Seattle VMUG UserCon–Come for the Sessions, Stay for the Prizes

VMUG

As of today we are one short week away from the upcoming Seattle VMUG User Conference being held at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue (Thursday July 9th). What’s that? You didn’t know it was coming? If not get over to the VMUG website and get registered (here is the link) and come out and join us. Hear and talk about the latest software offerings from VMware around VSAN, vSphere 6 and of course NSX. Want to see/hear about new technologies from VMware’s partner eco system? Check out vendor sponsored sessions from Pure Storage, Simplivity, Nutanix, and many more. And don’t forget to stop into the exhibit hall to see and visit with over 40 additional VMware partners for products and demo’s. Don’t take my word for it, have a look at the agenda below:

Agenda

Ok, that was a lot to scroll through, but you made it down to the best part.

Home Lab Giveaway

So after soaking up as much knowledge and information as you can get your hands on, here is the final payoff. The Seattle VMUG team has organized for some great home lab prizes. Three lucky winners have the chance to walk with:

1st Prize

  • 3 x Intel NUC BOXD54250WYKH
  • 3 x 16GB of RAM
  • 3 x 120GB mSATA SSD for NUC (think VSAN)
  • 3 x 500GB 7200 RPM HDD for NUC
  • 1 x Synology DS214+
  • 2 x Samsung EVO 850 250GB SSD’s
  • 1 x Cisco SG300 series switch
  • 1 x VMUG Advantage Subscription (need some software with all that hardware)

2nd Prize

  • 2 x Intel NUC BOXD54250WYKH
  • 2 x 16GB of RAM
  • 2 x 16GB USB Thumb Drives
  • 1 x VMUG Advantage Subscription

3rd Prize

  • 1 x Synology DS214+
  • 2 x Samsung EVO 850 250GB SSD’s
  • 1 x VMUG Advantage Subscription
      One thing to note,

YOU HAVE TO BE PRESENT AT THEN END OF THE DAY TO QUALIFY!

Hope to see you there!

-Jason

VCP-6 Objective 9.2–Configure Advanced vSphere DRS Features

For this object I used the following resources

  • vSphere Resource Management guide

Objective 9.2 – Configure Advanced vSphere DRS Features

Knowledge

Identify Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) Affinity Rules

With Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS going forward) enabled on your vSphere cluster you can manage the placement of virtual machines within that cluster. The use of an affinity rule allows for this level of control. There are two types of of rules:

  • VM-Host Affinity – Used to specify affinity or anti-affinity between a group of virtual machines and a group of hosts. An affinity rule specifies that the members of a selected virtual machine DRS group can or must run on the members of a specific host DRS group. An anti-affinity rule specifies that the members of a selected virtual machine DRS group cannot run on the members of a specific host DRS group.
  • VM-VM Affinity – Used to specify affinity or anti-affinity between individual virtual machines. A rule specifying affinity causes DRS to try to keep the specified virtual machines together on the same host, for example, for performance reasons. With an anti-affinity rule, DRS tries to keep the specified virtual machines apart, for example, so that when a problem occurs with one host, you do not lose both virtual machines

Enable/Disable Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) Affinity Rules

As mentioned above there are two types of affinity rules, VM to Host and VM to VM affinity. The process for creating each type of rule (and their prerequisites) are outlined below.

Create a Host DRS Group – A VM-Host affinity rule establishes an affinity (or anti-affinity) relationship between a virtual machine DRS group with a host DRS group. You must create both of these groups before you can create a rule that links them.

  • Log into the vSphere Web Client with administrative privileges
  • From the Home screen in the vSphere Web Client, select Hosts and Clusters in the right hand navigation
  • In the left hand pane select expand your Datacenter object and select the vSphere Cluster
  • Right click on the vSphere Cluster and select Settings
  • In the right hand pane under Configuration select VM/Host Groups
  • Click the Add button on the right
  • Provide a Name for the group and for the Type dropdown select Host Group
  • Click Add and select the needed ESXi hosts, click OK
  • Click OK  to finish.

Screen shot below shows my ESXi Host Group in my lab:

ESXi-HostGroup

Create a Virtual Machine DRS Group

  • Log into the vSphere Web Client with administrative privileges
  • From the Home screen in the vSphere Web Client, select Hosts and Clusters in the right hand navigation
  • In the left hand pane select expand your Datacenter object and select the vSphere Cluster
  • Right click on the vSphere Cluster and select Settings
  • In the right hand pane under Configuration select VM/Host Groups
  • Click the Add button on the right
  • Provide a Name for the group and for the Type dropdown select VM Group
  • Click Add and select the needed ESXi hosts, click OK
  • Click OK  to finish.

