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VMWARE TOOLS : RVTOOLS / WinSCP / PowerGUI (PowerShell related GUI and script ) . 7-zip- (for open all comparasion file) / Vsphere replication /Vsphere Site Recovery Manager vSphere Data Protection (VDP) /Capacity planner /Host Agent pre-upgrade checker

ESX stands for Elastic Sky X


GSX stands for Ground Storm X"


i” in ESXi stands for Integrated"

ESXi features High security: Memory hardening / Kernel module integrity /Trusted platform module /Small disk footprint /Installable on hard disks, SAN LUNs, USB devices, SD cards, and diskless hosts

ESXi Hardware Prerequisites Processor: 64-bit x86 CPU:/Requires at least two cores./ ESXi supports a broad range of x64 multicore processors./Requires NX/XD bit to be enabled for the CPU in the BIOS /Memory: 4 GB RAM minimum /10 Gigabit, and 40 Gigabit Ethernet controllers are supported. Disk storage: A SCSI adapter, Fibre Channel adapter, converged network adapter, iSCSI adapter, or internal RAID controller A SCSI disk, Fibre Channel logical unit number (LUN), iSCSI disk, or RAID LUN with un partitioned space: SATA, SCSI, or Serial Attached SCSI

Two type ESXi 1)ESXi Embedded :- Preinstalled on to an external usb key 2)ESXi Installable :- Manual installation

Installation procedure to install ESXi, Scripted ESXi installation:

The script contains the host configuration settings. The script must be stored in an accessible location such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, NFS,CD, or USB. A PXE boot installation is possible.

Automatic ESXi installation with VMware vSphere® Auto Deploy The ESXi host loads the image directly into the host memory. The ESXi installation can be either stateful or stateless. PXE boot is used to contact an autodeploy server. vSphere Auto Deploy uses host profiles. Remote management applications:

Install ESXi on hosts in remote locations with third-party management applications

ESXi can be booted from SAN:

Supported for Fibre Channel SAN >Supported for iSCSI and Fibre Channel over Ethernet for certain qualified storage adapters SAN connections must be made through a switched topology unless the array is certified for direct-connect. The ESXi host must have exclusive access to its own boot LUN. >Use different LUNs for VMFS datastores and boot partitions.

Differences between ESX and ESXi

ESX Service Console- Present Troubleshooting performed via- Service Console "Secure Syslog - Not Supported Management Network - Service Console Interface Hardware Montioring - 3 rd Party agents installed in Service console patches and updates - Needed as smilar to linux operation system/ vSphere web Access- Only experimental Locked Down Mode - Not present

ESXi Service Console- Removed /Esxi require very less hardware/Less patches/quick install/ Troubleshooting performed via- ESXi Shell "Secure Syslog - Supported" Management Network VMKernel Interface Hardware Montioring - 3 rd Party agents installed in Via CIM Providers Few patches because of small footprint and more secure vSphere web Access- Full managenet capability via vSPhere web client Locked Down Mode - Present . Lockdown mode prevents remote users to login to the host

Major Administration command-line Command - esxcfg Rapid deployment via Auto Deploy - Not supported Custom Image creation - Not supported VMkernel Network Used for - vMotion, Fault Tolarance, Stoarge Connectivity.

Major Administration command-line Command - esxcli Rapid deployment via Auto Deploy - Supported Custom Image creation - Supported VMkernel Network Used for - Management Network , vMotion, Fault Tolarance, Stoarge Connectivity, ISCSI port binding NANO command is not available in ESXi

ESX Partion Vfat- 4GB / Logs-4gb /

/boot -100 MB /

(/ - 5GB) / swap -600-718 MB / /var/log - 2GB /vmkcore - 100 MB //home -512MB /

(/tmp - 1024 MB)

esx-console logs

sysboot-vmkernel-boot.log , sysboot-dmesg-boot.log, sysboot-vmkernel-late.log, sysboot-dmesg-late.og, sysboot.log

cd /vmfs/volumes/ESX-Storage-94-1/esxconsole-4c44398f-4238-b888-226e-001e0bcd236a/logs/

Core-dump location

cd vmfs/volumes/ESX-Storage-94-1/esxconsole-4c44398f-4238-b888-226e-001e0bcd236a/core-dumps


ESXI What are the partitions of an ESX server? Service Console Partitions and Sizes for Each ESX Server Host Mount Point Partition Size Description /dev/sda (Primary) /boot ext3 250 MB Change for additional space for upgrades N/A swap 1600 MB Change for maximum service console swap size / ext3 5120 MB Change for additional space in root /dev/sda (Extended) /var ext3 4096 MB Create partition to avoid overfilling root with log files /tmp ext3 1024 MB Create partition to avoid overfilling root with temporary files /opt ext3 2048 MB Create partition to avoid overfilling root with VMware HA log files /home ext3 1024 MB Create partition to avoid overfilling root with agent / user files vmkcore 100 MB Pre-configured Free Space (Optional) Auto-configured and used for local VMFS-3 volume (needed for virtual machines running Microsoft’s Clustering Software. vmfs

Restart the management agent restart Individually restart agents

cd /etc/init.d

hostd - /etc/init.d/hostd restart

vpxa - /etc/init.d/vpxa restart

TROUBLSHOOTING QUESTIONS restart hostd /etc/init.d/hostd restart vpxa /etc/init.d/vpxa restart esxcli network ip connection list

Secuirty related configuration files /etc/ssh (contaning ssh configuration file) /etc/ssh/sshd_config (Primary config file for the ssh daemon) /etc/vmware/ssl (Directory containing SSL certficates)

How will you turn start / stop a VM through command prompt? "vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms vim-cmd vmsvc/power.getstat {vmID} vim-cmd vmsvc/ {vmID} vim-cmd vmsvc/ {vmID}"

ESXi firewall troubleshooting

Check the firewall rules>

Esxcli network firewall> Load, unload and view rules

Host>configuration>software>Security Profile

1. VMWare Kernel is a Proprietary Kenral and is not based on any of the UNIX operating systems, it's a kernel developed by VMWare Company.

2. The VMKernel can't boot it by itself, so that it takes the help of the 3rd party operating system. In VMWare case the kernel is booted by RedHat Linux operating

system which is known as service console.

3. The service console is developed based up on Redhat Linux Operating system, it is used to manage the VMKernel

Upgrade Consideration ESX to ESXi upgrade is not possible (do fresh install of ESXi 4.1) ESXi 3.5 to ESXi 41. Use update Manager ESXi 4.0 to ESXi 4.1 use Update Manager or vihostupdate ESXi 4.1 can only be managed by Vcenter 4.1

After ESXi installtion what are things need to be configure Set the root password /Ip address/Default gateway/DNS/NTP/routing/security profile/licence key/join to domain/enable the the port/join to vcenter server/add to HA/configure the port group/networking/storage/multipathing/

ESXi Command line tools VMware vSphere CLI (vCLI)

VMware vSphere Management Assistant (vMA) VMware vSphere SDK for perl VMware vSphere PowerCLI Configuring ESXi Log storage (Sys Log)

Go to ESXi>Configuration> select storage>create folder under storage>Advance setting>syslog>local> specify the path

Configuring via Putty>.gz files are old log files.

Enabling Lockdown Mode Enabling lockdown prevents access directly to the esxi host from vsphere client, vcli, powercli


Forces all operations to be performed through vcenter server Cannot connect directly to esxi nor use powercli, vcli scripts or vma directly on the host Root users can still log in using Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) Available on ESXi hosts that are connected to the vcenter server

3 method we can use to enable/disable to lockdown mode 1)Login to esx server>DCUI> 2)Vcenter > add host> u will get option to enable 3)Vcenter>esx>Configuration>Security profile>Lockdown mode>edit>enable

Enabling Technical Support Mode (TSM) 3 methods Tech support mode is recommended for use primarily for support troubleshooting and break-fix situation Can be access from DCUI and vCenter Server Local and Remote TSM available Login to ESX serve console>Troubleshooting>enable local Tech support Login> Alt + f1 (ALT+F2) to back> Enable Remote Tech Support (SSH) Open SSH Client > Vcenter >ESX>Configuration>Security Profile>services Properties>Local Tech support> option> start.

When running resxtop command in vMA to view performance output, how do I view only VMs and not other worlds ? After entering the resxtop command, we can enter "V" which will output displaying only VMs on that specific ESX Server.

What’s the difference between Top and ESXTOP command? esxtop is a customized version of (bsd) top that will give you statistics of the virtual environment. esxtop is an excellent tool for getting detailed info on the environment of a single host. top is not installed on ESXi: it support only ESX

ESXI PARTITION In this article we will look at the partition layout of ESXi 5. A change from earlier ESXi 4.x is that the older MBR partitioning system is replaced with a GPT style partition table. The first five partitions are mandatory and consumes exactly 900 MB together, while the last two is not technically necessary. The first small partition is just for booting the system and locating the hypervisor image which could be on one of the next two partitions. The actual system image is located on the first 250 MB partition, formatted with plain old FAT. The image itself,s.v00, is a 124 MB compressed file, which is decompressed on boot and contains the hypervisor operating system. The next 250 MB FAT partition is used for inplace upgrades and is empty at start if a clean installation was done.

If the hypervisor itself should crash (“purple screen of death“) the 110 MB core dump partition is used for dumping crash information. In this 286 MB partition we have mostly ISO files with theVMware Tools for the various supported guest operating system. We can also find the floppy images for the PVSCSI virtual disk controller, if in need to use these directly at installation on Windows Server guests. If installing ESXi on a local hard drive and this drive is larger than about 5 GB a “scratch” partition will be created. This partition holds mostly the various log files for the vmkernel and other components. If installing on a very small drive, about 1 GB, or on USB, this scratch partition will be missing and the log files will be in RAM only. This means that in the case of power failure the log files will be lost

what is ESX top? ESXTOP is a tool often used at VMware to diagnose and identify performance problems.

What is the difference between Esx top and resx top? The fundamental difference between resx top and Esx top is that you can use resx top remotely, where as you can start Esx top only through the service console of a local Esx host.

VIewing ESX log files VMware KB 1021800 (ESX) /var/log/vmkernal - vKernal messages /var/log/vmkwarning /var/log/vmksummary /var/log/vmware/hostd.log - ESX service /var/log/messages - service console (combination of vmkernal & hostd) /var/log/vmware/vpx/vpxa.log - vSphere client agent /var/log//vmware/aam/vmware_<hostname>-xxx.log - HA /var/log/vmkiscsiid.log -iSCSI /var/log/boot-logs/sysboot.log - boot log

What are Esx log files? /var/log/vmkernel – Core VMkernel logs, including device discovery, storage and networking device and driver events, and virtual machine startup. /var/log/vmkwarning – Summary of Warning and Alert log messages excerpted from the VMkernel logs. /var/log/vmksummary – Summary of ESX host startup and shutdown, and an hourly heartbeat with uptime, number of virtual machines running, and service console resource consumption. /var/log/messages – Messages from the Service Console Linux kernel, including service startup and shutdown. /var/log/vmware/hostd.log – Host management service logs, including virtual machine and host Tasks and Events, communication with the vsphere Client and VCenter Server vpxa agent, and SDK connections. /var/log/boot-logs/sysboot.log – Early VMkernel startup, module loading, and host initialization. /var/log/vmkiscsid.log – Software iscsi Client logs.


what is vpxa, vpxd, hostd? Hostd: -The hostd process runs directly on the Esxi host and is responsible for managing most of the operations on the Esxi host. Vpxd: -Vpxd is a process which runs on the VCenter server. Vpxa: -Vpxa is a VCenter agent. It acts as an intermediary between vpxd and hostd.

What steps you will take to resolve kernel panic error in ESX ? Will call vmware support and take their help with the help of PSOD error

Where does the VM log files stored ?

In the virtual machine folder of datastore

Can I use schedule tasks in VI Client connected to ESX host ?

No , schedule task comes with vcenter Server

EMC Grabs for ESXi hosts Download the grab tool from to any Windows server (VC server preferably):

Run the following command:

emcgrab.exe -host <ip> -user <user> -password <password> -vmsupport youtube link emcgrab.exe -host -user root -password 5678 -vmsupport -outDir c:\EMC

Register a vCenter Server System with the vSphere Web Client

Your company has a bunch of unused server hardware and you have been asked to build a vSphere environment. But before you start you want to make sure it is supported by the ESXi version you plan to install. Where would you find a list of hardware that is supported? Answer: You would check the VMware Compatibility Guide

Your hardware is on the compatibility list and now you need to know what the minimum CPU and memory requirement of an ESXi host when building a 64bit OS that will take full advantage of ESXi features ? Answer: 2 CPU Cores and 8 GB memory (bare minimum)

Before you start installing software what must be enabled in the server BIOS in order to run ESXi? Answer: The NX/XD bit needs to be enabled.

You also have an old pile of network adapters to choose from. Where would you find a list of network adapters (NIC) that are supported by the version of ESXi you are installing? Answer: You would check the VMware Compatibility Guide (same link as above)

One of the servers you found wasn’t on the list and now you have a problem that is causing ESXi to purple screen so you call VMware for support. What would happen if they found out your hardware was not supported? Answer: When hardware is not supported there are known issues that will happen and VMware cannot help to resolve problems due to unsupported hardware.

You’ve done this a hundred times. What are 3 methods that can be used when doing an Interactive ESXi installation? Answer: Boot from a CD/DVD, boot from a USB, and PXE boot from a deployment server on the network

After so many ESXi builds you have figured out a faster way to do the install using a script. What’s the main difference between an interactive ESXi installation and a scripted installation? Answer: The interactive install will require you to follow along and fill in the configuration information whereas, in a scripted install, the configuration information will be queried from an unattended text file (boot.cfg). Note: ESXi uses a Kickstart installer similar to Linux.

You can install ESXi in your sleep. What is the command to access the installer window on ESXi 5.5? Answer: Shift+O will get you to the runweasel command prompt.

One of your servers is not loading. What’s the first thing to double-check when having a problem installing ESXi? Answer: Make sure the hardware clock is set to UTC and the NX/XD bit is enabled in the BIOS.

You’ve typed this stuff in a million times. Name 5 of the 10 bits of information required when installing ESXi? Answer: Keyboard Layout, VLAN ID, IP Address, Subnet Mask, Gateway, Pri DNS, Sec DNS, Host Name, Installation Location, Root Password.




What are the files that make a Virtual Machine ?


Template file VM_name.vmtx

Suspend state file VM_name.vmss /

Configuration file VM_name.vmx

Swap files VM_name.vswp (vmx-VM_name.vswp

Raw device map file VM_name-rdm.vmdk


Snapshot data file VM_name.vmsd /


BIOS file VM_name.nvram

/Log files vmware.log


Disk descriptor file VM_name.vmdk / Disk data file VM_name-flat.vmdk

Snapshot state file VM_name.vmsn /Snapshot disk file VM_name-delta.vmdk

Disk provisioning policy: Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed, Thick Provision Eager Zeroed, or Thin Provision Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed: Space required for the virtual disk is allocated during creation. Data remaining on the physical device is not erased during creation, but is zeroed out on demand at a later time on first write from the virtual machine. This type is the default disk type. Thick Provision Eager Zeroed: Space required for the virtual disk is allocated during creation. Data remaining on the physical device is zeroed out when the disk is created. If you select this check box, this virtual machine can use VMware vSphere® Fault Tolerance. Thin Provision: A thin-provisioned disk uses only as much datastore space as the disk initially needs. If the thin disk needs more space later, it can expand to the maximum capacity allocated to it.

Network Virtual Machine Configuration Supported network adapter types:

Flexible: Can function as either a Vlance or VMXNET adapter. E1000-E1000E: High-performance adapter available for only some guest operating systems. VMXNET, VMXNET2, and VMXNET3 are VMware drivers that are available only with VMware Tools. SR-IOV passthrough: Representation of a virtual function on a physical NIC with SR-IOV support:

VMware Tools benefits:

Device drivers: SVGA display VMXNET/VMXNET3 Balloon driver for memory management / Sync driver for quiescing I/O Increased graphics performance / Improved mouse performance / Shared folders between host and guest file systems / Copying and pasting text, graphics, and files between the virtual machine and the host or client desktop Time synchronization / Ability to shut down the virtual machine


Memory overhead is stored in a swap file (.vswp). Memory Reclamation Techniques physical memory pages: Transparent page sharing allows pages with identical contents to be stored only once. Ballooning mechanism, active when memory is scarce, forces virtual machines to use their own paging areas. Memory compression: Attempts to reclaim some memory performance when memory contention is high. SSD swapping: Use of a solid-state drive (SSD) on the host for a host cache swap file might increase performance.

What is the difference between consumed memory and active memory ? Consumed memory is when there is no contention and active memory refers to the memory used when there is contention.

Memory management Guest memory Private: Physical memory on the chip Shared: Memory that is provided by transparent page sharing Swapped: Memory that has been zipped-compression provided better performance than swapping Ballooned : Memory reclaimed from the guest by ballooning driver Unassessed: memory that is untouched by the VM Active: Approximate amount of memory being actively used by the VM (reads and writes)

what is Resource pool? A Resource pool is a logical aggression of resources (like cpu and memory ) Managing CPU and memory resources.

what are reservations, limits and expandable reservations? Reservations: - The minimum amount of resources that are required by the resource pool. For example, you can set a CPU reservation, which is the minimum amount of CPU that this pool must have. Limits: - The maximum amount of resources that are given to the resources pool. By default, the resource pool is given “unlimited” access to the maximum amount of resource. Expandable Reservation: -An attribute that is specific to a resource pool. This attribute allows a resource pool that cannot satisfy a reservation request to search through its hierarchy to find unreserved capacity to satisfy the reservation request.

What is memory over commitment? Memory over commitment occurs when physical memory allocated to the host is less than the sum of memory allocated to the virtual machines.

What are the memory reclamation techniques and explain each one of them? Transparent page sharing: -Transparent page sharing allows pages or files with identical contents to be stored once. Memory ballooning mechanism: - It is active when memory scarce, forces Vm’s to use their own paging area. VMware tools start an App called as Balloon drivers and that memory is given to the needed Vm. Memory compression: -Esx compresses pages in Ram only. Memory compression is another technique that the VMkernel uses to reclaim host physical memory. This technique attempts to reclaim some memory by compressing pages. Hypervisor Swapping: - The Esx server swaps least used pages to the Hard disk. This technique is used to page virtual machine memory to disk. This is used when other techniques are temporarily unable to reclaim memory quickly enough to satisfy current system demand.

What is resource pool ? What are the use of it ? A resource pool is a logical abstraction for flexible management of resources. Resource pools can be grouped into hierarchies and used to hierarchically partition available CPU and memory resources. How do you create Resource pools ? Right click on ESX Server and select new resource pool

What is the difference between Limit & Reservation in Resource pools?


Limit will restrict the Guest O/S to use the maximum physical resources like RAM & Processor Reservation will ensure /guarantees the reserved capacity from the physical resources

What is the use of Shares ? Defining priority to the VM’s to use physical resources like CPU &Memory What is difference between available memory and Reservation ? Available memory is free memory available to all the VM’s and reservation is the memory occupied by VM’s when powered on

CPU Hyperthreading -Hyper threading enables a core to execute two threads, or sets of instructions, at the same time.

To enable hyperthreading:

1. Verify that the host system supports hyperthreading.

2. Enable hyperthreading in the system BIOS.

3. Ensure that hyperthreading for the ESXi host is turned on.

4. Hyperthreading is enabled by default.

Shares, Limits, and Reservations Shares: 4:2:1 formula 2*2=4-Hight 2*Normal, 1/n=Low / A guarantee that the resource pool is given a certain proportion of CPU and memory resources. Resource pool shares work like virtual machine shares. Reservation: The minimum amount of resources that are required by the resource pool. For example, you can set a CPU reservation, which is the minimum amount of CPU that this pool must have. Limit: Allocate value as limits /The maximum amount of resources that are given to this resource pool. By default, the resource pool is given “unlimited” access to the maximum amount of resource (specified by the limit). Expandable reservation: An attribute that is specific to a resource pool. This attribute allows a resource pool that cannot satisfy a reservation request to search through its hierarchy to find unreserved capacity to satisfy the reservation request.

what are Shares in Resource pool? Shares:-It guarantees certain amount of resources to resource pool (like Cpu and Memory).shares work like virtual machine shares.

Resource Pools :- A resource pool is a logical abstraction of hierarchically managed CPU and memory resources. Resource pools can provide these benefits: Flexible hierarchical organization /Isolation between pools and sharing in pools /Access control and delegation /Separation of resources from hardware /Management of sets of virtual machines running a multitier service /Ability to prioritize virtual machine workloads

Shares: Low, Normal, High, Custom Reservations: In MHz or GHz, MB or GB Limits: In MHz or GHz, MB or GB. Unlimited access, by default, up to maximum amount of resource accessible.

Reservation type:

Expandable selected: Virtual machines and subpools can draw from this pools parent. Expandable deselected: Virtual machines and subpools can draw only from this pool, even if its parent has free resources.



The installation of a 64-bit operating system cannot start. The installation of a 64-bit operating system cannot complete. The installation of 64-bit guest operating system stops responding as Setup is starting the Windows screen. Resolutions:

1. Verify that that the guest operating system you are attempting to install is fully certified by VMware.

2. Verify that your ESX/ESXi host meets the hardware and firmware requirements for running 64-bit virtual machines.

3. If your ESX/ESXi host uses Intel processors, verify that virtualization technology is enabled in the BIOS.

4. Verify that the correct guest operating system is selected.


VMware Tools installation errors before completion. VMware Tools installation on a guest operating system fails to complete. Unable to complete VMware Tools for Windows or Linux installation. VMware Tool s hangs when installing or reinstalling on a guest operating system.


1. Verify that the guest operating system that you are trying to install Vmware Tools in is fully certified.

2. Verify that the correct guest operating system is selected.

3. Verify that the correct ISO image is being loaded.

4. Verify that the VMware Tools ISO image is not corrupted.

5. If installing on a Windows operating system, verify that you are not experiencing problems with the Windows registry.


VMware Tools installation errors before completion. VMware Tools installation fails to complete. Unable to complete VMware Tools for Windows or Linux installation. VMware Tool s hangs when installing or reinstalling.


