Upgrading a vCenter SQL Express database

The other day I got my hands on a full vCenter SQL 2005 SP2 Express database. The vCenter database filled up the 4GB allowed for SQL 2005 Express DBs.

So as the shop I was in had no SQL’s to work with, it was decided to upgrade to SQL 2008 R2 SP2 Express, which has a 10GB limit per database.

The environment was running on vSphere 5.0, and I had upgraded it recently from 4.1 to 5.0. There’s a quite an increase of tables between 4.1 and 5.0, so this will happen to most environments sooner or later.

Note this procedure will only work if you will still be using the same vCenter server as in the beginning. Not to be used for whole vCenter relocations.

So the way to do this is quite easy, and you don’t need to be a SQL admin. 🙂

You will need to break this procedure into 3 parts: 1) Preparation 2) Upgrade 3) Test

1) Preparation

  • ODBC connections: Make sure to check what the ODBC connection is configured to Integrated Windows or SQL.
  • Services: Make sure to check what user is used to run the Virtual Center Server service. Most likely System or a domain/local admin.
  • Name of the Database: I recommend not to change the name of the database. Most likely the name will end  at SQL*\SQLEXP_VIM.
  • Get the installation files for SQL 2008 R2 Express and also for SQL Server Management Studio Express.
  • Open up the SQL instance using SQL Management Studio, and note who the DBOwner is for each database that will be moved. If a SQL user note that down as well.

2) Upgrade

    1. Stop all vCenter related services
      • vSphere Web Client
      • VMware VirtualCenter Server Delayed
      • VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices Delayed
      • VMware vSphere Update Manager Service.
      • VMware vSphere Profile-Driven Storage
      • vCenter Inventory Service
      • VMwareVCMSDS
    2. Put all stopped services to disabled.
      • This is done as you will need to restart the server after a SQL upgrade and you will not want the services to start when you do.
    3. Open up the old SQL 2005 Express database using the SQL Management Studio.
    4. Backup each database (e.g. if you got vCenter and Update Manager databases).
      • Right click the database, go to Tasks and select Backup. Backup to a known location.
    5. Go the the DATA folder for the SQL instance, for 32 bit  its in c:/Program Files/Microsoft SQL Server//…, and for 64 bits in c:/Program Files (x86)/….
      • There you will find all the database and log files for the vCenter server.
      • Names are most likely VIM_VCDB.ldf for logs, and VIM_VCDB.mdf for the database itself.
    6. Detach the database. Make sure you stopped the vCenter services.
      • Right click the database, go to Tasks and select Detach.
      • Move the database and log file to another location.
    7. Though you can upgrade 2005 Express to 2008 Express, I find it much “cleaner” to just uninstall 2005 and install a new SQL 2008 R2 Express instance
      • Remove the SQL 2005 Express instance. (you will need to turn off the SQL service)
    8. Restart
    9. Install a new SQL 2008 R2 Express instance.
      •  When installing a new database make sure you write down the sa account password and/or give a domain/computer account sysadmin privileges to the instance.
      • Make sure you name the instance as SQLEXP_VIM. Otherwise you will need to change a registry setting for the VirtualCenter service to start (pointing it to the new name).
    10. Just to make sure, restart again.
    11. Move the database and log file to the new folder for the 2008 R Express instance.
    12. Login to the instance using SQL Studio Manager.
    13. Right click databases and select Tasks->Attach. Attach the database. You don’t need to attach another log file when the pop-up appears, theres only 1 log file already associated with the database.
    14. Go to properties of the vCenter database and make sure the DBO (database owner) is the same one as on the 2005 instance.
      • You might need to add the user in the Login section of the instance.
    15. Create a new file using notepad, save it as connections.udl (must end in udl). Go to properties and to Connection. There you can try out the SQL connection. This is a handy tool to use with SQL connections test. This will be used in the next sections.
    16. Go to SQL Server Configuration Manager (should available in the Start menu).
      • Select SQL server network configuration and enable both Named pipes and TCP/IP.
      • Go to Properties on TCP/IP. Select IP Addresses and go to the bottom where you see a section called IPAll. Put in 1433 in TCP port. Push OK.
    17. Go to both ODBC managers (32bit and 64 bit: C:\Windows\SysWOW64 for 32bit and C:\Windows\system32 for 64bit, yes they have conflicting names…).
      • Make sure you have a connection to the database. 32 bit is for Update Manager.
      • The user that connects to the database, needs to be a user that has access to Database through the SQL Studio Manager. Best practice is a domain system account, that is a DBO on the vCenter database, and is the one that starts the vCenter service as well.
    18. Open SQL Studio Manager and open up the vCenter Database
    19. Put all the services to their former startup selection.
    20. Restart the server, or go through restarting the services. I find it easier just to restart it.

3) Test

    1. After restarting make sure the vCenter server service starts and all your performance data is showing.

Notes (stuff you should know about vCenter SQL Express databases):

  • Rollup jobs (the jobs that move performance data between week->month->year) are not running as a separate job, so you should not need to fix those. They are being run by the VirtualCenter service and are a part of the database (located in vCenter DB > Programmability > Stored Procedures). This is only the case for SQL Express instances.
  • I always recommend putting vCenter Databases on real SQL servers. But I’ve seen small environments of at least 100 machines run for years on an Express database (NOT SUPPORTED).
  • Most misconfigurations on SQL Express DB’s are user related. Double check the user that runs the VirtualCenter service, and who is the DBO, and ODBC connections.

