Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to use the Standalone Converter


1. Download the vSphere Standalone Converter. You can see this is the new converter 5.5.

2. Install it in the machine you want to convert. There are different choices but in this case, the application was installed on a windows 7 machine. The same machine that was going to be converted.

3. Start the Standalone Converter by clicking on the icon that appears on the desktop after the installation.

4. Select Convert this Machine in the upper left corner.

5. Add the information of the vcenter server that is in charge of the esxi servers and pick a name for the new virtual machine

6. Select the esxi host to run the virtual machine.

7. Resize the virtual machine and change the cpu count, memory amount if desired. In this case, the physical machine was installed on a 250gb disk but was only using about 25 gbs. Also, the physical machine had 4 gbs of memory and a quad core cpu, but this was lowered to 30gbs and 3 gbs of ram.

8. Start the conversion and monitor the progress.

9. Power on the virtual machine and test it.

10. If happy with the results, retire the old physical server.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Captures of a typical esxi 5.5 installation

Step 1. Download the iso image from and burn it

Step 2. Power on the physical server and boot from the cd

Step 3. When faced with the Original Screen, select the first choice.

Step 4. Press enter to start the installation

Step 5. Accept the End User License Agreement.

Step 6. Select the disk to be used. This could be a sata disk, usb, etc.

Step 7. Select the keyboard layout.

Step 8: Add the password for the root user.

Step 9. Press F11 to confirm the installation.

Step 10. Allow the esxi to finish the install, then reboot and you are done. As you probably noticed, the installation never asked for a hostname or network related information. Once the esxi server boots up, press F2 to log into the DCUI (Direct Console User Interface) to make those changes.

Install a vSphere SSO Server in 5.5


1. Create a vm with 2 vcpus and 12gbs of ram. Install either 2k8 or 2k12.

2. Make sure that your vm has a static ip address and has AD configured

3. Start the installation. You won't have to worry about the sso db as in 5.1.

Notes: You have the choice to do a simple install (sso, inventory services and the vcenter server on the same machine) or a custom install (where you select the components individually).

Friday, January 10, 2014

How to reset the root password of the vCenter Appliance

Unlocking a locked out root account

If the root account is not accessible via the console, the secure shell, and the Virtual Appliance Management Interface (VAMI), the root account has been inactivated due to password expiration. To reactivate the root account, the vCSA must be rebooted and the kernel option modified in the GRUB bootloader to obtain a root shell.

To reactivate the root account:

  1. Reboot the vCSA using the vSphere Client.
  2. When the GRUB bootloader appears, press the spacebar to disable autoboot.

    Note: If the time between when you power on the virtual machine and when it exits the BIOS or EFI and launches the guest operating system is too short, you can adjust the delay. For more information, see Delay the Boot Sequence in the vSphere Client in the vSphere Single Host Management guide.
  3. Type p to access the appliance boot options.
  4. Enter the GRUB password.

    • If the vCSA was deployed without editing the root password in the Virtual Appliance Management Interface (VAMI), the default GRUB password is vmware.
    • If the vCSA root password was reset using the VAMI, then the GRUB password is the password last set in the VAMI for the root account.
  5. Use the arrow keys to highlight VMware vCenter Server Appliance and type e to edit the boot commands.

  6. Scroll to the second line displaying the kernel boot parameters.

  7. Type e to edit the boot command.
  8. Append init=/bin/bash to the kernel boot options.

  9. Press Enter. The GRUB menu reappears.
  10. Type b to start the boot process. The system boots to a shell.
  11. Reset the root password by running the passwd root command.
  12. Restart the appliance by running the reboot command.

3 steps to reset the SSO password in the windows SSO server

Step 1:  Using your windows sso server, access the vmdird directory.

c:\>cd Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VMware\CIS\vmdird

Step 2: Execute the vdcadmintool.exe command.

c:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VMware\CIS\vmdird>vdcadmintool.exe

This console loads:

Please select:
0. exit
1. Test LDAP connectivity
2. Force start replication cycle
3. Reset account password
4. Set log level and mask
5. Set vmdir state

Step 3. Press 3 to enter the Reset account password option.

When prompted for the Account DN, enter:


A new password is generated.

3 Steps to reset the SSO password in the 5.5 Vcenter Appliance

SSO Password Reset Steps Vsphere 5.5

Step 1: Log into the vcenter appliance as root.

Step 2: Execute the following command.

#  /usr/lib/vmware-vmdir/bin/vdcadmintool

Please select:
0. exit
1. Test LDAP connectivity
2. Force start replication cycle
3. Reset account password
4. Set log level and mask
5. Set vmdir state

Step 3: Press 3 to enter the Reset account password option.
When prompted for the Account DN, enter:


Step 4. A new password is generated. Done. Easy right?

Here is a capture of it. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How to install VCOPS 5.8 (VMware vCenter Operations Manager)

What is VCOPS?

Vcops is a utility used to monitor potential issues in your vsphere environment. It is a vapp comprised of two vms working together. The first vm is the Analytics vm and the second vm is the UI vm. The two vms are configured with 2 vcps (each) and 16gbs of RAM between them (7 and 9). One gathers data from vsphere and the other one reports it to you via a browser. Vcops is installed via ovf and treated as a unit; meaning that you power on the vapp itself, never the individual vms (this will break the heartbeat between them).

How to install VCOPS

1. Download the ova from

2. Launch the vsphere client and connect to the vcenter server (you can't connect to the esxi host for this)

3. Select the Datacenter that you will be using

4. Select the IP Pools Tab

5. Click on Add

6. In the first tab, name the pool (pool1 in this case) and specify the subnet to use and the gateway information.

7. Select the DNS tab and add the necessary information (domain name and dns server ip).

8. Click on the Associations Tab and select the network to be used (VM Network in my case).

9. To deploy the ovf, click on File in the Upper Right Corner of the vsphere client.

10. Select Deploy from OVF.

11. Click on Browse and find the .ova (archive) just downloaded.

12. Continue with the wizard. Click on Next and agree to the license.

13. Name the Vapp (vcops in my case)

14. Select your configuration type (small deployment = default)

15. Select your esxi host and decide how to allocate the space (thick vs thin).

16. Once finished, power on the vapp that contains the two vms that make up vcops. Power on the vapp.

17. Launch your browser and using https:// point to the ip address or name and follow it with /admin.

18. Log in as admin/admin.

19. Finish the configuration of VCOPS. Specify who is the vcenter server, change the admin password (admin) and root password (vmware) and identify the SMTP server.

20. Once you finish, log into VCOPS (the ui vm) by pointing to https://its_ip/vcops-vsphere.

NOTE: What follows are some captures that show you what to expect when you log in and the badges showing the health of the vsphere components. You will see three major badges, Health, Risk and Efficiency. The badges use different colors (green, yellow, orange, red), indicating serious problems, potential problems or no problems. These major badges also have minor badges. For example, Health has 3 minor badges called Workload, Anomalies and Faults. Risk has other minor badges like Time Remaining, Capacity Remaining, Stress and Compliance. Efficiency has Reclaimable Waste and Density.

Select your different icons (such as vcenter server, esxi host, datastores, vms) and look at the results. One of the captures will show you the different vms and their states. Notice one vm is grayed out (with an X instead of a color). That vm was not running.