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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Difference between OVA and OVF

An OVF is a collection of items in a single folder. Most commonly
this is a description file (.ovf) a manifest file (.mf), and virtual
machine state files (*.vhd or *.vmdk)

An OVA is a single file.
The OVA is the OVF folder contents all zipped into a single file. The
purpose of the OVA is when you want to take an OVF and share it, or give
it as a download. The OVA needs to be opened into the OVF before it can
be consumed.

ESX / ESXi Version
As shown in the documentation, the OVA is used when your ESX or ESXi hosts are version 4.0 or later while the OVF is used for 3.5:

Beaconing to Detect Link Failures

Beaconing is a
software solution for detecting link failures downstream from the physical
switch.ESX provides a simple and elegant teaming solution. All uplinks
connected to a vswitch are assumed to connect to the same physical network
(same broadcast domain) so they are all equivalent. Users can configure a list
of active and standby uplinks for traffic to go out of the ESX host. If a link
fails, the adapter driver detects it and marks the uplink as failed and stops
using this uplink. Existing traffic will fail over to a standby uplink or
redistributed to the remaining team members.
If a downstream
link beyond the immediate physical port fails, the adapter driver obviously cannot
detect it. This causes existing VMs using the uplink to lost network
connectivity. The proper way to solve this problem is to enable Link State Tracking on the physical switch so that
the adapter driver can see the failure. If the physical switch does not support
Link State Tracking, beaconing provides a software alternative. Beaconing
works as follows:
periodically broadcast beacon packets out of all uplinks in a team. The
physical switch is expected to forward all packets to other ports on the same
broadcast domain. Hence, a team member is expected to see beacon packets from
other team members. If an uplink fails to receive any beacon packets (actually
missing 3 consecutive packets), we mark it bad. The failure can be due to the
immediate link or a downstream link. With 3 or more uplinks in a team, we can
pin point failures of a single uplink. With 2 uplinks in a team, we can detect
downstream link failure, but we don't know which one is good and which bad.
behavior when a beaconing failure is detected is as follows:
  1. If two or more
    uplinks receive beacons from each other, those uplinks are considered good. 
    We stop
    using uplinks which do not receive any beacon packets.
  2. On ESX 3.5, if
    no uplink receives beacon packets, traffic is sent to all uplinks (shotgun
    mode). If a team has two uplinks, any link failure will result in all packets
    being sent to both uplinks.
  3. On a future
    edition of ESX, we intend to make an additional improvement. If no uplink
    receives beacon packets, traffic is only sent to uplinks whose link status is
    “up”. If a team has two uplinks and one uplink experiences a failure in its
    immediate link, traffic will be sent out to the other uplink. This saves some
    CPU cycles.
When should one
enable beaconing? When you are concerned that downstream link failures may impact availability and there is no
Link State Tracking on the physical switch. Ideally, you should have 3 or more
uplinks in the team (active + standby). But you can enable beaconing with 2
uplinks. Some customers don't like the shotgun mode on failure (see #2 above),
that's a trade off you should make against some VM losing connection right away.

Friday, 21 December 2012

vSphere Data Protection Step by Step

1. Deploy vSphere Data Protection Appliance and Connect with the vSphere Data Protection Appliance Console

2. Access the VDP configuration wizard by using https://<vSphere Data Protection IP>:8543/vdp-configure. By default the root user password is changeme

3. On welcome screen click on Next

4. Review the network settings and if you want to change these settings you can change these settings also. Configure vSphere Data Protection Appliance Hostname and Domain Name.
Note:- The Name that you want to use as the Hostname must be registered in the DNS.

5. Select Timezone and Click on Next

6. Change the VDP Password and Click on Next

7. Register your  VDP with vCenter Server for that specify the vCenter Credentials and vCenter Name and SSO Hostname and Click on Test Connection and Click on Next

8. Click on Finish

9. Again Access the VDP configuration wizard by using https://<vSphere Data Protection IP>:8543/vdp-configure. Now you can start and stop the vdp services from here

