vSphere & IPv6: how VMRC breaks it all

It’s been a bit quiet around my vSphere pure IPv6 lab setup lately. At first it seemed to be surprisingly easy, but the devil’s in the details…

As already posted, the initial setup went without any problems. The setup required IPv4 just for the kickstart process, or to be more exact for the first boot and installation phase. During the final configuration script the DHCP IPv4 address was dropped and the ESXi hosts were running IPv6 only: Continue reading

Reducing the vCenter memory – vCSA 5.5

An update for this post on how to minimize the memory requirements of the vCenter Server Appliance for release 5.5 was long overdue. Sorry for the delay, I was rather struggling with a pure IPv6 setup (and found out that the VMRC plugin as well as the Web Client break the whole thing – more on that soon).

Anyway, lets see what changed with V5.5 with regards to the memory requirements and JVM parameters. Amazingly quite a lot, but in a good way. Some of my recommendations are obsolete now since VMware changed the settings to more or less the same values I proposed. Must be a coincidence, of course. At least a nice confirmation that my settings were not that bad. 🙂

I had to update this post for vCSA 5.5 update 2 since the settings for the initial 5.5 release caused services to fail in 5.5U2. Overall, the memory requirements were significantly increased.

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Workaround for the vCenter Server appliance 5.1U1 update delay

The update process from 5.1.x to 5.1 Update 1 contains a serious flaw. The update may take more than 45 minutes, some report more than one hour. VMware even mentions this in their release notes:

Update of vCenter Server Appliance 5.1.x to vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 Update 1 halts at web UI while showing update status as installing updates*
When you attempt to upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.1.x to vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 Update 1, the update process halts for nearly an hour and the update status at Web UI shows as installing updates. However, eventually, the update completes successfully after an hour.

Workaround: None.

The generic update documentation KB article 2031331 “Updating vCenter Server Appliance 5.x” mentions even longer durations:

The update process can take approximately 90 to 120 minutes. Do not reboot until the update is complete.

Well, there is a workaround, even a very simple one: