Install Windows Server 2012 in VMware Workstation

This procedure describes how to install Windows Server 2012 in VMware Workstation. The following versions are used:

  • VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2012 e.x.p Build-646643
  • Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate Datacenter Build 8400

In VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2012 create a new VM with the following settings:

  • New Virtual Machine
  • Custom (advanced)
  • Workstation Tech Preview
  • Select “I will install the operating system later”
  • Select “Microsoft Windows” and select as version “Windows 8 x64”
  • Set the Name and Location
  • Minimal 1 processor, 1 core
  • 2048 MB memory
  • Select “Use network address translation (NAT)”
  • Select “LSI Logic SAS”
  • Create a new virtual disk
  • SCSI
  • 60 GB disk size
  • Leave default disk file
  • Finish
  • After the VM is created, edit virtual Machine settings and browse for  the Windows Server 2012 ISO in the the CD/DVD option

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  • Remove the VM from VMware Workstation by clicking on the X icon

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  • Edit the VMX file (i use Notepad++)  and add the following line  to the end to of the VMX file:
vmGenCounter.enable = FALSE
  • Add the VM back to VMware Workstation by clicking on the *.VMX file
  • During the installation choose the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (Server wit GUI)

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  • When the installation is ready you have a working Windows Server 2012 server

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  • Install VMware tools

More information can be found on the VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2012 Community.

vSphere Syslog Collector troubleshooting

During a VMware health check, I noticed that the syslog files aren’t updated anymore in the repository from he vSphere Syslog Collector server.

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Here are some basic steps I used to troubleshoot this problem.

VMware ESXi hosts

On the VMware ESXi hosts check the following settings:

– Syslog destination. Open the vSphere Client. On the ESXi server, open the configuration tab and select advanced Settings. Check the Syslog.global.logHost value. The format is: protocol://FQDN:port . For example udp://syslog.beerens.local:514

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– Is the ESXi firewall port open for syslog traffic. Open the vSphere Client, on the ESXi server, open the Configuration tab, select Security Profile, Firewall and select Properties. Check if the syslog service is enabled.

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vSphere Syslog Collector

On the vSphere Syslog Collector server check the following settings:

– Is the syslog port 514 (default) listening:

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-  Reload and update the syslog configuration.  On the ESXi host use the following command:

esxcli system syslog reload

In PowerCLI, the following command can be used to reload the syslog settings:

$esxCli = Get-EsxCli
$esxCli.system.syslog.reload()

– Is the Syslog Collector service started. Restart the Syslog Collector service if needed

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After the reloading the syslog settings and restarting the Syslog Collector service the files begun to update again in the repository.

Configure the Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) in vSphere 5

Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP)is a vendor-neutral open standard discovery protocol that is supported by multiple vendors such as Cisco, HP and Juniper for example. LLDP displays for example on what network switch and port the NIC in the ESXi hosts is connected. Prior VMware vSphere 5 only Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) was supported.

In vSphere 5 Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is supported. CDP and LLDP can be handy for example when you want to know that the correct network switch port is used when installing or troubleshooting ESXi hosts. 

LLDP is only available on the vNetwork Distributed Switch (vDS), so you need an Enterprise Plus license to use LLDP!

Enable the LLDP protocol

  • Right-click the vSphere distributed switch in the inventory pane, and select Edit Settings.
  • On the Properties tab, select Advanced.
  • Select Enabled from the Status drop-down menu.
  • Select Link Layer Discovery Protocol from the Type drop-down menu.
  • Select the LLDP mode from the Operation drop-down menu.

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There are three operation modes:

Listen 
ESXi detects and displays information about the associated physical switch port, but information about the vSphere distributed switch is not available to the switch administrator.

Advertise
ESXi makes information about the vSphere distributed switch available to the switch administrator, but does not detect and display information about the physical switch.

Both
ESXi detects and displays information about the associated physical switch and makes information about the vSphere distributed switch available to the switch administrator.

Checking LLDP statistics

After configuring LLDP, you can check the port statistics by clicking on the ‘blue Information icon’ on the NIC in the ESXi host:

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