VMware Frequently Asked Questions

Q1) Can we use EMC PowerPath together with VMware NMP (Native Multi-pathing Plug-in) ?

It is not recommended to use both at the same time, we usually either use PowerPath or VMware NMP. Refer to “EMC PowerPath VE With VSphere” documentation for more details.


Q2) Can we use VMware Update Manager (VUM) to schedule upgrading of VMware tools on the VMs to meet latest ESX hardware version ?

Yes, this is possible with VMware Update Manager 4. We do not need to create a new baseline, there’s a default baseline that does this task.


Q3) Does Storage Vmotion use the Service Console to migrate running VMs live from one storage to another storage ?

Storage VMotion migrates VM via the Service Console network, this means that there’s no additional burden on the other Virtual Machine connection network.


Q4) Can we implement VMware Fault Tolerance on a VM with an existing VMware Snapshot on the VM ?

No, VMware FT does not support VM with existing snapshots. We have to merge or discard the snapshot before enabling VMware FT to protect that VM.


Q5) What is the protocol used by vCenter Linked Mode to link to other Virtual Center Servers ?

vCenter Management Server 4 uses LDAP via port 386 by default.


Q6) Does VMware supports installation of vCenter Server 4 on Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system platform ?

No, Windows Server 2008 R2 is not a supported platform for installing vCenter Server 4. Refer to “vSphere Compatibility Matrix” for details.


Q7) Is it possible to configure both thin provisioned virtual disk and thick provision virtual disk n a single VM, thus, creation of a VM with multiple virtual disks which have different provisioned modes virtual disk ?

Yes, this is possible.


Q8) When deploying thin provisioned virtual disk for VM, the virtual disk is expand on demand which creates many fragments which could be scattered across our datestore, what’s the way to defrag a VM with thin provisioned virtual disk ?

When performing Storage Vmotion migrating the VM to a different LUN and migrating the VM back to original datastore, the VM’s file will be fragmented.


Q9) During Scripted Installation of ESX Server 4, is it possible create local directory on the host and run scripts to install third party utilities from other vendors such as HP or Dell ?

Yes, it is possible to create a local directory to load packages then configure scripts to run pre or post installation of ESX Server. Refer to “Scripted Installation of ESX” for more information.


Q10) What’s the major different between virtual network adapter E1000 and VMXNET3 ?

VMXNET3 is the third generation of paravirtual network adapter by VMware. Includes features such as MSI/MSI-X support, Receive Side Scaling, IPv6 checksum and TCP Segmentation Offloading (TSO) over IPv6,

VLAN off-loading and Large TX/RX ring sizes. Refer to “vSphere Networking” guide and “E1000 and VMXNET3” discussion for more details.


Q11) Are we able to configure vCenter Server Heartbeat to keep replication and synchronization while disabling automatic failover and enabling only the option for a manual switch over ?

No, that is not possible with current version of vCenter Server Heartbeat.


Q12) If the local Windows OS running vCenter Server Heartbeat restarts after applying a security

patch, will the Primary vCenter Server trigger a failover to the Secondary vCenter Server ?

As the default ping for the channel network is 3 pings with 20 seconds interval between each ping, the failover will occur and Secondary vCenter Server will take control and start protected services. However, we are able to configure the ping intervals in the vCenter Server Heartbeat manage server console.


Q13) Can we import host profiles created on our master vCenter Server located in our main

datecenter to the vCenter Servers running in remote sites or branch offices ?

Yes, vCenter host profile configuration allows us to import host profiles created in virtual machine profile format .vpf into existing vCenter Servers that we wish to apply the host profiles.


Q14) Is it possible to configure a schedule task to stage ESX Server patching with VMware Update Manager?


No, this is not possible with the current version of VMware Update Manager 4.


Q15) When migrating VMs with Storage VMotion, could we choose different datastore LUNs if our single VM has multiple virtual disks ?

Yes, when performing Storage Vmotion of a running VM live from one storage to another storage, at the screen when we are prompted to select datastore, we could click on “advanced” tab to select different datastores for our virtual disks.


Q16) Does vCenter Server Heartbeat works across LAN and WAN ?

Yes, it works both across LAN and WAN. Refer to “vCenter Server Heartbeat Reference Guide” for more



Q17) What’s the main benefit of deploying ESXi 4.x Servers as compared to ESX 4 Servers in a datacenter production environment ?

