VMware’s GO AHEAD 2016 event in Athens

Save the date of 8th of December for VMware’s Go Ahead 2016 event in Athens. The event gives an overview of VMware’s vision for cross cloud platform management and services.

goahead

Registration and agenda at vmware’s website.

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VDP Error “Operation failed due to existing snapshot”

Sometimes VMware’s Data Protection (VDP) appliance fails. Some VMs may not be backup up properly, when VDP thinks that there are ghost snapshots attached on these VMs.

In our case, VDP failed with the error “VDP: Operation failed due to existing snapshot”. Checking out the related datastore, we noticed that there was an old vmdk snapshot file in the VM datastore folder. The question was whether this snapshot file is linked to the base image or not.

First I tried to consolidate the files via the snapshot manager, I even tried to create a snapshot and then “deleted all” snapshots, but nothing fixed the problem.

Somehow, you may use “vmkfstools -e -v10” command from a ssh terminal session to verify the linking between the vmdk files but I didn’t figure out how to do it properly.

An easy way to verify whether the snapshot file is linked or not, is to migrate the VM to another datastore. By doing so, the VM related files move to the new datastore and the garbage files remain in the old datastore. Browsing the old datastore you may see the ghost snapshot file that produced the problem. You may delete the old datastore folder when you finish the entire troubleshooting session and everything works alright.

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Even though I migrated the VM to another datastore the problem still remained, and VDP backup failed with the error “VDP: An unexpected error occurred with the following error code: 10058.”.

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Finally, I migrated the VM to another host and VDP backup finished successfully.

VMware Annual Event 2015 at Athens, Greece

Today was the VMware annual event in Greece, enriched with new technologies that introduced on VMWorld 2015, strategies, new products and live demos.

 

 Took place at Ethniki Asfalistiki Conference Center. The agenda was promising!


Alex White, Vice President Enterprise Business EMEA  on the stage.
  
George Boufis presentations were absolutely interesting (as always) and I enjoyed the Horizon 6 live demos. I really liked Aviv Waiss presentation on vRealize Operations Management features, he was very precise and clear.

I am glad I was there and looking forward for the next VMware’s event!

VMware vCenter error “Unable to access file since it is locked” during disk consolidation solved

My setup consists of a vCenter 6 appliance and VMware’s Data Protection (VDP) 6 appliance. Every day there is a scheduled job that backup differentially all the VMs in our organization. Unfortunately this does not work always smoothly, as I would like to. One day I came across the “Unable to access file since it is locked” error. The first encounter was a failed log of VDP appliance on my e-mail inbox, but I am used to logs like this since as I said VDPA does not work always smoothly. So I logged into vCenter web client, connected to Data Protection appliance and re-runned the failed job for the outdated VMs. Unfortunately the job failed again!

Then I noticed an error message on my vCenter client saying “virtual machine disks consolidation needed”.

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ok, I said. It seemed that the backup job did not delete the backup snapshot, let’s wipe it out manually. I got into the snapshot manager window and pressed the “Delete All” button and after a few minutes a new error message appeared.

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Pressing the “Consolidate” button did not solved the problem neither. It seemed that the problem is bigger than I first thought. The  events on the problematic VM matched with the whole picture of the problem.

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My internet searches were not fruitful. I guessed that the VDP appliance was root of the problem, so I shut it down and tried to delete all the snapshots of the problematic VM. Voila, I was near the solution, since the virtual disks consolidated into one disk and the VM properties disk file linked to the right vmdk file.

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Browsing the datastore of the VM I noticed that an old differential disk file was not deleted (it is the vmdk file that it’s filename ends with a number). This was the causing trouble virtual disk.

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I wiped it out by right clicking the vmdk file on the datastore browsing window. I restarted the VM to check that everything is ok.

Then I powered on the Data Protection Appliance but it failed to boot up correctly with the following error:

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This was the root of the problem, VDP appliance had mounted the problematic virtual disk, that’s why this file was locked on the VM. By editing the VDP appliance properties, I deleted the mounted virtual disk that belonged to my problematic VM and left only the four default virtual disks of the appliance.

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The appliance powered on smoothly and I checked that the services were up and running via VDPA’s console.

Job automation is good when it does not fail! If it fails it causes only troubles. Good luck!

Upgrade VMware’s vSphere Data Protection Appliance 6.0

Before upgrading the appliance, let’s first resolve the SSL certificate problem of vSphere Data Protection Appliance.

The modern internet browsers don’t like VMware’s vSphere Data Protection Appliance 6.0 SSL certificate. So VMware made available a hotfix that removes the old SHA1 certificate of the VDPA tomcat service and installs a new SHA2 certificate.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2111900

It’s a pretty straightforward guide that resolves the connectivity problem of chrome or firefox browsers to VDPA.

So, download the compressed 2111900_VDPHotfix.SHA2.sh script, sftp it to the tmp folder of the appliance as admin user, ssh login as admin, su – root, goto tmp folder and chmod a+x the script file. Finally execute it and it will replace the certificate. Now you may connect to vdp-configure using your latest chrome browser.

Before upgrading the appliance you must take a snapshot of VDPA virtual machine. If you don’t, the upgrade cannot be completed. At this point you cannot take a snapshot since the three backup disks of the appliance are configured as independent disks. So, shutdown the appliance via vSphere client, edit the appliance settings and uncheck the “independent” disk mode of each backup disk. Finally take a snapshot of the vm. Leave the disk mode unchecked and power on the appliance.

To upgrade vSphere Data Protection Appliance, download the latest upgrade iso file from my.vmware portal and sftp it to a datastore accessible from VDPA. Using your vSphere Client, mount the iso to the appliance. Open your browser and login to the vdp-configure page of VDPA. Click on Upgrade tab and wait until the appliance checks the iso image.

When the check is completed, click on the Upgrade button and wait until the job is completed.

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During the upgrade the web connectivity is lost.

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At the end the appliance shuts down. It’s time to delete the vm snapshot and reconfigure back the three backup disks to independent/persistent mode. Power on VDPA and the console display shows:

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Connect to vdp-configure and check the services status. Run a backup job to make sure that everything works fine.

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  • If you upgrade to version 6.1.1, do not forget to install first VDP61_Iso_Hotfix.tar.gz otherwise the iso image will not be detected. More info at the Release Notes.