VMware vCenter 7.0.3d CLI

VMware vCenter Server 7.0 Update 3d – How to Install Using the CLI

In this article I will demonstrate an unattended installation of vCenter Server 7.0 Update 3d.

To follow along you will need:

  • installation ISO for vCenter Server 7.0 Update 3d, which you can download from your My.VMware account: VMware-VCSA-all-7.0.3-19480866.iso
  • a text editor. I used Microsoft Visual Studio Code, but you can really use any text editor.
  • the ability to run CLI commands. I used a Windows server to launch the command, but VMware also provides binaries for Linux and Mac.

Prepare the JSON Configuration File

VMware provides a number of JSON template files, so we don’t have to start from scratch. Inside the ISO file, we can navigate to vcsa-cli-installer\templates\install to see the available templates. There are 5 templates, among them:

  • embedded_vCSA_on_ESXi.json – minimum configuration required for the deployment of vCSA on an ESXi host.
  • embedded_vCSA_on_VC.json – minimum configuration required for the deployment of vCSA on a vCenter Server instance.
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VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4

VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4

VMware recently announced general availability of VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4.

VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 Bill of Materials

The Bill of Materials for VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 includes the following products:

  • Cloud Builder 4.4
  • SDDC Manager 4.4
  • vCenter Server 7.0 Update 3c
  • vSphere 7.0 Update 3c with Tanzu
  • vSAN 7.0 Update 3c
  • NSX-T Data Center 3.1.3.5
  • vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 8.6.2
    • vRealize Log Insight 8.6.2
    • vRealize Operations 8.6.2
    • vRealize Automation 8.6.2
    • Workspace ONE Access 3.3.6
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Automation

vRealize Automation 8.5

VMware recently announced general availability of vRealize Automation 8.5. I will dive in what’s new in vRA 8.5, what they fixed and what’s still pending there.

Generally speaking, vRealize Automation 8.5 adds capabilities focusing on the areas of multi-cloud support with Azure, extensibility with vRealize Orchestrator and ABX as well as expansion of network automation capabilities with vSphere and NSX.

What’s new in vRealize Automation 8.5

  • Project Administrator can act as Approver for all approval requests – When creating an approval policy, administrators can select a Project Administrator (for the project in which the approval was triggered) as the approver.
  • Configure when IP address from IPAM is released – You can configure how long it takes for an IP address to be released from allocation once it is no longer used. This allows for faster provisioning of new workloads where IP addresses are scarce.
  • