Is updating @VMware ESXi at @Nutanix really that easy?

Do you want the short answer or the long answer?

Short: Yes!

Long: Absolutely!

The real story:

  • After doing several Acropolis (CVM) & NCC (Health check) upgrades before on my customer’s Nutanix clusters today was the first time to do an actual hypervisor upgrade. Since we run everything on VMware we wanted to go from 5.5u2 to 6.0u2. The first things to do is to check all compatibility charts and with Acropolis at 4.6.4 and NCC at 2.2.8 we had green lights all over the board.
  • What I always do first before doing anything is running a health check. Since NCC 2.2 you can run some of the checks parallel to save some time:
ncc health_checks run_all -parallel=4

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  • After the check and make sure DRS is set on automated and vSphere HA is turned on as it should otherwise you won’t be updating anything!
  • Next up is heading to Prism, no we’re not doing any cli work when a GUI is better and just as fast!
  • The first thing to do is upload the software (Offline bundle zip file from VMware.com and json file from Nutanix.com)

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  • Go to Software Upgrade

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  • Select Upload the hypervisor Binary

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  • Select the binary and the Json files and hit Upload Now

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  • When this is done hit the arrow besides the upgrade button and select the pre-check (the real upgrade also does this but it is never wrong to check twice!)

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  • Enter the IP of the vCenter (not DNS!) and credentials

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  • This won’t take long but if you get bored hit the Nothing do to button for a game of 2048 presented to you by our friends at Nutanix

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  • You might need to re-open the Software Upgrade but but somewhere it will be done now

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  • When this finishes successful it’s time to hit the real upgrade button

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  • You know what to do here right?

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  • The waiting game has started since there will be a lot of vMotion’s and reboots
  • This it might be time for this again

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  • If you re-open the Software Upgrade bit it will show the versions of ESXi the cluster is now running

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  • Aaaaaaand we’re done

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So actually creating this post took longer then the preparation and actions for the upgrade themselves. For me that was 5 minutes work in preparation and about 20 minutes per host for the upgrade itself.

 

 

 

 

Received the VCAP6-DTM Design beta exam result

Well as expected I failed this one miserably! I scored 183 where 300 was required while the scoring range is 100-500. Points to improve are all over the place so I guess it’s all back to the drawing boards while I’m still not sure if I want to do the deploy first or not.

Also I only hard from people whom also failed this Beta and no passes yet!

VMworld 2016 US Part 4 – the last one!

So right now it’s thursday evening and here I am in my hotel room too damn tired to even go outside. VMworld is a wrap and wow it was awesome. Yesterday I had 2 more sessions. First a quick vExpert session at the Docker booth where we got a nice vExpert embroided hat.Then it was time to get the vExpert Raspberry Pi 3 at the Datrium booth. Men they had big issues on getting them in but succeeded at last so thank you very much for that! I ended with a Rubrik session with Chris Wahl that was pretty good. In the evening it was time for the biggest party of them all at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. To be honest I think the sound of the bands sucked and the music of the dj’s wasn’t good either but I had an awesome time playing all the games, talking to people ad even made a lap in 1 of the 50! Rental cars that wil probably be going back to budget with hardly any tires left.

So today was the last day and I did only 1 session and that was about troubleshooting Horizon and killed the time by doing some labs and hanging at the vBrownbag area where I learned a lot by listening to the sessions. This space just seemed to be vExpert HQ the whole week.

All in all I think this was the best way ever to experience your first VMworld. I really want to thank all vExperts for welcoming me in the community because I don’t think I would have had such an awesome experience without you guys!

VMworld 2016 US report part 3

Wow it’s wednesday already, time flies at VMworld! Yesterday again was an awesome day, first the 2nd keynote and after I had to head out to the Luxor for the Inner Circle fireside chat.

The Inner Circle is a group of about a 1000 people that is engaged by the VMware Customer Advocacy program. We have our own forum, weekly polls on the site and surveys by mail. Our feedback gets handled by VMware on a high level and personally I really have the idea that they listen to us. The fireside chat they had an idea of how to do it but it ended as an organized free for all where VMware received honest, harsh but really good feedback. In short they got slaughtered on several topics. They did not expect this so it was good to see that they seemed to handle it pretty wel. Later in the day I went to stop by at their boot hand asked them to get more vExperts involved because I think we are exactly the kind of people that can give this feedback.

Because of the Inner Circle session running way over time and me getting hungry pretty bad I missed the uem 9 sessions so I hope that one is recorded. My final session of the day was the vSphere 6.x Host Resource Deep Dive by my fellow Dutchies Frank Denneman and Niels Hagoort. This session was soo deep the entire Mount Everest might fit into it. Really good stuf and very useful.

