For those new to vSphere 5's GUI, there's a new column that's been added to the Virtual Machine view by the name of "Needs Consolidation".
This option was put in due to the occasional problem when Snapshots did not delete properly and would leave the delta files remaining in the VM's folder while the Snapshot Manager would show no snapshots existing.
With this option added to the columns, you should also take note of the option within the Snapshot options for each VM which will now allow a user to select the "Consolidate" function
As noticed with the first screenshot, we had a couple systems which were requiring some consolidation to them. So another admin went through and hit the consolidated button and got hit with a "Unable to access file
18 deltas... 18! Regardless of the vmsn file in there, there was no record of there being any snapshots.
In this case, that system probably hasn't even been rebooted 18 times much less been snapshot that many times... Except, vDR (VMware Data Recovery) is setup on it to do daily snaps. So I checked the vDR appliance settings and I found 8 disks too many attached.
After removing all of those extra hard disks, the consolidations would succeed. Note, it took a while, but they did succeed.
Just another reminder of while vDR is a great tool to have on hand, it should definitely not be the one and only method of backup
Instead of the planned upgrade we were going to perform, we decided to start from scratch and do a full reinstall of our environment. So that entailed registering the Dell EqualLogic HIT Kit to a new VirtualCenter.
Start off by opening up the console on the VM and logging in. (Default Username: root Default Password: eql) Once logged in, select Option 8 to unregister it from the old vCenter.
From there, select Option 4 to configure vCenter. Enter in the credentials for the new vCenter (IP, admin account, password, EQL HIT Kit Appliance IP, and an admin email addres), confirm the credentials and the appliance should connect to vCenter and be successful.
Once back to the main screen, select Option 7 to register the appliance with vCenter and then reboot the appliance
After the appliance is back at the login prompt, check back to the vCenter "Solutions and Applications" section and make sure that the EqualLogic utilities are there. For good measure, login to one of the utilities and ensure the configuration is correct.
When upgrading to vSphere 5, if you're already using Update Manager (VUM) you should also upgrade Update Manager to version 5 as well. Some of the more notable updates to Update Manager include being able to upgrade directly to an ESXi image via ISO and the ability to upgrade virtual appliances, as well as the loss of the ability to update VMs.
Start off by opening the autorun application that was included with the vSphere 5 download, click on the "VMware vSphere Update Manager" and then click on "Install"
Select the preferred install language, and there should be a message regarding a previous install of Update Manager being already installed, click "OK" to that
Click "Next", click "Next" to agree to the Patent Agreement, accept the EULA and click "Next"
Check mark the box to "Delete the old host upgrade files from the repository" to remove patches that may not be applicable to the new version of VUM, and select whether VUM should download the new updates automatically or not. Personally, I'm not going to be using any ESX3 hosts, so I didn't select that option. After the install, I went in and deselected that patch repository.
Enter in the information for authentication to the vCenter Server
Verify the DSN for the VUM DB instance and choose to upgrade the Update Manager database
Configure the ports for VUM and click the "Install" button.
The Install takes a short amount of time and then a reboot is needed
Some of the new features, importing ESXi images:
Some new cluster settings, including parallel remediation for hosts in cluster, the migrating powered off and suspended virtual machines to other hosts in the cluster, if a host must enter maintenance mode, and PXE booted ESXi Host settings:
Some of the new Download Sources, including the repository for the virtual applications
With so many things being upgraded, it's hard to keep track of the actual benefits to each one. The VMFS 5 upgrade has some pretty substantial upgrades, including: a unified block size at 1MB (no more volume size limitations due to block size), the extent volume size limit has been increased and can theoretically go near 60TB on a single extent volume, smaller sub-blocks (down to 8KB from the previous 64KB), pass-through RDMs can approach the 60TB limit, etc.
There are still some limitations though, unfortunately the VMDK size limit remains at 2TB, virtual RDMs also remain with a 2TB size limit, and the LUN limit remains at 256.
To start the upgrade, go to the datastore which needs upgrading and click on the "Upgrade to VMFS-5" link:
The system will check to verify that all hosts whom have connection to the selected datastore can access the VMFS-5 version:
After clicking "OK" to start the upgrade, the datastore will upgrade and then all the hosts connected to it will rescan for VMFS volumes:
Clicking back on the datastore, the version will have been updated. In this case it was to VFMS 5.54.
With the new features of VMFS-5, I think increased the volume to the 5TB limit which was set on the SAN. Click on the "Properties" of the Datastore, and then click on the "Increase" button:
Select the same datastore to extend the extent, click "Next", verify the current layout, click "Next"
Select the amount of space to expand the datastore to, select "Next", then verify the information and click "Finish"
The tasks will computer and expand the datastore, then have all the hosts rescan for VMFS volumes
After the tasks complete, it's all done and ready to go.
Upgrading from VMFS 3 to 5 was quite smooth, the VMs kept running, and nothing was noticed. The same can be said for the expansion, everything went smooth. One thing I would recommend is creating a VMFS 5 extent volume and Storage vMotioning from the VMFS 3 extent to the VMFS 5 extent.
Finally, after months of waiting... vSphere 5 has been released. After upgrading one of my dev hosts to ESXi 5, it was time to address the Virtual Center.
Here's what I'm starting with:
Start by heading out the the VMware site and downloading the vCenter software: http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere/5_0
If you grabbed the zip, extract it and run the "autorun.exe". If you grabbed the ISO, either mount it in your VM (if your vCenter is virtualized) or burn it and toss it in the drive. You'll be met with this screen:
Click on the "vCenter Server" installer, select your preferred language and select "OK"
You should be greeted with a message that "An earlier version of vCenter Server is already installed on this computer and will be upgraded to vCenter Server 5.0", click "Next", click "Next" on the Patent Agreement screen, agree to the EULA and click "Next"
Enter the User Name, Org, and License Key (if you have one). You'll next receive a message about the new licensing keys for vSphere 5 and how using your old key won't work, either acknowledge or grab your new license key from the VMware License Portal.
I used SQL server on my previous install, verify the database information and click "Next"
With the new install of vCenter, a new version of vSphere Update Manager is required. You should now see a message about that reading: This vCenter Server is being used by the following registered extension(s). This essentially just says that you need to upgrade these programs as well.
Now it's time to upgrade the Database, make sure to backup the existing DB and the SSL certs associated with it
The vCenter Agent will need upgraded on each host the vCenter manages. Note: if you select "Manual", all of the hosts will disconnect and it will be up to you to reconnect them. I chose "Automatic".
Enter the password for the account that the service runs as and the fully qualified domain name
Verify the locations to install the vCenter Server and Inventory Service, verify the ports the vCenter uses, and verify the ports the Inventory Service uses
Set the Java VM Memory setting for the WebService to what fits your environment and click "Next", then click "Install", and sit back and watch it install.
Once it's done, you'll see a nice screen you can click "Finish" on
Pop open your vSphere client and connect to the vCenter and you should be greeted with it reading version 5.
You're not quite done yet though, there's still the VMware vSphere Web Client (Server) to install. Which the installer indicates that "New improvements in license reporting require installation of hte VMware vSphere Web Client". So click on the link to the Web Client and then click "Install"
Select the preferred language, click "Next" to start the installer, click "Next" to agree to the Patent Agreement, and click "Next" to agree to the EULA
Enter the customer information, verify the port settings, verify the install folder, and click "Install"
The installer will start and then you'll reach a completed screen, click on "Finish"
Upon clicking finish, a webpage will pop up (which requires an install of Adobe Flash) going to the Web Client Admin Tool (https://localhost:9443/admin-app/)
The page should display a message: vSphere Web Client is not ready to use as there are no vCenter Server Systems registered with this vSphere Web Client. Under that message, click on the "Register vCenter Server". Enter the vCenter name or IP, a username & password to authenticate with, and the name or IP to the vCenter's Web Client server, then click "Register"
If you haven't already added an SSL cert, it will give you a warning. This can be ignored.
You'll return back to the Admin Tool's main page and be able to see that a new vCenter Server has been added
Now you can go to the Web Client page (https://localhost:9443/vsphere-client/), the drop down box should show the recently added vCenter Server, then enter a username/password for an account whom can authenticate to the vCenter Server and click "Login"
You'll be greeted with a page explaining where everything is click on the circular "X" button on the top right, and you'll see a rather comprehensive view of your environment in a web browser