Category Archives: VMware

StorSimple Appliance for VMware

Yesterday I had to import a virtual machine vmdk and came across with a new particular disk. After uploading it to my ESXi 6.5, it wasn’t able to be recognized as a virtual disk. Normally you have two files, the .flat with the data and the .vmdk used as a descriptor. So once opened the vmdk file and metadata looked like this:


Tried a vmkfstools -i but ESX did not accept input vmdk as a valid format.

Previously ….

I needed to setup an off-site backup using Microsoft Azure as external cloud provider using Veeam Availability Suite. Veeam gets along with Azure very well and performs nicely with the Veeam Cloud Connect feature but this approach involves a more complicated and even expensive solution not very affordable for many. So I decided to give a try to the Azure Storsimple Virtual Array solution. You can download the appliance for VMware and Hyper-V, but what I had to face when I unzipped the VMware downloaded file is the original cause of this post.

And now the conclusion…

Tuns out this VMFSsparse disk comes from a Snapshot on a VMFS 5 datastore. Worth mentioning in VMFS6 this is replaced with SEsparse type. Both of them are born as Delta Disks from a Snapshot. I was really afraid of struggling with ID Descriptors and References to make a sort of re-allocation of pointers on the descriptor file so this is what I did knowing the OS and hardware this VM was originally made of:

  • Create a new customized HW 5 compatible Windows Virtual Machine on VMware Workstation
  • Add an existing IDE disk using this bloody vmdk file.
  • Verify it was able to boot and power it off.
  • Upgrade VM Hardware version to 12.
  • Export as an OVF from.
  • Deploy that OVF in vSphere 6.5.
  • Upgrade Virtual Hardware.
  • Power it on..

Now look at that:


Simply and honestly, I think this must be achieved easily, but I wasn’t able to find it. I still have some questions:

  • Where in the hell did this vmdk come from ?
  • How can Microsoft Azure serve such as tangled solution? Just because they are competitors?. Step-by-step documentation is wrong, by the way. Besides the appliance won’t recognize the 500 GB disk unless you add the vmdk as an IDE 0 disk.

I encourage anyone to share an alternative and fastest solution, just in case you have to 🙂

Greetings from this upside-down world.


Veeam VMCE 9

I recently passed the Veeam VMCE exam. I must confess it took me three attempts, but finally govmce_logot a 89%. Just a couple of questions could make you walk on a red carpet or burn in hell, so please do not discourage. Veeam is not a Backup tool anymore. You’ll have to face a very large suite that covers many aspects not only Backup stuff but also Recovery, Replication, Disaster Recovery, Storage Appliances, Networking components, Verification procedures, Monitoring, Reporting, Federation, etc.  That’s why you’ll learn about Veeam as whole global Availability Suite.

I think I made a lot of research for passing the exam. Normally, you can share your thoughts with some colleagues and even take some advice from them to guide you during this process but I was alone, none of my colleagues ever went through VMCE before. So I thought that might be worth sharing for all of you who are intended to get the VMCE. This is what I used and would suggest:

  • I assume you attended the official Veeam VMCE training, so the Text Book is a must. Read it thoroughly twice or more and make your own notes creating your own summary. Keep special attention on each phrase and always remember those with the background in dark color mostly at the end of every section.
  • Veeam Webinars were useful for me, as recently they have posted new ones. They are nice to test your knowledge. The more you are able to understand them, the better for you and your chances to pass it.
  • Veeam Best Practices Document is also a must for reading after studying. and after passing your exam.
  • If you have access to the Veeam Partner Portal, go for the Veeam Technical Sales Professional VMTSP certification which surely help to make your knowledge stronger.
  • Test yourself on Veeam University with a test exam at
  • Do no trust every example test you might find on the internet. Always make your own research to ensure the right answer.
  • Expand your learning reading on the Veeam Help Center.
  • Topics always asked and Key Concepts are the following:
    • All related to available editions and their feature limitations.
    • All related to Veeam Explorers.
    • Matching Definitions. On Text Book you’ll find green tables with them.
    • All concerning a SureBackup and SureReplica.
    • Offsite backups and all related with Backup Copy Job.
    • All related to Failover and Failback.
    • About Transport Modes.
    • Of course those questions about the different Backup Methods.

That’s all so far, now good luck, may the force be with you, or as green is the color for Veeam, You should say :

“In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might
Beware my power–Veeam Lantern’s light!”

By for now.

vRealize Business. Shall we meet?

vRealize Business for Cloud.

I’m not an accounting specialist, but vRealize Business is becoming a fundamental part on a global Cloud Management Platform. I’m not discovering anything new about this product, I just intend to shorten the distance between vRB and consultant staff in terms of depicting a general overview on our minds.


When talking about vRealize Business for Cloud we know we are talking about costs, expenses, charges, pricing… the kind of concepts an IT Specialist normally cannot hear about. So what you’ll surely want to know is what I’m writing right here.

Before dealing for the first time with this product, there are a some basic things we need to know:

  • vRealize Business for Cloud is part of the VMware vCloud Suite.
  • vRealize Business for Cloud can interact with vRealize Operations Management for a complete operational analysis and with vRealize Automation.
  • vRealize Business Standard is licensed per PLU (Portable License Unit)
  • vRealizr Business Advanced is licensed per OSI and per CPU and is also available as a Standalone product.

And the most important from a technical perspective:

  • vRealize Business for Cloud Appliance can be deployed both in vCenter and vCloud Director. At the end, a final Virtual Appliance is created on vCenter Server.
  • vRealize Business for Cloud can not only be registered on an existing vRealize Automation server, building a perfect tandem with its full integration – Which is the most powerful and outstanding option by the way – but also a Standalone deployment for vRB is now possible with a little help of its friend … a VMware Identity Manager.

A Standalone installation is a perfect chance to know a little more about this tool and start getting familiar with it. I’ll create a post about it shortly….


Dejad que Nutanix se acerque a mi. Y a tí.

Nutanix es una solución Hiperconvergente (HCI) que está dando mucho de qué hablar, y no por falta de méritos, el producto está madurando rápidamente y cada vez más frecuentemente, resulta la elección final de muchas empresas a la hora de afrontar nuevos proyectos orientados a la cloud privada y/o híbrida.


El producto dispone de una versión denominada Community Edicion (CE) que es gratuita y nos permite conocerlo más de cerca, aunque las exigencias de hardware para ponerlo en marcha por nuestra cuenta son un poco altas y nos tira un poco para atrás a la hora de montarlo por nuestra cuenta ya que, como mínimo necesitamos 16 GB de RAM para la CVM, 200 GB en SSD para caché y, bueno, tan solo unos 500 GB de HD para datos. En términos prácticos, no parecen requisitos muy exigentes, pero si se convierten en críticos si pretendemos dedicar un equipo entero solo para ésto.

Si vas sobrado de recursos, no pierdas tiempo y ve directamente al proceso de instalación después de haber creado un USB de arranque con la ISO. Si, por el contrario, eres un homínido terrestre, ajénamente financiado por el sudor de tu frente, tenemos la posibilidad de montarlo en virtual como un Hipervisor anidado o como dicen en la scene, nested, y de éste modo rebajar las exigencias de hardware. Eso si, vamos a tener que aportar, al menos 8 GB de RAM, 4 vCPU y unos 30 GB de nuestro SSD. Si, como lo oyes, un SSD va a ser necesario.

Update 08/02/17: Probado en un stick USB 3.0 de 128 GB sin problemas 🙂

A continuación voy a exponeros los pasos necesarios para lograr tener un nodo de Nutanix corriendo en virtual usando VMware Workstation para Windows, con 8 GB y 30 GB de espacio en disco SSD. Éstas son las fases:


Lo primero que tenemos que hacer es registrarnos de forma gratuita.


1. Visitamos la web oficial de Nutanix. Podremos acceder a recursos e información que nos resultarán útiles para un primer acercamiento al producto. 1Registering.PNG

2. Seguidamente hay que proceder a descargar el Community Edition del foro correspondiente.



3. Extraer el fichero .img que está dentro de la ISO.


4. Renombrar el dichero a ce-flat.vmdk


5. Crear el siguiente fichero de texto y renombrarlo como ce.vmdk

# Disk DescriptorFile
# Extent description
RW 14540800 VMFS “ce-flat.vmdk”
# The Disk Data Base
ddb.adapterType = “lsilogic”
ddb.geometry.cylinders = “905”
ddb.geometry.heads = “255”
ddb.geometry.sectors = “63”
ddb.longContentID = “2e046b033cecaa929776efb0a63adc2a”
ddb.uuid = “60 00 C2 9b 69 2f c9 76-74 c4 07 9e 10 87 3b f9”
ddb.virtualHWVersion = “12”

Nota: En mi caso, trabajando con Workstation 12, la última línea corresponde con mi versión del virtual hardware. Si utilizáis una versión anterior, cambiad ese número por la correspondiente.

