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

Read more…

Unable to kill DCUI – ESXi 5.1

One of our ESXi 5.1 hosts entered a disconnected state with reason unknown. When I logged into the console of the server and checked the network settings everything checked out. Then I went into the ESXi shell to see what the network interfaces looked like and here laid the problem… the management vmkernel interface was not enabled.

esxcli network ip interface list

1 ESXi Shell - Interface List

If you need to see what IP address is assign to each vmk, run this command:

esxcli network ip interface ipv4 get

ESXi Shell - Get Interface

Okay, no big deal…. that is a easy fix! But when I tried to enable it I received a “Unable to kill DCUI” error.

esxcli network ip interface set -e true -i vmk0

2 ESXi Shell - Enabled Interface - failed

I could not find any information about this error anywhere. With this production ESXi host disconnected and roughly 40 virtual machines still running on this server I admitted defeat and opened a support case with VMware.

The VMware Support Engineer referenced internal KB article 2052878 with the fix below:

First we need to find the processor ID of the DCUI.

ps | grep -i DCUI

3 ESXi Shell - Find DCUI process ID

Note: The number to the right of the Unable to kill DCUI error is NOT the PID. Use the command above

Now kill that PID, it will not return anything if successful.

kill -9 PID

4 ESXi Shell - kill the dcui pid

This should now let you enable the vmk interface

esxcli network ip interface set -e true -i vmk0

5 ESXi Shell - Enable interface sucess

Perform a interface list and that disabled vmk should be enabled. Check to see if your host is pingable again.

esxcli network ip interface list

6 ESXi Shell - Interface List with vmk0 enabled

If anyone else received this error, please comment with your scenario and results!

Not able to see the SD Card on HP Gen 9 during ESXi 5.5 Installation

When trying to install HP ESXi 5.5 customized image on a HP Gen 9 BL460 blade server I was not able to see the SD card to install on. After trying a few things I found that switching the USB 3.0 mode to Auto instead of the defaulted On allowed ESXi installation to see the SD card. The internal card reader goes over the USB bus so this appears to be a bug and hopefully HP will have a update soon to fix it. Below is what I did to get through this issue:

ESXi 5.5U2 Installation – If your not seeing the SD card, go ahead and reboot:

ESXi Install - Not seeing SD card

Hit F9 on the boot screen to enter System Utilities:

HP Gen 9 Boot Post

Hit Enter on the System Configuration:

HP Gen 9 - F9 Menu 1

Hit Enter on the BIOS/Platform Configuration:

HP Gen 9 - F9 Menu 2

Hit Enter on System Options:

HP Gen 9 - F9 Menu 3

Hit Enter on USB Options:

HP Gen 9 - F9 Menu 4

On USB 3.0 Mode, change the default value of Enabled to Auto. Now hit F10 to save and reboot.

HP Gen 9 - F9 Menu 5

Now on ESXi installer screen you should see the SD card:

ESXi Install - SD Card Ready for Installation

Disable ‘SSH for the host has been enabled’ message in vSphere 5

I always forget where to turn off the SSH for the host has been enabled warning message so i’m posting it here for safe keeping. 🙂

SSH Warning

To turn this message off click on the host, go to the Configuration tab, then click on Advanced Settings.

Host Configuration - Advanced Settings

Scroll down to the UserVars section. The last field is called UserVars.SupressShellWarning, change the value from a 0 to a 1. The message will now be gone!

Advanced Settings

Resources:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2003637

Guest customization runs on every boot

In our vSphere 5.1 update 2 environment we found that some of our Windows virtual machines were running guest customization every time they boot. This was causing them to loose their static IP address and take an additional 5 minutes to boot.

vmware-image-customization

To fix this issue, boot to Windows and open regedit. Navigate to to the following location:

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\

Regedit Key

Edit the BootExecute key and remove all sysprepDecrypter.exe lines. We had some VMs with up to 10 entries!

Regedit - edit key

Your key should now look like this:

Regedit - correct key

Click OK. Now the VM will not perform the guest customization on every boot.

To prevent future VMs you deploy from gaining this issue update your vSphere environment to at least 5.1 Update 5.

Authorize Exception Error when logging into vCenter

If you get the following error when logging into vCenter(5.1U5): “A general system error occurred: Authorize Exception”

vCenter - Authorize Exception error

 

Restarting the Single Sign On service on your vCenter should resolve the issue. In my case the cause of this was due to the LDAP connection pool being exhausted. To confirm this check the ssoAdminServer.log found here:

C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\SSOServer\log

Do a search for the following error: No ManagedConnections available within configured blocking timeout

If you find that around the time when you was logging in then your LDAP connection pool was exhausted. This issue is resolved in vSphere 5.5.

The VMware KB article for this issue 2055448:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2055448

 

The VMRC console has disconnected…attempting to reconnect

This morning I received an error I haven’t seen before when trying to open the console of a VM in our ESXi 5.5 environment….  “The VMRC console has disconnected…attempting to reconnect.

VMRC Console Disconnected Error

There are two ways to fix this. The easy way is to reboot your computer 🙂 If you would want to avoid a reboot you can do the following:

Close out all of your VMware vSphere Clients and open Task Manager. You will want to make sure all processes named “vmware-vmrc.exe“, “vmware-remotemks.exe“, and “vpxclient.exe” are not running. If they are go ahead and end all those processes.

Task-Manager-vmware-vmrc Task-Manager-vpxclient

Now open up the vSphere Client, console should now work:

Yay its fixed

 

Comment below and let me know what worked for you!

 

Multi-NIC vMotion

In vSphere 5 a new feature was added that many people may be overlooking. It is called Multi-NIC vMotion. If you have a environment where you have 2 or more dedicated uplinks reserved for vMotion you can double the total bandwidth available by using this option. Do I have your attention? 🙂

Normally you would have 1 port group with both of your vMotion uplinks set to active like this:

A Normal vMotion Port Group

What if I told you when you are vMotioning a VM, the VMkernal is picking one of those uplinks and basicly ignoring the other? According to the VMware KB article 2010877, “The VMkernel TCP/IP stack uses a single routing table to route traffic. If you have multiple VMkernel network interfaces (vmknics) that belong to the same IP subnet, the VMkernel TCP/IP stack picks one of the interfaces for all outgoing traffic on that subnet as dictated by the routing table.” If you want to use both uplinks for vMotion traffic and double your total bandwidth you have to create two vMotion VMkernals and assign each one a uplink. There was some issues with multi-NIC vMotions if you were running ESXi version before 5.0U2. As always try this out in your test enviroments first 🙂

Here is VMware KB2007467 walking you through these steps that compliment my steps below.

First we will create a new port group and rename the current vMotion port group to show them apart. In my case I will name one “vMotion-uplink3” and the other “vMotion-uplink4”.

New vMotion PortGroups

Now right click a port group, go to Edit Settings, then click on Teaming and Failover. You will take one of the uplinks and move it to standby so you do not loose redundancy. Do the same thing for the second vMotion port group but flip the uplinks. See screen shots below:

vMotion-uplink3
vMotion-uplink3
vMotion-uplink4
vMotion-uplink4

Now the port groups are set for the next step.

Go to Hosts and Clusters, click on a host, click on Configuration tab -> Networking -> vDS -> and Manage Virtual Adapters.

I have only 1 vMotion VMkernal configured using vMotion-uplink3. I want to add another VMkernal set for vMotion that will use vMotion-uplink4. Click Add:

Manage Virtual Adapters

Chose New virtual adapter and click Next:

Add Virtual Adapter

Click Next:

Virtual Adapter Type

Select the new vMotion port group and check the vMotion checkbox. Click Next:

Connection Settings

Give this new vMotion kernal a new, unused IP address, click Next:

Virtual Adapter IP

Now click Finish:

Virtual Adapter Finish

That is it. You have have multi-NIC vMotion configured. You will have to do this for each host that you want to enable this on. Put a host in maintenance mode and see if you get a increase in speed. You can also turn on jumbo frames if your switch supports it for a further speed increase! In our test environment that has two 1 GB vMotion uplinks, it reduced the time it took for a host to enter maintence mode from 40 minutes down to low/mid 20’s. Please leave a comment and let me know your results!!

Installing VMware ESXi and vCenter 5.5 [Part 1]

Installing VMware vSphere 5.5 Series:

In this series I will be installing ESXi and vCenter using Microsoft Server 2012 R2 virtual machines.

Part 1: Introduction and ESXi Installation
Part 2: Microsoft SQL 2012 Installation
Part 3Creating the vCenter Database & ODBC Setup
Part 4: vCenter 5.5 Installation
Part 5: Initial Setup (Accessing vCenter, Configure Basic Permissions, Add Host)ESXi Hypervisor
Downloading ESXi: If you will be running ESXi from a physical server you will want to use the ESXi image provider by the hardware manufacture such as Dell, HP, Cisco. Their ESXi image has the drivers and software specific for the hardware. If you will be running ESXi in a nested environment, then the ESXi image from VMware is what you want. Here are the download links for each manufacturer:
HP: http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/software/vmware/esxi-image.html
Dell: http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverid=5YC4T
Cisco: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/unified_computing/ucs/release/notes/OL_26617.html
VMware: http://www.vmware.com/go/download-vspherehypervisor

ESXi Installation: First boot your server from the ESXi ISO. Depending on your hardware you should mount the ISO using iLo/iDRAC/etc. Another nice way is to boot it from a USB thumb drive. You can make your USB bootable by using this tool: http://rufus.akeo.ie/ . Of course you can do it the old fashion way and burn the ISO to a disc. The first screen that pops up should look like this. It has a timer that will count down and automatically take you into the installer unless you hit a button on your keyboard.

