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Daisy Chaining VMware UMDS

I was wondering if one could daisy chain multiple VMware Update Manager Download Service (UMDS) appliances. The documentation doesn’t say a word about it. The only thing I found Googling this was one blog that say’s it can’t be done. But that blog was from 2014, now, 2018, let’s see…

I started with a Ubuntu 16.04 LTS server and used William Lam’s script to install the UMDS on top. It needed some more config:

(I tested this in Fusion virtual machines using vSphere 6.5 Update 1 (5969303))

Open the console of the first UMDS

sudo -i
mkdir /mnt/cdrom
mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
apt-get install openssh-server -y
ifconfig #This gives the IP address (Ubuntu in Fusion creates an ens33 interface)

Using a SSH (Windows: PuTTY / Mac: Termius) client, connect to the UMDS:

ssh vmninja@172.16.250.129

In the SSH session:

sudo -i
wget https://github.com/lamw/vghetto-scripts/raw/master/shell/install_umds65.sh
chmod +x install_umds65.sh
./install_umds65.sh /mnt/cdrom/umds/VMware-UMDS-6.5.0-5939545.tar.gz UMDSDB UMDS_DSN umdsuser VMware1!
/usr/local/vmware-umds/bin/vmware-umds -v
/usr/local/vmware-umds/bin/vmware-umds -G
/usr/local/vmware-umds/bin/vmware-umds -S --add-url https://vibsdepot.hpe.com/index.xml --enable-host --url-type HOST
/usr/local/vmware-umds/bin/vmware-umds -D

(In the example above I’ve added the HPE VibsDepot, to see if non-firstparty updates will get downloaded.)
It will now start downloading… It may take some time to complete, at the time of writing it was about 65 GB

Per William Lam’s suggestion for this test I used Python’s builtin webserver:

apt-get install python-minimal -y
cd /var/lib/vmware-umds
python -m SimpleHTTPServer 80

Using this as a foreground task, it shows all HTTP requests being received:

172.16.250.150 - - [18/Feb/2018 05:28:19] "GET /hostupdate/HPQ/metadata-hpnmi-vmware55-bundle-2.3-6.zip HTTP/1.1" 200 -
172.16.250.150 - - [18/Feb/2018 05:28:19] "GET /hostupdate/csco/__hostupdate20-consolidated-metadata-index__.xml HTTP/1.1" 200 -
172.16.250.150 - - [18/Feb/2018 05:28:19] "GET /hostupdate/csco/csco-VEM-5.5.0-metadata.zip HTTP/1.1" 200 -
172.16.250.150 - - [18/Feb/2018 05:28:19] "GET /hostupdate/vmw/__hostupdate20-consolidated-metadata-index__.xml HTTP/1.1" 200 -
172.16.250.150 - - [18/Feb/2018 05:28:19] "GET /hostupdate/vmw/vmw-ESXi-5.5.0-metadata.zip HTTP/1.1" 200 -
172.16.250.150 - - [18/Feb/2018 05:28:19] "GET /hostupdate/vmw/vmw-ESXi-6.0.0-metadata.zip HTTP/1.1" 200 -
172.16.250.150 - - [18/Feb/2018 05:28:20] "GET /hostupdate/vmw/vmw-ESXi-6.5.0-metadata.zip HTTP/1.1" 200 -
172.16.250.150 - - [18/Feb/2018 05:28:20] "GET /vaupgrade/bootstrap_index.xml HTTP/1.1" 200 -
172.16.250.150 - - [18/Feb/2018 05:28:20] "GET /vaupgrade/__valm-consolidated-index__.xml HTTP/1.1" 200 -

But first I needed to build a second UMDS, mostly the same as above, except:

  1. I didn’t add the HPE VibsDepot
  2. I pointed hostupdate.vmware.com and vapp-updates.vmware.com in the hosts file to localhost, by editing the hosts file to prevent it to try to download anything directly from VMware.com’s website.
    • For some reason it is not possible to remove these entries from UMDS’s config.
    • Nor to remove the updates for older versions. I didn’t need updates for any ESXi prior to 6.5.
  3. vmninja@ubuntu:~$ cat / etc/hosts
    127.0.0.1       localhost
    127.0.1.1       ubuntu
    127.0.0.1       hostupdate.vmware.com
    127.0.0.1       vapp-updates.vmware.com
    
