Automating two-node vSAN cluster setup

In a previous post I described how we are setting up remote offices for a customer with two-node vSAN clusters. I meant to get this post out right after that previous one, but things happened… Anyways, here’s how we automated those two-node vSAN clusters.

Currently we have 7 of these racks ready with more to come. As these will be installed at distant locations we are extra keen on knowing that they are all configured as they should, and that the configuration is the same cross these multiple locations.

Of course, this calls for automation. And with our favorite automation tool PowerCLI we have put together a script to do the vSAN configuration for us.… continue reading

Slides and script from VMUG session in December

I had the pleasure of giving a talk about how to do monitoring of the vCenter Server during the VMUG Oslo meeting in December. The session was an extension of what I presented during the VMUG meetings in May and the vBrownbag session during VMworld Europe.

The demos showed how we can get health status and metrics from a vCenter Server Appliance utilizing the new REST APIs shipped in 6.5 and 6.7. During the session I built out a Grafana dashboard with version and uptime information about the vCenter, the health status, vCenter service status, disk utilization and CPU/Memory utilization.

Detailed information about how I’ve built out these dashboards can be found here.… continue reading

vSphere Performance – vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) monitoring

This post is a (late) follow-up on a previous post I did about exploring the monitoring endpoints of the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), and an addition to the vSphere Performance blog series.

Now we will add performance metrics and health status of the VCSA to our monitoring solution. We’ll utilize the REST APIs in vCenter and feed the data into our Influx database and visualize it in Grafana.

In vCenter we have the Appliance Management page also refered to as the VAMI. We will use this as a blueprint of what we want to visualize, but we’ll try to fit the important parts into a single Grafana dashboard.… continue reading

Upgrading the VCSA and converting to embedded PSC

This week I’ve been playing in our vCenter lab and tested the upgrade to 6.7 U1 and also changing the deployment type to vCenter with embedded PSC.

I must say that the vCenter team has done a great job on the upgrade process over the last year. Both our migration from the Windows vCenter to the VCSA as well as the upgrade of a VCSA works well and there are lots of great documentation.

Our lab deployment consists of one vCenter VCSA running 6.7 and an external PSC. Both have been migrated from a Windows vCenter and later upgraded to 6.7.… continue reading

vSphere Performance data – New vSphere plugin for Telegraf

Recently there was a new release of Telegraf, a monitoring agent from the guys that built InfluxDB. This new version, 1.8.0, comes with a plugin for vSphere which I’m pretty excited about!

Previously I’ve been testing Telegraf for monitoring some Linux VMs and also my InfluxDB servers and the agent works as expected and it’s as easy to use as the other products in the TICK stack from Influx.

If you’ve followed my blog series about building a monitoring solution for vSphere and other infrastructure components you know that I’ve pulled metrics with PowerCLI scripts. With this new plugin to Telegraf I want to see if I can use this as a replacement.… continue reading

HPE iLO affects ESXi management agents – hosts in “not responding”

The last months we have had several issues with ESXi hosts going in a “Not responding” status. The VMs are still active and online in this scenario, but the ESXi cannot be managed. This also affets backup as it won’t be able to reach the VMs through the APIs.

Previously we have normally just restarted the management agents on the host and it has been able to connect to vCenter and after this we have managed to migrate the VMs off the host. Lately this hasn’t worked and we have been forced to boot the host with the result of the VMs getting rebooted by HA and eventually started on a different host.… continue reading

Exploring monitoring endpoints in the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) REST API

For a long time, actually since we migrated to the VCSA in 6.5 last year, I’ve wanted to utilize the REST API in the appliance to have some monitoring of them.

For several reasons I’ve had to put that on hold, one of them being that there seems to be something wrong with the back-end authentication calls. I get authentication errors on certain calls no matter which user I am logged in with (also the vsphere.local admin account).

 

After deciding to check it more closely I eventually found a few errors in the VCSA logs which in turn led me to this article by Ryan Harris.… continue reading

VCSA 6.7 Upgrade error – The mystery of how the installer connected to the wrong VM

When trying to upgrade our lab vcenter from 6.5 to 6.7 this week we encountered a strange error.

Our lab environement is running vSphere 6.5 on VCSA and we are running with an external PSC. So when starting the upgrade of the PSC I got an error early in the process, while connecting to the source VCSA.

Error when deploying appliance

 

I had remembered that I’ve seen some strange errors before if the root password of the appliance was expired. This was not the case here, but I did change the password and reboot the appliance to see if that solved the problem.

As I got the same error on the next try I tested an earlier 6.7 (the GA) version to see if that had the same error and it failed on that as well.… continue reading

Release of HPE OneView 4.1

Recently HPE released version 4.1 of their management platform, OneView.

We use OneView extensively in our environment and are always looking out for new functionality and features in the product.

Version 4.1 comes with some new promising features.

  • Secure remote troubleshooting with Remote Technician
  • Reduced downtime for firmware and driver updates for HPE ProLiant servers
  • Simplified cluster management and rolling updates

Especially the ability to schedule firmware upgrades and rolling updates on a vSphere cluster sounds exiting and are very welcome. I have hoped and asked for scheduling of firmware directly in OneView for a long time without the need for external componens like the Smart Update Tools (SUT) VM.… continue reading

Slides and scripts from VMUG sessions

I had the privilege of delivering 3 sessions at VMUG Norway this week in Oslo, Trondheim and Bergen.

With the extremely nice weather in Norway this week in mind the attendance were great and as always the discussions were valuable.

My session on vSphere Performance monitoring were the short version of the blog series I did about how we built our solution for doing performance monitoring of vSphere with InfluxDB and Grafana, and how we easily can customize with adding metrics and datasources.

The main goal of my session was to demonstrate how easy it is to get started with a project like this and get som actual value.… continue reading