Saturday, July 24, 2010

LabManager 4.0.2 - Bug or not? LabManager 4 reviewed

In the last months i have seen several LabManager 4 environments and some have a few problems. So i decided to post them, so that you know them before building a production environment.

Bug #1
The first thing i found is that ESXi as hypervisor is supported since Update 3.5 Update 5. The problem with ESXi is, that there is no SMB agent implemented, but LabManager support SMB import/export operations.

Bug #2
Second thing i have seen in several environments: ldap sync does not delete users when deleted in Active-Directory! In LabManager 4 you are able to set timings for ldap sync and also you can entitle AD-groups and users for workspaces and configurations. Now if you enable AD-groups and users a local user is created inside the LabManager. If you delete a user from the AD-group sometimes the ldap sync does not register this change. If you look inside the users of the LabManager the local copy of the deleted user is already there. I´ve tried to get the smallest sync time but nothing changes. Important to know is that you can´t find those useres in "stranded users". This is only for entitlements in which the workspace is deleted, so that the entitled users and their configurations could be assigned to the main workspace.

Bug #3
What if we want to backup the LabManager Configurations, Workspaces, VMs and so on? Only one hint by VMware: KB 1000023

But did i know anybody with more than one LabManager environment who use this scenario? No! The only thing you can do is to check out your VMs into the library with a defined version, export them via datastore (not SMB, bug #1) and import them as new template in the library...

I think that Bug #2 is security relevant, cause the user (already deleted in the AD) can further use the workspace, configuration or vm. Hope there will be some changes with version 4.1 or 4.5 :-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

NEW - mcsWebServicePlugin - NEW

Have you ever ask yourself how to integrate own dynamic webservices into the vSphere Client? Not the poorly way with static .xml pages... now we develop a small freeware solution for this: the mcsWebServicePlugin!

With this vSphere Client Plugin you have the power to integrate your webservices based on the clicked object in the inventory tree. With this solution you are able to simply integrate your mangement boards based on the clicked ESX/ESXi Host-System:

But that´s not the only option. You can also integrate web-portals like your service desk, your monitoring solution or an order portal for new virtual machines. We use it for vCenter Orchestrator workflow integration.

The best is the really simple installation and configuration of the plugin. You have to copy the into plugins in your vSphere Client folder and extract it to a new folder in the plugins path. After starting the vSphere Client you can configure your webservice and copy the index.php and the info.php into this path.

At the moment this is the freeware version. In the future there will be a commercial release which would be much more dynamic and allows more than one tab and one central link location.

Feel free to ask for features or if you have any questions!

Here you can download the Plugin and the documentation:

Friday, July 16, 2010

vCenter Orchestrator 4.1

In the last months, different people ask for a x64 server and client of the vCenter Orchestrator. Now with vSphere 4.1 the x64 version is released and my opinion is that it is much faster than the "old" x32 version.

The following features are new in Orchestrator 4.1:

• 64-bit client and server running on Java 1.6.
• Optional standalone 32-bit client.
• Data migration tool, to help you upgrade from Orchestrator 4.0 on a 32-bit server to Orchestrator 4.1 on a 64-bit server.
• New workflows in the library.
• Orchestrator now uses vCenter Server as a license server.
• vSphere 4.1 plug-in that implements the latest VMODL, with dynamic addition of vCenter Servers.
• Importing certificates no longer requires you to restart the configuration server.
• Orchestrator scalability matches the vSphere scalability figures, namely supporting 10,000 connected virtual machines.
• Performance from 5 to 10 times faster than 4.0.x, depending on the usage scenario.

One hint which applies with the new version too: for performance it is better to use a dedicated vCO Server. Binaries can be found in the vCenter Server .iso in ./vpx/vCO/.

vSphere 4.1 and Server 2008

Yesterday i had the time to update my vSphere 4.0.2 environment... to the new released vSphere 4.1 version. First lesson i had to learn was the need of a Windows Server x64 architecture for the vCenter Server. After a few hours of dowloading the installation process began.

Like the vSphere 4.0 version the install process works fine and starts the vCenter service. After the sucessfull vCenter installation i added my both ESXi Server to the new cluster. But after a few seconds the first ESXi lost the connection to the vCenter Server! After a few more the second ESXi lost the connection. After several reconnections this happens all the time.

So i began to look for the firewall rules and there where several rules for the vCenter services, but... only for the domain membership!

So, with this knowledge i bring the vCenter Server into the domain, activating the firewall, check the rules and everything was fine.

UPDATE: Today I had the same problem with ESXi 5 hosts and a vCenter 5 Server. All software firewalls were deactivated... but the network guys didn´t configure the ports as expected. So if your vCenter Server loses connection take a look into the Switch- and Firewall-Configs :)