Troubleshooting non responsive VMs

Sorry for the gap in posting…well…anything… New role has kept me very busy!

Most of us will have our own little tips and tricks on troubleshooting, but recently I had a customer who had a machine hanging, that looked suspiciously like VMware Tools was causing an issue, but they had no idea how to troubleshoot. I’d suggested various options, including simply getting the logs, checking ESXi services and so on and it wasn’t anything they’d had to do before, so I really needed something quick and fully features to suggest to them. There’s a great VMware KB which uses the process of:

Validate the scope – find out the scope of the problem and accurately define what the symptoms are (no point in just having someone screaming “It’s crashing, IT’S CRASHING!”

Identify the cause – so many possibilities! Storage, services crashing, resource contention, a task on the VM…

Action Plan – Take action to remediate the issue – once the cause has been established, focus on what is causing the issue and define a plan to resolve it.

https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1007819

Flings of the day!

OK, if you aren’t au fait with Vmware Flings, go here:

VMware Flings

They’re basically community built apps/tools developed and provided for free to enhance many of the features within vmware products.

Some of them you’ll never use and some of them will become invaluable.

Today, I’d like to share with you, a few of my favourites.

ESX Embedded host client

This is something that is really, really handy. I’ve been in situations where networking has been spotty and even physical connections via KVM haven’t been feasible, either due to being at the forefront of standing up new hardware, stood in a freezing cold DC in the middle of the night, secretly taking a bite out of a protein bar and a swig from the tesco finest diet energy drink before one of the engineers sees the Food/Drink alarm going off and comes to tackle you to the ground… Or just because everything has gone wappy and you can’t connect.

This installs something akin to the web based vSphere client, directly on the host, meaning no reliance on vcentre, or when the vSphere client is having issues, or your laptop doesn’t let you change the VLAN on your NIC etc – I just found it was another backup in case of emergency (and we all need those!)

My other favourite for Horizon View is…

Horizon Tool Box

It does Auditing…It does Power Policy…But most importantly…REMOTE SUPPORT AND CONSOLE ACCESS! In all fairness, the ability to power on machines at certain times etc is really useful… The remote access leverages MS remote support as well as allowing console access to shadow.

I’ve been involved with many View deployments where one of the first concerns of IT staff is “How do we remote on to users desktops?” – and this answers that question. It’s quick and easy. Just remember to actually read the instructions (I know, I know, that can be a difficult to motivate yourself to do!). One of the main problems comes when people don’t enable RDP on the desktops – just an FYI there 😉

View Client Resizer

I use a 2k monitor with a 4k laptop screen and as you can imagine, apart from the usual resolution/display scaling issues, it can be a right pain when working on multiple view sessions – especially when I forget the set the res to not full screen across my monitors, leading to a black screen and a broken connection – this little exe means you can manage all the sessions you have open and is a handy little tool!

 

Horizon 7 Multi-site reference paper

Shameless link alert! ALERRTTTT!

This is a really, really good reference architecture paper – I think most of us within the space can setup and configure components such as workspace/Identity manager and Appvolumes, but not everyone gets the opportunity to really go to town across multiple sites with a view to building it up from the bottom – so this is where this paper comes in really handy. There’s everything you need for those situations where you’d have go hunting for the further information and also helps for getting buy in as to what exactly is needed as defined by a whitepaper. There are other configurations as solutions for multi site architecture (I know, I’ve done a few myself), but with this, you know exactly what you put in and what you’ll get out.

Horizon 7 Multi-site architecture

Vmware UAG – It is the right damned password!!!

*Tap tap tap tap*

Login failed

*Tap tap tap tap*

Login failed

Yes…You are typing the correct password. When setting up the UAG, there’s a minimum password complexity…It just doesn’t tell you that you met it or not… Honestly it’s up there with the firewall changes for VROPS they don’t tell you about, plus calling Domains ‘Realms’…

Anyway! Easily fixed – Root password on the console screen should be fine and do the following:

echo ‘adminPassword=P@ssw0rd’ > /opt/vmware/gateway/conf/firstboot.properties
chown gateway /opt/vmware/gateway/conf/firstboot.properties
supervisorctl restart admin

Lo and Behold! You can access the WebUI again…

One of my colleagues wrote a UAG Firewall rules generator which is worth a look!

https://veffort.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/vmware-access-point-firewall-rule-generator/

vRealize For Operations – Unable to pair the broker agent for Horizon

I actually wrote some documentation on this for my team, when I encountered the issue. Then I lost it. Hence setting up a website to store everything I come across, on!

This issue came about myself after I upgraded the version of VROPS I had installed and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why the agent simply refused to connect. So after much messing around, I found the following vmware KB:

VMware vRealize Operations Manager for Horizon 6.2 Broker Agent fails to pair with the Horizon adapter (2140844)

Yep, they decided to leave out the necessary ports allowed through the firewall on the appliance. Thanks vmware!

If you aren’t comfortable using VI – which for the uninitiated, can be a nightmare, you can take a copy of the file (download it/FTP it off etc) and make the changes, then re-upload it.

Don’t forget the restart the firewall service – also when I rebooted the VROPs server once, it lost the settings, so rookie mistake or something more…sinister… Not sure, don’t care, just had to do this again! 😉

 

Add multiple ESXi Hosts to vCenter (PowerCLI)

So if you’ve read some of my previous posts, you probably figured out that I’ve built a fair few environments from scratch and hate having to rinse and repeat manually. For my last infrastructure project I have some various scripts and tools to sort that out!

The following link lets you add ESXi Hosts to vCenter via PowerCLI, by Hostname range, IP Range, or text file/CSV. I used textfile and name using this method and it worked perfectly.

This ties in with DNS entry creation as well as it means you can quickly and easily add all your hosts and create the DNS entries for them as well.

Add Add multiple ESXi Hosts to vCenter with PowerCLI

DNS Bulk records creation

Horizon View Client Install – Windows

And now for something completely different.

I mean, now for the Horizon View Windows Install!

Download the Horizon View Client from the following site:

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=CART17Q1_WIN_440&productId=578&rPId=15156

1win2win

Now, you may not want USB redirection (or it may not work) and also it’s environment dependent whether you want to Log in as current user.

win3

Enter your Default connection server

win4

Continuing on from if you chose to log in as current user

win5win6win7win8win9

Run the app, log in and go forth!