Video – VMware vCenter Infrastructure Navigator – Install and Configure

VMware vCenter Infrastructure Navigator is an application awareness plug-in to vCenter Server, and provides continuous dependency mapping of applications. Infrastructure Navigator offers application context to the virtual infrastructure administrators to monitor and manage the virtual infrastructure inventory objects and actions. Administrators can use Infrastructure Navigator to understand the impact of the change on the virtual environment in their application infrastructure.

Infrastructure Navigator helps virtual infrastructure administrators perform the following tasks:
- Make accurate first-level triage to help either eliminate the problem or associate the problem with the virtual infrastructure when business service users report problems.
- Assess change impact, manage, and communicate virtual infrastructure issues for critical applications.
- Understand the application and business impact of changes to the virtual infrastructure on applications.
- Infrastructure Navigator is supported on vCenter Server 5.0 with the vSphere Web Client.

- Simplifies and automates the deployment and the discovery process and keeps manages Application Component Knowledge Base (KB) current Eliminates physical switch spanning or credential based discovery.
- Discovers and maps the application components and dependencies using KBs and presents this knowledge through maps or search for relevant use cases.

- Provide Infrastructure Navigator data for vCenter Server and related solutions Ensures that the application and dependency data is available to the rest of the vCenter Server entities and its various solutions through the vCenter extensibility APIs.
- Supports SRM integration to set up more focused and accurate site recovery and backup plans.

VMware Virtualization Management Blog: VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.0 now available

At VMworld Europe last October we announced three new suites for operations management, application management and IT business management. Together, these three management suites deliver on our vision to simplify and automate IT management in the cloud era. Check out this video of VMware CTO Steve Herrod introducing our new virtualization and cloud management portfolio on main stage at Copenhagen. Now that the vCenter Operations Management Suite is generally available, let’s take a closer look at some of the new capabilities.

Automated Operations Management

With vCenter Operations 5.0 we’ve greatly enhanced some of the concepts and analytics introduced in vCenter Operations earlier this year. The new suite improves on the existing functionality and delivers several new capabilities including:

  • Operations Management dashboard with smart alerts in all editions
  • Fully integrated performance, capacity and configuration management
  • Application discovery and dependency mapping
  • New editions targeted at SMB and enterprise customers.

If you’re used to managing vSphere performance with esxtop or the vSphere client, you might be asking, why you should look at vCenter Operations? The reality is that more and more monitoring data is collected in a virtual environment. For example, vSphere 5 introduces about 130 new performance metrics greatly expanding the breadth of the datacenter fabric (storage, network, etc.)  that vSphere is managing.  At the scale of several hundred VMs, you can quickly see that operations management is becoming a “big data” problem if you stay focused on individual metrics -- what metrics should you look at, are there some metrics more important than others, what is the range of values and what thresholds should you set to alert about a performance problem, etc.?

In reality, not one or a few select metrics are more important than others. We need to look at managing the environment holistically and take advantage of the rich data and intelligence that the vSphere platform provides. This is why we introduced new “supermetrics” to better describe workload, health, risk and efficiency of individual VMs, hosts, clusters or entire datacenters. The key point here is that all metrics must be analyzed as performance is determined in context of CPU, memory, network and storage demands.

More importantly, we also need to measure how these metrics change over time and build up a knowledge base of learned behavior so we can determine whether the numbers we’re seeing right now are within an expected range or if they deviate above or below normal. This is what we call dynamic thresholds that adjust automatically with the behavior of the environment. Our intent is to completely eliminate the need for setting and managing static thresholds that either lead to false alarms or don’t fire when they should. Dynamic thresholds are proven to lead to fewer, but more actionable alerts.

There is a lot more to be said about the analytics in vCenter Operations than what I can cover in this post, but here is a brief summary of some of the new super metrics introduced in VC Ops 5:


  • Health describes the current behavior of the environment and any problems that need to be addressed immediately. Health is composed of workload, anomalies and faults.  Workload is a measure of how hard the VM is working relative to the resources it wants and what it is entitled to using. Anomalies is an expression of the number of metrics trending above or below normal which is a leading indicator of upcoming performance problems, and faults is the number of “hard” thresholds that have been crossed when there is an availability issue or a hardware failure has occurred.
  • Risk describes the potential for future problems. Risk combines scores for time and capacity remaining before resources are exhausted. Risk also includes a new metric for stress which shows patterns of chronic strain. For example, during certain times of the week, there is more demand for resources in one cluster while other clusters are at or below capacity. You can use this information to optimize VM placement or to pre-allocated resources ahead of time.
  • Efficiency is a new super metric to describe optimal utilization of resources. Efficiency includes scores of reclaimable waste, such as idle, over- and under-provisioned VMs, and VM density.  VM density shows current consolidation ratio vs maximum possible ratio without performance degradation.

