vSphere Client Storage Views tab not showing any infomation

The storage views tab in the vSphere client disappeared, and vCenter System Services displayed some of the following errors:
unable to retrieve health data from https://localhost:443/vsm/health.xmlunable to retrieve health data from https://localhost:443/eam/eamService-web/health.xmlunable to retrieve health data from https://localhost:443/SMS/health.xml

VMware KB article 2016177 (vCenter Server Health status reports the error: Error retrieving health from url (2016177)) had the fix. This issue & kb is only for vCenter 5.0.x.

As soon as OfficeScan had finished uninstalling, the assortment of errors in System Services went away and the Storage Views tab worked. (No need to restart services/reboot)

This was a test to see if the kb article would fix it, so I wasn’t about to leave vCenter with no AV. I re-installed OfficeScan, and the errors didn’t re-appear.

So the fix was to uninstall/re-install OfficeScan.

TrendMicro support suggested to disable the OfficeScan client services one at time to identify which one is causing the conflict.

TrendMicro support:

Kindly configure the Privileges and Other Settings for the VCenter server in the OfficeScan web console page under Networked Computer>Client Management. Then under Other tab, please uncheck Protect client services.
Then stop the services for the OfficeScan client in the Vcenter server. Then start one service at a time to isolate this.
• OfficeScan NT Listener (TmListen.exe)
• OfficeScan NT RealTime Scan (NTRtScan.exe) • OfficeScan NT Proxy Service (TmProxy.exe) • OfficeScan NT Firewall (TmPfw.exe); if the firewall was enabled during installation • Trend Micro Unauthorized Change Prevention Service (TMBMSRV.exe)


Although they got back to me pretty quickly, I’d already uninstalled/re-installed OfficeScan, and now i’m unable to replicate the problem, but something to try if it happens again.

Is Host Isolation Response set right for you?

Coming in to manage a virtual environment that’s already up and running, you guess it’s set up correctly for the most part. As time goes on, you may pick up a few things here and there to improve it. But what got me recently was the business’s interpretation of VMware’s HA.

Know your environment, understand the options

During a switch failure causing network isolation of a host, the business wanted to know why their VM’s weren’t restarted on the remaining hosts. Although it was working as expected according to VMware’s Host Isolation Response setting, but the business didn’t see it the same way.

The build of the cluster was outsourced several years ago, and the host isolation response setting was documented as being set to “Leave powered on”, but there was no further explanation for the business as to what that meant.

Read the documentation

Explained fully in the VMware vSphere documentation and also VMware KB 1030320 says:

Leave powered on – When a network isolation occurs on the host, the state of the virtual machines remain unchanged and the virtual machines on the isolated host continue to run even if the host can no longer communicate with other hosts in the cluster. This setting also reduces the chances of a false positive. A false positive in this case is an isolated heartbeat network, but a non-isolated virtual machine network and a non-isolated iSCSI/NFS network. Should the host become unresponsive or fail and can no longer access/run the virtual machines, the virtual machines will be registered and powered on by another running host in the cluster. By default, the isolated host leaves its virtual machines powered on. 

Power off – When a network isolation occurs, all virtual machines are powered off. It is a hard stop. A power off response is initiated on the fourteenth second and a restart is initiated on the fifteenth second.

Shut down – When a network isolation occurs, all virtual machines running on that host are shut down via VMware Tools. If this is not successful within 5 minutes, a power off response type is executed.

Duncan Epping has an easy to read matrix on the VMware vSphere Blog.

In this environment of FC storage and a single top of rack switch for management and VM traffic, it would probably have been better to choose “Shut down”. A week later the CR was approved and 10 seconds later, it’s set to “Shut down”.

The network team now get found out when trying to sneak in a 5-10 second network outage for maintenance.

Running Dell DSET remotely on ESXi

For those using Dell hardware, when you log the job with Dell Support, they’ll ask you to run a DSET report. This collects various information of the server including service tag, all hardware devices, firmware versions etc.

There’s 3 ways to get DSET info.
1) Install DSET locally
2) Run DSET LiveCD
3) Run DSET remotely and create a report on a local server.

Each option has their pros and cons.

The DSET download is available at www.dell.com/dset.

Install DSET locally

This is pretty straight forward. You can do a normal install and keep the software installed, or choose to create a one time local DSET report. Useful if you don’t want to keep unnecessary software on your servers. Doesn’t require an outage/reboot.