Quedarán dos ficheros vmdk en la carpeta.


6. Confirmamos el correcto contenido del fichero ce.vmdk



1. Definimos una nueva VM personalizada en VMware Workstation.


2. Compatibilidad con tu versión actual.


3. No instales el OS ahora.


4. Elige Linux, CentOS x64.


5. Cambia el nombre de la VM a NutanixCE.


Al elegir la ubicación de tus ficheros .vmdk te saldrá un warning, es normal, dale a Continuar.


6. Añade 2 Procesadores y 2 Cores para completar las 4 vCPU


7. Selecciona 8 Gb de RAM.


8. Selecciona SATA como tipo de disco.


9. Selecciona LSI Logic como controladora de disco.


10. En mi caso, voy a usar mi propia red, y le daré una IP real de mi subnet.


11. Al crear el disco, selecciona usar disco existe.


12. Localiza el fichero ce.vmdk y seleccionalo.



El resultado final de confirmación es este. Pulsamos Finish.


13. Marcar la Virtualización de procesador para poder crear VMs, aunque no tendremos muchos recursos la verdad, pero es necesario para la instalación.


14. Ahora solo nos queda añadir los discos de Caché y Datos. Empezamos por el primero, seleccionando SCSI.


15. Indicamos un tamaño de 201 GB, en un solo fichero y seleccionamos su ubicación.


16. Repetimos el mismo proceso para crear otro disco de 501 Gb. Esta sería nuestra Virtual Machine final.



1. En ésta fase arrancamos nuestra máquina y si nuestros recursos disponibles son suficientes lo más seguro es que nos topemos con un intento de arranque PXE.


2. Ésto es normal ya que la controladora ISCSI tiene prioridad y nuestros discos no tienen nada, asi que nos toca pulsar F2 durante el arranque para entrar en la BIOS de la VM.


3. Movemos nuestro disco SATA de la última posición a la primera, salimos y guardamos.


4. En el siguiente arranque nos aparecerá una primera sonrisa en la cara al ver que las cosas funcionan como nosotros queremos y observamos el logo de Nutanix.


Y tras unos pequeños segundo de tensión nos encontraremos el prompt de linux.


4. Introducir el usuario root y contraseña nutanix/4u

Editamos el fichero de requisitos con el siguiente comando:

vi /home/install/phx_iso/phoenix/


Identificamos los valores resaltados en amarillo, y modificamos el valor MIN_MEMORY_GB reemplazando el 15.0 por un 6 y guardamos los cambios, recordad que se sale activando el modo comandos con ESC + : , y luego guardamos y salimos con wq!


5. Ahora nos toca modificar el numero de IOS necesarios en nuestro SSD, para no quedanos cortos bajaremos el valor de 5000 a 500. Para ello editamos el siguiente fichero:

vi /home/install/phx_iso/phoenix/


En apenas un avance de página aparecen las entradas buscadas, editamos y cambiamos ese valor de 5000 por el de 500 tanto para lectura como para escritura.


6. Sin salir del editor, ahora debemos buscar la linea Custom_Ram=12  que indica el valor mínimo de RAM para la VCM. Hay que localirlo y cambialo por un 6. Puede costar encontrarlo entre tanta linea, yo os aconsejo que vayáis al final del archivo y pulséis 5 retornos de página. Entonces lo tendréis en primera posición.



7. Ahora vamos a grabar los cambios y desde el prompt de root vamos a salir del shell escribiendo exit , y nos volvemos a logar esta vez con el usuario install. En este momento es cuando empezará la verdadera instalación y veremos si nuestros maquillajes han tenido el efecto deseado.

Lo primero que vamos a ver es la ventana de seleccion del idioma, elegimos el nuestro.



8. Después confirmamos la identificaciones de los dos discos.


Durante unos segundos iniciará los discos y comenzará a validar el rendimiento de los discos. Si no resultara satisfactorio, seguramente sea por el rendimiento de nuestro disco SSD, en ese caso volved a editar el fichero y bajad aun mas los valores de IOS de disco.

9. Nuestra próxima tarea es completar los datos de red de nuestro sistema.


Debemos añadir la dirección IP de nuestro Host, la dirección IP de su CVM, y completar el resto de los datos, marcar la creación de single cluster y leer toda la EULA, bueno avanzar página como si no hubiera mañana nos vale. Finalmente pulsar Start .


No os entréis en pánico si veis errores del tipo:



Dejad que termine. Es un proceso largo, pero indoloro. Los vmdk comenzarán a expandirse,aunque no más allá de los 30 GB.


10. Cuando finalice, os pedirá que pulséis ENTER y la VM se reiniciará. En pocos segundos veréis el prompt inicial, con mención a la CVM y su dirección IP. No os logéis.


El mágico momento que estábamos esperando para poder abrir nuestro navegador ver algo ha llegado. Escribid la url formada por la IP de nuestra CVM y el puerto 9440. En mi caso es la ip así que la url es:


Ahora logaos con admin/admin y os pedira cambiar la password, escoged una buena que no se os olvide como por ejemplo *******, y como último paso introducid vuestras credenciales de registro de la web de Nutanix.

Nota: Si durante el registro tenéis un error similar a este:


Posiblemente no tenga resolución para localizar los servidores del frabricante.Abrid un SSH a la IP de la CVM y logaos con usuario nutanix y password nutanix/4u


Intentad un ping a Si no logra llegar, ejecutad este comando:

ncli cluster add-to-name-servers servers=


Probad de nuevo el ping y reiniciar la VM.

Finalmente debería aparecer el portal inical de PRISM, donde podréis cacharrear, no sin ciertas limitaciones, claro. Recordad que esto es una ñapa para practicar o realizar alguna demo a colegas, partners, etc.


A partir de ahora se abre un nuevo mundo de posibilidades y dudas que nos harán crecer profesionalmente. Espero que os haya gustado y pueda seros útil.


vExpert 2017. Nota personal.

VMware ha hecho pública la lista de seleccionados a vExpert de este año. Podéis ver el listado de los ganadores aquí.

Aunque no es una acreditación oficial, VMware selecciona anualmente aquellos que, de alguna manera, han participado en extender el conocimiento e implantación de sus soluciones y dedican tiempo más allá de sus responsabilidades a éste propósito. No vendemos ser más listos que nadie, pero si poseemos una particular pasión por ésta tecnología que raramente tiene su reconocimiento en los entornos laborales dentro de éste, nuestro viejo e impredecible país.

Por eso, en cierto modo, y en nombre de los profesionales que compartimos éste interés, me enorgullece poder enarbolar en silencio y durante los próximos 12 meses el distintivo de VMware vExpert 2017 por tercer año consecutivo.

“Por un nuevo reto, por un nuevo año lleno de conocimientos que compartir.”


Cheers 🙂

I want a full vCSA 6.5 backup

Whenever you decide backing up the vCSA 6.5 Database, as part as the greatest features of vSphere 6.5, these are a few tips to consider:

  • Backup can be performed anytime, no downtime is required.
  • Use encryption option using AES 256 and do not lose the password.
  • Prepare a remote for transferring. Possible options are: FTP, SFTP, HTTP, HTTPS
  • Make sure the target folder is empty.
  • Grant write permissions.
  • Even then, some errors might happen like:


That issue happens when a specific vCSA service is not running. Here’s how to deal with the services in the vCenter Appliance:

service-control is the main command. Using status as parameter you’ll have a quick and clear view about which services are running and which are not.

service-control –status:vcsaback2

We found our lazy service is not running, so now it’s time to wake up. Easy as typing the following:

service-control –start vmonapivcsaback3

Now the faulty service is up and running. After this no more issues happened with the Backup Procedure.


Let’s check the folder:


What we have on the remote site is not a single backup file. Remember:

  • This backup procedure is a file-level backup.
  • This backup is only for vCSA, we have to perform the same task on our PSC in an external deployment.

To know much more about vCSA services check here

A more detailed information about how to perform a vCSA Database backup is here.

Migrating vCenter Server 6 / vCSA 6 to vCSA 6.5

One of the most exciting changes in vSphere 6.5 refers to the vCenter Server Appliance. With this version, vCSA becomes The King in the North, he’s in charge,  the boss, the head man, the top dog, big cheese. I really want to try it and now it is time to upgrade my lab. In earlier versions we’d have to install a new vCSA but now, we just need the right ISO file 🙂

Windows vCenter Server -> vCSA 6.5

  1. Enter the SSO Administrator credential and wait for the script to complete the deployment.It will take a little to identify your current information and will show a message “waiting for migration to start” when ready:migration-assistant2
  2. Go to another windows machine – must be different form the existing vCenter – prepare to mount the VMware VSCA 6.5 ISO and launch the following program: vcsa-ui-installer\win32\ installer migratevc2vcsa0Select the Migrate Optionmigratevc2vcsa
  3. Type the right information required for the vCenter Server. Click Next and Accept the Certificate window.migratevc2vcsa-2
  4. Now it’s time to determine where new VCSA appliance is going to be deployed. Type the Target ESX, and credentials. Accept the Certificate window as well.migration-assistant3
  5. Time for typing the name for our new brand vCSA virtual machine and password.migration-assistant4
  6. Now it’s time for choosing the final deployment sizemigration-assistant5
  7. And which datastore is going to be used.migration-assistant6
  8. Finally the temporary networking settings. Make sure you use a reachable subnet network.migration-assistant7
  9. Last window is a summary, check all information and click Finish when ok.migration-assistant8
  10. Now the process will take a bit longer. Your future vCSA 6.5 is being deplyoed. migration-assistant9

Update: During this post creation I noticed there was another brilliant post regarding this procedure here, so I decided to give a short explanation of what is next and continue my post by starting covering also the upgrade for an existing vCenter Appliance.

So after a successful deployment, our new vCSA 6.5 is running partially operational. A second installation stage is beginning to configure the new appliance, export the main existing configuration, power off the source vCenter and import the data to the new vCSA. Last step is accessing our new vCenter Appliance using the management url and replace the IP address with the right one.

 vCSA 6.0 -> vCSA 6.5

A key point here is that you could achieve this upgrade on from vCSA 5.5 Update2 version or later. In my case, 6.0 is in place. As I had my lab with an external PSC, another important thing to remark is that I needed to do this procedure twice. One for upgrading PSC and another for vCSA. This part is focusing just on the vCSA as I already upgraded my PSC before.

  1. We are starting from the same .ISO and the same installer, but this time we are going to perform an Upgrade, choosing the second option: UPGRADE.migratevc2vcsa0
  2. Now we are going to type the data for both our current vCSA and the ESXi where the appliance is running. Click NEXT when ready.
  3. 1Again we are prompted for the Target ESXi wher the new vCSA is going to be deployed. Type it and press NEXT. 2.PNG
  4. Now type the name for the new vCSA and confirm root password. NEXT when ready.4.PNG
  5. As in the migration procedure, we have to select the infrastructure size we are dealing with. Choose it and press NEXT.5.PNG
  6. Target datastore is our next option to choose. Select the right one and click NEXT.6.PNG
  7. Now its time for networking parameters. Click NEXT when ready.7.PNG
  8. Confirm the summary window and press FINISH.8.PNG
  9. The installation progress window is displayed. Now it is time to have a coffee.9.PNG
  10. When the stage is done, we are ready to begin the last stage.Press CONTINUE.10.PNG
  11. Next stage is ready.Click NEXT.11.PNG
  12. A new input for the existing vCSA and ESXi is needed. Press NEXT when ready. 12
  13. Now we need to decided what is going to be copied to the new appliance. Press NEXT when ready.13.PNG
  14. A new confirmation has to be done. Press FINISH when ready. We can’t proceed whitout checking the 14.PNGtext regarding the backup.
  15. We need to know the Source vCSA is going to be shutdown. Confirm pressing OK15.PNG
  16. Data will start to be transferred between to the new vCSA. Time for a short break.16.PNG
  17. When the transfer is done, we can close the window noting the urls shown below. Basically they are still the same.18.PNG
  18. When we access for instance, to the Appliance URL we can see a new option for HTML5 is available, not fully operational though. 😦19.PNG

In any case, a new vCSA 6.5 is running on our system and it goes like that:

20.PNGWe can appreciate it is faster, as the Fling Appliance already was, so a new fresh web client to get used to 🙂 . Don’t forget to delete the older versions once you confirmed the proper working of this new 6.5.


Chaíto !