Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0 multiple disks bug

When converting a Windows 2008 R2 VM that contains multiple disks (VMDKs), the converting process with Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) 3.0 fails with the following error:

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter encountered an error while attempting to convert the virtual machine. Log 

Details: A task may only be disposed if it is in a completion state (RanToCompletion, Faulted or Canceled).

This is a bug that was already available in MVMC version 2.0 and fixed in MVMC 2.1.  MVMC 2.1 is hard to find so here is a link to my OneDrive.

 

Hurry-up for the VCP5-DCV Delta Exam

VMware has released a new delta exam to recertify current VCP5-DCV holders. This delta exam focusses on material between vSphere 5.0/5.1 and vSphere 5.5 exams. This exam must be done before the end of the month!

Here are some details of the exam:

  • Based on new material between the vSphere 5.0/5.1 and vSphere 5.5 exams
  • The VCP5-DCV Exam consists of 65 questions and a short pre-exam survey consisting of 8 questions
  • In the VMware Education portal check when the VCP5-DCV certification expires:

vcp

  • The passing score is 300 (scale from 100-500)
  • The exam is available in English and Japanese
  • Exam time limit is 75 minutes and 15 minutes for the survey questions. (30 minutes additional time for countries where English is not a primary language)
  • Available online and you can take it from any location
  • The cost of the VCP5-DCV delta exam is:  €90,00
  • The exam must be completed within 2 days of your registration with PearsonVUE
  • If a candidate fails an exam on the first attempt, he or she must wait seven calendar days from their Original appointment time before he or she can register to retake the exam
  • The exam will only be offered until November 30, 2014.
  • The blueprint can be found here, link
  • The exam code is: VCP550D
  • A free 1-hr online eLearning  “VMware vSphere: What’s New Fundamentals of V5.5″  is available. This self-paced online training covers many new enhancements. This eLearning course does not fulfill certification requirements necessary for VCP5-DCV.   The eLearning can be found here, link
  • The VCP5-DCV Recertification website can be found here, link

vcp1

Let me know your experience with the VCP5-DCV Delta (VCP550D) Recertification Exam.

Tips for Installing Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager

Update Rollup (UR) 4 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager is released this week. The update contains a huge list of issues that are fixed and support for the following Linux systems is added:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (64 bit)
  • Oracle Linux 7 (64 bit)
  • CentOS Linux 7 (64 bit)

Here are some tips for installing Update Rollup (UR) 4 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager:

  • Install the VMM Server and Administrator Console package by using Microsoft Update, WSUS or manual download

ur4

  • After the update of UR4 the SCVMM host must be rebooted
  • Before Update Rollup 4, you had to run an SQL script after you installed an update package to make sure Update Rollups function correctly. As of Update Rollup 4, this step is NO longer required
  • Update the VMM agents of all the SCVMM components such as Hyper-V hosts, VMM Server, Library and WSUS server. The SCVMM UR4 agent version is: 3.2.7768.0
  • The System Center Virtual Machine Manager DHCP Server (x64) component must be manually updated on all VMM Hyper-V hosts. To update the agent, first uninstall the old version by running the following command from an elevated PowerShell Command Prompt:
(Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product -Filter 'Name = "Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager DHCP Server (x64)"' -ComputerName . ).Uninstall()
  • Copy the DHCPExtn.msi from SCVMM server (default installed in C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012 R2\Virtual Machine Manager\SwExtn) to the Hyper-V host and execute the MSI. No restart of the Hyper-V host in needed
  • Check if the version of the DHCP Server component. The version must match 3.2.7768.0. Use the following PowerShell command:
Get-WmiObject -Class win32_product -Filter 'Name = "Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager DHCP Server (x64)"'

dhcpclient

  • Update the UR4 System Center Virtual Machine Manager Console on all servers for example the SCVMM admin workstations and Citrix Delivery Controllers

More information can be found here.

HP AMS driver problem in ESXi 5.x

The last weeks several customers contacted me that one or more ESXi hosts are not manageable anymore. The ESXi host has the following symptoms:

  • Unable to manage using the vSphere Client, Web Client or SSH.
  • Unable to perform a vMotion
  • On the ESXi console there is a message: can’t fork
  • Enable services from the console does not work

The VMs are still running on the ESXi host. This is a known issue and can occur when running the following versions of the HP AMS driver:

  • hp-ams 500.9.6.0-12.434156
  • hp-ams-550.9.6.0-12.1198610
  • hp-ams 500.10.0.0-18.434156 (Added 13-11-2014)
  • hp-ams-550.10.0.0-18.1198610  (Added 13-11-2014)

In some situations the ESXi servers is still manageable in vCenter, so vMotion can be used . In all the other situations shutdown the VMs by using RDP or SSH and reboot or reset the ESXi server. The HP AMS driver must be upgraded to version 10.0.1 or can be disabled.  The VMware KB can be found here.

I developed a simple PowerCLI script to list the HP-AMS driver version of each ESXi host.

Script:

## Problem with HP AMS hp-ams 500.9.6.0-12.434156 and hp-ams-550.9.6.0-12.1198610
## http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2085618

# Add PowerCLI module
Add-PSSnapin vmware.VimAutomation.core -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

# VMware VirtualCenter server name
$VCserver = Read-Host "Enter your vCenter server"
$Username= Read-Host "Enter the Username"
$Password = Read-Host "Enter Password"

# Connect to the vCenter Server
Connect-VIServer -Server $VCserver -User $Username -Password $Password -port 443

# Clear screen
Clear

$GetHosts = Get-VMHost | Where {$_.ConnectionState -eq “Connected”}
ForEach ($VMHost in $GetHosts) {
$ESXCLI = Get-EsxCli -VMHost $VMHost
Write-Host $VMHost -ForegroundColor Green
$ESXCLI.software.vib.list() | Where {$_.Name -eq “hp-ams”} | Select Name,Vendor,Version | FT
}

# Disconnect session vCenter
Disconnect-VIserver -Confirm:$false

Example output:

hpams

Monitor VMware Horizon View environments with ControlUp

A couple of weeks ago ControlUp released version 4.0 with support for VMware Horizon View. In this blog post I share my experience with ControlUp 4.0 monitoring VMware vSphere and VMware Horizon View.

What is ControlUp

ControlUp is a real-time performance monitor for Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS), Citrix, and physical- and virtual server environments. ControlUp can be used to:

  • Troubleshoot performance issues in real time
  • Analyze performance trends and usage patterns
  • Compare and manage multiple computers
  • Investigate incidents and receive email alerts

The new 4.0 version of  ControlUp has added support for:

  • VMware vSphere (4.x and 5.x)
  • Citrix XenServer (6.x)
  • VMware Horizon View desktops (5.x and 6.x)

ControlUp is tested against the following lab environment:

  • VMware ESXi 5.5 Update 2
  • VMware Horizon View 6.x environment with the composer
  • The VDI desktops are part of a floating pool
  • Windows 7 64-bit as VDI desktop OS.

Installation and configuration

The installation is very simple. On a management server execute a single executable (ControlUpConsole.exe).  It’s runs in memory, so there is no installation needed. The console is the GUI for displaying data and running tasks. As prerequisites .Net Framework 3.5 SP1, Active Directory connection and a internet connection  is required. ControlUp will default enabled in Enterprise Mode. The Enterprise Mode offers features that allow you to collaborate with team members and defining user roles and delegate administrative  tasks to different ControlUp users. The other option is to use Standalone Mode. Standalone Mode does not require an active  internet connection but is limited, for example in collaboration and delegation.

After creating an account is is time to create one or more organization(s). An organization represents groups of computers managed by the same administrators. By creating additional organizations it is possible to segment your network computers into different administrative units managed by different administrators.  After this the configuration is ready.

Monitoring VMware environments

For VMware environments you need to add the vCenter Server to the ControlUp Console.  When the vCenter is added, the cluster(s), hosts and VM’s inventory is displayed in the ControlUp console. In the following example we added a vCenter server with a 1 cluster  that contains 3 ESXi hosts.

