Extend VMFS volume with VMware vSphere Client

I was setting up a central logging host. I created a Volume through our EqualLogic SAN of 100GB with thin provisioning.  Then created a virtual host through VMware and gave it the entire 100GB of space for the disk.

I had a configuration error that caused my log files to grow to the entire 100GB over night.  So my disk was now very close to 100% used.  According to these helpful links: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/255173 and http://www.equallogic.com/resourcecenter/assetview.aspx?id=5245

A thin-provisioned volume grows automatically due to application data writes. If later the application frees up space, the space is free in the file system but is not returned to the free space in the PS Series pool. The only way to reduce the physical allocation is to create a new volume, copy the application data from the old volume to the new, and then delete the old volume.
o Example: A file share is thin-provisioned with 1 TB logical size. Data is placed into the volume so that the physical allocation grows to 500 GB. Files are deleted from the file system, reducing the reported file system in use to 100 GB. The remaining 400 GB of physical storage remains allocated to this volume in the SAN.
o This issue can also occur with maintenance operations including defragmentation, database re-organization, and other application operations.

So to get around my EqualLogic storage warnings and alarms, I increased the size of my volume to 125GB.  Now I needed to tell VMware about the change in the VMFS size.  I fired up my VMware vSphere client and browsed one of my ESX servers in our cluster.  Some instructions taken from here: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1003302

  1. Powered off the virtual host.
  2. Click on the “Configuration” tab and selected the “Storage” link.
  3. Right click the Volume you would like to edit.
  4. You will see the device size listed and the VMFS size listed.  Select the “Increase …” button.
  5. This will open a pop up wizard to add an extent to the VMFS file system.
  6. Follow the prompts for the Add Extent wizard to add an extent.
  7. Perform a rescan on every ESX host that is being presented the new LUN so that the additional of the extent is detected.
  8. Selected the virtual host and edited the hard disk size to the increased 25GB size.
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Windows Server 2008 unidentified network VMware

I am in the process of setting up a VMware virtual machine that requires one public NIC and one private NIC for iSCSI traffic.  I kept getting the “unidentified network” for the second NIC and I came across this post:  robboek.com/2008/12/18/vmware-unidentified-network-issue-in-vista-and-windows-server-2008-fix/

There is however, a very annoying problem when you install VMware on Vista (and Windows Server 2008). When you install VMware it adds a few virtual network adapters. For various reasons, these adapters are listed in the Network Sharing Center as being on an “Unidentified network (Public network)” and all of the features under Sharing and Discovery are turned off .

Here is the best fix I’ve found thanks to a post by richv in the VMware forum:

  1. Run regedit
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  3. Underneath you should see several keys labeled 0000, 0001, 0002 etc… Look through these and find the VMware adapters. They will probably be near the end of the list if you just installed VMware.
  4. For each of the VWware adapters, add a new DWORD value named “*NdisDeviceType” and set it to 1 (make sure you get the * at the beginning of the name, I missed that the first time).
  5. Disable and Enable each of the network adapters.

That should take care of the problem. Setting *NdisDeviceType to 1 causes Windows to ignore the device when it does network identification. Here is an MSDN article with more details.

Finding the correct private NIC I added the DWORD and disabled and enabled the NIC. Now the status is Enabled but when I right click status for the NIC I am still getting “No network access”

Still searching …

Upgrade ESX 3.5 to 4.0 with Upgrade Manager

  1. Backup VirtualCenter Server database just to be safe.
  2. Perform an upgrade from VirtualCenter Server 2.5 to vCenter Server 4.0
  3. Download latest ESX 4.x update .iso from VMware. You will need your license account to login
  4. Login to vSphere client and enable the Upgrade Manager
  5. Browse to the Upgrade Manager tab
  6. Click on Admin View -> Download the patches from VMware through Upgrade Manager
  7. Exit Admin view
  8. Click on “Attach …” and create a baseline with the .iso you downloaded. Finish the install instructions.
  9. Create a Baseline group
  10. Select “Scan …” NOTE: Non-compliant means the ESX host or virtual machine is unpatched or out of date
  11. Make sure the host is in maintenance mode and there are no running virtual machines on it
  12. Select “Remediate …”
  13. Choose to update to upgrade to 4.0

Upgrade VMware Infrastructure 3.x to VMware vSphere 4.x

These instructions are a subset of instruction found here: http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2009/06/vsphere-virtual-machine-upgrade-process.html

The above instructions are for Windows server upgrade.  These have been modified for Linux vm hosts.

Upgrading a VMware Infrastructure 3.x environment to VMware vSphere 4 involves more than just upgrading vCenter Server and upgrading your ESX/ESXi hosts (as if that wasn’t enough). You should also plan on upgrading your virtual machines. VMware vSphere introduces a new hardware version (version 7), and vSphere also introduces a new paravirtualized network driver (VMXNET3) as well as a new paravirtualized SCSI driver (PVSCSI). To take advantage of these new drivers as well as other new features, you’ll need to upgrade your virtual machines.  If you are running a mixed environment of ESX 3.5 and ESX 4.0 be careful upgrading the hardware version of your virtual machines.  Hardware version 7 virtual machines will NOT run on ESX 3.5 hosts!!! In addition, VMOTION is not supported for paravirt (VMI) or enhanced networking (VMXNET3) devices so take that into consideration before using those devices.

For those upgrading VMware tools in a Linux environment(Especially Oracle NFS shops!!!). Make sure to backup your /etc/fstab file before applying the upgrade. Went to upgrade vmware tools while I was upgrading the hardware versions to 7 in our dev/test environments and wiped out all of the nfs mount paths for our Oracle DB servers. Each VM had like 8 mount path’s too! It’s a good thing we started with vSphere in dev/test and didn’t jump the gun

  1. Backup VirtualCenter Server database just to be safe.
  2. Perform an upgrade from VirtualCenter Server 2.5 to vCenter Server 4.0
  3. Download latest ESX 4.x update .iso from VMware. You will need your license account to login
  4. Login to vSphere client and enable the Upgrade Manager
  5. Browse to the Upgrade Manager tab
  6. Click on Admin View -> Download the patches from VMware through Upgrade Manager
  7. Exit Admin view
  8. Click on “Attach …” and create a baseline with the .iso you downloaded. Finish the install instructions.
  9. Create a Baseline group
  10. Select “Scan …” NOTE: Non-compliant means the ESX host or virtual machine is unpatched or out of date
  11. Make sure the host is in maintenance mode and there are no running virtual machines on it
  12. Select “Remediate …”
  13. Choose to update to upgrade to 4.0
  14. Upgrade VMware Tools in the guest operating system. You can do this by right-clicking on the virtual machine and selecting Guest > Install/Upgrade VMware Tools. When prompted, choose to perform an automatic tools upgrade. When the VMware Tools upgrade is complete, the virtual machine will reboot.
  15. After the guest operating system reboots and is back up again, shutdown the guest operating system. You can do this by right-clicking on the virtual machine and selecting Power > Shutdown Guest.
  16. Upgrade the virtual machine hardware by right-clicking the virtual machine and selecting Upgrade Virtual Hardware.
  17. Click OK to commit the changes you’ve made to the virtual machine.
  18. Power on the virtual machine. When the guest operating system is fully booted up, log in.

If you perform these steps on a template, then you can be assured that all future virtual machines cloned from this template also have the latest paravirtualized drivers installed for maximum performance. UPDATE: Per this VMware KB article, VMware doesn’t support using the PVSCSI adapter for boot devices. That is not to say that it doesn’t work (it does work), but that it is not supported. Thanks to Eddy for pointing that out in the comments!