Screen shot below shows my VM Group in my lab:

VM-HostGroup

    Now with hour host and virtual machine groups defined we can create some actual affinity rules. For our first example we will create a VM to Host rule:
  • Log into the vSphere Web Client with administrative privileges
  • From the Home screen in the vSphere Web Client, select Hosts and Clusters in the right hand navigation
  • In the left hand pane select expand your Datacenter object and select the vSphere Cluster
  • Right click on the vSphere Cluster and select Settings
  • In the right hand pane under Configuration select VM/Host Rules
  • Click the Add button on the right
  • Provide a Name for the rule and check the Enable Rule check box
  • From the Type dropdown select Virtual Machines to Hosts
  • From the VM Group and Host Group select you created groups accordingly
  • Select a specification for the rule
    • Must run on hosts in group – Virtual machines in VM Group must run on hosts in Host Group
    • Should run on hosts in group – Virtual machines in VM Group should, but are not required, to run on hosts in Host Group
    • Must not run on hosts in group – Virtual machines in VM Group must never run on hosts in Host Group
    • Should not run on hosts in group – Virtual machines in VM Group should not, but might, run on hosts in Host Group
  • Click OK

Screen shot below over competed VM to Host Affinity rule:

VM2Host

Creating a VM to VM Affinity Rule

  • Log into the vSphere Web Client with administrative privileges
  • From the Home screen in the vSphere Web Client, select Hosts and Clusters in the right hand navigation
  • In the left hand pane select expand your Datacenter object and select the vSphere Cluster
  • Right click on the vSphere Cluster and select Settings
  • In the right hand pane under Configuration select VM/Host Rules
  • Click the Add button on the right
  • Provide a Name for the rule and check the Enable Rule check box
  • In the Type dropdown select the type of rule
    • Separate Virtual Machines
    • Keep Virtual Machines Together
  • Click the Add and selected the desired virtual machines

Screen shot below over competed VM to VM Affinity (separate virtual machines) rule:

VM2VM

Identify Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) Automation Levels

Configure Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) Automation Levels

Going to bundle these two topics together as they are some closely aligned. VMware vSphere DRS supports three levels of “automation” for virtual machine initial placement and migration. I put automation in quotes, as you will see in the table below the first option, manual, isn’t so automated.

Automation Level Action

Manual

  • Initial placement: Recommended host is displayed
  • Migration: Recommendation is displayed

Partially Automated

  • Initial placement: Automatic
  • Migration: Recommendation is displayed

Fully Automated

  • Initial placement: Automatic
  • Migration: Recommendation is executed automatically

Configuring DRS can take place during the vSphere Cluster object creation, or if not enabled during creation can be enabled after the fact. To enable DRS post cluster creation complete the following steps:

  • Log into the vSphere Web Client with administrative privileges
  • From the Home screen in the vSphere Web Client, select Hosts and Clusters in the right hand navigation
  • In the left hand pane select expand your Datacenter object and select the vSphere Cluster
  • Right click on the vSphere Cluster and select Settings
  • In the right hand pane under Services select vSphere DRS
  • Click the Edit button on the right
  • Select the check box for Turn on vSphere DRS
  • In the DRS Automation dropdown select the the automation level
  • Click OK

Screen shot below DRS being enabled/turned on my lab cluster:

DRS_Enabled

That wraps up Objective 9.2, happy studying!

-Jason

VCP-6 Objective 9.1–Configure Advanced vSphere HA Features

For this objective I used the following resources:

Objective 9.1 – Configure Advanced vSphere HA Features

Knowledge

Explain Advanced vSphere HA Settings

Enable/Disable Advanced vSphere HA Settings

Since both these topics pretty much go hand in hand I am going to cover them jointly. VMware vSphere allows you to add to or change the default behavior of the cluster HA settings. While the default settings maybe appropriate for the majority of environments, depending on your specific implementation setting changes may be needed. I hope it goes without saying that vSphere HA will need to be enabled on the given cluster to make any changes.

[Read more…]

VCP-6 Objective 4.2–Perform vCenter Server Upgrades

For this objective I used the following resources:

Objective 4.2 – Perform vCenter Server Upgrades

Knowledge

Identify Steps Required to Upgrade a vSphere Implementation

While the list of steps required to upgrade vCenter Server is pretty short (see below) there are few things to keep in mind before starting the process. First is the outline of the steps, taken from Section 1, vSphere Upgrade Process of the vSphere Upgrade documentation:

  • Read the vSphere release notes
  • Verify that your system meets vSphere hardware and software requirements
  • Verify that you have backed up your configuration
  • If your vSphere system includes VMware solutions or plug-ins, verify that they are are compatible with the vCenter Server or vCenter Server Appliance version to which you are upgarding
  • Upgrade vCenter Server

[Read more…]