KBs used in this blog post:

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VCP-IaaS exam experience

On Tuesday I sat the VCP-IaaS exam and passed.

As you may have seen I’ve been going through the sections of the VCP-IaaS blueprint, creating some notes on procedures and hopefully a helpful summary of the blueprint.

I must say that going through the sections and making the notes really helped, but what really helped is my own experience with the product. I recommend creating a vCloud environment, with vCloud cells, vShield Manager, vCenter, Chargeback and Connector. Just having access to an environment to play with will make this test really manageable.

As far the exam goes, without going into much detail (not that I can),  I found myself struggling with any questions regarding Chargeback, mainly because its easy to install and not a system a VMware admin will have anything to do with after creating a vCloud environment. I recommend using the study notes and go through section 3 with Chargeback Manager open and just click away.

Also vCloud networking is a subject you will have to have figured out as this subject is something that is very important in any vCloud environment. Thankfully many bloggers have posted really helpful posts on this subject.  The vCloud Ultimate Resource Guide is a great list of resources that will help you pass the exam.

Other recommended reads are the vCloud Admin and User Guide (Most of the sections use these two guides). I recommend going through them at least once in case my notes missed anything.

I hope the Study Notes will help anyone studying for this exam and I will update the posts (or just create a new one)  when the Blueprint is upgraded to version 5.1 of vCloud which was released at VMworld USA.

VCP-IaaS Study Notes: Section 8.1

This is Section 8.1 in the VCP-IaaS blueprint Guide 1.2. The rest of the (completed) sections can be found here.

Identify vCloud Director interface components used for monitoring

  • Manage and Monitor tab is used for logging Networks and vSphere Resources.
  • Also all logs and tasks for the vCloud infrastructure is in the Manage and Monitor tab.
  • To see logs for individual organization open My Cloud in the organization and select Logs.

Identify the location of logs in vCloud Director

  • vCloud Director provides logging information for each cloud cell in the system. You can view the logs to monitor your cells and to troubleshoot issues.
    • You can find the logs for a cell at /opt/vmware/cloud-director/logs.

  • View Tasks and Events as an System Administrator
    • Procedure
      • Log in to the vCloud Director system as a system administrator.
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Logs in the left pane.
      • Click the Tasks tab.
        • vCloud Director displays information about each system-level task.
      • Double-click a task for more information.
  • View Organization Events
    • You can view the log for an organization to monitor organization-level events. Failed events and view events are listed by user.
    • You are an organization administrator.
    • Procedure
      • Click the My Cloud.
      • In the left pane, click Logs.
      • Click the Events tab.
        • vCloud Director displays information about each organization-level event.
      • Double-click an event for more information.
      • Only system administrators can view the details about most events.

Monitor CPU, Disk and Memory usage for a Provider vDC

  • Provider vDCs supply compute, memory, and storage resources to organization vDCs. You can monitor provider vDC resources and add more resources if necessary.
  • Procedure
    • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
    • Click the Monitor tab.
    • vCloud Director displays information about CPU, memory, and storage for each provider vDC.

Monitor CPU, Disk and Memory usage for an Organization

  • Organization vDCs supply compute, memory, and storage resources to organizations. You can monitor organization vDC resources and add more resources if necessary.
  • Procedure
    • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Organization vDCs in the left pane.
    • Click the Monitor tab.
    • vCloud Director displays information about CPU, memory, and storage for each organization vDC.

Monitor External Network, Organization Networks, and Network Pools

  • External Networks
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click External Networks
      • There you can see the status, VLAN, Default Gateway, IP allocation, corresponing vSphere Network and to which vCenter it is mapped.
  • Organization Networks
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Organization Networks
      • There you can see the status, Default Gateway, Type, Connected to which External Network, What network pool is being used and what Organization owns it.
  • Network Pools
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click External Network Pools.
      • There you can see status, Type of Network pool, % of IP’s used, to which vDS its connected to and to which vCenter.

Monitor IP allocation utilization

  • External Networks
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click External Networks
      • Right click the network and select IP-allocation.
  • Organization Networks
    • You can view a list of IP addresses that are currently in use in an organization network IP pool.
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Organization Networks in the left pane.
      • Right-click the organization network name and select IP Allocations.
  • Display the IP Allocations for Your vApp Network
    • You can review the IP allocations for the networks in your vApp.
    • Procedure
      • Click My Cloud.
      • In the left pane, selectvApps.
      • Select a vApp, right-click, and select Open.
      • On the Networking tab, select the Show networking detailscheck box.
      • Select a network, right-click, and select IP Allocations.
      • Review your allocations and click OK.

Review and interpret tasks and events in a vCloud

  • See bullet: Identify the location of logs in vCloud Director
  • View the system log to monitor system-level tasks that are in progress, to find and troubleshoot failed tasks, and to view tasks by owner.
  • The log can also include debug information, depending on your vCloud Director settings.
    • You can display debug info in the vCloud Director task log in the settings.
      • Procedure:
        • Click Administration
        • Select General for System Settings.
        • Click Display debug information
        • NOTE: Only System Administrator can view the debug information.

Troubleshoot common resource/event issues in a vCloud

  • First enable debug information in the System Settings
  • Your best chance is to Google the task detail if the error isn’t descriptive enough. Not kidding.

VCP-IaaS Study Notes: Section 7.2

This is Section 7.2 in the VCP-IaaS blueprint Guide 1.2. The rest of the (completed) sections can be found here.

Identify frequently used Catalog properties

  • Share
  • Change Owner
    • You can change the owner of a catalog. Before you can delete a user who owns a catalog, you must change the owner or delete the catalog.
    • You are an organization administrator.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs > My Organization’s Catalogs.
      • On the Catalogs tab, right-click a catalog and select Change Owner.
      • Select a user from the list or search for one.
        • You can search for a user by full name or their user name.
      • Click OK.
  • Name

Explain how guest customization works in a vCloud implementation

  • When you customize your guest OS you can set up a virtual machine with the operating system that you want.
  • vCloud Director can customize the network settings of the guest operating system of a virtual machine created from a vApp template. When you customize your guest operating system, you can create and deploy multiple unique virtual machines based on the same vApp template without machine name or network conflicts.
  • I recommend reading the chapter about Guest Operating System Customization, begins at page 105 in the vCloud Director User’s Guide.

Deploy a vApp from a Catalog

  • You can add a vApp template as a vApp from your catalog to My Cloud.
  • You are at least a vApp author.
  • If the vApp template is based on an OVF file that includes OVF properties for customizing its virtual machines, those properties are passed to the vApp. If any of those properties are user-configurable, you can specify the values.
  • Prerequisites
    • A vApp template is available in a published or a locally shared catalog.
  • Procedure
    • Click Catalogs.
    • In the left pane, click on a catalog option.
      • My Organization’s Catalogs
    • Public Catalogs
      • You can access vApp templates in your organization’s shared catalogs or, if you are an organization administrator, from a public catalog.
    • On the vApp Templates tab, select a vApp template, right-click, and select Add to My Cloud.
    • Type a name and optional description for the vApp.
    • Select a runtime and storage lease and click Next.
    • Select a virtual datacenter, configure the virtual machines in the vApp, and click Next.
    • Configure the custom properties, if any, and click Next.
    • Configure the networking options for the vApp and click Next.
    • Review the vApp summary information and click Finish.
  • vCloud Director creates a vApp on the My Cloud > vApps page.

Configure a Catalog to be shared by users in an Organization

  • Share a catalog to make its contents available to users in your organization. Users with the proper rights and access level can use vApp templates and media from the shared catalog to create their own vApps.
  • You are at least a catalog author.
  • Procedure
    • Click Catalogs > My Organization’s Catalogs.
    • Select a catalog, right-click, and select Share.
    • Click Add Members.
    • Select the users and groups with whom you want to share the catalog.

    • Select an access level and click OK

    • The actual actions a user can perform on a catalog and its contents depends on the intersection of the rights of the user and their access level to the catalog. Sharing a catalog with full control does not grant a user rights that the user does not already have.
    • Click OK.

Copy vApp templates and media to/from a Catalog

  • Copy a vApp Template from a Public Catalog to an Organization Catalog
    • You can copy a vApp template from a public catalog to your organization catalog to make it available to users in your organization.
    • You are a vApp author or organization administrator.
    • Prerequisites
      • You have a catalog and vDC.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs.
      • In the left pane, click Public Catalogs.
      • On the vApp Templates tab, select a vApp template, right-click, and select Copy To Catalog.
      • Type a name and optional description for the vApp.
      • Select a destination catalog and vDC.
        • Select a shared catalog to give organization users access to the template.
      • Click OK.
    • vCloud Director copies the vApp template to the organization catalog. The vApp appears on the vApp Templates tab in My Organization’s Catalogs.
  • Copy a vApp Template Between an Organization’s Catalogs
    • You can copy a vApp template from one catalog in your organization to another catalog in the same organization. This is useful if the catalogs are shared with different users and you want both groups of users to have access to the vApp template.
    • You are an organization administrator, catalog author, or vApp author.
    • Prerequisites
      • You must have access to at least two catalogs and a vDC with available space.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs > My Organization’s Catalogs.
      • On the vApp Templates tab, right-click a vApp template and select Copy to Catalog.
      • Type a name and optional description for the vApp template.
      • Select the destination catalog and vDC.
        • If you select a published catalog, the vApp template will be available to all organizations in the vCloud Director installation.
      • Click OK.
  • Download a vApp Template
    • You can download a vApp template from a catalog locally as an OVF file.
      • You are at least a catalog author.
    • Prerequisites
      • The computer from which you are downloading must have Java Plug-in 1.6.0_10 or later installed.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs.
      • In the left pane, click on a catalog option.
        • My Organization’s Catalogs
        • Public Catalogs
        • You can download vApp templates from your organization’s catalogs or, if you are an organization administrator, from a public catalog.
      • On the vApp Templates tab, select a vApp template, right-click, and select Download.
        • Navigate to the local folder where you want to save the OVF file and click Save.
      • You can click the Launch Uploads and Downloads Progress Window button from My Organization’s Catalogs to track the progress.
  • Upload Media Files
    • You can upload media files to a catalog. Users with access to the catalog can use the media files to install applications on their virtual machines.
    • You are at least a catalog author.
    • Prerequisites
      • The computer from which you are uploading must have Java Plug-in 1.6.0_10 or later installed.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs > My Organization’s Catalogs.
      • On the Media tab, click the Upload button.
      • Type the path to the media file path or click Browse, locate the file, and click Upload.
      • Type a name and optional description for the media file.
        • This is the name that appears in vCloud Director.
      • Select the destination vDC and catalog.
      • Click Upload.
        • The media file is uploaded to the specified location. You can click the Launch Uploads and Downloads Progress Window button to track the progress.
  • Copy Media Files to a Catalog
    • You can copy media files to another catalog.
    • You are at least a catalog author.
    • Prerequisites
      • You have access to multiple vDCs.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs.
      • On the Media tab, select a media file, right-click, and select Copy To Catalog.
      • Type a name and description.
      • Select the destination catalog and vDC.
      • Click OK.
    • The media file is copied to and stored in the selected catalog.

