Upgrade vROps from 6.7.0 to 8.0.1

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

In this blog post, we will see how to upgrade vRealize Operations (vROps) from version 6.7.0 to 8.0.1. The whole process takes about 30 minutes.

Bear in mind that, you will need new license keys after updating to the later version (after 8.0 version).

 

Note: You will see a version mismatch in some screenshots.

Download the required files

And also, proceed to download the Virtual appliance upgrade PAK file, that will be used later for the real upgrade:


Upgrade Assessment Tool
(optional but recommended)

The first thing to do is to install the Upgrade Assessment Tool in order to know if there are any problems before upgrading.

Although this is not mandatory it is highly recommended in order to know if there are any issues before running the real upgrade process.

The steps are:

  • Log in to the master node vRealize Operations Manager Administrator interface of your cluster at https://master-node-FQDN-or-IP-address/admin.
  • Click Software Update in the left panel (you can see an attempt I made previously) and then “Install a Software Update…”:
  • Follow the steps in the wizard to locate and install your PAK file. Upload the PAK file (the first file we downloaded) and check the first checkbox if you’re not sure if there is another one installed.
  • The PAK file will be uploaded from your local machine to vRealize Operations Manager. Uploading may take a few minutes. Once it is uploaded you will see something like this.
  • Once the uploaded PAK file, accept the EULA (step 2) if you agree, read the Update information (step 3) and finally click “Install”. You will see that the software update is being installed

Don’t worry this is just installing the Pre-Upgrade to 8.0.0 Assessment Tool, the real upgrade will be performed later

     

  • When the process is complete, click Support in the left pane. The Support screen appears. Select the Support Bundles option above the toolbar. The available support bundles are listed:
  • To review the report, extract the files from the ZIP file and open the HTML file.
    The file is located in \slice_<bundlenumber>_<nodeaddress>\apuat-data\report\index.html.
    This is my report, which it only gives me a warning about executing the proper Virtual appliance upgrade (we will see later)
  • After updating my Admin account I re-run the same process and checked that there were no errors.

So now, let’s go to the point and update the vROps master node!

 

Upgrade process

Before doing anything, remember to take a snapshot of the Master node that is going to be upgraded!

 

First, upload the .pak file we downloaded at the beginning of the Virtual Appliance upgrade PAK file (which is way larger than the Upgrade Assessment Tool  PAK file).

Once downloaded, go to the vROps admin interface (https://master-node-FQDN-or-IP-address/admin) and then “Software Updates” :

 

And then, upload the new file (which in this case is quite larger compared to the pre-upgrade assessment tool):

Once is staged (after you clicked upload), it will give you a warning regarding the cluster that will be restarted (obviously), just click NEXT:

Accept the EULA if you agree and read the Update information (which tells you that you must take a snapshot of the cluster you’re upgrading):

And proceed to install the update in step 4 by clicking INSTALL!

You will see on the same page that the upgrade is in progress:

It will take some time, and even you see that vROps is available, the cluster will still offline until the upgrade is finished. We just need to wait a bit more.

The whole upgrade took about 30 mins and it was upgraded successfully:


Finally, the cluster is online and the new version was applied correctly.

Remember to delete the snapshot that was created before proceeding with this upgrade. I hope this has been helpful to you.

 

vCenter Server 7.0 – Fresh install

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Prologue

With the release of vSphere 7 at the beginning of this month, I decided to make a post about how to install vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) which is quite simple.

Which are the new features? Check this post from my friend Graham Barker to find out!

 

Let’s move on!

  • Proceed to download the “VMware vCenter Server 7.0.0” ISO file from my.vmware.com
  • Mount the ISO file and execute the installer.exe file :

Prerequisite: We need DNS if we want to deploy vCenter with an FQDN but if you don’t have it or you can’t for any reason, you can trick the installer and put the IP address as the hostname and it will work.

Another prerequisite will be to have an ESXi host where we’re going to install our vCenter

Stage 1 – New deployment

1. We will proceed to select install as we are going to perform a fresh install from the scratch of vCenter Server 7.0.

2. I like that it tells you that External PSC is deprecated! Continue with NEXT.

3. Just put the details of a vCenter (if you have one) or an ESXi host where you want to deploy this new vCenter. In my case (and probably the most if you’re doing everything from the scratch) I am using a host called “johto.pokemon.jp” to deploy the vCSA.