10. If you want to change the IP address and Other Information related to VDP you can change it from here

11. To Rollback Click on the Rollback Tab

12. Open the Upgrade Tab to Upgrade the Appliance

13. Connect with Your vSphere Web Client :- https://<vSphere Web Client IP/Name>:9443/vSphere-Client  and Login Here

14. Click on vSphere Data Protection

15. Connect with VDP Server

16. Now you are at the Getting Started Tab.

17. To Create a New Backup Job. Click on the New from the Backup Tab

18. Select the VM that you want to backed up and Click on Next.

19. Select the Backup Schedule. Click on Next

20. Configure the Retention Policy. Click on Next

21. Specify the Name for the Backup Job. Click on Next.

22. Once Done. Click on Finish.

23. Now Backup Job is created Successfully

24. To Start the Backup Job Now. Click on Backup Now

25. You will get this Message. Click on OK.

26. It's in Progess.

27. To Restore the VM from the Backup. Open the Restore Tab and Click on the Restore

28. Select the VM that you want to restore and Select the Restore Point. Click on Next

29. Choose the Restore Location. Click on Next

30. Click on Finish

31. Click on Ok.

32. Restoration is in Progress.

33. Check the Backup is Successful or Not From the Reports Tab.

34. Check the VDP configuration From Configuration Tab.

35. To Perform the File Level Restore (FLR) of a Particular VM. Open the VM Console and Specify the OS Local User Credential and Even you can use advance Login also to perform the FLR from any VM.

36. To use Advanced Login. Provide the OS local user credentials and as well as the vCenter Server User Credentials

37. I Selected Basic Login

38. Select Backup From where you want to perform FLR. and click on Mount.

39. Select File or Folder whatever you want to restore and Click on Restore.

40. To start the Restore. Click on yes.

41. Click on Ok.

42. To Check the Completed  Jobs from Monitor Restores.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

How to Check Vmware Virtual Machine Motherboard Name

Run this Command in the Virtual Machine's Windows Power Shell

For Linux Virtual Machine Run this command

Saturday, 15 December 2012

ESXi 5.1 Free version

- Hard limit on physical RAM (server will not boot if there is more RAM installed)

BUT, there is a hard limit for physical RAM which stays in place for the ESXi 5.1 Hypervisor. The ESXi box cannot have more than 32GB of RAM, otherwise it will not boot. So if there you have a situation that you got this box with more than 32 Gb RAM, you’ll have 2 options:

1. Take the memory which is over the 32 Gb limit, out of the box.
2. Deactivate the additional slots through the BIOS
- No cloning of virtual machines

- Number of CPU sockets are not limited in ESXi 5 free version, in Essentials kits the limit is 2 CPU sockets per host.

- No Alarms, no SNMP support

But, ESXi 5.1 Free version has other limits. One of them is the non writable APIs for having the possibility to use one of the backup software on the market, and do hot backups

ESXi 5.1 Free version does not have a management, you’ll still need to fire up two or three consoles all the time to manage your ESXi hosts
Management Options – with the VMware Free Hypervisor you manage single server only. With the vSphere client you connect to your ESXi host to manage your VMs etc… If you have many ESX hosts…… you can only manage them one-by-one. For ex. you’re running 2 ESXi hosts, you connect to them with 2 different vSphere client sessions.

But on the other hand, concerning the storage, the VMs can live on shared storage without problem. Even when using the free version of ESXi 5. Both ESXi hosts can access via iSCSI, NFS or FC your SAN and create datastores etc…. but you won’t be able to use vMotion, HA and other advanced vSphere 5 features, because you don’t have the option of central management with the VMware Free hypervizor.

Other Limitations – There are other limitations, like CLI is available in read-only access or no SNMP support. Full read-write access is necessary for all commercial backup/recovery solutions like Veeam, Trilead or PHD Virtual.

vCLI, PowerCLI, and vSphere SDk for Perl are limited to read-only access for the free vSphere Hypervisor edition. To enable full functionality of vCLI on a VMware ESXi host, the host must be licensed with vSphere Essentials, vSphere Essential Plus, vSphere Standard, vSphere Advanced, vSphere Enterprise, or vSphere Enterprise Plus.

The first kit for SMBs – vSphere Essentials, which starts at $495.. unlocks quite a lot. Having a paid license (even the cheapest one) unlock the storage APIs and Memory limits. You’ll be able to allocate up to 8 vCPU to your VMs. In the package you’ll get vCenter Server Essentials (limited to manage 3 ESXi hosts).

