virtual grind thoughts from the virtual world


Keeping Virtual Machines on Different Hosts with DRS

As more organizations are adopting virtualization for mission critical applications, I get asked a lot about keeping virtual machines on different ESX or ESXi hosts in a cluster. A good example of this is when a customer would like to run a Microsoft SQL or Exchange cluster. Luckily, with new vSphere 4.1 DRS rules, this can easily be achieved.

To enable this functionality, you have to simply edit the properties of your DRS enabled cluster in vCenter. Under the VMware DRS header, you will see an entry named "Rules".

Once "Rules" is highlighted, you can add a rule with the name of your choosing, setting the type as "Separate Virtual Machines", and selecting which virtual machines should be separated.

These affinity and anti-affinity rules in 4.1 really come in handy for a multitude of scenarios. Frank Denneman from VMware wrote a great article on the details of this feature, in case you are interested. The article can be found on his blog here.

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vClould-Shield edge error: Creating/configuring the VR failed

I have recently come across this error with vShield Edge. When installing vCloud Director and vShield Edge, make sure you add the license your vShield and instance before trying to add any routed networks to an organization. 🙂

Once you license your vShield installation, all will be well.

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Installing VMware Tools in Openfiler

I use Openfiler frequently for labs as well as NAS services. Although there are VMware appliances for Openfiler, I commonly build the latest version from an ISO.

I have seen people add gcc to the Openfiler distro and install VMware Tools from scratch, but you can easily add the rpath's open vm tools package from the command line.

Once you have installed Openfiler and it boots, simply log in the console as root and enter the following command to install open vm tools:

conary update open-vm-tools

From here, you simply reboot with:

shutdown -r now

Filed under: Linux, VMware No Comments

Replication Bandwidth Calculator

The guys at have a great post/tool on calculating replication bandwidth. We hear this request a lot from customers and the calculator on the following page can help calculate what can be expected from a certain WAN speed.

Awesome job, guys.

Replication Bandwidth Calculator

Filed under: Network, VMware No Comments

Manually Removing ThinPrint Drivers Installed by VMware Tools

1. Deleting the printer object:

Go to the Printers and Faxes folder and delete the printer _#VmwareVirtualPrinter

2. Uninstalling Services:

First go to the services menu and make sure that TPautoconnect is stopped.

Open a command prompt and run the command:

C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\tpautoconnsvc –uninstall

Delete the files TPAutoConnect.exe and TPAutoConnSvc.exe in the C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools directory.

Open the Printers and Faxes folder, and under File, select Server Properties, select the driver tab, and delete TP Output Gateway.

3. Delete the following keys from the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Enviroments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Print Processors\tpwinprn
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Monitors\ThinPrint Print Port Monitor for VMWare

4. Restart the Image or Print Spooler

5. Deleting Files:

Remove C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools and delete TPOG3 subfolder completely.
Open C:\WINDOWS\system32 and delete TPSvc.dll, TPVMMon.dll, TPVMMonUI.dll and TPVMW32.dll.
Finally, open C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\prtprocs\w32x86 and delete TPwinprn.dll.

Filed under: VDI, View, VMware, Windows No Comments

vCloud Director Cell Required Redhat Packages

If you are like me, you do not want to provision a bloated Redhat operating system for your vCloud Director cells. I always choose to build Linux operating systems from the ground up.

For a base Redhat install, you will need to make sure the following rpm packages are installed on your base system:

alsa-lib bash chkconfig compat-libcom_err coreutils findutils glibc grep initscripts krb5-libs libgcc libICE libSM libstdc libX11 libXau libXdmcp libXext libXi libXt libXtst module-init-tools net-tools pciutils procps redhat-lsb sed tar which

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Oracle Permissions for vCloud Director

After reading the vCloud Director documentation, I disagree with the order in which the database creation is presented.

If you have a look here at the VMware KB, you will see that the documentation recommends you create a user account in the second step. Then, in the second to last step they have you tie the same user account to the CLOUD_DATA tablespace.

If the intention is to use the same user account as you created in step #2, then this latter command will fail, as the user already exists.


Multiple Characters When Typing in Console of Linux Virtual Machines

Not being a Windows desktop user, I commonly will utilize a remote Windows desktop, VM, or server to access virtual machine consoles in VCenter. I will usually experience this problem when accessing a Linux virtual machine's console via an RDP session or remote session.

This is not only frustrating, but can also cause problems when trying to simply log in to the virtual machine, since usernames and passwords may not get entered correctly.

To fix this issue, simply open up the virtual machine's vmx file on the datastore and add the following line to the end of the file:

keyboard.typematicMinDelay = "2000000"

Please note that the virtual machine will need to be off in order to modify the vmx file.


Automating VMware Tools Installation in Ubuntu

I have been asked numerous times about automating the VMware tools installation in Linux based operating systems.  I have seen people commonly use RPM's and even compile the tools from source, but the feedback I usually get is that admins would like to automate the installation, like they do in Windows.

Fortunately for us, VMware has been gracious enough to include packages for not only Ubuntu; but also Redhat, CentOS, and SLES.  When I tell people this, the response I usually get is that they never knew these options were available.

For the purpose of this post, I will go over the installation of VMware Tools in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.  I will also include a link to VMware's official installation guide that covers these steps in detail for more operating systems.

The first step is to add VMware's repo to /etc/apt/sources.list and install VMware's GPG key.  Note that when you are adding the repo, you are adding the "4.1latest" repo.

$ apt-add-repository 'deb lucid main restricted'
$ wget -q -O- | apt-key add -

The following five commands update your local package lists, installs VMware packages, and builds/installs the kernel modules:

$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install vmware-open-vm-tools-kmod-source
$ module-assistant prepare
$ module-assistant build vmware-open-vm-tools-kmod-source
$ module-assistant install vmware-open-vm-tools-kmod

Finally, now that everything is built, you simply need to install the packages. The final two commands depend on your installation. If you are not running a graphical interface on your system you will choose the first option that ends in "-nox". If you are using a graphical interface, use the latter command. Remember you only use on or the other, not both.

$ apt-get install vmware-open-vm-tools-nox 

$ apt-get install vmware-open-vm-tools

The official VMware guide can be found here.