Configure Catalog properties

  • You can review and modify your catalog properties.
  • You are at least a catalog author.
  • Procedure
    • Click Catalogs.
    • In the left pane, click My Organization’s Catalogs.
    • Select a catalog, right-click, and select Properties.
    • Review the properties in the General, Sharing, and Publishing tabs.
    • Modify the relevant properties and click OK.

Given requirements, apply the appropriate properties to a Catalog

  • You can publish, share and change its name.

VCP-IaaS Study Notes: Section 7.1

This is Section 7.1 in the VCP-IaaS blueprint Guide 1.2. The rest of the (completed) sections can be found here.

Describe the function of vApp templates, media, and catalogs

  • A catalog is a container for vApp templates and media files in an organization.
  • Organization administrators and catalog authors can create catalogs in an organization. Catalog contents can be shared with other users in the organization and can also be published to all organizations in the vCloud Director installation.
  • There are two types of catalogs in vCloud Director; organization catalogs and public catalogs. Organization catalogs include vApp templates and media files that you can share with other users in the organization. If a system administrator enables catalog publishing for your organization, you can publish an organization catalog to create a public catalog.
  • There are two ways to add vApp templates to a catalog. You can upload an OVF package directly to a catalog or save a vApp as a vApp template.
  • You can upload media files directly to a catalog.

Identify the location of vApp templates, media and catalogs

  • Depending on your role in the organization, you can access catalogs in your organization and public catalogs that were published by other organizations.
    • To access a public catalog, you must be an organization administrator .
    • To access a catalog in your organization, you must be at least a vApp author.
  • Procedure
    • Click Catalogs.
    • In the left pane, click on a catalog option.
      • My Organization’s Catalogs
      • Public Catalogs
        • In the right pane, select a catalog, right-click, and select Open.

Identify the format in which vApp templates, media, and catalogs can be stored

  • vApp Templates:
    • You can upload an OVF package as a vApp template to make the template available to other users. vClou Director supports OVF 1.0 and OVF 1.1.
    • vCloud Director supports OVFs based on the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) Specification. If you upload an OVF that includes deployment options, those options are preserved in the vApp template.
    • You can quarantine files that users upload to vCloud Director so that you can process the files before you accept them
  • Media:
    • You can upload an ISO or FLP file to make the media available to other users..

Differentiate between vApp templates, media and catalogs

  • A catalog consists of a list of catalogs, vApp templates, and media files in your organization.
  • When you click the Catalogs button in the menu bar, these tabs appear.
    • Catalogs
    • vApp Templates
    • Media
  • A vApp template is a virtual machine image that is loaded with an operating system, applications, and data.
  • You can upload media files to a catalog. Users with access to the catalog can use the media files to install applications on their virtual machines.

Create/Update a vApp template

  • Create:
    • You can upload an OVF package from remote shares and your local directory to vCloud Director as a vApp template.
    • You are at least a catalog creator.
    • vCloud Director supports OVFs based on the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) Specification. If you upload an OVF file that includes OVF properties for customizing its virtual machines, those properties are preserved in the vApp template.
    • Prerequisites
      • The computer from which you are uploading must have Java Plug-in 1.6.0_10 or later installed.
      • vCloud Director does not support uploading compressed OVF files.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs > My Organization’s Catalogs.
      • On the vApp Templates tab, click the Upload button.
      • Type the name and path of the OVF file to upload, or click Browse, select the OVF file, and click Upload.
      • Type a name and optional description for the vApp template.
      • Select a destination vDC and catalog.
      • Click Upload.
    • You can click the Launch Uploads and Downloads Progress Window button to track the progress.
  • Update:
    • You can modify some basic properties of a vApp template. To make more advanced changes to a vApp template, add it to My Cloud, make the changes, then add it back to the catalog as a new vApp template.
    • You are an organization administrator.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs > My Organization’s Catalogs.
      • On the vApp Templates tab, right-click a vApp template and select Properties.
      • On the General tab, modify the vApp template name and description.
      • Select a vApp creation option.
        • This option applies when creating a vApp based on this template. It is ignored when building a vApp using individual virtual machines from this template.

        • Choose whether or not to mark the vApp template as a Gold Master in the catalog.
        • If you mark a vApp template as a Gold Master, this information appears in the list of vApp templates.
      • To reset the vApp template storage lease, select the Reset lease check box and select a new storage lease.
      • Click OK.

Create/Delete a Catalog

  • Create:
    • You can create catalogs to group your vApp templates and media files.
    • You are at least a catalog author.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs > My Organization’s Catalogs.
      • On the Catalogs tab, click the Add Catalog button.
      • Type a catalog name and optional description and click Next.
      • (Optional) To share the catalog with members of the organization, click Add Members, select users and groups, select an access level, click OK, and click Next.
      • Select a catalog publishing option and click Next..

      • Review the summary and click Finish.
  • Delete:
    • You can delete a catalog from your organization.
    • You are at least a catalog author.
    • Prerequisites
      • The catalog must not contain any vApp templates or media files. You can move these items to a different catalog or delete them.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs.
      • In the left pane, click My Organization’s Catalogs.
      • Select a catalog, right-click, and select Delete.
      • Click Yes.