After the sessions it was partytime! First a quick beer and a snack at the Inner Circle reception and after I hopped on the bus to The Mob Museum for my first vExpert party. First we had our mugshots taken. We got a print but also digitally by mail so please check mine on Twitter. We had great fun over there and had Pat Gelsinger over doing a Q&A for over an hour! Best quote? Hyper-V is free as a puppy!

Today I had a hard time waking up, not getting out of bed but during my first session at 8 am I was not paying enough attention at all. But still it was a good session on how to architect a HA resilient scalable mobility & desktop environment. After that I had a session about troubleshooting avSphere 6 environment by a couple of GSS guys and picked up a lot of good stuff!

VMworld 2016 US report part 2

Òk so in part 1 I stopped after the Partner General Session. After lunch I wanted to do some labs but the queue was really awfull so I decided to attend a group discussion about vCloud air or mobile management in general. I got some good info on the view about this from the us people while I managed to spice it up now and then with things we dutchies like or don’t like.

Monday was the first real day of VMworld. During the keynote VMware cloud foundation was announced but I don’t think I will use this multi cloud management platform in the near future. After this it was time to prepare for my vBrownbag session. I was really nervous and went over my stuf way to fast so I was done in 6 minutes or something. If you want you can find it here.

The afternoon I had 2 awesome sessions: enforcing a vSphere cluster design  with powercli by Duncan Epping and Chris Wahl and after that a ask the experts session about VDI wich where both just awesome. I finished the day at the CXI Party on the 59th floor of the cosmopolitan with a great view.

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VMworld 2016 US report part 1

RIght now I am setting in the Partner Exchange lounge and since I have some time at hand it might be time for a short message from the US. Since this is my first VMworld, first time in the USA I have to admin I am really in awe of everything over here. Everything is just soo big.

Now about VMworld itself, yesterday I was in a vRealize Automation bootcamp for the whole day and really liked it. It seems to be very complicated but after you create the blueprints everything will be easy (Really?) I do see the advantages that are to be gained so it was nice. In the end we went over all exam questions as a group before most of us did the exams. I managed to pass the first but with the 2nd one I really started to get tired so I’ll gues I need to do that again. We do have 99 times to try it so it’ll be good.

Now to the sunday morning. I had 2 deepdive sessions. One about EUC & NSX and the other one about app volumes. Both where not as deep as I expected but a lot of knowledge was gained in those 2 hours. After that we had the Partner General session were wounded warrior Pat Gelsinger had a nice chat with Michael Dell and we had some information on stuff that is coming in the near future.

If I made some typos in this: they where on purpose or I blame the fact that I am still getting used to the time difference 😀

vExpert 2016

Last friday I received word that I was added as vExpert in the 2nd batch of 2016. After several people nudged me to apply for this I went ahead but never expected to be chosen. vExpert is no technical title but more of an award for people who have done things for the VMware community like speaking at Vmug’s (which I did but failed at), blogging, tweeting en being an advocate for it with your employer or customers. I never did the things I did last year for this goal but it’s an awesome acknowledgement.

I hope to be able to keep contributing to this awesome community and will do so as long as I have content. The first thing will be speaking at the vBrownbag sessions at VMworld US 2016!

vExpert-2016-Badge

Login Monitor Script & Check MK

Last night Paul Grevink posted a nice post about the basic setup for Check MK and i am really looking forward to the rest of the series. At my current customer we are also using Check MK so i decided to use the script I made for the VMware Login monitor fling to give output usable for Check MK. At first I was messing with the plugin folder in the check mk folder on the windows server hosting the txt files but a colleague pointed me at the local folder. The big difference is that with the local folder Check MK directly uses the output and the plugin monitor it needs another python file on the check mk server to use the data.

The script:

# This script was created by Wouter Kursten 
# contact: [email protected] or [email protected] or https://www.retouw.nl or @Magneet_NL on twitter
#
# Feel free to grab/copy/alter the script no need to mention me
# But if you create a better / more complete version please send me a mail so I can use that script also
#
# This script is meant to use with the VMware Logon Monitor FLing
# https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-logon-monitor
# This awesome tools actually shows how long it takes to login to your systems
#
# And yes the info block is longer then the script itself
#
# There are only 5 variables you can set
#
# $filefolder for where the Logon Monitor Output files are stored
# $filefilter for when you want to filter what files are being read
# $fileage for how far back in time you want to go
# $warning for the warning value above wich Check MK will give a Warning.
# $critical Gues what, this is the value above wich Check MK will give a critical report.

#Region Variables
$filefolder= "d:\logonmonitor\"
$filefilter="*.txt"
$fileage="5"
$warning="20"
$critical="30"
#endregion

#region Run 

$filelocation="$filefolder"+"$filefilter"
$filelist=get-childitem "$filelocation" | where-object {$_.LastWriteTime -gt (get-date).addminutes(-$fileage)}
$count=($filelist).count
[email protected]()

foreach ($file in $filelist)
	{
	$duration=(get-content $file | select-string -pattern "LogSummary] Logon Time:" | %{$_ -split " "})[6]
	$timing += $duration
	}

$avg= $timing | measure-object -average  
$average = [System.Math]::Round($Avg.average,2)

if ($average -le "$warning")
	{
	write-output "0 VMware_Horizon_View_Logon_Time LogonTime=$average|Logons=$count Logon time : $average sec for $count logons in the last $fileage minutes."
	}
	elseif ($average -gt "$warning" -and $average -lt "$critical")
	{
	write-output "1 VMware_Horizon_View_Logon_Time LogonTime=$average|Logons=$count Logon time : $average sec for $count logons in the last $fileage minutes."
	}
	elseif ($average -ge "$critical")
	{
	write-output "2 VMware_Horizon_View_Logon_Time LogonTime=$average|Logons=$count Logon time : $average sec for $count logons in the last $fileage minutes."
	}
#endregion

As you can see I am not only using the average logontime as before, I also count the amount of logons in the time where we measure this time. Offcourse you can create lots more data to use in Check MK this way

The output I create:

"2 VMware_Horizon_View_Logon_Time LogonTime=$average|Logons=$count Logon time : $average sec for $count logons in the last $fileage minutes."
  • The first digit is the status, 0 for ok 1 for warning and 2 for critical.
  • After that the service name that shows in Check MK
  • The come the 2 numbers we created with their own description separated by | This is used by Check MK to create a diagram
  • then separated by a space (and after this you can use spaces) the text that wil show in Check MK.

The result:

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The diagram:

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Installed the VMware Logon monitor, now what? Let’s make a script!

A while back VMware released the Logon monitor fling. I thought this was a very useful expansion of out toolkit.

So I decided to fling in our golden image to see how it behaves. After playing around with it, it writes the log files away to a share so in case we have some logon issues we might be able to find what is going on. It’s running for a couple of weeks now and we haven’t had any issues yet.

But when do you have logon issues? most of the time you hear about this is when users start calling. Wouldn’t it be great if you could already be searching when they call if they call at all? I decided to write a script that reads the logon time from all text files from the last 15 minutes and makes an average out of it. As usual it ain’t fancy at all but seems to be speedy and does the trick for me.

# This script was created by Wouter Kursten 
# contact: [email protected] or [email protected] or https://www.retouw.nl or @Magneet_NL on twitter
#
# Feel free to grab/copy/alter the script no need to mention me
# But if you create a better / more complete version please send me a mail so I can use that script also
#
# This script is meant to use with the VMware Logon Monitor FLing
# https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-logon-monitor
# This awesome tools actually shows how long it takes to login to your systems
#
# And yes the info block is longer then the script itself
#
# There are only 3 variables you can set
#
# $filefolder for where the Logon Monitor Output files are stored
# $filefilter for when you want to filter what files are being read
# $fileage for how far back in time you want to go

$filefolder= "\\servername\share\"
$filefilter="*.txt"
$fileage="15"

$filelocation="$filefolder"+"$filefilter"
$filelist=get-childitem "$filelocation" | where-object {$_.LastWriteTime -gt (get-date).addminutes(-$fileage)}
[email protected]()
foreach ($file in $filelist)
 {
 $duration=(get-content $file | select-string -pattern "LogSummary] Logon Time:" | %{$_ -split " "})[6]
$durationarray += $duration
 }
$durationaverage= $durationarray | measure-object -average
$durationaverage | select -expandproperty average

Again nothing fancy about this script, it just displays the average value and since we use nagios it can use this directly. You can do anything you want with it, add stuff, use other info. I might even make a bigger script to be able to output anything usable from this nice little fling.

Back to basics: Daily checks

Something I still hear a lot that system engineers take their vSphere environment for granted and hardly check anything on a daily basis. I always point them at Alan Renouf‘s brilliant health check script while there are other ways to get your daily dose of health this one still rocks for me. You can remove unwanted plugins or make different selections of plugins for daily, weekly or monthly checks. Now and then I still hear people that had issues because of snapshots and there is no need for that anymore and hasn’t been for years! This script has saved me lots of times already + it helped me get management support for limiting other people’s access to the environment because they had no idea what they where doing.

Example of the output you can get:

2016-07-03 20_13_59-192.168.0.11 vCheck