VMware

34K

Solutions

17K

Contributors

VMware is virtual machine software that provides a virtualized set of hardware (a video adapter, a network adapter, and hard disk adapters) to the guest operating system. VMware virtual machines become highly portable between computers, because every host looks nearly identical to the guest. In practice, a system administrator can pause operations on a virtual machine guest, move or copy that guest to another physical computer, and there resume execution exactly at the point of suspension. VMware's enterprise software hypervisors for servers, VMware ESX and VMware ESXi are bare-metal embedded Hypervisors that run directly on server hardware without requiring an additional underlying operating system.

Share tech news, updates, or what's on your mind.

Sign up to Post

There are many out there that are pressured to help reduce the overhead for their VMWare implementation.  ESXi seems to help fulfill this requirement as it's cost is zero, as long as you have the proper hardware to run this hypervisor.

The other issue that is commonly encountered is that there is no budget ever considered or properly allocated for a backup solution.  So, what do you do if you forget to document your ESXi's configuration and it fails?  Well, in many cases, you hope to God that you have a good memory and can remember all of the settings you created.

A utility I happened upon and tested is the VMWare ESXi backup and configurator utility.

With this application, you can:
Backup your ESXi's configuration - Allows backup to a remote machine. This is great in the event of your ESXi host dies, you can quickly recover the configuration from the file you have created.
Restore backup configurations - Restore your ESXi config to your ESXi host.

Other features of this application are:
Update your ESXi Host
View settings of your ESXi host

While most of these features can be provided via the VI client, the ability to backup and restore your ESXi host's settings has value beyond words.

Here is the link to the application.  Check it out for yourself CLICK HERE   …
3

Expert Comment

by:MalibuKen
Comment Utility
This utility requires RCLI.  RCLI cannot read/write to a free ESXi installation.
0
This type of situation occurs when you either accidently delete a vmdk and have only a xxxx-flat.vmdk file or if you had a second machine attached to a disk and delete that machine it details the details of the disk. You cannot mount a xxxx-flat.vmdk file to any virtual machine because the machine has no idea how to manage the disk. So you can no longer attach the disk or boot the VM it is attached too. The very first step is to remove the original disk from the machine so there is no way to power on or essentially damage the files. Verify you can still boot the VM successfully but minus the disk (if it was not the primary disk). If you have no disk space to re-create a mirror of this disk (in order to copy the vmdk settings into the problematic file) disk to pull the .vmdk file from and point it to the xxxx-flat.vmdk file so you can create an any size virtual disk on the specified machine and attached it to the xxxx-flat.vmdk and then calculate the the Cylinders, Sectors, and Heads for the original  xxxx-flat.vmdk. I found a excellent website to assist the calculations:

This website will give you the calculations you need.
http://sanbarrow.com/vmdk/diskgeometrietable2.html

This example is of a 510gb disk that was deleted and used a 40gb disk to recreate the xxxx.vmdk I needed. From here I was able to re-create the .VMDK file for the virtual disk as follows (the original):

version=1
CID=ed3d02ab
parentCID=ffffffff
createType= vmfs 
RW 83886080 VMFS 

Open in new window

1

Administrative Comment

by:Articles101
Comment Utility
I've asked for another Page Editor to review the article from a technical viewpoint
0
This article describes how you can connect a USB drive directly to an esx4/esxi4(vSphere) host
As most people know, this is an unsupported method and undocumented by vmware

Refer to KB Article: 1015 http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=1015&sliceId=2&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&dialogID=53350659&stateId=0

Hopefully this will be the first article to discuss about copying files to USB drive under vmware esx/esxi console, as most returned results from Google search are basically for a VM(Virtual Machine) to access USB drive on the vSphere host via VMDirectPath. For short, VMDirectPath requires IOMMU feature enabled in BIOS and allows VM to access an USB drive attached to esx4/esxi4 host directly

Why do you want to connect a USB drive to an esx4/esxi4 host under console?
Quick copy/backup of virtual machine files or other files such as dump, log, txt, conf, etc. at the console without needing a vSphere Client or other machine to download the files

Requirements:
1.      Server hardware with USB controller/port (It may not work for all hardware)
2.      esxi4/esx4 installed (First release, haven't tried on Update 1 yet)
3.      USB drive (any type of USB drive should work but must be formatted correctly, refer steps below)
4.      Yourself physically at the server and a bit of luck with the hardware
5.      Minor unix skills

STEPS FOR VMware ESX 4

1.      Format the USB drive with the classic FAT aka FAT16 or FAT32 filesystem
2.      If you need …
7

Expert Comment

by:ooharris
Comment Utility
I have the same problem - I found a post on the vmware website that suggests this has been resolved in update1.
0
LVL 24

Author Comment

by:ryder0707
Comment Utility
Can you share the post link?
0
A couple of configurations that I have found to be useful when using VM Server.