These super metrics are readily available in the operations management dashboard of the suite. Drill-downs allow you to quickly zoom into individual clusters or hosts or zoom out to get a datacenter-level view that might span multiple instances of vCenter Server. Moreover, we’ve added smart alerts with automated root cause analysis in all editions so you can proactively manage (and avoid) performance problems building in the environment.

Speaking of root cause analysis, we often hear from VI admins that 9 out of 10 performance problems are change related. In vCenter Operations 1.0 we already introduced the ability to correlate vSphere change events with performance and health metrics. In VC Ops 5 we introduce the ability to also show change events that occur inside the VM, such as registry changes, patches and applications that users may have been installed. This data is supplied by vCenter Configuration Manager (VCM) which a lot of organizations are already using for configuration and compliance management. Integrating configuration data with performance metrics give you a more holistic view of the environment which will help reduce finger pointing and improve relationships with storage engineers, and DBA’s.


To give you an idea of how this works in a real world scenario, I’ve included a video of vCenter Operations managing the hands-on labs (HOL) at VMworld 2011. The proactive alerts generated from vCenter Operations allowed our HOL team to detect and resolve a building storage problem before it started to impact lab attendees resulting in a flawless performance of what happened to become our biggest and most successful VMworld lab to date.

Better visibility into application components and services running on virtual infrastructure will help improve your ability to manage the environment. This is where vCenter Infrastructure Navigator (VIN) comes in which provides application-awareness for users of vCenter Operations. It discovers application components, automatically names them and provides version numbers and maps out visually where these components are running and how they’re communicating with one another. Use case for VIN include impact analysis, disaster recovery planning and datacenter and application migration projects. With VIN, you can easily find VMs and see visually how they communicate and relate to other VMs within the context of an application. Check out this video to see Infrastructure Navigator in action.


Overall, the vCenter Operations Management Suite has been very well received by our customers and the new 5.0 release is another big step forward in simplifying and automating operations management. Again, the new version is available now and you can download a 60-day free trial. Existing customers can upgrade to the new version free of charge. We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished with this release but, of course, it’s what you think that’s important.  So please send us your feedback and your questions.

Open-Source-CMS: Joomla 2.5 erhält neue Suche und Update-Benachrichtigung

Joomla 2.5 bringt dem Open-Source-CMS eine neue Suchfunktion und automatische Benachrichtigung über Updates sowohl für Joomla als auch für die installierten Erweiterungen. Daneben unterstützt Joomla 2.5 verschiedene Datenbanktypen und enthält ein Captcha-API zur Spamabwehr.

Joomla 2.5 soll die Aktualisierung des CMS deutlich vereinfachen: Neben der mit Joomla 1.6 eingeführten automatischen Updatefunktion informiert Joomla 2.5 den Administrator nun unaufgefordert über verfügbare Aktualisierungen. Verändert ein Update die Datenbankstruktur, lässt sich diese ebenfalls per Mausklick auf den aktuellen Stand bringen.

Seitenbesucher profitieren in Joomla 2.5 von der ausgebauten Suchfunktion, die nun Autovervollständigung bietet und Wortstämme erkennt. Laut den Entwicklern soll die Suche deutlich schneller erfolgen und auch natürliche Sprache erkennen. Erstmalig unterstützt Joomla neben MySQL auch den Microsoft-SQL-Server. Die Unterstützung weiterer Datenbanktypen wie PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQLite und PDO soll in Kürze folgen.

Der Joomla-Kern enthält jetzt ein Captcha-API, das das Einbinden von Captchas in Formulare wie die Benutzerregistrierung ermöglicht. Zusätzliche Artikeloptionen zum Festlegen eines Bildes für Intro und Artikel erleichtern ein standardisiertes Beitragslayout. In Wordpress-Blogs ist ein solches Artikelbild in festem Format schon länger möglich. Joomla-Administratoren können sich künftig informieren lassen, sobald sich ein neuer Benutzer registriert. Mit konfigurierbaren Textfiltern lässt sich jetzt auch festlegen, welche HTML-Tags oder Attribute Anwendergruppen verwenden dürfen. Einen Überblick über sämtliche neuen Funktionen liefert ein Blogeintrag.

