NetApp Simulator CDOT 8.2 – Add Extra Network Interfaces

For some complex setups, you may want to test some extra network configurations on your NetApp Simulator.  Adding the network interfaces may seem simple enough in VMware Workstation, but you are likely to get an error message stating “Cannot assign available PCI slot to ethernet5.  There are no more PCI slots available in the virtual machine.”







This can easily be fixed by editing the VMX file for your virtual machine.  First, click OK on the error if you have not done so already.

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NetApp Simulator CDOT 8.2 – Network Configuration

The NetApp Simulator Install & Setup Guide has some pretty vague instructions on how to setup the network for your simulator.  I decided I’d try a few different configurations and see which one work for my needs.  I landed on a fully NAT network vs a hybrid with Host only and Bridged networks.  The main benefit of the NAT network is that I can access all the devices from their host only IP w/o doing anything special (VMware routes the traffic via a Virtual Network Interface).

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What’s New iin VMware ThinApp 5.0

This video is a great overview of VMware ThinApp 5.0

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VMware Virtual Disk Descriptor Problems

Upgrading applications and operating systems can be a real pain. On more occasions than I’d like to count, I have seen problems during these activities. The problems generallly fall into a few root causes the most common being: system errors, documentation, configuration anomylies and, dare I say it, Administrator mistakes. A solid Change and Release Management process can mitigate many of these issues, but that is another topic altogether.  One feature I really like about VMware is the ability to take a snapshot of a Guest OS prior to upgrades or to test a configuration change. The option of quickly rolling back to a known good state can really reduce risk and help alleviate those late nights rebuilding servers.  Despite the huge benefit snapshots bring to Administrators they can also be the source of problems, as I recently experienced.

Earlier this week, I was preparing to upgrade an application running on a virtual server. The application houses all of our Service Desk tickets as well as our Development Team’s Application requirements, tasks and test activities. The last time we upgraded this application was over 1 year ago. When we upgraded it last, we had created a snapshot of the VM prior to the upgrade, which was the same plan I would follow now.  As I prepared for this new upgrade, I shut down the server and attempted to create a snapshot.  The Infrastructure Client immediately through an unknown error.  I checked the Events associated with this server and saw that it had not been rebooted in nearly 3 months, which was good – because I knew that it *had* been rebooted.  I then checked the settings of the Guest VM to ensure that it was right, everything seemed good.  So knowing that the VM had been working and was now not – I took a pause to collect myself.

I opened the Snapshot Manager and, to my horror, saw that the snap shot from the previous upgrade was stacked under two other snapshots.  The Parent Virtual Disk was dated almost 2 years ago and the most recent snapshot was 13 months old.  Given that the Parent disk was 50GB, and the sum of the snapshots was almost 20GB my heart started to sink.  A quick browse of the datastore told me exactly what the problem was.  The virtual disk descriptor files were gone!  Without those files the ESX server would have no idea how to mount the snapshots or the virtual disk.  Losing the descriptor files of a single virtual disk is not a crisis, losing the the same files for snapshots does push that envelope.

I’ll jump to the end of the story first, because it took me nearly 24 hours to fix the problem.  I did fix it though, and got the server back up before production started on Monday.

Now that we have a happy ending, let’s talk about the technical stuff.  Read on!

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