Ravello vCenter Setup

I have had this post sitting in drafts and thought I better get it published quick before it gets superseded with the release of vSphere 6.5. I have completed the setup of my vSphere 6 lab in Ravello and have written this post to help others who may do the same. The vCenter appliance version 6 is not yet supported in Ravello, in part because the format of the installation file has changed from OVF to ISO, so I went ahead and have based my lab around a Windows server based vCenter. If you do still want to work with the vCenter appliance check out this guide by Emad Younis who has managed to get it working. The advantage of using a windows vCenter is of course you can also use this server for VUM.

Prerequisites /Cool Stuff

When I first got started with Ravello I thought I would have to setup the infrastructure such as DNS and DHCP around my VMware lab, but you do not need to as this is all built into the Ravello. When you power on a VM it automatically gets an IP address from Ravello and DNS is also taken care of for you. You don’t see the infrastructure servers on your canvas but if you check the IP details of a VM you will see the DNS and DHCP server are one and the same and will by default have the IP address of your network segment dot one e.g. DNS is dynamic so just create your VM’s and the DNS entries will be created automatically for you.

The other thing which is really neat is that internet access from the VM’s works out of the box with no config needed. This makes updates and other operations requiring external access easy.

You can view all the networking setup yourself by looking on the Networking tab of your canvas.


Long story short, you don’t need to configure DNS, DHCP or internet access.

Install Windows server 2012


  • Use Ravello import tool to upload Server 2012 ISO to you library
  • Choose create new VM from empty template. Size mem etc. appropriately to the size of environment you are building
  • Rename server
  • Attach Server 2012 ISO, power on and then use console to connect
  • Run through Windows Server 2012 setup
  • Select VM on canvas, disks, eject ISO
  • To enable RDP Select the VM on the canvas, choose services add supplied services and choose RDP port 3389. Choose to update application. Then open a console to the VM and enable RDP and disable the firewall.


  • While you are adding services also add the following ports which will allow you to access you environment remotely


  • If you then go back to your VM canvas select summary you will see a box titled VM is started. Within here if you scroll down to RDP and choose open it will create the RDP session file for you.



  • RDP to vCenter
  • Rename server
  • Finalise config, run windows update etc

Install ESXi 6

  • Use Ravello import tool to upload ESXi 6 ISO to you library
  • Create new VM from empty ESX template. Size mem etc. appropriately to the size of environment you are building
  • Rename server
  • Attach ESXi 6 ISO power on and then use console to connect
  • Run through ESXi setup
  • Select VM on canvas, disks, eject ISO



  • Download vCenter installer
  • Run vCenter installer
  • I chose embedded deployment. If you have large consider external deployment
  • Run through the rest of the wizard
  • Enable flash –  server manger add features, user interfaces, desktop experiences
  • Download chrome
  • Use chrome to connect to vCenter https://youvCenter/vsphere-client
  • Download the client integration plugin
  • Login with the vSphere local admin account administrator@vsphere.local
  • Complete vCentre setup, licence etc
  • Save vCenter. In the canvas view select more and save to library

ESX Setup

  • Add to vCentre
  • Licence

Accessing you lab remotely

This is where it gets sexy:

  • Your VM’s will be assigned public IP’s. You can see what the IP is by selecting the VM in your workspace then looking at the bottom right corner of the screen where you will see the IP displayed
  • If you have followed the steps above which included adding the services for access to each VM to RDP then simply open an RDP session from your computer and enter the public IP address
  • To connect to the vSphere web client open a web browser and enter https://public IP address/vSphere-client. You will also need to put an entry in your PC’s host files for the DNS name you gave your vCenter. This is required as once you enter your password it goes to this local DNS address. Remember your public IP address will change regularly so you will need to also update your hosts file.

Shutting Down a 3PAR

I recently did the power down of a datacentre containing a 3PAR and wanted to quickly cover off the steps that I followed to power off and then back on.


First of all I did a health check:

3PAR1% checkhealth
 Checking alert
 Checking cabling
 Checking cage
 Checking cert
 Checking dar
 Checking date
 Checking fs
 Checking host
 Checking ld
 Checking license
 Checking network
 Checking node
 Checking pd
 Checking port
 Checking rc
 Checking snmp
 Checking task
 Checking vlun
 Checking vv

All looked OK so I proceeded with the shutdown.  You have 3 methods to shutdown SPmaint, SPOCC or via CLI.  I would recommend using SPmaint, or SPOCC  if possible.


1 Connect via web GUI to your Service Processor

2 Select SPmaint on the left hand menu

3 Choose StoreServ Product Maintenance


4 Choose halt a storeServ cluster/node


5 Choose to shutdown the cluster, not the separate nodes

6 Wait about 5 minutes, then follow the hardware steps later in the post


You will need to logon with a local admin account

To begin the shutdown:

3PAR1% shutdownsys halt

You will See the following prompt

-----System Information------
 System Name   : 3PAR1
 System Model  : HP_3PAR 7200c
 Serial Number : 1666666

------------------Partial List Of Hosts-------------------
 Id Name       Persona       -WWN/iSCSI_Name- Port  IP_addr

Shutting down this storage system will impact applications running on the hosts displayed above

Do you REALLY want to HALT this storage system? yes or no:

The system will HALT in 12 seconds

Press the enter key to stop...


No tasks can be running such as AO. Then follow the hardware steps in the following section.

Hardware Steps

1 Wait aprox 5 mins for shut down

2 Check the node Status LED is flashing green and the node hotplug LED is blue

3 Turn off the node PCM switches at the back of the controller nodes. (Diagram borrowed from HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 and 7000c Storage Service Guide)


4 Turn off the node PCM switches at the back of the disk shelves


Power On

3PAR will automatically turn its self back on when power is detected so you will just need turn the PCM switches back on.  The order is the reverse of power off:

1 Turn on the node PCM switches at the back of the disk shelves

2 Turn on the node PCM switches at the back of the controller nodes


It would of course be sensible to do a check health after power up to check everything looked OK.





Setting FC Switch IP address via Onboard Administrator



You can manually set the IP address of an FC switch or any other interconnect in a HPE blade chassis.

Just launch Putty connect to the active onboard administrator then enter:

connect interconnect interconnect position

connect interconnect 2

This is like connecting to the switch with a serial cable and will allow you to logon.

Then once logged on just set the IP address like normal:

View current IP address settings:

Ethernet IP Address: none
Ethernet Subnetmask: none
Gateway IP Address: none

Set IP address:


3PAR simulator publicly available



Firstly a quick announcement I’ve started a second blog called dataON27.com. This is talking about all the latest and greatest in the data protection arena. Please do take the time to follow along on Twitter and LinkedIN I am really excited about this project, there is lots of good stuff coming. HPE fans, yes this will include StoreOnce and RMC along with the rest of the portfolio.

Get on with it

Onto the main business of the 3PAR simulator. Getting hold of the 3PAR simulator has been shrouded in mystery and until now the most asked question to me on Twitter was how the #/@#!!! do I get the simulator? I can now finally reveal the wait is over, and it’s publicly available from the 3PAR software depot. To make it even easier for you here is the direct link.


The previous simulator ran 3PAR OS 3.1.3, the public version of the simulator runs 3PAR OS 3.2.1 MU2. You will require a VMware environment running vSphere 5.5 or Workstation 11 or above. The process will involve creating three VM’s, two of the VM’s will represent the two nodes of a 3PAR whilst the third VM will represent the drive cages. The resource requirements for each of the three VMs is identical and fairly light:

  • One CPU
  • Three vNIC
  • 2GB RAM
  • 50GB disk space


What can it do?

Once you are up and running the simulator supports the following features:

  • Adaptive Optimization (AO)
  • Dynamic Optimization (DO)
  • Snapshots
  • Exporting Virtual Volumes
  • Thin-Provisioning
  • Remote copy

You can manage the Sim though all the usual 3PAR tools you would in the real world, the 3PAR Managements console, SSMC, CLI and API. You can configure the VM that represents the cages to have up to 4 cages and these contain a mixture of SSD, SAS and NL.


Have fun with it, and remember to stay in touch for more 3PAR news and tips through connecting with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.



Veeam’s next big thing and 3ParDude’s new blog

What is 3ParDude’s next big thing?