Mit Joomla 2.5 verändern die Entwickler ihr bisheriges Versionsschema. Version 2.5 ist seit Joomla 1.5 die erste Version mit Langzeitunterstützung. Alle 18 Monate soll künftig eine solche LTS-Version mit wichtigen neuen Funktionen veröffentlicht werden. Dazwischen planen die Entwickler in einem 6-Monats-Rhythmus kleinere Updates, in die ebenfalls neue Funktionen einfließen sollen.

Joomla 2.5 steht unter zum Download bereit. Übersetzungen für andere Sprachen, unter anderem Deutsch, sind ebenfalls auf der Webseite verfügbar.

Video – Install vSphere Syslog Collector and configure ESXi logging

Logging in vSphere 5.0 has been significantly enhanced. You now have fine-grained control over system logs, the location where logs are sent, and, for each log, default size and rotation policy. You can set up logging with the vSphere Client or with the esxcli system syslog command and the PowerCLI VMHostSysLogServer Commandlets. You can also set up logging behaviour for a host by using the Host Profiles interface in the vSphere Client and can then import that host profile into other hosts.

VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0 hosts run a syslog service (vmsyslogd) which provides a standard mechanism for logging messages from the VMkernel and other system components. By default in ESXi, these logs are placed on a local scratch volume or a ram disk. To preserve the logs further, ESXi can be configured to place these logs to an alternate storage location on disk, and to send the logs across the network to a syslog server.

You have to install the vSphere Syslog Collector to enable ESXi system logs to be directed to a server on the network, rather than to a local disk. It’s possible install the Syslog Collector on the same machine as the associated vCenter Server, or on a different machine that has network connection to the vCenter Server. The Syslog Collector service binds to an IPv4 address for communication with vCenter Server, and does not support IPv6. The vCenter Server can be on a host machine in an IPv4-only, IPv4/IPv6 mixed-mode, or IPv6-only network environment, but the machine that connects to the vCenter Server through the vSphere Client must have an IPv4 address for the Syslog Collector service to work.

In the ESXi Software panel there's an Advanced Setting called, the value of this setting presents the remote host to which syslog messages are forwarded and port on which the remote host receives syslog messages. You can include the protocol and the port, for example, ssl://hostName1:514. UDP (default), TCP, and SSL are supported. The remote host must have syslog installed and correctly configured to receive the forwarded syslog messages. Checkout the video how the syslog service is installed on the vCenter host.

You can also set up ESXi Syslog from the Host Profiles Interface. Hosts provisioned with Auto Deploy usually do not have sufficient local storage to save system logs. You can specify a remote syslog server for those hosts by setting up a reference host, saving the host profile, and applying that host profile to other hosts as needed. Best practice is to set up the syslog server on the reference host with the vSphere Client or the esxcli system syslog command and save the host profile. In some situations, setting up syslog from the Host Profiles interface is an alternative.

Netzwerkscanner: OpenVAS-5 als Beta veröffentlicht

Der freie Netzwerk- und Sicherheitsscanner OpenVAS-5 ist als Betaversion zum Testen freigegeben worden. Eine verbesserte Einbindung des Sicherheitsprotokolls Scap soll den Anforderungen der US-Behörde Nist genügen.

OpenVAS-5 ist als Beta zum Testen veröffentlicht worden. Die finale Version des freien Netzwerk- und Sicherheitsscanners soll im März erscheinen, gut ein Jahr nach der Veröffentlichung der Vorgängerversion. Zu den wesentlichen Neuerungen gehört unter anderem das Prognostizieren von möglichen Schwachstellen im Netzwerk.

Der auf OpenVAS basierende Greenbone Security Manager hat von der US-Behörde National Institute of Standards and Technology (Nist) eine Scap-Validierung (Security Content Automation Protocol) als Unauthenticated Scanner erhalten - also als Netzwerkscanner, der keine Zugangsdaten benötigt. Die entsprechenden Funktionen und Kriterien wurden auch in OpenVAS implementiert. Dazu wurde die Unterstützung für Scap-Daten ausgebaut. Ferner können Network Vulnerability Tests (NVT) aufgelistet werden, die zu einer bestimmten CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) gehören.