Publish a catalog to different Organizations

  • You can publish a catalog to make its vApp templates and media files available to all organizations in the installation.
  • Prerequisites
    • Verify that the organization that contains the catalog allows catalog publishing.
  • Procedure
    • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Organizations in the left pane.
    • Right-click the organization name and select Open.
    • Click Catalogs and select My Organization’s Catalogs in the left pane.
    • On the Catalogs tab, right-click the catalog name and select Publish.
    • On the Publishing tab, select Publish to all organizations and click OK.
  • The catalog and all of its contents appear under Public Catalogs for all organizations in the vCloud Director installation.

VCP-IaaS Study Notes: Section 6.1

This is Section 6.1 in the VCP-IaaS blueprint Guide 1.2. The rest of the (completed) sections can be found here.

Identify where in the hierarchy a provider VDC resides

  • It right after the vSphere resources (vCenter,ESXi, Datastores and Networks)

Identify where an Provider VDC gets its resources

  • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
  • Click on the Provider vDC.
  • See the list of Organization vDC, Hosts, Datastores, External Networks and Resource pools.

Differentiate Provider and Organization VDCs

  • A provider virtual datacenter (vDC) combines the compute and memory resources of a single vCenter Server resource pool with the storage resources of one or more datastores connected to that resource pool.
  • A provider vDC is the source for organization vDCs.

Explain the concept of a Provider VDC

  • A provider virtual datacenter (vDC) combines the compute and memory resources of a single vCenter Server resource pool with the storage resources of one or more datastores connected to that resource pool.

Explain when and how to Enable/Disable a Provider VDC

  • You can disable a provider vDC to prevent the creation of organization vDCs that use the provider vDC resources.
  • When you disable a provider vDC, vCloud Director also disables the organization vDCs that use its resources. Running vApps and powered on virtual machines continue to run, but you cannot create or start additional vApps or virtual machines.
  • Procedure
    • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
    • Right-click the provider vDC name and select Enable or Disable.

Create/Delete a Provider VDC

  • Create:
    • You can create a provider vDC to register vSphere compute, memory, and storage resources for vCloud Director to use. You can create multiple provider vDCs for users in different geographic locations or business units, or for users with different performance requirements.
    • A provider vDC can only include a single resource pool from a single vCenter Server.
    • If you plan to add a resource pool that is part of a cluster that uses vSphere HA, make sure you are familiar with how vSphere HA calculates slot size. For more information about slot sizes and customizing vSphere HA behavior, see the VMware vSphere Availability Guide.
    • Prerequisites
      • Verify that at least one vCenter Server is attached with an available resource pool to vCloud Director. The resource pool must be in a vCenter cluster that is configured to use automated DRS. The vCenter Server must have the vShield for VMware vCloud Director license key.
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
      • Click New Provider vDC.
      • Type a name and optional description.
        • You can use the name and description fields to indicate the vSphere functions available to the provider vDC, for example, vSphere HA.
      • Select the latest supported hardware version and click Next.
        • This selection determines the latest supported hardware version for virtual machines in organization vDCs based on this provider vDC. Hardware Version 8 requires ESX/ESXi 5.0 hosts. If this provider vDC will use a resource pool that contains ESX/Esxi 5.0 and ESX/ESXi 4.x hosts, select Hardware Version 7.
      • Select a vCenter Server and resource pool and click Next.
        • If the vCenter Server has no available resource pools, no resource pools appear in the list.
      • Select one or more datastores, click Add, and click Next.
        • vCloud Director does not support the use of read-only datastores with provider vDCs. In most cases, readonly datastores do not appear in the list, but some read-only NFS datastores might appear. Do not add these datastores to your provider vDC. Use only shared storage because vSphere DRS cannot migrate virtual machines on local storage.
      • Type the root user name and password for the ESX/ESXi hosts and click Next.
      • Click Finish to create the provider vDC.
  • Delete:
    • You can delete a provider vDC to remove its compute, memory, and storage resources from vCloud Director.
    • The resources remain unaffected in vSphere.
    • Prerequisites
      • Disable the provider vDC.
      • Disable and delete all organization vDCs and organization networks that use the provider vDC.
      • Procedure
        • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
        • Right-click the provider vDC name and select Delete.
        • Click Yes.

Select Resource Pools and Datastores for a Provider VDC

  • Add Storage Capacity to a Provider vDC
    • You can add storage capacity to a provider vDC by adding one or more datastores.
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
      • Right-click the provider vDC name and select Open.
        • Click the Datastores tab.
      • Click Add/Remove.
      • Select a datastore from the list, click Add, and click OK.
        • vCloud Director does not support the use of read-only datastores with provider vDCs. In most cases, readonly datastores do not appear in the list, but some read-only NFS datastores might appear. Do not add these datastores to your provider vDC.
        • Use only shared storage because vSphere DRS cannot migrate virtual machines on local storage.
  • Add a Resource Pool to a Provider vDC
    • You can add additional resource pools to a provider vDC so that pay-as-you-go organization vDCs that the provider vDC provides can expand.
    • When compute resources are backed by multiple resource pools, they can expand as needed to accommodate more virtual machines.
    • Prerequisites
      • Verify that There is one or more available resource pool exists in the same vCenter datacenter as the provider vDC’s primary resource pool.
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
      • Right-click the provider vDC name and select Open.
      • Click the Resource Pools tab.
      • Click Add Resource Pool.
      • Select the resource pool to add and click Finish.
    • vCloud Director adds a resource pool for the provider vDC to use, making all pay-as-you-go organization vDCs backed by the provider vDC elastic.