Once you press next, accept the certificate warning if you know the fingerprint of the certificate.

4. Put the name of the VM and set the root password for the vCSA and continue.

5. I am going for the Tiny deployment as it is more than enough for my lab environment. In a production environment usually, you will deploy a small one that fits in many small companies (or in your lab if you’re testing it).

6. Continue by selecting a Datastore and check ” Enable Thin Disk Mode” which is usually the best deployment as it doesn’t allocate all the space and is also enabled by default. (Look even my VMFS-5 datastores work well).

7. Now, let’s configure the network settings. Here my Network you can see a portgroup “Std_mgmt” from my ESXi host. If you have an ESXi host with default portgroups, yours probably is called “VM Network“.

About the FQDN, as I said before (check the Prerequisite section in the beginning) you need to create an A record in your DNS in order to be able to deploy a vCenter with a name.

If you don’t have DNS because you’re installing vCenter and you don’t have it, you can use the IP address as FQDN and it will work.

8. And that’s all for stage 1, here we have a summary saying what is going to do. Be sure to review it: Once you’re ready, press FINISH.

 

It will start with Stage 1, which is the deployment of the VM where the vCenter Server resides:

After some minutes, STAGE 1 is completed, which means that the VM where the vCSA resides is deployed but not configured yet.

Stage 2 – Configuration

Let’s go to STAGE 2 where the vCSA will be configured.

1. Set an NTP server or let the ESXi host also enable SSH if you want to have access to the vCSA.

2. Configure the SSO, the default is the “vsphere.local” domain, in my case I created a custom one.

3. And the last summary after we finish Stage 2 when the vCenter will be fully configured.

4. After a while (15-20 min.), Stage 2 finished without errors!

5. Now I access the GUI from the URL provided in the previous screenshot and I see that is working flawlessly!

6. Enjoy your new vCenter Server with the only HTML5 interface and lots of new features that were mentioned at the beginning of this post.

 

We conclude this article where you can see how simple and easy is to install and deploy vCenter Server version 7.0.

 

 

vForum Online Spring 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A few days ago VMware announced that VMworld will be online due to the current situation with COVID-19. Review the VMworld FAQs.

 

Therefore, as there will be only one big online event during the week of September 28, 2020.

 

So, why not attend a free mini-VMworld in less than a month?
That’s vForum Online!

vForum Online is a LIVE virtual event where you can access it directly from any device. Obviously there’s no travel required, so why not engage with more people and learn about new trends, features, and technologies?

When is it?

May 13th, 2020
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM PDT
12:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT
6:00 PM – 12:00 AM CEST

Why attend?

  • Lots of technical breakouts (+30) delivering practical guidance about many different VMware technologies.
  • Live Q&A video chats, this is very nice, I like to be able to answer questions when I am on a session and receive an answer or at least some guidance.
  • 10+ instructor-led Hands-On Labs where you can test many technologies like vSphere, vSAN, VMware Cloud on AWS, Carbon Black, and Workspace ONE.

Who Should Attend?

Anyone! From solutions/network/storage engineers to CxO should join this virtual event, and remember, it’s free.

There would be some sessions in Spanish and Portuguese!

Agenda

Do you want to know the schedule? Check out the detailed agenda here

Featured attendees

Pat Gelsinger – CEO, VMware, will be speaking at the event and there will be a VMware Expert Panel Discussion with:

Kit Colbert – CTO, Cloud Platform
Lee Caswell – VP, Storage and Availability
Pete Chargin – Sr. Director, vSphere Platforms
Dormain Drewitz – Director of Product Marketing

 

Register here!

 

That’s all! I will be there for a couple of hours and attend some sessions just to know a couple of things I am interested in and to chat with some of the experts that will be answering live.

vExpert PRO announcement

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Just a quick post about the vExpert sub-programs that have been announced recently.

In my case, yesterday I received this message:Welcome to the vExpert PRO

This means that I’ve been selected to be a vExpert PRO!

 

Becoming a representative of your country/region and willingness to help others become aware of the vExpert program are the main functions of a vExpert PRO.

 

So, if you want to become a vExpert, start now and you can probably become one!
I wrote a couple of months ago a post about it: Want to be a vExpert?

If you want to check your region vExpertPRO, just take a look at the official directory.

Since yesterday I can say that I am part of the vExpert PRO program. Also congratulations to others like me that made it and the ones who continue!

vexpert-pro-badge

See you soon!