Künftig können bestimmte SSH-Ports für lokale Security Checks definiert werden. Der SSH-Scanner wurde verbessert und die Authentifizierung per SSH kann mit Key-Pairs erfolgen.

Alle weiteren Änderungen haben die Entwickler in einer E-Mail an die Mailingliste des Projekts zusammengefasst. Die Beta von OpenVAS-5 steht lediglich als Quellcode zum Download bereit.

Liquipel: Jedes Smartphone ohne Hülle wasserfest machen

Mittels Nanobeschichtung will das junge Unternehmen Liquipel elektronische Geräte wasserdicht machen. Dabei wird das gesamte Gerät inklusive Elektronik versiegelt, was mit Smartphones schon vorführreif ist.

Die iPhones, die Liquipel in Las Vegas in den Dauerregen an seinem Stand stellt, sind nicht ganz dicht. Und trotzdem überleben die Geräte sogar minutenlanges Untertauchen in einem Wasserbecken.

Möglich macht das eine Nanobeschichtung, mit der alle Oberflächen der Telefone versehen werden. Dazu werden die Geräte in einer Vakuumkammer erst von sämtlichen Gasen befreit, anschließend wird in die Kammer Dampf mit dem Beschichtungsmittel eingeleitet. Der soll sich so fein verteilen, dass auch jeder Winkel der Elektronik im Inneren anschließend beschichtet ist. Kurzschlüsse sind so unmöglich, Kontaktflächen wie die von Akku und Headset-Buchse behalten ihre Leitfähigkeit durch die Beschichtung hindurch.

Mit dem Überzug sind dann prinzipbedingt aber auch alle beweglichen Teile wie die Membranen von Mikrofonen und Lautsprechern eines Smartphones versehen. Laut Liquipel haben eigene Tests und Versuche bei den Herstellern dieser Komponenten ergeben, dass dadurch keine Verschlechterung der Tonqualität entsteht.

Auch bei viel Feinmechanik wie einer Digitalkamera soll es keine Einschränkungen geben. Mit Festplatten, die ihrerseits im Inneren über eine Reinräumen ähnliche Atmosphäre verfügen, hat Liquipel seine Technik aber noch nicht ausprobiert.

Die bisher beschichteten Geräte sind nach der Behandlung zwar nicht in dem Sinne wasserdicht, dass keine Flüssigkeit mehr in sie dringen könnte. Die soll den Smartphones aber auch langfristig nicht schaden, wenn sie anschließend Zeit zum Trocknen haben. Die iPhones, die das kalifornische Unternehmen auf der CES nach eigenen Angaben während fünf Tagen neun Stunden beregnet hat, funktionieren alle noch.

Mit dem iPhone schnorcheln gehen klappt aber nur bedingt: Wenn nicht Spritzwasser, sondern Untertauchen gefragt ist, soll das Handy nur eine halbe Stunde in einer Tiefe von einem Meter überleben. Die in Las Vegas gezeigten Geräte ließen sich im Übrigen wie gewohnt bedienen, die Oberfläche wirkte nur sehr glatt. Mittels eines Papiertuchs, das von Liquipel beschichtet worden war, demonstrierte das Unternehmen die Eigenschaften: Das Wasser perlte wie beim bekannten Lotuseffekt schnell ab.

Für einige Smartphones wie iPhones der Serien 3 und 4 sowie manche HTC-Modelle bietet Liquipel die Beschichtung auch schon an - allerdings bisher nur für Geräte, die an US-Adressen zurückgeschickt werden. Die Bearbeitung des Handys selbst kostet 59 US-Dollar. An einem internationalen Angebot wird derzeit gearbeitet, lieber wäre dem Unternehmen aber, es könnte seine Technik den Geräteherstellern direkt als Lizenz verkaufen. In China wurde dafür bereits ein Patent erteilt, ein internationales Patent ist beantragt.

AWS: Kostenlose Windows-Server bei Amazon

Amazon erweitert sein Angebot an kostenlosen Cloud-Servern um Windows-Systeme. Bisher standen im Rahmen von Amazons Cloud-Dienst EC2 nur kostenlose Linux-Maschinen zur Verfügung.

Ab sofort können bei Amazon auch Windows-Applikationen im Rahmen des kostenlosen Angebots "AWS Free Usage Tier" genutzt werden. Amazon stellt die Server für eine begrenzte Zeit zur Verfügung, damit interessierte Unternehmen und Entwickler Amazons Cloud-Server kostenlos testen können.

