Basics

VMware vSphere General Info

July 19, 2021

Thought of putting it all together in one place, all the relevant basic information for a System Administrator to manage daily VMware-based operations. Still, it’s incomplete, I will be continuously updating this post as and when I collect the relevant required information to add. As of now here are few pieces of information that I find useful in my daily operations hope you as well find it helpful.

Management Console URL

vCenter

  • Appliance VAMI : This is a console for vCenter Appliance management, you can able to check health metrics of appliance such as DB, vCPU, Memory and disk usage. Additionally You can configure backup of vCenter config backup from this console. The URL to access this : https://(vCenter fqdn or IP address):5480

  • vCenter Console: This console is the management console from where you will be able to manage virtual environment, from version 6.0 onwards VMware strategy is to enhance and make webbed console as a primary mode of console for administration. The URL to access console: https://(vCenter fqdn or IP address). For vCenters version 5.5x or 6.0 the URL to access console will be: https://(vCenter fqdn or IP address):9443

ESXi

  • Standalone : From version 6.x onwards esxi as well are accessible over https, it is similar to manage the single ESXi host using windows based vSphere client. The URL: https://(ESXi fqdn or IP address)

Note: vSphere Client is deprecated, it’s used only for accessing ESXi and vCenter 5.x and 6.0. Hence fourth web browsers will be used for accessing management consoles.

Basic Firewall Rules

vCenter

  • To access Management Console : 443 (https), 9443 (version 5.x and 6.x), 5480 (VAMI), 22 (SSH in case of Appliance).
  • In case of Separate PSC: 2012, 2014, 2020

ESXi

  • 443 (https), 22(SSH), 902(VM console based MKS related activities) ,514 (NTP)

Site Recovery Manager

  • 443, 902 (Between SRM Appliance and vCenter/ESXI) “Not required if vCenter and Site Recovery manager are in same network subnet”
  • 443, 1433(External MS-SQL), 1521(Oracle DB). (If you opt to choose external Database instead of embedded Appliance database).

Planning and Compatibility Check

  • Checking Interoperability | Upgrade Path

The Portal is to check the VMware Solution, Database interoperability compatibility. In addition, it helps to decide the upgrade path.

URL: VMware Interop Matrix

  • Checking Compatibility

The Portal is to check the VMware ESXi compatibility with the hardware manufacturing companies and assist to make better decisions while planning the solution.

URL: VMware Compatibility Matrix

Design and Best Practices

VMware validated Design

VMware Validated Design(VVD) is a family of solutions for data center designs that span compute, storage, networking, and management, serving as a blueprint for your Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) implementation. VVD is a framework to design the SDDC solution. I must say this document so useful from the Sys Admin as well as Architect perspective, and you should at least go through once, thought the document is very extensive but its worth the read.

URL: VMware Validated Design

Troubleshooting

Services Related commands

vCenter Appliance (It is assumed that you must have logged in to VCSA appliance via Putty)

List All Servicesservice-control –list
Check the status of services (Stopped or Running)service-control –status
Stop All Servicesservice-control –stop –all
Stop Specific Serviceservice-control –stop service servicename
Start All Servicesservice-control –start–all
Start Specific Serviceservice-control –start service servicename

Windows vCenter: Windows based vCenter still exist in some organizations where there is an compliance related adherence and some has application level dependency, however it is best to use appliance based vCenters for the new deployments. Steps to handling Windows based vCenter is very simple and straight forwards since it is installed on top of Windows Operating system.

For vCenter version 5.xAll the vCenter based Services can be managed via “Windows Services” section
For vCenter version 6.xOpen Command prompt
cd C:\Program Files\VMware\vCenter Server\bin
Follow the same commands used above for vCenter Appliance

VMSupport Logs

  • Exporting vmsupport logs to shared datastore : vm-support -f -w /vmfs/volumes/DATASTORE_NAME
  • esxcli Commands
    • Help Command: esxcli command list
    • Get ESXi Command: esxcli system version get
    • Get installed esxi patches:  esxcli software vib list
    • Install new vib: esxcli software vib install -d “/tmp/update.zip” (Use update in case of updating existing vib)
    • Get number of VM process list: esxcli vm process list

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