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Archive for January, 2012

Experts Exchange goes dark! Due to EE Upgrade to EEv10! Back Soon! 8pm PST

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Taking a break whilst Experts Exchange Upgrades to EEv10! So if you currently visit the site, you’ll be greeted with:-

ee-upgrade

still top after 8 months!

still top after 8 months!

So, before the site went dark for it’s upgrade, I’m still Top after 8 months! and here are some of my EE Articles

VMware Articles

VMware Articles

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I thought I was watching a film on TV! Please take the time to watch!

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

and now……

12.00AM January 28th 2012!

in December 2011!

it all started with this…early December 2011

In November 2011

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Citroen Xsara Modification - Guiness fuled car!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Do I need to notify the insurance company I’ve got a Guiness fuled car!

In the damp, cold, wet January weather guesss what I’ve been doing today?

The exhaust dropped off the car yesterday, so I’ve been trying to fix the exahust with a

Diet Coke Can - didn’t work,

Heinz Backed Bean Can - didn’t work,

Draught Guiness Can minus the widget fixed it!

I later took it to a garage to get a price to replace the exhaust, and they spotted they following:-

  • two front tyres are illegal (caused by tracking!), and need replacing.
  • two front brake disks on the front are badly corroded and need replacing.
  • and I just need a centre pipe for the exhaust!

So I just need the cheap centre pipe to the fix the exhaust!

Oh well that’s not too bad!!!

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Arnie my 18″ Arrowana died today.

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Arnie my 18″ Arrowana died today.

I’ve just visited the fish house, and found him mysteriously dead. He was okay this afternoon, possible heart-attack, he did not look like he had been attacked by Ernie the Giant Red Tailed Gourami.

I was given Arnie, in October 2009, he was approx 9″, the previous owner was feeding him cockles and mussels, which is not good for their diet, because of the fat content, and can cause fat behind the eye, causing drop-eye. Arnie had slight drop-eye, in one of his eyes, which I think had got much better. I spent many months,
weaning him off cockles and mussels, onto raw King Prawns and Whitebait, he was a stubborn fish, and I had to feed him occasionally with a chain mail butchers glove! because he would jump out and snatch the food from my fingers, and occasionally would bite my fingers and hand in the aquarium.

I do not get attached to many fish, but I’ll miss Arnie!

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Wikipedia protesting against SOPA and PIPA!

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

You may notice today if visting Wikipedia you’ll be greeted with

wikipediablackout

It reads ”

Imagine a World
Without Free Knowledge

For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. Learn more.”

As I type this reddit.com is about to go dark in the next 20 minutes, it was also hoped that Google, Facebook and Twitter my join…

Google.com has a link on it’s homepage

googlesopaTell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!

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What is Experts-Exchange.com?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I’ve been a little busy of late, writing articles for Experts-Exchange.com, which in the next few months will be releasing EE v.10 (new website version 10!).

But if you’ve been a little puzzled about what I’ve been doing, the following videos may help you understand about what Experts-Exchange.com is all about.

Site Administrator on What Makes EE Different from Experts Exchange on Vimeo.

Experts Exchange Senior Administrator on Community from Experts Exchange on Vimeo.

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HOW TO: Backup an ESXi installation on an USB Flash Drive or SD card, for security or redundancy.

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

How to Backup ESXi installation on a USB flash drive or SD card.

Requirements

1. A valid ESXi installation on a USB flash drive or SD card.
2. A copy of Winimage for Windows.
3. A Windows computer.
4. Optional Blank DVD for making backup.
5. Optional USB flash drive or SD card for flash backup.

1

Download Winimage from the Internet

Using your internet browser, Internet Explorer or Mozilla, download a copy of Winimage from http://www.winimage.com/download.htm.

WinImage is a shareware product. You may copy, distribute, and try it for free, but if you use for longer than the evaluation period, you must register. You will receive a valid license, a registration code and the latest release.

2

Install Winimage

Install Winimage as per the vendors instructions on your Windows computer you need to backup the USB flash drive or SD card.