For the un-initiated or new comers to virtualization. This is where many of us got started or will get started. Because it's cheap, runs on top of an existing Windows machine and is portable. I take VM Server with me on my laptop and us it to run Specialized appliances such as Nessus, Network Tools and other devices that are specialized for discovering and documenting Enterprise Systems.

I have used VM Server in many organizations as a an example as a test environment for admigration, Sand Box for developers that require instant rollback to a previous configuration (snap shots).
I have several business that were budget constrained. And used VM Server to deploy / redeploy services such as exchange file and print services etc.  (be careful with these they bite)

One thing to consider. With the release of vm4i as a free host os you should consider this platform if you have a server that can be committed to the purpose.

The problem that we run into is that we are operating multiple machines using a Host OS that is already plenty heavy.

So follow the enclosed recommendation's and you should see more performance.

some things that I do that seem to work

1. Kill the antivirus or set exceptions for all of the vm components and the swap file.
2. Create and consolidate the page file.
You can get a page file optimization tool here. …
0
How to Increase VMWare Hard Disk Size?
(Taken from my web log: http://blog.mrt-web.com)

I've been playing with virtual machines and testing some odd things that can not be easily tested on a real computer, suddenly I come across to a situation that my virtual machine's hard disk size needed to be increased.

It is one simple command! You just need to go where you installed VMWare WorkStation, there is a file named: vmware-vdiskmanager.exe

You just need to open a command window and run:


vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -x sizeGB virtualDiskFile.vmdk


That's all.
1
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Virtalicious
Comment Utility
Some considerations worthy of mention here is that if this is the system disk or a MFT Based disk then you will still need to increase the partition sizes to enable the extra space for usability.

Partition Magic / Diskpart / Easus Partition Manager
for example.

If the disk is dynamic then you can extend the volume however this is not a solution viable on boot disks.

If you do not have any of the above and you want to do it for free, you can download vmconverter and do a V2V conversion and resize the disks in the advanced settings for the hard disks.  These geometric changes will get transferred over into the FAT/MFT Tables and you can just convert and go with no additional steps.

-V
0
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:itnifl
Comment Utility
I see this is WorkStation that is used here, but just adding some  info about vSphere if it has any value:

In VMWare Sphere, after expanding the disk via the vSphere Client on the virtual machine, you can expan the disk inside the operating system with extpart.exe if the operatig system is Windows 2003(any version):
http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=R64398

This goes for system partitions, dynamic disks, or basic disks.

If you are dealing with a Windows 2008 or Windows 2012 server, you simply use disk manager that comes standard with the operating system and expand the partition in need by right clicking it and choose expand/extend. If any error occurs, or you are not seeing the newly available disk space, rightclick diskmanager and choose to rescan to see if that resolves the problem.

If you are automating extending  of disk drives in a large vSphere environment, you can use the following powershell script function that needs PowerCli installed where it is run from:

function ExtendVMWareDisk {
	param([Parameter(Mandatory=$True)] [string] $vCenterHost, 
		[Parameter(Mandatory=$True)] [string] $vCenterUser, 
		[Parameter(Mandatory=$True)] [string] $vCenterPass,		
		[Parameter(Mandatory=$True)] [string] $localUser,
		[Parameter(Mandatory=$True)] [string] $localPassword,
		[Parameter(Mandatory=$True)] [string] $vmname,
		[Parameter(Mandatory=$True)] [int] $diskNo,
		[Parameter(Mandatory=$True)] [int] $sizeGB
	)
	
	if(-not (Get-PSSnapin VMware.VimAutomation.Core 2> $NULL)) { 
		if ($host.Name -eq "ConsoleHost") {Write-Host -ForeGroundColor Yellow "Adding VMWare Snapin"}
		Add-PSSnapin VMware.VimAutomation.Core 
	}
	
	function ConnectVIServer([string]$vCenterHost, [string]$vCenterUser, [string]$vCenterPass) {
		#The Following is compatible with version 5.1 of powercli: 
		if ($host.Name -eq "ConsoleHost") {Write-Host -ForeGroundColor Yellow "Connecting to vCenter: $vCenterHost"}
		Set-PowerCLIConfiguration -DefaultVIServerMode Single -InvalidCertificateAction Ignore -WebOperationTimeoutSeconds -1 -confirm:$false
		Connect-VIServer -Server $vCenterHost -User $vCenterUser -Password $vCenterPass
	}