There’s significantly less patches required for an ESXi Server as compared to ESX Server. As ESXi does not have a service console, it is relatively more secure and less vulnerable to attacks.


Q18) Is it advisable to run anti virus software on the Service Console on ESX Servers in production environment ?

Running anti virus softwares in Service Console will generally take up resources which might affect performance of the ESX Server as the anti virus software requires resources to run.


Q19) In terms of hardening the ESX Server from a security aspect, what’s the solution for

managing root accounts on ESX Server hosts ?

We could restrict root user account logins and password only to datacenter administrators. We could thancreate linux user accounts inside Service Console and then enable sudo permissions to grant these users shellaccess. We could also join ESX Server to Active Directory authentication.


Q20) Is there a new VMFS version with VMware vSphere ?

No, vSphere is still running on VMFS3 version. However, there is a change in virtual machine hardware to version 7.


Q21) What’s the maximum number of vCenter Servers we can configured in a linked mode ?

We can configure a total of 10 vCenter Servers in a vCenter Server linked mode. vCenter linked mode can manage up to 1000 ESX/ESXi Servers and 10000 virtual machines across 10 vCenter Servers in a single console.


Q22) What’s the main functions and capabilities when deploying vCenter Server linked mode ?

vCenter Server linked mode gives administrators a single pane of glass view, it allows administrators to share global roles and licenses across vCenter Servers.


Q23) What’s the rollback option tab when configuring vCenter Server Heartbeat ?

As vCenter Server Heartbeat uses Microsoft Virtual Shadow Copy Service (VSS) we could configure a rollback. Refer to help guide on the local vCenter Server after installation and configuration of vCenter Server Heartbeat for details.


Q24) What are the supported Microsoft SQL version that can be protected by vCenter Server Heartbeat 5.5 update 1 ?

vCenter Server Heartbeat is currently able to protects only Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP1-SP3 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 versions.


Q25) Can we use vCenter Server 4 to manage legacy ESX 3.x and 2.x Servers ?

Yes, vCenter Server 4 can only manage legacy ESX Servers if we configure connectivity to an existing flexnet license server as vCenter Server 4 does not manage the licenses for legacy host directly.


Q26) After joining ESX Servers to Active Directory domain, can we use distribution groups instead of user accounts ?

VMware does not support the add of AD groups but it does support the adding of individual users and PAM module. Refer to “ESX Authentication AD”


Q27) Will vCenter Server Heartbeat works together with vCenter Linked Mode ?

Yes, vCenter Server Heartbeat and vCenter linked mode is compatible with the most current version update

2. Adam components will be replicated active and passive, therefore, full functionality is available when switch

to target mode. Refer to “forum discussion” for more details.


Q28) Does vSphere 4 supports Microsoft Clustering VMs whose file resides on iSCSI LUN ?

No, this version of vSphere 4 is not compatible with iSCSI SAN for MSCS configuration. Refer to “Setup for Failover Clustering and MSCS” for more details.


Q29) When running resxtop command in vMA to view performance output, how do I view only VMs and not other worlds ?

After entering the resxtop command, we can enter “V” which will output displaying only VMs on that specific ESX Server.

Q30) If we set a memory limit of a VM to 400 MB and avaliable memory to 512 MB, what will happen after the VM reaches the limit ?

Based on the POC done in the class, the ballooning vmmemctl kicks in after the VM hits the 400MB limit. Thus, the remaining 112 MB of memory is not used.


Q31) Can we create a vmdk greater than 256 GB when configuring a block size of 1MB ?

No this is not possible, we will have to increase the block size before the vmdk size will be increased. For example, a block size of 2MB will allow us to create a 512GB vmdk and a block size of 4MB will allow us to create a vmdk that’s 1024GB. Refer to “Forum discussion” for more details.


Q32) Where can I create the session file within the vMA ?

Session file creation can be found within the vMA when we access $ cd /usr/lib/vmware-vcli/apps/session.


Q33) Does vCLI supports running on Linux and Windows OS ?

Yes, vCLI is supported and can be run from both Windows and Linux OS.


Q34) When can we use explicit failover on a vSwitch ?

We can select “use explicit failover” when we want vSwitch to always use the highest order uplink from the list of Active adapters which passes failover detection criteria such as link state only and beacon probing. Refer to “virtual switch policies” for more details.


Q35) What is the difference between consumed memory and active memory ?

Consumed memory is when there is no contention and active memory refers to the memory used when there is contention.


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