Fix orphaned vSAN objects

In the vSphere Web client an orphaned  vSAN object was listed named:

/vmfs/volume/vsanuuid

From the vSphere Web Client you cannot manage orphaned vSAN objects . To check and fix orphaned vSAN objects, the Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) is needed.  The ‘vsan.check_state’ command checks if VMs and Virtual SAN objects are valid and accessible.

After logging in the RVC (rvc administrator@vsphere.local@localhost), execute the “vsan.check_state -r” command at the cluster level:

/localhost/dc-beerens-01/computers/CL-01/vsan.check_state -r

The “-r” parameter refreshes the VMX and registers the VMs.

After running the “vsan.check_state -r” command, the vSAN object is listed as VM back again in the vSphere Web Client.

Prevent corruption of the ESXi bootable SD card

In vSphere ESXi 6.0 U3 an optimization is added to reduce the wear on the bootable SD card. Without this optimization high read load of VMware Tools ISO images might cause corruption of the flash media. You can copy all the VMware Tools data into its own ramdisk. As a result, the data can be read from the flash media only once per boot.

To activate this feature the following advanced settings must be changed on each ESXi host:

  • Set the advanced ToolsRamdisk option to 1 by using this command:
    esxcli system settings advanced set -o /UserVars/ToolsRamdisk -i 1 
  • After changing the setting reboot the host.

I created a simple PowerCLI script that sets the advanced setting `toolsRamdisk` value to ‘1’ on all the ESXi hosts.

<# Author : Ivo Beerens Blog : www.ivobeerens.nl Twitter : @ibeerens Pre-requisite : ESXi 6.0 U3 Set : Set UserVars.ToolsRamdisk to the value 1 #>

Get-Module -ListAvailable VMware* | Import-Module
Connect-VIServer
    Foreach ($vmhost in Get-VMHost | where {$_.ConnectionState -eq "Connected"}) {
        Write-Host "Host: $($vmhost.name)" -ForegroundColor Green
        Get-AdvancedSetting -Entity $vmhost -Name UserVars.ToolsRamdisk | Set-AdvancedSetting -Value ‘1’ -Confirm:$false
        
    }

After running this script all the ESXi hosts must be rebooted.
More information: VMware KB: High frequency of read operations on VMware Tools image may cause SD card corruption (2149257), Link

Update the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) without internet

In this blog post I highlight how to patch or update a single vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) without having an internet connection. The patch will be stored on a temporarily web server that is installed on a Windows machine. In this example we update the vCenter Server Appliance version from 6.0 Update 2 to 6.0 Update 3 build 5050593.

Here are the main steps:

1. On a Windows machine install a temporarily web server to host the VCSA patch.  As web server “Posh Server” (link) will be used. This is a small PowerShell web server. Download the Posh Server and install it on a Windows box. After the installation (use the default settings) open PowerShell (As Administrator) and execute the following commands:

Set-Executionpolicy unrestricted

Type “y” to confirm. Go to the “C:\Program Files\PoSHServer” folder.

Import-Module PoSHServer
Start-PoshServer -Port 9000

The Posh web server is started and listens on port 9000

2. Download the patch (zip file)  from the VMware website.

Extract the patch on the Windows machine in the web server folder under “C:\Program Files\PoSHServer\webroot\http\update“. Besides the patch file(ZIP), two folders are extracted (manifest and package-pool).

2. Before upgrading make sure you have a backup copy of the VCSA!

3. Open the vCenter Server Appliance web interface (https://VSCA-IP:5480). Go to the update tab and click settings, select use “Specified Repository”. Enter as location of the web server and update folder. In this example we use:

http://IP-web-server:9000/update

Click OK, check updates and use the “Check Repository” option. (tip: make sure to disable the proxy configuration in the VCSA)

The update displayed in available updates. Install the update.

When the update is finished, click OK and reboot the appliance.

5. After the reboot check the version and build version of the new patch.