ESXI hosts

To organize the computers a folder tree is created. For ESXi hosts, counters on CPU, Memory, Networking and storage can be monitored. For every counter a specific tresholds per folder can be configured. Here is an overview of counters that can be monitored on the vSphere layer:

stresslevel

The Stress level reflects the state of the performance metric reported to the console. In the following example we stressed  the ESXi hosts memory threshold (90% >)  by powering extra VMs.

esxmon2

The stress level jumped to high (red) within seconds.  So in real time you see what is happening to the vSphere layer. In the next example we stressed the datastore latency (> 22 ms)  and free datastore space (below 500 MB).

esxmon3

In the above examples we see when a threshold is exceeded on the VMware ESXi hosts, it is displayed almost in real time in the ControlUp Console.

Monitoring VMware Horizon View VDI Desktops

To monitor VMware Horizon VDI desktops,  a lightweight ControlUp agent needs to be installed. The ControlUp agent can be installed in the Golden Image or deployed when the VDI desktop is running. It is important that firewall ports on RCP, WMI, Windows Remote Management and the ControlUp agent firewall ports are allowed. After adding the ControlUp agent, VMware View specific settings can be displayed.

view specific session settings

In the following example we have 4 Windows 7 VDI desktops. As you can see the stress level is low or medium.

View session 1

In a Windows 7 VDI desktop we installed to 3e party tool “heavyload” to generate CPU load on the VDI desktop. When starting “Heavyload” the CPU spiked to 100%.

 view sesion 2  view session 3

In the ControlUp console we looking in the Computer tab and see the Stress level after a couple of seconds changing to “High” and the CPU graph is raising to 100%.

view session 4

To see what is causing the high CPU load we opened “Processes” tab and  sort on the Stress Level to see what process is causing the CPU load. We see that the Process “HeavyLoad.exe” is causing the high load.

View session 5

On the right menu you see some actions that be performed. Here are some examples:

  • Getting a Screenshot of the desktop
  • Ending or killing the process
  • Throttle the CPU for a process

In the following example we use the tool “heavyload” again to generate memory load.  Now we see that the Stress Level is critical again and that the Memory is red.

view session monitoring memory

To see what is causing the high memory load, open the” Processes” tab and  sort on the Stress Level to see what process is causing the high memory load. And again the process “HeavyLoad.exe” is causing the high memory load.

view session memory 1

Triggers

When a service stops or a event occur it is possible to generate an alert. Using the “Incident Triggers” feature you can configure triggers to detect the following conditions:

  • Stress level
  • Windows Event
  • Computer Down
  • Process Started or Ended
  • User Logged On/User Logged Off
  • Session State changed

When a trigger occur an real time alert can be generated such as sending an email. There are pre-configured incident triggers for Horizon View services and events that occur.

incident triggers

Testing ControlUp

ControlUp has a launched an Expert Program for vExperts and recognized VMware View Consultants. To apply for the license, register here. All other VMware View admins can simply download ControlUp from the ControlUp website and enjoy the free unlimited 30 days trial.

Conclusion

Version 4 is the first version that supports VMware vSphere and Horizon View. In this blogpost I highlighted a couple of examples that shows the strength of ControlUp and how easy it is to install and use. In real time you see what is happing in your environment and drill from the hypervisor down to the Windows process level to identify what is causing the problem. This makes troubleshooting a lot easier on VMware Horizon View environments. The VMware Horizon View specific counters are a bit limited on the moment but ControlUp is asking your feedback on this. If you miss something let them know by using the “feature request” button.

ControlUp has a lot more features then showed in this blog post. Other features are for example:

  • RDP to computer
  • Remote Assistance
  • Use RunAs accounts for actions
  • Update and killing Group Policies
  • Sending messages and chatting with users
  • Multiple computers management on the file system, registry and services.

All these features makes ControlUp a powerful tool for the VMware Horizon View Administrator.