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vCAC 6.1 Removes VM NICs when a description is changed

Maybe my google foo is broken, but I couldn’t see any mention of this in VMware’s KB library. I’m trying to find out if it’s also an issue in vRA 6.2 too.

Edit 14/05/2015: I’m reliably informed that this is fixed in 6.2.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, I was demonstrating how it was possible to change the description of a VM in vCAC via the “Edit” resource action and how it would also result in the vCenter VM being updated.

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So, with the description added, I hit Submit. The description is added to the Virtual Machine in vCAC and also vCenter. I then went to to demonstrate a custom action that executes a vRO workflow and was surprised when it failed and complained about the identity of the network being used.

A brief bit of head-scratching later, and I discovered that vCAC believed the VM to have no network interface:

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The VM’s properties confirmed, that as far as vCAC was concerned, this VM was not connected to any network! However, looking at vCenter, the story was very different:

 

For anyone familiar with vCAC, the solution is easy. And, in fact, vCAC will fix the issue itself in under 24 hours. Forcing vCAC to refresh the vCenter inventory clears up the discrepancy:

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Clearly an odd “feature” of the vCAC portal and I probably wouldn’t even have noticed it but for using the same VM for a particular resource action that needed the VM’s network properties.

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Reset VM Stuck at 95%

I’m not convinced that this is supported, but it did work. As with anything on a blog, use at your own risk.

I was working on rebuilding my home lab and wanted to clear down the host that my vCenter VM was sitting on. Before doing that I wanted to rescue some files from it (long story). For some reason it hung on me and wouldn’t respond so I tried to reset it. This process got as far as 95% and then got stuck 🙁

One way to unstick such a VM is to SSH onto the hosts that it’s running on and use the vm-support command. How?

Run “vm-support -x” to show the world IDs of the running VMs on the host:

The one that I wanted was 9190. Using “vm-support -X 9190” and answering “y” to the three questions that follow will, eventually, result in you getting control back of the VM without affecting anything else. Just remember, try it at your own risk 🙂

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Setting up Sysprep for vCenter 2.5

Several of my recent clients (my current one included) have both avoided, failed or just not used Virtual Machine (VM) templates. Depending on who you ask the answer to the question “Why Not?” seems to vary between:

  • “I didn’t know that you could do that”
  • “We couldn’t make it work”
  • “It was too complicated to setup”
  • “We haven’t had the time yet”
  • “All of our new VMs are different”

After some convincing I have persuaded my current client to let me configure sysprep and a couple of templates for them. I’ve done this a few times before but never really documented it. Admitedly a lot of this is already documented in the Basic Admin Guide for vCenter but this post saves downloading a PDF file.

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