Tag: Dell

With the release of ESXi 6.0 Update 1a, which fixed the network connectivity issue that plagued all ESXi 6.0 releases until October 6, I have begun my own journey from 5.5 to 6.0. I’m taking a new approach for me, though, as I use Update Manager to perform an upgrade rather than the fresh installs I have always preferred.

Why? Because I learned at VMworld 2015 from the authorities (designers) that upgrading is actually VMware’s recommended path. You can read more from my notes on session INF5123.

What follows below assumes that you have already rebuilt or upgraded to vCenter 6.0 Update 1. In Update 1, the Web Client now supports Update Manager so that everything can be performed there. No more thick client! Now if we can just get rid of Flash…

Step 1: Import ESXi Image

From the home landing page of the vSphere Web Client, navigate here:

  • Update Manager
    • Select an Update Manager¬†server
      • Go to Manage
        • Then ESXi Images
          • Import ESXi Image…
            • Browse to the ISO

esxi6_import

Technology Virtualization

This morning, Dell and EMC announced their impending merger as Dell and Silver Lake set out to acquire EMC and its holdings with cash and stock, while maintaining VMware as an independent, publicly-traded company. The event sets off incredible tidal waves financially and technologically and raises many questions.

To that end, the CEOs and other principals from Dell, EMC, VMware, and Silver Lake held conference calls with shareholders and media/analysts this morning. The following 9 questions from participants of the latter call–New York Times, Financial Times, Boston Globe, Wikibon, and others–cover most of the big questions on everyone’s minds. In keeping with Dell’s private holding (and EMC’s soon-to-be), “no comment” showed up a few times where we all hoped to find insight. Time will tell.

Security Storage Technology Virtualization

In September 2013, my organization and I started a journey into the realm of flash storage. The initial foray took us into two camps and lasted much longer than we expected. In fact, our 2013 storage decision bore with it lessons and tests that lasted until it was once again time to make another upgrade, our 2015 replacement at a sister site.

History

In 2013, while smaller start-ups were aplenty, EMC’s pre-release XtremIO (GA in December 2013) and Pure Storage were the only mainstream contenders. Granted, Pure was still technically a start-up, but then again, XtremIO was an unreleased product purchased by EMC without broad field experience. Everyone was young.

pure_logoMuch of this has already been hashed in my prior posts, but the short story is that we made a decision to forego Pure Storage in 2013 based on a belief in promises by EMC that XtremIO would deliver xtremio_logoeverything that Pure did and more. The two metrics were data reduction and performance. We assumed in the land of enterprise storage that high availability was a given.

Storage Technology

We received an update from our Dell team today. It looks like politics of who’s the root cause are going to make all of us suffer for another 6 months at least. Read on…

3Sept2014 BG – We investigated this issue. Looks like it is due to anomalous behavior of HyperV NDIS stack. Driver allocates MSIX interrupts for VMQs at load time and sets interrupt affinity bases on the RSS processor set returned by NdisGetRssProcessorInformation call as per MSDN documentation. None of the host CPU is in the list of RSS processors below the base RSS Processor number RssBaseProcNumber.

Later on NDIS specifies cpu0 when it send OID to allocate VMQ. Driver doesn’t find any MSIX interrupt to satisfy the VMQ allocate OID and hence driver fails the OID.

Microsoft Networking Technology Virtualization

We’ve confirmed with Dell Support that QLogic has identified a bug with the QLE82xx network driver (at least through version¬†5.3.12.0925) and Virtual Machine Queues (VMQ). As of August 15, 2014, QLogic reports that they have reproduced the issue, but have not resolved it.

We have a case open with Microsoft Hyper-V Support and that case number has been shared with Dell and QLogic to coordinate troubleshooting and support as the issue becomes more visible in the community. I’ll post updates as we have them. There is word of a beta driver at some point, which we’ve expressed interest in testing.

Networking Technology Virtualization

In Part 1, I laid out a brief summary of VMQ and an example of the configuration that is appropriate for our four-socket, ten-core Hyper-V host. Here in Part 2, I’ll unpack the issue we’re facing in spite of our textbook configuration.

Following the guidance in VMQ Deep Dive, Part 2, using the commands in Part 1 of this blog, we find the below queue list. The three line items are default queues given to the Hyper-V host (HV01) on its physical ports and the related logical switch. We should be seeing the VMs on this host in that list as well, but we aren’t.

vmq_ps_not_zero

The Windows System event log shows the following error, which seems to be the issue with queuing.

vmq_oid_failed

Microsoft Networking Technology Virtualization

We’ve been running ESX since the days of v2.5, but with the news that v4.1 will be the last “fat” version with a RedHat service console, we decided it was time to transition to ESXi. The 30+ step guide below describes our process using an EMC CLARiiON CX3 SAN and Dell hosts with redundant Qlogic HBAs (fiber environment).

  1. Document network/port mappings in vSphere Client on existing ESX server
  2. Put host into maintenance mode
  3. Shutdown host
  4. Remove host from Storage Group in EMC Navisphere
  5. Create dedicated Storage Group per host for the boot LUN in Navisphere
  6. Create the 5GB boot LUN for the host
  7. Add the boot LUN to the host’s Storage Group
  8. Connect to the host console via the Dell Remote Access Card (DRAC)
  9. Attach ESXi media via DRAC virtual media
  10. Power on host (physically or via the DRAC)

Storage Technology Virtualization