How to Install vSphere 7.0 – vRealize Operations Manager 8.2

How to Install vSphere 7.0 – vRealize Operations Manager 8.2

Introduction

In this post we take a look at a vRealize Operations (vROps) deployment for vSphere 7; building on the installation of vCenter 7.0 U1 and vSAN 7.0 U1. Shortly after installing vROps 8.2, vRealize Operations 8.3 was released. The install process is similar, you can read what’s new here and see the upgrade process here.

vRealize Operations is an IT operations management tool for monitoring full-stack physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructure, along with virtual machine, container, operating system, and application level insights. vROps provides performance and capacity optimisation, monitoring and alerting, troubleshooting and remediation, and dashboards and reporting. vROps also handles private costings, showback, and what-if scenarios for VMware, VMware Cloud, and public cloud workloads. Many of these features have been released with version 8.2, and now work slicker fully integrated into the vROps user interface, rather than a standalone product. Previously vRealize Business would cater for similar costing requirements, but has since been declared end of life.

vRealize Operations can be deployed on-premises to an existing VMware environment, or consumed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). vRealize Operations Cloud has the same functionality, with the ongoing operational overhead of lifecycle management and maintenance taken care of by VMware. Multiple vCenter Servers or cloud accounts can be managed and monitored from a single vROps instance. For more information on vROps see the What is vRealize Operations product page.

vRealize Operations Manager 8.2 Install Guide

The vRealize Operations Manager installation for lone instances is really straight forward, as is applying management packs for monitoring additional environments. Where the installation may get more complex, is if multiple cluster nodes need to be deployed, along with remote collector nodes, and/or multiple instances. If you think this may apply to you review the complexity levels outlined in the vRealize Operations Manager 8.2 Deployment Guide.

The installation steps below walk through the process of installing vROps using the master node. All deployments start out with a master node, which in some cases is sufficient to manage itself and perform all data collection and analysis operations. Optional nodes can be added in the form of; further data nodes for larger deployments, replica nodes for highly available deployments, and remote collector nodes for distributed deployments. Remote collector nodes, for example, can be used to compress and encrypt data collected at another site or another VMware Cloud platform. This could be an architecture where a solution like Azure VMware Solution is in use, with an on-premises installation of vROps. For more information on the different node types and availability setups see the deployment guide linked above.

When considering the deployment size and node design for vROps, review the VMware KB ​vRealize Operations Manager Sizing Guidelines, which is kept up to date with sizing requirements for the latest versions. The compute and storage allocations needed depend on your environment, the type of data collected, the data retention period, and the deployment type.

Installation

Before starting ensure you have a static IP address ready for the master node, or (ideally and) a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) with forward and reverse DNS entries. For larger than single node deployments check the Cluster Requirements section of the deployment guide.

The vRealize Operations Manager appliance can be downloaded in Open Virtualisation Format (OVF) here, and the release note for v8.2.0 here. As with many VMware products a 60 day evaluation period is applied. The vRealize Operations Manager OVF needs to be deployed for each vROps cluster node in the environment. Deployment and configuration of vRealize Operations Manager can also be automated using vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager.

vRealize Operations Manager download

Log into the vSphere client and deploy the OVF (right click the data centre, cluster, or host object and select Deploy OVF Template).

The deployment interface prompts for the usual options like compute, storage, and IP address allocation, as well as the appliance size based on the sizing guidelines above. Do not include an underscore (_) in the hostname. The disk sizes (20 GB, 250 GB, 4 GB) are the same regardless of the appliance size configured. New disks can be added, but extending existing disks is not supported. Also be aware that snapshots can cause performance degradation and should not be used. For this deployment I have selected a small deployment; 4 CPU, 16 GB RAM.

