Time to replace my Homelab – Part 1

My current homelab contains 2x HP ML10v2, 1x HP Microserver Gen8 and 2 Switches (1 Mikrotik Cloud Switch 24 Port, Zyxcel 16 Port). This setup was sufficient for a long time. But due to the increased resource requirements of some VMware products and my activities with vROPs, Log Insight and other solutions I require more resources. Furthermore I would like to reduce from 3 to 1 server and run more activities virtually based on the lab scripts from William Lam.

Current Setup:

New Setup:

The plan is to extend the machine with 8x 146GB SAS disks and additionally upgrade the memory to 144GB at least. The FC card will be removed as it will not be used in my Homelab.

If someone is interested in buying one or two HP ML10v2 please send my a message.

to be continued ……

vCenter notification send push message using Prowl to iOS devices

I would like to receive push messages for triggered alerts from my vCenter. There is the possibility to execute a command when a alert has been triggered so I decided to write a script which will use Prowl to send push notification to my mobile apple device. I used Prowl already for other devices like my Homematic home automation system. It’s easy to use with an simple curl command. You can find a lot of good examples available by using Google.

Sources and Services:

VMware Documentation

Push notification service

You have to create an account on www.prowlapp.com and generate a new API key. The new API key has to be added to script (replace PLACE_YOUR_API_KEY_HERE with your API key).

Script:

This script is really basic and is only a proof of concept. I will extend and improve it over time.

root@vcenter [ ~ ]# mkdir bin
root@vcenter [ ~ ]# 

Homelab the current state

It’s time for a new update about my new Homelab. In the past I was running HP Microserver 2x N40L and 1x Gen8. All these machines are still here but no longer in use and will be for sale soon. My new Homelab contains now 2x HP ML10v2, 1x Zyxel 16 Gbit Switch, 1x Lenovo ix4-300d storage.

2x Server HP ML10 v2: HP ProLiant ML10 v2 G3240-Server (nicht Hot-Plug-fähig, 4 GB-U, B120i, 4 LFF, 350-W-Netzteil)
2x SSD adapter per Server: Kingston SNA-DC2/35 SATA DriveCarrier Einbaurahmen für 6,4 cm (2,5 Zoll) bis 8,9 cm (3,5 Zoll) schwarz
Memory: Samsung 8GB (1x 8GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800E) 2Rx8 ECC Unbuffered Dimm Server Workstation Arbeitsspeicher RAM Memory
1x Zyxel 16 Port Gbit Switch: Zyxel GS1100-16-EU0101F Gigabit Switch (16-Port, RJ-45)
1x Lenovo ix4-300d Storage: Lenovo Iomega ix4-300d Network Storage (0TB Diskless EMEA, Marvell Armada TM XP, 1,3GHz, 4x HDD, 512MB RAM)
2x HP Quad …

NetApp NFS APD issues – reduction of MaxQueueDepth

If you face APD’s in your environment you can follow the KB below to possible improve the situation.

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2016122
https://kb.netapp.com/support/index?page=content&id=1014696

When using NFS datastores on some NetApp NFS filer models on an ESXi/ESX host, you experience these symptoms:
* The NFS datastores appear to be unavailable (grayed out) in vCenter Server, or when accessed through the vSphere Client
* The NFS shares reappear after few minutes
* Virtual machines located on the NFS datastore are in a hung/paused state when the NFS datastore is unavailable
* This issue is most often seen after a host upgrade to ESXi 5.x or the addition of an ESXi 5.x host to the environment but can also occur in vSphere 6 environment.

/var/log/vmkernel.log

NFSLock: 515: Stop accessing fd 0xc21eba0 4
NFS: 283: Lost connection to the server 192.168.100.1 mount point /vol/datastore01, mounted as bf7ce3db-42c081a2-0000-000000000000 (“datastore01”)
NFSLock: 477: Start accessing fd 0xc21eba0 again
NFS: 292: …

Get all guest IPs of all your Virtual Machines using Powershell

This is a small powershell script to get all Guest IPs from all virtual machines

$VCENTER="10.1.1.3"
Connect-VIServer -Server $VCENTER

$vms = Get-VM | Sort

$file = "c:\ip_list.txt"

foreach ($vm in $vms){
	
	foreach($ip in $vm.Guest.IpAddress){
		Write-Host "$vm $ip"
		"$vm $ip" | Out-File -FilePath $file -Append

	}

}

Disconnect-VIServer -Server $VCENTER -Confirm:$false -Force:$true

Update 2: So what has changed … I joined VMware

Some of you might have noticed, there was a countdown on my website. So what has happened … I have decided that it was time to move on to new challenges. So I quit my job at Vodafone after nearly 15 years and joined VMware at the 1st of April 2016 as Senior Technical Support Engineer.

