Forward vCenter Server Appliance Log Files to Remote Syslog Server

A few days ago I was required to obtain some audit logs from our SIEM system (Sumologic) and from vCenter and I noticed that our vCenter logs weren’t going in to Sumologic and that the log files required for SSO auditing or the VPXD log (where, among other things, stipulates what client was used by who to connect) were rotating every 7 days. This was not good. So I decided what better time than now to forward vCenter syslogs to Sumologic.

It was a little more complex than just enabling syslog through appliance management as by default, this does not collect the SSO logs, like:

  • /var/log/vmware/sso/ssoAdminServer.log – Auditing SSO logins
  • /var/log/vmware/sso/vmware-identity-sts.log – Auditing SSO user changes

I found this out by scouring the internet and piecing little pieces together and eventually, creating a rock solid syslog source for our vCenter Servers.

Please note: This is not an officially supported configuration by VMware and for larger environments, this could potentially have an impact on the vCenter Server service, so please take caution in the logs you decide to forward. And as always, test this in a lab first.

I also want to mention that this needs to be done on each VCSA instance, i.e. if you have a vCenter with an External PSC, this would need to be done on both servers, in order to collect all the logs.

So, lets begin:

Continue reading Forward vCenter Server Appliance Log Files to Remote Syslog Server

Install Powershell and PowerCLI in Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver)

A little while back I spoke about installing an unsupported version of Powershell in 18.04. Since the release of of Powershell 6.1.0-preview.2, it is now supported. Well, kind of. The release is still in preview, but hey, it natively installs at least.

What I can say about my experiences though is while I thoroughly enjoyed running on Ubuntu, I have decided to go back to windows as my primary OS due to certain incompatibilities, for example, lack of Webex (something we use VERY often at my company), terrible screen scaling as my laptop is attached to a doc with 2 1080p monitors and a 4k laptop monitor. Also, no native, freemium / open source alternative to outlook. I was looking at an all in one compatibility instead of separate apps to do little parts of something Outlook can do all in one, like calendar, contact management etc. I found an app called “MailSpring” which came REALLY close, but just didn’t cut it. Whilst I wouldn’t mind purchasing it, I was not too keen on the $8/m. Yeah, call me cheap, but they really should allow a “Pay Once” model.

So, lets begin:

Continue reading Install Powershell and PowerCLI in Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver)

Install Powershell and PowerCLI in Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) – Unsupported Workaround

EDIT: This was an unsupported work around and now 18.04 is officially supported, you can read my post about it here: Install Powershell and PowerCLI in Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver)

Over the last few weeks, due to the increased compatibility and requirements for me to be using a Linux distro, I have decided to make a transition over to Linux (specifically Ubuntu) and one of the requirements for this process was the ability to install Powershell as I frequently use PowerCLI. However, It’s not as simple as an apt-get install cmdlet. I am by no means a developer or coder, but as you might know, I do create some scripts or tools now and again.

So, as part of this trial transition (who knows, might go back to windows – ghast!), I have managed to install Powershell and PowerCLI. This guide is for 18.04 but it uses 17.04 libraries as 18.04 is not official supported, yet. But it does work.

So, lets begin:

Continue reading Install Powershell and PowerCLI in Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) – Unsupported Workaround

Upgrading VCSA 6.5u1 to 6.7

Murphy’s Law, just as I upgrade to  6.5u1, 6.7 gets released. So, I am going to do an upgrade in my lab so I can start playing around with all the cool new features.

Before moving on, it is HIGHLY recommended you read through the following VMware articles:

Also, as a prerequisite, and mentioned in the 6.0u3 to 6.5u1 upgrade,  I recommend moving all systems to a single host, disabling DRS (or setting it to manual) and performing a snapshot of the VMs.

The upgrade path also seems identical in the sense that you need to do ALL PSCs FIRST then do the vCenter. But you might have additional VMware systems, so please follow the Update sequence for vSphere 6.7 and its compatible VMware products (53710) article.

Continue reading Upgrading VCSA 6.5u1 to 6.7

Upgrading VCSA from 6.0u3 to 6.5u1

After about 6 months of planning and preparing for our VCSA upgrade, we had to completely revamp our upgrade path.  In our environment, we use Netapp, and along with Netapp comes some extension like Virtual Storage Console (VSC) and now, the new Netapp Snapcenter.

I spent a lot of my time planning the deployment for an upgrade of our environment which included a upgrade of VSC from 6.2.1 to 7.0 and the install of SnapCenter 3.0, not wait, 3.1, no wait 4.0.

Yes, that’s right, SnapCenter released 2 version in the time of my upgrade planning and it still couldn’t to what needed it to do, mainly cross-domain authentication, so, we had a little shout at our account manager who confirmed cross-domain authentication will be available in August 2018, so lets see what happens. So, this process is still required, however, this made the upgrade a lot easier.