1. Verify that that the guest operating system that you are trying to install is fully certified by VMware.

2. Verify that the correct operating system is selected.

3. Verify that the ISO image is not corrupted.

4. If installing on a Windows operating system, ensure that you are not experiencing problems with your Windows registry.


5. If installing on a 64-bit Linux guest operating system, verify that no dependencies are missing.


The way VMware handles its memory had always amazed me. How can a 4 GB ESXi hypervisor allocate 3 VMs with 2 GB vRAM each? What happens if there is a resource crunch ?

Let us start from basics. How can we host 3 VMs with 2 GB vRAM each in a 4 GB RAM hypervisor ?

The answer is Memory Over commitment. We know that VMware is very much fond with this word ‘Over Commitment’ as it uses this for every physical resource. When we present physical RAM to a VM, it is called virtual RAM (vRAM). When a VM is provisioned in ESXi with 2 GB, an equivalent swap file will be created by the hypervisor for this VM. This swap file will be stored with .vswp extension in the VM folder or in a location specified by the user provided during VM provisioning. With this swap file, VMware has the flexibility to over commit its resources. When host physical memory is full, Swap file mechanism helps hypervisor to swap out guest physical memory to the swap file which resides in the datastore. The swap file utilization is not the one and only method for handling memory in ESXi. There are 4 memory handling techniques in ESX/ESXi:

Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) / Ballooning / Memory Compression / Swapping

Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) The guest VM’s memory space is divided into 4 KB blocks known as Pages. TPS is a memory handling method in ESX/ESXi which makes use of two identical pages in host memory. If there are two pages with identical contents in the host memory which are used by two different VMs, one of the pages will be reclaimed and the other will be shared between the VMs. ESXi continuously scans its pages to determine if any shared page is available in the host memory which could be shared with. This is done with the help of a hash value, which is created for each and every page. Ballooning (vmmemctl) TPS is a natural method of memory reclamation and doesn’t depend on the memory utilization. If there is a memory crunch, ESXi has other memory reclamation techniques. In these situations, hypervisor will first turn to ballooning option. Ballooning uses the vmware tools in the VM for this process. One of the beauties of VMware hypervisor is that one VMs is unaware of other VMs running in the same host (In fact they even don’t know that they are VMs). But this sometimes appears to be a curse as the VM will not recognize any resource crunch occurring in the ESXi host or other VMs.

What happens in this scenario ? Here comes Ballooning for the rescue!!! Ballooning is the technique used by ESXi hosts to let the VMs know about this memory crunch. The hypervisor will initiate ballooning via vmmemctl drivers. How does ballooning work? During the time of a memory crunch, hypervisor will inform vmmemctl drivers of VMs. The hypervisor will set a balloon limit which depends on the amount of guest memory to be reclaimed and inflate the balloon. During the time of inflation, the ballooning drivers will make use of the guest physical page and any applications or data present in the guest physical page will be swapped to the guest’s page file (also called as the virtual memory) and this process of swapping is called paging.

Memory compression and Hypervisor Swapping Ballooning is the most effective way in reclaiming memory during memory crunch but not the quickest (especially when all your VMs are using their full allotted memory) . If ballooning cannot resolve the memory crunch quickly, hypervisor would seek the help of ‘Swapping’. With this technique, ESXi swaps its memory pages used by VMs to disk. This option is only considered as a last resort, as the action could leave to huge performance impact. Anyway the impact will be lesser if the hypervisors use SSDs. Memory Compression is a mechanism which is used to reduce the impact of hypervisor swapping. 'Hypervisor Compression' compresses memory pages managed by ESXi, so that the number of pages to be swapped will be reduced thereby reducing the impact.

Ballooning Memory ballooning is a memory management technique that allows a physical host to take advantage of unused memory on its guest virtual machines (VMs). Ballooning in short is a process where the hypervisor reclaims memory back from the virtual machine. Ballooning is an activity that happens when the ESXi host is running out of physical memory. The demand of the virtual machine is too high for the host to handle. This is where ballooning comes into place. In case of an ESXi host running low on memory the hypervisor will ask the “balloon” driver installed inside the virtual machine (with VMware Tools) to “inflate” The balloon driver will inflate and because it is “inside” the operating system it will start by getting memory from the “free list”. The hypervisor will detect what memory the balloon driver has reclaimed and will free it up on the “host physical memory” layer! In order for the host to request memory back from the guest OS it needs to use the balloon driver (vmmemctl.sys) to communicate this information.

Monitor VMware server Manage Engine VM Health Monitor helps an administrator to view the following variables of a Virtual Machine server. CPU Utilization / Memory Utilization / Disk Read / Write / Network Rx/Tx

CPU Utilization :

CPU utilization is approximately equal to the ratio of the used CPU cycles to that of the available CPU cycles. Available CPU = # of physical CPUs x clock rate 100% represents all CPUs on the host are completely occupied. For example, if a four-CPU host is running two virtual machines with one CPU each, and the usage is 50%, the host is using two CPUs completely.

Memory Utilization :Percentage of memory currently in use. This is active memory as a percentage of total configured or available memory. Disk Read Rate: This parameter provides the average number of Kilobytes read from the disk each second during the collection interval. This parameter is expressed in kilobytes/sec. Disk Write Rate: This parameter provides the average number of Kilobytes written to the disk each second during the collection interval. This parameter is expressed in kilobytes/sec. Network Rx: Average rate at which data was received during the interval. This represents the bandwidth of the network. The rate at which data is received across each physical NIC instance on the host. Network Tx: Average rate at which data was transmitted during the interval. This represents the bandwidth of the network. The rate at which data is transmitted across


each physical NIC instance on the host.

what is VMA? : The vsphere Management Assistant (VMA) allows administrators and developers to run scripts and agents to manage Esxi hosts and VCenter Server systems. VMA is a virtual machine that includes pre-packaged software, a logging component, and an authentication component that supports non-interactive login.

what is VCLI?: The vsphere Command-Line Interface (vsphere CLI) command set allows you to run common system administration commands against ESX/Esxi systems from any machine with network access to those systems. You can also run most vsphere CLI commands against a VCenter Server system and target any ESX/Esxi system that VCenter Server system manages. Vsphere CLI includes the ESXCLI command set, vicfg- commands, and some other commands.

what is PowerCLI? :VMware vsphere PowerCLI is a powerful command line tool that lets you automate all aspects of vsphere management, including network, storage, VM, guest OS and more. PowerCLI is distributed as a Windows PowerShell snap in, and includes more than 300 PowerShell cmdlets, along with documentation and samples.

what is DCUI? DCUI: Direct console user interface. The Esx/Esxi screen. what is EULA? EULA: End user License agreement is the contract between the licensor and purchaser, establishing the purchaser's right to use the software.

how do you monitor the performance of ESX and VM? Monitoring the Performance of ESX: - When you connect to ESX server, you can see the performance tab on the screen, it displays the chart and graphs of the Esx server. Monitoring the Performance of VM: - Click on Vm, performance tab.

what are the default roles available in VCenter server and what is no access role and explain when it is used? Default Roles Available:- No Access / Read only / Administrator

What happens to the VMs if a standalone host is taken to maintenance mode?

In case of standalone servers , VMware recommends that VMs should be powered off before putting the server in maintenance mode

If we put the standalone host in maintenance mode without powering off the VMs, it will remain in the ‘entering maintenance mode’ state until the VMs are all shutdown. VMs are powered down, the host status changes to ‘under maintenance’

When all the

Explain your work related to below terms :

VM Provisioning: Virtual Machine Creation. Alarms & Event Management: Alarms are used to know the status of the resource usage for a VM. Events are used monitor the tasks that are taken place on the esx servers or in the virtual center Task Scheduler: Task scheduler, if you want to schedule a task it will be used, for example if you want move one vm from one host to another host or if you want shutdown/reboot a vm etc. Hardware Compatibility List: what are the hardware that compatible with ESX OS.

What kind of applications or setups you have on you Virtual Machines ? Exchange server and Share Point, but these are for DEMO purposes, Cirtrix presentation servers etc.

What is virtual SMP?

when and why should you give a vm multiple vCPUs – part of their answer we should be that best pracrtice is to start with a single vCPU because of you can run into performance issues do to CPU scheduling

When was the last time you called VM Support and what was the issue? Licensing related issues.

Virtual machine files types Microsoft: .vhd, .vhc Vmware: .vmx, .vmdk Citrix Xen Server: .vhd Parallels: .pvm

What's the major different between virtual network adapter E1000 and VMXNET3 ? VMXNET3 is the third generation of paravirtual network adapter by VMware. Includes features such as MSI/MSI-X support, Receive Side Scaling, IPv6 checksum and TCP Segmentation Offloading (TSO) over IPv6, VLAN off-loading and Large TX/RX ring sizes. Refer to "vSphere Networking" guide and "E1000 and VMXNET3" discussion for more details.

If we set a memory limit of a VM to 400 MB and available memory to 512 MB, what will happen after the VM reaches the limit ? Based on the POC done in the class, the ballooning vmmemctl kicks in after the VM hits the 400MB limit. Thus, the remaining 112 MB of memory is not used.

What is the difference between Enhanced vmxnet and vmxnet3 ? Vmxnet3 is an improved version of enhanced vmxnet, some benefits and improvements are MSI/MSI-X support, Side Scaling, checksum and TCP Segmentation Offloading (TSO) over IPv6, off-loading and Large TX/RX ring sizes. Refer to "Vmxnet3 tips and tricks" for more details.

What is Hypervisor?

A Hypervisor also known as Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) can be a piece of software, firmware or hardware that gives an impression to the guest machines(virtual machines) as if they

were operating on a physical hardware. It allows multiple operating system to share a single host and its hardware. The hypervisor manages requests by virtual machines to access to

the hardware resources (RAM, CPU, NIC etc) acting as an independent machine. Now the Hypervisor is mainly divided into two types namely

Type 1/Native/Bare Metal Hypervisor Examples:VMware ESXi Server /Microsoft Hyper-V/Citrix/Xen Server Type 2/Hosted Hypervisor Examples:VMware Workstation /Microsoft Virtual PC/Oracle Virtual Box

Clean-Up Prior to Power On Edit VM settings according to desired goal Number of vCPUs


Add/Delete USB devices Add/Delete Serial and parallel devices Remove Floppy drive if not needed SCSI controller type (BusLogic vs. LSI Logic) OEM source may require license activation SMBIOS.reflectHost =TRUE in .vmx may avoid reactivation Requires destination host to have same hardware

Clean-Up After Power On Detect hardware VMware Tools installation may hang if hardware not detected Allow reboots to occur Detect hardware and VMware Tools installation Verify HAL and change if necessary Remove non-present old hardware CMD prompt type set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1 Next type DEVMGMT.MSC and select Show Hidden Devices Delete any old grayed out non-present hardware

VM Tools to enhances the performance of the VM's guest OS and improve the management of the VM Better video and mouse performance / Device drivers / Virtual machine heartbeat / Memory Management

Vsphere Replication :Replicating VMs from one site to another site / Integrated component of the vSPhere platform / vSphere replication require an essentials plus or higher license

Replication design requirements and limitations Vsphere replication appliance has / Dual-core cpu / 10GB and 2GB hard disks / 4GB of RAM / vsphere eidtion must include the license for vSphere Replication vSphere Replication uses default network ports for communication between hosts

Operational Limits Apply Each vcenter server needs to have a single master vSphere replication appliance deployed and paired with it check compatibility with other vSphere features Benfits / Low cost/efficient replication option / Simple setup from within vCenter server

What is 'No Access' role -Users assigned with the 'No Access' role for an object, cannot view or change the object in any way When is a swap file created - When the guest OS is first installed in the VM The active directory group, where the members will be ESXi administrators by default. ESX Admins Which is the command used in ESXi to manage and retrieve information from virtual machines ? vmware-cmd Which is the command used in ESXi to view live performance data? Esxtop Command line tool used in ESXi to manage virtual disk files? vmkfstools Port used for vMotion 8000 Log file location of VMware host \var\log\vmware Can you map a single physical NIC to multiple virtual switches ?No Can you map a single virtual switch to multiple physical NICs? Yes. This method is called NIC teaming. VMKernel portgroup can be used for: vMotion / Fault Tolerance Logging /Management traffic What are the Virtualization software’s you have worked on until now? What is the most troubleshooting issue you ever faced? Once in my environment (VMware), one of the hosts failed and though we have HA configured for that cluster Virtual Machines failed to restart on available hosts. I manually restarted the virtual machines as the downtime was to be reduced. Initial troubleshooting was done by me and every configuration setting was fine and as per norms. As a team we started analyzing the root cause of the issue, with no success after two days time a support ticket was raised to VMware Team.

Do you use any s/w for preparing Documentation or will you do it by MS word? (you can say ‘Yes’ if you little idea about any tool that could be used for reporting).

Veeam Reporter™ discovers documents and analyzes your entire virtual infrastructure. It maintains a complete history of all objects, settings and changes. And it trends performance and forecasts utilization. So you can really understand your virtual infrastructure—past, present and future. When it comes to documenting and reporting on your virtual infrastructure, Reporter does it all. In particular, Reporter addresses these key virtualization management challenges:

1. Enterprise Reporting / Change Management /Capacity Planning

Have u installed any Databases No. I never got an opportunity in my current work environment to do that. DBA team will do the SQL configuration. Any idea of Testing Environment (I have a little confusion here about what is exactly referred to testing environment here {VMware Test Environment or Software Testing}) Software Testing Environment is:

Thought I do not have any real-time experience into Testing Environment, I have a fair idea of what exactly is done in Testing Environment. A testing environment is a setup of software and hardware on which the testing team is going to perform the testing of the newly built software product. This setup consists of the physical setup which includes hardware, and logical setup that includes Server Operating system, client operating system, database server, front end running environment, browser (if web application), IIS (version on server side) or any other software components required to run this software product. This testing setup is to be built on both the ends – i.e. the server and client.

Have u interacted with clients directly or through ticketing tool Most of my interaction with clients/users of desktops (End Users) through Ticketing Tool / Email as my organization prefers support in a documented manner. Very few times I interacted with clients in conference calls during any meetings with the client I support. Which kind of support u are giving currently Currently I provide <level of support you opt for your current organization considering your years of experience> of support in my team.


Tell me something about VMware Company? VMware is the global leader in virtualization, offering products & solutions for cloud infrastructure and management, cloud application platforms & end-user computing. VMware developed a range of products, most not able of which are their hypervisors. VMware became well known for their first type 2 hypervisor known as GSX. VMware delivered its first product, VMware Workstation. in May 1999 and entered the server market in 2001 with VMware GSX Server (hosted) and VMware ESX Server (hostless). What are the VMware products? Vsphere / Esx server /Esxi server /Workstation /Fusion Player Server /VMware service manager /ThinApp View /Ace /Lab manager /Infrastructure Converter /Site recovery manager /Stage manager /VCenter orchestrator /VMFS What is VApp? A virtual appliance is a pre-configured virtual machine that typically installs a pre-installed guest operating system and other software. VApp contains one (or) more related Vm. In VApp we can set startup and shutdown options. In VApp we can power on, off and do cloning.

What is OVF and OVA, explain the differences? OVF:- Open Virtualization Format It contains Vm files. It exports in the form of directory. OVA:-Open Virtualization Appliance It exports in the form of single file, like Zip file The file contains all the ovf files.

Experience working with Windows and VMware servers My current work environment has both Windows and Linux machines. My expertise lies into the Virtual Infrastructure comprising of Windows Servers and VMware ESX servers. I have worked on Windows 2000, 2003 along with VMware ESX servers and I have fair knowledge on Active Directory Services, Group Policies, Domain Naming System, and DHCP along with HA, DRS, SVMotion troubleshooting network and access related issues. I have also got knowledge on SDRS (Storage DRS available from vSphere 5.0) and VMware ThinApp.

Rate yourself on working with Windows and VMware servers As I am confident about my technical abilities and experience with that I would rate myself at 7 on a scale of 10.

Who are the competitors for Esx server? Microsoft----Hyper v /Citrix---Xenserver /Red hat enterprise virtualization What is Service console? Service console is an operating system, which is used to boot Vmkernel and maintains sessions. What is the OS in service console? Service console is developed based on Red hat Linux operating system. It is based on which Linux version? Red Hat 7.2 for ESX 2.x and. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 for Esx 3.x. What is default password for Esxi? The default password in Esxi 4 is Empty. In Esxi5.0, it is null and we have to assign the password to log into Esxi host through Vsphere client. What is Tech support mode? Tech support mode is command line interface used to manage the Esx host.

How many ways to connect Esx server? Direct Access / Vsphere client /Vsphere client –Vcenter /SSh---Putty /Web access

How to configure SSh in Esx server? Log into VCenter server >Select Host>Configuration tab in right pan.>Security profile in Software.>Click properties for services> Select SSh and select options.>Select the service want to start.>Click

What is Port number of SSh? 22

What is diff between Esxi installable and embedded? Esxi installable comes in Bootable Cd. Esxi embedded is integrated with the hardware by hardware vendors.

I am not able to access Esx server via vsphere client and why? Login Credentials may be wrong>Ip address may be wrong.>Ping and check wither its pinging are not.

What is the size of vswp file? Vswp=allocated memory for Vm – reserved memory for Vm.

What is vmdk file? Virtual machine Hard disk file.

What is vmx file? Vmx is a Configuration file. It contains Configuration info and H/W sittings of the Vm.

My vmx file is corrupted how can I power on the VM Create a new VM in Custom mode >Match the vmdk file of corrupter vmx and power on.

what is VShield edge and vcd? VShield edge:- Provides protection to the Datastore. What is the maximum no of virtual machines can be created on a Single ESX Server with high end configuration? ESX Server 3.5 - Can create up to 127 VMs / ESX Server 4.0 - Can create up to 256 VMs /ESX server 5.0 - Can create up to 512 VMs

ESX server supports how many processors? ESX Server 3.5 - 32 Processors / ESX Server 4.0 - 64 Processors /ESX Server 5.0 - 160 Processors

ESX server supports what capacity of RAM? ESX Server 3.5 - 256 GB RAM /ESX Server 4.0 - 1 TB RAM /ESX Server 5.0 - 2 TB RAM

How many processors can be allocated to VM? ESX 4.0 - 8 Processors /ESX 5.0 – 32 processors /

How many NICs can be allocated to VM? 10 Ethernet adaptors

What is the maximum RAM can be allocated to VM? ESX 5.0 - 1TB RAM /ESX 4.0 - 256 GB RAM /ESX 3.5 - 64 GB RAM What files are associated with VM ? .vmx – Configuration files /.vmdk - Virtual harddisk file / .nvram - Phoenix bios file .vmsn - Swap file /.log - Log files

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Is ESX server operating system or application Operating system, similar like linux, having virtualization layer between VM’s and

What is Service Console ? It is interface to interact and manage Virtualization environment

How many service console adaptors we can create in ESX Server 16 adaptors

What is VMKernal ? It is a virtual Ethernet adaptor used to communicate with IP Storage and vmotion purpose

How many networks will be installed by default in ESX Server ? 2 Networks- VM Network for Virtual machines and Service Console for ESX Management purpose

Which network is used for storage purpose? VMKernal

Which network is used for Vmotion? VMKernal

How many virtual switches can be created in ESX Server ? ESX 3.5 - 127 /ESX 4.0 - 256 /1050 in5.0

What is the use of vAPP

CPU and memory allocation / Ip allocation policy /Advanced seetings /configure VM startup and Shutdown order A vApp is a container for one or more virtual machines. The vApp can be used to package and manage related applications.

What is the use of vmware tools ? Vmware tools will be installed in Guest operating system which provides driver functionality, Time synchronization, memory management, and increase in keyboard and mouse functionality

Features of VMware Tools include:

Device drivers:

SVGA display /vmxnet/vmxnet3 /Balloon driver for memory management /Sync driver for quiescing I/O /Improved mouse /Virtual machine heartbeat /Time synchronization /Ability to shut down virtual machine /Adds additional choices to Perfmon DLL.

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Vcenter features

VMware vCenter Server

might result in reduced administrative efficiency or possible ESXi host and virtual machine downtime.

Web Client (server) /Inventory Service/Auto Deploy/ESXi Orchestrator

enables you to centrally manage mul^ple VMware ESXi

hosts and their virtual machines. Failure to properly install, configure, and manage vCenter Server

Dump Collector /Syslog Collector /VMware vSphere® Update Manager™ and VMware vRealize™

Core services include management of resources and virtual machines by the Inventory service, task scheduling, statistics logging, management of alarms and events, virtual machine provisioning, and host and virtual machine configuration. Distributed services include vSphere vMotion, vSphere DRS, and vSphere HA, which are installed with vCenter Server. vCenter Server provides access to the ESXi host through a vCenter Server agent, which is started on the host when it is added to the vCenter Server inventory.

ESXi and vCenter Server Communication

Server inventory. ESXi and vCenter Server Communication N e t w o r k T i

Network Time Protocol (NTP) is a client-server protocol used to synchronize a computers clock to a time reference. NTP is important: For accurate performance graphs /For accurate time stamps in log messages So that virtual machines have a source to synchronize with

Before beginning the vCenter Server installation, ensure that the following prerequisites are met:

Ensure that vCenter Server hardware and software requirements are met. Ensure that the vCenter Server system belongs to a Microsoft Windows domain rather than a workgroup. Create a vCenter Server database, unless you plan on using the embedded vFabric Postgres database:

If you create a database, you must also create a 64-bit data source name. Obtain and assign a static IP address and a host name to the vCenter Server system:

The name should be resolvable by DNS. If you plan to use IPv6, the name should be resolvable in IPv6 by DNS. Create any administrator accounts that are needed.

vCenter Server Appliance Features vCenter Server Appliance is a preconfigured Linux-based virtual machine, which is optimized for running vCenter Server. vCenter Server Appliance runs on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, Update 3. vCenter Server Appliance can be used with ESXi 5.5 and ESXi 6. Prepackaged with a VMware vFabric® Postgres database embedded database:

Suitable for environments with up to 1,000 hosts and 10,000 virtual machines. Also supports Oracle 11g R2 and Oracle 12c as external databases. Equipped with the vCenter Server Appliance console for troubleshooting and configuration. Supports vSphere Web Client. Supports connections by either IPv4 or IPv6 addresses.


Vcenter and DB connectivity Issue

If vcenter srvice will not start check the VPXA.LOG FILE / find the latest file and look at the bottom for information

Use windows ODBC tool and confirm database connectivity

Test Data source and make sure it is successful

Refer KB articale / vCenter startup /Database connectivity


Confirm database authentication type, user account, and password /Ping the database server

What are the requirements for installing for VCenter server and what are the supporting Data bases? Installing VCenter:- 64 bit operating system 2k8 or 2k3. / 2 Cpus / 2 Gb Ram min /1 Gb Nic /Data Bases:- SQl----2000 Sp2, 2005 Sp4. /Oracle---9g,10g /IBM---Db2

What happens if a host is taken to maintenance mode Hosts are taken to maintenance mode during the course of maintenance / In a single ESX/ESXi setup, all the VMs need to be shutdown before getting into maintenance mode / vCenter setup If DRS is enabled, the VMs will be migrated to other hosts automatically.

In a

Can we do vMotion between two datacenters ? If possible how it will be? Yes we can do vMotion between two datacenters, but the mandatory requirement is the VM should be powered off.

CENTER 5.1 UPGRADE STEPS Vcenter (Including single sign-on Installtion / Update Manager / ESXi Hosts / VM Tools / Virtual Machine Hardware / Datastores 1)Take the backup of database

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2)Stop the Vcenter services and run the upgrade>vCenter Server 3)Update manager /Vsphere client /etc 4)Upgrade the ESXi 5)Upgrade Data storage (Upgrade VMFS) 6)Upgrade VMtools 7)Virtual Machine Hardware 8)License configuration

What is the protocol used by vCenter Linked Mode to link to other Virtual Center Servers ? vCenter Management Server 4 uses LDAP via port 389 by default.

Does VMware supports installation of vCenter Server 4 on Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system platform ? No, Windows Server 2008 R2 is not a supported platform for installing vCenter Server 4. Refer to "vSphere Compatibility Matrix" for details.

What's the maximum number of vCenter Servers we can configured in a linked mode ? We can configure a total of 10 vCenter Servers in a vCenter Server linked mode. vCenter linked mode can manage up to 1000 ESX/ESXi Servers and 10000 virtual machines across 10 vCenter Servers in a single console.

What's the main functions and capabilities when deploying vCenter Server linked mode ? vCenter Server linked mode gives administrators a single pane of glass view, it allows administrators to share global roles and licenses across vCenter Servers.

When using vCenter Linked Mode feature, what are the functions that could be shared among the vCenters in this link ? vCenter Linked Mode allows administrator to centrally manage all the vCenter within a single view, roles and licenses can be shared across the vCenters configured in a link.

After installing plug-in inside the VC, I am unable to enable the plug-in and it always shows as disabled. Go to services.msc ensure that the Virtual Center Management Webservices is running and then relogin the vSphere Client and enable the plug-in.

What is single sign-on Single sign-on (SSO)is a session/user authentication process that permits a user to enter one name and password in order to access multiple applications. The process authenticates the user for all the applications they have been given rights to and eliminates further prompts when they switch applications during a particular session.

what is the sysprep The System Preparation tool (Sysprep) is a technology that you can use with other deployment tools to install Microsoft Windows operating systems with minimal intervention by an administrator or technician.

V Center :- VMware VirtualCenter is a software suite designed to centralize the management of virtualized IT environments. VirtualCenter supports multiple virtualization-based services such as VMware DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler), VMware HA (High Availability) and VMware VMotion.

What are all services will work if Vcenter Down ?? 1.VM's will Work, 2. vMotion Will not work 3. DRS will not work 4.FT will continue to work for the configured VMs. However in case of a failover, no new Secondary will be created 5.You will not be able to Deploy vm from templates 6. You cannot clone the VM 7. You can take a snapshot of VM by connecting to the Host using vSphere Client 8. HA will continue to work, you will not be able to change the configuration 9. dvSwith Continues to work ,you will not be able to change the configuration 10. vSwitch continuous to work, You can even make changes to vSwitch

What are the requirements for installing for VCenter server and what are the supporting Data bases?

64 bit operating system 2k8 or 2k3. / 2 Cpus / 2 Gb Ram min /1 Gb Nic Data Bases:- SQl----2000 Sp2, 2005 Sp4. Oracle---9g,10g, IBM---Db2

What is DSN file?

What is linked mode?

what is fixed baseline and dynamic base line? Fixed Patch Baseline: - In this type of base line, you manually specify which patches to include in the fixed patch baseline from the total set of patches available in

the Update Manager repository. Dynamic patch Baseline: - The contents of a dynamic baseline are based on available patches that meet the specified criteria. As the set of available patches changes, dynamic baselines are updated as well. You can explicitly include or exclude any patches. in how many ways can you upgrade Esx server and How? You can upgrade Esx server in 3 ways:

Insert the advanced version of Esx server Cd into the drive and reboot the system, it will ask you to upgrade the server. By using patches (update manager installed, connected to VCS) By using ISO image of the advanced version(update manager installed and connected to VCS)

Data Source Name (DSN) is used to connect the data base of ODBC (open data base connectivity)drives

Joining two or more VCenter servers is known as Linked mode, so we can view and manage the VCenter.

how do u upgrade VCenter server? Let us discuss the case of upgrading VCenter server from 4.1 to 5.0 While installing the VCS 4.1 you will be asked to give the data source name. DSN is used to establish the connection to the data base. Give the DSN by using native client. Preserve that DSN name safely. Install multiple ESX and VM’s in the VCS. Again install VCS5.0 in any of the machines and use the same DSN as used while installing 4.1. Make sure you copy the SSL certificates to the new server folder. Crash or power of the 4.1 machine Login to the machine of 5.0, you can see the ESX servers and VM’s running in it. How to upgrade VM hardware? Login to VCenter server via Vsphere client or web client>Power off the VM>Right click on the VM, menu option>Upgrade Hardware and yes> Power on the VM what are the default installed plugins in VCenter server

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VMware VCenter storage monitoring. >VCenter hardware status.>VCenter Service status.

I installed update manager and (integrated) VCs, but from vsphere client I could not access update manager?

what are VCenter server log files? When an ESX host is managed by VCenter Server, two components are installed, each with its own logs:

/var/log/vmware/vpx/vpxa.log – VCenter Server vpxa agent logs, including communication with VCenter Server and the Host Management hostd agent. what is vpxa, vpxd, hostd? Hostd: -The hostd process runs directly on the Esxi host and is responsible for managing most of the operations on the Esxi host. Vpxd: -Vpxd is a process which runs on the VCenter server. Vpxa: -Vpxa is a VCenter agent. It acts as an intermediary between vpxd and hostd. How to restart vpxa? Service vmware-vpxa restart (or to stop, start) How to restart management agents in Esx and Esxi? Esx:- service mgmt-vmware restart(or to stop, start) Esxi: - DCUI-->F2-->Restart management agent. what is Datastore heartbeat? The Datastore heartbeat is used to make the communication between a master and failed or Isolated or partitioned host. what are the services in VCenter server? VMware VCenter Orchestrator configuration / VMware Virtual center Management Web services /VMware Virtual center Server VMware vsphere Profile Driven Storage service /VMware VCMSDS to install VCenter server which one is preferred (Physical machine or Virtual machine) and why? It prefer to install VCenter server in a virtual machine, even if the hardware fails also there will be no problem and it does not affect the Vm. How do you troubleshoot , vSphere client ->vCenter Connection failed problem? services.msc / network connectivity / Firewall /vCenter to Database server connection. /restart once vCenter Server.(proper maintenance plan) What is the port no of Virtual Center server ? 902 What happens to virtual center if you change the password of root account in ESX Server ? No Impact as Vcenter server uses vpx user account What will you do if OS Gets corrupted in VM ? We can repair using ISO image Which daemon in ESX Server is responsible for responding to Virtual Center ? Vpxa service How do you power on VM in Service console? Vmware-cmd < Configuration file) start Where do you configure SMTP Server? Vcenter Server - Server Settings - Mail If huge number of Virtual machines to be deployed, then how do you do this ? Using templates , Will select template and deploy multiple VM’s If you want to roll back changes in VM then what will you do ? I will create snapshot and if required I will rollback



Minimum system requirements for installing ESXi/ESX (1003661)

Vcenter installation pre-requirements OS/Database /Part of domain /IP /License/Ports need to be opened 80/443- Web access 902/903/ ESX heartbeat/VM console 8080/8443 Web services 389 LDAP / 686 SSL /636 -VC Linked Mde /60099-Web services /10443 VC Inventory service HTTPS / 10109-VC Inventory service management /10111-VC Inventory service linked mode communications

Vcenter installation/Up gradation pre-request ion /64 bit OS /64 bit CPU /4GB RAM/ .Net / AD authentication /DNS both lookup /Database/Run pre upgrade checker/ License

Vcenter server provides following features Vmotion /Storage vmotion / DRS /HA/ Update Manager /VM converter /Distributed Power Management / VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB)

ESX Hypervisor

Check status of listening services esxcli network ip connection list

Vcenter and DB connectivity troubleshooting If vCenter service will not start check the vpxa.log gile (find the latest file and look at the bottom for information) Check the db connectivity via ODBC setting with testing

Allowing firewall rules 1>Configuration>software>security profile> CLI>>esxcli network firewall ruleset allowedip list

Security related configuration files

/etc/ssh - Directory containing ssh configuration files /etc/ssh/sshd_config - primary config file for the ssh daemon /etc/vmware/ssl/ - Directory containing SSL certificates /etc/vmware/firewall/service.xml - file containing firewall services that you can allow/block /etc/vmware/esxconf/ - stores a lot of information including the vSwitch security settings

ESXi host certificates

stored in the /etc/vmware/ssl directory >two files : rui.crt (certficate) and rui.key (key file) >Back these up if making changes >Generate new certficates >run /sbin/generate-certificates >restart the host after installing the new files

Vcenter certificates path

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c:\program Data\Vmware\Vmware virtual center\SSL

License and features ESX and ESXi features Vcenter features Task and Events Roles
License and features
ESX and ESXi features
Vcenter features
Task and Events

VC 5,5 installation process. Configure Database,/ configured ODBC connection, /VC Single sign-on, /VSphere Web client, /VC Inventory services, / Vcenter Server,/ Vsphere client,

Before upgrade VC 5.1, check the below script

In Vcenter server DVD- Utlity> VM vCenter Host Agent pre-upgrade checker / Vcenter 5.1 Pre-Install check script

Vcenter Operations Manager- to monitor the VM's performance this is OVF file

Single Sign-on (SSO)

A Critical New piece of a vSphere 5.1 Infrastructure is vSphere SSO Vmware SSO servers as an Authentication Broker and Security tokaen Exchange No Longer is Windows AD the security Domain / SSO Provides your Virtual Infrastructure its own security Domain /

Once Authenticated with SSO, Your security Token can authenticate with multiple vsphere components / Multi-Hypervisor Manager (MHM) Allow to access Hyper-V Vm console, Convert to Vcenter / Visibility and basic administration, No console access

Single Sign-On (SSO) has been redesigned in vSphere 5.5 with a multi-master mode

Vpshere 5.5 introduce a single authentication domain called vsphere.local /

Vsphere 5.5 single sign-on not required database

Vcenter Upgrade Steps Take backup of Database / Vcenter upgrade 1st > Single sign on/ VC Inventory Services /VC server/Clinet/Web clinet/ Update Manager /Esxi Hosts/ VM Tools /VM Hardware /Datastore ESXi Upgrdation Steps Update via booting from DVD /Update Manager>ESXi Image>Import ESXi Image> >Attach>Esxi> / >Scan>Upgrades / >Admin View> />Remediate>

vSphere Replication - Port-5480 -OVF Appliance / Install both Vcenter (Data Center Primary/Secondary)

Vcenter /ESX Server Upgradation steps Run > VC Host agent Pre-upgrade checker and run Test should be pass / Ask DATABASE team to check and take care the backup of SQL databases Run the >RVTOOLS> get the all VM;s Detail export the file in Excel

Vcenter server is available in two options Vcenter Server Appliance /Vcenter Windows Application (Installable)

Vcenter Features Orchestrator Features / Enables high levels of service delivery through automation /Provides compliance through consistency and standardization /Shortens time to deployment for virtual servers and resources /Reduces the time taken to react to unplanned changes

Alaram support for VM/Hosts/Clusters/Datacenters/Datastores/Netowrk /vNetwork Distributed switchs /Distributed Virtual Port Groups /Vcenter server Two types of triggers 1)Condition/State 2)Events

Virtual Center Logs vmware KB 1021804

vpxa - a service which runs in the esxi host. This service communicates with vcenter server. hostd - core service which runs in the esxi host vpxd - a service which runs in the vcenter server which communicates with the vpxa

Locating and viewing vCenter Log files vmware KB 1021804 > vpxd-XX.log > Located in C:\ProgramData\VMware\Virtualcenter

\Logs in windows 2008 Log file rotates when vpxd is started or when it reached 5MB in size> Size location name and rotation can be manipulated with vpxd.cfg file also vpxd-alert-X.log and vpxd-profiler-X.log

Using the vSphere client,CLI,Web, and DCUI to view & Search log files You can view & search log files in a variety of ways vSphere client / SSH to ESX or ESXi / RDP to vCenter server /DCU in ESXi /Web (http://servername/host / Syslog or vMA consolidation / Even PowerCLI (get-Log command)

Controlling Log Rotation in ESX server Rotation for most log files in controller with /etc/logrotate.conf Hostd.log roation is controller in /etc/vmware/hostd/config.xml Vpxa.log rotation is controlled in /etc/opt/vmware/vpx/vpxa.cfg

1) Location:

a. C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Logs 2) Name: vpxd-#.log (# is one digit, 0-9)

a. vpxd-index contains the # of the currently active log file

3) Logs rotate each time vpxd is started, and also when it reaches 5 MB in size VI Client Logs 1) Location: User %TEMP%\vpx

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2) Name: viclient-#.log (# is one digit, 0-9) 3) Logs rotate each time VI Client is started, and is should be used for client-specific diagnostics Miscellaneous Logs 1) Core Dump

a. Location: %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware 2) License Server Debug Log

a. Location: %SystemRoot%\Temp

b. Filename: lmgrd.log i. This file is overwritten each time the service starts

c. This file contains various information about the license file and server.

3) Web Access (Tomcat) Logs

a. Location: C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VirtualCenter Server\tomcat\logs

b. Filename: various files

c. All the Tomcat logs are here

CPU ready time in Vmware

Vcenter 6 Features Platform Controller / Single Sign-On / License Server /Certficate Authority VCenter Server / Inventory service /PostgreSQL /Web client /Dump collector /Syslog Collector /Syslog Service /Auto Deploy

(VCSA) Vcenter Server Aplicance 6.0 installation Before installation check the DNS setting and connectivity Insert the DVD>VCSA>VMware-ClinetintegrationPlugin-6.0.0.exe> 2 Types of installation> 1)Embedded Platform Service Controller (Install vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller 2) External Platform Services Controller > Install Platform services controller > Install vCenter server (Require external platform services controller)

VMware Tools installation features - Drivers/Video/Network/Memory/Mouse/Time Syc/Statistics/ Graceful Shutdown VMware Hardware Version features

You decided not to run the vCenter appliance. What’s the minimum hardware requirements for a vCenter 5.x server? Answer: It depends on whether other vSphere services such as single sign-on, inventory service, and the database will be running on the same hardware with vCenter.

You’re going to upgrade vCenter and the old vCenter is running on Windows Server 2003. What Windows Operating System is required for vCenter 5.x? Answer: Windows 2008 SP2

You’re creating a list of ports you need the network admin to open on the firewall. What is port 902 used for on vCenter? Answer: Port 902 is the default port vCenter uses to send data to hosts managed by vCenter.

The old vCenter was running MS SQL Express but you are building 10 ESXi hosts. What’s the difference between using MS SQL Server Express and MS SQL Server for vCenter? Answer: MS SQL Server Express is for vSphere installations with up to 5 ESXi hosts and 50 virtual servers.

Your new boss doesn’t like MS SQL and asked you to use Oracle. Does vCenter support Oracle 11c or 12c? Answer: Yes, but the ODBC driver must be installed manually.


12c? Answer: Yes, but the ODBC driver must be installed manually. VCENTER SERVER INSTALLATION SCREENSHOT VMWARE

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vicfg-vswitch / vicfg-nics /vicfg-vmknic /vicfg-route /vicfg-dns /esxcli-network

Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in ESXi/ESX 4.x, ESXi 5.x and ESXi 6.x (1027206)

# esxcli network nic list

# ethtool -i vmnic0

using esxtop
using esxtop

%DRPTX% Dropped transmits %DRPRX% Dropped receives

Ping /

/ETC/VMWARE/DVSDATA.DB Esxcfg-vswitch -b

Esxcfg-vmknic -l /escli

==================================================================================== Vmware Networking Features

VMware ESXi

communication on the network

networking features enable: Virtual machines to communicate with other virtual and physical machines

Management of the ESXi host /


Virtual switch has specific connecUon types:

VMkernel port: For IP storage, VMware vSphere® High Availability, VMware vSphere® vMotion® migration, VMware vSphere® Fault Tolerance, VMware Virtual SAN , and

Vmware vSphere® Replica^on

Virtual machine port groups

/ For the ESXi management network

ESXi supports 802.1Q VLAN tagging.

Virtual switch tagging is one of the tagging policies supported:

return to the virtual machine. /

Packets from a virtual machine are tagged as they exit the virtual switch. /

Effect on performance is minimal.

Packets are untagged as they

Security policies Promiscuous mode: Allows a virtual switch or port group to present all traffic regardless of the destination. MAC address changes: Accept or reject inbound traffic when the MAC address has been altered by the guest. Forge transmits: Accept or reject outbound traffic when the MAC address has been altered by the guest.

Difference between Standard Switch and Distributed switch

Standard Switch Distributed Switch Standard switch needs to managed at each individual host level Provides
Standard Switch
Distributed Switch
Standard switch needs to managed at
each individual host level
Provides centralized management and monitoring of the network configuration of all the ESXi hosts that are associated with
the dvswitch.
VLANs,/ NetFlow, /port mirroring / Inbound Traffic Shaping/VM Network port blocking / Private VLANS/Load based teaming
/Datacenter level management/Network VMotion/Network switch APIs / Per-port policy setting
Standard Switch is available for all
Licensing Edition
Distributed switch is only available for enterprise edition of licensing
Standard switch can be created
and configured at ESX/ESXi host level
Distributed switch can be created and configured at the vCenter server level
Inbound Traffic Shaping/VM port blocking Only possible at
PVLAN can be created as part of dvswitch. 3 types of PVLAN(Promiscuous
Community and Isolated)

Port binding Choose when ports are assigned to virtual machines connected to this distributed port group:

• Static binding: Assign a port to a virtual machine when the virtual machine connects to the distributed port group.

• Dynamic binding: Assign a port to a virtual machine the first time that the virtual machine powers on after it is connected to the distributed port group. Dynamic binding has been deprecated since ESXi 5.0.

• Ephemeral: No port binding. You can also assign a virtual machine to a distributed port group with ephemeral port binding when connected to the host.

Port allocation • Elastic: The default number of ports is set to eight. When all ports are assigned, a new set of eight ports is created. Elastic is the default.

• Fixed: The default number of ports is set to eight. No additional ports are created when all ports are assigned.


Under certain conditions, the virtual machines on the same distributed port group but on different hosts cannot communicate with one another. Problems:

Virtual machines residing on different hosts and on the same port group are unable to communicate. Pings from one virtual machine to another fail. You cannot migrate the virtual machines between the hosts by using vSphere vMotion. Causes:

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No physical NICs on some of the hosts are assigned to ac^ve or standby uplinks in the teaming. The failover order of the distributed port group is not correctly configured. The physical NICs on the hosts assigned to the ac^ve or standby uplinks reside on different VLANs on the physical switch. The physical NICs on different VLANs cannot see one another and thus cannot communicate with one another. Solutions:

In the topology of the distributed switch, check which host does not have physical NICs assigned to an ac^ve or standby uplink on the distributed port group. Assign at least one physical NIC on that host to an active uplink on the port group. In the topology of the distributed switch, check the VLAN IDs of the physical NICs assigned to the ac^ve uplinks on the distributed port group. On all hosts, assign physical NICs from the same VLAN to an active uplink on the distributed port group.

Network troublshooting

Network checks, IP addres/ Gateway / VLAN tagging / Proper Physical NIC uplink / Physical switch configurtion

Access Mode Trunk Mode Port group 512 we can create Vlan 4094/4096 Port Support 4088

vNetwork standard switches vNetwork distributed switches vlans virtual switch allows two connection types: Virtual machine port groups, Provide network connectivity to virtual machines VMkernel ports - Provides network connectivity for IP storage (NFS and iSCSI), vMotion, VMware FT, and the ESXi management network

What is the use of a Port Group? The port group segregates the type of communication.

What is Promiscuous Mode on vSwitch ? What happens if it sets to Accept?


the promiscuous mode set to Accept, all the communication is visible to all the virtual machines, in other words all the packets are sent to all the ports on vSwitch


the promiscuous mode set to Reject, the packets are sent to inteded port, so that the intended virtual machine was able to see the communication.

What is MAC address Changes ? What happens if it is set to Accept ? When we create a virtual machine the configuration wizard generates a MAC address for that machine, you can see it in the .vmx (VM Config) file. If it doesn't matches with the MAC address in the OS this setting does not allow incoming traffic to the VM. So by setting Reject Option both MAC addresses will be remains same, and the incoming traffic will be allowed to the VM.

What is Forged Transmits ? What happens if it is set to Accept ? When we create a virtual machine the configuration wizard generates a MAC address for that machine, you can see it in the .vmx (VM Config) file. If it doesn't matches with the MAC address in the OS this setting does not allow outgoing traffic from the VM. So by setting Reject Option both

What are the type of communications which requires an IP address for sure ? Service Console and VMKernel (VMotion and iSCSI), these communications does not happen without an ip address (Whether it is a single or dedicated)

What is a VLAN ?

