Tegile Array Replication and Restore

These days most of my replication is handled at the VM-level by software design for virtualization. While that is the case for most of my evironment, I still have a few non-virtualized workloads that run on shared storage that need to be replicated in the event of a disaster at my primary location. This process has never been too complex from my days of working with NetApp and now as I continue exploring the Tegile I’m happy to say that it’s just as easy through the GUI.

Documenting this process for my non-virtual workloads would be a little difficult so I’ve decided to document this process using an NFS datastore containing a few virtual machines. The first half of this guide is setting up the replication relationship and replicating the data. The second-half is the process to actually restore that data and make it usable at your DR site.

 

1. Login to the web interface of the Tegile that is the replication source
2. Click on “Settings” then “App-Aware”
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3. Click on “Zebi Replication” on the left column
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4. Under the tab “Replication Target” click the “Add” button (This is adding the DR Tegile as the target array)
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5. Enter the name or IP of the array (the shared Management IP address) and the username/password (Optionally you can specify a port range for replication which we won’t be doing for this documentation) and click “Add”
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6. Once it has been successfully added it will appear in the “Replication Target” list
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7. Login to the web interface of the DR target Tegile, click on “Settings” then “App-Aware”, choose “Zebi Replication” on the left column and then click on “Replication Source” tab. You should see your other array listed here (The IP address will be the “management” IPs of each controller, not the shared management IP for both arrays)
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8. Back on the Primary Tegile (Replication source) click on “Data”
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9. Click on the disk pool then then project that will be replicated
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10. For this documentation I’ve created a Project named “NFS_Replication” with a volume named DR_Windows with 4 VMs inside. Click on the project that will be replicated and click on the “Edit” button
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11. Click on “Replication” on the left column
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12. Click the “Add Replication” button
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a. Select the Target System and click “Next”
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b. Select the “Target Pool” and enter a name for the “Replication Project”. Click “Next”
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c. Choose what options are required and which volumes will be replicated (This test only has one volume, DR_Windows, but you can include or exclude any volumes that exist in this project. We’ll choose quiesce which will perform a VMware snapshot to put the OS in a consistent state. Click “Next”
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d. Choose your schedule (manual or automatic), frequency, and how many additional snapshots (restore points) will be saved on the target array. For this example we’ll do daily replication that happens at 10:49 am and we’ll keep 14 snapshots. Click “Finish”
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e. Once it’s all setup, you’ll see your target array, the target pool, and the target project
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13. I have 4 VMs in that datastore (DR-Test01-04). Once the time hits, we can see that snapshots are taken, then removed, for each of the VMs in that datastore.
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14. On the DR target array, we can see we now have snapshots available for this project. (The reason there are 2 is because I initiated a manual replication sync for testing first)
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a. To manually kick off a replica snapshot, on the source array, find the project, click on “Replication” and then click the “Play” button that says “Replicate”
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That is how simple it is to setup replication. Now let’s imagine we need to spin up those replicated VMs in this volume. Here is how we do that.

 

1. On the DR target array, click on Data, select the pool, then click on “Replica (1)” to view the replica project
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2. Click the “Edit” button for the NFS volume
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3. Click on “Snapshots” and find the snapshot you want to bring live (We’ll choose the latest version). Click the “Clone” button
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a. Cloning the snapshot will allow us to create a new project and NFS Volume from this snapshot and spin up these VMs in DR. By doing a clone, we’re able to continue to replicate data in the event you are testing replication instead of having an actual DR event.

4. Enter a name for the new Project (DR_NFS_Replication for this writing) and a name for the mount point (/export/DR_NFS_Replication for this writing) and click “Clone”
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5. If successful, you’ll receive this message about the new project being created. Click “OK”
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6. Close the window for “Share Configuration” and click on “Local (1)” under “Projects”
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7. Click on the “DR_NFS_Replication” project then view the Mountpoint of the Share (/export/DR_NFS_Replication/DR_Windows). Note the “c” before the share name which denotes it was a clone from another projects
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8. Click the “Edit” button for the project and then click on “Sharing”
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9. This is where you will add the IP addresses or range of IPs that need read/write and root access to the shares in this project. The IP addresses/ranges will carry over from the source array. Our IP range is the same in DR as our lab so we’ll leave this alone.
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10. Connect to your DR vCenter server or ESXi hosts. Click on the host, then “Configuration”, then “Storage”
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11. Click “Add Storage” towards the top right
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12. Choose “Network File System” and click “Next”
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13. Enter the NFS IP address of the DR Tegile, enter the folder path (/export/DR_NFS_Replication/DR_Windows) and then enter the name of the Datastore (DR_Windows). Click “Next”
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14. Review the summary info and click “Finish”
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15. Repeat for each host that needs access to this datastore. Afterwards, right click the datastore and click “Browse Datastore”
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16. Inside you’ll see the 4 VMs we that were located in here before. Open each folder, right click the VM name.vmx file and choose “Add to inventory”
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17. Enter the name and location for the VM and click “Next”
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18. Choose the Cluster or host and click “Next”
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19. Review the settings and click “Finish.” Repeat for each VM that needs to be added.
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20. Power on all the VMs and now you can run any validation tests or bring these VMs live in a DR event
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Obviously, the process of mounting the datastore in your DR vCenter Server and re-adding the VMs one by one would be time consuming and tedious. When developing your DR plans, having this process scripted (easy enough in something like PowerCLI) ahead of time on the vCenter side of things would ease that burden. From the standpoint of the Tegile, this process is fairly intuitive and simple to setup. One of the things I love is that by default the data you are bringing live on the DR site is a clone and replication continues running without being affected.

Deploy NetApp OnCommand Balance 4.2

OnCommand Balance is a virtual appliance deployed within vCenter that allows you to monitor the health of your VMware environment at the Virtual Machine, vCenter and Storage level. Having a single place that displays end-to-end performance allows you to spend less time troubleshooting performance issues and trying to correlate data and address potential issues in your environment.

I’ve been using OnCommand Balance (formerly OnCommand Insight Balance) for a few years now and it has saved countless hours finding issues in the environment. We’ve had historical data available to look at growth and performance trends, as well as increased demand on individual servers after code releases/updates. Having access to the information within the VMs (such as drive space filling up) also makes this an invaluable tool.

The following documentation will take you through the deployment process of the Virtual Appliance and initial setup. You will go through adding your vCenter hosts, storage controllers, creating saved credentials, connecting to Active Directory for authentication and provision a Windows proxy service for monitoring Windows Servers.

