Tag Archives: vCenter
Something I’ve noticed on my 3 upgrades of vCenter so far is that after implementing SSO and upgrading to vCenter 5.1 users now have to log into the clients using the format DOMAIN\Username. Not a big deal, but different than what they are previously used to, and different in most cases is not good. Honestly, it drives me a little crazy too 🙂
Thankfully it’s not a big job to get things back to the way they were. All that needs to be done is to actually set up your domain as one of the default domains, something which doesn’t seem to be applied by default (in my case anyways). To do so you will need the new web client and you will need to login using your administrative SSO credentials that you setup during that install. By default the username is admin@system-domain and the password is one that you have created (can’t tell you that 🙂 )
Once your in select Administration from the left hand navigational menu and then Configuration in the Sign-On and Discovery section. First off you should see your domain configuration listed in the top section of the Identity Sources tab. Simply select it and then click the Default Domains button (shown left) to add it to your list of default domains. You may experience a warning at this pointing, something about locking out accounts – I ignored this and have not had any issues at all, but it’s your choice whether you want to investigate this further.
As always I appreciate any comments, questions and concerns below 🙂
Unitrends has been inside the backup industry for over 20 years! That’s a long time to be a key player inside of one industry. How do they do it? By staying on top of the ever so changing nature of backup. That’s why I decided to do this sponsored review of Unitrends latest offering, Unitrends Enterprise Backup. Again, this review is sponsored but it most certainly contains my words and thoughts about the product. Now that that’s been cleared up let me say that they make it pretty easy for you evaluate the product yourself. Personally I went and grabbed a free NFR license that they offer to all Microsoft and VMware certificate holders. Even if you simply belong to a VMUG you can get yourself an NFR license. While the Unitrends Enterprise Backups deployment route requires Hyper-V or VMware, the appliance itself can backup and protect both your physical and virtual environment, but for the purpose of this review I only tested on a virtual infrastructure.
This couldn’t have been easier!!! Unitrends has taken the virtual appliance route when it comes to installation, meaning a simple File->Deploy OVF Template and following a quick step wizard is all you really need to do to get Unitrends into your environment. This honestly took around 10 minutes from start to finish to deploy into my environment. Just be sure you meet the minimum system requirements (100GB free space, 2 CPUs, 4GB RAM) and deploy the appliance. There is one single appliance to deploy whether you plan on using the free, trial, NFR, or complete enterprise solution.
Once the appliance has been deployed into your environment it’s now time to get it configured and ready to go. Like most virtual appliances you must first configure IP and DNS settings inside of the VM console. Unitrends provides a nifty little console menu to simplify this operation. Once you have an IP configured the rest of the configuration can be done through the web interface by opening up a browser and pointing to the IP of your Unitrends appliance. Upon the first login to the appliance Unitrends displays a setup wizard which takes you through most all of the steps that you need to configure to get up and running. The steps of this process are outlined below
- Accept EULA
- Set Date/Time Parameters
- Configure Hostname
- Configure SMTP server
- Change default console authentication (root password)
- Add any additional administrative users to the system
- Select an installation type – Just a note here you will have the option to either install as a local backup system or as a vault. The difference being that vault actually acts as a replication target for a local backup system, giving you the ability to replicate your locally backed up files to another Unitrends installation in an offsite location.
- Add additional storage to the Unitrends system. If you left all of the defaults when deploying the defaults you should have roughly 80GB of storage to use as a backup target, here you can add additional storage to the appliance.
- Install any required agents – If you are solely using this product to backup VMware VMs (or strictly current Windows OSes or Hyper-V) then this step can be skipped, however if you plan to backup any Linux or Mac OS based PHYSICAL systems then you have the option to deploy the agents needed at this time. As with most settings you can always do this later as well – I skipped this for the time being.
- Add Client – In Unitrends terms a client is a server/computer that you want to protect. For the sake of protecting a VMware environment a client will be either your vCenter Server or ESXi host. Here is where I added my vCenter Server by providing the DNS name as well as credentials then clicking ‘Setup’. (Shown below)
- Deduplication Options – You have the option here to disable the Unitrends software deduplication if you happen to be using a deduplication appliance or have deduplication enabled on your underlying storage array.