Für die kostenlosen EC2-Windows-Server gelten die gleichen Bedingungen wie für die kostenlosen Linux-Systeme: Für maximal ein Jahr kann die kleinste EC2-Instanz "Micro" für 750 Stunden im Monat kostenlos genutzt werden.

Amazon bietet über EC2 seit geraumer Zeit auch Windows-Server an. Aktuell sind die Systeme mit Windows Server 2008 R2, 2008 und 2003 R2 erhältlich. Zudem kann Microsofts SQL-Server genutzt werden, wobei Amazon sowohl die Express Edition als auch die Standardvariante in den Versionen 2005, 2008 und 2008 R2 anbietet. Der MS SQL Server Express Edition ist auf Datenbanken mit maximal 4 bzw. 10 GByte beschränkt, für die Standardvariante fallen zusätzliche Gebühren an.

Die Nutzung von Windows-Servern bei Amazon ist deutlich teurer als die Nutzung vergleichbarer Linux-Systeme.

Enterprise Virtualization 3.0: Red Hat will mit VMware gleichziehen

Red Hat hat seine Virtualisierungsinfrastruktur namens Enterprise Virtualization auf Version 3.0 aktualisiert. Der Hypervisor nutzt den Linux-Kernel aus Red Hat 6.2 samt aktueller KVM. Die Verwaltungssoftware wurde auf Java portiert.

In Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 (RHEV 3.0) ist die Verwaltungssoftware Enterprise Virtualization Manager von C# auf Java portiert und zusätzlich um zahlreiche neue Funktionen erweitert worden. Zuvor konnte die Verwaltungssoftware, die im Rahmen der Übernahme im September 2008 von Qumranet an Red Hat ging, nur unter Windows Server 2008 betrieben werden. Jetzt benötigt nur noch die Komponente Administrator Console eine Windows-Umgebung mit Internet Explorer 7 und .Net 4.

Die von Qumranet übernommenen Technologien waren weitgehend für den Einsatz in VDI gedacht und mussten zunächst nicht nur in Open-Source-Lösungen, sondern auch für Cloud-Infrastrukturen umgewandelt werden. Im September 2011 wurde dazu das Ovirt-Projekt gegründet, das unter anderem die Verwaltungslösungen von Qumranet der Community zur Verfügung stellte und Partner wie IBM, Canonical, Suse und Intel miteinbezieht.

Angepasstes KVM

Von Qumranet stammen auch Teile der Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM), die längst fester Bestandteil des Linux-Kernels ist. In RHEV 3.0 kommt der Kernel aus Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2, es basiert also auf Kernel 2.6.32, allerdings mit zahlreichen Backports. Die aktuelle Version von KVM kann Gastsystemen maximal 2 TByte vRAM-Speicher zur Verfügung stellen, ein deutlicher Zuwachs gegenüber RHEV 2.2, das die Speichernutzung für Gastsysteme auf 256 GByte begrenzte.

Außerdem kann RHEV 3.0 jeweils einem Gastsystem 64 virtuelle Prozessorkerne zuweisen, während die Host-Systeme bis zu 128 logische Prozessoren verwalten können. Das Virtio-Framework aus Kernel 2.6.34 hat einen effizienteren Datenaustausch zwischen Gastsystemen. Zusätzlich sollen die aus Kernel 2.6.38 übernommenen Transparent Huge Pages die Speicherverwaltung für Gastsysteme deutlich beschleunigen und besser skalieren.

Erweiterte Verwaltungswerkzeuge

Für die Kommunikation zwischen Server und Client im VDI-Betrieb (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) steht das ebenfalls von Qumranet erworbene Spice-Protokoll zur Verfügung, das in der aktuellen Version auch leistungshungrige Anwendungen unterstützt.

Das Self-Service User Portal ist in Java geschrieben und bietet ein Verwaltungswerkzeug für Benutzer. Die Software ist für die Verwendung auf Red Hat Enterprise Linux und ermöglicht Benutzern die Einrichtung von Hypervisoren auf Basis von zuvor definierten Rechten, die sowohl von Red Hats Identity Manager als auch von Microsofts Active Directory übernommen werden können.

RESTful-APIs für Drittanbieter

Ebenfalls überarbeitet wurde das Integrated Reporting System, das neben 25 vorkonfigurierten Reports auch das Erstellen eigener Berichte erlaubt. Dazu wurde die Java-basierte Software Jasperreports integriert.

