Monthly Archives: January 2014

vCOPS 5.8: Critical Data Collection Bug

UPDATE: VMware Global Support supplied me with vCOPs 5.8.0 Hot Fix 01 Build 1537842 which is available via a support request. This is a complete .pak update so you will need to go through the upgrade process as per usual.

The issue of the missing data has been resolved, however I did need to go through and remove a heap of duplicate entity types in the Custom Dashboard. I have a fully functional vCOPs platform now. Hopefully no more bugs in this build!

Like most…I jumped to upgrade vCOPs from 5.7.x to 5.8 when it went GA mid December. Initially the upgrade completed without issue and the four vCenter’s registered looked to continue collecting data as expected.

# To cut to the guts of the error scroll to the bottom on the post.

Shortly after the upgrade I went through and performed an upgrade of vCenter from 5.0 to 5.1 in one of our sites. Upon completing the upgrade and having a look at the Custom Dashboards we have setup, I noticed that 90% of the hosts in the recently upgraded vCenter where showing as white boxes (no data)

Looking through the Analytic VM collector logs I found these entries that seemed to point to a connectivity/communication issue between vCOPs and the Hosts.

After going through a painful couple of support calls with VMware support where they where insistent the issue was with the vCenter (have you tried turning it off and on) and/or a disk space issue on the Analytic VM. They suggested it was a well known upgrade bug that can be resolved as per below.



Off the bat I knew this wasn’t my issues because initially on upgrade I didn’t have the issue. While I waited for support to try and diagnose the issue via vCOPs support log bundles, I assumed that the issue was in the data…possibly a bad row in the database relative to a host/vCenter.

I removed the affected vCenter from vCOPs Admin Registration Tab and ran the following command on the UI VM that I picked up from @h0bbel‘s Post here:

 

The command ran for about 20-30 minutes and returned as being successful. When I went back into vCOPs the affected vCenter’s hosts had returned and was actively collecting and reporting data…however I now saw a number of other hosts across multiple vCenters showing showing the same problem!

I contacted VMware support again and had the case escalated which resulted in the admission that there was a newly discovered (probably through my persistence in regards to the case) bug in 5.8 and that I was experiencing all the symptoms.

Issue in 5.8 where we have the below symptoms:

  • One or more ESXi/ESX hosts are no longer present in the vCenter Operations Manager inventory.
  • ESXi/ESX hosts are missing from the vCenter Operations Manager inventory.
  • Child objects of missing ESXi/ESX hosts such as virtual machines and datastores are present in the vCenter Operations Manager inventory.
  • This issue occurs when you place the ESXi/ESX hosts into Maintenance Mode in vCenter Server and then take the hosts out of Maintenance Mode.

Review the Below KB:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2068303/

So, at the moment there is no resolution or fix and the workarounds are pretty nasty! …basically you will be modding database entries and taking snapshots of the Analytic VM.

I just got off the phone with VMware support in Palo Alto and got told that a hotfix was being worked on and should be available soon. Once released to me, i’ll update this post with the final resolution.

vCenter SSO 5.5: AD Group Membership Gotchya

I’ve been running vCenter SSO 5.5 in mixed mode with vCenter 5.1 for a little while in our lab and production environment and recently had to configure external authentication for access against a subset of VMs we host. I covered how to setup a vCenter 5.1 AD Identity source in a this previous post, and the process hasn’t really changed that much in 5.5.

While there has been a slight tweek in the UI, the setup process is the same except you now have an additional option to utilize AD with Integrated Windows Authentication, which is covered by @chriswahl in this blog post.

After configuring the identity source as shown below.

And after configuring the appropriate permissions in vCenter I was getting the following error while trying to login with a user who was part of a Group with access to the VM location.

There wasn’t a hell of a lot on Google that looked to resolve this issue, and after some investigation I found that the reason for the error was that vCenter SSO will look to interrogate/verify every group of the user attempting to login…even though some may be out of scope and not relevant. The fact the error was returning a GroupSID that couldn’t’ be found told me that during the login process, SSO enumerates all Groups in order to find a match relevant to the vCenter Permission. If that group falls out of the Base DN for Groups, SSO can’t resolve the name to match it.