Once deployed browse to the appliance FQDN or IP address to complete the appliance setup. You can double check the IP address from the virtual machine page in vSphere or the remote console. For larger environments and additional settings like custom certificates, high availability, and multiple nodes select New Installation. In this instance since vROps will be managing only a single vCenter with 3 or 4 hosts I select the Express Installation.

vRealize Operations Manager start page

The vRealize Operations Manager appliance will be set as the master node, this configuration can be scaled out later on if needed. Click Next to continue.

vRealize Operations Manager new cluster setup

Set an administrator password at least 8 characters long, with an uppercase and lowercase letter, number, and special character, then click Next. Note that the user name is admin, and not administrator.

vRealize Operations Manager administrator credentials

Click Finish to apply the configuration. A loading bar preparing vRealize Operations Manager for first use will appear. This stage can take up to 15 minutes.

vRealize Operations Manager initial setup

Login with the username admin and the password set earlier.

vRealize Operations Manager login page

There are a few final steps to configure before gaining access to the user interface. Click Next.

vRealize Operations Manager final setup

Accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) and click Next.

vRealize Operations Manager terms and conditions

Enter the license information and click Next.

vRealize Operations Manager license information

Select or deselect the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) option and click Next. Click Finish to progress to the vROps user interface.

vRealize Operations Manager final setup

Finally we’re into vRealize Operations home page, take a look around, or go straight into Add Cloud Account.

vRealize Operations Manager home page

Select the account type, in this case we’re adding a vCenter.

vRealize Operations Manager account types

Enter a name for the account, and the vCenter Server FQDN or IP address. I’m using the default collector group since we are only monitoring a small lab environment. You can test using Validate Connection, then click Add.

vRealize Operations Manager add vCenter Server

Give the vCenter account a few minutes to sync up, the status should change to OK. A message in the right-hand corner will notify that the vCenter collection is in progress.

vRealize Operations Manager vCenter collection

Back at the home page a prompt is displayed to set the currency; configurable under Administration, Management, Global Settings, Currency. In this case I’ve set GBP(£). For accurate cost comparisons and environment specific optimisations you can also add your own costs for things like hardware, software, facilities, and labour. Cost data can be customised under Administration, Configuration, Cost Settings.

vRealize Operations Manager quick start page

A common next step is to configure access using your corporate Identity Provider, such as Active Directory. Click Administration, Access, Authentication Sources, Add, and configure the relevant settings.

Multiple vCenter Servers can be managed from the vRealize Operations Manager interface. Individual vCenter Servers can also access vROps data from the vSphere client, from the Menu dropdown and vRealize Operations. A number of nested ESXi hosts are shut down in this environment which is generating the critical errors in the screenshot.

vRealize Operations Manager overview page

Featured image by Jonas Svidras on Unsplash

Veeam Backup Error: Out of the Vector Bound

When running a backup job using Veeam Backup & Replication v8 or v9 the job fails with Error: Out of the vector bound. Record index: [0]. Vector Size: [1] Job finished with error. Running an active full produces the same result. In our case this issue was caused by corruption to the metadata file. This can occur when the metadata file is not properly closed and breaks the chain, potentially down to a file system filling up, or server failure.

To resolve we start a new chain to re-create both full data and metadata. This is done by cleanly deleting records about the backup job from the Veeam Backup & Replication console and configuration database, and deleting backup files themselves from the destination storage. The job itself remains so does not need recreating.

  • First disable the job; open the Veeam Backup & Replication client. Ensure Backup & Replication is selected on the task pane on the left hand side and select Jobs. Right click the failed job and click Disable.

veeamfix1

  • Next we need to remove the corrupted files.  Still in the Backup & Replication task pane select Backups. Right click the failed job and click Delete from disk to remove the backup files and records.

veeamfix2

  • Now go back to the Jobs page and enable the job. Run an Active Full to create new data and metadata files.

veeamfix3

Physical to Virtual Machine Conversion Guide

VMware vCenter Converter enables physical and virtual machines to be converted into VMware virtual machines. The source can be a physical server, or a virtual machine using another platform such as Hyper-V. The client can also be used to convert a VMware Workstation or Fusion virtual machine to a vCenter infrastructure VM or vice-versa. This post will walk through the physical to virtual (P2V) process; using VMware vCenter Converter to migrate the operating system, applications, and data over the network to the virtualisation platform.

converter

Requirements

  • There will be down time during the switch-over, best practises indicate any databases or applications should be stopped during the conversion, as well as Anti-Virus.
  • Most Windows and Linux operating systems are supported, you can view a full list of supported operating systems on page 19 of the vCenter Server Converter White Paper.
  • Communication across ports 22, 443, and 902 is required. If you are connecting the Converter client to a remote machine then ports 139, 445, and 9089 are also required.
  • If the source machine is Windows then ensure Windows Firewall does not block File and Printer Sharing.
  • Make sure the virtual infrastructure has the variables required to run the physical machine as virtual, such as the correct VLAN configuration if you intend on keeping the same IP address, as well as Backup, DR, monitoring, and any other third party application compatibility.
  • The vCenter Converter itself does not require a license, you will need a (free) VMware account to download.

Client Install

First we install the vCenter Converter client on the physical server to be virtualised. This is straight forward installer and can be done any time, a reboot is not required. Click any of the thumbnails below to enlarge.

  • Download the latest version of the vCenter Converter from VMware Downloads and run the application.
  • Click Next to start the wizard.
  • Click Next to accept the patent agreement.
  • Agree to the license terms and click Next.
  • Accept the default installation directory and click Next.
  • Select Local Installation and click Next.
  • Review the customer experience program option and click Next.
  • Click Install to start the installation.
  • Once complete click Finish.

P2V Process

With the vCenter Converter client installed the next step is to actually run the physical to virtual conversion. To ensure a clean conversion it is recommended to stop any databases or applications during this process, even if you cannot afford the downtime it is likely there will be a performance degradation while the conversion is running. You should also consider disabling any AV program during the conversion.

Open the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client. Click Convert machine.

converter1

Change the source type to This local machine and click Next. You can also convert a remote Windows or Linux machine using the appropriate option.

converter2

Change the destination type to VMware Infrastructure virtual machine, this allows us to connect to a vCenter Server. Enter the vCenter name and credentials, click Next.

converter3

Enter a unique name for the virtual machine and the organisational folder where it will be stored, click Next.

converter4

Select the host or cluster for the virtual machine and the storage to use, click Next.

Review the options page, there are a number of useful settings here. For example you can set the physical machine to shut down once complete and the virtual machine to power on, for automatic switch over. You can also set the correct VLAN for the vNIC to use, exclude drives from the P2V task, or change virtual hardware settings; such as increasing resources. Change any desired settings and click Next.

converter5

On the summary page click Finish to begin the P2V conversion. The P2V job will be added to the tasks list with an estimated completion time, this varies depending on the amount of data to migrate and the speed of the network.

Post P2V

Once complete the virtual machine will be powered off by default, unless you specified otherwise in the options page. If required, manually shut down the physical machine and power on the new virtual machine. If you power on the virtual machine while the physical server is still connected to the network make sure you have disconnected the vNIC from the virtual machine to avoid an IP address or host name conflict.

There are a number of ‘tidy up’ jobs we need to carry out on the new VM after the P2v process.

  • Install VMware Tools.
  • From the Edit Settings option of the virtual machine remove any unnecessary virtual hardware that may have been added as a hardware equiviliant was detected, but not used.
  • Remove any physical server, or hardware, management software such as RAID management, drivers, etc.
  • Remove any ghosted entries from device manager, to see non-present devices open command prompt as administrator and run set devmgr_show_nonpresent+devices=1. In Device Manager click View, Show Hidden Devices. Uninstall any greyed out devices.
  • Remove any system restore points from before the conversion.
  • Remove the VMware vCenter Converter client.

Resources – for additional information or troubleshooting steps see the VMware vCenter Converter User Guide. Calculate cost savings for converting physical servers to virtual using the VMware ROI TCO Calculator.