Neu in RHEV 3.0 ist auch die RESTful-API, über die Drittanbieter ihre Werkzeuge integrieren können. Über den zeitgleich mit der Veröffentlichung von RHEV 3.0 geöffneten Red Hat Market Place können Softwarehersteller ihre Produkte anbieten.

Konkurrenz für VMware

Mit RHEV 3.0 will sich Red Hat neben VMware im Markt positionieren und zielt dabei aber in erster Linie auf die Virtualisierung von Linux ab. Red Hat sieht dort eine Nische, denn auch in der Virtualisierung beherrscht Windows den Markt. Einen Vorteil gegenüber VMware sieht Red Hat auch im Preis: Während VMware auch den Speicherverbrauch berechnet, werden bei Red Hat nur die benötigten Sockets berechnet, was den Preis um ein Drittel senken soll.

Für das nächste RHEV 3.1 plant Red Hat, sämtliche Komponenten auf offene Plattformen zu portieren, etwa die Administrator Console. Zusätzlich sollen die Konfigurationsoberflächen in Ajax und HTML5 für Firefox angeboten werden.

How to Install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 for VMware vCenter 5 – The Lone Sysadmin

by Bob Plankers on October 6, 2011 · 9 comments

in Best Practices,How To,Virtualization

My venerable post on installing MS SQL Server 2008 for vCenter 4 was getting old, so I thought I’d update it, if only because I have a new admin helping me and I’m going to stick him with doing a bunch of installs. Ha!

I thank the VMware folks who have incorporated a lot of the tweaks from my original document into the defaults for vCenter 5. They were probably obvious, and not taken from my work, but it’s content I don’t need anymore. Awesome.

While I don’t mean this page to become a general support site for vCenter SQL Server installations please leave a comment if something needs to be clarified or corrected, or if I’m doing something dumb here. I consider my DBA skills to be somewhere between amateur and semi-pro, I’m self-taught mainly via Googling stuff, and may not have an answer for you if you are asking a support question. It should go without saying that you should talk to VMware or Microsoft Support if you are having issues.

There are some decent installation resources on Microsoft’s TechNet site for preparing SQL Server installations. It’s worth the read through. Likewise, the first installations I did were on a non-Active Directory, standalone Windows Server VM that I’d taken a snapshot of. The ability to revert the snapshot and try again is priceless.

I am using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 running on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. As with all things in IT your mileage may vary, so use your head. These instructions assume a familiarity with Windows, and a general ability to figure things out once you’ve seen it once (towards the end you’ll see why I say this, I start omitting a lot of repetitive maintenance plan stuff). I tend to create local accounts, even with Active Directory, because I’m just paranoid about network authentication. Do what you like or what you need to.


1. Create an individual role account, ‘sqldb’ for SQL Server. Assign it a long, random password, set “Password never expires” and “User not allowed to change password.”

2. Decide where you are going to do the install. On my hosts I have a system drive, C:, and an application/data drive, E:, which I use for installations like this. This might be a good time to use a database sizing calculator.

3. Download the latest VMware-certified Microsoft SQL Server service pack (from Microsoft) for immediate installation afterwards.

4. Install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 through Server Manager->Select Server Roles. Check “Application Server” and permit it to add the required features, then advance to the “Select Role Services” page. Check only the “.NET Framework 3.5.1? option, then continue through the installation.


1. Run Setup.The SQL Server Installation Center will start. I usually pick the “System Configuration Checker” from the Planning menu, just to make sure nothing is seriously wrong. If it is I fix it, then exit the Checker.

Once that is complete I choose “Installation” on the left, then “New installation or add features to an existing installation.” This will start the installer. Follow along and enter the license key, then advance to accepting the license terms. I usually don’t opt to send usage data offsite, but do whatever you want.

2. The installer will prompt you to install Setup Support files. You don’t have much choice so go ahead with it.

3. Fix anything Setup Support identifies as a warning or error. If it’s the firewall rules generating a warning consider if you will be connecting from off-machine. If not, no worries, else the warning text has a URL to follow for instructions on how to modify the firewall.

4. On the “Setup Role” page choose “SQL Server Feature Installation.”

5. On the “Feature Selection” page:

Check “Instance Features -> Database Engine Services”

Under “Shared Features” choose Client Tools Connectivity, Management Tools – Basic, and Management Tools – Complete.

I usually also select SQL Server Books Online, too, because I like having the reference available.

I change the Shared Feature directories from C: to E:, with the same path.