To resolve the issue I had to modify the Base DN for Group Location to be the domain root…once done the user was able to login without issue. This probably isn’t a bug like previous AD Domain SSO bugs however its still limits security restrictions when designing/allocating a user and group OU structure for AD authentication.

Why do I Tweet? – Top 5 Reasons for my addiction…

I’ll put it out there… I am addicted to Twitter.

I’d be lost without it…for better or worse I rely heavily on the streams of 140 character updates to get me through a day. A lot of people (friends, family and co-workers) have asked me why I am on Twitter. They typically understand it to be a social platform where people describe daily mundane activities that creates a heightened sense of self worth that caters to b-grade selfless promotion.

I’m not going to sit here and say that I don’t get a kick out of being out there for the world to see if they choose to follow @anthonyspiteri …part of being on Twitter is being able to be somewhat self indulgent and having a mechanism to one up the opposition…but that’s been Facebook’s bread and butter since day dot!

I was a little late getting onto Twitter, but certainly can claim to be on board before it become as entrenched in pop culture as it is today…when I started the concept of a hashtag was virtually unknown! I joined up in November of 2008 just before the US Presidential Election and it was that event that got me interested in the platform and I’ve not looked back since.

So while I don’t get too bothered with people question my reasoning and motives for being active on Twitter, I thought I’d compile a Top 5 list of reasons why I believe Twitter is more than just a medium to tell the world what I had for dinner!

#5 – News and Events

It was a significant moment in history that got me on Twitter and over the last 2-3 years the concept of instant news and information accessible via your Twitter Feed has solidified Twitter’s place in history. What used to take weeks, days, hours and more recently minutes via online news now comes to us instantaneously and together, the world watches for Trends created by ordinary people who post events as they happen. Be it local or global, I feel connected with the worlds events and in that Twitter allows me to share in moments of history.

#4 – Sports

Those the know me know that I am a keen sportsman and extremely passionate when it comes to the clubs and teams I support. Having access to sporting identities Twitter feeds and Club news and events keeps me informed about what’s going on without having to reach out and search…it’s all relevant and instant. One of the great things about Twitter and sports is that you can give your own running commentary on sporting events in real time, and chime in with others watching the same event…The Ashes recently proved to be hashtag hit and the upcoming World Cup in Brazil will be huge on Twitter.

#3 – Digital Footprint

It’s been argued by a few that having an extensive digital footprint is dangerous and causes privacy issues for individuals and exposes people to online fraud. For me, having a digital footprint is a way for me to keep track of life in general…when I filter out all the work related VMware, Hosting and Cloud Tweets I am left with significant events in life that have been preserved in my timeline. With the Twitter Archive being available for download I can go back in time. In 20 years I will have a daily diary of this part of my life…and even through Twitter may not be around then my timeline will be…it’s not exactly an online legacy, but it’s hugely important for me…and moments as shown below…I can share with my kids.

#2 – Community, Social and Brand Awareness

I tossed up between the top two spots as I could argue a case for each of to be the top reasons for my addiction. It’s not hard to see how online communities are so entrenched in everyday society and while some traditionalists see this online world as a negative, in reality its opened up my world to new friendships and relationships. Within a Twitter conversation you can have contributors from any part of the world and followers get to know you through your Twitter name. I must admit, initially it was a little strange meeting Twitter followers face to face (ie in real life) but for the most, because in most cases people I follow and people who follow me share a common interest there is no awkward geeky moments.

I’ve also been able to become more involved in specific communities such as the VMware vExperts and enjoy the benefits of a large passionate community that extends into my working life. In turn what that has allowed me to do is build an online brand. Personal branding is massively important in this day and age and I encourage work mates and friends and acquaintances to look to start building their own brand…I’ve seen and experienced first hand the benefits of an online presence…which extends to other social networks such as LinkedIN, but Twitter is where most opportunities are born, I can ultimately credit my current role to Community based Tweets. This shouldn’t be looked upon as self gratification…don’t miss out on using the medium to help improve your quality of life…it does happen!