3

Insert the ESXi USB flash drive or in USB port on computer

Insert the ESXi USB flash drive or SD card inserted in a card reader into the computer you have installed Winimage on.

4

Start Winimage

Winimage Startup

Winimage Startup

Start Winimage from the Start Menu on your Windows computer.

5

From the disk menu

Create Virtual Hard Disk

Create Virtual Hard Disk

From the disk menu, in Winimage, select Creating Virtual Hard Disk Image from Physical Drive.

6

Select the USB flash drive or SD card

See picture below

Select a physical drive in the list

Select a physical drive in the list

Select the USB flash drive or SD card, from the list, in this example, I’m using a Flash LUXIO USB flash drive.

7

Select Create Fixed Size Virtual Hard Disk

Select usb flash drive

Select usb flash drive

Select the Fixed Size Virtual Hard Disk, ensure there is a dot in this selection. This ensures that the saved backup image is exactly the same size as the flash drive, you are copying example 2GB for a 2GB USB flash drive, 4GB fort a 4GB flash drive.

8

Click OK

Click OK

9

Specify a disk location and select Save

Select save location

Select save location

Once you have specified a location, a progress bar will continue on screen showing the progress of the copy.

Progress Bar

Progress Bar

10

Partiton to connect to

When prompted to connect to partition, click okay and Exit Winimage

11

The USB flash drive or SD contents will be saved as a complete image.

The contents will be saved to disk.

12

Complete.

The operation is complete and you can exist Winimage, and Safely remove your USB flash drives or SD cards, from the computer, by selecting the Safely remove hardware icon, in the system Smart tray.

13

Backup to DVD

If you image size is less than the size of a DVD (4.5GB), I also backup the USB/SD card installation image to a DVD, and if you have a spare USB flash drive, it doesn’t hurt writing the contens to another USB flash drive or SD card. (and make sure you label with date, time, and version and build of ESX, and what server it is for!)

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VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide

If you have a licensed version of ESX/ESXi, (paid for license) you could purchase the following third party applications to perform backups. If you do not have a licensed version of ESX/ESXi, your options are limited, because a non-licensed (paid for) version does not give access to the licensed APIs for third party products to function. You will there for need at least a Standard license for ESX/ESXi for the following products listed in 1 to 3 below.

1. Veeam Backup and Replication v5 - very popular, won many awards at VMworld 2010

Download a trial here - http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esx-backup.html

2. Quest Vizioncore Vranger Pro - the first VM backup product with a good pedigree.

Download a trial here - http://vizioncore.com/product/vRangerPro

3. PHD Virtual Backup - very fast backup technology, using virtual applicance.

Download a trial here - http://www.phdvirtual.com/phd-vb-51-vmware-vsphere

4. VMware Data Recovery - supports dedupe, integrated with vCenter - maybe included with your current VMware License (available in vSphere Enterprise Plus, Advanced, and Essentials Plus Editions. VMware Data Recovery can also be purchased a la carte with vSphere Standard Edition.)

http://www.vmware.com/products/data-recovery/overview.html

Free (download) alternatives for backing up VMs

5. ghettoVCB

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-8760 ((Will work on FREE ESXi, no licensed required.)

(can be performed whilst the virtual machine is live or powered on)

6. ghettoVCBg2

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-9843 (needs licensed version of ESX/ESXi)

(can be performed whilst the virtual machine is live or powered on)

7. Scripts and NFS backup

http://communities.vmware.com/message/1029047 (Will work on FREE ESXi, no licensed required.)
(can be performed whilst the virtual machine is live or powered on)

8. VMware Converter Standalone 4.3

http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_downloads/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/4_0

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation

http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/converter_pubs.html

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/convsa_43_guide.pdf

With VMware Converter you can convert and copy a Virtual Machine to another datastore, this advantage is you can do this whilst the virtual machine is Online or Powered-Up.

9. Veeam FastSCP

Free download here http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esxi-fastscp.html

Fast Virtual Machine / File Transfer. Faster than WinSCP and other SCP-based tools as it uses full network capacity. The Veeam FastSCP engine also features traffic compression and empty block removal for best file copy performance.

You can use FastSCP to connect to the ESX/ESXi server, and download the entire virtual machine folder/directory to the current workstation or server, where yov’ve connected from. You must ensure that the virtual machines are powered off to complete this operation.

10. Datastore browser

The datastore browser is included in the vSphere GUI Client, and enables you access to the datastore, virtual machines are stored on. You can simple use the cut and paste, or download/upload options to backup and restore virtual machines. Again to copy a virtual machine, the virtual machine must be powered off.

Restoring with options 9 and 10, above, you must add the Virtual Machine manually to the inventory, by selecting the vmx file in the datastore browser, right click on the *.vmx file, and select “Add to Inventory”.

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HOW TO: Suppress Configuration Issues and Warnings Alerts after enabling vSphere HA in a VMware vSphere Cluster

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

In VMware vSphere 4 1 and 5.0, if you have two or more hosts, using shared storage, (SAN/NAS) you can create a VMware vSphere Cluster and enable High Availability mode (HA), if you have the correct VMware vSphere Licensing.

VMware vSphere High Availability (HA) provides easy to use, cost effective high availability for applications running in virtual machines. In the event of VMware vSphere server failure, affected virtual machines are automatically restarted on other VMware vSphere production servers with spare capacity.

You may have noticed that after Turning On vSphere HA in Cluster settings from the vSphere Client that a Configuration Issues warning yellow box may appear on the Summary page of ALL host ESXi servers in the vSphere Cluster.

The Configuration Issue reports This host currently has no management network redundancy

The Configuration Issue reports This host currently has no management network redundancy

The Configuration Issues reports “This host currently has no management network redundancy”

You will also notice there is also a yellow/orange warning triangle displayed on ALL the vSphere ESXi host servers in the vSphere Cluster.

Warning trianles on hosts in vSphere Cluster

Warning trianles on hosts in vSphere Cluster

The only issue, is that the Warning triangle displayed in VMware vSphere vCenter can mask real warning events.

VMware vSphere HA will still function correctly, the configuration issue, is warning that there is only one physical network interface connected to the virtual vswitch which has the service console (ESX) or management network interface (ESXi) connected.

example vSwitch with single physical network interface vmnic0

vSwitch example

vSwitch example

These configuration issues and warnings alert triangles, can be suppressed as follows

1

Connect to the VMware vSphere vCenter Server

Using the VMware vSphere Client, Login and Connect to the VMware vSphere vCenter server, using IP address or hostname of the VMware vSphere vCenter server, using vCenter Server Administrator username and password credentials.

Using the VMware vSphere Client, Login and Connect to the VMware vSphere vCenter Server

Using the VMware vSphere Client, Login and Connect to the VMware vSphere vCenter Server

2

Select the Cluster in Inventory

Select the Cluster in Inventory > Hosts and Clusters, Right Click the Cluster in the right hand panel, and select Edit Settings

Right Click the Cluster in the right hand panel, and select Edit Settings

Right Click the Cluster in the right hand panel, and select Edit Settings

The vSphere Cluster settings dialgoue box will be opened.

vSphere Cluster Settings

vSphere Cluster Settings

3

Select vSphere HA

Select vSphere HA and click Advanced Options, bottom right

vSphere HA Advanced Options

vSphere HA Advanced Options

the Advanced Options (vSphere HA) diaglogue box will open.

vSphere HA Advanced Options

vSphere HA Advanced Options

4

Add ‘das.ignoreRedundantNetWarning’ value

To suppress the configuration issues box and warning triangles, the das.ignoreRedundantNetWarning needs to be added with a value of TRUE.

Click the left hand column under Option, and enter das.ignoreRedundantNetWarn

ing

enter das.ignoreRedundantNetWarning

enter das.ignoreRedundantNetWarning

Click the right hand column under Value, and enter TRUE.

enter TRUE

enter TRUE

Click OK to return to Cluster Settings.

5

Click Cluster Features

Click Cluster Features and remove the Tick from Turn On vSphere HA.

