Home Lab

Upgrading to vCenter Server 8.0 Update 2 – Reduced Downtime Upgrade

VMware vSphere’s lifecycle enhancements continue to get better with every release. The following video goes through upgrading from 8.0 Update 1 over to 8.0 Update 2.

Please note that the following feature used is only good for single self-managed vCenters, configurations using vCenter HA or Enhanced Linked Mode (ELM) are not supported.

Home Lab, NSX

Fix NSX 4.1.0 ‘Install Skipped’ During Host Preparation in a vLCM Cluster

With VMware vSphere 8.x out and vSphere Lifecycle manager making the shift from individual baselines to cluster images, there are some additional encounters you may have when integrating with our solutions from VMware or even other vendors.

I encountered an error recently in NSX during host preperation I received the following error.

When clicking on the error for details and steps, you see

Go to the VMware Cluster >> Updates >> Image

You can perform an Image Compliance check manually or you will find there is my problematic host not showing compliant because it is missing NSX vibs

Click ‘Remediate All’, review your remediation settings and click ‘Remediate’. Once Remediation completes, I decided to reboot the host and once it came back up, inside NSX Manager I located the node and to the far right clicked on ‘View Details’ and click ‘Resolve’ to the prompt.

Monitor the installation status

This completed successfully, as the host now shows as prepared and ‘Success’

Home Lab, Skyline, Uncategorized

Registering Skyline Health Diagnostics vCenter Plugin

The number of tools available for proactive insight into your vSphere environment continue to expand. When someone nowadays says ‘Skyline’, well which component? I will begin by reviewing some of the various Skyline options and then will follow with the actual plugin-in installation.

Skyline Collector Appliance – On premise Photon appliances which runs in a customers private data center and responsible for the collection of data and logs to send to VMware Cloud. Click here to learn more

Skyline Advisor – VMware’s cloud offering in VMware’s Cloud. This is what ties into the Skyline Collector appliances referenced above.

Skyline Health Diagnostics – This is an appliance ran in your private datacenter to perform healthy checks against your vCenter appliance and vSphere environment. This is a handy tool to check for plugins, interoperability checks and upgrade preparedness.

Skyline Health Diagnostics vCenter Plugin – Appliance deployed which integrates with vSphere. This is a new feature starting in vCenter 8.0 U1 & later. Review the following VMware documentation. Registration of Plug-in from vSphere Client 8.0 U1 and onwards.

Integrated vSphere Skyline – Inside vSphere at vCenter >> Monitor >> Skyline Health or vSAN Cluster >> Monitor >> vSAN >> Skyline Health there are various checks within.

In the home lab I already have Skyline Health Diagnostics deployed, when logging into it, there is a section for a vCenter Plugin Registration.

Click ‘+’ and authenticate with SSO credentials to the vCenter.

Once you click ‘Submit’, go into vSphere and you will find the solution successfully installed, you should also see the following banner.

After you Refresh the browser, you should now have an interactive solution within vSphere and you can kick off health checks and diagnostics straight out of vSphere.

Home Lab, Skyline

Skyline Health Diagnostics 4.0 – Running Analysis on a vCenter Appliance

VMware’s Skyline product teams continue to make improvements to Skyline product portfolio, best of all, the product is Free!

You can review the Release Notes for 4.0 here and if your looking for documentation on deploying and configuring the appliance, visit VMware Docs: About VMware Skyline Health Diagnostics

You may be asking, “I already have Skyline, I deployed the collector and I access Skyline Advisor” You are correct, I like to consider SHD as another toolkit that you can run on-premises and most helpful for those “air gapped” sites and where security is strict about what goes in and out. The SHD appliance is key and helping you get a health check, troubleshooting and pro-active insights.

I’m starting this blog after a clean install of SHD. At the homepage, from Analyze >> ‘+ New Analysis’

Although there are various options such as Health Checks, Upgrade Checks & Log Analysis.

For now we will perform a ‘Direct Connect Diagnostics to the vCenter appliance

Input appliance authentication information for the vCenter and click ‘Next’

For me, I left this default

At the very end click ‘Run’ and it should then appear as a Task on generating and pulling down log bundles from the vCenter. Once completed you will find the results looking like this, next click ‘Refresh’ and the ‘Show Report’ option should become available.

The report is now available to display results, being this is vCenter was just recently deployed there is not much being called here. As you can see there is an ‘Error’ with hosts disconnecting..scroll down

You can see that the appliance parsed through the logs already and pointed out some specifics

Now report does open in another browser window, if you go back to the SHD page, you can go to Show Reports and you have an option to open it again or even download it to share out to peers or support for review.


Quick Tip – vCenter Server (MOTD) Message of the Day – Communication is Key!

You’ve probably all heard it before; “communication is key”. This is one of those posts and quick tips, by leveraging the many tools IT organizations have to communicate change plans for any kind of planned or unplanned maintenance, your systems (not just vCenter) have internal users that rely on this. We have messages that are communicated via email, intranets, social media or even ITSM tools.

vCenter will display banner messages by default whenever there is an expiring license or account that is nearing expiration. You do have an option to create a customer MOTD.

From the inventory view with your vCenter selected >> Configure >> Message of the Day>> Click ‘Edit’ on the far right.

Populate the message you want to communicate

Click OK and you will find it now listed in the MOTD section

If you log out of vCenter and log back in, the following banner will appear.

There are no time settings when to expire, so it will require manually going in and clearing the message and saving.

Your internal customers should be thankful for being able to communicate changes.