Tips for installing System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 Update Rollup (UR5)

Here are some tips for installing System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager Update Rollup (UR5):

      • UR5 is available from Microsoft Update or by manual download. If you are not installing UR5 through Microsoft Update (e.g. you’re downloading the update and then installing it), you must install using elevated privileges. If you do not do this the update may fail silently.
      • During the UR5 installion the System Center Virtual Machine Manager & Agent will be stopped
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      • After the SCVMM UR5 server component, reboot the VMM server before installing the UR5 console
      • Before Update Rollup 5, you had to manually update the System Center Virtual Machine Manager DHCP Server (x64) component. As of Update Rollup 5, this is no longer required. When updating the agent on the server the DHCP server components is updated too.
      • Agents DHCP
      • The new SCVMM UR5 agent build version is: 3.2.7895.0
      • The Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager DHCP Server (x64) build version is still 3.2.7768.0
      • Make sure to update the agent on all the infrastructure servers such as the Update Server and library server. In VMM click on Fabric- Server for a complete overview
      • Updateagent
      • Refresh the cluster after updating the agents
      • When starting the VMM console the following error appears:
      • pipeline error
      • This error is permission related. To solve this error add the “Authenticated Users” group to the AddInPipeline directory and assign read and execute rights. The installation of VMM can be found under: <Driveletter>:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012 R2\Virtual Machine Manager\bin\AddInPipeline.
      • Update 24-02-2015: Microsoft released a hotfix for UR5 that addresses replica and smb shares issues. The link to the KB can be found here, link.

For all the details on SCVMM 2012 R2 UR5, see the following:

  • KB3023195 – Description of the security update for Update Rollup 5 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, link

Easily fix VMware Horizon View desktop provisioning errors

Sometimes you are unable to remove linked clones or stale desktop entries from  the VMware Horizon View Administrator.  In this example we have a missing VM in the VMware Horizon View Administrator.

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When trying to remove the VM from the VMware Horizon View Administrator the following error is generated:

Failed to remove VM…… from the View Composer Inventory

To remove the orphaned missing VM, you need to manually  remove the orphaned records from the ADAM and composer database, AD and vCenter Server. The process is described in the following KB:

  • Manually deleting linked clones or stale virtual desktop entires KB, link

Executing the procedure described in the KB can be a risky. VMware has released a new tool (fling) called “ViewDBChk”. The ViewDBChk tool allows administrators to scan and fix provisioning errors that can not be addressed using the VMware Horizon View Administrator. This tool is supported on VMware Horizon View 5.3 and 6.0. Fling tools are not supported by VMware!

More information:

Fling ViewDbChk can be found here, link

 

What’s new in the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) 6.0

What’s new in the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) 6.0:

  • ISO with an easy guided Installer
  • Different deployment options possible during the guided installer such as:
    • Install vCenter Server
    • Install Platform Services Controller
    • Install vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Controller (default)
  • Scripted install. Values can be specified in a template file
  • Embedded vPostgres database. As external database Oracle is supported.
  • IPv6 Support
  • Enhanced Linked mode support
  • VMware Data Protection (VDP) support for backup and recovery
  • Based on a hardened Suse Linux Enterprise 11 SP3 (64-bit)
  • The minimum (Up to 20 hosts and 400 VMs) appliance requirements for the VCSA are:
    • 2 vCPU
    • 8 GB memory
    • ~ 100 GB diskspace
  • Is has the same feature parity as vCenter Windows:

scalability

What are we missing:

  • Still no Microsoft SQL database support.
  • Possibility to separate roles of the vCenter
  • VMware Update Manager is not included in the appliance. Still need an additional Windows Server for VMware Update Manager (VUM)
  • Clustering of the vCenter Server Appliance

 

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What’s new in vSphere 6?

Here is an overview  of the main new VMware vSphere 6 (over 650 new features and inovations)  improvements announced today:

Scalability

  • vSphere Clusters: Up to 64 nodes and 6000 VMs
  • Hosts: 480 physical CPUs, 12 TB RAM, 64 TB datastores, 1000 VMs  and 32 serial ports. vGPU Nvidia support
  • VMs: Up to 128 vCPUs and 4 TB vRAM

maximums

vCenter Server

  • Platform Services Controller (PSC). The Platform Services Controller (PSC) contains common Infrastructure Services such as:
    • Single Sign-On
    • Licensing
    • Certificate Authority
    • Certificate Store
    • Service (Product) Registration
    • Other future services
    • PSC is a central part that is used for example by vCoud Suite parts such as vCenter, vRealize Operations, etc.). For most environments (8 or less vCenter Servers) a vCenter Server with 1 embedded PSC is sufficient.
  • Enhanced Link Mode (ELM). Enhanced Link Mode (ELM) will support Windows and vCSA deployments and require a Platform Services Controller (PSC).
  • Microsoft Clustering support for vCenter Server. vCenter Server 6.0 will support the clustering of the vCenter Server in addition to the backend database.
  •  vCenter Server Appiance (vCSA):
    • ISO file that contains a guided installer
    • Embedded vPostgres database. As external database Oracle is supported.
    • Enhanced Linked mode support
    • VDP support for backup and recovery of the vCSA
    • More information can be found in this blog post, link