Explain when and how to Enable/Disable a Provider VDC Host

  • You can disable a host to prevent vApps from starting up on the host. Virtual machines that are already running on the host are not affected.
  • To perform maintenance on a host, migrate all vApps off of the host or stop all vApps and then disable the host.
  • Procedure
    • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
    • Right-click the provider vDC name and select Open.
    • Click the Hosts tab.
    • Right-click the host name and select Enable Host or Disable Host.
    • vCloud Director enables or disables the host for all provider vDCs that use its resources.

Prepare/Unprepare a Provider VDC Host

  • When you add an ESX/ESXi host to a vSphere cluster that vCloud Director uses, you must prepare the host before a provider vDC can use its resources. You can unprepare a host to remove it from the vCloud Director environment.
  • You cannot prepare a host that is in lockdown mode. After you prepare a host, you can enable lockdown mode.
  • Prerequisites
    • Before you can unprepare a host, you must disable it and ensure that no virtual machines are running on the host.
  • Procedure
    • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
    • Right-click the provider vDC name and select Open.
    • Click the Hosts tab.
    • Right-click the host name and select Prepare Host or Unprepare Host.
    • vCloud Director prepares or unprepares the host for all provider vDCs that use its resources.

Upgrade/Repair a Provider VDC Host agent

  • Upgrade:
    • vCloud Director installs agent software on each ESX/ESXi host in the installation. If you upgrade your ESX/ESXi hosts, you also need to upgrade your ESX/ESXi host agents.
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
      • Right-click the provider vDC name and select Open.
      • Click the Hosts tab.
      • Right-click the host name and select Upgrade Host.
      • vCloud Director upgrades the host agent. This upgrade affects all provider vDCs that use the host.
  • Repair
    • If the vCloud Director agent on an ESX/ESXi host cannot be contacted, try to repair the host.
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
      • Right-click the provider vDC name and select Open.
      • Click the Hosts tab.
      • Right-click the host name and select Repair Host.
      • vCloud Director repairs the host. This operation affects all provider vDCs that use the host.

Explain when and how to Enable/Disable a Provider Datastore

  • You can enable or disable a datastore that has been added to a provider vDC. You must disable a datastore before you can remove it from vCloud Director.
  • When you disable a datastore, you cannot start vApps that are associated with the datastore or create vApps on the datastore.
  • Procedure
    • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Datastores in the left pane.
    • Right-click the datastore name and select Enable or Disable.
      • vCloud Director enables or disables the datastore for all provider vDCs that use its resources.+

Configure Low Disk Space Warnings

  • You can configure low disk space warnings on a datastore to receive an email from vCloud Director when the datastore reaches a specific threshold of available capacity. These warnings alert you to a low disk situation before it becomes a problem.
  • Procedure
    • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider vDCs in the left pane.
    • Right-click the provider vDC name and select Open.
    • Click the Datastores tab.
    • Right-click the datastore name and select Properties.
    • Select the disk space thresholds for the datastore.
      • You can set two thresholds, yellow and red. When vCloud Director sends an email alert, the message indicates which threshold was crossed.
    • Click OK.

VCP-IaaS Study Notes: Section 5.2

This is Section 5.2 in the VCP-IaaS blueprint Guide 1.2. The rest of the (completed) sections can be found here.

List operations that can be performed on an Organization

  • See Section 5.1 for modify Organization.

List the vCloud constructs that make up an Organization

  • Organizations provide resources to a group of users and set policies that determine how users can consume those resources. Create an organization for each group of users that requires its own resources, policies, or both.
  • Policies
    • Runtime and storage leases for controlling computing and storage resources
  • Resources
    • vDC with allocation models and Provider specified tier.

Given a tier of server determine the appropriate Organization vDC

  • If your vCloud will have diffirent tiers, eg. Gold, Silver, and Bornze.
    • Gold will have the fastest hardware, SSD disks + SAS disks, or/and other services like Backup.
    • Silver has SAS disks.
    • Bronze has SATA disks.
  • Most of the time the storage layer will change between vDC tiers.
  • Plan the placement of the workload according to its recommendations for performance.

Edit leases/quotas/limits applied to an Organization

  • Leases, quotas, and limits constrain the ability of organization users to consume storage and processing resources. You can modify these settings to prevent users from depleting or monopolizing an organization’s resources.
  • Procedure
    • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Organizations in the left pane.
    • Right-click the organization name and select Properties.
    • Click the Policies tab.
    • Select the lease options for vApps and vApp templates.
      • Leases provide a level of control over an organization’s storage and compute resources by specifying the maximum amount of time that vApps can be running and that vApps and vApp templates can be stored. You can also specify what happens to vApps and vApp templates when their storage lease expires.
    • Select the quotas for running and stored virtual machines.
      • Quotas determine how many virtual machines each user in the organization can store and power on in the organization’s virtual datacenters. The quota you specify acts as a default for all new users added to the organization.
    • Select the limits for resource intensive operations.
      • Certain vCloud Director operations, for example copy and move, are more resource intensive than others. Limits prevent resource intensive operations from affecting all the users in an organization and also provide a defense against denial-of-service attacks.
    • Select the number of simultaneous connections for each virtual machine and click OK.

Revise Catalog(s) attached to an Organization

  • Share A Catalog
    • Share a catalog to make its contents available to users in your organization. Users with the proper rights and access level can use vApp templates and media from the shared catalog to create their own vApps.
    • You are at least a catalog author.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs > My Organization’s Catalogs.
      • Select a catalog, right-click, and select Share.
      • Click Add Members.
      • Select the users and groups with whom you want to share the catalog.