6. On the “Instance Configuration” page:

I choose the default instance, leaving the instance ID set to the default (MSSQLSERVER) and change the instance root directory from C: to E: with the same path.

7. Keep clicking Next until you get to the “Server Configuration” page:

Click “Use the same account for all SQL Server services” and enter the account information for the ‘sqldb’ user you created.

Set “SQL Server Agent” to startup type of Automatic. Ensure the “SQL Server Database Engine” is also set to Automatic.

Double-check that “SQL Server Browser” is set to Disabled and has the account name set to “NT AUTHORITYLOCAL SERVICE”

8. On the “Database Engine Configuration” page:

On the “Account Provisioning” tab choose Mixed Mode (SQL Server authentication and Windows authentication). Set a password for the built-in SQL Server system administrator account that is nice and random. This is the superuser account for the database.

Under “Specify SQL Server administrators” add any additional users that will need to maintain the SQL Server (such as yourself). This makes it easy for them to log in and do things. The “Add Current User” button is nice…

On the “Data Directories” tab I change all the C:s to E:s, but that’s just how I roll.

9. Keep moving through the pages of the installation wizard and finish the installation, then install the latest SQL Server Service Pack. Manually run Windows Update to also check for any updates available that way. Reboot if it tells you to.

Database Configuration

1. Start the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and log in as the ‘sa’ user.

2. Right-click the topmost SQL Server object, usually named with the machine name or “local” (depending on how you logged in). Choose “Properties.” Choose the “Memory” page. Set “Maximum Server Memory (in MB)” to something sane for the host. I usually set it to 25%-50% of the RAM on the host. The more memory you can give it the better, as the database will cache data in RAM, but you also want to leave room in RAM for the OS (2 GB), some file cache, and vCenter (4 GB) if you are going to install it on the same host. Swapping is bad, remember you can always go in later and increase it again. Click OK.

3. Right-click the “Databases” folder, pick “New Database…” Under “General” I set the database name to “VCDB” but you can name it whatever you want as long as you remember the name. Under “Options” set the recovery model to “Simple.” Click OK.

4. Right-click the “Security” folder, pick “New->Login.” In the General page enter the username ‘vpxuser’, select “SQL Server authentication” and enter a nice long random password that you’ll remember and/or record. I uncheck “Enforce password policy,” “Enforce password expiration,” and “User must change password at next login.” Set the default database to VCDB and the default language to English.

Click the “User Mapping” page on the right. Check the “Map” box for VCDB, then choose db_owner from the role membership list below. Then check the “Map” box for msdb, and choose db_owner for that, too.

I click the “…” box in the “Default Schema” column for both msdb and VCDB, and set the default schema to ‘dbo’. Then click OK.

By the way, you have some options here, as outlined in the VMware documentation. However, I think their documentation is a bit confusing, and the installer will take care of most of this for you. I like that.

5. Grant “VIEW SERVER STATE” to vpxuser in the database in order to enable database monitoring. The quickest way to do this is to click the “New Query” button in Server Management Studio, then enter:

grant VIEW SERVER STATE to vpxuser

and press the “!Execute” button.

6. Configure the SQL Server TCP/IP options. By default TCP/IP is enabled for MS SQL Server, but VMware has instructions on changes that need to be made for JDBC support. Make sure you make those changes to the IPs that will get connections, not just the first one you see. If you’re using IPv6 (and you should be) make sure you set the parameters on those IPs, too.

7. Create an ODBC data source. VMware has instructions on how to do this in their vSphere installation documentation. I usually provide the database name and vpxuser login information so I can test the connection when it offers.

8. Grant “Local Launch” permissions to SQL Server 2008. This fixes a known issue that generates event log errors and may prevent some scheduled jobs from running. To do this open Administrative Tools->Component Services.

Browse to Console Root->Component Services->Computers->My Computer->DCOM Config->MsDtsServer100. Right-click MsDtsServer100 and pick “Properties.”

On the “Security” tab, under “Launch and Activation Permissions” select “Customize” and then click Edit. Add the local ‘sqldb’ user you are using and allow Local Launch. Click OK all the way out.

9. I usually reboot at this point. Some of these changes require restarting the SQL Server anyhow, and if you haven’t rebooted for Windows Update and SQL Server service packs it’s a good opportunity.

vCenter Installation

1. Install vCenter. The specifics of this are documented by VMware. If you are prompted, connect to the VCDB database using the ODBC connection you created above, using the ‘vpxuser’ username and password.