Installing VMware ESXi and vCenter 5.5

ESXi Installer Load Screen:

2 ESXi Installer Load Screen

Welcome to the ESXi 5.5 Installation. Hit Enter:

3 ESXi Welcome

Accept the license agreement and hit F11:

4 ESXi License Agreement

Here you select where you want to install ESXi. You will have already configured your hard drives with a RAID if applicable (if not go do that and start over). The installation of ESXi is very small, you could use a thumb drive and install to it. Once you select your install location hit Enter:

5 ESXi Disk Selection

Pick your keyboard layout and hit Enter:

6 Keyboard Layout

Enter a password for the root account. Hit Enter:

7 Set Root Password

ESXi is ready to begin the installation. Hit F11:

8 Confirm Install

ESXi Install Progress Screen:

9 Install Progress Screen

Installation is complete. Hit Enter to reboot:

10 ESXi Installation Complete

11 Rebooting Server

Here is what the ESXi screen looks like after booting. Lets do some basic configuration such as setting a static IP, naming this host and ensuring the correct uplinks are selected. Hit F2 to bring up the login menu:

12 First Boot

Enter the password that was set during the install, hit Enter:

13 ESXi Login

Scroll down to Configure Management Network, hit Enter:

14 Configure Management Network

Go to Network Adapters and hit Enter:

Network Adapters Selection

This is where you can select what uplinks the management network has. This screen might be different depending on your environment. Hit space bar on the vmnics that you want to use, when finished hit Enter:

15 Network Adapter

Now scroll down to IP Configuration, hit Enter:

17 IP Configuration

In my lab I want to set a static IP address, once finished hit Enter:

18 Default Gateway

If you are not using IPv6, go to IPv6 Configuration and disable it:

19 IPv6

Now go to DNS Configuration and hit Enter:

20 DNS Configuration

Set your DNS information and host name, hit Enter:

21 DNS Configuration Entry

Now hit ESC to exit, you will be prompted to reboot thehost for the changed to take affect. Hit Y to reboot:

22 Reboot Host

Now your ESXi host is ready for use:

23 Ready for Use

Continue to Part 2: https://www.virtuallyboring.com/installing-vmware-esxi-and-vcenter-5-5-part-2/

Installing VMware ESXi and vCenter 5.5 [Part 2]

Installing VMware vSphere 5.5 Series:
Part 1: Introduction and ESXi Installation
Part 2: Microsoft SQL 2012 Installation
Part 3Creating the vCenter Database & ODBC Setup
Part 4: vCenter 5.5 Installation
Part 5: Initial Setup (Accessing vCenter, Configure Basic Permissions, Add Host)

I am installing Microsoft SQL 2012 on a Microsoft Server 2012 R2 virtual machine. In this walk through I am installing SQL and vCenter on separate virtual machines.

Microsoft SQL 2012 Installation:

1. Go to the Installation tab and click on the New SQL Server stand-alone installation:

SQL Install

2. Setup Support Rules – It will run a quick preinstall scan. Click Next:

Setup Support Rules

3. Product Key – You can proceed with an 180 day Evaluation, Express or enter your product key, click Next with your selection:
Product Key

4. License Terms – Check the box to accept the license terms, check the box if you want to send usage data to Microsoft (who wouldn’t? 🙂 ) now click Next:
4 License Terms

5. Product Updates – Go ahead and install the updates, click Next:
5 Product Updates

6. Setup Support Rules – It will run another test, click Next:
6 Setup Support Rules

7. Setup Role – Ensure SQL Server Feature Installation is selected, click Next:

7 Setup Role

8. Feature Selection – Check the following options:
     a. Database Engine Services
     b. Client Tools Connectivity
     c. Integration Services
     d. Management Tools – Basic
     e. Management Tools – Complete

Also on this screen you can change the install directory to a different drive. In this case I am installing it in my lab so I am leaving it to default. Click Next:
8 Feature Selection

9. Installation Rules – It will run another check, if everything looks good click Next:
9 Installation Rules

10. Instance Configuration – Here you can change the instance ID and instance root directory. Again in this instance I am leaving default. Click Next:
10 Instance Configuration

11. Disk Space Requirements – This is checking to ensure you have enough disk space. Click Next:
11 Disk Space Requirements

12. Server Configuration – Change the Account Name to the service account you created. Also change the Startup Type to Automatic. Click Next:
12 Server Configuration

13. Database Engine Configuration – Here you can set the authentication mode. Lock it down to suit your environment. Since this is my lab I am going to use Mixed Mode and add the service account and domain admins to make administration simplistic. Click Next:
13 Database Engine Configuration

14. Error Reporting – If you want to send error report to Microsoft check the box. Click Next:
14 Error Reporting

15. Installation Configuration Rules – It will run another test to ensure everything will go smoothly, click Next:
15 Installation Configuration Rules

16. Ready to Install – Here is a summary of the install, click Install to let the installation commence!
16 Ready to Install

17. Installation Progress – Grab some coffee, this will take around about 20 minutes on average:
17 Installation Progress

18. Complete – SQL 2012 is now installed! Now we are ready to setup the vCenter database in Part 3.
18 Complete

Continue to Part 3:
https://www.virtuallyboring.com/installing-vmware-esxi-and-vcenter-5-5-part-3/