Troubleshooting tips for beginners in Windows Server

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I was thinking these days what I wish I have known when I started working with Windows servers, some basic (and some not) commands that can help me to troubleshoot servers without requiring additional software.

 

That’s why this is a post dedicated to people who just started administering servers with Windows Server 20xx-2019 (I expect at least 2008 although it is going end of support the next month) or maybe you’re curious and want to know more about Windows Server administration.

We will exclude networking problems as that is another huge topic so, we assume that the server is reachable by using ping (ICMP protocol).

 

RDP isn’t everything

First thing I notice when someone tells me: “I can’t access the server via RDP, it must be overloaded, unresponsive, etc. because I can ping it”.

As you may know (or not) RDP is the Remote Desktop protocol which usually runs in port 3389, there can be tons of reasons why you can’t access a server via RDP at the moment an alert raises (port blocked, server out of resources, user not allowed to RDP, etc.)

Therefore, I will list some points about how to troubleshoot a server when you can’t access using RDP. In this way, you’ll be able to manage a server (Windows) without accessing it.

 

MMC (Microsoft Management Console)

MMC is everywhere, when you open the Event Viewer it is indeed an MMC that has the Snap-in “Event Viewer”. Here is how would you do it manually instead of opening the Event Viewer “console”:

event viewer

You should try to master the MMC as it provides you the best way to manage different aspects and features from a Windows server (remote or local).

 

By typing “mmc” in Run and pressing Enter”, an empty console (MMC) will be open.mmc_console_empty

And then, you can add a “snap-in” about any particular feature, service, etc. from Windows. Meaning that with the MMC you have at your disposal a tool to troubleshoot a remote or local server.

Just go to File > Add/Remove snap-in and here choose what do you want! For this example,  I will add the Certificates snap-in in order to check which certificates are installed in my server:

Once you press Add, it will ask you which account, usually you want to use the computer account because services and features related to the computer nor a user account.

Choose if you want to manage a local or remote server:

And finally, here is the final screenshot after adding the Certificates snap-in from my computer:

 

Now, imagine if you do the same with the Services snap-in and select Another Computer, you will be able to manage the services from a remote computer by just doing that and without connecting to the server using RDP!

 

Check memory resources (RAM)

CMD (command prompt)

Our “old” friend CMD or command prompt interpreter which works on all versions of Windows Server, no matter which problem you have on your server that you can always run it and it is available on any Windows installation without any requirement.

There are some useful commands to manage a remote Windows server. The first command I want to show you is the “tasklist” command, which is the equivalent of the “Task Manager” that you probably know.

It can become very handy to check which processes are consuming more memory resources:

tasklist /s <server> | sort /R /+58

tasklist command

The previous command is just for Memory usage (RAM) but it won’t work for CPU so, how can I check which process is consuming more CPU resources?

Check the next section!

 

Check CPU resources (CPU)

WMIC (Windows Management Interface Console)

In order to check the CPU remotely, there isn’t a simple command like “tasklist” with parameters as it is harder to get the stats from the CPU perspective.

Anyway,  this is another command that can be used within CMD, the command is wmic, here you have some examples:

To get the CPU usage of the server:

 wmic cpu get loadpercentage 

Or the processes that are consuming a particular percentage (70% in this example):

 wmic path win32_perfformatteddata_perfproc_process where (PercentProcessorTime ^> 70) get Name, Caption, PercentProcessorTime, IDProcess /format:list 

As you can see in this output, it says “PercentProcessorTime=100”, which means that a process (mcshield) consumed 100% of his time when we asked for the processes above 50% of the server.

So in this case, the process “mcshield” (which is related to McAfee) is consuming more than 50% of the CPU.

Obviously de “_Total” process mustn’t take into account and it’s in the output because I didn’t want to make it larger (although is a bit large).

There is another command (typeperf) which although it can be more powerful (it uses performance counters), the output is a mess (lots of data). I won’t show it here but  I wanted to let you know.

Alternate access to RDP

A server can be physical or virtual then, you can probably access the virtual machine using Hyper-V Manager (if you use Hyper-V) or the vSphere Web Client (vSphere) tools in order to gain access to the virtual server.

If the server is physical, you have probably access to some remote console (iLO, iDRAC, etc.) to access the server and finally be able to log if you need to.

 

 

I hope these tips helped you or at least make you remember how to do it, see you next time.