Prerequisites:
1. A user account with appropriate permissions to vCenter for OnCommand Balance to use
2. A domain account with permissions to access all monitored Windows machines (preferrably a Domain Admin account)
3. A separate Windows Server/VM that will be used as the Proxy service to monitor Windows machines
a. Must have latest version of Java 6 installed and User Account Control disabled
4. Username/password for the NetApps that will be monitored

Steps:
1. Download the latest version of OnCommand Balance (4.2) for this writing from the NetApp website
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2. Connect to the vSphere web interface, click on “vCenter”, “Hosts and Clusters”, expand the Datacenter, and click on the Cluster/Host that will host OnCommand Balance. Right click and choose “Deploy OVF Template”
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3. Click “Local file” and then “Browse”
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4. Locate the OnCommand Balance OVA and click “Open” then click “Next”
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5. Review the details of the OVF then click “Next”
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6. Accept the EULA then click “Next”
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7. Give the appliance a name and choose the folder location of the appliance (if any) and click “Next”
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8. Set the virtual disk format (I prefer Thin since one of the drives is 220GB) and choose the datastore. Click “Next”
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9. Choose the appropriate network and then click “Next”
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10. Review the settings then click “Finish”
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11. After deployment completes, locate the appliance, right click and choose “Power On”
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12. Open the console of the VM (Right-click and choose “Open Console”) where you’ll see this countdown to install VMware tools prior to configuring the Balance virtual appliance (If you miss your chance to do this at this point, I was unable to install VMware tools at all on the appliance)
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13. Right-click on the VM, go to “All vCenter Actions”, then “Guest OS” and then click “Install VMware Tools”
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14. After the VMware tools dialog box is displayed, click “Mount”
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15. The Balance virtual appliance should recognize VMware tools ISO has been mounted and proceed with the installation
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16. After VMware tools install completes, press “y” then enter to configure static Network connection for the management interface
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17. Enter the following information:

a. Host name
b. Host IP address
c. Netmask
d. Gateway
e. Primary DNS address
f. Secondary DNS address
g. Search domains
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18. Review the settings and then press “y” and enter if everything is correct
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19. Default OnCommand Balance console login is netapp/netapp. Login to the console
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20. After a few minutes (5-10) the web service will be up and running. Connect to the https://IPofAppliance/bp to begin configuration
21. Enter the name of your organization and click “Continue”
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22. Choose if you want to participate in AutoSupport and click “Submit”
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23. Enter the time zone, NTP Server address, the address of the primary Balance admin (preferably a distribution group), and the SMTP server address. Click “Continue” (You can choose to change the password at this time)
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24. Sit around and wait a couple minutes…
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25. A blank screen may appear during this time, but eventually should take you to the OnCommand Balance login page. Login with the default credentials of admin/password or whatever password was set in step 23.
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26. Click the link for “Configure you storage arrays & appliances”
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27. Choose the type of storage (NetApp FAS in this case), enter the management address for one of the nodes, Enter the name of the filer, enter the credentials (root in my case) and enter a nickname of these credentials as they can be modified later on during password changes. Click “Save”
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28. Even though DNS is configured correctly, I usually receive this error about the other filer of this HA system not being resolvable. Click “Enter IP address instead” and then enter the IP of the other filer and click “Resolve”
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29. Click the “Refresh” link on the right side of the page a few times until “Discovery Collection” status changes to “OK”
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30. Click the “Add storage system” button to add additional storage arrays (Including the HA partners). Click on “Dashboard” then choose “Configure your vCenter Server”
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31. Enter the FQDN/IP Address of the vCenter server. Click “Add new” next to Credentials to add the credentials for the vCenter server
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32. Enter the username, password, and nickname for these credentials. Click “Next”
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33. Choose what you want monitored (though I can’t imagine why you’d choose not to monitor everything) and click “Save”
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34. Click the “refresh” link until “Discovery Collection” status changes to “OK”
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35. Click “Add vCenter Server” button to add any additional vCenter servers. Otherwise, hover over “Discovery” and choose “Credentials”
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36. To monitor the OS’s of your VMs and physical servers, you can add those credentials on this page. I’ll add domain admin credentials for monitoring my Windows domain VMs. Click “Add credentials” button
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37. Choose the login method, login name (domain\username), password, nickname for the credentials, and a description. Click “Save”
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38. Once added they will appear on this screen
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39. Hover over “Discovery” and choose “Proxies”
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40. A proxy is required to monitor the guest OS status of Windows VMs and Physical servers. This proxy runs on a windows server. Once you’ve determined (or built) the appropriate server for the proxy, enter it’s FQDN or IP address and click “Continue”. Much like the picture below says, UAC MUST be disabled. You’ll beat your head against the wall for hours trying to figure out why it fails without that.
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41. Download and install the latest 32-bit Java 6 runtime on this proxy server. Then navigate to the link listed on that proxy VM to begin the installation
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42. Once the Balance Proxy Installer screen appears, click “Next”
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43. Locate the folder path for the 32-bit java install and click “Next”
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44. Enter an admin account for the service to be run under. Check the box for “Start service immediately after install” and click “Next”
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45. Select any additional components you might need for other vendors and click “Next”
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46. Review the information and click “Install”
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47. Click “Finish”
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48. Back at the Balance web interface, click “Validate proxy setup” and if successful, click “Continue”
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49. Hover over “Discovery” and click on “Servers”
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50. Click the link on the right side for “Unmonitored Servers”
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51. Click the link next the vCenter server for “# guests are not being monitored”
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52. Check the box next to the VMs you wish to monitor, choose your Credentials from the dropdown box in the center and click “Monitor guest(s)”
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53. Hover over “Admin” and choose “Configuration”
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54. Click “Email”. In here you can set authentication for your SMTP server, choose the “From” address for Balance emails. Click “Enable alerts” and then check all the boxes for Critical, Warning, and all categories (I prefer as many alerts as I can get). Click “Update”
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55. Click on “Active Directory” and click the check box for “Enable Active Directory”
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56. Enter the IP/hostname of your AD server, enter the Distinguished name of the account used to search Active Directory, and enter the password for that account. Click “Test”
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57. Once successful, enter the Distinguished Name of the of the OU for the user/group that will have access to login. Enter the Distinguished name of the Group that will be able to login. Enter “sAMAccount” for the search attribute. Click “Update”
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58. Hover over “Admin” and click “Users”
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59. Click “Add User”
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60. Change “Authentication” to “Active Directory”. Enter the username and click “Lookup”. If successfully, configured, it should populate the e-mail address. Choose the appropriate user type (Admin or User) and click “Save”
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You’re all setup and ready to let OnCommand Balance start collecting data in your environment. You start to receive some information within about 30 minutes, but after 3-5 days you start to get a better understanding of what is going on in your environment and have more useful metrics.

Tegile NFS Datastore Management in vCenter

As the primary VMware and storage admin, I try to minimize the number of tools I have to use to accomplish my tasks. When it comes to provisioning and managing volumes for VMware, I prefer to do it all from within the vSphere if possible. The VSC console for my NetApp filers has saved a lot of time over the years, but as we continue to explore our Tegile array we can see what their software has to offer.