	ConnectVIServer $vCenterHost $vCenterUser $vCenterPass
	
	if ($host.Name -eq "ConsoleHost") {Write-Host -ForeGroundColor Yellow "Creating local logon credentials.."}
	$password = ConvertTo-SecureString -String $localPassword -AsPlainText -Force
	$credentials = new-object -typename System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -argumentlist $localUser, $password
	
	$props = @{
		errorID = 0;
    }
	$diskName = "Hard disk {0}" -f $diskNo
	if ($host.Name -eq "ConsoleHost") {Write-Host -ForeGroundColor Yellow "Extending '$diskName' to $sizeGB GB on '$vmname'"}
	try {
		if($sizeGB -gt (Get-HardDisk $vmname | where {$_.Name -eq $diskName}).CapacityGB) {
			Get-HardDisk $vmname | where {$_.Name -eq $diskName} | Set-HardDisk -CapacityGB $sizeGB -ResizeGuestPartition -GuestCredential $credentials -Confirm:$false
		}	
	} catch {
		$props["errorID"] = 1;
		$props.Add("failedItem", $_.Exception.ItemName);
		$props.Add("errorMessage", @("ERROR: 1 Could not extend '$diskName' to $sizeGB GB on '$vmname': " + $_.Exception.Message));
		return $props
	}
	return $props
}

Open in new window

0
I believe many of you must have thought of trying your hands at the "High Availability" feature of Windows OS - Clustering. Building a usual plain windows cluster could be easily achieved using any virtualization tool like MS Virtual PC or VMware Workstation. But the fact here is "does it actually work the same way as we expect or otherwise have we really been successful to mimic the actual feature of Windows Clustering as in a live environment"?

To answer the above question, let's take a small scenario of building a 2 node server cluster and having a "shared physical disk" as one of the resources hosted on the cluster.

Now to give a brief overview about the working of a "shared physical disk" in the live environment, we all know that if Node1 is in control of the disk, then Node2 would not be able to access it and vice versa. But the most important thing here is the integrity of the data that's been written on the disk i.e. if Node1 writes some bytes on the disk the same should be visible to Node2 when it gains control over it.

In a live environment using SAN and SCSI hardware the above scenario could be easily achieved. But when it comes to virtual environment (or rather a test lab on our home PCs) it doesn't come up easily unless until either using 3rd party software or the tweak explained in this article.

Note:  This article henceforth would be referring to VMware Workstation as the virtualization tool since MS Virtual PC doesn't support a 2 node cluster with …
2
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:jjoz
Comment Utility
thanks for sharing this article man...
0
Problem:

Computers running Windows Vista, that have VMware Workstation or VMware Player installed, have constant "Unidentified Network" adapters, that prevent the operating system from allowing private or domain firewall profiles to be used.

Description:

Windows Vista configures it's firewall based on the least secure network connection detected, as shown in the "Network and Sharing Center".  When VMware products are installed, several virtual "vmnet" adapters are installed.  Vista detects them as "Unidentified Networks".  The result is that Vista always believes it's connected to an unidentified network, and will not allow the firewall to go into "domain mode", thus preventing any local or group policy configurations you've made for on-network firewall behavior from taking effect while the computer is on your internal network.  The end result is that your Vista machine's firewall is always "puckered up".  This can cause several problems with machine management, communication, and configuration.

Solution:

VMware has created a workaround that changes a simple registry value "*NdisDeviceType", thus causing Vista to treat the virtual adapter as an endpoint... which excludes it from the network identification / firewall configuration process.

For more information, see:
http://communities.vmware.com/thread/85154

I wrote a simple script that will search the registry for vmnet adapters, and change the …
0

VMware

34K

Solutions

17K

Contributors

VMware is virtual machine software that provides a virtualized set of hardware (a video adapter, a network adapter, and hard disk adapters) to the guest operating system. VMware virtual machines become highly portable between computers, because every host looks nearly identical to the guest. In practice, a system administrator can pause operations on a virtual machine guest, move or copy that guest to another physical computer, and there resume execution exactly at the point of suspension. VMware's enterprise software hypervisors for servers, VMware ESX and VMware ESXi are bare-metal embedded Hypervisors that run directly on server hardware without requiring an additional underlying operating system.