Showing posts from July, 2016

Restarting VMs after a Datacenter Down Event

One of my customers recently had a catastrophic thermal event in one of their datacenters and so had to shut down all of their infrastructure at that site.  After the cooling issue was resolved, we were asked to help them to get their infrastructure back online.  Fortunately, we have included several small details as best practices in our vSphere designs, and one of those really paid off for us.  We always create a VM to Host affinity rule that keeps one Domain Controller, the vCenter server, its PSC and its Database (if external) on a known host in the management cluster.

So, after the SAN was powered back on and we restarted the physical ESXi servers, we knew exactly what to do.  I fired up the vSphere client and logged into that ESXi server in the management cluster as root.  From there, I was able to easily find those core infrastructure VMs and powered them all on.  Once they were running, I logged into vCenter... and found that I had an interesting challenge.

We needed to turn b…

Deploying VCSA via the CLI

I was recently deploying a series of VMware vCenter Server Appliances for a customer who wanted to migrate to that platform from their windows based vCenter 5.5 environment.  Rather than deploying all of these by hand, we figured that this was an excellent time to check out the VCSA command line install options.

The first thing that we had to do was to figure out our architecture.  In this case, it was pretty easy.  Each site was getting a vCenter appliance and a PSC appliance.  We decided that we wanted our PSC appliances to replicate with each other, so that we could use the enhanced Linked Mode functionality in vSphere 6, and so designed a ring topology to reduce the impact of a given site being offline.

The first thing that we had to do was to prepare some JSON answer files.  To do that, open your vCenter Server Appliance install ISO and browse to vcsa-cli-installer\templates\install and examine the bounty contained within.

Copy the example .JSON file(s) that most closely matches …