Running DSET LiveCD

Get the latest version at http://linux.dell.com/files/openmanage-contributions/ (omsa-71-live). This will boot into a CentOS LiveCD to the graphical user interface with the Dell utils you need on there. You don’t need to know the root password, but it’s “dell”.

Here you can run the DSET util and save it to a USB disk, vFlash, or network share / scp remotely. The DSET output is saved to /tmp/data/.

This requires an outage as it needs to boot from DVD.

Running DSET remotely

This is my new favourite method. This option only works if the target server has Dell OpenManage agent installed. (If you are using Dell hardware, please install OMSA as part of your build process. It makes things so much easier down the track.)

Install Dell DSET on your workstation, or management server,  from http://www.dell.com/dset.

 Select Install DSET.

Choose the component you need.

Finish the installation.

This will open a cmd prompt.

For more info, run dellsysteminfo.exe /h, or just run:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Dell\AdvDiags\DSET\bin> dellsysteminfo.exe -s servername -u root -d hw,st,sw,lg -r c:\temp\servername-dset.zip
Dell System E-Support Tool, Version 3.5.0
@2004-2013 Dell Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Please enter “root” password:

* Gathering Chassis information…
* Gathering Software information…
* Gathering Logs…
* Gathering System Summary information…
* Preparing and Compressing Report…
* Saving DSET CIM report to path: c:\temp with report file name: servername-dset.zip

Troubleshooting

Failed to gather Software/Logs data. Check the IP Address and credentials: – Ensure ssh is enabled.

Failed to gather Software/Logs data. Either user is not part of sudoers list or NOPASSWD is not configured – try using the root account.

Some detailed information is missing from the report: reset OpenManage services.

DSET Output

Once the DSET report has been saved, you can send it to Dell Support for investigation. If you’re curious about what’s contained in report, unzip using the super secret password “dell”, and run the dsetreport.hta file.

Installing Dell OpenManage on ESXi

Dell OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) provides detailed information about the hardware. Handy to find out details of the physical drives, memory sticks and if there’s any failed components.

If you log a support call with Dell, chances are they will ask for more details, and possibly a DSET report, and having OMSA already installed, makes life easier.

Dell also leaverage the features of OMSA with other management packages such as OpenManage Essentials and the vSphere plugin.

Make it part of any new installation, not just for ESXi, but any OS. Here I will focus on installing it with ESXi.

Dell have a 15 page white paper “Deploying Dell OpenManage Server Administrator on VMware ESXi Using Dell Online Depot and VMware Update Manager” dated July 2013.

Installing OMSA Using VMware Update Manager

This is the easiest method if you have VUM available. 

From within Update Manager, add http://vmwaredepot.dell.com/index.xml as a download source. This will check for new versions of OMSA, and update them when required, just like the regular ESXi updates.

You can also download a single OpenManage .vib file and import that to VUM.

Final thoughts

This is one piece of software you think you can do without, but trust me, it’ll make you life easier when you need hardware information. If you have Dell servers, make sure OMSA is installed.

Melbourne VMUG May 2014 Wrap up


Last week we had the quarterly VMUG meeting at the Telstra Conference Centre.

We paid homage to the creator of the VMware community, John Troyer, as he’s moved on from VMware after 9 years. John was responsible for the vExpert program, in which 16 were from Melbourne this year.

If you want to participate in the VMUG community and perhaps become a vExpert, contact us about doing a community presentation. If you’re nervous or unsure, look into the @Feed4ward program. We’re here to help you succeed.

Community

The Salvation Army did a community presentation on the difficulties they face with “Operations on a Limited Budget”, and how they get around those constraints. It was a fascinating presentation, almost a rags to riches storey as they started with VMware server running on laptops, and then moved to servers running vSphere.

Storage Panel Session. The year of the Desktop Storage

Not a police line-up.

With the fierce competition amongst the storage vendors, we were lucky enough to get four storage vendors that worked together, presenting the ‘new world architecture’, with flash, and server side storage. I was a bit worried as to whether the four vendors would actually work together, or take shots at each other with snide remarks ending up in a punch on. I sensed some nerves in the storage vendors too. There was an increased presence of other vendors in the audience, keen to see the outcome, and probably to defend their own company if they were named during the presentation.

Each vendor did a brief 10 minute intro showing their offering for the uninitiated, and then they lined up to answer questions from the audience. There were some great questions, one even getting a vendor to admit a particular use case wouldn’t suit their platform, and suggested the vendor to his right would be able to handle that use case. It was a great honest panel session. No Marketing. Just the facts.

