Updating vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 to Update 1 & 1b

VMware released vSphere 6.0 Update 1 on September 10th, 2015 and Update 1b on January 7th, 2016. In this post i’ll go through how to upgrade VCSA 6.0 to Update 1 & 1b.

In my environment I have the Platform Services Controller [PSC] embedded with the VCSA. If you deployed an external PSC separately from vCenter then this post will still work for you! The upgrade procedure is the exact same on both the vCenter and PSC just upgrade the PSC first before vCenter.

vCenter Server Appliance 6.o Update 1 Release Notes:

  • Customer Experience Improvement Program: The Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) provides VMware with information that enables VMware to improve the VMware products and services and to fix problems. When you choose to participate in CEIP, VMware will collect technical information listed below about your use of the VMware products and services in CEIP reports on a regular basis. This information does not personally identify you. For more details, see the vSphere Documentation Center.
  • Feature Enhancement: Suite UI is now enabled by default for the vSphere Web Client.
  • Support for SSLv3: Support for SSLv3 has been disabled by default.
  • vCSA Authentication for Active Directory: VMware vCenter Server Virtual Appliance (vCSA) has been modified to only support AES256-CTS/AES128-CTS/RC4-HMAC encryption for Kerberos authentication between vCSA and Active Directory.
  • Hybrid Cloud Manager: Hybrid Cloud Manager has been updated for vSphere, and can be accessed directly from the home page of vSphere Web Client.
  • FT-vSAN Interoperability: vSAN and FT work together.
  • Appliance Management user interface: Appliance Management has a new user interface, written in HTML5.
  • Backup and Restore with external PSC: vCenter Server deployments with external PSC, also called MxN have support for backup and restore.
  • Platform Services Controller UI: The Platform Services Controller now provides UI option to view, renew and replace certificates. For more details see Explore Certificate Stores from the Platform Services Controller Web Interface
  • Installation and Upgrade using HTML 5 installer: The following installation and upgrade scenarios are supported for vCenter Server using HTML 5 installer:
    • Installation using HTML 5 installer and target as vCenter Server is supported
    • Upgrade using HTML 5 installer and target as vCenter Server is not supported
    • Upgrade using command line and target as vCenter Server is supported
  • Resolved Issues: This release of vCenter Server 6.0 Update 1 addresses issues that have been documented in the Resolved Issues section.
  • Full release notes can be found here

vCenter Server Appliance 6.o Update 1b Release Notes:

  • ESXi 6.0 Update 1b enables support for TLS versions 1.1 and 1.2 for most of the vSphere components without breaking the previously supported compatibility/interoperability. Some of the vSphere components that still support only TLS version 1.0 are listed here:
    • vSphere Client
    • Virtual SAN Observer on vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA)
    • Syslog on vCSA
    • Auto Deploy on vCSA
    • Auto Deploy/iPXE

    The ESXi 6.0 Update 1b now supports all TLS versions 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2 with the exceptions listed above. See Knowledge base article 2136185 for the list of supported TLS protocols.

  • Support for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 128/256-bit key length is added for RPC header authentication in the NFS 4.1 Client.
    Note: See resolved Security Issues section for more information.
  • This release of ESXi 6.0 Update 1b addresses issues that have been documented in the Resolved Issues section.
  • Full release notes can be found here

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Setup RD Licensing Role on Windows Server 2012 R2

Once you have an Remote Desktop Services [RDS] environment setup and want to continue using it past the 120 day trial period you will need to setup the RD Licensing role. This blog post will document how to setup the role, activate the license server with Microsoft, add a license key, then configure RDS with the license.

Remote Desktop Serivces - Licensing Role
RDS Architecture

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Setup Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012 R2

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services [RDS] allows users to access centralized applications and workstations in the data center remotely. Microsoft RDS is the new expanded and renamed Microsoft Terminal Services. In this post I will document the implementation of RDS in my home lab using an ‘all-in-one’ configuration.

vBoring Blog Series:

  1. Setup Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012 R2
  2. Setup RD Licensing Role on Windows Server 2012 R2
  3. Setup RD Gateway Role on Windows Server 2012 R2
RDS Architecture
RDS Architecture

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A General System Error Occurred: Cannot get user info

After a fresh deployment of the vCenter Server Appliance 6 (VCSA) I got the error below when using “Use Windows session credentials” check box on the thick and web client. After some searching I found VMware KB 2050701 which states this is a known issue affecting vCenter Server Appliance 5.1, 5.5, and 6.0.

1 VCSA 6 - Cannot get user info Error

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Deploying the VMware I/O Analyzer Fling

VMware I/O Analyzer is a virtual appliance designed to provide storage performance in a virtual environment. It is offered as a SUSE appliance that provides a web GUI to interact with.

I deployed I/O Analyzer in my vSphere 6.0 environment to see the performance of VSAN 6 compared to my Synology NAS. With this post you should be able to deploy I/O Analyzer in its simplest form and perform performance testing on your storage.

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My Summary of VMworld 2015!

Whew! What a week VMworld 2015 was! I am now getting back into the groove since coming back home from VMworld 2015 in San Francisco, CA. This was my first year attending VMworld and I had a blast! I took quite a few pictures and wanted to make a quick post about my experience at VMworld 2015.

I can see why the Moscone Center was picked as the location as it is quite large to accommodate the over 23,000 attendees!

VMworld 2015 - Moscone West in San Francisco

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VMware Virtual SAN 6 – Requirements [Part 1]

VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) is a hypervisor-converged storage solution for your vSphere environment. It was built to be extremely easy to use and administrator, high performance and expandable. In this post I will go over the requirements and how to prepare your environment for VSAN.

vBoring VSAN Series:

VMware VSAN Diagram

VSAN Requirements:

Here are the minimum requirements to build out a VSAN environment.

Refer to VMware KB article 2106708 for an in depth breakdown of all requirements.

  • Minimum of 3 ESXi 6.0 host that contribute storage
  • At least one SSD and one Hard Disk per host
  • Hosts need I/O controller supporting Pass Through or RAID 0 (prefer them to be on the VSAN Hardware Compatibility List)
  • VMkernel port configured for VSAN traffic
  • 1 GB network for small test/lab environment (VMware recommends 10GB)
  • If you are deploying VSAN in your test/dev/lab and the 60 day evaluation period isn’t enough check out the VMUG Advantage subscription for a 1 year license.

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