Last week’s Veeam announced their next big thing and today I want to cover this and also my next big thing. First my news, I have put pen to paper and started blog number two! I’m super excited about this new venture I think it’s got so much scope. Data is growing at an exponential rate but backup and data protection just isn’t sexy, it gets pushed to the back of most companies to do list and is often inadequate. This will be the focus of the new blog – data protection. I want to deliver all the latest and greatest news from established vendors and exciting start-ups in the arena and present what has long been missing a simple and clear path towards data protection/ availability. I would love to have all you guys along for the ride so join me over at dataON247.com you can subscribe to the RSS feed and Twitter. Business will of course continue as usual at 3ParDude.com

Veeams Next big thing

For a month previous to the announcement Veeam had been advertising they were going to make the biggest announcement in the company’s history. This is a bold statement to say the least. I was going to start a sweepstake around this but I was a little slow off the mark. My hopes and dreams were for either the elixir of youth or the discovery of a free endless beer supply, unfortunately my hopes were dashed on both counts.


In all seriousness I was expecting one big announcement as the teaser has suggested. However what we got was not one massive announcement but several smaller ones. However the sum of the announcements was substantial and indicated Veeam has a strong vision and is looking towards the future. Carry on reading this article at dataON247.com to hear the key announcements and Veeam’s vision for the future.

Can’t make VMworld? Prepare to be beamed up

Do you suffer from the VMworld envy? Are you sad, lonely,  jealous of your friends at VMworld? Do you spend hours wondering what you’re missing or glued to the VMworld Twitter stream?  Well worry no more friends, because VMware have the answer, beams.


You will find beams especially interesting if you have a desire to be half man half robot. Beams are like video conferencing on the go . This mobile video conferencing unit (pictured above) allows you to go anywhere, see anything, interactive with anyone you want.  Beams of course also facilitate the ability to run over anyones feet you like, watch out Pat Gelsinger.

For those that are going to be in VMworld have an excellent time and please do tag me in any tweets or photos of 3PAR storage so they can be shared with everyone.

Finally everyone watch this space as I have a new blog / website starting soon which is something I’m very excited and passionate about so keep your eyes open for that one.

VMTurbo Metamorphosizes

I was invited to a briefing last week where VMTurbo announced they were changing the company name and brand. At first I was surprised to hear a company which has spent such a significant amount of time building a strong brand presence would wish to start over with a new name. So what’s in a name change?

The Beginnings

VMTurbo was founded back in 2008, launching their 1.0 release of VMTurbo Operations Manager in 2010. The purpose of VMTurbo‘s Operations Manager product is quite simply to allocate resources within your environment as efficiently as possible. This helps to ensure that you are maximising performance, whilst proactively preventing issues before they occur and getting the greatest ROI on your infrastructure.

VMTurbo ensures the optimal allocation of resources with what it calls its economic scheduling engine. I have covered this in more detail previously, but in short it assumes resources are finite and will be sold or allocated to the highest bidder.

When VMs ruled the world

I came into virtualisation late compared to many, around VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3.5 when I was asked to take on a small test environment. I purchased Mastering VI 3.5 and sat about reading it, I quickly realized the power of virtualisation and began badgering my boss that virtualisation should not be used for a small test environment but should be the first choice for the majority of production work loads. It felt kind of like a revolution and like VM’s would be at the cutting edge forever.

A new era

But nothing ever stands still in technology and it feels more and more like we are entering a new era of IT. Technologies like cloud now form a part of everyday conversation, whilst emerging technologies like containers continue to gain momentum. VM’s continue to form a key component of many companies infrastructure but are not the sole focus anymore, they form part of an infrastructure. It is this evolution of the industry that has led to the re-branding of VMTurbo.

traditional stack

An example of a traditional infrastructure stack is shown above, whilst a containerized stack is shown below.

container stack


Since VMTurbo’s economic market abstracts all resources they were already well placed to not only mange your onsite VM’s but also cloud and other elements of the emerging infrastructure stack. It is in this basis that VMTurbo is becoming Turbonomic, a reflection of delivering the same resource optimisation service but to a wider set of infrastructure.

Green Symbols

I think I am seeing a trend in IT companies branding strategies. HPE spent a significant sum of money on their new brand which is a green rectangle, The Turbonomic brand is based around a green circle at its core. Before anyone else gets it I’m taking the green triangle…….



Altaro – Freebies Alert

A quick post to let you know that VM backup specialists Altaro are providing some free resources to mark SysAdmin day which takes place later this week, plus the chance to win some ThinkGeek Vouchers.


think geek


The free resources include a 10 best practices for virtual server backup, Hyper-V PowerShell and VMware PowerCLI eBook, and Troubleshooting Hyper-V Hyper-V First Aid Kit.