My last post was about registering the Tegile plugin with vCenter to have this functionality available in the vSphere client. This post goes into the basic administration of NFS volumes from within the vSphere client.

Prerequisites:
1. Credentials to the Tegile web interface (default is admin/tegile)
2. Registered the Tegile plugin on your vCenter server. Click here for those steps.

Steps:
1. Login to the vSphere thick client then click on “Home” and choose “Tegile Management” under “Solutions and Applications”
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2. Proceed through any security warnings and login to the Tegile interface
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3. On the left you’ll see a list of all the datastores on the Tegile that have been mounted on the ESXi hosts in this vCenter. Towards the bottom, click on “Add Datastore”
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4. Enter the following information and click “Create”

a.Name: Name of the datastore
b. Type: Whether block or file based (SAN or NAS)
c. Protocol: NFS, iSCSI
d. Quota: Check this box to set a max size of the volume
e. ESX/ESXi Server (Version): Check the hosts that this datastore will be provisioned to
f. Pool: The disk pool for this datastore (if multiple are available)
g. Project: The project that this datastore will be associated with
h. Purpose: The type of workload hosted on this datastore (important for block size assignment)
i. Zebi Floating IP Address: The IP each ESXi host will connect to
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5. Once the operation is complete, click “OK”
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6. The new datastore has been created and mounted and appears in the list of Zebi datastores
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7. Click the “More Details” button for the newly created datastore to see all the details of this volume
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8. In order to resize this volume, click the “resize” button
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a. Check the box for “New Share Quota” and enter the new size and press “Submit”
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9. This view will refresh and the new size will be reflected
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10. I have moved a virtual machine into this datastore to test the snapshot function with quiesce enabled. Click the “Snapshot” button for the datastore
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11. Enter the name of the snapshot, change “Quiesce” to “on” and click “Create”
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12. You’ll receive a message that snapshot creation has been triggered. Click “OK”
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a. A new task will be created to snapshot all VMs that are in that datastore
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13. Once the task to remove the virtual machine snapshot completes, click the “Refresh” button on the snapshot screen to see the new snapshot
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14. To delete the snapshot, check the box to the snapshot and press the “Delete” button
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a. Click “Yes” to confirm deletion
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b. After this box disappears the snapshot is deleted
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i. *UPDATED 10/9/14* There was a bug in version 2.1.2.4.140802 of the Zebi software that stopped the confirmation box was going away after the snapshot deletion completed. Clicking “No” would allow you to return to the snapshot list without any errors. In version 2.1.2.5.140925 this has been fixed and now the confirmation box disappears after the snapshot deletion completes.

Those are the basic functions you can perform from within the plugin. In a future release I would like to see the ability to create full snapshot schedules from the plugin. Since I am the one who is responsible for VMware and storage in our environment it’s simple for me to create the schedule on the web interface of the Tegile array, but that is not always the case. Another function I would like to see is mounting existing datastores on new hosts without having to go through the “Add Storage” process in vCenter for each host.

I’m confident the functionality will get there and I’ll continue to build my list of feature requests for the Tegile team.

Register vCenter Server on Tegile

After 7 years of NetApp administration and implementation I have started looking for a new storage vendor that can “do it all” like NetApp has been able to do. Protocol support is a big deal in each of the environments I’ve worked in, but performance (IOPs and low-latency) are 2 things my existing NetApps haven’t been able to provide. The idea of adding capacity just to add performance is an antiquated way of thinking and NetApp just hasn’t been able to keep up with the evolving storage market.

I am starting a short series on Tegile setup and administration. Tegile came to us a couple of months ago and has impressed us from the very first conversation and all throughout our sizing and implementation. The box is simple to setup and administer and its performance is crushing our current NetApp.

This guide walks you through connecting the Tegile array to your vCenter server, installing the NFS VAAI Plugin, and setting the Tegile recommended values on the ESXi hosts. Once this is completed, you’ll be able to provision new volumes, resize existing volumes, create VM-aware storage snapshots as well as view storage performance of your VMs all from within the vSphere client.

Prerequisites:
1. Admin credentials to the Tegile and vCenter server
2. Dedicated service account in vCenter (I created an account called “ZebiAdmin”)
3. Root password for the ESXi hosts (required to set recommended values)

 

Steps:
1. Connect to the web interface of the storage array and login with Admin credentials

a. Default username: admin
b. Default password: tegile

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2. Click on “Settings” then choose “App-Aware”
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3. Click “Add vCenter/ESXi Host” towards the bottom
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4. Enter the following information:

a. Host Name/IP address: Host name or IP of the vCenter server
b. Username: User account with admin access to vCenter
c. Password: Password for user account
d. Enable Quiesce: This needs to be checked if quiescing will be used at all (a VMware snapshot is taken during thestorage snapshot process for OS consistency). Can be toggled per snapshot job

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5. Click “Test” to see if the connection is successful. If it is, the “Save” button will turn solid blue and can be clicked
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6. Click “OK” to confirm enabling of quiesce on VMware
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7. Once saved, click the green “Register” button to add the Tegile plugin to vCenter
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8. Once the registration is successful, click “OK”
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9. Login to the vSphere thick client (not the web client). Click the “Home” button then click on “Tegile Management” under “Solutions and Applications” (Click yes to proceed through any certificate warnings)
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10. Login to the Tegile web interface (Likely the same username and password as in step 1)
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11. In this interface you’ll see a list of Datastores on the Tegile that are mounted on your ESXi hosts as well as real-time stats of your array, datastores, and VMs.
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12. Click on “ESX Settings”
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13. Select all the ESXi hosts and then click the Green Arrow icon to install/upgrade the VAAI NFS plugin on these hosts
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14. After the install completes (may take 2-3 minutes), click the “Configuration” button for each host
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15. Login to the ESXi host (likely “root” credentials)
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a. Click “Yes” to enable SSH on this host if it isn’t already enabled
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16. NFS.MaxQueueDepth should be set to “32” and the rules for iSCSI and FC can be installed in this location. Click “Save” to enable these changes

17. After the NFS VAAI plugin has been installed and settings saved, reboot the host. Repeat for each host in vCenter.

a. The settings changes are immediate, but the NFS VAAI plugin requires a host reboot

 

The process is simple and straight forward. This same process on the NetApp requires the Virtual Storage Console plugin to be installed on a separate server and configured then registered on the vCenter side with much more configuration. Also, installing the NetApp NFS VAAI plugin on the hosts is done through vCenter Update Manager and has been downloaded separately from the NetApp support site. That being said, the Tegile solution is lacking some of the polish that NetApp provides. I would like to see recommended values of the ESXi hosts set all at once, as opposed to one host at a time. In addition, I’d like the Tegile to change NFS.MaxVolumes default value from 8 to something much higher like the NetApp (256).

vCenter Orchestrator Install and Config

I have wanted to get started with vCO for awhile now, but I have not had much of use for it. Justifying the time to deploy and learn a new tool when you don’t have a glaring need for it proves tricky, but recently I was able to carve out some time to learn. One of the biggest hurdles was finding step-by-step deployment guide that worked so I decided to document this process.

