Hi everyone!

If you’re reading this, you probably saw my “getting started with vRA” presentation at the Sydney VMUG earlier tonight.  I hope you found something useful in the short 20-30 minute timeslot I had to work with.  Delivering some useful content without blowing the time constraint was my biggest challenge, because vRA can be a bit of a complex topic!  As promised, this post contains some information that was discussed tonight and which I hope will help you as you start on your vRA journey.

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The list of events and tasks that vCenter maintains for each object in the inventory are extremely useful for forensics analysis in a vSphere environment.  For identifying who created or deleted a VM, resized a vmdk, or shut down a VM or host, events and tasks are where you look. In it’s default state, however, the events and tasks views in vCenter have some major issues (from a forensic point of view).

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I recently needed to configure a number of NSX Controller nodes to forward their logs using syslog to a vRealize Log Insight cluster.  Unlike the NSX manager (and most other components of a VMware SDDC), NSX controllers don’t provide a graphical way of configuring syslog.  In fact, they don’t even offer a CLI command for syslog configuration.  Instead, you need to use the NSX REST API.

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I recently had a storage network outage in my lab environment, and after powering back on my vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) I was rudely greeted with the following information at the console:

fixing-disk-corruption-in-the-vcenter-server-appliance-img01

Ouch!  I’ve never dealt with file system corruption in a VCSA before, and the internet doesn’t seem to contain much information on what to do next.  This post is my effort towards changing that.

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In yesterday’s post, I updated my VCSA 6.0 appliance to version 6.5.  Today, logged into the Appliance MUI and noticed that my appliance was not able to check for updates using the default web repository.

Before we really start, a quick note on terminology.  The Appliance MUI (which means Appliance Management UI) is the new name for the old VAMI (vSphere Appliance Management Interface).  The MUI is a HTML5 web interface for configuring basic and low-level settings for the VCSA.  It’s accessible by connecting to your VCSA on port 5480.

So, what’s the deal?  Well, when browsing to the update section of the MUI and checking for updates, I would receive the following error:

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With today’s exciting release of VMware vSphere 6.5, I thought I’d celebrate by upgrading the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) in my lab from version 6.0 u2 to version 6.5.  Since I’m doing this more or less blind, without having read any documentation whatsoever, I thought I would write a (hopefully short) post about the problems that arise during the upgrade process, and how to get past them.

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I got this error message when trying to run the Invoke-Sqlcmd powershell cmdlet against a server remotely using HP Server Automation (HPSA).  The full error message is:

Invoke-Sqlcmd : Mixed mode assembly is built against version 'v2.0.50727' of the runtime and cannot be loaded in the 4.0 runtime without additional configuration information.

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A vMSC – perhaps more commonly known as a “metro cluster” –  is an architecture in which individual vSphere clusters will be spread across multiple geographical sites.  Since a vSphere cluster requires shared storage to allow VM’s to migrate across hosts, in a vMSC environment this will mean that storage must be shared or replicated across the geographical sites.  As you might expect, this kind of architecture comes with a number of gotchas and limitations, especially around the configuration of the storage arrays.  For this reason, storage vendors who support vMSC architectures have released best practices documentation specifically for designing vMSC’s with their storage products.

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One of the annoying things about installing new builds of Windows 10 is that the installation process resets a number of settings to default.  When you’re on the insider preview “fast ring”, new builds come every 1-2 weeks, and changing those handful of things back to their previous setting gets old pretty fast.  After installing a new build today I finally decided to try automating these things using Powershell.

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