This action will disable HA on ALL ESX/ESXi hosts in the cluster. Please note I would recommend any changes to a production environment be carried out and schedule out of core SLA hours.

Turn OFF HA

Turn OFF HA

Click OK. The HA cluster will be reconfigured, this will take a few seconds.

6

Turn On vSphere HA

Select the Cluster in Inventory > Hosts and Clusters, Right Click the Cluster in the right hand panel, and select Edit Settings

Right Click the Cluster in the right hand panel, and select Edit Settings

Right Click the Cluster in the right hand panel, and select Edit Settings

The vSphere Cluster settings dialgoue box will be opened.

Turn OFF HA

Turn OFF HA

Select Turn ON vSphere HA (by clicking and ensuring a Tick appears in the box)

Turn ON vSphere HA

Turn ON vSphere HA

Click OK.

The HA cluster will be reconfigured, this will take a few seconds. (Tested with Five hosts takes 40 seconds).

HA Configuration Issues Suppressed

HA Configuration Issues Suppressed

The Configuration Issues yellow box in the Summary Page and Warning Triangle will disappear immediately.

Thank you for reading my article, please leave valuable feedback.

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HOW TO: Suppress Configuration Issues and Warnings Alert displayed in Summary status for ESXi 4.1 U2 or ESXi 5.0 after enabling SSH or ESXi Shell

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

In vSphere 4 1 and 5.0, you can enable both Remote SSH and the ESXi Shell for management of hosts from the vSphere Client and from the Direct Console User Interface.

You may have noticed that on enabling both Remote SSH and the ESXi Shell for management of hosts from the vSphere Client and from the Direct Console User Interface that a Configuration Issues warning yellow box appears on the Summary page of the host ESXi server.

This Configuration Issues warning yellow box only appears when Remote SSH and/or ESXi shell has been enabled.

Configuration Issues, SSH and ESXi shell enabled

Configuration Issues, SSH and ESXi shell enabled

If you are also connected to a Windows vCenter Server using the vSphere Client, you will also notice there is also a yellow/orange warning triangle displayed on the host server.

vCenter Configuration Issue

vCenter Configuration Issue

There is no vSphere ESXi configuration issue, VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) and VMware vSphere vCenter server are indicating there is a possible security issue with your installation, you may not be aware that SSH and ESXi shell have been enabled.

VMware state “This message is a proactive security measure designed to ensure that administrators are aware that remote access has been enabled for the server.”

The only issue, is that the Warning triangle displayed in VMware vSphere vCenter can mask real warning events.

These configuration issues and warnings alert triangle, can be suppressed as follows

1

Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) or VMware vSphere vCenter Server

Using the VMware vSphere Client, Login and Connect to the ESXi server, using IP address or hostname of the ESXi server, using root username and password credentials. If you have a VMware vSphere vCenter server, you could also specify IP address or hostname of the vCenter server.

Using the VMware vSphere Client, Login and Connect to the ESXi server

Using the VMware vSphere Client, Login and Connect to the ESXi server

2

Select the Configuration Tab

Once you are logged into and connected to the host ESXi or vCenter server, Select the host ESXi server, followed by the Configuration Tab.

Configuration Tab

Configuration Tab

3

Select the Advanced Settings option

Click the Advanced Settings option at the bottom of the list.

Advanced Settings

Advanced Settings

After Clicking Advanced Settings the following Advanced Settings dialogue box will open as shown in the following screenshot.

UserVars

UserVars

4

Navigate to the UserVars variable

Navigate to and Click the UserVars section.

Set the value of  UserVars.SuppressShellWarning from 0 to 1.

Set the value of UserVars.SuppressShellWarning from 0 to 1.

Set the value of UserVars.SuppressShellWarning from 0 to 1.

UserVars.SuppressShellWarning set to 1

UserVars.SuppressShellWarning set to 1

Click OK.

The Configuration Issues yellow box in the Summary Page and Warning Triangle will disappear immediately.

Please note: the variable UserVars.SuppressShellWarning is only available in ESXi 4.1 U2, ESXi 5.0 and vCenter Server 4.1 U2 and 5.0 only.

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