Continue reading Upgrading VCSA from 6.0u3 to 6.5u1

Installing vCenter with External Platform Services Controller

Recently the company I work for has upgraded all their VMware ESXi licenses to Enterprise Plus and with great licenses come great configurations. So, I’ve decided to install a fresh install of vCenter 6.5 in a lab with a couple of ESXi hosts attached so I can start configuring the awesomeness like distributed switches (which will be documented too). I’ve always wanted to play with this, but licensing was an issue.

This is for a new install of vCenter, using the UI. I included a very brief CLI deployment too. I will also include an upgrade vCenter post to show the upgrade procedure from 6.0 to 6.5 (and the issues faced with that).

Continue reading Installing vCenter with External Platform Services Controller

Adding VMKernel ports to multiple hosts using PowerCLI

So, yesterday I was asked to quickly put together a script to add VMkernel ports to Multiple ESXi hosts. I have a script to add VM Port groups to multiple host, and this is easy. But the issue with the VMkernel ports is that they require a unique IP address.

So I put together the following CSV and Script

CSV File which includes the below information. Obviously the fields will be changed to suit your network


Continue reading Adding VMKernel ports to multiple hosts using PowerCLI

Configuring NFS networking for a nested ESXi VM

I have just begun planning and building a lab for my ESXi / vSphere environment so that I can do a upgrade of our vSphere environment (more to come on this process), but I got stuck with an issue for NFS storage. The issue was that I could not mount the datastores on the nested ESXi host, I was not able to find any clear information quickly on the web, so I decided to do a “settings” process here.

A brief background of the environment:

  • Networking: Cisco 3850, with Trunk VLAN configured.
  • Storage: NetApp cDOT with NFS volumes
  • ESXi Version: 6.0U3

The important changes are in bold below and the reasoning is VERY well outlined in this “ancient”, yet 100% valid post by William Lam: Why is Promiscuous Mode Forged?

Continue reading Configuring NFS networking for a nested ESXi VM

Resetting vSphere 6.0 Password

So, its been quite some time since my last post, dealing with personal issues and the festive season and and and, so, here I am, back in 2017 and hopefully bringing awesome content.

So, lets kick it off with resetting the vSphere password. This works on the vCenter, an external Platform Service controller or an AIO system.

The reason behind me doing this is due to the password expiring and someone resetting it and not recording it in our password management software.

Requirements:

A Live boot ISO – I used this one: ADRIANE-KNOPPIX_V7.2.0gCD-2013-07-28-EN
Console access to the VM you want to reset.

Caveats:

Be sure to have ESXi host access to the host where these VMs reside as the VMs WILL require a reboot, meaning your entire vCenter will be offline for the during of this password reset.

Let’s begin:

I assume you have some basic ESXi / vSphere knowledge so I will not go in to how to do simple things like mount the ISO – I will continue from the boot process.
Boot from the ISO, till you reach

Continue reading Resetting vSphere 6.0 Password

Clone Datastores from one ESXi host to Another

As we I progress with our server refresh and I continue to build our global virtualised infrastructure, I am constantly trying to make things easier for my less experienced colleagues and so that there will be consistency in what we do. One of the most tedious tasks must be NFS datastore creation. While we could script this out and create each datastore individually, I figured I would try find a way clone the datastore configuration from one host to another. This way you simply execute the script and let it run along, giving you time for other cool stuff.

This little script will save you hours, especially if you have hundreds of datastores and hosts.

Script 1: This is for host to host clone only

$Source_Host = Read-Host "Enter The Source Host"
$Destination_Host = Read-Host "Enter the Destination Host"
$Source_Root_Password = Read-Host "Enter Root Password for Source Host"
$Destination_Root_Password = Read-Host "Enter Root Password for Destination Host"
Connect-VIServer -Server $Source_Host -User root -Password $Source_Root_Password
Connect-VIServer -Server $Destination_Host -User root -Password $Destination_Root_Password
foreach (
			$datastore in (Get-VMhost $Source_Host | Get-Datastore | where {$_.Type -eq "nfs" -and $_.Accessible -eq "true"})
		)
		{
			New-Datastore -VMhost $Destination_Host -Nfs -Name $datastore.Name -Path $datastore.RemotePath -NfsHost $datastore.RemoteHost
		}
Disconnect-Viserver * -Confirm:$false

Script 2: This for host to Cluster wide .

$Source_Host = Read-Host "Enter The Source Host"
$Destination_vCenter = Read-Host "Enter the vCenter you want to connect to"
$Cluster = Read-Host "Enter the name of the Cluster to connect to"
$Source_Root_Password = Read-Host "Enter Root Password for Source Host"
Connect-VIServer -server $Source_Host -user root -password $Source_Root_Password 
Connect-VIServer -server $Destination_vCenter
foreach (
			$datastore in (Get-VMhost $Source_Host | Get-Datastore | where {$_.Type -eq "nfs" -and $_.Accessible -eq "true"})
		)
		{ 
			Get-Cluster "$Cluster" | Get-VMhost | New-Datastore -Nfs -Name $datastore.Name -Path $datastore.RemotePath -NfsHost $datastore.RemoteHost
		}
Disconnect-Viserver * -Confirm:$false

Copy the above text in to a text document and save it as a ps1 (powershell) file and run it using PowerCLI.