A VLAN is a logical configuration on the switch port to segment the IP Traffic. For this to happen, the port must be trunked with the correct VLAN ID.

Does the vSwitches support VLAN Tagging? Why? Yes, The vSwitches support VLAN Tagging, otherwise if the virtual machines in an esx host are connected to different VLANS, we need to install a separate physical nic (vSwitch) for every

Are we able to configure vCenter Server Heartbeat to keep replication and synchronization while disabling automatic failover and enabling only the option for a manual switch over ? No, that is not possible with current version of vCenter Server Heartbeat.

If the local Windows OS running vCenter Server Heartbeat restarts after applying a security patch, will the Primary vCenter Server trigger a failover to the Secondary

vCenter Server ? As the default ping for the channel network is 3 pings with 20 seconds interval between each ping, the failover will occur and Secondary vCenter Server will take control and start protected services. However, we are able to configure the ping intervals in the vCenter Server Heartbeat manage server console.

When can we use explicit failover on a vSwitch ? We can select "use explicit failover" when we want vSwitch to always use the highest order uplink from the list of Active adapters which passes failover detection criteria such as link state only and beacon probing. Refer to "virtual switch policies" for more details.

Will my virtual machines still have connection if the virtual center that stores my Distributed vSwitch configuration goes down ? Yes, this is because the Distributed vSwitch has an control plane which sits at the vCenter Server level and an I/O plane which are the form of hidden vSwitches sitting at the ESX level. Therefore, even if the vCenter goes down, virtual machines continue to have connectivity through the I/O plane at the ESX level.

What is the difference between ephemeral and dynamic binding on a distributed virtual switch ? Ephemeral a new port on every power-on. The port is destroyed when the VM disconnects from the port. Dynamic assign a port when the VM is powered on, it uses a concept similar to DHCP in that if the same port is available then it will renew that one.

What are standby NICs These adapters will only become Active if the defined Active adapters have failed.

VLAN tagging - IEEE 802.1Q is the networking standard that supports Virtual LANs on an Ethernet network. The standard defines a system of VLAN tagging

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for Ethernet frames and the accompanying procedures to be used by bridges and switches in handling such frames.

Distributed Switches

Port Mirroring, also known as SPAN (Switched Port Analyzer), is a method of monitoring network traffic. With port mirroring enabled, the switch sends a copy of all network packets seen on one port (or an entire VLAN) to another port, where the packet can be analyzed.

What is port mirroring? Port mirroring is used on a network switch to send a copy of network packets seen on one switch port (or an entire VLAN) to a network monitoring connection on another switch port. This is commonly used for network appliances that require monitoring of network traffic Port Mirroring, also known as SPAN (Switched Port Analyzer), is a method of monitoring network traffic. With port mirroring enabled, the switch sends a copy of all network packets seen on one port (or an entire VLAN) to another port, where the packet can be analyzed. Conclusion: With a regular switch the network traffic is visible only to computers, which directly participate in a communication. Other computers do not see the traffic, that is not destined for them. What are the types of network cards available in VM? Vlan,Vmxnet,e1000 What is VSwitch? VSwitch is software implantation of physical switch. This directs network traffic between Vms and links to external networks. What is Distributed Virtual Switch? Dvswitch functions as a single switch across all the hosts. Distributed Virtual switch allows Vm to maintain consistent network configuration as they migrate across multiple hosts. What are the default port groups in Esx and Esxi Esx:- Service console port. VMkernel port (Management port). Vm port group. Esxi:- VMkernel port (Management port). Vm port group.

How can I configure Vlans in Vswitches?

What is Nic teaming? Connecting multiple physical adapters to a single Virtual switch is known as Nic teaming. For Failover and Load balancing. What are the failover detection methods? Link State, Beacon probing What are the load distribution techniques? Port based load distribution / MAC based load distribution / IP hash based load distribution What are traffic shaping policies? Average Bandwidth /Peak Bandwidth /Burst Size What are network security policies, and explain each? Promiscuous Mode:- If set to accept a VMs virtual NIC can be put in promiscuous mode and can see all frames passing through the connected port-group and vSwitch MAC address Change: If set to accept a connected VM can change its MAC address and incoming frames will be passed Forged Transmits: If set to reject any outbound frame with a source MAC address that is different from the one currently set on the adapter are dropped. Where do you configure dvSwitch? In VCenter -->Home-->Inventory-->Networking Right click on the datacenter--> New Dvswitch Name, Number of uplink ports Add host now (or) later, next and next, finish. Is dvSwitch a host specific, cluster, VCs specifics? Dvswitch is a VCs specific. What is the use of promiscuous mode in Traffic shaping ? It allows to listen all the traffic going in the switch, applications like IDS, IPS, Network monitoring tools will use this feature. How does VLAN & Port groups differ? VLAN id can be assigned on portgroup, portgroup identifies the network and we can define traffic shaping policies on portgroup What settings should be done in Physical switch if All VLAN information should be exposed to ESX Server? Physical port should be configured as trunk port




What is virtual networking


Network Adapters


Diffrent Between physical switch & vSwitch

Types of Vswitches


Internal only


Single Adaptor


NIC team


Virtual Machine Port Group


What is VLAN : Logial configuration of network on switch port to segment IP traffic /A VLAN is a logical configuration of n/w on switch port to segment IP traffic VLAN 0 is reserved / VLAN 1 is usually the default, but recommended not to use /1-4094 VLANS / 4095- Guest OS

What is the Port group ? Types? Vswitch security? Promiscuous Mode MAC address changes Forger
What is the Port group ? Types?
Vswitch security?
Promiscuous Mode
MAC address changes
Forger Transmits
NIC Teaming
Load balancing
Network Failover detection
vShield Zone
vNetwork Distributed Switch
vNetwork Distributed Switch

vNetwork Distributed Switch


vNetwork Distributed Switch pVlans
vNetwork Distributed Switch pVlans

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> Primary > Secondary pVlans Secondary Mode Nodes Promiscuous mode Isolated Community Networking Policies
> Primary > Secondary
pVlans Secondary Mode Nodes
Promiscuous mode
Networking Policies
Port blocking
Load balancing
Traffic Shaping
VM Direct path
Jumbo Frames
Cisco Nexus 1000V
Virtual Ehternet module (VEM)
>QoS > Private VLANs >? ACLs > NetFlow and SPAN
Network log files

DHCP related issues /var/log/dhclient.log


Network driver and device type issues /var/log/vmkernal.log

/vCenter connection issues /var/log/vpxa.log

VMkernel port: / For IP storage, vMotion migration, VMware vSphere® Fault Tolerance /For the ESXi management network

ESXi supports 802.1Q VLAN tagging. Virtual switch tagging is one of three tagging policies supported. Packets from a virtual machine are tagged as they exit the virtual switch. Packets are untagged as they return to the virtual machine. Affect on performance is minimal. ESXi provides VLAN support by giving a port group a VLAN ID.

Three network policies: Security / Traffic shaping / NIC teaming

Virtual Networking: The Virtual networking features of ESXi are the cornerstone of building an IP network for virtual machines that integrates seamlessly with the existing physical server environment.

Network Adaptor - ESXi host performs a discover network ip address

VIrtual Standard Switches (vSS) vSS are logical objects that reside in the vmkernal of each ESXi host / Each virtual NIC connected to a virtual switch will have its own MAC address vSS can be bound to one or more physical network adapters

vSS Functionality - Each virtual standard switch can contain one or more connection types or port groups that define the types of communication expected through the virtual switch vSS operate at Layer 2 and can provide VLAN tagging, security, checksums, and segmentation offload units

Similarities between pSwitch and vSS VIrtual standard switches are similar to physical switches in that both: Maintain MAC address table Look up each frames destination MAC upon arrival Forward frames to one or more ports Avoid unnecessary deliveries

Different between pSwitch and vSwitch Virtua; switches are different from physical switches in that VIrtual standard switches cannot be connected to other virtual switches the way physical switches can be VIrtual standard switches do not require spanning tree protocol Virtual standard switch isolation prevents loops in the switching configuration Forwarding table data is unique to each virtual

Types of vSwitches Internal only / Single adapter /NIC team

Virtual Machine Port Group -A VM port group provides associated VM with access to other systems on physical networks by providing a switch-to switch connection between the virtual switch and physical switch

What is a VLAN? a VLAN is logical configuration of a network on switch port to segment IP traffic

Configuring vSphere Standard switches

Create a vSphere standard switch configure vmnics on a vSphere standard switch configure the vmkernel ports for network services configure port groups on a vsphere standard switch

Configuration Dvswitch Tasks

Create a new dvswitch

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Add hosts and vmnics to dvswitch Create a devport group Migrate legacy vSwitches and VM networks to dvswitch Migrate VMkernel virtual adapters to dvswitch View dvswitch > Mapping > Advanced configuration > Alarms

vSphere Distributed Switch Creates a centralized virtual switch that multiple ESXi hosts can subscribe to Reduces networking configuration and changes Allows you to centrally manage networking for VMs across multiple ESXi hosts Consistent network configuration and stats as VMs are migrated using vmotion dvPort Groups similar to standard vSwitch port groups but on the vDS level Increased capabilities-security traffic control, VLAN, and more /Ability to add 3rd party switch-Nexus 1000V

Private VLANs-pVLANs Primary: orginal VLAN that can be subdivided into multiple secondary pVLANS Secondary:- They exist only inside the primary / Each secondary pVLAN has a VLAN ID /It associates each packets with an ID that the physical switch can use to identify the mode (Promiscuous, Isolated, or Community)

pVLANs Secondary Mode Nodes There are three types of Secondary VLANs 1)Promiscuous

Promiscuous:- May sent and receive packets to any secondary pVLAN , Typically routers are attached to promiscuous ports

Isolated : May only send and receive packets from the promiscuous pVLAN Community: May send and receive packets between any secondary pVLAN and also with promiscuous pVLAN

2)Isolated 3)Community

Networking Policies VLAN (vDS only) Allows virtual network to join physical VLANs

Port blocking (vDS only) Sets blocking policies on dvPorts Load balancing security Traffic shaping

Network connection type. VMkernal Network Adaptor :The VMkernal TCP/IP stack handles traffic for ESXi services such as vSphere vMotion, iSCIS, NFS, PCoE, Fault Tolerance, Virtual SAN and host management. Physical Network Adapter: A physical network adapter handles the network traffic to other hosts on the network Virtual Machine Port Group for Standard Switch: A port group handles the VM traffic on standard switch


Updates the switch with the MAC information

/ Logical to Physical connection

/Connect to Multiple NIC's

Port Groups

Enhanced Network Security

/ Network Segmentation/ Better performance

/ Higher Availability

/ Traffic Management

VMkernal Port

For IP storage, vMotion migration, VMware vSphere Fault



For the ESXi management network

Distributed Switch- Network Health check

switch (Control Plane) / Hidden Switches (I/O Plane)

/ Configuration Backup and Restore / Roll Back and Recovery /LACP has been enhanced in vSphere 5.5 /Automatic Rollback

Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) Standards-base link aggregation method Automatic negotiation between Virtual and Physical switches Key Advantages Detect Link failures and cabling mistakes and reconfigures links automatically Plug and Play Limitations (vSphere Distributed Switch) Software iSCSI multipathing No support for host profiles LAG Ports

Key LACP Enhancements - 22 hashing algorithms available 64 LAGs available per host and per vSphere Distributed switch

/ Distributed

Drawbacks of Stnadard vSwitches Every ESXi host should have separate vSwitches configured on it Changes to standard virtual switches still have to be applied to each ESXi host individually Cannot create an isolated virtual network connecting two VMs on different hosts without configuring network hardware When a VM is migrated with VM vMotion, the networking state of the VM gets reset. This makes network monitoring and troubleshooting a more complex task in a Virtual environment.

Distributed Switch Benfits Simplifying data center administration Enabling networking statistics and polices to migrate with virtula machines Providing for customization and third-party development from enterprise networking vendors.

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VMware | Virtual Standard Switch/ Port group Properties (ESXi 5)

VMware vSwitch properties General No: of ports By Default 120 Max 4088 ports

MTU Maximum Transfer Unit By default 1500 Need to set as 9000 to enable Jumbo Frames

Standard Security options Promiscuous Mode By default ‘Reject’

If ‘Accept’, VMs connected could see all network traffic traversing the virtual switch

Normally used by network snoop servers or IDS/IPS MAC Address Changes Affects the traffic that a VM receives By default ‘Accept’

If ‘Accept’, ESXi accepts requests to change the effective MAC address to other than the initial MAC address

If ‘Reject’, ESXi doesn’t accept MAC address changes thus protecting it from MAC impersonation Forged Transmits Affects the traffic that a VM sends By default ‘Accept’

If ‘Accept’, ESXi does not compare source and effective MAC addresses

If ‘Reject’, ESXi will be protected from MAC impersonation Traffic Shaping

Status Set as ‘Enabled’ to enable traffic shaping Will shape the outbound network traffic based on the parameters like Avg bandwidth, Peak bandwidth, Burst size NIC Teaming Load balancing Based on algorithms like IP hash, Source MAC hash, originating virtual port id etc Network failover detection Notify Switches Failback and its order The options available for vStandard Switch is also available for a portgroup in that vswitch. But the options available for a port group will be greyed out by default. And also you could see a check box available for all the settings. This is because; by default portgroups inherit the properties of its parent vswitch. But if you prefer a particular portgroup to have a different setting that of its parent switch, you can select that check box and suddenly the greyed out options will become active and you can make the personalised settings for that portgroup.

The vmkernel portgroup will have an additional settings tab to set IP address.

Private VLAN in VMware - PVLANs


A network analysis tool for monitoring the network and for gaining visibility into virtual machine traffic, A tool that can be used for profiling, intrusion detection, networking forensics, and compliance Port Mirroring Port mirroring is a technology that duplicates network packets of a switch port (source) to another port (destination).

The sources traffic is monitored at the destination. Port mirroring is used: To assist in troubleshooting >As input for network analysis appliances

This is a tough VMware interview question created just for you. Name 4 things that happen on the VMkernel networking layer? vMotion, IP storage (iSCSI/NFS), Fault Tolerance and Virtual SAN.

You have a VCP so this should be an easy interview question. What are 2 ways a vSphere admin can separate traffic from distinct environments (ex. Production and test) on the same hosts. Answer: Either by creating separate vSwitches using dedicated NICs or if NICs are not available by creating separate port groups using different VLAN IDs on the same vSwitch.

True or false. A Distributed Virtual Switch is very much like a physical switch that detects which VMs are logically connects to each port and uses that information to forward network traffic. Hint: It is not used for monitoring and administration across a datacenter. Answer: False. A Distributed Virtual Switch acts as a single switch across all hosts in a datacenter to provide centralized provisioning, administration, and monitoring of virtual networks.

Another True or false. NIC teams are “normally” put in active/active mode to allow fail-over in the event of a hardware failure. Answer: False again. NIC teams are normally put in active/standby mode to allow fail-over in the event of a hardware failure. You can use active/active but this would not be standard and would require port channeling at the physical switch.

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This is a trick question so think about it! How many physical NICs are needed in an ESXi hosts for hosting 25 virtual servers on iSCSI storage split between 2 diverse environments (web/app). Answer: The answer is purely subjective. It depends on how much separation is needed for performance and the level of redundancy built into the design for hardware failure. At minimum, maybe 2 (1 for data and 1 for VMkernel) but more should be used.

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STORAGE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS VMFS 3 Size 2 TB Partition Style MBR (Master Boot Record) style Available

VMFS 3 Size 2 TB Partition Style MBR (Master Boot Record) style Available Block Size 1

VMFS 5 64 TB GPT (GUID Partition Table) Only 1 MB RDM Size 64 TB Only ESXi5 above supported Latest Version. NO upgrade available yet. File Limit 100,000 Sub-Block size 8 KB


RDM Size 2 TB less 512 bytes Supported Hosts versions ESX 3.X, 4.X & 5.x Upgrade path VMFS 3 to VMFS 5 File Limit 30,000 Sub-Block size 64 KB

Troubleshooting steps


related storage


STORAGE COMMANDS Esxcli iscsi (Mange the intalled models) Esxtop & Vscsistats (Performance troubleshooting ) Vmkfstools (creating file system (VMDK FIle)

Storage command line tools

esxcli vmkfstools - Managing the VMFS file system / create/Manager /Create RDMs vmkfstools Vdf -h df -h vifs svmotion vscsistats - performance monitoring esxtop - perfmornace monitoring

>Check the network connectivity>Check the storage type >1)disk/lun (Fiber channel, iscsi, or local iscsi, or mount existing VMFS 2)Network File System (NFS) Check iscsi is enabled>check the chap authentication> check the drivers are mounted>rescaned> check iscsi advanced setting configured properly

Iscsi Troubleshooting issues

Check the vmkernel interface And there mappings /

NFS Troubleshooting

Ping the iSCSI target / Check zoning/masking on the target /Confirm if CHAP is used and that its correct

Check Vmkernal interface and connectivity / Ping the NFS server /Use esxcli to show and add the NFS datastore /Make sure NFS server is set for no_root_squash

vStorage Virtual Disk Thin Provisioning Independent Persistent Vs. Independent Non-Persistent Persistent – not able to take snapshot/The disk operates normally except that changes to the disk are permanent even if the virtual machine is reverted to a snapshot. Non presistent disk -Once reboot the VM, it will erase existing data it will revert to old stage changes are discarded only if you power off the VM.* (or shutdown the VM) Datastores A datastore is a logical storage unit that can use disk space on one physical device or span several physical devices. Datastores are used to hold virtual machine files, templates, and ISO images.

How storage Vmotion works -Non violated file copied / Data move (vmdk copy) / Mirror drive /Once copy is done Types of datastores: VMFS and NFS VMFS: VMFS is a clustered file system that allows multiple ESXi hosts to read and write to the same storage device simultaneously. The clustered file system enables unique, virtualization-based services, including:

VMFS can be deployed on three kinds of SCSI-based storage devices: Direct-attached storage / Fibre Channel storage /iSCSI storage

NFS: Is storage shared over the network at the file system level /Supports NFS version 3 and 4.1 over TCP/IP

NFS v3:

ESXi managed multipathing AUTH_SYS (root) authentication VMware proprietary file locking Client-side error tracking

NFS v4.1:

/ Native multipathing and session trunking / Optional Kerberos authentication / Built-in file locking / Server-side error tracking

RDM (Raw Device Mapping)

Cluster VM- Pysical VM / P2v / Large disk 64TB enables you to store virtual machine data directly on a LUN. The mapping file is stored on a VMFS datastore that points to the raw LUN. An RDM (a -rdm.vmdk file) enables a virtual machine to gain direct access to a physical LUN. Encapsulating disk information in the RDM enables the VMkernel to lock the LUN so that only one virtual machine can write to it.


Items to define when creating an RDM: Target LUN: LUN that the RDM will map to / Mapped datastore: Stores the RDM file with the virtual machine or on a different datastore RDM enables you to store virtual machine data directly on a LUN. > The mapping file is stored on a VMFS datastore that points to the raw LUN.

RDMs if the following conditions are true of your virtual machine:

It is taking storage array-level snapshots. / It is clustered to a physical machine. /It has large amounts of data that you do not want to convert into a virtual disk.

RDM supports two compatibility modes:

Physical compatibility (pass-through) mode: Allows the guest operating system to access the hardware directly. Physical compatibility is useful if you are using SAN-aware applications in the virtual machine. But a LUN configured for physical compatibility cannot be cloned, made into a template, or migrated if the migration involves copying the disk. LUNs configured for pass-through mode can be a maximum of 62 TB in size. In the case of physical compatibility mode RDM, the file name is -rdmp.vmdk.

Virtual compatibility mode: Allows the virtual machine to use VMware snapshots and other advanced features. Virtual compatibility enables the LUN to behave as if it were a virtual disk. When you clone the disk, make a template out of it, or migrate it (if the migration involves copying the disk), the contents of the LUN are copied to a virtual disk (.vmdk) file.

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Migrating of virtual machines with RDMs can be performed with virtual machines powered on or powered off. Raw LUNs cannot be migrated, because they are raw disks presented from the SAN. However, the RDM pointer files can be relocated if necessary.

IOPS second R/W (IO Meter) VMFS is optimized for storing and accessing large files. A VMFS datastore can have a maximum volume size of 64 TB.

Ways to dynamically increase the size of a VMFS datastore:

Add an extent (LUN). Add an extent to the existing VMFS Add an extent to the VMFS datastore: An extent is a partition on a LUN. You can add an extent to any VMFS datastore. The datastore can stretch over multiple extents, up to 32.

Expand the datastore within its extent. Expand the VMFS datastore: Increase the size of the VMFS datastore in its extent. Only extents with free space immediately after them are expandable. As a result, rather than adding the new extent, you can expand the existing extent so that it fills the available adjacent capacity.

Multipathing Algorithms - Arrays provide various features. Some offer active active storage processors. Others offer active-passive storage processors. VMware path selection policies include: The following path selection policies are supported for multipathing with Fibre Channel or iSCSI:

Fixed: The host always uses the preferred path to the disk when that path is available. If the host cannot access the disk through the preferred path, it tries the alternative paths. Fixed is the default policy for active-active storage devices. MRU: The host uses the most recent path to the disk until this path becomes unavailable. That is, the host does not revert back until this path becomes unavailable. A failover to a new path is performed. If the original path becomes available again, the host does not fail back to the original path. MRU is the default policy for active-passive storage devices and is required for those devices. Round Robin: The host uses a path selection algorithm that rotates through all available paths. In addition to path failover, the Round Robin policy supports load balancing across the paths. Before using this policy, check with storage vendors to find out whether a Round Robin configuration is supported on their storage.

vSphere Storage vMotion vSphere Storage vMotion uses an I/O mirroring architecture to copy disk blocks between source and destination:

1. Initiate storage migration.

2. Use the VMkernel data mover or VMware vSphere® Storage APIs - Array Integration to copy data.

3. Start a new virtual machine process.

4. Mirror I/O calls to file blocks that are already copied to virtual disk on the destination datastore.

5. Cut over to the destination virtual machine process to begin accessing the virtual disk copy.

Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed : Space required for Virtual disk allocated during creation, data remain on physical drive is not erased during creation. But it is zero out an demand creation time is fast, high coma of configuration file block. Thick Provision Eager Zeroed: disk will be zeroed out during creation, use for fault tolerance, creation time is slow, high coma of configuration file block Thin Provision: The disk use only as much data store space initially needed. If it required more space it can expand to the maximum capacity allocated. Creation time is very fast

Maximum number of LUNs that can be attached to a host (ESXi 5.0) 256 Thick-Provisioned Disks: Full Capacity is allocated >Eager-Zeroed- Slow to provision most predicable performance - Required for Fault Tolerant VMs . Lazy-zeroed - Faster to provision Thin-Provisioned Disks - Unused space is not allocated What are the types of data stores supported in ESX3.5 ? iSCSI datastores, FC SAN datastores, Local VMFS, NAS and NFS How can you configure these different types of datastores on ESX3.5 ? If we have FC cards installed on the esx servers, by going to the storage option, we can scan for the luns.

