create kernel panic on ESXi

There are situations when you need to check cluster reactions after a ESX host crash. For example to see if HA will start VM on other hosts.

The easiest method is to pull a hosts powercord. But there ar more elegant ways to let a host crash.

Warning! Do not use on productive systems! This is for testing purposes under controlled conditions only. Use at your own risk.

PSOD

You can trigger a Purple-Screen-of-Death (PSOD) by issuing a special command that causes a kernel panic.  Use the VMkernel Sys Info Shell (vsish).

First you need a SSH connection to your host. Change to vsish

vsish
set /reliability/crashMe/Panic

Alternatively you can issue the command together with parameters.

vsish -e set /reliability/crashMe/Panic 1

Your host will end up in a PSOD and can be restarted afterwards.

 

vSphere Web Client vs. vSphere Client

Ein Argument, das viele Kunden vom Upgrade auf vSphere 6.5 abhält, ist der Verlust des vSphere-Clients (C# Client). Der auf Adobe Flash basierende Web-Client wurde nie richtig angenommen. Auch wenn einige Funktionen nur im Web-Client verfügbar sind, erledigen vSphere-Admins 95% ihrer Tätigkeiten im klassischen C#-Client. (Ich muss gestehen, ich gehöre auch dazu).

Dabei wird oft das beste Argument zum Upgrade übersehen: Der HTML5 vSphere-Client. Ursprünglich als Fling gestartet, ist er nun auch fest in vSphere 6.5 integriert. Er benötigt kein Flash mehr und überzeugt auch optisch durch die klaren Linien der Project-Clarity UI.

Continue reading “vSphere Web Client vs. vSphere Client”

Runecast Analyzer – Getting started Guide part 2

Part 2 – How to update your Runecast Appliance

In the first section of this article-series I’ve shown how to deploy and setup Runecast Analyzer. Thank you all for the positive responses. In this section I’ll show how to update the appliance.

Once an update is available, Runecast Analyzer will show a notification in the upper right corner. An exclamation mark will appear beneath the link symbol.

This only works if you decide to grant Runecast Analyzer access to the internet. If you prefer to lockdown the appliance from external communication, it is possible to update with offline packages. I will first describe online updates (with internet connection enabled) and then offline updates. Continue reading “Runecast Analyzer – Getting started Guide part 2”

Runecast Analyzer – Getting started Guide part 1

Part 1 – Deployment and Setup

Runecast Analyzer is a very useful tool to locate configuration issues within a vSphere cluster. It compares your installation against security hardening guides, best practices guides and the VMware Knowledge-Base (KB). Once you’ve set up your cluster everything might have been ok. Since then new issues might arise, problems get discovered and security guidelines can change. But your setup is still the same. It’s hard to read through VMware KB on a weekly or daily base. I would say it’s almost impossible. Some issues only occur in certain combinations of hardware, patch-level and firmware-level. That’s where Runecast kicks in. They check your setup against most recent information in the KB and hardening guides and present you a filtered subset of information with potential issues in your environment. So you can concentrate on fixing issues and don’t waste time in reading hundreds of new KB articles.

I’ve written a hands-on  introduction earlier this year. This time I’d like to focus on the product from an administrative point of view.

Licensing

Runecast offers a 15 day trial license without buying anything. But you’ll see only a limited subset of results.

As a vExpert there’s a special offer by Runecast. You’ll get a one year NFR license for up to 3 hosts without limitation. That’s the one I will use in the following sections. But even the 15 day trial will give a very good impression about the quality and usability of the product. Continue reading “Runecast Analyzer – Getting started Guide part 1”