    # The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
    ::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
    ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
    ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
    
  4. Instead of the HPE VibsDepot, I added the first UMDS as source:
    /usr/local/vmware-umds/bin/vmware-umds -S --add-url http://172.16.250.129/hostupdate/__hostupdate20-consolidated-index__.xml --enable-host --url-type HOST
    /usr/local/vmware-umds/bin/vmware-umds -S --add-url http://172.16.250.129/vaupgrade/__valm-consolidated-index__.xml --enable-va --url-type VA
    
  5. Start the download task:

    /usr/local/vmware-umds/bin/vmware-umds -D
    

After downloading was complete, I added the second UMDS to vCenter Update Manager:
UpdateManagerConfig

After clicking download now, the Non VMware Patches are visible in vCenter:
PatchRepository

So it seams to be possible to daisy chain UMDS. I have no idea about the supportability of this configuration, and if using something in production, use a real webserver!

This post was published originally on my personal blog https://vmninja.wordpress.com

Rob has over 18 years of IT experience, ranging from IBM Mainframe to Windows, Storage, Networking and Virtualization.
Rob is Cisco CCNA, Citrix CCA, EXIN, ITIL, Microsoft MCP/MCSA/MCSE/MCITP, NetApp NCSA, PRINCE, VMware VCP & Specialist certified in infrastructure and virtualization fields.

How to reinstall VMware Tools on a ParaVirtual VM

At a customer location I was asked to reinstall VMware Tools on machines, normally the customer would do this their selves, but after uninstall of the VMware Tools, the VM wouldn’t boot. They needed to reinstall the VMware Tools because of the issue encountered described in  VMware KB2063887
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Rob has over 18 years of IT experience, ranging from IBM Mainframe to Windows, Storage, Networking and Virtualization.
Rob is Cisco CCNA, Citrix CCA, EXIN, ITIL, Microsoft MCP/MCSA/MCSE/MCITP, NetApp NCSA, PRINCE, VMware VCP & Specialist certified in infrastructure and virtualization fields.

vCenter Server 5.1 with SSO 5.5

This blog describes how to install vCenter Server 5.1 with SSO (Single-Sign-On) 5.5

In my case, it’s not possible to upgrade to vCenter Server 5.5 because of the fact that the vendor doesn’t support a higher version (yet).

SSO 5.1 (and i will say it very nice) is not the best product VMware has ever made.
It has several bugs and is not very stable.
But VMware made a more stable version for 5.5, and i recommend everyone to use that version.

Ok, this is the procedure to install all needed vCenter components: Read more

Was once an enthusiastic PepperByte employee but is now working elsewhere. His blogs are still valuable to us and we hope to you too.

/dev/sda1 has gone 255 days without being checked, check forced

/dev/sda1 has gone 255 days without being checked, check forcedOn initial boot of a freshly deployed (Ubuntu) Linux appliance on VMware vSphere 5 the machine stopped working because of an inconsistent disk. According to the machine 255 days where passed without the disk being checked.  After a file system check is forced the machine stops with an error UNEXPECTED INCONSISTENCY followed by fsck / [5001] terminated with status 4.

Read more

Was once an enthusiastic PepperByte employee but is now working at Citrix. His blogs are still valuable to us and we hope to you too.

VMware: Recover vCenter Single Sign On (SSO) master password

VMware vSphere Web Client - vCenter Single Sign On InformationDuring the installation of the VMware vSphere Web Client I had to provide vCenter Single Sign On Information. Since no additional accounts / groups where granted SSO admin privileges (see VMware vSphere 5.1 Documentation Center)  the only account that had sufficient privileges was the default SSO admin user admin@System-Domain. The credentials of this account are provided during installation of the vCenter Single Sign On Service.