You’ll be definitely missing out some new products which has been added to the Essentials Plus package, and which you’ll be able to try during 60 days very soon (the 11th of September).

Also, you’ll be missing new features, like the 
new enhanced vMotion, which uses only local server storage to vMotion VMs from one host to another.

In many cases users testing VMware Free hypervisor in production environment for not important workloads or for testing virtualization, because there are still many, many companies which don’t use virtualization at all. So it’s the best way to start with. And after a the first phase or testing period finished, the upgrade to the licensed version is a snap, since no reinstallation of ESXi 5 is necessary.

The best way for a small business to go further after tesing the ESXi 5 Free version is to buy an Essentials or Essentials Plus version of VMware vSphere 5. Those kits does include the centralized management – vCenter Server – which can manage up to 3 physical hosts (it’s hard limit). Besides using the centralized management to manage the VMs from one central location, the more advanced features, like HA (High availability) and vMotion are included (in the Essentials Plus version). High Availability (HA) can automatically restart a VMs on another host if the underlying host where the VMs has been running has a hardware problem and fails. vMotion can migrate VM from one host to another without downtime.

ESXi 5.1 Free version is good to start with, to build a test lab. But once those tests validated, the host don’t has to be reinstalled in ordert to benefit from the paid features. The paid license unlock those features without the need to rebuild the host – even with the VMs running..

Thursday, 13 December 2012

VMware Data Protection (VDP) FAQ


This article provides answers to frequently asked questions about VMware Data Protection (VDP).



Q: What is VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP)?
VDP is a robust, simple-to-deploy, disk-based backup and recovery solution. VDP is fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server and the VMware vSphere Web Client. VDP enables centralized and efficient management of backup jobs while storing backups in deduplicated destination storage.
Q: Is vDP replacing VDR (VMware Data Recovery)?
Yes. VDR is not supported with vSphere 5.1 and higher. VDR is being deprecated, but will be supported as detailed in the VMware Life Cycle Policies.
Q: Will I be able to use my backups from VDR with VDP?
No. The backup method being used is different in VDP. However, a tool to migrate valid backups from VDR to VDP may be provided in the near future.
Q: Do I need additional licenses to use VDP 5.1?
VDP is included with vSphere Essentials Plus and higher.
Q: How is VDP deployed?
Like VDR, the VDP is an appliance that is delivered as an OVA template. Each OVA is preconfigured with destination datastore sizes: 0.5TB, 1TB and 2TB. Note that the actual storage consumed by the appliance is greater than the destination datastore sizes.
Q: How does VDP compare to VDR?
VDR was a first generation solution bundled with vSphere 4 for the rapidly growing backup market and experienced rapid adoption by VMware customers. However, in the constant effort to deliver more value to customers, VMware has been actively working on improving data protection and disaster recovery with enhanced backup and replication solutions. This led VMware to introduce a new, more robust product in the form of VDP. To maximize customer value, VMware decided to collaborate with the EMC Avamar team who has world-class industry leading expertise in backup and recovery technology to build the underlying foundation for VDP.
Q: Is it possible to mount a CIFS of NFS share directly from the appliance and use these as backup data destinations?
Mounting a CIFS or NFS share directly from or “within” the appliance is not supported. The VDP appliance (.vmdk files) can be deployed to a NFS share mounted by a vSphere host.
Q: Are there any limits for VDP?VDP supports the following specifications:
  • Each vCenter can support up to 10 VDP appliances.
  • Each VDP appliance supports backup for up to 100 virtual machines.
  • Support for 0.5 TB, 1 TB, or 2 TB of de-duplicated backup data
Q: Can VDP appliances work together as a unit sharing information such as backup job details, capacity information, etc.?
No. Each VDP appliance operates independent of other VDP appliances.


