Month: March 2012

Switching between Linux virtual terminals within the vSphere Console

One of the most used functions inside a Linux install that I use is the ability to use the keyboard commands CTRL+ALT+F(1-7) to switch between virtual terminals.  For the most part all of my Linux installs are headless, meaning no graphical installations.  I'm more comfortable inside Linux via the command line and find gnome, kde, and other window managers to slow me down.  So, for those installs that do have a window manager I normally either SSH in or switch to a different virtual terminal if on the console. Enter my problem.  When using the VMware vSphere console on a Linux install simply throwing out a CTRL+ALT+F(1-7) does not work.  As most of you may know, the CTRL+ALT combo is reserved from within the vSphere console in order to release the hold on the mouse and keyboard.  So, in order to switch between those virtual terminals there is a little bit of a work around as it pertains to hot keys.  What I have found, is that using the combination  CTRL+ALT+SPACE+F2 will take you into a new virtual terminal.  To return back to your x session, simply hit ALT+RIGHTARROW.   There may be other ways to do this, but I have found this to be the most consistent, so as always, leave me a comment below if I'm crazy or you have any other suggestions, concerns, thoughts, etc…  Changing the...

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Veeam ONE solution now available – FOR FREE!!

That's right!  I said it!  Free!  Veeam has released their free version of Veeam ONE.  Veeam ONE is a solution that includes three great operational and management applications; Veeam Monitor, Veeam Reporter and Veeam Business View.   Using these three applications can really help excel you into getting a better look inside your virtual environment in order to get the most performance and efficiency out of the hardware that you have.  Veeam Monitor gives you a real time view of your environment as well as alerts you when problems occur.  Giving you the latest information from within its' customizable dashboards, as well as historical trending and customizable reports from Reporter you have all the information that you need in order to pin point issues within your datacentre.  Business View allows you to group your inventory items and display them in a way that makes sense to your business (department, location, applications, etc). If you haven't tried it out yet you might as well. Once again, IT'S FREE.  Head on over to the Veeam ONE page and get your copy to see what it can do for you and your environment.  Once you are familiar with the free version and think you are ready for a little bit more, switching to a licensed copy is as easy as applying a key!   TRY IT – IT'S...

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Getting rid of that pesky shell warning in ESXi 5

We all know that we can enable SSH and the ESXi shell from within the vSphere client or through the DCUI.  This is a great feature that lets us get into the ESXi command space and run things like esxtop, esxcli commands, etc…  Problem being, that once these shells are enabled we get that pesky shell/SSH warning displayed in our vSphere client, as well, that all too familiar yellow triangle gets labeled on our host.  Now, I don't like seeing any warnings on my hosts, especially those dealing with something as minor as SSH.  Good thing is, there is a very easy way to remove or suppress these warnings. First off, the advanced configuration setting to do this is located in the software section under 'Advanced Settings'->UserVars->UserVars.SuppressShellWarning'.  By default this setting will be set to 0, meaning display the warning.  To hide it, simply set this option to 1. There you go!  Easy enough… if you only have one host!  But what if you had multiple clusters full of multiple hosts…. well, that's where PowerCLI comes into play.  First off, connect to your vCenter server using the Connect-VIServer servername CMDLET.  Once connected, the following command will loop though a given cluster and modify the setting on every host… foreach ($esxhost in get-VMHost -Location CLUSTERNAME ) { $esxhost | Set-VMHostAdvancedConfiguration -Name UserVars.SuppressShellWarning -Value 1 } And there you go!  A happy,...

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vSphere Syslog Collector – Install and Configure

I've always used vi-logger from within the vSphere Management Assistant to deal with my syslogging of our ESXi servers, that is until our last upgrade to vSphere 5.  The vi-logger command is no more within the 5.0 version of the VMA so I began looking from some alternate solutions.  Now I could of went out and used a Kiwi product or Splunk or configured a Linux box to do our syslogging, however I thought i would give the vSphere Syslog Collector that is bundled with the vCenter installation media a shot.  Honestly I don't find syslog to be a real science.  You centralize the log files, not a big deal, but having a solution all from one vendor is kind of nice.  The vSphere Syslog Collector does exactly what it says; it collects the log files from the ESXi hosts, but it also gives you some status information from within a vCenter plugin as well.  As well, it's a pretty easy install and config as you will see below. First off mount the ISO of the vCenter installer on the server you would like to act as your collector and select 'VMware Syslog Collector' and click 'Install'.  During the install (and in VMware's documentation) it is called the vSphere Syslog Collector, however on the menu it's called the VMware Syslog Collector.  Let's just say VSC for short to cover...

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vBenchmark – VMware’s Newest Fling

Just how long does it take me to provision a VM?  I wonder how many hours I've had my hosts in maintenance mode?  How long does it take to failover with HA?  If you have ever had any of these questions then you might want to head over to VMware Labs and download their latest fling, vBenchmark. vBenchmark is a great tool that can be used to quantify and really sell the benefits of virtualization to both yourself and to your managers.  Broken down into four categories (Infrastructure Configuration, Efficiency, Agility, and QOS) vBenchmark parses through your vCenter tasks and event logs, rolls up all those numbers and metrics into very high-level and useful dashboards. Most of the coolness of this application however doesn't come from the fancy dashboards, it comes from the ability to share the data and see just how you rank up against similar type deployments in your geographical region, industry, and business size.  I'd highly recommend checking that out as you may be surprised.   Installation is probably the easiest thing I have ever done.  Go to VMware Labs and download the ovf and proceed to import it as you would any other ova/ovf (File->Deploy OVF Template).  From here simply follow the deploy wizard answering the questions.  Honestly I let DHCP handle the networking for my install and it took me about 5 minutes from when I imported...

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