Kevin's Blog Photography, technology, and whatever else

23Nov/114

MRTG Virtual Appliance

Over the last couple of weeks I have been working to build an MRTG server in our VM environment.  I wanted it to be very lightweight for CPU, RAM and Disk storage.

I've used MRTG quite a bit before and it can sometimes be tricky getting everything worked out just right so that it runs without babysitting.  I finally got a pretty good install going and thought I would share it up here for anyone who might find it useful.

This is an MRTG Virtual Appliance that is running on Ubuntu Server for Virtualization.  The install is very compact with just a 2gb virtual disk, 1 cpu and 512MB of RAM.  You can download the  MRTG_Appliance here.  Total file size is ~430MB.

MRTG is setup and configured as well as lighttpd as the webserver.  The server is configured for DHCP and SSH is enabled for console management.  There is no GUI but there is a configuration page linked from the default webpage.

This is a first run at creating an Appliance/OVA file for me, so I'm sure I have missed some steps.  I will update this page as well as the download file as any issues are identified.

Let me know how it goes so we can make it better!

Popularity: 36%

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10Nov/113

ESX Datstore filled up by AVVI Snapshots

One thing that I just learned overnight is that you really should keep an eye on the Snapshots in ESX/vSphere.  We are running the AVVI backups from Backup Exec 2010, and it uses the vSphere storage APIs to do it's business.  BE has vSphere run a snapshot by calling the API and then it grabs that snapshot and sends it to whatever your backup medium is.

In the past I have seen where a snapshot gets left behind and not deleted.  Last night I started getting paged from our monitoring system that one of our AD servers was offline.  After having to jump through some hoops to get in via VPN (because the AD server was the one used to authenticate and give DHCP to VPN users) I was able to get onto the ESX server.  There I saw that the snapshots had hogged up all available disk space on the ESX box and my AD server was stalled as a result.  It turns out that the snapshots for my Exchange server were piled up and I had to delete them.  Once there was free space again my AD server was back online and everything is OK again.

Now I need to figure out a way to monitor my ESX server for datastore space so that this does not happen again.

Popularity: 16%

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28Jun/111

ESX 4.0 and USB devices

I'm having trouble getting USB to work on one of my ESX 4.0 hosts.  I did a bunch of research and found that in the initial release of ESX 4 USB was 'supposed' to work but didn't.  All the posts I read indicated that this was fixed in subsequent releases so I went about the task of upgrading my host to the newest release.

After quite a bit of fiddling I was able to get Update 3 installed.  After this I still have not had any luck getting my USB device to connect.  I'm tryinmg to connect a Serial to USB adapter so that I can connect to a Cisco console cable, or other serial devices.  I do have it working just over the regular com/serial port onboard, but I want it to work via USB so that I can more easily move the connection around to other boxes/laptops/etc.

Much of the info that I read dealt with USB HDs so perhaps they work but not these other types of devices/adapters?  If anyone has any ideas I sure would appreciate it!

Popularity: 12%

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11Apr/110

ESXi PCI Passthrough Configuration

I've been working to setup my new LTO4 Changer and was having some trouble configuring it to work via SAS and VMWare.  I found this very handy article about how to configure PCI passthrough to your Guest OS which solved my problems.

 

http://www.petri.co.il/vmware-esxi4-vmdirectpath.htm

 

 

Popularity: 44%

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31Mar/114

ESXi Free Version Limitations

I thought that after my previous post about ESXi really being free, I would write a post with the limitations I've noticed when you don't have vCenter Server.  Having never used ESXi before and always having had vCenter I didn't really know what to expect.

This is surely not an exhaustive list, but just things I've noticed so far.  Some of the items on these lists  really go into the differences of the licensed versions of the product, and I haven't noted that here. (Standard, Enterprise, Enterprise Plus)

In no particular order....

* No cloning of virtual machines (Instead I just copy a machine directly on the data store and 'add to inventory')

* No templates (same as above)

* No Virtual Consolidated Backup (VCB) (With the free version you do not have access to download it at all)

* No Virtual Data Recovery (VDR) (same as above)

* No Clustering

* No vMotion

* Performance charts only display 'Real Time' statistics

* No Alert features

* No console on the host.  Management is ONLY through VIC

* Symantec's VMWare agent will not work

* Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS)

* Power Management features

* Dynamically adding CPU and RAM to a running Guest

[UPDATE] * vStorage APIs (why Symantec's AVVI will not work)

 

Things I was surprised to see...

* AD Integration for security in the Virtual Infrastructure Client (VIC)

* Resource groups

* Performance statistics of any kind

* Guest automatic startup/shutdown features

 

 

For now this is all I can think of.  I will try and keep this list in mind and update it as I notice other things.

Post a comment if there is something you have noticed!

Popularity: 100%

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