Installing VMware PowerCLI Cmdlets from the PowerShell Gallery

A great writeup for this process with detailed information is located here:
https://blogs.vmware.com/PowerCLI/2017/04/powercli-install-process-powershell-gallery.html

In a nutshell:

Find-Module -Name VMware.PowerCLI

You might be prompted for a new version of “NuGet”, which is fine- go ahead and say “yes” to the prompt to install. Then proceed with the below.

Install-Module -Name VMware.PowerCLI -Scope CurrentUser

Once that completed, the VMware PowerCLI Cmdlets were installed.

However, when running

Connect-VIServer

I got the following error:
Import-Module : File \\vmware-host\Shared
Folders\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\VMware.VimAutomation.Sdk\1.0.0.5334677\VMware.VimAutomation.Sdk.ps1 cannot
be loaded because running scripts is disabled on this system. For more information, see about_Execution_Policies at
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=135170.

So I went ahead and did the following:
– Launch the Windows PowerShell app using the “Run As Administrator” option.
Then type in:

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

Once that was done, then

Connect-VIServer

worked.

VMware VSAN – Many SAS or Less SATA?

Staying on the VSAN topic, another great topic of discussion is whether to use many higher speed SAS drives or less SATA drives that have a greater capacity?  The answer here is the typical “it depends”.  A lot has to do with the workload you’re planning on running in the VSAN Disk Group and how much money there is to spend on drives.  Typically, this would be a fairly straight forward decision, the more spindles the better, which is still the case here, but you’ll also need to factor in that VSAN includes a read/write cache.  In some cases, customers may be able to get away with larger capacity SATA drives, if the workload stays mainly in cache.  Duncan Epping (YellowBricks, VCDX) has a great blog post that cover this in more detail.

Great Resource for VMware NSX

Here is a great resource for NSX.  The site Hypervizor.com by Hany Michael, a Consulting Architect at VMware.  One of his recent posts covers the architecture of NSX v6.0.  He also has some great videos on walking through the process of deploying and configuring the different NSX components.  You can follow Hany on twitter @hany_michael.

Oh, and while you’re over there, check out his Visio templates.. they are awesome.

Celebrating 15 Years of VMware

You might know that VMware is the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter. You might even know that VMware now has over 13,800 employees and 500,000 customers.

But did you know that our headquarters consumes more than 12,000 pounds of coffee and 19,000 pounds of M&Ms every year?

VMware has evolved from a lean, five-person startup founded in 1998 to a global powerhouse that today has reached more than $10 billion in cumulative revenue. We even have our own band.

As VMware celebrates 15 years, we’ve pulled together some of the most compelling and interesting milestones that the company has achieved over the years. From total number of virtual machines in the world, to man-hours donated to charity by VMware employees, we hope you find the fast facts in this infographic to be informative, inspiring and maybe even a little fun.

How we deliver on our vision comes through in our everyday actions. Our people are driven to create amazing innovations in a workplace that encourages and supports growth, learning and collaboration – at VMware, within our partner community and in the world.

Here’s to 15 great years and counting!

Source: http://blogs.vmware.com/vmware/2013/11/celebrating-15-years-at-vmware.html

VMware vSphere v5.5 Hardening Guide

The Hardening Guide for vSphere v5.5 has been released and is now available here.  If you are not familiar with the vSphere Hardening Guides, they can be used to help secure the majority of your VMware environment.  It will not only help to ensure that your Virtual Machines are secure, but also the ESXi Hosts, Virtual Networks, vCenter Server and its components and Update Manager.  Mike Foley has written a good blog about some of the changes to the tool here.

Finally, if you utilize vCenter Configuration Manager, you can import the vSphere Hardening Guides into vCM and automate the process of checking these different components for compliance.  The best part is that if you do go out of compliance, you can be alerted to the fact and take appropriate action.

VMware – Fixing “Invalid” Virtual Machines

In either ESX 3.x or vSphere, if there are disk array or networking issues, some Virtual Machines may appear in the vSphere Client as being “Invalid” and they are greyed out. To fix these VM’s, we have been able to follow the below steps successfully. We tried steps as given to us from VMware support and various other steps that we found on Google (including restarting the VMware Management services on the ESX host) but after finding some of the steps below off the VMware Community Forums (which worked for us) here’s the procedure we came up with.

