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Month: April 2011

VMware Announces the Beta Open PaaS Offering of Cloud Foundry!

Over the last year, I have been working very closely with VMware developers writing cloud PaaS applications. As of today, one of these PaaS applications has left beta and is now publicly available! I am happy to announce the beta open PaaS offering of Cloud Foundry. Now you may be wondering what it is and how it works. VMware has done a very good job of explaining this in detail (http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/cloud-foundry-apr2011.html).
Here are some of the links you should check out:

PING: transmit failed, error code 1232

While testing a vCenter Heartbeat (vCHB) installation, I cloned the Windows VM used for vCenter Server, but did not use guest customization as the vCHB directions stated not to. Since guest customization was not selected, sysprep was not run on the new Windows system.
Once the clone was complete, I followed the directions and disconnected the vNICs. Next, I powered the system up and changed the IPs. Finally, I reconnected the vNICs. I tried a ping to an outside address and to an IP configured on the VM and received:

PING: transmit failed, error code 1232.

Why?

A general system error occurred internal error vmodl.fault.HostCommunication

I am in the process of building my home lab. I recently purchased two servers and installed ESXi 4.1 on them. In addition, I deployed a test vCenter Server instance so I could run VUM. With vCenter Server up, I attempted to add the two ESXi servers. The first one added without issue, but the second one failed with the error messages:

Cannot complete the configuration of the HA agent on the host. See the task details for additional information.

Misconfiguration in the host network setup

I verified that the hosts were in fact configured identically and then tried to add the host again, but the same error messages were displayed.  Based on the error messages, I found the following KB article: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1019200. Unfortunately, the link did not help.
Next, I removed the ESXi host from vCenter Server and tried to re-add it. This time I got a different error message:

A general system error occurred internal error vmodl.fault.HostCommunication

From this error message I found KB article: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1012154. This article pointed to name resolution (i.e. DNS) being my issue. I know of the importance of DNS with VMware products and was sure I had verified its configuration, but decided to double check. As suspected, DNS was configured and working as expected.
At this point, I decided to restart the management services as that fixes a majority of ESX(i) issues. Upon doing so and trying to add the ESXi server to vCenter Server, I received another new error message:

Unable to access the specified host, either it doesn’t exist, the server software is not responding, or there is a network problem

This error message pointed me to KB article: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1003409.
Again I tried everything suggested and was still receiving the same error message. At this point, I was frustrated. I decided to reboot the server just in case that fixed the issue. Upon restarting, the error message want back to the vmodl.fault.HostCommuncation one.
What was going on and how could this be fixed?

Configuring syslog on ESXi

I was assigned an interesting problem a few weeks back. A customer had requested that all ESXi servers have syslog configured in order to troubleshoot a potential bug in ESXi. A technician was assigned the case and configured all ESXi hosts to point to the syslog server on the standard port. The problem was the logs were not being seen on the syslog server. I was asked to figure out why the configuration was not working as expected.
In our particular case, all hosts pointed to a syslog VIP, which was responsible for load balancing syslog requests to a pool of syslog servers. Initially, I checked the load balancer to see if the syslog traffic was making it to the VIP. As it turned out, it was. After confirming the load balancer was working as expected, I began to suspect the configuration on the syslog servers. The only thing that I could think of which would prevent the syslog server from accepting syslog messages from the ESXi hosts was ACLs. Looking at the syslog configuration, I confirmed that the ACLs were set to allow traffic from the VMkernel VLAN configured for management traffic.
Why were the syslog messages not being received?