VxRail Manager – Manual Backup

Note: Please refer to the DELL EMC Solve procedures before performing this task, this is for example purposes only, running VxRail code 4.5.210.

This is an example of a manual file-based backup of your VxRail Manager config, which is invaluable in the event you are required to recover the VxRail Manager.

In this example I accessed the VxRail Manager via SSH with mystic account, su to root and navigate to the backup script directory:

vxmgrbckup1

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VxRail iDRAC – ESXi Shell Access via DCUI

A very useful benefit of iDRAC Console is that it allows you access to ESXi DCUI thus providing access to the ESXi Shell. The following steps provide detail on how to gain such access to the ESXi Shell which is disabled by default. Of course there are other methods of accessing shell, but it maybe beneficial for example when all your lab VM’s are running behind a firewall and when those VM’s are down the only direct access to the host(s) is via iDRAC … from where you can manage VM’s via the ESXi Shell!

Begin by browsing to the iDRAC Console:

https://idrac_ip/console

Enter the iDRAC creds:

ESXi Shell Access via DCUI1

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VVD on VxRail – Sizing

VMware Validated Design (VVD) for SDDC on Dell EMC VxRail

Accelerating the path to the VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). Offering VVD with complete vSAN, NSX and vRealize capabilities on the No.1 Dell EMC HCI platform. VMware Validated Design (v4.2) Certified Partner Architecture on the Dell EMC VxRail 4.5 based on PowerEdge 14g.

VxRail VVD

The following details the minimum VxRail hardware requirements per region for both the Management & Edge/Compute Workload Domains in order to implement the architecture of a VVD design on VxRail. Continue reading

VMware VVD 4.3 – BOM

The following is a list of all the components and their versions as per VMware Validated Design 4.3

This new VVD 4.3 release includes for example vSphere 6.5 U2, NSX 6.4.1, vSAN 6.6.1 U2, vRealize Log Insight 4.6, vRealize Business 7.4, vRealize Operations 6.7 and vRealize Automation 7.4.

Note: the list below can be officially found @VMware VVD 4.3 Release Notes

You will note the addition to the BOM of ‘vRealize Lifecycle Manager v1.2’ (vRSLCM) which adds huge capabilities in terms of deployment of a new SDDC and upgrades as you move into later releases. As per the release notes:

As a part of the operations management layer, vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager provides deployment, lifecycle management and configuration drift management in an SDDC that is compliant with VMware Validated Design for Software-Defined Data Center 4.3.
At this stage, vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager is not used in the upgrade of the vRealize Suite components to VVD 4.3.” Continue reading

VVD on VxRail – Shared Edge & Compute Domain (External vCenter Installation)

Note: this is an example for reference only please use the VxRail ‘External vCenter’ installation procedures provided by Dell EMC.

The following will require an understanding of the VVD on VxRAIL design for which all associated documentation can be found here:

VMware Validated Design 4.2 on VxRail Deployment Guides

This post details how to install a VxRail appliance leveraging an external vCenter server, for example this is the case when you wish to deploy a VVD on VxRail solution where the second VxRail instance used for the Shared Edge and Compute Domain (Workload Domain) requires the use of an external vCenter (vCenter is deployed on the Management Domain VxRail Appliance). This process is strictly for the workload domain  and differs from the procedure used to deploy the first Management Domain VxRail Appliance. For more information on the architecture of VVD on VxRail please check out this cool lightboard video from Jason:

VVD for SDDC on VxRail Lightboard Overview

To begin you will need to have the Shared Edge and Compute Domain (Workload Domain) vCenter deployed on the management VxRAIL Appliance. Continue reading

VMware vSAN – Enable Provision of VM SWAP Files as Thin

The following steps detail how to enable vSAN to provision the Virtual Machine Swap files as thin. vSAN Sparse Swap Files allow you to conserve space in the vSAN datastore by only consuming vSAN storage as the swap gets used i.e instead of leaving as default thick swap files which means for example when you create a VM with 32GB of memory this results in the creation of a 32GB virtual swap file (.vswp) unless of course you have configured reservations. You can see how quickly your vSAN datastore could fill if there are many hundreds of VM’s created in this default manner.

Steps to to enable provisioning of virtual machine swap files on vSAN as thin:

From the vSphere Client

1. In the Navigator, click Hosts and Clusters and expand the entire cluster tree.
2. Select the first host in the clsuter.
3. Click the Configure tab->System->Advanced System Settings.
4. Click the Edit button.vsanvswpthin0 Continue reading