• Combining High Availability and Multisite PSCs in vSphere 6

    There has been some confusion around creating a combined Highly Available and Multisite topology in vSphere 6.0. Its true that you can create a fully replicating string of PSCs right from the installation. However, the problem is that a default replication agreement only exists between two PSCs. So what happens when you have more than two? This offers limited redundancy options when one fails. The solution to this is to manually create a ring topology after the PSCs are installed. You might note that I’m using ring over mesh. The reasoning behind this is to limit the amount of replication […]

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  • Repointing vCenter 6.0 U1 to a Platform Services Controller (PSC) in a Different Site

      With 6.0 Update 1, a feature that allows repointing of a standalone vCenter server to a external PSC was also released. You might be thinking “But I could already do that, couldn’t I?”   The answer to that is Yes and No.   Yes, a repoint was possible before Update 1. The catch being that the PSC must have been installed in the same SSO site as well as domain. Meaning that if the PSC was not in what is considered an HA deployment without a load balancer, a repoint was not workable. In this article, I will explain […]

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  • Upgrading from embedded SSO 5.5 to External SSO (PSC) 6.0

      UPDATE: As of vCenter 6.0 Update 1, there are more options available to reconfigure an existing embedded topology to an external setup without the need to reinstall. More information can be found in this post   There has been a lot of discussion surrounding an upgrade from vSphere 5.1 or 5.5 to vSphere 6.0 when you currently have Single Sign-On (SSO) embedded and want to move to an external deployment. I highly recommend, in anyone’s environment that you future proof by setting up vSphere 6 in an external deployment. There are multiple reasons for this, but a few of […]

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  • VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Availability Guide

    The VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Availability Guide has recently been released by Mohan Potheri, Blair Fritz, and Puneet Gupta. I highly recommend reading this technical white paper as it gives in depth insight on both the vCenter Server 6.0 and the Platform Services Controller availability solutions, configurations, considerations, and recovery options. The various vCenter Server availability options that this technical paper focuses on are VMware vSphere High Availability (HA), VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance (FT), Symantec ApplicationHA, and VM Guest OS Clustering Solutions. It also focuses on Platform Services availability via load balancing and Recovery Options using VMware vSphere Replication and […]

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  • vCenter Server 6.0 Log Locations

    vSphere 6.0 has made some significant changes to the logging locations for its contained vCenter and PSC services. Everything has been condensed into a common area of the directory structure and labeled with the service name. In short, it makes a LOT more sense now than it did before.   This is an overview of what the structure looks like now and where to find what you need.   Windows Log Locations   C:\ProgramData\VMware\vCenterServer\logs     vCenter Appliance Log Locations   /var/log/vmware     Note: For the purpose of brevity, all log locations will be referenced from the base logs […]

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  • Quick stats is not up-to-date in vSphere 5.5, 6.0 and 6.5

    This error is very common and is a known issue in VMware support. The issue was resolved in ESXi 5.5b but has been popping up again with customer’s who have upgraded to 6.0. Although there is currently no resolution for vSphere 6.0, The workaround to resolve this issue in both versions is below.   Resolution through vSphere Web Client   Step 1. Log into to the vSphere Web client as a vCenter Server administrator.   Step 2. Navigate to the vCenter Server -> Manage -> Settings -> Advanced Settings     Step 3. Click Edit on the top right, then […]

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  • What is a Platform Services Controller (PSC) in vSphere 6.x

      Platform Services Controller   With vSphere 6.0 introduced, along came the Platform Services Controller, or PSC for short. The best way to think of the PSC is Single Sign-On (SSO) plus more. What is “more” you ask? Let’s start with the deployment options. The PSC can be deployed as either a Windows Server or an Appliance. You can either embedded your PSC or use it as an external PSC (See Software and Hardware Requirements). In my opinion, I would always deploy the PSC externally because it will future proof your environment if your infrastructure is growing. For a list […]

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  • Incompatible MSSQL version with vCenter Server 6.0 during install or upgrade

    There has been a new issue surfacing when installing or upgrading to vCenter Server 6.0. The error message seems pretty clear: Incompatible MSSQL version with vCenter Server 6.0. If you dive a little bit deeper and look at additional logs like vminst.log or the CollectRequirements_com.vmware.vcdb_date.log you will see the following entries.   vminst.log vcsInstUtil-2562624| I: ParsePreUpgradeOutput: Export disk req: 0 MB, Import disk req: 0 MB. vcsInstUtil-2562624| I: PitCA_MessageBox: Displaying message: “Error: Source vCenter Server validation found an issue: ERROR: Incompatible MSSQL version with vCenter Server 6.0   Resolution: Make sure your database is configured to meet vCenter Server upgrade […]

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  • Interacting with the vPostgres Database in vSphere 6.0

    vPostgres in vCenter 6.0   Unlike earlier versions, vCenter 6.0 introduces a new default database for Windows installations, vPostgres. Some who have used the vCenter Appliance might recognize it, as it was adopted there in vCenter 5.0 Update 1 and above. vPostgres is an adapted version of PostgreSQL which very closely mimics its open source origins. For those used to SQL Management Studio, the interaction with this new database will be a bit different, but not difficult once you know the proper steps.   Connecting to a Windows vPostgres Database To start, we’ll go over how to use the built-in […]

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  • vCenter Server 6.0 Deployment Models and Recommended Topologies

    vSphere 6.0 has finally arrived! Many engineers and architects are wondering what are the new recommended topologies for the Platform Services Controller (PSC) and vCenter Server. I have compiled a list of recommended topologies in vSphere 6.0. For starters, you can think of the PSC as Single Sign-On + more. It provides the same functionality as SSO would have, but has additional services and functionality built in. All of these topologies can utilize either a Windows deployment, or an appliance for the PSC and  or vCenter Server.   vCenter Server with an Embedded PSC Multiple vCenter Servers with an External PSC     Multiple PSCs […]

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