      • Select an access level and click OK.

      • The actual actions a user can perform on a catalog and its contents depends on the intersection of the rights of the user and their access level to the catalog. Sharing a catalog with full control does not grant a user rights that the user do not already have.
      • Click OK.
  • Modify the Properties of Your Catalog
    • You can review and modify your catalog properties.
    • You are at least a catalog author.
    • Procedure
      • Click Catalogs.
      • In the left pane, click My Organization’s Catalogs
      • Select a catalog, right-click, and select Properties.
      • Review the properties in the General, Sharing, and Publishing tabs.
      • Modify the relevant properties and click OK.

Add/Remove users and groups

  • Add Users
    • Add a Local User
      • Adding local users allows organization administrators to provide access to users who do not exist on an LDAP server. You can also add local users if you do not plan to use an LDAP server.
      • Procedure
        • Click Administration.
        • In the left pane, select Members > Users.
        • Click the New User button.
        • Type the user name and password.
        • Select a role.
          • To create a custom role, contact your system administrator.
        • (Optional) Type the contact information.
        • Select the stored and running virtual machine quota limits for this user.
        • Click OK.
          • The new user appears on the Users page.
    • Import an LDAP User
      • Organization administrators can import users from an LDAP server.
      • Contact a system administrator to configure LDAP settings for your organization.
      • Prerequisites
        • The LDAP settings for the organization must be set up and working.
      • Procedure
        • Click Administration.
        • In the left pane, select Members > Users.
        • Click the Import Users from LDAP button.
        • Type the full or partial user name and click Search.
        • Select a user and click Add.
        • Select a role for the imported user.
        • Click OK.
  • Remove Users
    • Delete a User
      • If a user leaves the company or moves to another organization, an organization administrator can delete a user from the organization.
      • Procedure
        • Click Administration.
        • In the left pane, select Members > Users .
        • Select a user, right-click, and select Disable Account.
        • Reselect this user, right-click, and select Delete.
        • Click OK .
    • Disable or Enable User Accounts
      • An organization administrator can disable a user account to log the user out of the Web console and prevent the user from logging in again. You can enable a user to allow them to log in.
      • Procedure
        • Click Administration.
        • In the left pane, select Members > Users.
        • Select a user, right-click, and select Disable Account or Enable Account.
  • Add Groups
    • Import a Group
      • An organization administrator can import LDAP groups into an organization.
      • Contact a system administrator to configure LDAP settings for your organization.
      • Prerequisites
        • The LDAP settings for the organization must be set up and working.
      • Procedure
        • Click Administration.
        • In the left pane, select Members > Groups.
        • Click the Import Groups from LDAP button.
        • Type the full or partial group name and click Search.
        • Select a group and click Add.
        • Select a role for the group.
          • All the users in the group will be assigned this role.
        • Click OK.
  • Remove Groups
    • Delete a Group
      • An organization administrator can delete a group to remove it from the organization.
      • Deleting a group from an organization affects users who are members of the organization based solely on their membership in the deleted group. These users will not be able to log in to the organization. When you delete a group from an organization the group still exists in LDAP.
      • Procedure
        • Click Administration.
        • In the left pane, select Members > Groups.
        • Select a group, right-click, and select Delete.
        • Click Yes.

Configure/Edit Organization settings

  • After receive the URL of your organization from the system administrator you can set it up on the vCloud Director Home page by clicking Set up this organization
    • Change the Organization Full Name
    • Import LDAP Users and Groups
    • Add local Users to the Organization
    • Configure email pereferences
    • Configure Organization Lease, Quota and Limit Settings
    • All these procedures can be found in Section 5.1.
  • Modify Email Settings
    • You can review and modify the default email settings that were set when the system administrator created your organization.
    • You are an organization administrator.
    • Procedure
      • Click Administration.
      • In the left pane, select Settings > Email.
      • Select an SMTP server option.

      • Select a notification settings option.

      • (Optional) Type a destination email address and click Test Email Settings to verify that all SMTP server settings are configured as expected.
      • Click Apply.
  • Modify Your Organization’s Policies
    • You can review and modify the default policies that were set by the system administrator when your organization was created
      • Click Administration.
      • In the left pane, select Settings > Policies.
      • Select the lease options for vApps and vApp templates.
      • Select the quotas for running and stored virtual machines.
      • Select the limits for resource intensive operations.
      • Select the number of simultaneous VMware Remote Console connections for each virtual machine.
      • (Optional) Select the Account lockout enabled check box, select the number of invalid logins to accept      before locking a user account, and select the lockout interval.
      • Click Apply.
  • Set Default Domain for Organization Virtual Machines
    • You can set a default domain which virtual machines created in your organization can join. Virtual machines can always join a domain for which they have credentials, regardless of whether or not you specify a default domain.
    • Procedure
      • Click Administration.
      • In the left pane, select Settings > Guest Personalization.
      • Select the Enable domain join for virtual machines in this organization.
      • Type the domain name, domain user name, domain password.
        • These credentials apply to a regular domain user, not a domain administrator.
      • Click Apply.

