Monitor VMware ESXi hardware without root (Nagios)

Download and configure the plugin: http://exchange.nagios.org/directory/Plugins/Operating-Systems/*-Virtual-Environments/VMWare/check_esxi_hardware-2Epy/

– Create a new user in ESXi with no access privilege, you need to login to the ESXi directly to do that.

user

esxi_access

– Enable SSH, and add nagios user to root group:
# vi /etc/group
root:x:0:root,nagios

– Check from the command line, if it works
./check_esxi_hardware.py --host https://esxihost:5989 --user file:credentials.txt --pass file:credentials.txt
OK - Server: Cisco Systems Inc.....

– Configure the credentials files to use the nagios user credentials.

Convert Linux Physical Server to VMware virtual machine

Download and install vCenter Converter on a windows machine.
http://www.vmware.com/products/converter
Unfortunately this tool does not have a Linux / MAC version.

vCenter Converter

vCenter Converter

In case you see an error: “Permission to perform this operation was denied”, right click and run the program as Administrator.

Permission to perform this operation was denied
Provide the source and destination information, the source is the physical server to be converted and the destination vCenter.

vCenter Converter

vCenter Converter

vCenter Converter

vCenter Converter

Follow the steps, to do the conversion , a temporary OS will be started on the destination, by default it try to get an IP address from the DHCP server so that it can connect to the source machine and fetch the files required. But in case if you don’t have DHCP server you might see error like: “Unable to obtain the IP address of the helper virtual machine” . Fix this issue by setting up a static IP to the helper virtual machine during the conversion setup. Basically the helper VM IP should be able to communicate with the source machine which needs to be migrated

vCenter Converter Static IP

vCenter Converter Static IP

Proceed with the conversion, the duration will be based on the size of the VM and the connectivity if it belongs to another site/LAN.

You may need to change the network configuration (eg: HWADDR) and the MAC address mapping (/etc/udev/rules.d) to get it connected.

ESXi host fails with a purple diagnostic screen PSOD

This happened while converting KVM VMs to VMware and power them on (method used: http://arunnsblog.com/2013/06/10/migrate-kvm-virtual-machines-to-vmware-esxi/) . It works for a while but then the ESXi crashes with PSOD.

Version : 5.1.0-799733

There were two sort of PSOD messages observed:
1) Crashed while the VM was running

 VMware NOT_IMPLEMENTED bora/vmkernel/sched/memsched.c:17724
 Code start: 0x41802b200000 VMK uptime: 10:19:25:27.335
 cpu4:8243)0x412200cdbaf0:[0x41802b27abff]PanicvPanicInt@vmkernel#nover+0x56 stack: 0x3000000008
 cpu4:8243)0x412200cdbbd0:[0x41802b27b4a7]Panic@vmkernel#nover+0xae stack: 0x100000000000000
 cpu4:8243)0x412200cdbc50:[0x41802b3d88eb]MemSched_WorldCleanup@vmkernel#nover+0x426 stack: 0x4100018a4fb0
 cpu4:8243)0x412200cdbef0:[0x41802b3033b8]WorldCleanup@vmkernel#nover+0x1cb stack: 0x4700cdbf40
 cpu4:8243)0x412200cdbf60:[0x41802b303829]WorldReap@vmkernel#nover+0x318 stack: 0x0
 cpu4:8243)0x412200cdbff0:[0x41802b2483c8]helpFunc@vmkernel#nover+0x517 stack: 0x0
 cpu4:8243)0x412200cdbff8:[0x0] stack: 0x0
 cpu4:8243)base fs=0x0 gs=0x418041000000 Kgs=0x0
VMWare_ESXi_PSOD
VMWare_ESXi_PSOD

2) Crashed during ESXi reboot.

#PF Exception 14 in world 8243:helper13-1 IP 0x41802b880a1e addr 0x410401503020
VMWare_ESXi_PSOD
VMWare_ESXi_PSOD

This seems to be a known issue in VMware ESXi 5.1 and is resolved in patch ESXi510-201212401-BG (Build 914609).
Ref: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2038767

To work around this issue, SSH to the ESXi host and increase the MinZeroCopyBufferLength to 512.

# esxcli system settings advanced set -o /BufferCache/MinZeroCopyBufferLength -i 512

To verify that the setting has been updated, run this command:

# esxcli system settings advanced list --option /BufferCache/MinZeroCopyBufferLength
Before and after change
Before and after change