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Fabrizio de Luca

Fabrizio de Luca

Italian freelance VMware Certified Instructor (VCI) and VMware Certified Mentor (VCM) based in Milano, teaching official VMware courses for the major VMware Authorized Training Centers (VATC) in EMEA. Website URL:

VSICM55 - Slide 08-07 - Host System Properties



Wrong:

Instructions provided, in the ordered list within the slide notes, to modify the host Security Profile state:

To view and modify Host Properties

  1. In the Object pane on the left of the vSphere Web Client, navigate to Host Properties and select the Manage tab.
Correct:

Besides being a somehow logically acceptable description, there is actually no GUI element, in the vSphere Web Client shown in the slide graphic, called Host Properties. Hence, a more accurate rewording of the above step could be something as the following:

To view and modify host Security Profile properties

  1. In the Object pane on the left of the vSphere Web Client, navigate to a host and select its Manage tab.

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VSICM55 - Slide 07-68 - vApp Characteristics



1. Wrong:

While providing instructions about how to edit vApp settings, slide notes keep referring to the vSphere Client GUI, but slide graphic is showing the vSphere Web Client. Hence all the references to contextual menu items and wizard sections are not in line with what shown. Following, a list of bulleted list items with mistakes:

To create a vApp

  • Run the New vApp wizard (File > New > vApp).

 

  • Resource allocation: Determines how CPU and memory should be allocated for the vApp. Resource allocation settings are discussed in a later module.

 

  • Fixed, where IP addresses are manually configured

 

  • Advanced settings: Product and vendor information, custom properties, and IP allocation
1. Correct:

In order to adhere to the GUI shown in the slide graphic, the above list items should be changed as follows:

To create a vApp

  • Run the New vApp wizard (All vCenter Actions > New vApp).

 

  • CPU resources / Memory resources: Determines how CPU and memory should be allocated for the vApp. Resource allocation settings are discussed in a later module.

 

  • Static, where IP addresses are manually configured

 

  • Authoring: Product and vendor information, custom properties, and IP allocation

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VSICM55 - Slide 07-67 - Managing Virtual Machines with a vApp



Wrong:

Whilst describing the OVA file format, within the last bulleted point in the slide notes, last sentence states:

To consume the file, you must first convert it to OVF, an operation similar to an unzip operation.
Correct:

There is no such an action - as stated by the slide notes - that the vSphere Web Client user has to complete in order to import an OVA file. Similarly to what happens with OVF files, the only step required is to import the OVA file, containing the VM/vApp, by using the vSphere Web Client, right-clicking a host in the inventory and selecting Deploy OVF template.


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VSICM55 - Slide 07-54 - Managing Snapshots



1. Wrong:

While providing instructions about how to get to the Snapshot Manager for a virtual machine, slide notes states:

To display the Snapshot Manager

  • Right-click the virtual machine in the inventory and select Snapshot > Snapshot Manager.
1. Correct:

The contextual menu path listed above is valid in the vSphere Client, but not in the vSphere Web Client shown in the slide graphic. In order to adhere to the GUI shown in the slide graphic, the above list should be changed as follows:

To display the Snapshot Manager

  • Right-click the virtual machine in the inventory and select Manage Snapshots.

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VSICM55 - Slide 07-53 - Taking a Snapshot



1. Wrong:

The ordered list at the top of the slide notes states:

To take a snapshot

  1. Right-click a virtual machine in the inventory and select Snapshot > Take Snapshot.
  2. In the Take Virtual Machine Snapshot dialog box, enter a snapshot name and description.
1. Correct:

The contextual menu path listed at point #1 and the dialog box name shown at point #2 are valid in the vSphere Client, but not in the vSphere Web Client shown in the slide graphic. In order to adhere to the GUI shown in the slide graphic, the above list should be changed as follows:

To take a snapshot

  1. Right-click a virtual machine in the inventory and select Take Snapshot.
  2. In the Take VM Snapshot dialog box, enter a snapshot name and description.


2. Room for improvement:

The description of the two check boxes within the Take VM Snapshot wizard dialog box is still - to me - too vague and incomplete. Besides our role, as instructors, to further explain the concept to the delegates during ILT courses, I found useful to report here some more details.

According to the "vSphere Virtual Machine Administration" guide - "Managing Virtual Machines" chapter - "Using Snapshots To Manage Virtual Machines" paragraph - "Taking Snapshots of a Virtual Machine" topic:

Snapshot the virtual machine’s memory

The default selection for taking snapshots. When you capture the virtual machine's memory state, the snapshot retains the live state of the virtual machine. Memory snapshots create a snapshot at a precise time, for example, to upgrade software that is still working. If you take a memory snapshot and the upgrade does not complete as expected, or the software does not meet your expectations, you can revert the virtual machine to its previous state.

When you capture the memory state, the virtual machine's files do not require quiescing. If you do not capture the memory state, the snapshot does not save the live state of the virtual machine and the disks are crash consistent unless you quiesce them.

 

Quiesce guest file system (Needs VMware Tools installed)

When you quiesce a virtual machine, VMware Tools quiesces the file system of the virtual machine. A quiesce operation ensures that a snapshot disk represents a consistent state of the guest file systems. Quiesced snapshots are appropriate for automated or periodic backups. For example, if you are unaware of the virtual machine's activity, but want several recent backups to revert to, you can quiesce the files.