Q: VDP comes in 3 different OVA sizes: 0.5TB, 1TB and 2TB. Why is this, and is this all the space I need for the appliance?
VDP comes pre-configured with the destination datastores already attached. The OVA sizes indicate the size of the destination datastore. Additional space is required for the operating system and VDP operations (checkpoints, logs, etc.). The amount of disk space required is:

OVA SizeDisk Space Required
1TB1600GB (1.57TB)
2TB3100GB (3.02TB)

Note: When a VDP appliance is deployed, additional space cannot be added to an existing appliance. If more destination datastore capacity is needed, a new VDP appliance can be deployed (up to 10 appliances per vCenter Server).
Q: Which VDP OVA size should I choose?
This depends on your environment: how many virtual machines are being backed up, the various OS types, and the amount of daily I/O being generated.
When a new VDP appliance is created, the destination datastore begins to fill rapidly on each new virtual machine backup added. This is due to the fact that each virtual machine being backed up contains unique data. To help reduce the amount of unique data being backed up, and therefore reduce the rate of growth on initial virtual machine backups, it is best to group similar backups together. For example, the initial backup of two Windows 2008 virtual machines requires less destination datastore space as similar data results in better de-duplication efficiency. The initial backup of a Windows 2008 virtual machine and a Linux virtual machine would likely require more destination datastore space as there are unlikely to be similar data. After e initial backups, the VDP appliance backs up less unique data during subsequent backups. This is due to the Changed Block Tracking functionality in vSphere and de-duplication in the VDP appliance.
However, if you are unsure of destination datastore capacity requirements, it is better to deploy a larger VDP appliance. When the appliance has been deployed, additional capacity cannot be added.
Q: Can I expand my destination datastore within VDP?
No. Should additional space be required, a new VDP appliance must be deployed (up to 10 per vCenter Server.) It is not be possible to migrate data from the original VDP Appliance to a new, larger appliance.
Q: Is DNS required for VDP to work?
Yes. Full DNS resolution (shortname, FQDN, forward and reverse) must be configured correctly for VDP to work. If there are DNS issues, VDP operations, such as backups, are impacted. A DNS host record for a VDP appliance should be created prior to deploying the VDP appliance.
Q: What's a blackout window?
The blackout window is the portion of each day reserved for performing server maintenance activities, such as garbage collection, which require unrestricted access to the server. Garbage collection deletes the orphaned chunks of data that are no longer referenced within any backups stored on the system. By default, the blackout window begins at 8 a.m. local server time and continues uninterrupted for three hours until 11 a.m. that same morning. This can be customized.

 No backup or administrative activities are allowed during the blackout window, however restores can be performed.
Q: What's the difference between the blackout window and the maintenance window?
The maintenance window is the portion of each day reserved for performing routine server maintenance activities such as integrity check validation, whereas the blackout window performs server maintenance which requires un-restricted access.

 Backups can be initiated during the maintenance window, but doing so impacts both the backup and maintenance activities.
Q: Can I set a blackout window to 0?
No. A blackout window is required. It is possible to customize when the blackout window occurs.
Q: What are checkpoints and when would I be required to use them?
A checkpoint is a system-wide backup taken for the express purpose of assisting with disaster recovery. Checkpoints are scheduled and created once a day during the maintenance window. VDP stores two checkpoints (one validated and one not validated).
Q: What happens if rollback doesn't work?
If a rollback fails, then deployment of a new VDP appliance is required. Migrating configuration and backup data from one appliance to another is not supported.


Q: If I create a backup job during the backup window, will it start backing up immediately?
No. The backup jobs are scanned at the start of the backup window. If the job does not exist at this time, it will not run. It will be scheduled to automatically start at the next backup window. However, you can manually start a backup job during the backup window.
Q: Can I schedule backup jobs to run at different times?
There is only one backup window per VDP appliance. The backup jobs are run during this backup window. It is not possible to create separate backup windows for each backup job. When creating a backup job, it is possible to define how often the backup runs. For example, daily, weekly or monthly.
Q: How many backups can run in parallel?
Each VDP appliance can simultaneously backup to eight virtual machines.


Q: Am I able to do a file-level restore (FLR) of my Linux virtual machines?
The file-level restore is web-based, so a supported web browser is required. At the time of writing a command-line FLR is not available.
Q: Are there any prequisite required in order to use the FLR?
A web browser is required to connect to the VDP Appliance. Also, VMware Tools must be running within the virtual machine where the file-level restore is occurring.
Q: Am I able to restore a backed-up virtual machine's virtual disk to different datastores?
It is possible to restore a virtual machine to a datastore other than the original. However, all files that make up the restored virtual machine are restored to the same datastore.
Q: Can I perform a Restore Rehearsal, as I used to do in VDR?
Not automatically. When a virtual machine is restored using VDP, the virtual machine is left in a powered off state. At this point the virtual machine's settings can be manually edited and the networking disabled before the virtual machine is powered on.