1.  via the VI Client, make a note of the invalid VM name, the ESX host it lives on, and the datastore where the VM’s files are (all from the ‘summary’ page of the VM).

2.  Remove the invalid VM from inventory (by Right clicking on the VM and choosing “Remove from Inventory).

3.  SSH (with Putty or some other method) into the ESX host (from step 1), cd into the datastore volume (from above), rename the ‘vm-name’.vmxf file (note it is the vmxf file, not the vmx file) to something else.

4.  Connect the VI Client to the specific ESX host (from step 1, not your vCenter Server), browse the datastore (from step 1), find the ‘vm-name’.vmx file, right click and ‘add to inventory’

5.  In the main VI Client connected to your vCenter Server, power on the VM, which should now be available and no longer “invalid” and greyed out.

You can also do the rename of the .vmxf file from within the VI Client that’s connected to vCenter.  Just identify everything from step 1, above, remove the invalid VM from inventory, browse the datastore, right click the vmxf file, rename it, add the vmx file to inventory, power up the VM.  Seems to work great all within the VI Client.

VMware vSphere – Using VMware Converter to Import VM’s or VMDK’s From Other VMware Products

When using Virtual Machines (VM’s) from other VMware products, the easiest way to get these VM’s into ESX/vSphere is to use VMware’s product called vCenter Converter Standalone. vCenter Server does include a version of Converter, however I’ve had better success in using the standalone version to do VM conversions as it is (typically) a newer version with more features than the one included with vCenter. This lesson describes how to use vCenter Converter Standalone to import VM’s or VMDK files from other VMware Products, such as VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and VMware Server.

Powering On VM – Error with VMDK Files

We experienced the shown error when trying to power on a few virtual machines from a vendor of ours. I assumed that the VM’s were in ESX/vSphere format, but I guess they are not. It looks like we’ll need to convert the VMDK’s to the ESX/vSphere format so that we can use them.

Error Message:
Failed to find a host for powering on the Virtual Machine. The following faults explain why the registered host is not compatible.
Device ‘Hard Disk 1’ uses a controller that is not supported. This is a general limitation of the virtual machine’s virtual hardware version on the selected host.
Device ‘Hard Disk 2″ has a backing type that is not supported. This is a general limitation of the virtual machine’s virtual hardware version on the selected host.

Verifying the VMDK is not in an ESX/vSphere Format

We SSH’ed into the vSphere server and browsed to the VMFS datastore that holds our Virtual Machine. As shown in the screenshot, we can tell the VMDK is not an ESX/vSphere compatible VMDK for the following reasons:
1- There is no “-flat.vmdk” file, which all ESX/vSphere type of VMDK’s should have.
2- There are VMDK “slices” as shown in the screenshot (1). ESX/vSphere VMDK’s do not use this type of disk format (where other VMware products such as Workstation and Server do).
You can use VMware Converter to fix this issue by converting the VM to an ESX/vSphere compatible VM.

IDE VMDK – Not Supported in ESX/vSphere

An error that you might receive when using a VM from another product is:
An IDE controller is found but the virtual machine does not support the option.
The reason that this fails is that ESX/vSphere does not support IDE based Virtual Disks (VMDK’s) like the Desktop/Hosted products do. You can use VMware Converter to fix this error by converting the VM to an ESX/vSphere compatible VM.

Flat Backing Option Not Found

media_12615191101771.png

An error that you might receive when using a VM from another product is:
A flat backing option was not found.
The reason for this error is that ESX/vSphere is looking for a virtual disk file (VMDK) that actually points to a -flat.vmdk file. The Desktop/Hosted products do not use this type of Virtual Disk but ESX/vSphere does. You can use VMware Converter to fix this error by converting the VM to an ESX/vSphere compatible VM.

Sparse Backing Info Disk Option Not Found

Another error that you might receive when using a VM from another product is:
A SparseVer2BackingInfo disk is found but the virtual machine does not support the option.
This error is shown because this virtual disk uses a “sparse” feature on the virtual disk, so as not to take up a lot of space on the drive. Usually the VMDK file will also be “split” into multiple VMDK files that end in a -0001, -0002 and so on. This is done to limit the size of the VMDK. ESX/vSphere does very similiar options with VMDK files however it is done differently. This is the reason for the error shown. You can use VMware Converter to fix this error by converting the VM to an ESX/vSphere compatible VM.

