VMware Lab Update – All Systems Go!!

After a long delay I have finally made some progress on my VMware lab.  I have successfully installed ESXi 4.1 on both servers, as well as vCenter Server, VMware Site Recovery Manager and many other goodies!  The Synology DS1010+ has been great.  I use it to share out a Z: partition to most of my servers and also have it running FTP.  I created a 100GB iSCSI LUN for my ISO’s and source files and a 2TB iSCSI LUN for my Virtual Machines.  I actually created the original iSCSI LUN as 1TB, but growing it with Synology and vCenter Server was literally just a few clicks.  I even grew the vmdk’s for my vCenter Servers from 40GB to 80GB and then “extended” the file systems in Windows 2008 with just a few simple clicks and no wizardry!

Just about all my VM’s are Thin Provisioned.  I am using Thin Provisioning on my Synology as well as on the VM’s as well.  I can say it takes considerable amount of time to stand up a lab even as small as this one.  Spinning disks, doing Windows updates, initial configurations, took a lot of time.  In the process I have continued to learn so much about Windows, Active Directory, SQL, VMware, EMC, NetApp………I can definitely say the lab is fulfilling its purpose!  Here is a highlight of what I have cooking on the lab right now:

Virtual Machines

You can see many of the usual suspects: Celerra VSA’s (running storage on SSD!), NetApp VSA’s, a couple of Domain Controllers.  My DC’s are Windows 2003 Enterprise 64-bit.  My VCenter Servers are Windows 2008 Enterprise 64-bit, and My SRM Servers are Windows 2008 Enterprise 64-bit running SQL Server 2008 Enterprise 64-bit.  You can also see that I installed a vMA which is great for using with ESXi.  One thing I dislike about vMA is you have to type out the vCenter server and the ESX host in almost every command.  Then you have to authenticate.  What would be nice, is that if you could authenticate to the vCenter, and then change context to like an ESX host, and then just issue commands.  A contextual way of managing, almost how it is done on Cisco ASA’s.

Being a voice guy I also stood up a CUCM 7.1.3 and a Unity Connection 7.1.3.  I did 7.x on purpose, so that I could practice doing the upgrade to 8.x  Definitely learned some lessons there about the importance of having good NTP servers.  When you add a subscriber, CUCM is basically doing database replication, as well as numerous security credential checks.  I learned my lesson with Digital Certificates and the importance of time sources back in studying for my CCIE Storage.  CUCM is very picky, and just as the documentation says you should not slave NTP off the ESX host!!!  Instead its much better to point all UC VM’s to a central time server that slaves off say time.nist.gov, or have them all directly point to time.nist.gov.

Also you will see “Titanium 5.1(2)”.  Yes this is the N7K Simulator.  It took me a long time to get this, and please don’t ask for it as I can’t give it out, but it’s definitely useful to have (even when you have multiple Nexus 7000’s at your disposal as I do).  I have not yet truly fired it up and done some connectivity tests, but I did boot it and already find out some of it’s peculiarities.

Currently I am working my way through Nicholas Weaver’s UBER SRM Video Guide, which is way cool.  He put a lot of work into both the guides and the video.  He has moved so fast with the development of the VSA you have to be careful about which documentation you’re reading because much of it is outdated but you can still learn a lot from it.  I should have the complete SRM lab completed in a few days (If I can get the time).

The only annoyance in my lab so far is an error I get on my ESXi hosts because of the fans.  I get a “Host hardware fan status” error event due to one of the fan ports not being used on the Supermicro X8SIL motherboard.  This is a known issue and really doesn’t seem to have any big problem other than being annoying.  Other’s on the net have talked about how to fix this but I am not a big fan of either solution so will just wait for a BIOS fix.  The reality is, even though the Supermicro X8SIL-F is not on the HCL, it is a fantastic motherboard, with super features, and I still can’t think of a better motherboard to use.  Incidently, I had never heard of the HP Proliant Microservers, but now that I have built my lab with Lian Li V352B, they look awfully similar!  I am sure mine is more powerful and a lot cheaper 🙂

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35 Responses to VMware Lab Update – All Systems Go!!

  1. Sunny says:

    Becareful! Titanium 5.1(2) running VDC may cause VM crash. please strict follow the guide. 🙂

    Good luck

    My Storage lab being setup. As a copy like you.

  2. shahid says:

    Hi Brian,
    Could you please give me hand how to setup Titanium 5.1.2 as vm. I have imported the vmdk into datastore on ESXi host and added it to inventory. I tried to telnet to ESXi ip address on port 9001 and my serial port is connected but no activity. When Titanium starts it just hangs and says:

    Loader loading stage 1.5.
    Loader loading, please wait…
    warning:Ancient bootloader, some functionality may be limited!
    I have checked both boxes for device status on serial port connected.

