vSphere 6.5 GA: VMware-VMRC.exe – Failed to install hcmon driver.

After upgrading the vCenter Server Appliance to version 6.5, I needed to install a new version of VMware Remote Console 9.0 on my Windows 10 machine.

vmware-vmrc-install
VMware-VMRC.msi was downloaded from the vCenter Server, and I initiated its installation.

vmware-vmrc-download

To my surprise, this task ended up with an error message below.

vmware-vmrc-error

I immediately searched on VMware for any explanation and found KB # 2130850. Despite the workaround provided, I haven’t had vSphere Client installed on the computer.

Quickly checking the list of VMware products available, I was able to identify the package which caused the problem. It was a VMware Remote Console Plug-in 5.1 from the previous version of vSphere which prevented the installer from doing its job. Removing the old piece of software completely resolved the obstacle for my environment. Easy-peasy!

vSphere HTML5 Web Client (Fling): installation tips

VMware has officially introduced vSphere Client (HTML5) in the release 6.5 of the platform. The company is working hard to make it a real replacement for vSphere Web Client (Flash/Flex client) and to deliver seamless functionality to the former one.

The vSphere Client released in vSphere 6.5 GA is using vSphere HTML5 Web Client (Fling) v2.7. Although it lacks many features of the old brother, the whole HTML5 experience should be a real benefit for many of us.

Meanwhile, it is interesting to test features available in the new versions of the Fling. Even if it is unsupported, some people are ready to go further and use it in the production environment with vSphere 6.0.

I doubt VMware has any plans to include this functionality in vSphere 6.0. However, for those who delay upgrading to version 6.5, playing with the Fling helps to get a better understanding of the new interface.

vsphere-client-fling-01

Current documentation for the Fling is a bit clunky. So I would like to clarify some steps that are required to setup this software correctly.

According to the documentation, the Fling setup has been tested with the following configurations:

  • GUI and CLI setup
    • vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller
    • vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller
  • CLI setup only
    • vCenter Server for Windows with an embedded Platform Services Controller
    • vCenter Server for Windows with an external Platform Services Controller.

In the paragraphs below, I describe the configuration process for the vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller.

After you downloaded the OVA file and provisioned the VM, a few steps below help to pair it with the vCenter Server.

Firstly, we need to enable SSH login (if disabled) and bash shell on the Platform Services Controller (PSC). The easiest way to do it is to use the Appliance Management User Interface at https://<PSC-FQDN-or-IP>:5480. Both options can be found in the Access settings window.

amui-access-settings

The next step is to change the default shell for PSC. You should create the SSH session to the virtual appliance and run the following command to complete this task:

/usr/bin/chsh -s “/bin/bash” root

Using the default username root and the password demova, log in to the Fling Appliance Management Interface (FAMI) at https://<Fling-FQDN-or-IP>:5490.

vsphere-client-fling-02

Starting from here, the configuration process is straightforward:

  1. Add PSC FQDN or IP address, username, and the password.
  2. Optionally, you can add NTP servers.
  3. Click on Configure to initiate the configuration process.

vsphere-client-fling-03

After approximately one and a half minute the setup finishes and the application will be up and running.

vsphere-client-fling-04

For those who prefer SSH connection and a command line interface (CLI), the following command does the magic:

/usr/local/bin/vsphere-client-config-ui configure –vc <PSC-FQDN-or-IP> –user root –ntp <NTP-FQDN-or-IP>

In this case, you need to start the Web Server manually after it is all done:

/usr/local/bin/vsphere-client start

Open the web browser on https://<Fling-FQDN-or-IP>/ui. It is time to explore a true HTML5 client, yay!

vSphere 6.x: VMXNET3 and DirectPath I/O issue

vSphere 6.0 and 6.5 have an interesting bug in the vSphere Web Client: a DirectPath I/O option is enabled by default for a new virtual machine with VMXNET3 network adapter provisioned.

A New Virtual Machine dialogue looks good.

vm-provisioning

However, when I open the VM settings, surprise surprise, it is quite different.

vm-settings

I have done my research and found the DirectPath I/O option was enabled regardless the VM hardware version (checked all versions starting from 8 to 13). VMware explains this behaviour in a KB # 2145889 with the recommendation to disable this parameter.

My next thought was to find all VMs that had the same problem. Thanks to VMware and its vast community, I was able to find some useful examples (here, here, and here) for a PowerCLI script below.

Feel free to use this code.

28/11/2016 – Update 1: vSphere Client (C#) and vSphere HTML5 Web Client (Fling) also create VMs with the DirectPath I/O option enabled.

28/11/2016 – Update 2: The workaround is to use PowerCLI to provision a new VM.

26/04/2017 – Update 3: The solution to this problem has been provided by LucD. I am working on an updated script which automate the process of disabling DirectPath I/O for the VMs.

VCA & VCP discounts: Black Friday on VMware Store

Black Friday is probably the best time of the year for those who love to make purchases at a very competitive price.

Considering how expensive the VMware certification program can be, it is a great time to save on the official courses and exams.

Not only you receive better deals on VMware Store comparing to the official ones, it is a 25% discount on top of it for the most popular courses and exam.

For example, if you schedule a VCP exam on Pearson Vue, it will cost you 345.00 AUD.

vcp-exam-price

VCP voucher bought on VMware Store will cost 242.00 AUD or 29.5% less than the retail price. With a Black Friday offer, it gets even better: 181.50 AUD or 47% discount. Not bad!

VCP exam discount.png

In a few minutes after the voucher purchase is completed, you receive an activation code which can be used during the registration for an exam on Pearson Vue.

vcp-exam-registration

The courses and exams on vSphere 5.5 and 6.0 that have this discount are as follows:

  • On-demand courses
    • VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.5] – 3,270.00 AUD (normally 4,360.00 AUD)
    • VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6] – 3,855.00 AUD (normally 5,140.00 AUD)
    • VMware vSphere: What’s New [V5.5 to V6] – 1,545.00 AUD (normally 2,060.00 AUD)
  • VMware Learning Zone
    • VMware Certification Exam Preps – 277.50 AUD (normally 370.00 AUD)
  • Exams
    • VMware Online Exam Vouchers – 96.75 AUD (normally 129.00 AUD)
    • VMware VCP Exam Vouchers – 181.50 AUD (normally 242.00 AUD).

There are also discounts for VMware NSX and VMware Horizon courses, as well as VMware Learning Zone Standard / Premium.

Just to let you know, you cannot combine VMUG Advantage discounts with these ones.

Hurry up! According to the notice on VMware Store, this offer ends on December 2, 2016 at 23:59 PM (US Pacific Time).