The following documentation is for installing the vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) Appliance v5.5.1 with an already deployed vCenter 5.5 server (vCSA in my case). The appliance allows you to run vCO without installing it on a dedicated Windows Server.

1. Search for VMware-vCO-Appliance and download the latest version (VMware-vCO-Appliance-5.5.1.0-1617225_OVF10.ova for this writing)
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2. Accept the license terms and save the file locally
3. Connect the vSphere client to your vCenter Server then choose File -> Deploy OVF Template
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4. Click the “Browse” button, locate the .OVF downloaded previously and click “Open” then click “Next”
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5. Review the template details and click “Next”
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6. Accept the license agreement and click “Next”
7. Choose a name and location for this appliance and click “Next”
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8. Choose a datastore for the appliance and click “Next”
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9. Choose the appropriate disk format (I prefer thin provisioned) and click “Next”
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10. Choose the appropriate Destination Network (VM Port Group) and click “Next”
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11. Enter passwords for both the root user of the appliance and the password for the configuration interface (‘vmware’ is the username)
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  • Enter the Hostname, gateway, DNS, IP and subnet mask for the appliance and click “Next”
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12. Review the details of the configuration and then click “Finish”
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13. Once the appliance has been deployed successfully, click “Close”

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14. Right click on the appliance and choose “Open Console”
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15. Click the Power button to turn on the VM
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16. Boot to “VMware vCenter Orchestrator Appliance”
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17. Note the URLs for each function
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18. Open a web browser and connect to the URL for Orchestrator Configuration (Port 8283)
19. Login with the username “vmware” and the password entered for the vCO configuration during appliance deployment
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20. Click on “Network”
VCO080414-step20
21. Change the “IP address” to the IP used to access vCO and click “Apply changes” in the bottom right corner
VCO080414-step21
22. Click the “SSL Trust Manager” tab, enter the IP or hostname of your vCenter server and click “Import”
VCO080414-step22
23. Once the cert information is displayed, click the “import” link
VCO080414-step23
24.Repeat this process again, this time importing the certificate for SSO. Enter the FQDN of the SSO server with port 7444 and click “Import” then “Import” again once the certificate details are displayed
VCO080414-step24new
25. Click on “Authentication” to configure user access

VCO080414-step24
26. For this writing we will use the SSO Authentication method, so change Authentication mode to “SSO Authentication” and click “Advanced settings”
VCO080414-step25
27. Enter the Token and Admin service URLs, the SSO admin username and passwords. Click “Register Orchestrator”

  • Token service URL: https://vCenterIPaddress:7444/ims/STSService
  • Admin service URL: https://vCenterIPaddress:7444/sso-adminserver/sdk
  • Admin user name: administrator@vsphere.local
  • Admin password: Password for admin account
    VCO080414-step26d

28. Once registration completes, choose the vCO Admin – domain and group from the list (These are populated based on your SSO config). Click “Accept Orchestrator Configuration”
VCO080414-step27
29. Click on “Startup Options”
VCO080414-step28
30. Click “Restart the vCO configuration server”
VCO080414-step29
31. Log back in once the server has finished restarting and click “Licenses”
VCO080414-step30
32. Choose “Use vCenter Server license” and enter the host name of the vCenter server, port should be 443, path is /sdk, and for username and password I used the SSO admin. Click “Apply changes” towards the bottom right of the screen
VCO080414-step31
33. Click on “vCenter Server (5.5.1)”
VCO080414-step32
34. Click “New vCenter Server Host” and enter the hostname of the vCenter server, port is 443, path is /sdk, I chose “Session per user” and the username and password for the SSO admin account. Click “Apply changes”
VCO080414-step33
35. Click on “Mail (5.5.1)”
VCO080414-step34
36. Click the check box for “define default values” and enter in the following information and click “Apply changes”

  • SMTP host: The address for your mail server
  • SMTP Port: Usually 25
  • Username and password: If your mail server requires authentication
  • From name: Name that vCO emails will appear from
  • From address: Email address that vCO emails will appear from
    VCO080414-step35e

37. Open a new browser window/tab and navigate to https://vCOIPaddress:8281/vco/client/client.jnlp to access the Java web client for vCO. Login as user that is a member of whatever group was chosen in step 27 as a vCO Admin
VCO080414-step36

  • At first this did not work and kept reporting “No vCO license available” when I attempted to login. After restarting the service and configuration server through the web interface, I ended up restarting the vCO appliance within vCenter and then I was able to login without issue

38. At this point you’re all setup and ready to start creating workflows
VCO080414-step37
 

Veeam 7.0 Install on Windows 2012

Veeam Backup & Replication is one of my favorite piece of software I get to work with. I’ve been working with B&R since 2010 (v5) and it has always been easy to install, easy to configure, and quick to start taking backups and protecting my environment. And that is just the software, the company itself is even better. Their support forums are full of employees and users that are knowledgeable and quick to help. The best way to describe Veeam is a company that is on your side as an Administrator. They listen to their community, their users, their customers and are developing solutions that make our jobs easier.

The following guide walks you through installing SQL Express, Veeam, connecting to vCenter 5.5 and configuring deduplication for a secondary drive on Windows Server 2012 R2. I have a preference for installing all software to a secondary drive instead of the OS (C:\) drive so this documentation shows how to install each component to that secondary drive in the event you have the same preference as me.

Veeam’s site contains best practices regarding backup types, sizing of your Veeam server, deduplication recommendations, and everything else that goes into the planning of your Veeam Backup & Replication deployment. This guide is more just to show how to configure the components and an example of what I’m seeing for deduplication rates.