Unfortunately the password of the default SSO admin account was unknown. In this article I’ll explain how to change the password of the default SSO admin account.

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Was once an enthusiastic PepperByte employee but is now working at Citrix. His blogs are still valuable to us and we hope to you too.

Collect information about an ESX environment

This week I am creating an inventory of a customers network environment. Within the network of the customer is an VMware ESXi environment. While I am looking for an efficient way to collect information out of VMware vCenter I stumble upon a .NET tool called RV Tools from VMware vExpert Rob de Veij.

This tool gives you the possibility to collect information from your ESX  environment.

image

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Was once an enthusiastic PepperByte employee but is now working at Ivanti. His blogs are still valuable to us and we hope to you too.

Snapshots present and growing, but not visible in Snapshot Manager

When using  a backup solution for your virtual environment and the database-server for this backup solution is also situated in the virtual environment, you have to face some challanges. The backup solution cannot back up its own database, while using it. Luckily there are work-a-rounds covering this particular problem. But what happens if you misconfigured this work-a-round? In this case snapshots will be taken of the database-server and will not get removed properly, resulting in snapshots on your datastore that keep growing and growing and you will not be aware of it, because the snapshot manager says there are no snapshots present.

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Started his working life as a system manager at a health care organization. Is now a dedicated technical consultant at PepperByte. Specialist in virtualization and security.

Core qualities
Eager to learn, punctual, fun, loyal, patient

Hobbies
Socializing, watching television series and sports

Job description
Technical Consultant

Back-up for virtual environments (TSMVE) is still underestimated by IBM!

When you are using IBM equipment there is a big chance that you will use IBM related software to manage the environment. In a large  environment you can use IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) for Virtual Environments to make back-ups of your virtual machines. IBM says that:

Tivoli® Storage Manager software provides a wide range of storage management capabilities from a single point of control, helping companies ride the information tidal wave.

Early this year they’ve added a new product to the Tivoli Storage Manager, IBM storage management software called IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments (TSMVE). This is their product for making back-ups and to recover virtual machines.

You would think that a big company like IBM jumped on the train of virtualisation when it was leaving the train station but in my opinion that’s not what they have done!

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Was once an enthusiastic PepperByte employee but is now working elsewhere. His blogs are still valuable to us and we hope to you too.

On premises DropBox

image

Introduction

In our private lives we are already accustomed to using cloud based file sharing. Who of us isn’t using or has tried Dropbox? Dropbox was my first cloud based file sharing solution. In the time between now and then there are many new players in town like BOX,PogoPlug and many more. Where Box stores the files in the cloud, other store the files on premise like Pogoplug (for private use).

Now a days users are using solutions like Dropbox to store company data. Who thinks this is not happening, please get out of your cave. My customers, mostly in the top fortune or government, must be aware of the risks users are taking “without” knowing what risk they are taking. Even when a user knows the risk, they are willing to take it because of the flexibility it gives them! My advice: Think like a user! In some company’s the IT departments are still saying NO to the wish of the end user. But let’s be honest, the rules within the IT department are less restricted. And the end users (especially from generation Y) are consuming IT: they are demanding this flexibility. In my opinion these days IT is controlled by our users .Don’t try to control them, work with them. Watch and learn how they like to work, this is the only way you’ll be in control.

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Was once an enthusiastic PepperByte employee but is now working elsewhere. His blogs are still valuable to us and we hope to you too.

Virtual (SQL)server impaired by residual snapshot after Veeam backup

Author : Ingmar Verheij

Understanding-snapshot-management-te[2]

Recently I had to troubleshoot a SQL server that performed nightly batch jobs for a management information system. Under normal conditions this required 6.5 hours but this was suddenly increased to 11.5 hours. An increase of 75%!

Because of this delay the information wasn’t presented on time with a lot of implications. Several departments where asked what has changed in the past days, of course the answer was “nothing”.

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Was once an enthusiastic PepperByte employee but is now working at Citrix. His blogs are still valuable to us and we hope to you too.