Is it a risk running your enterprise workloads on something from a startup? Perhaps. But the trade off can be a cheaper solution that suits your requirements and the vendor will work harder to prove their technology was the right choice as they can’t afford to disappoint customers.

Thanks to Nutanix, Pure Storage, VMware and Tintri for working together on the panel session.

Prizes

There was a raffle for heaps of prizes such as movie tickets, Apple TV, bluetooth speakers, VMware Press books and more. If you don’t have business cards, make some yourself, or bring a bunch of post-it notes.

vBeers

All that talking was thirsty work, and we headed to Trunk Bar & Restaurant across the road from the Telstra conference centre.With the alcohol flowing, there were no punch ons with the storage vendors, just love.

Presentations now available online

The slides from the night are available on the Melbourne VMUG workspace: http://www.vmug.com/p/do/sd/sid=2470&type=0

The sessions were recorded, thanks to Justin Warren (http://www.eigenmagic.com).

Keep an eye out for the next vBeers event on the 26th June. Check the vmug.com/melbourne website for the latest info.

Congrats Aussie vExperts

Congratulations to all the vExperts from Australia, New Zealand & Singapore. It’s an honour to be included with such great local talent.

Back in 2010, Greg Mulholland was the only vExpert that I actually knew in Australia. Now we have 23 in Australia, and 5 in New Zealand & Singapore.

It’s great to see Melbourne VMUG members dominate the list of vExperts in our region. This is probably why the Melbourne VMUG has such a great turnout and so many community sessions.

You can find the complete list in the official announcement. As the announcement says, the vExpert award is not a technical certification or a measure of VMware expertise, it’s awarded to people who were particularly engaged with their community and who had developed a substantial personal platform of influence in those communities.

2014 APAC vExperts
Name Last Twitter Region
Alastair Cooke @DemitasseNZ New Zealand
Andre Carpenter @andrecarpenter Melbourne
Andrew Brydon @sidbrydon Melbourne
Andrew Dauncey @daunce_ Melbourne
Anthony Burke @pandom_ Melbourne
Anthony Spiteri @anthonyspiteri Perth
Arron Stebbing @ArronStebbing Melbourne
Benjamin Troch @virtualb_me Singapore
Chris Jones @cpjones44 Melbourne
Craig Waters @cswaters1 Melbourne
Dan Frith @penguinpunk Brisbane
David Manconi @dmanconi New Zealand
David Barclay @davidbarclay99 Brisbane
Frank Fan @frankfan7 Melbourne
Grant Orchard @grantorchard Melbourne
Greg Mulholland @g_mulholland Melbourne
Iwan Rahabok @e1_ang Singapore
Josh Odgers @josh_odgers Melbourne
Justin Warren @jpwarren Melbourne
Keiran Shelden @Keiran_Shelden Brisbane
Mandeepak Sidhu @MannySidhu2 Melbourne
Michael Webster @vcdxnz001 New Zealand
Nathan Wheat @wheatcloud Melbourne
Nick Marshall @nickmarshall9 Sydney
Rob Waite @rob_waite_oz Melbourne
Ryan McBride @RyanMcBride81 Sydney
Shane White @ausvmguy Melbourne
Tas Tareq Brisbane

[Please let me know of any corrections]

I’m looking forward to catching up with more of the vExperts at VMworld, vForum, and vBeers.

For anyone that wants to become part of the community, don’t just put your toe in water, jump in – the water’s fine. Go to your next local VMUG to find out more.

vBeers – Thursday 3rd April

Virtualisation is thirsty work

Because there’s never enough time at the Melbourne VMUG to catchup with members, we’re having an in-between VMUG vBeers at Trunktown. If you can’t wait for the next VMUG, this should keep you going for another 6 weeks until the next Melbourne VMUG, on 15th May, 2014.

There’s no official agenda, meeting topic, speakers or sponsors. It’s a social occasion of virtualisation folks having a few drinks. With no sponsor, you’ll be paying you’re own way. It’s perfectly fine to drink water, or you can show off how much of a high flyer you are with buying fancy drinks with umbrellas. It’s up to you.

Once Again…

vBeers – 6pm Thursday – 3rd April, 2014
Trunktown – 275 Exhibition St, Melbourne 

Hope to see you there!