 

Prerequisites:
1. Windows Server 2012 R2 patched, joined to domain, with 2 additional drives (one for Veeam to be installed on and the other for backup data)
2. A user or group defined for Veeam administrators (required when doing a standalone SQL Express install in order to use Veeam, the service account used to run veeam must be a member of this group or added as a SQL Administrator in step 8)
3. A domain user account with admin rights to the vCenter server
4. Mount the Veeam B&R ISO
5. Turn off User Account Control (SQL Express install will fail without this)

Install:
1. Open “This PC”, located the Veeam disc, right click and choose “Open”
veeam7061614-step1
2. Browse to “Redistr\x64”, locate and double-click on “SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe”
veeam7061614-step2
3. Once the “SQL Server Installation Center” windows appears, click on “New installation or add features to an existing installation”
veeam7061614-step3
4. Accept the license terms and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step4
5. After Setup Support Files are loaded the SQL Server 2008 R2 Setup window will appear. Choose the features you’ll need (just Database Engine Services usually), change the Directories to the secondary drive (D:\ for this writing) and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step5
6. Enter the name of the instance and change the root directory to the secondary drive and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step6
7. You can run the SQL database engine as Network Service, but I prefer running as a named service account. Enter the domain\username, password, and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step7
8. Choose “Mixed Mode” for authentication type. Enter the “sa” password and immediately save it somewhere.
veeam7061614-step8

  • a. For “SQL Server administrators”, only users/groups added here will be able to open and run Veeam. Add all users that will need to access Veeam or create a group.
    veeam7061614-step8a
  • b. Click “Data Directories” tab and ensure all the directories are pointing to the secondary drive and click “Next” (For organization I prefer to create folders for each file, but it isn’t necessary)
    veeam7061614-step8b

9. Choose if you want to send error reports to Microsoft and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step9

  • a. Install will now begin to run

10. Once Installation completes, click “Close”
veeam7061614-step10
11. Navigate back to the root of the disc drive then locate and run “Setup.exe”
veeam7061614-step11
12. Click on install for “Veeam Backup & Replication”
veeam7061614-step12
13. Click “Next” through the initial setup screen
veeam7061614-step13
14. Read and accept the license agreement and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step14
15. If you have a license key add it now, otherwise click “Next”
veeam7061614-step15
16. Choose the program features to install. Click “Browse” button to change the installation to the secondary drive (you will have to make a new Folder name “Veeam” followed by “Backup and Replication” inside of it). Click “OK” then click “Next”
veeam7061614-step16
veeam7061614-step16-2
17. If any of the components that are required show a status of “Failed”, click the “Install” button
veeam7061614-step17

  • a. Once the installation completes the status will change to “Passed” then click “Next”
    veeam7061614-step17a

18. Enter the domain\username and password of the account Veeam will use to access vCenter and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step18

  • a. This user should be a local administrator on the server running Veeam or you’ll receive this message
    veeam7061614-step18a

19. Choose “Use existing instance of SQL Server”, select the Server\Instance and then enter a name for the Veeam database. Click “Next”
veeam7061614-step19

  • a. If the domain\veeam account isn’t in the Veeam Admins group, you will receive the following error that the user account “lacks CREATE ANY DATABASE permission”
    veeam7061614-step19a

20. Note the ports for Backup service and Catalog service and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step20
21. Change the “vPower NFS” directory to the secondary drive by clicking “Browse”, then navigate to the D:\Program Files\Veeam\Backup and Replication” then create a new folder inside named “NfsDatastore” and click “OK”.
veeam7061614-step21

  • a. For Guest file system catalog, click Browse and create a new folder named “VBRCatalog” under the D:\ drive. Click OK then “Next”
    veeam7061614-step21a1
    veeam7061614-step21a2

22. Review the configuration and then click “Install”
veeam7061614-step22
23. Once installation completes, click “Finish”
veeam7061614-step23
24. Now that Veeam is installed, let’s upgrade it to the latest patch. On Veeam’s website, download the latest patch for the version you’re running (Patch 4 for this writing) and copy it out to the server running Veeam.
25. Run the executable for this patch
veeam7061614-step25
26. Click “Next” through the first screen of the patch wizard
veeam7061614-step26
27. Click “Install” to begin the installation
veeam7061614-step27
28. Once the patch is installed, click “Finish”
veeam7061614-step28
29. Now that Veeam is installed and fully patched, locate Veeam Backup & Replication and open
veeam7061614-step29
30. You will receive a message about components that need to be updated (vPower NFS, Transports, Installer, etc). Click the check box next to the server and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step30
31. Click “Finish” once the components have been updated
veeam7061614-step31
32. Click the menu button and then click on “Options”
veeam7061614-step32
33. Click the check box for “Enable e-mail notification” and then enter your SMTP server, from email and to email. Click “OK”
veeam7061614-step33
34. Click on “Virtual Machines” towards the lower-left of the window and click “Add Server”
veeam7061614-step34
35. Click on your Server type (VMware vSphere for this writing)
veeam7061614-step35
36. Enter the name or IP of the vCenter server and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step36
37. For credentials, click “Add” then enter the domain\username and password for the Veeam account used to connect to vCenter. Click “OK” then click “Next”
veeam7061614-step37
38. Once the server has been added, click “Finish”
39. By default, the folder all VM backups are stored in is “C:\backup”. To change this before you create any backup jobs is to click on “Backup Infrastructure” towards the lower left of the window then click on “Backup Repositories”
veeam7061614-step39
40. Click the “Add Repository” button towards the top-left
veeam7061614-step40
41. Name your Backup Repository and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step41
42. Choose the type of repository (Microsoft Windows server) and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step42
43. Click the “Populate” button then select the backup drive and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step43
44. Enter the folder name (I took the default of D:\Backups) and click the populate button to see the capacity and free space of the drive. Limit the max concurrent tasks and/or data ingestion rate and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step44
45. Ensure vPower NFS is enabled and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step45
46. Review the settings and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step46
47. Once it completes, click “Finish”
veeam7061614-step47
48. Once the new repository appears, click the Menu button in the top-left corner and then click “Configuration Backup”
veeam7061614-step48
49. Change the Backup repository to the newly created repository and click “OK”
veeam7061614-step49
50. Right click on the “Default Backup Repository” and click “Remove” and click “Yes” to confirm delete
veeam7061614-step50
51. Now that a new repository is created, we need to enable deduplication on that folder. Open Server Manager, click on “Manage” then choose “Add Roles and Features”
veeam7061614-step51
52. Click “Next” through the “Before you begin” screen
53. Choose “Role-based or feature-based installation” and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step53
54. Choose “Select a server from the server pool” and select the current server then click “Next”
veeam7061614-step54
55. Expand “File and Storage Services”, then “File and iSCSI Services” and then check the box next to “Data Deduplication” and click “Next”
veeam7061614-step55
56. Click “Next” through “Features”
57. Click “Install”
veeam7061614-step57
58. Once installation is complete, click “Close”
59. Back in “Server Manager”, click on “File and Storage Services”
veeam7061614-step59
60. Click on “Volumes”, right-click the drive that we’ll be enabling dedupe for and choose “Configure Data Deduplication”
veeam7061614-step60
61. Set data deduplication from “Disabled” to “General purpose file server”, change “Deduplicate files older than (in days)” to 0.
veeam7061614-step61

  • a. To exclude folders from being deduped on that disk, click the “Add” button, expand the “Z:\” drive, and select each folder to prevent deduplication. In our setup, only backups are going to the Z:\ drive so we’ll skip this
  • b. Click “Set Deduplication Schedule” and then check the box for “Enable throughput optimization”. You will set the schedule for when dedupe runs. This should run when your backups are NOT running. My backups run OUTSIDE business hours, so dedupe should run DURING business hours. Click “OK” when finished and “OK” again
    veeam7061614-step61b

Now that Veeam is setup and connected to vCenter and we have a backup repository created with dedupe enabled, let’s take a look and see what kind of savings we get when we take our backups. One thing to note is that you won’t see much dedupe savings on a single backup file, but on a long backup chain and multiple backup jobs is where the real savings starts to come into play.

I have configured backups of 2 of my Exchange 2013 servers to run every 6 hours and keep 28 restore points (7 days). This backup job is set to “Reverse incremental” and Veeam is performing inline dedupe, compression set to “Optimal” and optimized for “Local target”. My first full backup was 36.3GB. Over the next 3 days, I have taken 12 more backups for a total of 75.1GB.
veeam7061614-veeam1

After dedupe ran over the last 3 days, we see the size as 75.1GB, but Size on disk is only 10.5GB
veeam7061614-veeam2

This is where it gets a little interesting though. In powershell, running the command “Get-DedupStatus” only shows a savings of 14GB. I’m not sure which one is accurate, but even a savings of just 14GB in one backup job is an improvement. Since Windows Server 2012 deduplication runs across all files on a volume, you will see increased savings for every new backup file that’s created for every job that writes to that backup repository.
veeam7061614-veeam3

NetApp VSC 4.2.1 Install on vCenter 5.5

I’m open to change, usually. New technology, new releases, new features, new options; I just like new. Though I do like new there is some “new” I struggle to get behind and that “new” is the vSphere Web Client. Even though it has been around awhile, with vSphere 5.5 there are things you have to use the web client for in order to administer your VMs (assuming they’re Harware Version 10). As a man not quite ready to make the leap to full-blown Web Client administration (and how can you since you still need the thick client to run Update Manager), I decided to install NetApp’s Virtual Storage Console 4.2.1 so I can continue to perform NetApp administration in the vSphere thick client.

As the primary VMware and NetApp engineer, having one place to create, mount, and resize volumes is a time saver. Plus the ability to create volume-level snapshots that quiesce the guest operating systems of your VMs provides a quick, point-in-time recovery time for your infrastructure. The steps below show how to install and configure the VSC 4.2.1 plugin in vSphere 5.5 connecting to an HA-pair of NetApps running ONTAP 8.1.2 in 7-mode.

Prerequisites:

1. A server that will run the VSC service (I usually install it on the Windows Server that hosts the vCenter Service or Update Manager as there are no port conflicts)
2. A domain account with “Administrator” rights to vCenter and local administrator on the Windows Server (this account will run the VSC service)
3. Credentials for the NetApps (I use ‘root’ for this, but a new user can be created on the NetApps with appropriate permissions)

 

Steps:

1. Run VSC-4.2.1-win64.exe as administrator
2. Click “Next”
VSC4052814-step2
3. Read through the “Shared Credentials” notes, click “I Understand” then click “Next”
VSC4052814-step3
4. Check the box for “Backup and Recovery” (if licensed) and click “Next”
VSC4052814-step4
5. Set the installation directory (I prefer to install to a non-OS drive) and click “Next”
VSC4052814-step5
6. Note the URL and click the “Install” button
VSC4052814-step6
7. When the installation completes click “Finish” and you should have a browser pop-up to the URL above
VSC4052814-step7
8. On the browser page, continue through any security warnings
VSC4052814-step8
9. Choose the IP of the local service the plugin will use to communicate with vCenter (This is the IP of the server you are installing VSC to)

  • a. Enter the IP of the vCenter server
  • b. Enter a service account username and password (this should not be your own credentials)
  • c. Click “Register”
    VSC4052814-step9c
  • d. You should see this message below if successful
    VSC4052814-step9d

10. On the server, go to “Start”, “Administrative Tools”, and click on “Services”
VSC4052814-step10
11. Locate the “Virtual Storage Console for VMware vSphere Server” service, right click and choose “Properties”
VSC4052814-step11
12. Click the “Log On” tab then click “This account”

  • a. Enter the account username and password used to connect to vCenter then click “OK”
    VSC4052814-step12a
  • b. Click “OK” for the message about granting Log On As A Service rights
  • c. Click “OK” about not taking affect until the service is restarted

13. Right-click on the service and click “Restart”
VSC4052814-step13
14. Login to the vSphere thick client to the vCenter server

  • a. You should receive a Security Warning pop up, click the box to install the certificate and click “Ignore”
    VSC4052814-step14a

15. Click “Plug-ins” then “Manage Plug-ins” at the top
VSC4052814-step15
16. Locate the “Virtual Storage Console” plugin, right click it and click “Enable” then click “Close”
VSC4052814-step16

17. Click the “Home” button towards the top left then click “NetApp” under “Solutions and Applications”
VSC4052814-step21

  • a. If you receive a Security Alert click “Yes” to proceed

18. Right-click on one of the storage controllers listed at the top and click “Modify Credentials”
VSC4052814-step22
19. Enter the management IP address, username (likely root) and password (try with SSL, but if it doesn’t work try without SSL) and click “OK”
VSC4052814-step23

  • a. Click “OK” for the controller privileges summary
  • b. Repeat for any additional Storage Controllers
  • c. Once completed this is what you should see
    VSC4052814-step23c

20. Click on “Provisioning and Cloning” towards to the bottom left
VSC4052814-step24
21. Click the link for “Storage controllers” and click the “Refresh” link towards the top right
22. Right click on one of the controllers and click “Resources”
VSC4052814-step26
23. Move the NFS/iSCSI network interface(s) to the right column, move any volumes that VMware will manage to the right column and move any aggregates to the right column to be managed as well. Click “Save” (The 10.32.22.x network is for management of the NetApp while the 192.168.10.x network is a private, non-routable network for NFS traffic. All volumes should be mounted on that network.)
VSC4052814-step27

  • a. Repeat for any other controllers

 

*The original documentation I posted showed changing the role in vCenter for the “netappvsc” user to “VSC Administrator” instead of just “Administrator”. Turns out this breaks the Virtual Storage Console. When you attempt to mount or provision datastores, you receive the following error; “HTTP ERROR 403. Problem accessing /kamino/index.html. Reason: Forbidden”
VSC4052814-error

At this point you are ready to manage your NetApp filers from the vSphere thick client. By right-clicking on your cluster in vCenter you can provision volumes to all the hosts in a cluster saving so much time of provisioning a new volume and then mounting it one host at time. Too bad you can mount a volume that’s already been created at the cluster level; it can only be done one host at a time.

Create vCenter 5.5 Upgrade Baseline

I have a preference to do brand new installs of ESXi for each new release. With new releases there are new options, new features, and caveats with existing functionality. This means the migration process takes longer, but it helps ensure that I’m applying current best practices each and every time instead of applying upgrades to a flawed design.