What makes iSCSI and FC diffrent ? Addressing Scheme, iSCSI relies on IP and FC not, and the type of transfer of data also. In FC the data transferred as blocks, in iSCSI the data transferred as files. The cabling also, FC uses Fibre cable and iSCSI uses RJ45. What is the format for iSCSI addressing ? IP How many iSCSI targets will ESX support 8 for 3.01, (64 for 3.5) How Many Fiber Channel targets (256) (128 on Install) What are RDM Limitations? There are two types of RDMs: virtual compatibility mode RDMs and physical compatibility mode RDMs.

Physical mode RDMs, in particular, have some fairly significant limitations: No VMware snapshots / No VCB support, because VCB requires VMware snapshots

that use physical mode RDMs No converting VMs that use physical mode RDMs into templates / No migrating VMs with physical mode RDMs if the migration involves copying the disk No VMotion with physical mode RDMs Virtual mode RDMs address some of these issues, allowing raw LUNs to be treated very much like virtual disks and enabling functionality like VMotion, snapshotting, and cloning. Virtual mode RDMs are acceptable in most cases where RDMs are required. For example, virtual mode RDMs can be used in virtual-to-virtual cluster across physical hosts. Note that physical-to-virtual clusters across boxes, though, require physical mode RDMs. While virtual disks will work for the large majority of applications and workloads in a VI environment, the use of RDMs--either virtual mode RDMs or physical mode RDMs--can help eliminate potential compatibility issues or allow applications to run virtualized without any loss of functionality.

/No cloning VMs

STORAGE SCSI Adapter, Internal RAID Controller, Hardware iSCSI, Serial attached SCSI (SAS), SATA 1) Fibre Channel 2) iSCSI 3) NFS Checking the network connectivity and troubleshooting via below esx commands ><VMKPING / TCPDUMP / NSLOOKUP

Can we use EMC PowerPath together with VMware NMP (Native Multi-pathing Plug-in) ? It is not recommended to use both at the same time, we usually either use PowerPath or VMware NMP. Refer to "EMC PowerPath VE With VSphere" documentation for more details.

Is it possible to configure both thin provisioned virtual disk and thick provision virtual disk n a single VM, thus, creation of a VM with multiple virtual disks which have different provisioned modes virtual disk ? Yes, this is possible. When deploying thin provisioned virtual disk for VM, the virtual disk is expand on demand which creates many fragments which could be scattered across our datastore,

what's the way to defrag a VM with thin provisioned virtual disk ? When performing Storage Vmotion migrating the VM to a different LUN and migrating the VM back to original datastore, the VM's file will be fragmented. Can we create a vmdk greater than 256 GB when configuring a block size of 1MB ? No this is not possible, we will have to increase the block size before the vmdk size will be

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increased. For example, a block size of 2MB will allow us to create a 512GB vmdk and a block size of 4MB will allow us to create a vmdk that's 1024GB. When we convert a VM from thin disk to thick disk, which state must the VM be in to perform the request -The VM must be in the powered off state in order to be converted from thin to thick disk.

When we replicate the LUNs over resignaturing only occurs for VMFS LUNs and not RDM, how do we get the replicated RDM to work ? You can replicate the RDM to a new array, but the mapping file that is configured on the vm itself will no longer be pointing to the same location it was previously, so the RDM has to be re-mapped to the VM in a DR scenario.

How To Convert Thick Virtual Disks to Thin in VMWare ESX / ESXi Migrating VM> select>vm with datastore> u will get option "1 .Select the virtual machine in the inventory. > 2 .Click the Summary tab and, under Resources, double-click the datastore for the virtual machine to open the Datastore Browser dialog box. > 3. Click the virtual machine folder to find the virtual disk file you want to convert. The file has the .vmdk extension. 4. Right-click the virtual disk file and select Inflate.> The virtual disk in thick format occupies the entire datastore space originally provisioned to it.

VMware vSphere 6.0

What is vSAN?

It is a hypervisor-converged storage solution built by aggregating the local storage attached to the ESXi hosts managed by a vCenter.

Recommended iSCSI configuration?

A separate vSwitch, and a separate network other than VMtraffic network for iSCSI traffic. Dedicated physical NICs should be connected to vSwitch configured for iSCSI traffic.

What is iSCSI port binding ? Port binding is used in iSCSI when multiple VMkernel ports for iSCSI reside in the same broadcast domain and IP subnet, to allow multiple paths to an iSCSI array that broadcasts a single IP address.

iSCSI port binding considerations ? Array Target iSCSI ports must reside in the same broadcast domain and IP subnet as the VMkernel port. All VMkernel ports used for iSCSI connectivity must reside in the same broadcast domain and IP subnet. All VMkernel ports used for iSCSI connectivity must reside in the same vSwitch. Currently, port binding does not support network routing.

Recommended iSCSI configuration of a 6 NIC infrastructure ? (Answer changes as per the infrastructure requirements)


NICs for VM traffic


NICs for iSCSI traffic


NIC for vMotion


NIC for management network

Which esxtop metric will you use to confirm latency issue of storage ? esxtop --> d --> DAVG

Path selection policies in ESXi

Which networking features are recommended while using iSCSI traffic iSCSI port binding /

What is in a Data store Virtual disk /V Memory /VM configuration file /Log files/ Core dumps/ Anything u add, like an ISO file

Most Recently Used (MRU) / Fixed /Round Robin

Jumbo Frames

Types of storage paths "Most Recently Used (MRU): Selects the first working path, discovered at system boot time. If this path becomes unavailable, the ESXi/ESX host switches to an alternative path and continues to use the new path while it is available. This is the default policy for Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs) presented from an Active/Passive array. ESXi/ESX does not return to the previous path if, or when, it returns; it remains on the working path until it, for any reason, fails. Note: The preferred flag, while sometimes visible, is not applicable to the MRU pathing policy and can be disregarded.

Fixed (Fixed): Uses the designated preferred path flag, if it has been configured. Otherwise, it uses the first working path discovered at system boot time. If the ESXi/ESX host cannot use the preferred path or it becomes unavailable, the ESXi/ESX host selects an alternative available path. The host automatically returns to the previously defined preferred path as soon as it becomes available again. This is the default policy for LUNs presented from an Active/Active storage array.

Round Robin (RR): Uses an automatic path selection rotating through all available paths, enabling the distribution of load across the configured paths. For Active/Passive storage arrays, only the paths to the active controller will be used in the Round Robin policy. For Active/Active storage arrays, all paths will be used in the Round Robin policy.

Note: For logical Units associated with Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) and Microsoft Failover Clustering virtual machines, the Round Robin pathing policy is supported only on ESXi 5.5 and later."

What is the RDM disk, where it will store what is the file name Raw Device Mapping (RDM) RDM is mapping file used to map a LUN directly to VM bypassing VMFS layer. This LUN can be formatted using any File System (NTFS or FAT32) without the need to format it using VMFS and placing VMDK file on top of it. The mapping file is located with the virtual machine directory. Here is an example of RDM mapping file for a VM called VM-01 which has pRDM LUN and vRDM LUN ~ # cd /vmfs/volumes/SAN-DATASTORE/VM-01


1 root


32212254720 Nov 3 12:18 VM-01_1-rdm.vmdk ---------------------> vRDM mapping file


1 root


482 Nov 3 12:18 VM-01_1.vmdk ----------------------> Descriptor File


1 root


32212254720 Nov 3 12:18 VM-01_2-rdmp.vmdk ---------------------> pRDM mapping file


1 root


494 Nov 3 12:18 VM-01_2.vmdk ----------------------> Descriptor File

How it works? When a LUN is opened for access from inside the VM, the mapping file is read to obtain the reference to the raw LUN (because mapping file is having the metadata for the LUN). Thereafter, reads and writes go directly to the raw LUN rather than going through the mapping file.

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VM .vmx file is having reference pointing to RDM mapping file and not the LUN. For our example VM-01

Converting Thin to Thick> This is much simpler to do; browse the datastore in question and locate the vmdk file. Right click it and select "Inflate". Convert disk format using Inflate option 1.Shut-down or power off the virtual Machine 2.Verify the current disk format of the virtual Machine by Right-click on the virtual machine- > Edit settings -> select the hardisk and verify the current disk format 3.Click on the summary tab of the virtual Machine 4. Right-click on the datastore and select Browse Datastore 5.Open the virtual Machine directory 6.Right-click the .VMDK file and select Inflate. It takes few minutes to completed the disk format change depend on the size of the disk 7.Verify the current disk format of the virtual Machine after the Inflate option completed successful by Right-click on the virtual machine- > Edit settings -> select the hardisk and verify the current disk format

Any knowledge of Storage? I have knowledge on how storage is attached or added to ESX/ESXi hosts, how allocation of storage is done using iSCSI (Starwind and Windows 2008 Storage Server) but I do not have any in-depth knowledge on storage configuration on hardware (hardware interaction).

Have u installed Storage for your current Environment For my team we have a Storage Administrator who takes care of storage requests raised by the team members. Once we get storage (LUN ID or iqn) details requested, we use them to attach the storage to the respective ESX/ESXi Servers and start installation/Deployment of virtual machines in to that storage.

What is VMFS? What is its block size in 4 and 5? VMFS is a cluster file system, which allows multiple hosts to read and write at a time. Datastore of both is 64TB Block Size in 4.x (VMFS 3)

1MB---256gb-512bytes /

2MB---512gb-512bytes /4MB---1Tb-512bytes / 8MB---2Tb-512bytes

Block Size in 5(VMFS 5) 1MB—2Tb-512bytes

What are persistent and non-persistent disks? Persistent:-If any changes are made to the VM, changes are immediately and permanently written to the disk.

Non-Persistent:-If any changes are made to the VM, changes to the disk are discarded when you power off (or) revert to the snapshot. What are the storage controllers in VM? IDE/SATA/SCSI/SAS

What is the max hard disk we can configure to VM? Max hard disk is

What are storage protocols Esx supports? Fibre channel /Iscsi Hardware /Iscsi Software / NFS /VMFS What is NFS? Network file system. NFS is a file sharing protocol that Esxi host used to communicate with storage devices.


How do you add NFS DB to Esx server?

How can you increase the size of data store? Configuration tab—storage—right click on Datastore—properties—increase Datastore. What is multipathing, what multipathing available in Esx? Having multiple paths to an Esx server to connect to the Datastore(SAN) Available multipathing > Fixed or Preferred / Most recently used /Round robin How do you configure Lun in Esx server? In Esx click on host add VMkernel port. Configuration tab--> storage adapter-->add iscsi software adapter.>Details—properties-->Dynamic (or) Static Discovery, give server ip, add Lun path, next.> Storage-->Add storage, partition, next , finish. What is WWN? WWN is World Wide Name, it is a naming convention used for the Lun, when we use HBA. (Fibre channel cable) What is IQN? IQN is Iscsi Qualified Name, it is a naming convention used for the Lun, when we use iscsi hardware or iscsi software. (Ethernet cables) What is zoning? Dividing Fc switch into different zones for providing security to host before connecting to San Datastore. What is Lun masking? Exposing one more Lun to a specified host is known as Lun masking What are persistent and non-persistent disks? Persistent:-If any changes are made to the VM, changes are immediately and permanently written to the disk. Non-Persistent:-If any changes are made to the VM, changes to the disk are discarded when you power off (or) revert to the snapshot. What is a cold migrate? Migrating a powered off virtual machine from one ESX to other ESX Server What is a storage vmotion ? Migrating /Moving a powered on VM from one datastore to the other datastore What are the storage vmotion requirements? ESX Server should have access to source and destination datastore, VM should not have any snapshots How do extent datastores ? Select datastore – Properties – Increase/ Extent Can we attach 4 TB Partition as VMFS filesystem ? No maximum 2 TB Partition can be attached



Storage Performance troubleshooting

Check datastore latency Look for any commands terminated in advanced performance chart Latency is usually the biggest problem wants average under 20ms try to keep peaks under 20ms or 30ms easy to check in esxtop (DAVG/vmd)

Cause of high latency include

too many requests for too few spindles

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I/O is has gotten more random (fewer actual OPS from disks) new jobs, such as backup

Storage Log Files

Vmkernel.log :- All sorts of host and storage device messages vmkwarning.log :- Similar information to vmkernel.log storagerm.log : SIOC information vobd.log :- vmkernel observations

Storage commands

esxcli storage core path list esxcli storage nmp psp esxcli storage nmp satp

Check for masked LUNs and claim rules

esxcli storage core claimrule list esxcli storage core path list

List installed modules

esxcli system module list

Manage installed modules esxcli system module load esxcli system module set esxcli system module parameters liost -m Module

Troubleshoot iSCSI Issues

Check the vmkernel interface and their mappings Ping the iSCSI target Check zoning/masking on the target Confirm if CHAP is used and that it's correct

CLI commands fr confirming configuration

esxcli iscsi networkportal list - show configured vmkernels esxcli iscsi logicalportal list - shows iSCSI interface and MAC address esxcli iscsi session list - shows all active iSCSI sessions, targets, and options esxcli iscsi adapter target portal list - shows all iSCSI targets, IPs, and ports esxcli iscsi adapter capabilites get -A vmhba35 - Displays iSCSI adapter information

Performance troubleshooting


esxtop & vscsiStats

Common esxtop/resxtop meterics MBRED/s - MBs read per second MBWRTN/s MBs written per second KAVG - Kernel latency average (want 3ms or less) DAVG -Device driver latency average (Want <25ms) QAVG - Queue latency average GAVG - Guest latency (KAVG + DAVG ) (want <25ms) AQLEN - Storage adapter queue lenght LQLEN - LUN queue depth (amount of I/Os the LUN can queue) %USD - Queue depth percentage actively being used by the kernel (ACTV ?QLEN * 100%) Resets/s - Disk resets per second (want 1 or less) ABRTS/s -Commands aborted per second after 60 second timeout (watn 1 or less)

Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in ESXi/ESX 4.x, ESXi 5.x and ESXi 6.x (1027206)

# esxcli network nic list

# ethtool -i VMNic_name (Obtaining Host Bus adapter driver and firmware information)

# esxcfg-scsidevs -a

# vmkload_mod -s HBADriver |grep Version

I/O Penalties Flash - 2K to 4K IOPS 15K - 180 IOPS 10K - 130 IOPS 7.2K - 90 IOPS


Storage Architectures

Local Storage

Fibre channel SAN storage

iSCSI SAN storage

Check storage compatibility

Data Transfer type

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Block level

File level

VMFS (Virtual Machine File System)

Fiber Channel SAN Components


Fiber channel Connectivity


Zoning- Zoning is the process of allowing ESXi hosts to communicate with a storage devices through the Fiber channel switched fabric. Zoning is performed from the management interface of the FC switch


Extending the LUNS




Most Recently Used /Fixed /Round Robin

iSCSI Multipathing


Storage vMotion vSphere Thin Provisioning

What is VMotion VMotion Errors Enabling VMotion VMotion CPU Requirements VMotion Process

DAS - Direct attach Storage NAS- Network Attach Storage (NFS/CIFS) NAS can be access 2 protocols NFS (Network File System)/CIFS (Common interface Support) iSCSI SAN: Storage Area Network (HBA /SAS) Require HBA card (Host Bus Adaptor) /SAS controller (Serial Attached SCSI) HBA QLOGIC and EMULEX card / Brocade, Intel and others FC (WWNN _World Wide Node Name) WWPN (World Wide Port Name) Dual-port HBA would have a single WWNN and two WWPNs

Name) WWPN (World Wide Port Name) Dual-port HBA would have a single WWNN and two WWPNs
Name) WWPN (World Wide Port Name) Dual-port HBA would have a single WWNN and two WWPNs

Storage Features:

Name) WWPN (World Wide Port Name) Dual-port HBA would have a single WWNN and two WWPNs
Name) WWPN (World Wide Port Name) Dual-port HBA would have a single WWNN and two WWPNs

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A datastore is a logical storage unit that can use disk space on one physical device or span several physical devices. Types of datastores: VMFS /NFS Datastores are used to hold virtual machine files, templates, and ISO images.

Data stores: VMware file system/logical volume, Can be NFS or VMFS and can be located on any supported storage Disk Partion: an area on a disk set aside for a datastore Extent: a disk area that can be added to a datastore Fiber Channel (FC)-high speed storage technology with FC, HBA, FC switch, FC SP, and disk Internet SCSI (iSCSI)- SCSI over TCP/IP, server initiator and storage is the target LUN (Logical unit number) an address used to identify a SCSI disk Multipathing /Failover-allows you to use more than 1 path, offers failover and redundancy NAS (Network Attached Storage)-network disk storage, ESX uses NFS on NAS NFS (Network File System) a file sharing protocol used with ESX server (and Unix/Linux) Raw Device Mapping (RDM) - a special type of storage disk where ESX controls disk access Spanned Volume- a dynamic volume spread across number of extents Volume: AS disk volume > A Logica storage unit

vMotion :-vMotion enables live migration of running virtual machines from one host to another with zero downtime Prerequisites

1. Vsphere Essentials plus, Standard, Enterprise or Enterprise Plus license

2. Host must be licensed for vMotion

3. Configure host with at least one vMotion n/w interface (vmkernel port group)

4. Shared storage (this has been compromised in 5.1)

5. Same VLAN and VLAN label

6. GigaBit Ethernet network required between hosts

7. Processor compatibility between hosts

8. vMotion does not support migration of applications clustered using Microsoft clustering service

9. No CD ROM attached

10. No affinity is enabled

11. VMware tools should be installed

vMotion is not working. What are the possible reasons? Ensure vMotion is enabled on all ESX/ESXi hosts / Ensure that all vmware pre requisites are met /Verify if the ESXi/ESX host can be reconnected or if reconnecting the ESX/ESXi host resolves the issue / Verify that time is synchronized across environment / Verify that the required disk space is available

NAS vs SAN Both used as storage solution /NAS can be used by any device connected using LAN whereas SAN is used only by server class devices with SCSI NAS is file based whereas SAN is block based storage /NAS is cheap while SAN is expensive /SAN is comparatively faster than NAS

NAS/NFS - For best performance and security, put NAS on a separate and isolated IP network By default, 8NFS mounts per ESXi host are allowed and maximum is 64 mounts Storage team provided the new LUN ID to you? How will you configure the LUN in VC? What would be the block size (say for 500 GB volume size)? Go to ESX>Configuration>Storage> Rescan All> Add Storage>Disk /Lun>Next How to create enabled DRS storage data store Datastores and Datastore Clusters>Right click data center object>New Datastore cluster>Next > enable DRS storage cluster>Manul>

What is SvMotion? Migration of a virtual machine files and disks from one datastore to another with Zero downtime. What are the use cases of SvMotion ? " Migrating from Old storage to new storage systems or migrating to different vendor storage without downtime to VM’s. Performing Scheduled activity like storage upgrades on the source Lun. Converting VM disk type from Thick to Thin and Thin to Thick. Migrating the critical virtual machines to high performance storage arrays to improve performance of virtual Machine."

What are Pre-requisites for the SvMotion to Work? "ESX host in which virtual machine is running should have access to source and destination storage. ESX host should have configured with the license for svMotion" Vsphere Enterprise or Enterprise Plus licesnse required. Not that to use the option to "Change both host and datastore", the MV must be powered off Moving a Large VMDK can take long time, depending on u r network connection.

What are the Limitations of SvMotion? Virtual machines with snapshots cannot be migrated using Storage vMotion. Virtual machine with virtual compatibility RDM can be migrated with svMotion.If you convert the mapping file, a new virtual disk is created and the contents of the mapped LUN are copied to this disk. For Physical compatibility RDM, only mapping file can be relocated. Virtual Machines cannot be migrated while the VMware tools installation tools is in progress. Virtual Machine should be in powered off state if you want to migrate the VM simultaneously to different host and storage.

Steps involved in VMWare SvMotion ? "svMotion copies all the files expect virtual machine disk and create the directory as same the Virtual Machine name on the destination storage. It uses Changed Block tracking to track the virtual machine disk. The change block tracking knows which region disk includes data. This data will be stored in bitmap and reside either in memory or in a file. Pre-copies Virtual machine disk and swap file will start from the source to destination datastore as the first iteration. once it is completed, It only transfers the region which were modified or written after the first iteration. ESX performs fast suspend and resume of the virtual Machine. The final changed regions will be copied to the destination before the virtual Machine is resumed on the destination datastore. Virtual Machine will continue running on the destination datastore and source file and disk will be deleted."

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What is vMotion? Live migration of a virtual machine from one ESX server to another with Zero downtime . VMs disk files stay where they are (on shared storage) What are the use cases of vMotion ? Balance the load on ESX servers (DRS Save power by shutting down ESX using DPM Perform patching and maintenance on ESX server (Update Manager or HW maintenance What are Pre-requisites for the vMotion to Work? ESX host must be licensed for VMotion ESX servers must be configured with vMotion Enabled VMkernel Ports. ESX servers must have compatible CPU’s for the vMotion to work ESX servers should have Shared storage (FB, iSCSI or NFS) and VM’s should be stored on that storage. ESX servers should have exact similar network & network names What are the Limitations of vMotion? Virtual machines configured with the Raw Device Mapping(RDM) for clustering features using vMotion VM cannot be connected to a CD-ROM or floppy drive that is using an ISO or floppy image stored on a drive that is local to the host server. The device should be disconnected before initiating the vMotion. Virtual Machine cannot be migrated with VMotion unless the destination swapfile location is the same as the source swapfile location. As a best practice, Place the virtual machine swap files with the virtual machine configuration file. Virtual Machine affinity must not be set (aka, bound to physical CPUs) Steps involved in VMWare vMotion ?

