VMware Mirage – Only Download Layer

I have worked a VMware Mirage introduction as i mentioned earlier. Our project team specified very short time window for restart. It is only 30 minutes. The PCs are hosts to a cash register sofware witch is start a special way. In registry of Windows the shell was changed from explorer.exe to software’s exe.

Mirage will manage this settings that way it will restart PC without any question. NAG scrren will not ask the user about restart. Becouse of PCs connect by 3G network to Mirage, the assign process time of new bas layer is unpredictable. Other side we got a short restart time.

I figured out that we upload the changes between two base layer, and we will apply the changes a later time.

VMware_Mirage_PIC01
Assign Base Layer to VCD / Select “Only Download Layer”

Follow the wizard’s steps. The changes will upload to the selected CVDs, and thats all. After this process, PC will not restart automatically. We can save about 30-45 minutes.

VMware_Mirage_PIC02

In the Tasks menu we can see the state of process “Base Layer Download” is done. Mirage server uploaded the changes to CVD.

We can apply this changes (I call that Install process) if we select task and from right click menu choose “Apply Layers” option.

VMware_Mirage_PIC03

VMware Mirage will “install” the changes about 10-15 minutes, than the PC will restart automatically. It is not depens on 3G bandwith, becouse layer update process is going on PC without network usage.


My previously blog articles about Mirage

vRealize Operation Manager upgrade from 6.5 to 6.6 – License issue

I think you heard about new vRealize Operation Manager release. If not check this Release Notes

It was subject of many blogs:

I admit, the new UI is brilliant, my colleagues are sharing this opinion. So U can read about new features and integration with VMware Log Insigt and Business Management.

The upgrade process same as from 6.4 to 6.5. I found a good blog which is present it step by step: https://blogs.vmware.com/management/2017/05/upgrading-to-the-new-vrealize-operations-6-5-step-by-step-david-davis.html

After upgrade process was done we realize in vRealize 🙂 something strange. When we selected a VM we seen a watermarked message in the background, as you can see in the picture below. “License is invalid”

vRealize_operation_manager_6.6_license_001
License is invalid watermark

The solution is simple, you can go Administration / Management / Licensing page and select License Groups tab in vROPS.

Check the Licensable Usage column and if you see 0 value in Product Licensing row it will be the problem.

vRealize_operation_manager_6.6_license_002
Check Licensable Usage

In this case select Product Licensing row and click pencil icon on top. Under vRealize Operation Manager select your license key or keys depends on your environment and click next.

vRealize_operation_manager_6.6_license_003
Select your license key or keys

Define a membership criteria as you wish or use legacy settings. They didn’t change in our environment. If you could advice about filering I would give you, pls. contact me. Click next.

Check Preview then click Finish button.

!! Don’t forget push the refresh button on License Keys page however you can’t see the changes on License Groups page 🙂

vRealize_operation_manager_6.6_license_004
Push the Refresh button!!!

When you did everything right on License Groups page you will see a bigger value then 0 in Licensable usege column.

I hope this short article will help for you, when you experience similar problem after your upgrade.

Desktop full restore by VMware Horizon Mirage

I’m part of a project where we can solve approximately 200 dekstop (PC base POS) security updates. This PCs are connecting to our company HQ by VPN over 3G connection. This is a limited size usage solution, so we have only x GB traffic in one month for whole environment. If we overuse this we will pay for our provider.

It was the main reason why we have started install the VMware Mirage system to try it.

Mirage can:

  • Split Base layer from App layer
  • Compress network traffic
  • In case of network problem
  • In case of network problem, continuous U/D traffic from position of problem
  • Easy restore to earlier snaphot / state

We tried the latest case in our POC system. The original conception was that: we remove a Windows security update manually from PC, and Mirage should have restored it to previously status.

We uninstalled the update, restarted the PC, and we couldn’t believe our eyes. Windows crashed!

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_windows_death
Hungarian Windows 🙂

Ok, don’t panic, it should have been a real situation. Let’s look what we can do in this situation?!

We find this article on VMware Documentation Site:

http://pubs.vmware.com/mirage-58/topic/com.vmware.mirage.admin.doc/GUID-20C1B965-0C9A-4C55-8C2C-85F9BCE97437.html

Follow steps in the article that you can create a bootable USB pendrive wich consist of VMware Mirage Agent.

It was our command under test:

C:\BootUSB>win7usb.cmd F:\ C:\BootUSB\MirageClient\MirageClient.x64.138892.msi 192.168.104.45 false 1 C:\BootUSB\Drivers

(You will find this “win7usb.cmd” in Mirage install zip file)

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_boot_usb_01

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_boot_usb_02

When you have connection between PC and Mirage server, the server will recognize the PC.

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_pending_restore_01

Right click and select restore option, and follow the wizard.

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_pending_restore_02

On the PC’s sceen you will see similar this.

pc_full_restore_by_vmware_mirage_pending_restore_03

That’s it, your PC/POS was restored, and it was only 45 min in our test environment! 🙂


Update 17/07/17: Vladan wrote details about how you can create a bootable usb stick:

https://www.vladan.fr/create-vmware-mirage-bootable-usb-stick/

VMFS 6 Upgrade

We have tested our new demo Dell EMC Unity 400F storage and we conneceted this test to our vSphere 6.5 test. 2 in 1 solution I really like it 🙂

I red White Pepaer about vSphere 6.5 Storage, and i find in this article, VMware introduce new VMFS. I want upgrade our VMFS version to latest version. Like always i have started search upgrade option, but i couldn’t find it.

I started read about whats new vSphere 6.5 Storage, and i find this in VMware Document Center: https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-65/topic/com.vmware.vsphere.storage.doc/GUID-7552DAD4-1809-4687-B46E-ED9BB42CE277.html

End of this article I recognize why I couldn’t find any upgrade button 🙂

“Upgrade. After you upgrade your ESXi hosts to version 6.5, you can continue using any existing VMFS5 datastores. To take advantage of VMFS6 features, create a VMFS6 datastore and migrate virtual machines from the VMFS5 datastore to VMFS6 datastore. You cannot upgrade the VMFS5 datastore to VMFS6.”

 

Enable SSH VMware vRealize Operation Manager (vROps 6.x)

We have investigated our problem with VMware Support and they want run a query in Postgres database. Usually I use Putty for SSH connection, but before I could do this I should on the ssh on vROps:

  1. Open vROps Console and press “Alt+F1” to switch console
  2. Type “root” user
  3. In default vRealize root user hasan’t password
  4. Press enter for Old password and the promt will change New password
  5. Type new password and type again
  6. When we are able to login by root type: “chkconfig sshd on”
  7. Start service: “service sshd start”

Go back to Putty and connect to vRealize Operation Manager by ssh.