ESXi on ARM rPI4 failed to add to vCenter

I tried to add my freshly installed rPI 4 running ESXi on ARM to my HomeLab vCenter. It failed with “A general system error occurred: Unable to push signed certificate to host 192.168.0.99”

The root cause is that the rPI has no battery backed RTC therefore the time is out of sync and all certificates are invalid.

Quick fix:

Configure NTP in ESXi

Login to the Host client

Go to Manage, System Tab, Time & date:

Edit NTP settings

change it to:

and click Save

Now click on the Services tab and start the NTPD service:

Select the NTPD service and click on start.

Now verify on the System tab if the time is in sync if this is not the case restart NTPD again from the Services tab which will force the time sync.

Afterwards you can add the ESXi running on a rPI4 to your vCenter.

ESX IP STORAGE TROUBLESHOOTING BEST PRACTICE

VMware has released a new White paper about ESXi IP storage troubleshooting.

In this paper, we:
• Describe how you can analyze packet traces to identify functional and performance issues in an
ESX IP storage environment.
• Compare packet capture alternatives, and explain why we recommend an inline optical network
tap connected to a packet capture system.
• Present the challenges of 10G packet capture, and describe key features of commercial 10G
capture solutions.
• Describe the design of an inexpensive, self-assembled 10G packet capture solution optimized for
troubleshooting that you can build relatively easily. We also describe our experience with multiple
prototypes of this design, which we have used in our ESX IP storage testbeds for NFS and iSCSI
performance for many years.
• Present examples of analyzing packet traces to solve ESX performance issues for NFSv41, software
iSCSI over IPv6, and hardware iSCSI.

ESX-IP-storage-troubleshooting.pdf

VMware Skyline™ is radically transforming customer support

VMware Skyline is an innovative proactive support technology that brings high-performing technology and tools to the workbench to radically transform customer support.

The VMware Skyline Collector uses automation to securely collect data and perform environment-specific analytics on configuration, feature, and performance data. The resulting information may radically improve visibility into a customer’s environment, enabling richer, more informed interactions between customers and VMware without extensive time and investment by support administrators.

For customers, this means that proactive, predictive, and prescriptive recommendations may improve overall stability and reliability and reactive support issues can be resolved more quickly.

Key Benefits
Prescriptive and predictive guidance based upon best practices
Reduced time-to-resolution for service requests
Identification of potential product bugs and guided resolution before problems occur
Overall improved stability of environment

How It Works
Customers with active support subscriptions install the VMware Skyline Collector, a standalone appliance that automatically and securely collects product usage data …

ESXi show details about ramdisk usage

The command below will let you check the space that is free on the host for each of the ramdisk mount points. It also shows you the usage of inodes per ramdisk.

system visorfs ramdisk list	List the RAM disks used by the host.
~ # esxcli system visorfs ramdisk list
Ramdisk Name  System  Include in Coredumps   Reserved      Maximum       Used  Peak Used  Free  Reserved Free  Maximum Inodes  Allocated Inodes  Used Inodes  Mount Point
------------  ------  --------------------  ---------  -----------  ---------  ---------  ----  -------------  --------------  ----------------  -----------  ---------------------------
root            true                  true  32768 KiB    32768 KiB   3916 KiB   4076 KiB  88 %           88 %            8192              8192         5257  /
etc             true                  true  28672 KiB    28672 KiB    504 KiB    712 KiB  98 %           98 %            4096              1024          527  /etc
tmp            false                 false   2048 KiB   196608 KiB  29620 KiB  65016 KiB  84 %            0 %            8192              8192         3770  /tmp
hostdstats     false                 false      0 KiB  1078272 KiB  

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: …