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in Advanced VM Settings - 28 Apr, 2016
by mordi - 6 comments
VCAP-DCV Deploy Objective 1.4

In this post we will discuss the last objective in the first section which is to perform advanced virtual machine configurations

here are the objectives from the blueprint:

  • Tune Virtual Machine disk controller configurations according to a deployment plan
  • Configure .vmx file for advanced configuration scenarios
  • Configure a virtual machine for Hot Add features
  • Upgrade virtual machine hardware and VMware Tools
  • Troubleshoot virtual machine deployment issues

Lab Setup:

Using VMware workstation:

  • Microsoft Servers 2012R2 for Services (DNS , DHCP, etc…)
  • installed esx0
  • Installed VCSA
  • One Virtual machine

 Documents used:

  • vSphere Virtual machine Administration
  • vSphere troubleshooting guide

Tune Virtual Machine disk controller configurations according to a deployment plan:

Virtual machine uses storage controllers to acccess virtual disks , CD/DVD-ROM and SCSi devices, there are several’s storage controllers:

  • Bus Logic Parallel
  • LSI Logic Parallel
  • LSI Logi SAS
  • VMware Paravirtual SCSI
  • AHCI SATA

When choosing controller for your VM you need to consider the guest operating system, the device type, and in some cases, the virtual machine’s compatibility also the MAX # of controllers per VM is 4.

Limitations:

  • LSI Logic SAS and VMware Paravirtual SCSI are available with ESXi4.x and up
  • AHCI SATA is available only with ESXi 5.5 and up
  • BusLogic Parallel controllers do not support disk >2TB

There is a great VMware blog about the differences and usage fir each of the storage controller options here is the link: (also read the white paper)

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2014/02/vscsi-controller-choose-performance.html

To add a SCSI controller under the VM settings click on add and choose SCSI Controller

SCSICTRL

 

Configure .vmx file for advanced configuration scenarios:

There are many settings that you can configure in the .vmx files , i am not sure which one do we need to know for the exam , so i search the vSphere virtual machine Administration for ,vmx and this is what i found:

Disk shrinking feature:

  • isolation.tools.diskWiper.disable = “TRUE”
  • isolation.tools.diskShrink.disable = “TRUE”

Copy and paste feature:

  • isolation.tools.copy.disable = “TRUE”
  • isolation.tools.paste.disable = “TRUE”

Connecting and modifying devices:

  • isolation.device.connectable.disable = “TRUE”
  • isolation.device.edit.disable = “TRUE”

Configuring virtual machine log number:

  • vmx.log.keepOld = “10”

disable logging:

  • logging = “FALSE”

VMX file size:

  • tools.setInfo.sizeLimit = “1048576”

Features not exposed in vSphere that could cause vulnerabilities:

  • isolation.tools.unity.push.update.disable = “TRUE”
  • isolation.tools.ghi.launchmenu.change = “TRUE”
  • isolation.tools.ghi.autologon.disable = “TRUE”
  • isolation.tools.hgfsServerSet.disable = “TRUE”
  • isolation.tools.memSchedFakeSampleStats.disable = “TRUE”
  • isolation.tools.getCreds.disable = “TRUE”

 

Configure a virtual machine for Hot Add features:

The prerequisites to configure virtual machine CPU / Memory hot add feature are:

  • latest version of VMware tools
  • Guest OS support CPU hot add
  • ESXi 4.x or later
  • VM is off

To configure CPU hot add In the VM setting under CPU select Enable CPU Hot Add

To configure Memory hot add In the VM setting under Memory select Memory Hot Plug

hotadd

Upgrade virtual machine hardware and VMware Tools:

Upgrade virtual machine hardware:

Before upgrade shutdown the VM, right click on the VM click on the Compatibility and then click  Upgrade VM Compatibility.

HW_upgrade

 

You can also upgrade the hardware on multiple VM by clicking on the host or cluster >> virtual machine tab >>  Upgrade Virtual Hardware

HW_upgrade2

 

Upgrade virtual machine VMware tools:

There are couple way to upgarde VM’s VMware tools:

Using vCenter: right click on the VM >> Guest OS >> Upgrade VMware tools

vmware_tools1

Second options is to use VUM: use the pre-defined baseline

vmware_tools2

 

Troubleshoot virtual machine deployment issues

In the VMware vSphere troubleshooting guide Page 13 – 21 you will find some useful information about some troubleshooting issues here is a summary:

 

Troubleshooting Fault Tolerant Virtual Machines:

  • Hardware Virtualization Not Enabled – enable HV in the BIOS
  • Compatible Hosts Not Available for Secondary VM – If there are insufficient hosts, add more hosts to the cluster. If there are hosts in the cluster, ensure they support HV and that HV is enabled.
  • Secondary VM on Overcommitted Host Degrades Performance of Primary VM –  move the VM to another location without resource contention problems
  • Increased Network Latency Observed in FT Virtual Machines – make sure you using 10G or more for the FT network.
  • Some Hosts Are Overloaded with FT Virtual Machines – rebalance the VM using vMotion
  • Losing Access to FT Metadata Datastore – place the metadata datastore on highly available storage
  • Turning On vSphere FT for Powered-On VM Fails – free memory on the host or vMotion the VM to another host.
  • FT Virtual Machines not Placed or Evacuated by vSphere DRS –  check the VMs for a VM override that is disabling DRS.

Troubleshooting USB Passthrough Devices:

  • Error Message When You Try to Migrate Virtual Machine with USB Devices Attached –  check for in progress data transfer or Re-add  and enable vMotion for each affected USB device.
  • USB Passthrough Device Is Nonresponsive – Physically detach the USB device from the ESXi host and reattach it
  • Cannot Copy Data From an ESXi Host to a USB Device That Is Connected to the Host –  Stop the usbarbitrator service , Physically disconnect and reconnect the USB restart usbarbitrator service and restart hostd service.
  • Recover Orphaned Virtual Machines – Remove the VM from Inventory and register it back.
  • Virtual Machine Does Not Power On After Cloning or Deploying from Template – Reduce the size of the swap file that is required for the virtual machine or increase space available for swap.

 

Thanks for reading

Mordi.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

  • daminhtan //28 Apr 2016

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    • mordi //28 Apr 2016

      Thank you, happy i can help.

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    Again a nice post. Keep up the good work.

    • mordi //03 May 2016

      Thank you!

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