In some instances this isn’t a concern and we can use vCenter with Update Manager to upgrade hosts to the latest version of ESXi and preserve our current configuration (name, IP, storage, etc). I use this process when remotely upgrading Hosts in my colo facility without having console access to the physical servers.

This is a step by step guide to creating an upgrade baseline to upgrade an existing ESXi Host (5.0 for this writing) to 5.5 and begin the upgrade process on a Host.

Prerequisites:

1. Existing host running 5.0 or 5.1 connected to vCenter Server 5.5
2. vCenter Server 5.5 with Update Manager installed
3. Downloaded .ISO of ESXi 5.5

Steps:

1. Using the vSphere thick client (not web client), connect to the vCenter server and click the “Home” button followed by “Update Manager” under “Solutions and Applications”
UPG052714-step1
2. Click on “ESXi Images” tab
UPG052714-step2
3. Click the link for “import ESXi Image” to wards the top right corner
UPG052714-step3
4. Click “Browse” and locate the .ISO of ESXi, click “Open” then click “Next”
UPG052714-step4

  • a. If you receive a security warning, click the check box to install the certificate and click “Ignore”
  • b. The ISO should upload. When completed click “Next”
    UPG052714-step4b

5. Enter the name of this upgrade baseline identifying the version in the name or description then click “Finish”
UPG052714-step5
6. Click the “Home” button followed by “Hosts and Clusters”
UPG052714-step6
7. Click on the Host to be upgraded and then click the “Update Manager” tab
UPG052714-step7
8. Click the “Attach” link towards the top right corner
UPG052714-step8
9. Place a check in just the upgrade baseline created and then click “Attach”
UPG052714-step9
10. Click the “Remediate” button towards the lower right corner

  • a. Confirm Upgrade baselines and the ESXi 5.5 baseline are selected then click “Next”
    UPG052714-step10a
  • b. Accept the license agreement and click “Next”
  • c. Leave “Remove installed third-party software” unchecked and click “Next”
  • d. Leave the schedule as “Immediate” and click “Next”
  • e. Since this host is not in a cluster, choose “Power off virtual machines” and click “Next” (THIS WILL POWER OFF ANY VMS THAT ARE ON THAT HOST)
    UPG052714-step10e
  • f. Click the “Finish” button

11. This process takes awhile and you’ll lose access to the server while it is remediating. If you have access to the console during this time, it is a good idea to have it open and watch the progress.

Once the upgrade is complete the Host will be available within vCenter and will be running ESXi 5.5. Once completed, make sure you double-check your settings (time, network, DNS) to ensure all your settings are still there. Also, take this time to attach your patches baseline and get the latest patches applied to this Host.

Unregister Plugin from vCenter

Sometimes the uninstallation of a plugin in vCenter will not remove it from the list of available plugins. Once you’ve confirmed the plugin can be removed, follow these steps to unregister it and remove it from the list.

1. Currently, the Virtual Storage Console for NetApp has been uninstalled, but it is still showing up as an available Plugin
rmplugin052114-step1
2. Open a web browser and navigate to https://vCenterAddress/mob

a. Ignore any security warnings

3. Login with your normal vCenter credentials
rmplugin052114-step3
4. After login, click on the “content” link under Properties
rmplugin052114-step4
5. Click on the link for “ExtensionManager”
rmplugin052114-step5
6. You’ll have a list of extensions to choose from under “extensionList” and “VALUE”

a. Click the link of the extension to be unregistered
rmplugin052114-step6a
i. If the name isn’t obvious, click each one until you see the correct one

7. Once you’ve clicked on the correct plugin, you’ll want to copy the Value (without the quotes) in the row labeled “key”
rmplugin052114-step7
8. Press the Back button in your browser and then click on “UnregisterExtension” under the Methods table
rmplugin052114-step8
9. Paste the string copied from step 6 into the “VALUE” text box and click “Invoke Method” at the bottom
rmplugin052114-step9
10. Restart the vsphere client and click on “Plug-ins” then “Manage Plug-ins” and the plugin should be gone
rmplugin052114-step10
11. Now we see that the Plugin has been removed
rmplugin052114-step11

vCenter Server 5.5 Custom Install

In order to install the 4 components of vCenter (SSO, Web Client, Inventory Service, and vCenter Server) onto a secondary drive on the same Server, you must perform a “Custom Install”. This guide will walk you through the process of installing each of these components as well as SQL 2008 Express to the secondary drive of a Server. This can also be used to install the individual components on separate servers. In total, this is just over 100 steps to walk through so it will take some time.

 

Prerequisites:

1. Create a new virtual machine and add it to the domain
2. Add a second hard disk to install vCenter on
3. Add the update manager and vCenter service domain users as a local admins (vudatemanager, vmwareservice for this writing)
4. Mount the ISO for vCenter 5.5
5. Ensure User Account Control is turned off and the server has been rebooted (SQL will fail without this)

 

Install:

1. Open computer, right click on the VMware VIM disk and choose “Open”
VC051814-step1
2. Navigate to \redist\SQLEXPR and double click “SQLEXPR_x64_ENU”
VC051814-step2
3. After files are extracted, choose “New installation or add features to an existing installation”
VC051814-step3
4. Check the box to accept the license terms and click “Next”
VC051814-step4
5. Uncheck “SQL Server Replication” and change the share feature directories to the “D:\” drive and click “Next”
VC051814-step5
6. Name the Instance and change the instance root directory to the D:\ drive. Click “Next”
VC051814-step6
7. SQL Database Engine can run as Network Service, but I prefer using a named account. Click “Next”
VC051814-step7
8. Click on the “Data Directories” tab to ensure all directories are pointed at the secondary drive
VC051814-step8
9. Click on the “Account Provisioning” tab and change the authentication to “Mixed Mode”. Enter an “sa” password (save it immediately), then add any SQL Admins that are required and click “Next”
VC051814-step9
10. Click “Next” through Error Reporting screen
11. Click “Close” once the installation finishes
12. Click Start, then type “cmd”, right-click on cmd.exe and choose “Run as administrator”
VC051814-step12
13. Ensure your current path is “C:\Windows\system32” and type “sqlcmd.exe -S DEN-vCenter01\VCENTERSQLEXPR” (This is to connect to the instance named “VCENTERSQLEXPR” on the server “DEN-vCenter01” which is the server I am currently connected to)
VC051814-step13
14. Run the following commands pressing “enter” after each line (this will create the vCenter Database, add domain\vmwareservice as a use and db_owner, then add as user and db_owner of the msdb database)
CREATE DATABASE [vCenterDB]
GO
ALTER DATABASE [vCenterDB] SET COMPATIBILITY_LEVEL = 100
GO
ALTER DATABASE [vCenterDB] SET RECOVERY SIMPLE
GO
USE [vCenterDB]
GO
CREATE USER [domain\vmwareservice] FOR LOGIN [domain\vmwareservice]
GO
EXEC sp_addrolemember 'db_owner', 'domain\vmwareservice'
GO
USE msdb
GO
CREATE USER [domain\vmwareservice] FOR LOGIN [domain\vmwareservice]
GO
EXEC sp_addrolemember 'db_owner', 'domain\vmwareservice'
GO

