VSAN 6.2 GA, plus other stuff..

Blink, and you might have missed the announcements doing the rounds on Social Media about a minor release for some of VMware’s products.

Of the minor releases, the biggest one has to be vSphere 6.0 update 2 which packages Virtual SAN 6.2. Now you can get all the goodness of Dedupe & Compression, Erasure Coding (RAID 5 & 6), QoS, Sparse Swap Files, etc……

I’ve written a brief article on VSAN 6.2 for SearchVMware.com, so pop over there if you want to check out what was announced in Feburary’s Digital Enterprise event.

For more in-depth information on VSAN 6.2, point your browsers to Duncan Epping (Yellow-Bricks) and Cormac Hogan! These guys and their blogs have taught me everything I know about VSAN! =)

So without further ado, here’s what was released yesterday (and some from earlier in the month):

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vCenter Server 5.5.0a Released

Hmm…. an update to 5.5 already!

Release notes here:
https://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere5/doc/vsphere-vcenter-server-550a-release-notes.html

If you’re using the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) and have already upgraded from 5.1 to 5.5, then updating the appliance is a very simple process if your vCSA is able to connect out to the internet:
Note: this update process will reboot your vCSA so you will lose connectivity to your vCenter Server! Be warned!

1. Log into the admin page of the vCSA – https://ip-address:5480 using the root account (default password is ‘vmware’)
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2. Select the Update tab and click Check Updates under the Status section
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3. Select Install Updates and click OK to start the update process
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5. Once update is complete (for me it was about 10mins – dependent on size of DB), reboot the vCSA to initialise the new update.
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6. Click the System tab and click the Reboot button.
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Once rebooted, the vCenter Server should be assessible again.

If you are not connected to the internet, then you can download the update ISO file from your ‘My VMware’ portal.
Once downloaded (about 1.6GB), mount the ISO file to the vCSA VM and navigate to the Settings section under Update. Select Use CDROM Updates as the Update Repository, click Save Settings and then follow the instructions outlined above from Step 2.
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The Joys and Pains of upgrades…..

So with the latest update releases across all the VMware products, I set about upgrading my demo kit last friday……

Upgrading the vCenter Server Appliance was straight forward enough….

  • mount the update iso to the VM
  • browse to the management webpage
  • click Update Repository selecting Use CD-ROM Updates
  • follow the wizard and kick back and relax as it goes off and does its job…..

After 2hrs and a quick reboot – voila…. sorted!

Next up was an update of my demo DR vCenter Server installed on a Windows VM with SQL Express…. again, simple and quick……

  • mount the ISO file, run the SSO installer (separate one, not the simple as that doesn’t work), run through the wizard making sure you use the SSO admin password! Reboot (as it changes the window services).
  • run the Web Client installer. Once complete check SSO hasn’t blown up or lost it’s AD domains! =)
  • run the Inventory Service installer.
  • run the vCenter Server installer.
  • run the vSphere client installer.
  • an hour later and it’s all done (actually I was multi-tasking with other work, so I guess you’re talking 20mins in total).

At some point I’ll have to update the production vCenter Server which I’m hoping will be the same pain-free and quick process – only difference is we’re using SQL Server 2008 R2…. if I’m daring enough maybe I’ll patch the SQL server to SP2…. =)

The only issue I encountered was after upgrading the VDP Appliance, it now doesn’t run backup jobs!

There seems to be a general consensus in the community that VDP either works or doesn’t! It either backs up VMs flawlessly, or it errors out and you spend hours trying to work out what caused the error because the logging functionality is pretty pants!

The reason I jumped straight into the VDP upgrade to 5.1.10 was because of the known issue with backing up Windows 2008 R2 VMs – mentioned here: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2035736

However, after a long and quite a tedious upgrade process, the VDP appliance now fails to run any backup jobs and errors out with a ‘no proxy available to service backup jobs’:

vdp: Failed to initiate a backup or restore for a virtual machine because no proxy was found to service the virtual machine

Pretty much stuck now as I can’t find any mention of how to clear out the error or re-attach the proxies…… *sigh*

Still early days for this update and so far I can’t find anyone else online who has encountered the same problem!

May have to give VMware tech support a call……

 

Edit: Well looks like there are problems with the upgrade process already – mainly SSO (yet again) not working well with multiple identity domains and users associated with a large number of groups: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2050941