VMware 101 – Using PowerGUI VMware Powerpacks for remediation

Well, as anyone knows starting a new job you almost always hit that point to where things get a little slow and you have to find things to do. If your VMware environments are anything like the majoirity of them out there chances are you can do some remediation. Now, First off you have to give credit where it’s due and I can honestly say that Alan Renouf and Luc Dekens both do a fabulous job of bringing all kinds of cool scripts to the table. Anyways lets get on with it.

First thing is first run over to Quest and grab PowerGUI Free and then you want to get the VMware Quest Powerpack and then the VMware Community Powerpack. You also want to pick Alan’s vCheck which is one of the most excellent tool ever!!

1.http://powergui.org/entry!default.jspa?categoryID=21&externalID=1802
2. http://www.virtu-al.net/featured-scripts/vmware-powerpack/
3. http://www.virtu-al.net/featured-scripts/vcheck/
(Note: props to Alan and Kirk who spent majority of there time working on these excellent tools!)

Remediate Away!
Here is usually where I start:

1. Modify the vCheck to your liking (refer to the link on Alan’s log for any questions) the things I usually end up modifying on this script are:

  •  Snapshot age ( I change to 3 days 72 hours is long enough)
  • Update NTP to your NTP server
  •  Change Datastore free space remaining
  • Disable detecting dead path to LUN (seems to hang for me at times)
  • Can adjust the VM free space (though personally it needs to be % based not MB Free
  • Change vCenter alerts to something appropriate (I use 7 days)
  • Change VM removal time frame (I also use 7 days)

2. Now run the script and check out your remediation items, pay attention to certain issues like:

  • vMotion restraints because of CD-Roms attached
  • Datastores low on space (powerpack can help with this)
  • VMware tools out of date, issues, or not installed at all
  •  Snapshots
  •  The above appear to be the more common ones I run this script weekly.

3. From the Powerpacks I usually run the following scripts.

  • Best Practice Queries >Disk Queries > Orphaned VMDKs
  • Best Practice Queries > Disk Queries > RDM’s
  • Best Practice Queries > Disk Queries > Thin Disk
  • Community PowerPack > Resource Pools > Ballooning Script
  • Virtual Machine > VM with over X number CPU’s
  • CD-ROMs mounted to VM

4. On an interim basis I will rerun a vCheck or I will run single scripts on an as needed basis:

  •  Snapshots > All Snapsots
  • Virtual Machines > HAL Information (Not really an issue with win2k8
  • Virtual Machines > CPU Ready %
  • Virtual Machines > VM with active memory ballooning
  • Waste Finder > If I feel like doing some deeper Datastore Cleanup
  • Powered off VM
5. Things not covered by the other scripts but also should be remediated or changed:
  • Scan VM’s for NIC Drivers (Update install vmxnet3 if using e1000)
  • Check Disk Alignment of all your VMs both Linux and Windows and each drive then update templates
  • Enable LPS for certain VM if needed – windows doesnt enable by defualt but ESX 3.5 and up does. Yields memory savings based on app.
  • Check to ensure windows 2008 templates and VMs have the WDDM display driver

At first glance some of these items may not makes sense, but you have consider your own environment.   HAL is a good one to run really more so the first time around just to make sure your older stuff windows 2k3 and 2k are using the right HAL for the vCPU.  I also like to run and dismount all ISO’s from the VMs. Now, you may want to make sure its not a VMware tools ISO mounted to the VM.  If it is then you can possibly get a pop-up for a linux VM and its will appear to be unresponsive until someone answers the pop-up with a yes or no.  Keep in mind remediation is about starting with the quick and easy and then working your way down.  It takes time and creativity.

Now you will have challenges when remediating some things like snapshots when they are really big and I will add a secondary part describing what I normally do, in most cases a clone fixes the issue.

(NOTE: I will be adding additional links later on)

***Disclaimer: The thoughts and views expressed on VirtualNoob.wordpress.org  and Chad King in no way reflect the views or thoughts of his employer or any other views of a company. These are his personal opinions which are formed on his own. Also, products improve over time and some things maybe out of date. Please feel free to contact us and request an update and we will be happy to assist. Thanks!~

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About Chad King

I am an IT professional working in the industry for over 10 years. Starting in Microsoft Administration and Solutions I was also a free lance consultant for small businesses. Since I first saw virtualization I have always been fascinated by the concept. I currently specialize in VMware technology. I consult daily on many different types of VMware Solutions. I have experience in all domains related to virtualization and cloud solutions. From help desk, administration, engineering, implementation, and design allowing me to provide creative solutions with the understanding and gaps at all levels.

Posted on October 22, 2011, in Management, vSphere 4 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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