To get the entered into the competition you just need to install a copy of Altaro and display a screen shot of the software. For those that are unfamiliar Altaro is VM backup software capable of backing up both Hyper-V and VMware with time to deployment estimated at under 15 minutes. In terms of features it has all those you have come to expect including support for application level backups, web based interface, sand box facility for test restores plus backups can be replicated to an offsite location. They aim the software at SMB’s and if you have any hosts running 2 VM’s or less you can run Altaro licence free forever. For all the freebies and the chance to win the ThinkGeek vouchers go here.

Altaro UI


Altaro also offer a NFR licence for multiple certification tracks, including Microsoft (MCSE, MCSA) and VMware certified (VCP). This is the full blown version and will allow  you to backup up to 50 hosts in you lab environment, you just need to request your free NFR License.



The 3PAR ASIC now and the future

A great article appeared in The Register recently previewing the HPE 3PAR GEN 6 ASIC. It sparked my interest as it not only gave some clues to the direction of 3PAR but reminded me that I hadn’t written a post yet covering the ASIC. So this is a post of two halves, the first covering the background and architectural importance of the ASIC followed by a summary of the GEN 6 news and what clues it may give us to the future.

3PAR ASIC Overview

I have heard HPE staff describe 3PAR’s ASIC as its secret sauce many times, what is for certain is that it’s right at the heat of its architecture. Let’s start at the beginning, an ASIC stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuit, this describes quite succinctly what it is – an integrated circuit which has been customised for a specific use.


As an ASIC is hardware based having this at the heart of your architecture is not a decision to be taken likely, since you need to design it not only to deliver the features you require today but for the life cycle of that model i.e. 5+ years. Software based vendors have long argued that their approach is simpler and does not require the skill of predicting the future, if you need a new feature write it in. When I have been lucky enough to meet the 3PAR development team they have said on a number of occasions that they always consider the future of the ASIC in each new generation, but that so far they still believe that the ASIC is the best design for now and moving into the future.



The models over the past few years feature the ASIC generation as follows:

  • 3PAR 8000 and 20, 000 – GEN 5
  • 3PAR 7000 and 10,000 – GEN 4
  • 3PAR F and T – GEN3
  • Generations before – I am too young to remember


To give you a feel for some of the features that currently harness the ASIC and the benefit they deliver I have summarised below:

  • Persistent checksum – don’t let my data corrupt
  • Mixed I/O processing – let me do BIG and little transactions without losing performance
  • Zero detect – one weird trick to stay thin
  • Dedupe – no doppelgangers, one of anything is enough
  • RAID parity calculations – stripe me like it’s hot

Key Gen 6 news

  • GEN6 Expected to Ship in 2018, it would seem logical this will be when the next generation of 3PAR will also ship
  •  The ASIC will be designed to be media agnostic and cope with all comers. This again continues down the current line of thinking of making 3PAR an I/O processing machine and will be important with 3D XPoint and memoristors round the corner
  • Improvements in storage networking such as NVMe will drive the need for even faster storage devices
  • Data services such as SnapShots will aim to complete quicker again to meet this future need for speed

Do take the time to check out the excellent full article on The Register.

Top vBlog 2016 Results

Every year Eric Siebert organises an online poll to find the communities favorite bloggers. Voters were asked to choose their 12 favorite blogs and then rank them. The votes were then all totted up with a  number one vote having more weight than a 12 vote for example. For the second year running 3ParDude.com has made it into the top 100, improving from position 83 last year to 66 this year. In the categories 3ParDude.com finished 5th in the favorite storage blog category and 8th in the favorite independent blogger. To say I was pleased with the result is an understatement, thanks all for taking the time to vote!

There was no change at the top with Duncan Epping holding onto the top spot with his excellent yellow-bricks.com, the full top 10 list can be seen below.

top 10

Cormac Hogan took the honours as top storage blogger, best new blog Matt That IT Guy (Matt Crape) and top independent blogger ESX Virtualization (Vladan Seget). Congratulations to everyone that entered on their results.


A big thanks to Eric Siebert for taking the time to organise the event and VMTurbo for sponsoring. Check out the full results over at VSphere Land.


Keep tuned for more great content on 3ParDude.com! I would love to see more readers get involved in the blog by having more guest contributors. If you have an idea in your head for a 3PAR post, or indeed on another technology topic and would like a platform to publish it on give me a shout via Twitter or LinkedIn.