#1 – Work and Technology

Coupled with the social and community aspect of Twitter, I learnt early on that Twitter can be a much more direct and useful search tool than Google. It provides a medium to ask technical questions and present answers to questions posted by others. Working in IT makes Twitter the perfect platform for letting the world know what I’m currently working on, what issues I am facing and how I solved problems.

Looking at my Search Cloud from later 2009 you can see that I was heavily involved in Microsoft Technologies, Exchange and Hyper-V and found a great medium for all things Exchange.

Over the last 2-3 years there has been a shift in technologies I work with on a daily basis and that’s reflected in my latest Tweet Cloud.

Following on from the brand aspect above, I have had a number of job enquiries and also have had a couple of job offers come directly through Twitter Direct Messaging…tech employers are savvy enough these days to stalk you on social media and they will check for content posted…both positive and negative, but without question in my case, I feel that the more I post on topics relevant to my field the more I build an always evolving resume.

Without Twitter as a tool for business, I would be lost…it’s become an even more vital communication platform than email for me, and that’s the reason behind this being my number one. There is no doubt I am addicted to Twitter…I’m not ashamed of that fact, and would encourage others to look a little deeper at what Twitter has to offer…it’s a brilliant tool and it’s there for our exploitation! So use it! …and follow @anthonyspiteri


2014

Seems that all bloggers I follow these days post a review on the year that’s been…in a short summation, my 2013 was extremely satisfying.

Reading through my January 1st 2013 Post from last year, I managed to achieve my ultimate goal of greater work/life balance. This was done ultimately with a change in company and an ounce of good timing…I had been unhappy and stressed in my previous role and I had been searching for #DIRECTION before the ZettaGrid opportunity presented it’s self. I certainly didn’t lack passion or drive in what I was doing, but when you start to struggle for motivation…change is required! I was able to put behind me a fundmentally broken work culture and step in one that is more rewarding and positive.

In the new role I’ve been able to focus more on my professional passion of Virtualization and Cloud while stepping into a role where I have control and influence over one of the largest Virtualization Platforms in Australia and is the largest vCloud Powered Provider in the region. I’ve been able to learn so much in the first six months and with that, confidence in my own technical ability continues to be strengthened and reinforced. The future for ZettaGrid is bright and I feel privileged to embark on a crazy couple of years riding the wave and being part of something truly special in the Australian IT industry.

Through this new role I’ve been able to pursue more public speaking opportunities at various events and I look forward to that continuing at events such as the VMUG User Conferences, VMware Solutions Series and vForum 2014. There is an art to delivering a good technical presentation and as a speaker, I’m learning that preparation, practice and confidence in your topic is key to a successful talk.

I’ve been able to achieve a couple of certification goals this year as part of my #getlegit campaign. So I am officially a VCP-DCV (with a VCA-DCV/Cloud thrown it) and next on my list is to achieve a couple VCAPs. I’ve decided that at this stage, going for a VCDX is not in the best interest of my work/life balance…but I can’t rule it out for 2015 and beyond. Wonder if the ship had sailed by that stage?

As part of the vChampion program that VMware ANZ runs I’ve been lucky to to have attended a number of VMware related events and had some excellent sessions with industry leaders and VMware staff. The inside information we are privy to is invaluable and at times has directly resulted in positive outcomes during projects and a like. One of the highlights of the last year was a breakfast session after vForum where Martin Casado gave a talk on the origins of Nicira.

Rounding up this post, Id like to highlight the awesome tech community that exists all over the world that is bonded together with their love of all things VMware. It’s an unbelievable supporting community extremely active on Twitter, LinkedIN and via programs such as the #vExperts. Without it, I don’t think I would have has the success and reward that I has come my way over the past 12 months…special shout out to the Melbourne vMafia who are a great bunch of blokes to know and bounce off. I look forward to continuing on as a vExpert in 2014 and help to spread knowledge and opinion on all things Hosting and Cloud.