Download VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Edition

First you’ll need to get vCenter Converter Standalone, which is available for FREE at the following location:
https://www.vmware.com/tryvmware/?p=converter
Once you’ve downloaded the program, install it on a server that you can use for the migrations. I usually install it on my vCenter server but that’s not a requirement. Once installed, go ahead and start vCenter Converter Standalone.

Convert Machine

Once the program starts, choose “Convert Machine” to get started.

Selecting Source for Conversion

First, select the source type, which in our case will be a “VMware Workstation or other VMware virtual machine” (1). Then browse to where the virtual machine is located at (2). This will need to be on a network share or on a local drive so that Converter can access the files. Then choose the Next button to proceed (3).

Selecting Destination for Conversion

Select the destination type, which in our case will be a “VMware Infrastructure Virtual Machine” (1). Then specify either an ESX/vSphere server or a vCenter Server along with the required login information for that host (2). Then select “Next” to proceed (3).

Now, specify the Virtual Machine name (1), the destination Datastore (2) and then click “Next” to proceed (3).
Note, that if you use “Version 7” for the Virtual Machine hardware version, you will not be able to use this VM on anything but vSphere 4. If you need to use this VM on ESX 3.x then choose “Version 4” for the Virtual Machine hardware version.

VM Options

This screen will show various options that you can specify for the newly created Virtual Machine. Your options may differ or you may want to change a few thinggs here depending on your environment. A couple of options that I normally select is under “Advanced Options” (1). Select the option to “Power on target Machine” (2) and to also “Install VMware Tools on the imported Virtual Machine” (3). This will automatically startup and install VMware tools on the new virtual machine after the cloning process is finished. Next, click on the “Next” button (4) to proceed.

Wizard Summary

A summary screen is displayed. If you need to edit any of the options on this screen, you’ll need to back up through the wizard to that specific area. If you are ready to proceed, click on the “Finish” button to begin the conversion process.

Running Conversion

You can check the status of the conversion by following the “Status” area for the conversion job. You can also use the “Task Progress” tab to see more detailed information about the conversion.

Conversion Completed

Once the conversion is completed, you’ll see the status of the job change to “Completed”.

Now, you can use the vSphere Client to log into your vSphere (or ESX) environment and you will see your newly created Virtual Machine, which has already been powered up successfully.

Reset and Power Off Windows XP or Vista in VMware Fusion

By default in VMware Fusion, the Virtual Machine Menu Option lists the “Soft” Power Commands and you need to hold down the Alt/Option Key to display the “Hard” Power Commands that will let you power off or reset the VMware Fusion Session, even when the VM is powered on.

Thanks to this post for such simple information but man did I have a hard time finding it at first!
http://davidhayden.com/blog/dave/archive/2008/06/13/ResetPowerOffWindowsXPVistaVMwareFusion.aspx

Celerra Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) for VMware

I have used the Lefthand Networks Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) in the past (which can be found here: http://www.lefthandnetworks.com/vsa.aspx) which presents an iSCSI target off of local disk through an appliance inside a VM. It’s a great way to use internal storage and make it “look” and act like a SAN.

I ran across this How-To for EMC’s Celerra VSA, which I didn’t really know about. So here’s the link to the How-To:
http://virtualgeek.typepad.com/virtual_geek/2008/08/celerra-virtual.html

Outlook 2007 versus Entourage 2008

I do like Entourage 2008. It has a “Mac Feel” to it which fits in nice with other programs. It’s very easy to use. I also like that you don’t have to VPN into work in order to use mail, as it can use your OWA (Outlook Web Access) connection and credentials. Just use “mail.yourcompany.com” as the server you connect to (or whatever your OWA site is).

What I don’t like about it, is viewing calendars! At work, we have shared calendars (through Exchange) for our group. If I need to view another persons calendar or a group calendar, unfortunately Entourage lacks in that area. It does work, just looks horrible. Especially when compared to Outlook 2007. Outlook 2007 allows you to even “overlay” other calendars onto your own so you can easily see available times between both or even several calendars.

So unfortunately I’ve started using Outlook 2007 inside a Windows XP Virtual Machine (powered by VMware Fusion) on my Mac (which I must say is just awesome). Windows XP runs great inside the Virtual Machine and is quite “snappy”. Definitely the best of both worlds!