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My First YouTube Video!

I have a whole renowned respect for content creators, influencers, and video graphic artists. Content creation is no joke, even the tool vROps itself requires individuals in organizations to be created with designing dashboards.

I’ve always wanted to do this, it’s a means of getting better and giving back to the community. There is still much to improve on, I mean this is just a series of clips of me performing an upgrade task.

In this video, I run through upgrading vROps using VMware’s LifeCycle Manager appliance.

Home Lab

NSX-T 3.2.1 – Error: Failed to fetch System details.

Running VMware NSX-T 3.2.1 on a clean install, no previous upgrade. Home lab is not sitting around doing much other than whatever idle tasks might be going on with the appliance. I decided to log in and BAM! The system section was not loading

Error code: 513002

Under System>>Configuration the following error would appear

I was able to navigate to check the basic health of my managers, and checked ‘View Details’ for each one; everything was up, all green, and space utilization looked good.

From the VM console logged in as admin, I tried ‘restart services controller ‘and no success.

While troubleshooting and looking for KBs and forums on the web, when running ‘get managers’ from admin console, one of my managers was in Standby, but then there was some intermittent activity where all went into Standby for a brief moment.

Not just this happening but my Appliances GUI was also now switching between ‘Healthy’ & Degraded.

Next step was to reboot one appliance at a time, which did not seem to fix the issue.

After taking a break and happen to be doing something else in the home lab, I had to shut down and restart the vCenter, well I happen to check later on in the day and NSX was able to load with no problems.

I’m going to keep this up in the event the issue comes around, I plan on updating.

QuickTip

QuickTip: What version of VMTools is on a ESXi host?

If you have been working with any kind of virtualization software, you will generally encounter a set of drivers that provide software for hardware to interact with a virtual machine. These are known as ‘drivers’ and allow interaction, performance optimization and many other features. With VMware, VMTools (Windows or Linux) can be delivered in many different ways.

One way in vSphere 7.x to find the available Tools Package on a ESXi; highlight a host, click ‘Updates’, under Baselines click ‘Show Installed’

Once the installed host extensions appear, you can filter on the ‘Name’ column and search for ‘tool’

If you want to cross-reference the Tool build with version number, the following VMware URL is a great resource for that.

https://packages.vmware.com/tools/versions

There are many other ways, please feel free to share. I personally would like to script the process to poll all hosts in an environment and report back what tools image is installed on a host.

Personal Blogs

A Reflection of VMworld 2018..

We are 38 days away from the very first VMware Explore. Four years ago I had the opportunity to attend my first VMworld. My employer at that time allowed me to go as I was VCP certified and identified as a VMware SME for the enterprise. It was exciting being surrounded by so many like-minded individuals, I probably rubbed shoulders with so many future co-workers & customers I interact with today.

Attending VMworld was life changing for me personally and professionally. Attending sessions by Amanda Blevins would inspire me with how to navigate my career and what qualities to look for in mentors or leaders. I loved attending sessions that involved troubleshooting, it was relevant to my role and although sometimes it was redundant, the delivery was different every time. Some of the settings were intimate and it felt okay to ask questions without the fear of having a spotlight on you. Being able to speak to others and trade war stories was also beneficial.

The sessions were great, the parties allowed folks to break away from the serious stuff and show a different side. As someone I was with eluded to how I would feel “depressed” coming back to work because you see all this amazing technology and the possibilities of innovation and it may not be the vision of your enterprise right at that moment. It should encourage individuals to want to do better, motivate yourself and the people around your workplace.

For 2022, check out VMware Explore, VMware took a couple of years off going digital due to the pandemic but it is back in San Francisco again. Be sure to check out the sessions, the scheduler is live as well. Click on the image below to learn more!

Check out the VMworld 2018 playlist, as someone who keeps their ear to music, I was glad to capture this playlist.

The curated playlist I found on Spotify continues to bring back nostalgic memories of the event.
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VMware Explore 2022

Home Lab

A backup drill with Synology Active Backup for Business

As a disclaimer, Synology was gracious in providing a DS1621+ with 10GB PCI adaptor to test out.