A request has been made that VM-1 should be migrated (or “VMotioned”) from ESX A to ESX B.

VM-1′s memory is pre-copied from ESX A to ESX B while ongoing changes are written to a memory bitmap on ESX A. VM-1 is quiesced on ESX A and VM-1′s memory bitmap is copied to ESX B.

VM-1 is started on ESX B and all access to VM-1 is now directed to the copy running on ESX B. The rest of VM-1′s memory is copied from ESX A all the while memory is being read and written from VM-1 on ESX A when applications attempt to access that memory on VM-1 on ESX B.

If the migration is successful, VM-1 is unregistered on ESX A.

Multipathing is the ability to utilize multiple paths to access a unit of storage.

Multipathing : Multipathing is a technique that lets you use more than one physical path that transfers data between the host and an external storage device. In case of a failure

of any element in the SAN network, such as an adapter, switch, or cable, ESXi can switch to another physical path, which does not use the failed component.

physical path, which does not use the failed component. VMDK Anti-Affinity - Vitual disks placed on

VMDK Anti-Affinity - Vitual disks placed on different datastores VMDK Affinity - Virtual disk kept together VM Anti-Affinity - Virtual Machines are kept on different hosts from each other (Enterprise Plus is required)

Vsphere Storage Vmotion -

I/Os written to both source and mirrored disks Block

- level bitmap identifies hot and cold block

Each VM has up to 8 Controllers, 4 SCSI and 4 SATA up to 15 Virtual disks for SCSI or 30 for SATA per controller Maximum of 60 SCSI disk or 120 SATA disks per VM< SATA disk maps to a VMDK SCSI disk maps to VMDK or RAW LUN Up to 256 VMFS volumes per host. Volume size > 1.3 GB and <64TB Up to 8 NFS data stores per host by default - can be increased to 64NFS data stores per system

VMFS : Ensure you have one VMFS volume per LUN /Use more than one VMFS to maintain separate test and production environments There are up to 256 VMFS data stores per host with minimum size of 1.3 GB and maximum size 64TB

iSCSI -For best performance and security, put iSCSI on a separate and isolated IP network NAS/NFS - for best performance and security, put NAS on a separate and isolated IP network by default 8 NFS mounts per ESXi host are allowed and the maximum is 64 mounts Multipathing Use of more than one physical path for transferring data/Support for path failover /Support for load balancing to redistribute I/O loads between multiple paths

Difference between disk mirroring & disk duplexing? Disk mirroring provides redundancy to disk whereas duplexing provides redundancy to both - disk and controller.

EVC is a cluster feature that prevents vMotion migrations from failing because of incompatible CPUs.

Enhance Vmotion EVC: it is a combination of vmotion & storage vmotion migrated between host & cluster without shared storage, only 2 concrunate host vmotion.

LAB Datastore Clusters and Storage DRS > Create Datastore Cluster >Enable Storage DRS >Configure Storage DRS >Show recommendations

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You’ve learned over the years there’s more to vSphere than server hardware. What other 2 resources are just as important as servers and need to be properly planned out when designing and building a vSphere Cloud? Answer: Storage and network resources are crucial for all vSphere Clouds.

VMware vSphere give you options. What are the 4 typical ways storage can be added to a vSphere? Answer: Storage can be added via iSCSI, FC, NFS and local disk (including DAS).

When setting up a new datastore how many VMFS file systems should be created per LUN? Answer: The best practice is to only create 1 VMFS file system per LUN.

What is the best plan for a storage failure that impacts multiple datastores? Answer: Always have a backup of the VMs on a separate storage environment that can be used to restore the lost virtual servers.

Your host is a beast, dual socket with 8 core CPUs and 192 GB of memory. How many virtual servers can be added to a 1TB datastore? Answer: It depends on the size of the VMs and the performance of the storage. Higher performing storage can be filled to capacity but space should be left for data growth and snapshots. A datastore should never be allowed to fill up 100%.

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What are the snapshot related files? .Vmsn—Snapshot –Vm content is stored in these file. .Vmsd—Snapshot Meta data—Contains info about all snapshots. .Vmdk—Delta file —Actual storage content is stored.

What is hot add and hot plug? Hot add means adding Ram to the Vm. Hot plug means adding Cups to the Vm. What are VMware tools? Drivers used for the enhanced performance of the VM (like mouse, keybord, ect.) and used in HA. What is cloning? Cloning is a technology to create identical copies of an existing VM. What is guest customization? Guest customization is used to prevent conflicts that occurs at the time of cloning and deploy of Vm (like host name, licences, Sid, time zone ect). What are the requirements for guest customization? VMware tools must be installed in Vm. / Sysprep file must be installed in VCenter. What is sysprep? Sysprep files are needed for guest customization to clone a Vm. What is SID? Secure Id: these are used in Windows operating system to uniquely identify Sys and user. This option must be selected; else new clone will be same as the parent clone. Can I clone when Vm is powered on? Yes, we can clone when Vm is powered on, that is known as Hot cloning. Can I clone a Vm from one data center to another and from one VCenter to another? Yes it possible to clone Vm from one data center to another and from one VCenter to another. What is snap shot (what is meant by consolidating a snapshot? Point in time backup of a Vm. / Snapshot allows us to preserve the state of the Vm, so we can return to the same state repeatedly. Consolidating: - deleting a snap shot before u, so the child content will meagre with the parent. How many snap shots we can configure for VM? 32 Can I clone a Vm from Snap shot? Yes, we can clone a Vm from snapshot. What is Vmotion Migrating Vm’s from one host to another host without downtime. For maintenance and load balancing. What are the Pre requisites of Vmotion? Vm’s should be in shared data store. /Same Cpus. /Vmotion should be enabled in VMkernel port. /No locally attached devices. /Both Esx must have same Network configuration. What is SVmotion? Migrating Vm’s from one data store to another data store is known as Svmotion. Prerequisites of SVmotion? Vm’s should be in shared data store. /Same Cpus. /Vmotion should be enabled in VMkernel port. /No locally attached devices. Both Esx must have same Network configuration. what is a template? Template is also a virtual machine which cannot be powered on. when virtual machine is converted to template what are the files which get changed? Vmx file get changed to vmtx

How vmotion process works in the background ?

1.The virtual machine’s memory state is copied over the vMotion network from the source host to the target host. Users continue to access the virtual machine and, potentially, update pages in memory. A list of modified pages in memory is kept in a memory bitmap on the source host.

2. After most of the virtual machine’s memory is copied from the source host to the target host, the virtual machine is quiesced. No additional activity occurs on

the virtual machine. In the quiesce period, vMotion transfers the virtual machine device state and memory bitmap to the destination host.

3. Immediately after the virtual machine is quiesced on the source host, the virtual machine is initialized and starts running on the target host. A Reverse Address

Resolution Protocol (RARP) request notifies the subnet that virtual machine A’s MAC address is now on a new switch port.

4. Users access the virtual machine on the target host instead of the source host.

5. The memory pages that the virtual machine was using on the source host are marked as free.

What do u mean by hot cloning and cold cloning ? Hot cloning means cloning a powered on VM , Cold cloning means cloning a powered off vm Is it possible to do hot cloning for linux box ? Yes in vmware converter 4.0 but not all the linux flavors What are the requirements for Vmotion? You need to perform vmotion for a specific VM, what all you verify / check Will verify Vmkernal adaptor is available / Will verify vmotion is enabled or not /Will verify whether processor compatible or not Will verify whether portgroup exist on the destination esx server


A template is a master copy of a virtual machine. It is used to create and provision new virtual machines.

A template is an image that typically includes:

A guest operating system /A set of applications /A specific virtual machine configuration that provides virtual counterparts to hardware components

Creating templates makes provisioning of virtual machines much faster and less error prone than provisioning physical servers. Clone the virtual machine to a template: The virtual machine can be powered on or powered off. Convert the virtual machine to a template: The virtual machine must be powered off. Clone a template: Used to create a new template based on one that existed previously.

How to create template VM>Template Convert to Template (VM should be power off stage> >VM>Template>Clone to Template >Convert to VM Guest customization > copy the sysprep file

Cloning > Cloning a virtual machine creates a virtual machine that is an exact copy of the original:

Cloning is an alternative to deploying a virtual machine.

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The virtual machine being cloned can be powered on or powered off.

Migrating Virtual Machines Migration means moving a virtual machine from one host, datastore, or vCenter Server system to another host, datastore, or vCenter Server system. vSphere vMotion migrates running virtual machines from one server to another server with no disruption or downtime.

How vSphere vMotion Migration Works the source host is ESXi01 and the target host is ESXi02. The source host and the target host have access to the shared datastore holding the virtual machines files.

1. The virtual machine’s memory state is copied over the vSphere vMotion network from the source host to the target host. Users continue to access the virtual machine and,

potentially, update pages in memory. A list of modified pages in memory is kept in a memory bitmap on the source host.

2. After most of the virtual machine’s memory is copied from the source host to the target host, the virtual machine is quiesced. No additional activity occurs on the virtual

machine. In the quiesce period, vSphere v Motion transfers the virtual machine device state and memory bitmap to the destination host.

3. Immediately after the virtual machine is quiesced on the source host, the virtual machine is initialized and starts running on the target host. A Reverse Address Resolution

Protocol (RARP) request notifies the subnet that virtual machine A’s MAC address is now on a new switch port.

4. Users access the virtual machine on the target host instead of the source host. The memory pages that the virtual machine was using on the source host are marked as free.

vSphere vMotion Migration Requirements


virtual machine must meet the following requirements:


must not have a connection to an internal standard switch: virtual switch with zero uplink adapters.


must not have a connection to a virtual device, such as a CD/DVD or floppy drive, with a local image mounted.


must not have CPU affinity configured.


the virtual machines swap file is not accessible to the destination host, vSphere vMotion must be able to create a swap file accessible to the destination host before

migration can begin. If a virtual machine uses an RDM, the RDM and the physical disk to which it maps must be accessible by the destination host. Host Requirements for vSphere vMotion Migration> Source and destination hosts must have these characteristics:

Accessibility to all storage (Fibre Channel, iSCSI, or NAS) used by the virtual machine:

128 concurrent vSphere vMotion migrations per VMFS datastore At least a 1 Gigabit Ethernet (1GigE) network:

Four concurrent vSphere vMotion migrations on a 1 Gbps network Eight concurrent vSphere vMotion migrations on a 10 Gbps network

Compatible CPUs: CPU feature sets of both the source and destination host must be compatible. Some features can be hidden by using Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) or compatibility masks.

Types of migrations:

Cold: Migrate a virtual machine that is powered off to a different shared datastore or a datastore that is accessible by only one host. Suspended: Migrate a virtual machine that is suspended to a different host or datastore. VMware vSphere® vMotion®: Migrate a powered-on virtual machine to a new host. Virtual machine migration can be used to balance server load and for planned maintenance or upgrades to physical servers. VMware vSphere® Storage vMotion®: Migrate a powered-on virtual machine to a new datastore. vSphere Storage vMotion is discussed in this lesson.

Concurrent migrations are possible: A maximum of 128 concurrent vSphere vMotion accesses to a single VMware vSphere® VMFS datastore.

A maximum of 8 concurrent cloning, deployment, or vSphere Storage vMotion accesses to a single VMFS datastore.


-You can take a snapshot while a virtual machine is powered on, powered off, or suspended. A snapshot captures the state of the virtual machine: memory state,

settings state, and disk state. Snapshots are not backups.

A snapshot captures the entire state of the virtual machine at the time that you take the snapshot, including:

Memory state: The contents of the virtual machine’s memory. The memory state is captured only if the virtual machine is powered on and if you select the Snapshot the virtual machine’s memory check box.

Settings state: The virtual machine settings. Disk state: The state of all the virtual machine’s virtual disks.

At the time that you take the snapshot, you can also quiesce the guest operating system. This action quiesces the file system of the guest operating system. This action does not quiesce running applications. Snapshots of physical compatibility mode RDM disks are not supported.

A snapshot consists of a set of files:

the memory state file (.vmsn), the description file (-00000#.vmdk), the delta file (-00000#-delta.vmdk). The snapshot list file (.vmsd) keeps track of the virtual machines snapshots.

Delta disk: When you take a virtual machine snapshot, the state of the virtual disk at the time the snapshot is taken is preserved. When this occurs, the guest operating system cannot write to its .vmdk file. Instead, changes are captured in an alternate file named VM_name-delta.vmdk. Memory state file: VM_name-Snapshot#.vmsn, where # is the next number in the sequence, starting with 1. This file holds the memory state at the time the snapshot was taken.

If memory is captured, the size of this file is the size of the virtual machine’s maximum memory. If memory is not captured, the file is much smaller. Disk descriptor file: VM_name-00000#.vmdk. This file is a small text file that contains information about the snapshot. Snapshot delta file: VM_name-00000#-delta.vmdk. This file contains the changes to the virtual disk’s data at the time the snapshot was taken.

Snapshot Consolidation Snapshot consolidation is a method to commit a chain of snapshots to the base disks when the Snapshot Manager shows that no snapshots exist, but the delta files still remain on the datastore. Snapshot consolidation is intended to resolve problems that might occur with snapshots:

The snapshot descriptor file is committed correctly, but the Snapshot Manager incorrectly shows that all the snapshots are deleted.

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The snapshot files (-delta.vmdk)are still part of the virtual machine. Snapshot files continue to expand until the virtual machine runs out of datastore space.

Snapshot consolidation is a way to clean unneeded snapshot delta files from a datastore. If Snapshot Manager registers that there are no snapshots for a virtual machine, but snapshot delta files exist, snapshot consolidation commits the chain of the snapshots indicated by the delta files and then removes them.

If consolidation is not performed, the snapshot files might expand to the point of consuming all the remaining space on the virtual machine’s datastore.

Content Library - A content library is a repository of OVF templates and other files that can be shared and synchronized across vCenter Server systems.


Migrating Virtual Machines Virtual Machines with vMotion How vMotion Migration Works Storage vMotion

Virtual Machine Snapshots Virtual Machine Snapshot Files How Do Virtual Machine Snapshots Work?

How can you edit a vm template? The VM templates cannot be modified as such > First , the VM template have to be converted to a virtual machine After making necessary machines in the virtual machine, convert the virtual machine back to template

Prerequisites for VMotion? Port No 8000 1)ESX Servers must be configured with VMkenerl ports enabled for vmotion and on the same network segment 2)ESX Servers must be managed by the same Virtual Center server 3)ESX Must have compatible CPUs 4)ESX Servers must have consisten Networks and Netwroks labels 5)The VMs must be stored on shared storage - iSCSI or FC SAN or NAS/NFS 6)The VMs cannot use localcd/floppy or internal only vrtual switches on the ESX server 7)License require

Designing for vMotion On a VMFS datastore on a Fibre channel or iSCSI / on an NFS datastore on NAS storage /Processors must be compatible /same vendor class / Same process family Network requiremnets /Minimum GbE dedicated to vMotion /Jumbo Frames recommended /Ensure that VMs have access to the same subnets on source and destination hosts

Templates The VM must be powered of to create a template / A template is a master copy of VM and can be used to create many clones Best for production environments. Configured as per your security policy /Cannot be powered on or edited /Suited for mass deployment of VM

Clones The VM can be cloned when Powered on or off /A clone is an exact copy of VM taken at time of cloning

Best for test and development where you need exact copies of a server /can be powered on or edited /Not suited for mass deployment of VM Can you Vmotion a cluster? That depends on the cluster type and how it is configured. Clusters using Raw Device Mapping in virtual mode can be moved with Vmotion according to VMware documentation. Whether HA use VMotion or not? No, it requires DRS. Whether DRS use VMotion or not? yes What is Vmotion (ability to move running vm from one host to another) What is a VMWare SnapShot?

A snapshot is a “point in time image” of a virtual guest operating system (VM). That snapshot contains an image of the VMs disk, RAM, and devices at the time the snapshot was

taken. With the snapshot, you can return the VM to that point in time, whenever you choose. You can take snapshots of your VMs, no matter what guest OS you have and the snapshot functionality can be used for features like performing image level backups of the VMs without ever shutting them down.


How Snapshot Works? When a snapshot is created a number of files are created in the directory for that virtual machine. VMnameX.vmsn (Where X is the number of the snapshot taken) This file stores the state of the virtual machine when the snapshot was taken. VMnameX.vmem (Where X is the number of the snapshot taken) This file stores the state of the virtual machine memory when the snapshot was taken. VMname.nnnnnn.vmdk (where nnnnnn is the number of the disk image, not corresponding to the snapshot number) These are log files which store changes to the virtual machine, since snapshot was taken. When a VM is reverted to specific date snapshot then ESX server will roll back the changes and brings the state of vm and data of snapshot date and time using .vmdk log files.

When snapshot is deleted it do not affect the current state of the virtual machine or any other snapshot. All data associated with the deleted snapshot is permanently committed

to the parent disk.

.lck- That indicate VM currently running Snapshot Files .VMDK file .VMDK _ that is delta file (each snapshots create each delta file) it's read only file .VMSN _ that is slat sanapshot file (each snapshots create each vmsn file)


How snapshot works

Snap shots – what date gets stored in snap shots When you take a snapshot, you capture the state of the virtual machine settings and the virtual disk. If you are taking a memory snapshot, you also capture the memory state of the virtual machine. These states are saved to files that reside with the virtual machine's base files.

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Snapshot Files :A snapshot consists of files that are stored on a supported storage device. A Take Snapshot operation creates .vmdk, -delta.vmdk, .vmsd, and .vmsn files. By default, the first and all delta disks are stored with the base .vmdk file. The .vmsd and .vmsn files are stored in the virtual machine directory.

Snapshots include Contents of VM Virtual disks /VM setting / The VM memory Note: Capturing VM memory in a snapshot is optional because it consumes hard disk space in the datastores. If you don't capture memory in the snapshot, the VM will be powered off when you ever to the snapshot

Best Practices for VM snapshots Snapshots are not backups / snapshots are not complete copies of the orginal .vmdk file /snapshots can grow to the same size as the orginal base disk file / use no single snapshot for more than 24-72 hours /An excessive number of snapshots may cause decreased VM performance /Configure automated vCenter server alarms to trigger when a virtual machine is running from snapshots /we can have up to 32 snapshot. Vmware suggest take max 3 snapshots

Snapshot and its performance When you first create a snapshot, your VM activity will pause briefly; if you ping a VM while creating a snapshot you will notice a few timeouts. If a snapshot is active, the performance of the VM will be degraded because the host writes to delta files differently and less efficiently than it does to standard VMDK files. The delta file grows by each 16 MB increment (discussed in part one of this series), it will cause another metadata lock. This can affect your VMs and hosts.

Deleting/committing a snapshot creates a metadata lock. Snapshot you are deleting can create greatly reduced performance on its VM while the delta files are being committed; this will be more noticeable if the VM is very busy.

Does Storage Vmotion use the Service Console to migrate running VMs live from one storage to another storage ? Storage VMotion migrates VM via the Service Console network, this means that there's no additional burden on the other Virtual Machine connection network.

Can I VMotion between 2 different data centers? Why? Yes, when: the hosts have the same CPU family (AMD / Intel), have the same Generation or the clusters run the same EVC mode

Cloning Starter edition limitations and workarounds Cannot remote hot clone directly into VI3 Workaround 1: install Converter on source machine Workaround 2: select standalone VM as destination, and then import VM to VI3 using two steps Cannot run multiple tasks concurrently Workaround: run multiple copies of Converter Cannot cold clone Workaround: create new VM, use third-party cloning application such as Ghost, and run Converter configure Do not resize volume for fastest clone speed (block-level copying) Resize volumes if source disks have inefficient utilization (resorts to file-level copying) Use cold-cloning disk-based cloning (not volume-based) for non-Windows systems Use hot cloning for Windows NT 4.0 systems to avoid NTFS upgrade Destination needs to be writeable Avoid cloning utility partitions Check partition numbers in boot.ini Automatic Install VMware Tools option is only available for ESX Server VMs

VMware – version VMware Version 5.0, 5.1 and 5.5, 6 and Vcenter Migration experience We have successfully migrated from Vsphare 4.1i to 5, and 5 to 5.5 Patch tools used - Update manager

Things to remember It is not possible to expand a VM's virtual disk while a snapshot is running, if you try the vmkfstools command, you receive an error: Failed to extend the disk. Failed to lock the file. With the vSphere Client, if you edit a VM's settings when a snapshot is running, and then select one of its virtual disks, the option to resize the disk is grayed out. But once the snapshot is deleted, you can resize the virtual disk. If you have a VM with more than one disk and you wish to exclude a disk from being included in a snapshot, you must edit the VM's settings by changing the disk mode to Independent (make sure you select Persistent). The independent setting provides you the means to control how each disk functions independently, there is no difference to the disk file or structure. Once a disk is Independent it will not be included in any snapshots. You will not be able to include memory snapshots on a VM that has independent disks. The size of a snapshot file can never exceed the size of the original disk file. There will be an overhead disk space that contains information used to manage the snapshots. This varies according to the VMFS block size. For eg: 1 MB block sized VMFS volume will have a maximum overhead of 2 GB. Snapshot files will initially be small (16 MB), but will grow as writes are made to the VM's disk files. Snapshots grow in 16 MB increments to help reduce SCSI reservation conflicts. When requests are made to change a block on the original disk, it is instead changed in the delta file.

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HA After primary host went down how HA will move the virtual machine to other host

HA Prerequisites

All hosts must be licensed for vSphere HA. / A cluster must contain at least two hosts. All hosts must be configured with static IP addresses. If you are using DHCP, you must ensure that the address for each host persists across reboots.

All hosts must have at least one management network in common. /

For Virtual Machine Monitoring to work, VMware Tools must be installed. / Only vSphere HA clusters that contain ESXi 6 hosts can be used to enable VMCP.

All hosts must have access to the same virtual machine networks and datastores.