 Storage

  • Storage I/O Control (SIOC).  Per VM storage reservation
  • NFS 4.1 with Kerberos support. NFS client support for NFS 4.1
  • Virtual Volumes (VVols) and Storage Policy-Based Management. Enables VM-aware storage. VVOl is offered by storage vendors such as NetApp, Dell, PureStorage, EMC, Nimblestorage, IBM and Tintri
  • Virtual SAN (VSAN) 6 contains the following improvements:
    • Scalability improvements such as:
    • vsan
    • New On-Disk format for higher performance, efficient and scalable high performance snapshots and clones.
    • All flash support
    • Usability improvements in Web Client such as:
      • Storage consumption information
      • Resync status information
    • Failure Domains. Allow grouping of hosts into different logical failure zones. This ensures replicas from a VM are not provisioned onto the same logical failure zone. Failure Domains are no metro/stretched clusters! Failure Domains is also known as rack awareness.
    • Disks serviceability. Map the location of a magnetic or flash device from the Web Client on failures, SSD, local etc.
    • VSAN is sold as separate product and not included in the license!

Availability

  • 64 node cluster support and 6000 VMs
  • VMware VM Component Protection (VMCP)
  • vMotion Across vCenter Servers.
  • vMotion across virtual (distributed) switches
    • No need of shared vMotion is needed
  • Long-Distance vMotion up to 100ms RTTs
    • Benefits: Permanent migrations between data centers
    • Disaster avoidance (DA)
    • SRM/DA testing
    • Multi-site load balancing
  • Fault Tolerance (FT) increase support for 1, 2 and 4 vCPU VMs
  • Integration with vCloud Air (replication and backup)
  • vSphere Replication. 5 mins increments (5.5 was 15 minutes) and 2000k replicated VMs per vCenter
  • App HA. Support for more business critical applications

Network

  • Network I/O Control (NIOC). Per VM and Distributed Switch bandwidth reservation

Management

  • vSphere Web Client enhancements such as better performance and tagging improvements. The Web Client still uses flash!

2015-02-02_16h41_00

  • The vSphere Client C# is still available in this release. No new features are in this release. Hardware versions 9 to 11 features are read-only or unavailable in the vSphere Client C#.
  • Multi-Site Content Library. Stores and sync VMs, Templates, OVFs, ISOs and scripts from one central location and sync the content across other vCenter Servers (sites)
  • vSphere 6 has support for Hardware Version 11. Main improvements of Hardware Version 11 are:
    • Maximum video memory up to 2 GB (512 MB in Hardware Version  10)
    • PCI passtrough 16 devices (6 in Hardware Version  10)
    • 32 serial ports (4 in in Hardware Version  10)

SCVMM 2012 R2 agent update error

After updating  System Center Virtual Machine Manager to Update Rollup 4 (UR4), one of the post installation tasks is updating the VMM agents on the Hyper-V hosts. Updating the VMM agent can be performed from the VMM console or using PowerShell. On one of the Hyper-V hosts I got the following error when trying to update the VMM agent from the console:

Error (10429) An older version of the Virtual Machine Manager server is installed on <server>. The VMM agent on the VMM management server cannot be upgraded independently

Error

I didn’t found a reason why the VMM console was unable to update the agent on the Hyper-V host. The other hosts in the cluster are upgraded without a problem.

After some troubleshooting, the following steps resolved the VMM Agent update error:

  • Manually uninstall the VMM agent from the Hyper-V host
  • Copy the VMM agent from the VMM server to the Hyper-V host. The agent is default located on the following location on the VMM server: “Systemdrive\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012 R2\Virtual Machine Manager\agents\amd64\3.2.7768.0\vmmAgent.msi”
  • Install the VMM Agent. When trying to install the VMM agent the following error occurred:

Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Agent (x64) Setup Wizard ended prematurely

Ended prematurely

  • Open a Command Prompt (Run as Administrator)
  • Browse to the location where the VMM agent is stored
  • Execute the following command: msiexec /I vmmAgent.msi
  • In the SCVMM Console Reassociate the Hyper-V host and perform a cluster refesh

After these steps the updated VMM agent is installed on the Hyper-V server.