Aug 21

I had a bit of trouble confirming today that VMware Guided Consolidation was removed in vSphere 5.

Guided Consolidation is available in vSphere 4.1 but not 5. You can use a partner or professional services for VMware Capacity Planner. Third party tools are available also.

VMware Converter Standalone does not include guided consolidation. However this does provide a lot of the function that converter enterprise did inside of vCenter.

Rest in peace Guided Consolidation, I will miss you greatly. Thank you for making me successful in the past.

Mar 11

Although orphaned VM’s are no fun usually, I am having some fun with them right now. I had an HA issue that caused 300+ VM’s to be moved to one host. Then somehow they all became orphaned. The host doesn’t think it has any of them. vCenter thinks they are there though. After a quick cry and a cup of coffee, I have tried restarting the management agents and vCenter. Migrating the orphaned vm’s to another host is working for many of them. So I had the bright idea of putting the questionable host in maintenance mode and leaving the box checked to evacuate all powered off vm’s and templates. This is working great. However at about 114 left the host popped into maintenance mode completely and left vm’s on there. So I exited maintenance mode and entered again. Now it is at 108 and 107 and bouncing back and forth. How odd….

Mar 12

Here are some commands that may be helpful. Unfortunately, VMWare’s latest readme included in the latest Consolidated Backup integration Module VMware-ibm-tsm-integration-64559 does not talk about TSM 5.5 – only 5.3, 5.3.3, and 5.4. At the time of this writing, it does not look like TSM is fully supporting full vm backups, only file level. I have reviewed this document from IBM on using VMWare Consolidated Backup with TSM 5.5 many times and cannot find any information on full vm backups. I expect a newer tsm integration module to be out soon, as this one was made in September 2007 where the info center document is from November 2007.

To manually mount a VM’s file system using vcbmounter use:
vcbmounter -h -u vcuser -p vcpass -a -r c:\mnt\tsmvmbackup\filelevel -t file

To manaully mount a vm for full backup use this instead
vcbmounter -h -u vcuser -p vcpass -a -r c:\mnt\tsmvmbackup\fullvm -t fullvm

To unmount either use:
vcbmounter -h -u vcuser -p vcpass -U c:\mnt\tsmvmbackup\fullvm\vmguest
vcbmounter -h -u vcuser -p vcpass -U c:\mnt\tsmvmbackup\filelevel\vmguest

To manually start a backup using file level against a vm.
dsmc backup vm -vmlist=vmguest -vmchost=vcmserver -vmcuser=vcuser -vmcpw=vcpassword

The ability to offload your backups to a dedicated machine is great. Especially if you run your ESX servers as close to the edge as possible. I personally have a cluster with 38 virtual machines on 2 dell 2950’s with 16 GB of ram each. I find myself assigning 512 MB of memory to a server and I will allow it more as I see fit.