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Disabling SSH services on an ESXi host using the vSphere Client fails with the error: Cannot change the host configuration


  • Stopping SSH services on a ESXi host using the vSphere Client fails
  • Disabling SSH service on an ESXi 5.1 using the vSphere Client fails
  • You see the error:

    Cannot change the host configuration.
  • The SSH service continues to allow new login attempts despite the error
  • The error appears intermittently and you may be able to stop the services if you retry


This is a known issue, and is being reviewed by VMware.

To work around this issue:

Note: This workaround is provided with no warranty and is experimental. Ensure that you back up any files prior to making changes.

  1. SSH into the ESXi 5.1 host.
  2. Navigate to the service directory:

    cd etc/vmware/service/
  3. Back up the service.xml file prior to making changes:

    cp service.xml service.xml.backup
  4. Edit the service.xml file using a text editor. For more information, see Editing files on an ESX host using vi or nano (1020302).
  5. Locate the entry <ruleset>sshServer</ruleset>, and delete this line from the service.xml file.
  6. Save and close the file.
  7. Refresh the networking settings by running the command:

    esxcli network firewall refresh
  8. Exit the SSH session.
  9. In the vSphere Client, select the ESXi host, go to Configuration > Security Profile, and click Refresh in the Firewall section.

You should now able to disable SSH and the firewall rule should also be disabled.
Note: If your problem still exists after trying the steps in this article, file a support request with VMware Support and note this Knowledge Base article ID (2037544) in the problem description. For more information, see How to Submit a Support Request.


Friday, 7 December 2012

vSphere Replication in vSphere 5.1

What is vSphere Replication

vSphere Replication is a feature of the vSphere platform. It copies a virtual machine to another location, within
or between clusters, and makes that copy available for restoration through the VMware® vCenter Server™ Web-based user interface. 

vSphere Replication continues to protect the virtual machine on an ongoing basis. It replicates to the copy the
changes that are made to the virtual machine. This ensures that the virtual machine remains protected and is available for recovery without requiring restore from backup.

vSphere Replication is provided as a no-charge component of all eligible vSphere licenses, ranging from the VMware vSphere® Essentials Plus Kit through the VMware vSphere® Enterprise Plus Edition™. As with backups through VMware data protection, protecting a virtual machine is a critical function of a hypervisor platform for the datacenter.

Unified management of vSphere Replication is provided via the next-generation VMware vSphere® Web Client.
This provides a common and unified screen for all aspects of virtual datacenter management, including many aspects of protection, such as replication, backup and restore. 

My Scenario in this Demonstration is:-

How to Configure the Replication on an VM:-

1. Deploy the vSphere Replication Appliance
2. Configure the Appliance 

(a)Type https://<Replication Appliance IP/Name>:5480 and enter the root as the username and password and click  on login button

(b)Once Login you will this screen. Now from this screen you need to configure the vCenter Server info to link this appliance with vCenter Server and you can change the default password and ip address, hostname so on. Once done click on logout.

3. Login to your vSphere Web Client and then Configure the Replication on an VM. Right Click on VM --> All vSphere Replication Actions --> Configure Replication

4. Select Target Site and Click on Next

5. Select Target Datastore. You can select local or Shared Datastore and Click on Next

6. Select RPO and Guest OS Quiescing Method and Click on Next

7.  Review the Settings and and Click on Finish

8. Check the Task Status from Recent Tasks

9. Once Done from the Home Screen Click on vSphere Replication

10. Click on sites

11. Check the Replication Status from Monitor Tab. It's not yet completed

12.  The ongoing replication is by use of an agent and vSCSI filter that reside within the kernel of an ESXi 5.0 host that tracks the I/O and keeps a bitmap in memory of changed blocks and backs this with a "persistent state file" (.psf) in the home directory of the VM. The psf file contains only pointers to the changed blocks.

13. Now it in Sync 

14. Now it's Completed Successfully 

So This is how you can configure the Replication on an VM.