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15. Type “exit” and then close CMD window
16. Login as the vCenter Service account which should be added as a local administrator
17. Go to start, administrative tools, and chooce “Data Source (ODBC)”
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18. Click the “System DSN” tab and click “Add”
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19. Choose “SQL Server Native Client 10.0” and click “Finish”
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20. Enter a useful name, description and browse for the local Instance
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21. Choose “With Integrated Windows authentication” and click “Next”
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22. Change the default database to the newly created vCenterDB and click “Next”
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23. Click “Finish”
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24. Click “Test Data Source” to ensure connection then click “OK” and “OK”
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(Running the vCenter Components install failed when logged in as the VMware Service account for me so the rest of these steps can be performed by another admin account for this server.)
25. Open computer and double-click on the VMware VIM disc
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26. Click “vCenter Single Sign-On” under “Custom Install” and click “Install”
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27. Click “Next” for vCenter Single Sign-On
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28. Accept the license agreement and click “Next”
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29. Review the SSO information and check the box for “Add [DOMAIN] as a Native Active Directory identity source” and click “Next”
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30. Choose “vCenter Single Sign-On for your first vCenter Server” and click “Next”
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31. Enter the password for the local account for SSO (this is not the domain admin or your own account, this is a local account to administer SSO in the event the domain is unavailable). Save the password immediately and click “Next”
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32. Enter a site name (if needed) and click “Next”
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33. Note the HTTPS port and click “Next”
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34. Change the destination folder to the secondary drive (D: for this writing) and click “Next”
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35. Review the options and click “Install”
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36. Click “Finish” when it’s done installing
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37. Now click on “vSphere Web Client” under “Custom Install” and click “Install”
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38. Choose “English” and click “OK”
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39. Click “Next”
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40. Accept the license agreement and click “Next”
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41. Change the install directory to the “D:\” drive and click “Next”
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42. Note the web client ports and click “Next”
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43. Enter the password for the administrator@vsphere.local account and click “Next”
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44. Click “Yes” for the SSL fingerprint
45. Click “Install certificates” when you see the “Certificate Installation for Secure Connection”
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46. Click “Install”
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47. Click “Finish”
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48. Click “OK” for this message about access time for the Web Client
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49. Click on “vCenter Inventory Service” under “Custom Install” then click “Install”
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50. Choose “English” and click “OK”
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51. Click “Next” to begin the Inventory Service installation
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52. Accept the license agreement and click “Next”
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53. Change the install directory to the “D:\” drive and click “Next”
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54. Ensure the FQDN is correct and click “Next”
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55. Note the ports and click “Next”
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56. Select the appropriate Inventory size and click “Next”
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57. Enter the password for the administrator@vsphere.local account and click “Next”
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58. Click “Yes” for the SSL fingerprint
59. Click “Install” to begin installation
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60. Click “Finish” once the installation is complete
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61. Click “vCenter Server” under “Custom Install” and then click “Install”
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62. Choose “English” and click “OK”
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63. Click “Next” to begin installation wizard
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64. Accept the license agreement and click “Next”
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65. Enter the license key (if available) and then click “Next”
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66. Click “Use an existing supported database” and select the ODBC connection created earlier and click “Next”
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67. Click “Next”
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68. If the JDBC URL fails, restart the SQL Service (Administrative Tools -> Services and locate “SQL Server (InstanceName)”) on the local server and attempt the connection again
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69. Enter your password to run the vCenter service (but we’ll change this after creation)
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70. Select “Create a standalone VMware vCenter Server instance” and click “Next”
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71. Note the provisioned ports and click “Next”
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72. Select the appropriate inventory size and click “Next”
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73. Enter the administrator@vsphere.local SSO password and click “Next”
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74. Click “yes” for the SSL fingerprint
75. Click “Next” to register administrator@vsphere.local as an Administrator
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76. Confirm the vCenter Inventory URL and click “Next”
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77. Change the installation to the “D:\” drive and click “Next”
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78. Click “Install”
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79. Once installation completes, click “Finish”
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80. Click Start, Administrative Tools, then choose “Services”
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81. Locate “VMware VirtualCenter Server” service, right-click and choose “Properties”
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82. Click on the “Log On” tab and then click on the “Browse” button
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83. Change the “Location” to your domain then enter the name of the user account that will run the vCenter Service (vmwareservice for this writing) and click “OK”
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84. Enter the password for this account and then click “OK”
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85. Click “OK” to grant log on as a service rights then click “OK” about it not taking affect until a service restart
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86. Locate the “VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices” service and change it’s logon account to same account we just used for the VirtualCenter Server service (vmwareservice for this writing)
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87. Right-click on “VMware VirtualCenter Server” service and choose “Restart”. You will be prompted that the “Vmware VirtualCenter Management Webservices” needs to be restarted as well. Click “Yes” for that prompt
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88. After the services restart, open your browser and connect to https:// IPofvCenter:9443/vsphere-client and login as administrator@vsphere.local with the password assigned earlier
89. Once logged in, click on “Administrator” on the left pane
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90. Click on “Users and Groups” under “Single Sign-On”
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91. Click the “Groups” tab then click on”Administrators” under “Group Name”
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92. Click the “Add Member” button under “Group Members”
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93. Change the Domain to your domain, then search for the Active Directory user or group to be added as an Administrator. Click the user/group then click the “Add” button followed by “OK”
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94. Click the “Home” button towards the top left corner
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95. Click on “vCenter”
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96. Click on “vCenter Servers”
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97. Click on your vCenter server
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98. Click the “Manage” tab followed by “Permissions”
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99. Click the “Add Permission” button
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100. Click the “Add” button towards the lower left then search for the Active Directory user/group to be added as a vCenter Administrator (ensure the Domain is set to your domain). Click the user/group, then click “Add” followed by “OK”
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101. Changed “Assigned Role” to “Administrator” from the drop-down and then click “OK”
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At this point your vCenter server is installed and configured with an Administrator account added for SSO as well as vCenter itself. To install the Update Manager service, click here to view the steps to install and configure. Your steps will differ as those instructions are for connecting to a mirrored database for Update Manager, but the rest of the steps are similar. You will just need to provision a database and grant the update manager user account db_owner to msdb and the Update Manager database. This can be done the same way as in step 14, just change the database name and the user name.

To complete the vCenter configuration (create a datacenter, add hosts), click here to open the step-by-step guide and scroll to step 44.