Fault Tolerance vSphere Fault Tolerance provides instantaneous failover and continuous availability: / Zero downtime / Zero data loss / No loss of TCP connections


vSphere HA Failure Scenarios Slave host failure Master host failure Host isolation Virtual machine storage failure:

Virtual Machine Component Protection All Paths Down Permanent Device Loss Network failures and isolation


HA Fault Tolerance Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC). DRS cluster. Hosts Affinity Rule:

HA Master election Algorithm 15 to 25 seconds Isolation response 30 seconds

How do you configure VMware Virtual Centre Management Server for HA & DRS ? What are the conditions to be satisfied for this setup? HA & DRS are the properties of a Cluster. A Cluster can be created only when more than one host added, in that case we need to configure HA & DRS as well to provide High Availability and Load balancing between hosts and for the virtual machines

Will HA work if Virtual Center Server is down ? HA continues to work if VC is down – the agents are initially configured by virtual center, but HA operations are controlled by local agents on ESX. VC does NOT monitor the ESX servers for HA. ESX servers monitor each other. DRS do not work while VC is down. For DRS, the config and logic is completely in VC. For HA, only the config is in VC. The logic is in the service consoles, and that’s where the reaction is coming from. VC will notice the HA reaction afterwards when it connects to the service consoles the next time. No, Why because all these futures are comes with Virtual Center only.

HA SLOTS We center calculated slots , 1CPU= 32 MHz Memory size slots calculated by MOH + Active memory What are the situations which triggers vMotion automatically? Resource Contention between virtual machines (DRS) Distributed power management

What is DRS/HA/DPM/dvSwitch/FT/vApps/vSafe/vShields ? DRS : Distributed Resource Scheduling HA : High Availability DPM : Distributed Power Management dvSwitch : Distribute vSwitch – It’s a new feature introduced in vSphere4.0 FT : Fault Tolerance for Virtual Machines – it’s a new feature introduced in vSphere4.0 vApps : vApp is a container same as resource pool, but it is having some features of virtual machines, a vApp can be powered on or powered off, and it can be cloned too. VMsafe’s application programming interfaces are designed to help third-party vendors create virtualization security products that better secure VMware ESX, vShield Zones is a security tool targets the VMware administrator. vShield : VShield Zones is essentially a virtual firewall designed to protect VMs and analyze virtual network traffic. This three-part series describes vShield Zones, explains how to install it and provides useful management tips. To begin, let’s get started with the basics: what vShield Zones is and how it works.

How HA works. VMware HA provides high availability for virtual machines by pooling them and the hosts they reside on into a cluster. Hosts in the cluster are monitored and in the event of a failure, the virtual machines on a failed host are restarted on alternate hosts. How does HA know to restart a VM from a dropped Host (storage lock will be removed from the metadata) Does HA use vmotion? no – vm stops and restarts on ESX other host

How does VMware HA on an ESXi Server sends out heart beat if ESXi does not have a service console ? VMware HA clusters configured for ESXi Servers uses the vmkernel present on all ESXi Servers to send and receive heart beats. Whereas, on ESX Servers the heartbeat is send and receive through the service console. Therefore, we may not want to cluster ESX and ESXi Servers together in the same cluster.

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EVC cluster– Enhanced VMotion compatibility VMware Enhanced VMotion Compatibility (EVC)—available in VMware Infrastructure 3 beginning with version 3.5 Update 2—facilitates VMotion between different CPU generations, taking advantage of Intel Flex Migration and AMD-V Extended Migration technologies. EVC does not allow for migration with VMotion between Intel and AMD processors.

what is EVC Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) feature to help ensure vMotion compatibility for the hosts in a cluster. EVC ensures that all hosts in a cluster present the same CPU feature set to virtual machines, even if the actual CPUs on the hosts differ. Using EVC prevents migrations with vMotion from failing because of incompatible CPUs. Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) simplifies v Motion compatibility issues across CPU generations. EVC automatically configures server CPUs with Intel FlexMigration or AMD-V Extended Migration technologies to be compatible with older servers.

Enhanced vMotion Combine vmotion and storage vmotion into a single operation, Migrate between hosts and clusters without shared storage It should be in Layer 2 Network

Cross-host storage vMotion is subject to the following requirements and limitations The hosts must be licensed for vMotion and running ESXi 5.1 or later The hosts must meet networking requirements for vmotion The VMs must be configured for vMotion VM disks must be in persistent mode or be RDMs Destination host must have access to the destination storage When you don't convert RDMs to VMDKs the destination host must have access to the RDM LUNs Simultaneous migrations have limitations

How to enable EVC? "To enable EVC you have to first shut down all of your VMs in the cluster. EVC is then enabled in the properties of the ESX cluster from VirtualCenter just like HA and DRS.

How to disable the EVC "Prerequisites If you intend to lower the EVC mode, power off any currently running virtual machines with a higher EVC mode than the one you intend to enable. See Determine EVC Modes for Virtual Machines. Procedure

1. Display the cluster in the inventory.

2. Right-click the cluster and select Edit Settings.

3. In the left panel, select VMware EVC. The dialog box displays the current EVC settings.

4. To edit the EVC settings, click Change.

5. From the VMware EVC Mode drop-down menu, select the baseline CPU feature set you want to enable for the cluster.

If the selected EVC Mode cannot be selected, the Compatibility pane displays the reason or reasons why, along with the relevant hosts for each reason.

6. Click OK to close the EVC Mode dialog box, and click OK to close the cluster settings dialog box."

HA – High Availability – functions VMware High Availability (HA) provides easy-to-use, cost effective high availability for applications running in virtual machines. In the event of physical server failure, affected virtual machines are automatically restarted on other production servers with spare capacity. In the case of operating system failure, VMware HA restarts the affected virtual machine on the same physical server. The combination of VMware HA and the other availability features of the VMware vSphere™ platform provides organizations the ability to select and easily deliver the level of availability required for all of their important applications.

VMware® Consolidated Backup enables LAN-free backup of VMs from a centralized proxy server location, reducing administrative overhead by centralizing backup management and eliminating the need for backup agents on each VM. Consolidated Backup also eliminates network traffic on the network by backing up VMs over the shared storage.

VMware Site Recovery Manager makes it possible to build, automate, and test data center disaster recovery plans by leveraging Infrastructure 3 core capabilities and integrating with market-leading, shared-storage-based data replication solutions. The majority of VMware customers who have deployed virtual infrastructures today are using shared storage for VM storage. Many medium to large organizations already have SANs deployed in their environment, and these SANs can be leveraged for new VMware Infrastructure 3 deployments.

What is HA and DRS? (There exists loads of information on both HA and DRS. when you answer any question customize it as per your communicating abilities and deliver. Below information is from Wiki)

In current environment are you using HA and DRS Yes. My current has cluster which have High Availability and DRS configured. (At this point you should be prepared for any questions that could be asked about HA and DRS cluster configuration. Expect questions like

What is a Master Primary, Primary and Secondary in a HA cluster?

Who is solely responsible for virtual machines to restart on available hosts?

What happens precisely in DRS i.e. how and in what order virtual machines are migrated?)

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CAN HA, DRS and DPM override “must or mandatory rules”? No HA, DRS and DPM can’t override must rules.

How does vSphere HA works? When we configure multiple hosts for HA cluster, a single host is automatically elected as the master host. The master host communicates with vCenter Server and monitors the state of all protected virtual machines and of the slave hosts. When you add a host to a vSphere HA cluster, an agent is uploaded to the host and configured to communicate with other agents in the cluster.

What are the monitoring methods used for vSphere HA? The Master and Slave hosts uses two types of monitoring the status of the hosts Datastore Heartbeat Network Heartbeat

What are the roles of master host in vSphere HA? Monitoring the state of slave hosts. If a slave host fails or becomes unreachable, the master host identifies which virtual machines need to be restarted. Monitoring the power state of all protected virtual machines. If one virtual machine fails, the master host ensures that it is restarted. Using a local placement engine, the master host also determines where the restart should be done. Managing the lists of cluster hosts and protected virtual machines. Acting as vCenter Server management interface to the cluster and reporting the cluster health state.

How is a Master host elected in vSphere HA environment? When vSphere HA is enabled for a cluster, all active hosts (those not in standby or maintenance mode, or not disconnected) participate in an election to choose the cluster's master host. The host that mounts the greatest number of datastores has an advantage in the election. Only one master host typically exists per cluster and all other hosts are slave hosts. If the master host fails, is shut down or put in standby mode, or is removed from the cluster a new election is held.

If the vCenterserver goes down with a situation that it was pre configured with vSphere HA and DRS, so after power down will HA and DRS perform their task? vSphere HA is not dependent on vCenterserver for its operations as when HA is configured it installs an agent into each host which does its part and is not dependent on vCenterserver. Also HA doesnot uses vMotion, it justs restarts the vms into another host in any case of host failure.

Further vSphere DRS is very much dependent on vCenterserver as it uses vMotion for its action for live migration of vms between multiple hosts so in case vCenterserver goes down the vMotion won't work leading to failure of DRS.

Note- VM monitoring restarts the virtual machine if the vmware tools heartbeat didn’t received with the specified time using Monitoring sensitivity In the Specify a failover host” admission control policy, We can define a specific host as a dedicated failover host. When isolation response is detected, HA attempts to restart the virtual machines on the specified failover host. In this Approach, dedicated failover host will be sitting idle without actively involving or not participating in DRS load balancing. DRS will not migrate or power on placement of virtual machines on the defined failover host.

We have 6 ESXi host, each ESXi host has 5 VM’s. One ESXi host has failed. 3 vm’s that failed host had migrate to other hosts, but 2 vm’s not yet migrate to other hosts.What may be a problem and what is the troubleshoot need to migrate the VM’s.? Most probably its either tagged to the host or there is an affinity rule. As well as check whether snapshots are there in VM (please delete them) and procced the vmotion 1) check the network lable Vmotion enabled vmkernel port 2) check the failed vms have any ISO or cd \ floppy mapped 3) check the DRS affinity \antiaffinity rules 4) check the proper resouces are available at distination host like vram vcpu etc

What are the 2 types of settings available for admission control? In the Percentage of cluster resources reserved as failover spare capacity admission control policy, We can define the specific percentage of total cluster resources are reserved for failover. In contrast to the “Host Failures cluster tolerates admission control policy”, It will not use slots. Instead This policy calculates the in the way below 1.It calculates the Total resource requirement for all Powered-on Virtual Machines in the cluster and also calculates the total resource available in host for virtual machines. 2.It calculates the current CPU and Memory Failover capacity for the capacity. 3.If the current CPU and Memory Failover capacity for the cluster < configured failover capacity (ex 25 %) 4.Admission control will not allow to power on the virtual machine which violates the availability constraints.

L2 Questions based on HA or High Availability

Explain how restart of VM’s is handled by HA in case of a master Esxi Host failure. HA restarts VM’s after failure of an Esxi host. But the time taken by HA to restart VM’s is different in case of a slave Esxi failure and master Esxi failure. We will discuss here the case when master Esxi has failed. In case of a failure of a master Esxi, restart of VM’s are delayed till the time a new master is elected because only a master can perform VM restart. The timeline is explained as follows:

T0 – Master failure.

T10s – Master election process initiated.

T25s – New master elected and reads the protected list.

T35s – New master initiates restarts for all virtual machines on the protected list which are not running. At T0 seconds master Esxi has failed, the election process is initiated by slave Esxi hosts after 10 seconds at T10. At T25 the newly elected master first reads the protected list file to find out which VM were protected by HA and are currently not running. At T35 seconds the master Esxi initiates the VM restart.

Explain how restart of VM’s is handled by HA in case of a slave Esxi Host failure.

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There are two different scenarios for restarting VM’s in case of slave Esxi failure: one where heartbeat datastores are configured and one where heartbeat datastores are not configured. The timeline is as follows:

T0 – Slave failure

T3s – Master begins monitoring datastore heartbeats for 15 seconds

T10s – The host is declared unreachable and the master will ping the management network of the failed host. This is a continuous ping for 5 seconds

T15s – If no heartbeat datastores are configured, the host will be declared dead

T18s – If heartbeat datastores are configured, the host will be declared dead

The master monitors the network heartbeats of a slave. When the slave fails, these heartbeats will no longer be received by the master. We have defined this as T0. After 3 seconds (T3s), the master will start monitoring for datastore heartbeats and it will do this for 15 seconds. On the 10 th second (T10s), when no network or datastore heartbeats have been detected, the host will be declared as “unreachable”.

The master will also start pinging the management network of the failed host at the 10th second and it will do so for 5 seconds. If no heartbeat datastores were configured, the host will be declared “dead” at the 15th second (T15s) and VM restarts will be initiated by the master.

If heartbeat datastores have been configured, the host will be declared dead at the 18th second (T18s) and restarts will be initiated

Explain the VM restart retries timeline? HA will respond when the state of a host has changed, or when the state of one or more virtual machines has changed. There are multiple scenarios in which HA will attempt to restart a virtual machine of which we have listed the most common below:

Failed host

Isolated host

Failed guest Operating System

Prior to vSphere 5, the actual number of restart attempts was 6, as it excluded the initial attempt. With vSphere 5.0 the default is 5. There are specific times associated with each of these attempts. The following bullet list will clarify this concept. The ‘m’ stands for “minutes” in this list.

T0 – Initial Restart

T2m – Restart retry 1

T6m – Restart retry 2

T14m – Restart retry 3

T30m – Restart retry 4

In case of a host failure, HA will try to restart the virtual machine on other hosts in the affected cluster; while performing the restart if this is unsuccessful on that

host, the restart count will be increased by 1. Let’s say first restart attempt is made at T0 minutes when the host failure has occurred (In actual restart is not performed as soon as host has failed because HA

takes some time before declaring host failure; read above the 2 scenarios which I have mentioned)

If the first restart attempt is failed, then the restart counter is increased by one and the next restart is attempted after 2 minutes (T2). In the same fashion HA keep trying restarting the VM until issued power on attempt is reported as “completed”.

A successful restart might never occur if the restart count is reached and all five restart attempts were unsuccessful.

Explain does HA declares or determines that slave Esxi has isolated.

Isolation of Esxi hosts are validated on the basis of heartbeats. The timeline for declaring isolation of slave and master Esxi is different. In this case we will discuss isolation of slave Esxi. HA triggers a master election process before it will declare a slave Esxi host is isolated. In this timeline, “s” refers to seconds:

T0 – Isolation of the host (slave)

T10s – Slave enters “election state”

T25s – Slave elects itself as master

T25s – Slave pings “isolation addresses”

T30s – Slave declares itself isolated

T60s – Slave “triggers” isolation response When an Esxi host is isolated, the value in “poweron” file is raised to 1, HA reads this file and validates that Esxi host has been isolated. There is one Poweron file per Esxi host and this file contains entries of all those VM’s which are currently powered on an Esxi host.

Explain does HA declares or determines that master Esxi has isolated.

In the case of the isolation of a master, this timeline is a bit less complicated because there is no need to go through an election process. In this timeline, “s” refers

to seconds.

T0 – Isolation of the host (master)

T0 – Master pings “isolation addresses”

T5s – Master declares itself isolated and “triggers” isolation response

Is admission control policy is dependent on vCenter server and will admission control policy will work if your vCenter is not available. Yes admission control policy is dependent on vCenter Server although it is part of HA and we all knows HA works independently of vCenter Server. Admission control policies doesn’t work when at the time of failure of an Esxi host, vCenter server is not available. This doesn’t mean VM that were running on failed host will not be restarted, but whatever policy you have chosen that policy will not work. For E.g.: You have chosen “Specify failover host” policy and dedicated one Esxi host for handling the failover. Now in normal scenario, if a host failure has occurred then HA will failover the failed VM’s on only this dedicated host and not on any other hosts in cluster. But if vCenter is not available and this happens then HA might restarts your VM’s on other hosts also if there are not sufficient resources available on your specified failover host.

How does HA determines that Esxi host is network partitioned. There is a slight difference between Esxi host isolation and network partitioned. When multiple slave Esxi hosts has isolated together but they can ping each other than this condition is known as network partitioned. For e.g.: Subnet mask of 5 Esxi has been changed then they will be unable to talk to master (being on different subnets) but they can communicate to each other (being on same subnet). When network partitioned happens in a cluster then election happens between the isolated slaves Esxi and a new master is elected among them. In this case there will be 2 master in a cluster.

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How does HA determines which VM’s it need to restart which were powered off or shutdown due to triggered isolation response?

If isolation response is set to “shut down” or “power off’ then when an Esxi host is isolated, VM’s are powered off or shutdown as a result of trigger of isolation

response. Now the question is how HA keep tracks of which VM were powered off/shutdown due to this trigger. The answer to this question is as follows: When a VM is shutdown/powered off due to triggering of isolation response than the host that has isolated remove entries

of those VM’s from poweron file and creates a per virtual machine file inside a directory called “powered off”. HA reads these files to identify the state change of the

VM’s and based on that it takes decision to restart those VM’s. This is necessary because, suppose when a host is isolated and at the same time if someone has manually issued a shutdown/powered off command to a VM, then HA will not restart that VM. There will be no file created for that VM by isolated host because it has been manually shut down.

What are datastore heartbeats and how it is communicating or providing info to FDM that an Esxi host is alive or dead? Datastore Heartbeat is nothing but just a file which is maintained in a reserved area called ”Heartbeat Region” on every Esxi host and this file is updated every 5 seconds by the Esxi hosts. The master HA agent checks the timestamp of this file to check the host liveliness. If HA agent file find that this file is not updated in last 5 seconds then it comes to find out that there is some problem with that Esxi host. The naming convention of this file is as follows:


of this file is as follows: host-<number>-hb How protection or unprotection of virtual machines is done

How protection or unprotection of virtual machines is done by HA. When the state of a virtual machine changes, vCenter will direct the master to enable or disable HA protection for that virtual machine. Protection, however, is only guaranteed when the master has committed the change of state to disk. This state is distributed across the datastores and stored in the “Protectedlist” file. When the power state change of a virtual machine has been committed to disk, the master will inform vCenter Server so that the change in status is visible in vCenter.

How does HA keep track of which VM are needed to be restart in case of an Esxi host failure? When an Esxi host fails, the VM’s which were running on that Esxi are restarted on remaining nodes in the cluster. But how HA knows that how many VM’s were running on the host before it has failed. The answer is:

HA takes help of 2 files namely “poweron” and “Protectedlist”. The “poweron file is maintained by each Esxi host individually and it contains entries of those VM’s which are currently running on that Esxi. The “Protectedlist” file is maintained at datastore level and tells HA that what were the VM’s which were protected before the failure. On the basis of contents of these 2 files HA takes decision of restarting VM’s. When a VM is powered off manually then entry of that VM is removed from “Protectedlist” file so that HA do not accidently restart that VM also.

Which parameter need to configure to increase the response time for isolation detection.

You can configure a parameter called “das. isolation Shutdown. Timeout”. The value of this parameter is specified in minutes and it is time which will be taken by HA

to gracefully shutdown a VM when isolation response is set to “Shutdown VM” and it is triggered.

What are the cases when election of master takes place in a cluster?

A master is elected by a set of HA agents whenever the agents are not in network contact with a master. A master election thus occurs when HA is first enabled on a

cluster and when the host on which the master is running:


becomes network partitioned or isolated,

is disconnected from vCenter Server,

is put into maintenance or standby mode,

or when HA is reconfigured on the host.

Note: Removing slave Esxi from a cluster doesn’t have any effect on election process i.e. if any slave Esxi is removed or shutdown or put into maintenance mode, election will not happen.

What will happen when election of master is going on in a cluster and at the same time one of the slave Esxi host also failed? How this failure will be handled since at the time of failure there is no master Esxi host.

It is mandatory that for restarting VM’s master should be present in cluster. Now when election is happening in a cluster, it takes 15 seconds to complete the

election process. Now during that time if a slave Esxi also fails then restart of VM has to wait until election process is completed. The newly elected master will first read the “Protected List” file to find out the VM’s whose power state has been changed. After reading that file it will decide that how many vm’s were there which failed during election time and then will perform restart of those VM’s.

What are the things which HA takes into account before restarting VM’s? HA has to take many things into considerations before restarting VM’s in case of Esxi failure. These includes:

1. CPU and memory reservation including memory overhead.

2. Unreserved capacity of host in cluster

3. Restart priority of VM

4. VM to host compatibility

5. Number of dvPorts required by VM and number of dvPorts that are available

6. Max no vCPU & VM that can be run on a given host.

7. Restart latency

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What will happen if a VM fails when SvMotion was going on that VM and has not been completed yet? How this failure will be handled by HA? If a virtual machine needs to be restarted by HA and the virtual machine is in the process of being Storage vMotioned and the virtual machine fails, the restart process is not started until vCenter informs the master that the Storage vMotion task has completed or has been rolled back.

Will master election happen if a new Esxi that has visibility to more datastores than existing master is introduced in a cluster? No election will not happen even if the newly introduced Esxi has visibility to more datastores than master Esxi host. But if you reconfigure HA on the cluster then the newly added Esxi will become master because it is connected to more number of datastores.

If a slave Esxi has been removed from a cluster then will election be triggered again? No removal of slave Esxi from cluster doesn’t has any impact on master. No election will be happening in this case.