If the virtual machine is powered off or VMware Tools is not available, the Quiesce parameter is not available. You cannot quiesce virtual machines that have large capacity disks.

2. Source:

VMware vSphere 5.5 Documentation Center.



3. Room for improvement:

Also, according to the "vSphere Virtual Machine Administration" guide - "Managing Virtual Machines" chapter - "Using Snapshots To Manage Virtual Machines" paragraph - "Taking Snapshots of a Virtual Machine" topic - "Take a Snapshot in the vSphere Web Client" subtopic:

When you create a memory snapshot, the snapshot captures the state of the virtual machine's memory and the virtual machine power settings. When you capture the virtual machine's memory state, the snapshot operation takes longer to complete. You might also see a momentary lapse in response over the network.

 

When you quiesce a virtual machine, VMware Tools quiesces the file system in the virtual machine. The quiesce operation pauses or alters the state of running processes on the virtual machine, especially processes that might modify information stored on the disk during a restore operation.

 

Application-consistent quiescing is not supported for virtual machines with IDE or SATA disks.

 

Note

Do not use VMware snapshots to backup Dynamic Disks. If you take a snapshot of a Dynamic Disk (Microsoft specific file system), you will not be able to revert to the snapshot. Snapshot technology does not have visibility into dynamic disks and cannot preserve the quiesce state of the disk files.

3. Source:

VMware vSphere 5.5 Documentation Center.


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VSICM55 - Slide 07-52 - Virtual Machine Snapshot Files



Wrong:

The slide notes contain an entire paragraph which is rather confused and needs to be intensively revised:

The snapshot state file uses a .vmsn extension and stores metadata about each active virtual machine. A .vmsn file is created for each snapshot taken. The .vmsn file contains the name of the VMDK, the display name and description, and an identifier of each snapshot.
Correct:

The first phrase is a mess! A .vmsn file contains a fairly complex structure layout which holds the physical memory runs, the VM configuration data, CPU registers, and even a PNG thumbnail of the VM screen at the time the snapshot was taken. This file is tied up only to its related VM, and does not "store metadata about each active virtual machine" as notes state. Every VM will have its/their own .vmsn file(s), one per each snapshot taken.

What is being described, instead, in the third phrase is the .vmsd file, aka the snapshot list file, not the .vmsn one as the notes state.

Info:

An advanced memory forensics framework, Volatility, can analyze VMware snapshot files. It is also possible to convert a .vmsn file to a raw dd-style memory dump by extracting the physical memory runs to a separate file by using the Volatility imagecopy plugin.


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VSICM55 - Slide 07-46 - Cross-Host vMotion Migration Considerations



Wrong:

Both slide graphic and notes completely mess-up between Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) and Cross-Host vMotion. This mistake appears:

  • In the slide title.
  • In the bulleted list items within the slide graphic.
  • In each of the two paragraphs within the slide notes.
Correct:

Wherever you read either Enhanced vMotion Compatibility or EVC you should replace it with Cross-Host vMotion.


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VSICM55 - Slide 07-45 - Cross-Host vMotion Migration



Wrong:

Both slide graphic and notes completely mess-up between Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) and Cross-Host vMotion. This mistake appears:

  • In the slide title.
  • In the bulleted list title within the slide graphic.
  • In each of the three paragraphs within the slide notes.
Correct:

Wherever you read either Enhanced vMotion Compatibility or EVC you should replace it with Cross-Host vMotion.


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VSICM55 - Slide 07-44 - vSphere Storage vMotion Guidelines and Limitations



1. Wrong:

Whilst trying to describe what happens to virtual machines files during a vSphere Storage vMotion migration, the second paragraph in the slide notes provides a bungled and incomplete description:

Any files moved as a result of a vSphere Storage vMotion migration are renamed, including moving only individual virtual disks. The files are renamed automatically and the feature cannot be turned off.
1. Correct:

A better description of the vSphere Storage vMotion migration process, according to the "vCenter Server and Host Management" guide - "Migrating Virtual Machines in the vSphere Web Client" chapter - "Migration with Storage vMotion" paragraph, should have stated something like the following:

Migration with Storage vMotion changes virtual machine files on the destination datastore to match the inventory name of the virtual machine. The migration renames all virtual disk, configuration, snapshot, and .nvram files. If the new names exceed the maximum filename length, the migration does not succeed.
1. Source:

VMware vSphere 5.5 Documentation Center.



2. Room for improvement:

Some vSphere 5.x releases prior to vSphere 5.5 had an issue not renaming virtual machine files on completing the migration. This issue has been resolved in:

2. Source:

VMware Knowledge Base articles.


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VSICM55 - Slide 07-41 - Checking vSphere vMotion Errors



Wrong:

The penultimate sentence in slide notes describes a vSphere vMotion migration failure reason which is completely different form what can be observed in the slide graphic:

On the slide, the virtual machine mike01-2 is connected to an ISO image that is on a datastore that is inaccessible by the target host.
Correct:

Actually, according to the slide graphic, the above sentence should be re-written like the following:

On the slide, the virtual machine mike01-2 files are located on a datastore that is inaccessible by the target host.

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