Weekly Database Maintenance Tasks

This part of the installation will set up some regular jobs to clean up the database, make backups, and do some performance optimization. I’ll walk you through the basics, figuring that you can handle schedules and whatnot yourself.

1. Start the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio again and log in as the ‘sa’ user. Open the “Management” folder and right-click “Maintenance Plans.” Select “Maintenance Plan Wizard.”

2. On the “Select Plan Properties” page give it the name “Weekly Maintenance Plan.” I select “Single schedule for the entire plan or no schedule” and click the “Change” button to pick when I want it to run. I usually have the weekly job run at 2100 on Sunday, as nobody is usually doing anything then, and it’s before my server’s backup window. When you figure this out say OK to the schedule and then Next.

3. On the “Select Maintenance Tasks” page I choose: Check Database Integrity, Reorganize Index, Rebuild Index, Update Statistics, Back Up Database (Full), and Maintenance Cleanup Task. Click Next.

4. On the “Select Maintenance Task Order” page I move “Back Up Database (Full) to after “Check Database Integrity” if it isn’t there already.

5. For “Define Database Integrity Check” I choose all databases, including indexes.

6. For “Define Reorganize Index” I choose all databases, compact large objects.

7. For “Define Rebuild Index” I choose all databases, reorganize pages with the default amount of free space. I also check “Keep index online while reindexing.”

8. For “Define Update Statistics” I choose all databases, all existing statistics, full scan.

9. For “Define Back Up Database (Full)” I choose all databases, and ignore databases where the state is not online. I set the backup set to expire after 21 days, back up to disk, and create a backup file for every database. I set the backup folder to be on my data drive, E:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL ServerMSSQL10.MSSQLSERVERMSSQLBackup, and to use a backup file extension of “bak”.

The “Compress Backup” option seems like a good one but it isn’t supported on 64-bit SQL Server. It’ll let you set it, then fail on execution. This is how I learned where the logs are (E:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL ServerMSSQL10.MSSQLSERVERMSSQLLog). You’ve been warned.

10. For “Define Maintenance Cleanup” I have it delete backup files, using “E:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL ServerMSSQL10.MSSQLSERVERMSSQLBackup” as the search path and “bak” as the file extension. I have it delete files older than 22 days, but you can set it to whatever you need. Pick whatever report options you’d like (if you want email you’ll have to define yourself as an operator elsewhere in the Management Studio).

11. Click OK. I usually go into the Maintenance Plans folder now, right click on this job, and choose “Execute” to see if it runs. Check the logs if it doesn’t.

Daily Database Backup Task

1. If you took the steps above you get a weekly full backup. I like daily backups, too. So go back into the Maintenance Plan Wizard and create a new plan called “Daily Differential Backup.” Set the schedule to recur Monday through Saturday at a good time (like before your system backup). You don’t need to schedule it on Sunday if you have the full backup happening then.

2. Choose only “Back Up Database (Differential)” and configure the plan. Again, I set it to back up all databases, ignoring databases where the state is not online, and to back up to the same location as above (E:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL ServerMSSQL10.MSSQLSERVERMSSQLBackup) with the “bak” extension, expiring after 21 days. Same “Compress Backup” warning as above.

3. Pick the report options you like, click through to save the plan. You might try executing it to see if it works.

Regular Reorganize Database Task

1. One of the performance suggestions buried in the VMware KB is to regularly reorganize the indexes, since the historical statistics tables get unwieldy. You can do this manually (boo), or schedule a job to do it by running the Maintenance Plan Wizard again (yay). Choose only “Reorganize Indexes” and set the schedule to recur every six hours, every day (or however often you want, I figure four times a day is a nice compromise). This keeps the logical fragmentation of the indices down.

2. Click through the pages of the wizard until you get to “Define Reorganize Index Task.” Have it only reindex VCDB, choose “Tables and views” in the Object selection, and check “Compact large objects.” Click through until you’re done.

Check Your Work

You’re done. At this point I’d make sure that all the scheduled jobs run, then wait a couple days to make sure the backups are happening. You might want to try restoring a backup then, too, so you know how to do it if you ever need to, or perhaps practice kicking off a manual backup (for upgrade situations, etc.). Watch your disk space for backups and logs, too. If you are getting a lot of logs you can add or change a maintenance plan with a maintenance cleanup task to delete old logs.


via How to Install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 for VMware vCenter 5 – The Lone Sysadmin.