can see your eCertificate. Download it and the Verification Code will be on the down left corner.

 

WIth that, you can check if someone is really a VMware Certified (Advanced) Professional. Thanks to VMware Education team for that!

If you already installed vCenter 5.1, and configured an Identity Source, you may have ran into this situation. In some cases, in a hurry, you just go there and provide your user/pass credentials to register an Identity Source, or an super user credentials. What happens if someday this account get blocked, or if you change its password? You need to go to the SSO configuration and also change it. Here are the screen where you need to do so:

 

sso4.jpeg

 

The doc http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-51/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.security.doc%2FGUID-B23B1360-8838-4FF2-B074-71643C4CB040.html explains about it:

 

When you use the authentication type Password for an identity source, you must update the identity source details whenever the password changes for the configured user. You update the password on the Edit Identity Source dialog box. 

If the user account is locked or disabled, authentications and group and group and user searches in the Active Directory domain will fail. The user account must have read-only access over the User and Group OU, and must be able to read user and group attributes. This is the default Active Directory domain configuration for user permissions. VMware recommends using a special service user to ensure that the password does not expire and lock out or disable the user account.

 

Thanks to Mauricio Altamura on this information.

If you already needed to change the vCenter IP address, by default you will have issues when connecting to it using Web Client or the conventional client- it is not possible for the vCenter service to connect to the SSO server,if they are installed on the same server. The problem resides on the fact that the SSO IP address is stored inside the SSO database. The KB http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2033516 is not exactly regarding this, but helped me to resolve the issue in an envirnoment I am configuring. In my case, with SSO in an SQL Express local instance in the same machine as vCenter, I needed to do:

 

sso_server_folder\utils> ssocli configure-riat -a configure-db --database-host localhost  -m master_password


master_password is the admin@system-domain password. With this, I could resolve the problem, just restarted SSO and everything was up and running again.

If you need to connect/interact with the VC appliance database, for example to remove the locks of DB2 or performing an script, you can do the following after being logged in as root via SSH on the appliance:

 

- On VCVA 5.0 GA with DB2:

 

1. Turn into the db2inst user:

 

vcenter:/ # su db2inst1

 

2. Start the db2 client:

 

db2inst1@vcenter:/> db2

 

You'll see a prompt like this:

 

db2 =>

 

3. connect to the VCDB database:

 

db2 => connect to VCDB

 

(the command is like this, very literal)

 

4. Change to VC schema:

 

db2 => set schema vc

 

5. Perform any command you need. For example, to remove the VPX_SESSIONLOCK lines, you can do like this:

 

db2 => delete from VPX_SESSIONLOCK
DB20000I  The SQL command completed successfully.

 

You can type "quit" anytime you want to exit from the db2 client, and "exit" when you want to go back to root userspace.

 

- On VCVA with vPostgres:

 

1. Connect to the database using psql:

 

vcenter:/ # /opt/vmware/vpostgres/1.0/bin/psql -U vc -d VCDB

 

You'll see a prompt like this:

 

psql (9.0.4)
Type "help" for help.

 

VCDB=>

 

2. Perform any command you need (selects, inserts, etc). For example, to list all tables:

 

VCDB=> \dt

 

There are a lot of new tables in 5.1, (mainly the vpx_hist_stat* ones).

 

To quit, just type "\q"

 

Hope this helps

If you need to convert bytes to megabytes, or terabytes to gigabytes, or anything, you can use this Google tool. Just type two units and the work converter, like "terabyte gigabyte converter" and the options shown in the picture below will appear:

 

converter.jpeg

You can convert also temperature, area, time, etc.

Fantastic!

 

esxi51-poster.png

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/files/2012/11/ESXi-5.1-Poster.pdf

 

 

Enjoy the full version, and print it!

You can check it by using ESXTOP:

 

1. Run esxtop

2. Press "m" to enter on memory statistics

3. Press "f" to change the fields displayed

4. Press "f" again to show NUMA related fields

 

If numa is enables, you will see values (like, 0, 1, 2, etc for each node) on the NHN column, like this image:

 

numa_esxtop_good.jpeg

(In this picture there is a VM running on 2 NUMA nodes).

 

If not, you will see the "-" on the NHN column:

 

no_numa_esxtop_good.jpeg

 

Hope this helps!

 

NOTE (edited on Sep 17th, 2013):

 

There is also a command to check directly if there are and how many are the NUMA nodes:

 

esxcli hardware memory get | grep NUMA

 


Versión en español: http://vmsoares.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/como-verificar-si-tu-hardware-soporta-numa-en-esx/

Versión en portugues: http://vmsoares.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/como-verificar-se-o-seu-hardware-suporta-numa-no-esx/

If you have HP os vSphere VSA, you may run into a problem if your entire environment goes down due to an power outage, for example. After booting back, the ESX servers will not find the VSA resident LUNs (obviously) because the VM was not powered on when the ESX rescanned the LUNs and datastores, requiring an manual rescan after everything is booted.

 

A simple way to fix this automatically is to script a manual rescan after 5 minutes of the boot of all ESX servers (or more time if needed):

 

1. Login to the ESX servers using SSH. Please place the host in maintenance mode before chenging anything for safety.
2. Edit the /etc/rc.local file
3. Add the following lines at the end of the file:

sleep 300
esxcfg-rescan -A

4. Run the “/sbin/auto-backup.sh” command.

 

You can test it by bringing the entire environment down and up again

 

See you!

 

Spanish version: http://t.co/fry6VUbn

Acá les dejo uno más de mis artículos en español, aclarando lo que es el NUMA, y como funciona el vNUMA de vSphere. Versión 1.0. Consulten también el blog de mi cobertura del VMworld: vmsoares.wordpress.com

 

http://communities.vmware.com/servlet/JiveServlet/download/38-94033/que_es_y_para_que_sirve_el_NUMA_VMware-v1.0.pdf

Posting here a little article about RAID I wrote today, in spanish.

 

Hope this helps my LATAM fellows.


http://communities.vmware.com/servlet/JiveServlet/download/38-93893/raid.pdf