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VMware vSphere: Fast Track [V4] – Day 1

This week I am in the VMware vSphere: Fast Track [V4] training class so I can finally get my VCP! I figured I could take the next five days and tell you what I learned, clarifications I made, and questions I raised.
What I learned:

  1. In the VMs and Templates view, you can move multiple VMs into a folder simultaneously by selecting the Virtual Machines tab and then using the shift or ctrl keys. I had always tried to do this from the left panel, which only allows one at a time. (This was not actually taught, my partner showed me this.)
  2. VMware does not support a native VLAN when tagging. From what I found online (http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1266), it appears native VLANs are supported, but not recommended.Update: Native VLANs ARE supported on ESX as I thought. It is important not to add a VLAN ID to a portgroup for a native VLAN as this will not work. More information can be found at: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004074 andhttp://kb.vmware.com/kb/1003806.
  3. The last vmnic added to a vSwitch has the highest priority. This means if you add a vmnic to a vSwitch that is not configured properly (i.e. the wrong VLANs assigned to the port) it will negatively impact your vSwitch. In the most severe case, this could result in loss of management on the ESX host. While I had experienced this before, I did not know the last added vmnic had the highest priority.

Clarifications I made:

  1. Instructors: You should always use FQDNs when configuring VMware services.
    Comments: It is extremely important that your DNS server is configured properly. In addition, it should be noted that if you have multiple records for the same ESX host then the last record that is returned is used no matter what is entered. To test this, add a CNAME record to an ESX host that already has an A record. Then add the ESX host to a vCenter Server instance using the A record FQDN.
  2. Instructors: The NIC you select for installation will become vmnic0.
    Comments: While true, it is important to note the difference between PXE NIC and installation NIC. The selected installation NIC, which may or may not be the same as the selected PXE NIC, will become vmnic0.
  3. Instructors: Folders can be use to organize and control access the physical and virtual “worlds” of vCenter Server.
    Comments: It is important to note that resource pools should NOT be used as an organization or access control method. The reason for this is because resource contention can occur if resource pools are not configured properly. One reason why resource pools are used as folders is because folders cannot be created on a host by host basis.

Questions I raised:

  1. Why does the ‘Use Windows session credentials’ checkbox in the vSphere client not work with ESX 3.5? They did not know.
  2. Why does the ESX(i) installation not default to the maximum amount of memory for the VMkernel? They did not know, but thought it was a good idea.
  3. Exporting system logs from an ESX host multiple time results in the following error message:

    DiagnosticManager.GenerateLogBundles
    vim.fault.TaskInProgress

    It does not matter whether the same user is logged in twice or two different users are logged in. Why? Why are the tasks not queued? They did not know. I later found it that this works as expected from vCenter Server, whether all logs are downloaded or just the logs from a single host.

© 2010, Steve Flanders. All rights reserved.

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