Allocate resources to an Organization

  • You allocate resources to an organization by creating an organization vDC that is partitioned from a provider vDC. A single organization can have multiple organization vDCs.
  • Open the Allocate Resources Wizard
    • Open the Allocate Resources wizard to start the process of creating an organization vDC for an organization.
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Organizations in the left pane.
      • Right-click the organization name and select Allocate Resources from the menu.
      • The Allocate Resources wizard starts.
  • Select a Provider vDC
    • An organization vDC obtains its compute and storage resources from a provider vDC. The organization vDC provides these resources to vApps and virtual machines in the organization.
    • Procedure
      • Select a provider vDC.
        • The provider vDC list displays information about available resources and the networks list displays information about networks available to the selected provider vDC.
      • Click Next.
  • Select an Allocation Model
    • The allocation model determines how and when the provider vDC compute and memory resources that you allocate are committed to the organization vDC.
    • Procedure
      • Select an allocation model.

      • Click Next.
  • Configure the Allocation Model
    • Configure the allocation model to specify the amount of provider vDC resources to allocate to the organization vDC.
    • Procedure
      • Not all of the models include all of the options.

      • Click Next.
  • Allocate Storage
    • An organization vDC requires storage space for vApps and vApp templates. You can allocate storage from the space available on provider vDC datastores.
    • Thin provisioning can help avoid over-allocating storage and save storage space. For a virtual machine with a thin virtual disk, ESX/ESXi provisions the entire space required for the disk’s current and future activities.
    • ESX/ESXi commits only as much storage space as the disk needs for its initial operations.
    • Fast provisioning saves time by using vSphere linked clones for certain operations.
      • IMPORTANT Fast provisioning requires vCenter Server 5.0 and ESXi 5.0 hosts. If the provider vDC on which the organization vDC is based contains any ESX/ESXi 4.x hosts, you must disable fast provisioning. If the provider vDC on which the organization vDC is based contains any VMFS datastores connected to more than 8 hosts, powering on virtual machines may fail. Make sure that datastores are connected to a maximum of 8 hosts. NOTE changed in vCloud 5.1. Max is now 32 hosts.
    • Procedure
      • Enter the amount of storage  to allocate.
      • (Optional) Select the Enable  thin provisioning check box to enable thin provisioning for virtual machines in the organization vDC.
      • (Optional) Deselect the  Enable fast provisioning check box to disable fast provisioning for virtual machines in the organization vDC.
      • Click Next.
  • Select Network Pool
    • A network pool is a group of undifferentiated networks that is used to create vApp networks and NAT-routed or internal organization networks.
    • Procedure
      • Select a network pool or select None.
      • If you select None, you can  add a network pool later.
      • Enter the maximum number of networks that the organization can provision from the network pool.
      • Click Next.
  • Name the Organization vDC
    • You can provide a descriptive name and an optional description to indicate the vSphere functions available for your new organization vDC.
    • Procedure
      • Type a name and optional      description.
      • Click Next.
  • Confirm Settings and Create the Organization vDC
    • Before you create the organization vDC, review the settings you entered.
    • Procedure
      • Review the settings for the organization vDC.
      • (Optional) Click Back to modify the settings.
      • Click Finish to accept the settings and create the organization vDC.
  • When you create an organization vDC, vCloud Director creates a resource pool in vSphere to provide CPU and memory resources.

Explain the purpose and use case for storage options

  • Thin-provisioning
    • Thin provisioning can help avoid over-allocating storage and save storage space. For a virtual machine with a thin virtual disk, ESX/ESXi provisions the entire space required for the disk’s current and future activities.
    • ESX/ESXi commits only as much storage space as the disk needs for its initial operations.
    • Use cases are, to name a few,  development environments, storage-static workloads, Use of VAAI UNMAP thin-provisioning feature at maintenance windows etc.
  • Fast-provisioning
    • Fast provisioning saves time by using linked clones for virtual machine provisioning operations.
    • A linked clone is a duplicate of a virtual machine that uses the same base disk as the original, with a chain of delta disks to track the differences between the original and the clone. If fast provisioning is disabled, all provisioning operations result in full clones.
    • A linked clone cannot exist on a different vCenter datacenter or datastore than the original virtual machine.
    • vCloud Director creates shadow virtual machines to support linked clone creation across vCenter datacenters and datastores for virtual machines associated with a vApp template. A shadow virtual machine is an exact copy of the original virtual machine. The shadow virtual machine is created on the datacenter and datastore where the linked clone is created.
    • Fast provisioning is enabled by default on organization vDCs. Fast provisioning requires vCenter 5.0 and ESXi 5.0 hosts. If the provider vDC on which the organization vDC is based contains ESX/ESXi 4.x hosts, you must disable fast provisioning.
    • Use cases include fast-provisioning dev environments etc.

Configure storage provision options

  • View Shadow Virtual Machines Associated With a Virtual Machine
    • Shadow virtual machines support linked clones of virtual machines that are associated with vApp templates across vCenter datacenters and datastores.
    • A shadow virtual machine is an exact copy of the original virtual machine that vCloud Director creates on the datacenter and datastore where a linked clone is created.
    • Procedure
      • Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Organizations in the left pane.
      • Right-click the organization name and select Open.
      • Click the My Cloud tab and click VMs in the left pane.
      • Right-click the virtual machine and select Properties.
      • Click the Shadow VMs tab.
        • This tab appears only for virtual machines that have associated shadow virtual machines.
      • vCloud Director shows a list of shadow virtual machines associated with the virtual machine. This list includes the name in vCenter of each shadow virtual machine, the datastore that each shadow virtual machine exists on, and the vCenter server that the shadow virtual machine belongs to.
  • Configure options
    • See Allocate Storage bullet in the Allocate resources to an Organization bullet.