- Incremental Forever – This strategy essentially performs a full backup on the target and then subsequently performs incremental backups from then on. Periodically (I think once every two weeks) the original full backup is synchronized and brought up to date using the incremental backups locally and differentials are generated for the retention points leading up to this. A great strategy to obtain a near continuous data protection strategy and speed up the time it takes to backup a virtual machine.
- Full with Incrementals – Basically the same as Incremental Forever however giving you the ability to specify when the full backup occurs (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly). I believe in this option the full backups are performed on your production environment and not generated from incrementals.
- Full with Differentials – This would be somewhat the reverse of Full with Incrementals meaning you will always have an up to date full backup, with differential files as your restore points.
- Custom – you guessed it, play with it and tailor it to how you want it to be.
And guess what? You’re done! Depending on the configuration you’ve specified your backups and retention policies should kick off immediately and start protecting your VMs. The process of creating a backup job or schedule inside of Unitrends is very very simple. What I like most about this process is how it is laid out in the web interface. With the exception of advanced settings (SMTP and storage) all of the configuration and setup is done on one simple screen (See below).
Alright, here is my second attempt at putting together a short video outlining some of the cool new features of vSphere 5.1, more specifically the new Web Client. In my last video I fumbled through trying to show you a little bit about the new tagging features and this time I decided to have a look at some of the cool search functionality. Honestly, by combining these two features i think it will really help those large enterprises (and the small ones too) find what they are looking for and find it much faster. Anyhow, enough of my randomness, check out the video below….
So the release of vSphere 5.1 has brought us many new features; we have integrated backup, integrated replication, the vCloud Suite, Network HealthChecks…way to many to mention. One however that I haven’t seen very much buzz about is the ability to assign tags to your inventory objects with vCenter. Now it’s not near as sexy as something like vSphere Data Protection but it still has it’s place within my favourite features. Why? Just think, say you have hundreds, or thousands of VMs. You can now more align the way you categorize things inside of your business within vCenter, and sort/search on those custom tags.
Either way, I think they are cool and I’ve done up a short video outlining how to create and assign them to objects. This is my first crack at a video so cut me a little slack 🙂 One of my objectives is to try and get more media on this blog so I’m sure I’ll have lots of practice..
OK another quick post with some hopefully useful information for someone..
And how we could select Edit-Client Settings and uncheck the following box to get rid of them.
That was great, but guess what, now we have these….
So how do we get rid of them. Easy! – Just go to help and select ‘Hide All Getting Started Pages’
There you go, all gone – you know longer have to sit and read the definitions of what a Cluster or Datacenter is!!! Just throwing this out there due to the fact that those tabs tend to annoy the crap out of me! #JustSayin
Every morning I like to fire up vCOps and have a look at my environment and when I do this, I like to see nothing but green (maybe a bit of yellow :)) For the past week or so that hasn't been the case… Not that I have any performance issues, but I do have what is called a 'fault' on a few of my Virtual Machines. I've been troubleshooting an issue as of late with something causing a few of my hosts to become disconnected, and HA has been attempting (and failing) to restart a few of my VMs, which in turns generates an alarm on the VM and a fault inside of vCOps. Well, the issue has since been resolved and everything is running fine again, however vCOps is still hanging on to those faults for some of the VMs.
Now I don't see this as a bad thing, it certainly is nice to have a record of these issues inside of vCOps, but being the persnickety fellow that I am when I log into my vCOps and see those VMs showing up on the heat map coloured in red, well, it drives me a little mental… I thought maybe if I leave it for a week things would clear up, and while some did, others didn't. So I guess a little manual intervention is involved.
Basically, a fault in vCOps is triggered by an event occurring from within vCenter Server. VC Ops will hang on to this fault until vCenter Server reports that the issue has been resolved, thus resulting in a red VM like the one above, and a lower health score to boot! In some cases (cases like mine) you may need to manually cancel and remove a fault from vCOps. So in the case you ever need to, the following is how to do so…
Either select your VM, or any inventory item that is higher up on the inventory view and navigate to the Alerts tab.
In the Alerts table below, sort, filter, re-arrange however you want and select the fault(s) that you want to cancel and click the 'Cancel' Icon.
Presto! That's it! If you navigate back to your dashboard and heat map now you should hopefully see that wonderful greenish tint of all that excellence (after everything refreshes)! Or in my case there is still more work to do 🙂 Happy Troubleshooting!