Does HA seeks assistance from DRS before starting failover of failed VM’s? Ans: Yes HA do takes assistance from DRS sometimes before starting the failover of failed VM’s. If a cluster is configured with admission control policies and either “specify number of host failure cluster tolerates” or “percentage” based policy is used then sometimes it may happen that resources are not fully available on single host and is scattered throughout the cluster. In that case HA will wait before performing failover of VM’s and ask assistance of HA to defragment the resources. Heartbeating vSphere 5.0 uses two different Heartbeat mechanisms. The first one is a network heartbeat mechanism. Each slave will send a heartbeat to its master and the master sends a heartbeat to each of the slaves. These heartbeats are sent by default every second. When a slave isn’t receiving any heartbeats from the master, it will try to determine whether it is Isolated or whether the master is isolated or has failed. Network heartbeats are a familiar concept to both, something that is new and has been introduced with vSphere 5.0 is Datastore Heartbeating Note- There is a folder resides on shared datastore which is used as a secondary communication channel in HA architecture. This folder has several files inside, and everyone of them has different rôle:

host-xxx-hb files – those files are for the heartbeat datastore. The heartbeat mechanism uses the part of the VMFS volume for regular updates. Each host in cluster has it’s own file like this in the .vSphere-HA folder.

protected list file – when you open this file, you’ll see a list of VMs protected by a HA. The master host uses this file for storing the inventory and the state of each VM. host-xxx-poweron files – this files role’s is to track the running VMs for each host of the cluster. The file is read by the master host which will know if a slave host is isolated from the network. Slave hosts uses this poweron file to tell the master host “hey, I’m isolated”. The content of this file reveals that there can be two states:

zero or one. Zero = not isolated and One = isolated. If the slave host is isolated, master host informs vCenter

Scenario Based Questions? Suppose that one of the slave Esxi host has been failed and HA is trying to restart the VM’s that were on the failed host. For one particular VM 3 restart attempt has been already made and during the 4 th restart attempt master fails itself. Now how will the restart of this VM will be handled knowing that with Esxi 5.x the max number of restart attempt on a VM is 5 including initial restart attempt. The restart count will be reset to zero if master fails when it is in process of attempting restarts of failed VM’s. This means again 5 attempts of restart can be made on VM.

If the admission control policy is set to specify failover host and vCenter is not available at the time of one of the Esxi failure. What will HA do now? Will it still restarts vm on the specified failover host or it will distribute restarting of vm among the remaining Esxi hosts in the cluster. HA will restart VM’s on designated failover host. If designated failover host is incapable of accommodating all VM’s then HA will start restart remaining VM’s on other nodes also.

When “Network Partition” situation occurs in a cluster then there will be more than 2 masters in cluster. Now when this partitioning is aligned then what will happen? Again election process will be started or old master will continue to govern the cluster? When “Network Partition” problem is resolved then all the Esxi host will again come in contact with each other. But master election will not happen. Old master will be continue governing the cluster.

DPM (Distributed Power Management)

DPM provides power savings by dynamically sizing the cluster capacity to match the virtual machine resource demand. DPM dynamically consolidates virtual machines onto fewer ESXi hosts and powers down excess ESXi hosts during periods of low resource utilization. If the resource demand increases, ESXi hosts are powered back on and the virtual machines are redistributed among all available ESXi hosts in the cluster. DPM Automation Levels: 3 Automations levels are there:

1) Off: DPM is not enabled on cluster and no power-off recommendations will be issued. 2) Manual: DPM will provide recommendations for powering-off Esxi host but administrator has to manually apply those recommendations 3) Automatic: A power recommendation will be generated and will be executed automatically; no user intervention required

By default when DPM is enabled on cluster, all the Esxi hosts inherits the same automation level of DPM which was defined at cluster level. But we can manually set DPM automation level/Esxi hosts also. DPM automation level defined at Esxi host level will override cluster level automation setting. Note: Templates registered on Esxi hosts are not moved when DPM is set to automatic mode and power-off recommendation has been issued for that Esxi host.

How DPM is working in background to provide power-off recommendations? DPM calculates Target Resource Utilization Range for cluster and if Resource Utilization of an Esxi host is below Target Resource Utilization Range, DPM will provide power-off recommendation for that Esxi host.

Understanding DPM How Target Resource Utilization Range computed? DPM use the following formula for calculating Target Resource Utilization Range Target Resource Utilization Range= Demand Capacity Ratio Target ± Demand Capacity Ratio Tolerance Host By default Demand Capacity Ratio Target is set to 63% and Demand Capacity Ratio Tolerance Host is set to 18% So Target Resource Utilization Range= [{63+18} to {63-18}] = [81 to 45]

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So when Target Utilization of an Esxi host is below 45% then power-off recommendation is generated and when Target Utilization of an Esxi host reaches to 81% (either CPU usage or memory usage) DPM will provide power-on recommendations and it will power on those standby Esxi hosts. Note: Demand Capacity Ratio Target and Demand Capacity Ratio Tolerance Host values can be modified from advance settings of DPM Demand Capacity Ratio Target can be set from 40% to 90% And Demand Capacity Ratio Tolerance Host can be set from 10% to 40% DPM calculates virtual machine average demand over historical period of time and it uses different time interval for providing power-off and power-on recommendations. For Power-Off recommendation DPM analyzes VM average demand for 40 Minutes For Power-On recommendation DPM analyzes VM workloads for 5 Minutes only. ** For DPM performance is at higher priority than Power Saving

How host selection is done for power-off recommendations Before selecting Esxi hosts for power-off operations, DPM sorts the hosts in a specific order. If in a cluster there are hosts with DPM automatic mode and hosts with DPM manual mode then they are placed in different groups. Hosts inside automatic mode group are preferred over hosts inside manual mode group.

Host selection when cluster contains heterogeneous sized hosts:

In this case where hosts with different resource capacity are present, DPM gives preference to host with smaller capacity for power-off than hosts with larger capacity.

Host selection when cluster contains homogeneous sized hosts:

In case of homogeneous sized hosts, DPM gives preference to those hosts on which less VM’s are running or you can say where load is least. Heavily loaded hosts will be powered-off in last.

How host selection is done for power-on recommendations If the resource utilization goes high inside the cluster, DPM considers generating host power-on recommendations. Before selecting an ESXi host for power on, DPM reviews the standby hosts inside the cluster and sorts them in a specific order for DPM power on evaluation process. Similar to power-off recommendations, ESXi hosts in automatic mode are evaluated before ESXi hosts in manual mode for power-on recommendations.

Host selection when cluster contains heterogeneous sized hosts:

In a cluster containing heterogeneous sized hosts, the ESXi hosts with a larger capacity with regards to the critical resources are favored. This is self-understandable because if a host with larger capacity is brought back online first, DRS can accommodate more number of VM’s on that host.

Host selection when cluster contains heterogeneous sized hosts:

If the sort process discovers equal hosts with respect to the capacity or evacuation cost, DPM will randomize the order of hosts.

Important Note: sorting of the hosts for power-on or power-off recommendations does not determine the actual order for the selection process to power-on or power-off hosts. DPM Power-Off Cost/Benefit Analysis Before DPM generates a power-off recommendation, it calculates the costs associated with powering down a host. The following costs are taken into account:

Ø Migrating virtual machines off the candidate host

Ø Power consumed during the power-down period

Ø Unavailable resources of candidate host during power-down

Ø Loss of performance if candidate host resources are required to meet workload demand

Ø while candidate host is powered off

Ø Unavailability of candidate host resources during power-up period

Ø The power consumed during the power-up period

Ø Cost of migrating virtual machines to the candidate host

DPM runs power-off cost/benefit analysis and compare cost & risk involved in power-off operation to benefits of powering-off hosts. If Benefits of powering-off hosts < Performance Impact * Power Performance Ratio Then, Power-off recommendations= Accepted Else Power-off recommendations= Rejected Note: Default value of Power Performance Ratio is 40 but can be set from 0 to 500.

How Power-off Cost and Benefit Calculation is done? The power-off benefit analysis calculates the Stable Off Time value, which indicates the amount of time the candidate host is expected to be powered-off until the cluster needs its resources because of an anticipated increase in virtual machine workload. StableOffTime = ClusterStableTime – (HostEvacuationTime + HostPowerOffTime) Here, ClusterStableTime= the time when VM workloads are stable and no power-on operations are needed HostEvacuationTime= Time taken by DRS to evacuate a host by migrating VM’s. HostPowerOffTime= Time taken to put a host in sleep mode Note: VM stable time is calculated by DRS cost-benefit analysis and act as input for Cluster Stable Time Power-off cost is summation of 3 resource costs:

Power-off Cost= Cost of migration of active VM’s from candidate host to other host + unsatisfied VM demand during power-on duration of candidate host + Cost of migration of VM’s back onto candidate host.

How DPM bring backs standby hosts to Power-On state? DPM uses either WOL (Wake-On-LAN) packets or IPMI v1.5 or HP iLO technology to bring back standby hosts to power-on state when there is increase in workload inside the cluster. For IPMI or iLO to work, server must contain Baseboard Management Controller (BMC). BMC provides access to server hardware from vCenter

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over LAN connection.

DPM Power On & Off Threshold

Host Utilization below 45% considered for power off.

Power On evaluated every 5 minutes

Power Off evaluated every 40 minutes

view system logs:- press 1 = system logs /

Press 5 = virtual centre agent(vpxa) logs / Press 6 = vmware esxi observation logs(vobd)(see firewall impact on service(enable/disable) Press :q to come out from logs to dcui

Press 2 = vmkernel logs /

Press 3 = see configuration logs

/ Press 4 = see management agent logs(hostd and vpxa)

IDS - Root id=0


Vpxuser id=500

/Dcui id=100

What is HA? HA High Availability) is a host level feature which restarts the Vm’s to other Esx servers in case of host failure. What is Admission control policy? Admission control policy helps ensure sufficient resources to provide High Availability. Admission control policies:-

Host failures the cluster tolerates.

How many host failures cluster tolerates? 4 Host failures. ESXI5 above 31 What is a slot A slot is a logical representation of the memory and CPU resources that satisfy the requirements for any powered-on virtual machine in the cluster. What are the slot sizes Max usages of Cpu and Memory reservations of the Vm. If no reservations then the default of 256 MHz for Cpu and Memory overhead for Memory is used.

/ Percentage of cluster resources reserved as failover spare capacity. /Specify failover Hosts.

What is host isolation? Host Isolation response determines what happens to the Vm’s when host loses the network heartbeat but continues running. Responses available?

Leave power on / Power off

/Shut down /Use cluster settings

what is HA restart priority? HA restart priority determines which Vm should power on first. Can I stop a single VM to restart? Yes What is HA for VM? HA agent monitors VMware tools in each Vm running on the host and if it doesn’t receive heartbeat, it restarts the Vm on the same host. what is HA agent? In 5.0 HA agent is FDM (Fault domain manager) In 4.1 AAM (Automatic availability manager ) When HA is enabled, it automatically installed in Esx and monitors it.

what are HA logs? If managed by vCenter Server 5.0 or later – /var/log/vmware/fdm/* If managed by vCenter Server 4.1 or earlier – /var/log/vmware/aam/*

what are the requirements for HA? Min 3 GB ram for Esx. /Shared Datastore. /Name resolution should be resolved. what is the difference between HA mechanism in 4 and 5? HA in 4.0: -Only Network heartbeat is present, Primary and secondary hosts (5 primaries are always present). No Datastore heartbeat. HA in 5.0:- Network heartbeat and Datastore heartbeat are present, Master and slaves. Only one Master and remaining are slaves. what is FDM? FDM (Fault domain manager) is HA agent that starts on the hosts when HA is enabled. What happens to Virtaul Machines, when one ESX server in HA cluster goes down ? The VM’s will get restart on the other ESX Server Can we establish a HA cluster with different processor? Yes In cluster if Virtual center goes down what happens ? DRS cluster will not function but VM’s will still continue to run and in HA Cluster HA agents on primary ESX server will take the responsibility.

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Thursday, June 02, 2016

10:22 AM

DRS vSphere DRS works best when the virtual machines meet Vmware vSphere® vMotion® migration requirements. To use vSphere DRS for load balancing, the hosts in the cluster must be part of a vSphere vMotion migration network. If not, vSphere DRS can still make initial placement recommendations. To use shared storage, configure all hosts in the cluster: Volumes must be accessible by all hosts. Volumes must be large enough to store all virtual disks for your virtual machine.

DRS automation level. Manual: When you power on a virtual machine, vSphere DRS displays a list of recommended hosts on which to place the virtual machine. When the cluster becomes unbalanced, vSphere DRS displays recommendations for virtual machine migration. Partially automated: When you power on a virtual machine, vSphere DRS places it on the best-suited host. When the cluster becomes unbalanced, vSphere DRS displays recommendations for virtual machine migration. Fully automated: When you power on a virtual machine, vSphere DRS places it on the best suited host. When the cluster becomes unbalanced, vSphere DRS migrates virtual machines from over utilized hosts to under utilized hosts to ensure a balanced use of cluster resources.

The migration threshold determines how aggressively vSphere DRS selects to migrate virtual machines:

Level 1 (Conservative): Applies only priority 1 recommendations. VMware vCenter Server™ applies only recommendations that must be taken to satisfy cluster constraints like affinity rules and host maintenance. Level 2: Apply priority 1 and priority 2 recommendations. vCenter Server applies recommendations that promise a significant improvement to the cluster’s load balance. Level 3 (default): Apply priority 1, priority 2, and priority 3 recommendations. vCenter Server applies recommendations that promise at least good improvement to the cluster’s load balance. Level 4: Apply priority 1, priority 2, priority 3, and priority 4 recommendations. vCenter Server applies recommendations that promise even a moderate improvement to the cluster’s load balance. Level 5 (Aggressive): Apply all recommendations. vCenter Server applies recommendations that promise even a slight improvement to the cluster’s load balance.

DRS affinity rules vSphere DRS affinity rules specify that selected virtual machines be placed either on the same host (affinity) or on separate hosts (anti-affinity). Affinity rules: Use for multi-virtual machine systems where virtual machines communicate heavily with one another. Affinity rules: vSphere DRS should try to keep certain virtual machines together on the same host (for example, for performance reasons).

Anti-affinity rules: Use for multi-virtual machine systems where load balance or high availability is desired. Anti-affinity rules: vSphere DRS should try to make sure that certain virtual machines are not together (for example, for availability reasons).

Where is Distributed Power Management configured and what are the protocols it uses ? DPM is configured and managed at the DRS cluster level. It uses IPMI, ILO and Wake On LAN protocols. DRS can use DPM to put under utilized hosts into standby modes to save power consumption.

DRS – Distributed Resource Scheduling – Load Balancing Provide highly available resources to your workloads. Balance workloads for optimal performance. Scale and manage computing resources without service disruption.

VMware DRS dynamically allocates and balances computing capacity across collections of hardware resources aggregated into logical resource pools. It continuously monitors utilization across resource pools and intelligently allocates available resources among VMs based on performance thresholds set by an administrator.

what is the default invocation period for DRS. Can we change this. If yes then how? Ans: The default invocation period is 300 seconds (5 minutes). But this can be changed via the configuration file vpxd.cfg. We have to change the value of <pollperiodsec>

as shown below:

Just change the value 300 to a custom value defined by you. The range of supported value is 60 secs to 3600 secs.

<config> <drm> <pollperiodsec> 300 </pollperiodsec> </drm> </config>

What is the role of VPXA in DRS? VPXA is the vCenter agent that runs inside Esxi hosts and it enables a 2 way communication between Esxi hosts and vCenter Server. VPXA is responsible for:

1) Keeping the status of Esxi and VM’s in sync 2) It sends info to vCenter server when a VM’s power state is changed or a VM is vMotioned from one host to other. DRS uses this information which is presented by Esxi hosts to vCenter server for calculating the load balance and proposed migrations in case of cluster imbalance.

Will DRS work if vCenter server is down? If no then explain why DRS is dependent on vCenter server. No DRS will not work if vCenter Server is down. DRS depends upon vCenter server for information like current power state of virtual machines, change in power state of any VM, number of datastores to which Esxi hosts are connected and the memory and cpu configurations of a VM. DRS will use all these information while calculating the load on the cluster and proposing migration recommendations when a cluster needs to be balanced.

What are the factors that affect DRS recommendations? Following are the factors which affect the DRS recommendations:

1- VM size and Initial Placement: When a new VM is created or a VM is powered on, DRS selects a host where this VM should be initially placed. DRS prefers the registered host as long as placement of that VM on this host will not cause cluster imbalance. During placement of such VM’s DRS uses a worst case scenario because it doesn’t have historical data for that VM. DRS assumes both CPU and memory demand of this VM is equal to its configured size. Oversized VM’s can temporarily cause cluster imbalance and can cause unnecessary migrations of active VM’s.

2- PollPeriodSec (Length of DRS Invocation): The default value of PollPeriodSec is 300 seconds. Range of PollPeriodSec is 60 sec to 3600 sec. shortening this period will cause increase in vCenter overhead as cluster imbalance will be calculated frequently. Increasing this value decreases the frequency of cluster balance calculation and can leave your cluster imbalanced for longer period of times but allows for larger number of vMotions due to long invocation interval.

3- Simultaneous vMotion: vSphere 5.1 allows 8 concurrent vMotions on a single host with 10GbE capabilities. For 1GbE, 4 concurrent vMotion can takes place. Also multi-

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NIC vMotion is supported in vSphere 5.1 so multiple active NICs and their combined bandwidth can be used for migration of a VM. In such environment VM’s will be migrated quickly and cluster can be balanced in less time.

4- Estimated Total Migration Time: The migration time depends on variables like source and destination host load, active memory usage of VM, link speed and available bandwidth+ latency of the physical network used by vMotion Portgroup.

What are the use cases for VM-VM affinity rules and VM-VM anti affinity rules? VM-VM affinity: This is useful when you require that 2 of your VM’s should always run together on an Esxi host. For E.g. Keeping front-end and back-end server of an application on same ESXi host to reduce network latency between the 2 VM’s. Another use case will be running together same types of VM’s which are having same type of applications so as to get max benefits of transparent page sharing (TPS) VM-VM anti-affinity: This is useful when you don’t want that 2 of your VM should run together. Keeping servers providing same kind of services on different host will provide resiliency For e.g. You will not want your DC and ADC run together on same Esxi host because if that Esxi host goes down it can severely impact your environment as both DC and ADC server has gone down together. Another use case will be running web-server farms or clustered DB-servers in a virtualized environment. Also, keeping away 2 VM’s from each other which are very resource intensive to stop them from monopolizing resource usage.

What are the use cases of VM-Host affinity rules and VM-Host anti-affinity rules? VM-Host affinity: This is useful when you want that your VM should run on a particular Esxi host only. For e.g. running and oracle DB server which has socket based license. If your environment is having heterogeneous hosts than migrating such VM to a host which has different CPU configuration can violates your license and can cause trouble. VM-Host anti affinity: This is useful when you want that a particular VM should not run on some particular Esxi hosts. For e.g. your environment has heterogeneous hosts and all the hosts don’t have Numa architecture and you want to get benefits of the vNuma inside your VM. In this case you would want your VM to run only on those servers which supports Numa.

Can DRS override “preferential or should rules”. If yes then how and if no then why? Yes DRS can override should rules. When rules are configured inside DRS then DRS creates a rule list and provide migrations recommendations in accordance with the rules defined in rule list. But if the cluster imbalance cannot be solved even after running these migrations then DRS drops the rule list and re-run the load balance algorithm and those migrations also which can break the should rules, in order to load balance a cluster in a better way.

What impact does must rule places on DRS, HA and DPM operations? If a migration will cause violation of must rule then that migration will be cancelled by DRS. IF DPM is trying to put a host in sleep mode for power saving but migration of VM’s running on this host can cause a must rule violation, it will prevent DPM to put that host in sleep mode. If HA is trying to restart VM’s after a host failure but if restart of some VM’s on a particular host can cause must rule violation then HA will either restart those VM’s on some different host or could not restart them at all if no suitable host is available for failover.

If we have configured some rules (affinity or anti-affinity) in DRS the will those rules work if we disable DRS on a cluster? Yes rules will be in affect even if we disable DRS without deleting the rules first.

If on a VM, VM-Host affinity should rule is configured then can we migrate that VM on an Esxi host that is not part of the DRS cluster? No a VM can’t be migrated to an Esxi host that is not part of the DRS cluster.

What are the best practices for disabling DRS? Before disabling DRS it is recommended to delete all affinity and anti-affinity rules and then proceed. Because if rules are not deleted and DRS is disabled, rules will be still in affect and can affect cluster operations.

What are the limitation that are put by DRS mandatory or must rules on a cluster? If a mandatory rule is configured on a cluster then it can put following limitations:

1) Limit DRS to select hosts for load balancing 2) Limit HA to select host for failover 3) Limit DPM to select host to power off 4) It can affect ability of DRS to defragment the cluster resources. At the time of failover HA can seeks assistance for DRS and can ask to defragment resources if a single host is not able to provide adequate resources for failover.

If a new DRS rule is created but that rule is conflicting with any existing rule then which rule DRS will respect, old rule or new rule while performing DRS actions? If a new rule is conflicting with an old rule then new rule will be disabled automatically. DRS will prefer respecting the old rule.

How many automation levels are there for a VM in respect to DRS? Can VM automation level override cluster automation level? VM automation level can override cluster automation level. From a VM prospective there are 5 automation levels. These are:

1) Fully Automated: Load balance and Initial placement will be done by DRS automatically 2) Partially Automated: Load balance of the VM will be done manually but initial placement will be done automatically 3) Manual: VM migration as part of Load balancing and initial placement will be both manual. DRS will only generate recommendation for that VM and administrator has to manually approve this recommendation. 4) Default: VM will inherit the DRS automation level as defined at the cluster level. 5) Disabled: DRS will not perform any actions on that VM.

Which metrics were used by DRS for deciding if a VM needs to be VMotioned to a different host or not. These metrics are:

Host CPU: Active (includes run and ready Mhz) Host Memory: Active two primary DRS functions: Load balancing VMs due to imbalanced Cluster & VM Placement when booting. DRS evaluates your cluster every 5 minutes. If there’s an imbalance in load it will reorganize your cluster, with the help of VMotion, to create an evenly balanced cluster again.

what is the default invocation period for DRS. Can we change this. If yes then how?

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Ans: The default invocation period is 300 seconds (5 minutes). But this can be changed via the configuration file vpxd.cfg. We have to change the value of <pollperiodsec> as shown below:

<config> <drm> <pollperiodsec> 300 </pollperiodsec> </drm> </config> Just change the value 300 to a custom value defined by you. The range of supported value is 60 secs to 3600 secs.

What is the role of VPXA in DRS? Ans: VPXA is the vCenter agent that runs inside Esxi hosts and it enables a 2 way communication between Esxi hosts and vCenter Server. VPXA is responsible for:

Keeping the status of Esxi and VM’s in sync

It sends info to vCenter server when a VM’s power state is changed or a VM is vMotioned from one host to other. DRS uses this information which is presented by Esxi hosts to vCenter server for calculating the load balance and proposed migrations in case of cluster imbalance.