    Any thoughts?

    Many Thanks

  3. Mohammed says:

    Now I will not ask you for titanium but can you just tell me where did you get it from?

  4. hb says:

    i got it working on vm workstation but esxi wont accept telnet connection.. any idea?

  5. hb says:

    i have version 5.0.0

  6. hb says:

    can you give me exact command to allow firewall access from my subnet or host? im not vmware guy.

  7. hb says:

    thanks.. disabled firewall fixed telnet access. can you through any 7k license on this? will that work? there’s not even grace period for vdc? or can you add anothe ethernet module on this thing?

  8. hb says:

    Are you able to create vdc?
    im getting errors

    7K-1(config)# vdc 2
    Note: Creating VDC, one moment please …
    2012 Dec 10 18:20:58 7K-1 %$ VDC-1 %$ %VDC_MGR-2-VDC_LIC_WARN: Service using grace period will be shutdown in 120 day(s)
    2012 Dec 10 18:21:00 %$ VDC-2 %$ %L3VM-2-STARTUP_FAILURE: l3vm [9761] Startup failure: failed to start process in main()
    2012 Dec 10 18:21:00 %$ VDC-2 %$ l3vm: sdb_open(volatile:/dev/shm/2/l3vm_global_sdb) failed: 0x411a000f (no such sdb exists or is destroyed)
    2012 Dec 10 18:21:00 %$ VDC-2 %$ %L3VM-2-STARTUP_FAILURE: l3vm [9774] Startup failure: failed to SDB init in l3vm_ha_init()
    2012 Dec 10 18:21:00 %$ VDC-2 %$ %L3VM-2-STARTUP_FAILURE: l3vm [9774] Startup failure: failed to initalize HA in l3vm_init()
    2012 Dec 10 18:21:00 %$ VDC-2 %$ %L3VM-2-STARTUP_FAILURE: l3vm [9774] Startup failure: failed to start process in main()
    2012 Dec 10 18:21:00 7K-1 %$ VDC-1 %$ %SYSMGR-2-SHUTDOWN_SYSTEM_LOG: vdc 2 will shut down soon.
    2012 Dec 10 18:21:00 7K-1 %$ VDC-1 %$ %LICMGR-2-LOG_LIC_NO_LIC: No license(s) present for feature LAN_ADVANCED_SERVICES_PKG. Application(s) shut down in 119 days.
    Note: Failure at system manager. Error 0x401e0089 (Service in VDC has had a hap-reset)
    ERROR: VDC action failed. Cleaned up ungracefullly

    7K-1(config)# 2012 Dec 10 18:21:00 7K-1 %$ VDC-1 %$ %VDC_MGR-2-VDC_OFFLINE: vdc 2 is now offline

  9. huanghle says:

    my versions
    is Titanium-VM-5(this vm8 for neuxs7000),but when i telnet the vm show ancient bootloader some functionality may be limited.and the SecureCRT show attaching console,wait ..can help me ?

    • brian says:

      Can you state your problem more clearly? You are seeing the normal messages, are you able to get to a login prompt? Are you using ESXi, VM workstation or what?

      • Jon says:

        Does titanium work on layer 2 ports for you? I can configure only Layer 3 ports.
        how are you configure esx vswitch to communicate with N7K layer 2 ports?

      • huanghle says:

        my Titanium-VM-5 work on VM workstation 8.0.
        when i telnet ,the VM workstation 8.0 show this message all the time:”ancient bootloader some functionality may be limited”.and my telnet SecureCRT show this message all the time: “attaching console,wait ..”
        I can’t enter the command line.

  10. Andy says:

    Can U pls share Titanium-emalator user guide? Specifically I’m interesting in what to do when VM with Titanium is UP?

  11. alex says:

    What I should see in VM console when the machine is started correctly?
    I just see “….. Ancient bootloader, some functionality may be limited!”. I cannot connect to host on 9001 port. Firewall is disabled.
    It dose not help to change serial port as huanghle said

    • brian says:

      Yes that is correct, for what you would see in the VM console, which is NOT the titanium console. The titanium console is on a TCP port you set. You simply telnet to the IP of the ESXI server on the specified port, and you will be connected to the console. If you are running ESXi5 then you must disable the firewall otherwise you will not be able to connect.

  12. alex says:

    Thanks brian. Now it works. I used this link http://www.arkf.net/blog/?p=199

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