Currently I’m really busy by doing a lot of trainings, exam’s and meeting a lot of interesting people mostly in Cork.

Trainings:

* Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals [V6] – done

* VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6] – done

* VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V6]

* VMware Log Insight [V2.0] Fundamentals – done

* VMware vRealize Operations Manager: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.0]

* VMware Cloud Fundamentals – done

* vCloud Air Fundamentals – done

* VMware vCloud Director Fundamentals [V5.1/V5.5]

* VMware vCloud Director: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.5]

* VMware NSX: Install, Configure, …

Alternative Setup of a VMware Homelab

My planed new Homelab requires a lot of space due to the fact of the size of the components. But what if someone would like to have a Homelab but does not have the space in the office. One option would be to run a fully virtualized Homelab but this is limited to the resources of the computer/laptop. A more costly option would be to use multiple INTEL NUC and a storage system.

Shopping list:

2x Intel NUC i5: Intel NUC6i5SYH
2x Samsung 32GB Memory: SAMSUNG 32GB Dual Channel Kit 2 x 16 GB 260 pin DDR4 2133 SO-DIMM (2133Mhz, PC4-17000, CL15) passend für alle Intel “Skylake” Notebooks mit DDR4 Standard
2x Samsung M2 SSD 250GB: Samsung MZ-N5E250BW 850 EVO interne SSD 250GB (SATA) grün
1x QNAP NAS 4 Bay: QNAP TS-453A-8G-NAS 4-Bay Intel Celeron Braswell N
4x WD Red 3TB: WD 3TB Red interne NAS-Festplatte (8,9 cm (3,5 Zoll)

Homelab upgrade and Options to install a SSD into the HP Microserver Gen8

I started to plan the upgrade my current homelab from 1x HP Microserver Gen8, 2x HP Microserver N40L and a Netgear 24 port switch. The only part which I will keep is the HP Microserver Gen8 it has already 16GB of memory and a HP SmartArray P410 with 512MB Cache module incl. battery. This machine will run my infrastructure machines like a tiny vCenter. As work horses I plan to use HP ML10v2 due to the fact that they are cost efficient and they support up to 32GB of memory.

Parts list which I will use in my future homelab:

1x Server HP Microserver Gen8: HP ProLiant MicroServer (Gen8, G1610T, 1P, 4 GB-U, B120i, SATA-Server)
2x Server HP ML10 v2: HP ProLiant ML10 v2 G3240-Server (nicht Hot-Plug-fähig, 4 GB-U, B120i, 4 LFF, 350-W-Netzteil)
2x SSDs per Server: Mushkin MKNSSDRE1TB Reactor 7mm SSD, 1TB
2x SSD adapter per Server: Kingston SNA-DC2/35

How to configure VMware monitoring in Check_MK

Check_MK is able to monitor ESXi or vCenter out of the box. The configuration requires 2 steps and preferred a read only user.

1. Login to Check_MK

check_mk_login

2. Create new Host

create_new_host

Hostname: ESXi/vCenter Name or fqdn
IP Address: ESXi/vCenter Management IP

create_new_host_esxi

Save & Go to Services

The error message is normal and we can ignore it.

create_host_error

3. Go to Host & Service Parameters

host_service_parameters

4. Click on Datasource Programs

datasource_programs

5. Click Check state of VMWare ESX via vSphere

Bildschirmfoto 2016-03-03 um 14.53.28

6. Create rule in folder Main directory

Explicit hosts: ESXi-Name
vSphere User name: ReadOnlyUser-Name
vSphere secret: Password of the ReadOnlyUser
Select  
 Host Systems
 Virtual Machines
 Datastores
 Performance Counters
 License Usage
Select
 Display ESX Host power state on 
 Display VM power state on
 Placeholder VMs 

Bildschirmfoto 2016-03-03 um 14.57.08

8. Click on Save

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9. Activate your changes

Bildschirmfoto 2016-03-03 um 15.02.46

Bildschirmfoto 2016-03-03 um 15.04.36

10. Click on Hosts

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11. Click on Hosts

3rd icon – Edit services of host

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12. Activate missing

Bildschirmfoto 2016-03-03 um 15.08.40

13. Activate your …