For all consumers running a Synology NAS at home with virtual infrastructure or to the business requiring an easy-to-use method to backup to a private cloud (your own datacenter). The Active Backup for Business is a great way to get started with creating some type of Disaster Recovery & protection for systems. For my home lab, I run a VM infrastructure at home on some SuperMicro E300 servers with Ubiquiti gear. Once you install Active Backup for Business on DSM and go through the activation process (this part requires a Synology.com account). There was no issue with registering both of my NAS models under the same account.

  • Synology DS1621+ running DSM 7.0.1-42218
  • Active Backup for Business 2.3.0.-12153
  • VMware vCenter 7.0.3 19480866 (U3d)
  • VMware ESXi 7.0.3 19482537
  • Synology joined to home AD domain
  • Windows 10 & Windows 11
  • Ubiquiti networking gear.

Once Active Backup for Business is installed, from the main launch screen
We want to add a VMware environment by clicking ‘Virtual Machine’

You do have the option to add VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V, for today we will remain on vSphere & click ‘Manage Hypervsior’

Click ‘Add’ and populate with your vCenter environment, I was able to authenticate with a domain account.

Once connected it should give a Success status and then finally should talk to the vCenter.

Now Active Backup can read all my hosts and the individual VMs running on the hosts at the time. Also during this time, I did do a vMotion, once it completed, I clicked refresh and the screen reflected the change.

From here you can click to highlight a single VM, or hold down ‘Ctrl’ key and use the mouse to select multiple objects and then click ‘Create Task’ **Please note that if you have VM Templates when you select the object, the ‘Create Task’ button will be greyed out.
The next screen will bring up a wizard-like interface, you can create a custom Task Name and then the option to select VM objects. I also noticed that the Template initially discovered does not appear in this list. There is a little ‘i’ icon next to some VMs which gives some insight into VMTools awareness and functionality.

The next screen will be to select a landing location, I will select the default folder that Active Backup created in my ‘Shared Folders’

The next step will be backup destination settings, I will proceed with enabling ‘compression’ but no encryption.
I will leave the defaults, however please share experiences with other options.

The next screen will check to ensure all services are successful on the VMs and click ‘Next’ and then you are presented with an option to ‘Schedule Backup Task’ I will keep Manual.
Depending on your needs and what industry you are in, that industry may have compliances on data retention, Tax Office? Healthcare? Legal? these are just a few of the professionss that should ensure retention and backup is set.

The next screen will be specifying permissions for Restores and finally confirm Task summary.
You are prompted to take a backup, I selected Yes.

Various ways of monitoring activity for backing up

My backup for the 3 VMS took about 38 minutes. This is going over 10GB network, I feel performance can be tuned to be better. My initial backup was showing 280GB in my Shared Folder. I have other things inside the home network I’m working through.


Active Backup did great with deleting snapshots from my VM after backups were completed.

My other thought was, why backup VMs to the same storage array my iSCSI storage is on? Well, that is when Synology’s Snapshot Replication tool came in handy, I created a replication between my backup target NAS over to another Synology NAS (DS 1515+).

Performed a sync between nasstore02 (source) and nasstore01 (destination), Ran a quick Test Failover, and then performed a ‘Switchover’ to make my new destination the ‘active’.

On my new destination NAS (nasstore01) I was able to go to the ‘Storage’ section in Active Backup and Relink a shared folder containing my replicated backups.

Now let’s restore from our new destination of Active Backup, highlighting the desired VM, click ‘Restore’ I followed through the prompts and left all the settings default, and in advance I renamed my original VM so that I can do a full restore.

Monitoring status, I performed a ‘Full Restore’ and by the way, this is coming from a NAS with only 1GB and I have port bonding configured (4 1GB links) with LACP on the switch.
The restore was successful, took about 18 minutes

and my VM was restored back to my vCenter from my other Synology and I was able to log in with preserved IP.

Along with the Active Backup application, there is a web interface to the tool that allows file browsing for restore and downloads, this can be accessed from the Applications menu in DSM.

Overall I’m pleased with the flexibility and feature sets of the DS1616+ and more importantly Synology’s software that was able to work with a slightly older Synology NAS with different network backing.

If there is anything you are curious about or would like to see, please do not hesitate to reach out.