First, where should I begin with? I have had spent a lot of times recently doing a so called poor man’s HA for ESXi 5.1 (which I named it “heartbeat”) without vCenter. Too many questions arose during the initial stage such as can it be done, how should I done it and etc. Well after two weeks of effort, I’m happy that it start to pay off.
VMware vMA is a good platform to start with as I don’t have to worry about a set of remote CLI required for ESXi communication. After carefully designed the flow of overall process, I’ve started to run every command that I need one after another just to make sure everything can be done later via shell script.
Then, protected host, registered VMs, heartbeat status, interval, network false alarm, failover procedure, logs were some of the things that I managed to take care of. I have tested to run “Heartbeat” tool on both free and paid ESXi 5.1 versions and as expected, I cannot have it run on free ESXi due to locking API. Nevertheless my feeling is telling me, I still can do it on free ESXi though the method should be different.
So, what is next? Although at this moment “Heartbeat” able to automatically failover VMs from one host to another when there is a host failure, I have to admit it is not a complete tool yet. I’m still searching a way on how to overcome a bug and split brain concern after few successful failovers which hopefully I can settle it by this month.
Finally I’ve completed my VCP Cloud certification program by getting passed VCP 5 - IaaS exam today with 443/500 score. There are two paths actually to earning the certification as you can find it here. Since I already took my VCP-DCV last February, I just need to pass this IaaS exam to earn the VCP Cloud certification.
My resources for the exam are:
- VSP - Cloud(Cloud - IaaS 5) - VMware Partner Portal
- VTSP - Cloud(Cloud - IaaS 5) - VMware Partner Portal
- Youtube - Install & Configure vCloud Director
- vCloud Director Networking for Dummies
Of course, it’s a two weeks preparation with couple of previous real hands-on experience installing & configuring vCloud director for the customer. By the way, to setup your own vCloud Director lab is also recommended. Remember, it’s 85 multiple choices question and you will be giving 90 minutes to complete all the questions. As far as I remember, there are just few questions related to Chargeback & vCloud director troubleshooting. The rest is more on vCloud Director networking.
Obviously, a standard workflow or process for private vCloud Infrastructure is the next thing that everyone should have it. Just recently I have had implemented it for one of my customer and ONLY then I realized that how important this is for you to drive your IT Service process in professional way and meet compliance standard. I have never thought before that the whole request process for vCloud resources can be simplified dramatically. Imagine the whole automation request for vCloud resources starting from service request, approval and automation can be made by end-user through interactive self-service portal provided by Service Manager. This will indeed can help us to increase IT productivity, reduce costs and follow the best practice.
Although at this moment, there is ONLY vSphere integration pack currently available for Orchestrator Runbook 2012, but still you can create a simple custom activities by using a combination of Batch, Powershell & Powercli scripts for your Cloud resources operation. Once you have this baseline runbook, then at anytime you can enhance it to become more complex runbook such as by adding email notification once request is made and approved.
All the status of the activities then can be reviewed by end-user as well from the moment that the service request is being submitted and till completed. Believe it or not, it will just take a moment to complete the whole process and holla, your vApp is ready.
As per my collegue, you can P2V Redhat 6.3 via converter standalone 5.0.1 and the process is very akin to what we did to Centos 6 before. However, my colleague has told me that the conversion finally had stopped at 99% with error message “RHEL version not supported by reconfig” and further check with VMware KB we’ve found out here that this Redhat 6 is currently not supported by converter 5.0.x. We tried to reboot the VM and although it managed to boot up halfway, it will stuck at the well known check point with next error message (Kernel Panic), but at least we know that the grub is working as expected.
I believe this is not the end of the world and in order to solve the issue, I’ve asked my colleague to bring back the image so that I can fix it. Before that, make sure your Redhat 6 VM is using at least LSI Logic SAS or else, it will not able to detect the disk. Next, reboot your VM with Redhat Rescue disk, make sure the image is mounted at /mnt/sysimage and chroot, remake initrd so that mptscsih driver can be injected into new initrd, remove unnecessary LV parameter from grub.conf and then modify fstab file accordingly. Finally, reboot the VM and holla, your Redhat 6.3 is should be ready.
In year 2009, I did tried to do my first V2P for SLES 9 virtual machines by using “partition image” and Yast repair. Although the migration had completed successfully but the overall process was quite messy. Time has moved on and now there are so many tools available in the market which can also do the same things but with less headache. Platespin and Acronis for example has gained tremendous popularity for its capability of doing V2P migration to a dissimilar hardware. But let alone those two and let see how I did V2P migration for Windows Server 2008 R2 VM (ESXi 4.1) to HP Proliant MicroServer using Dell Appassure.
- Source - Windows Server 2008 R2(VM), 2x vCPU, 2GB ram, 20GB vdisk
- Target - HP Proliant Microserver(Physical) 8GB ram, 149GB x2 HDD (no raid)
- Tool - Dell Appassure 5.3.1(VM)
- Speed - 1GbE
The overall process can be summarized as below: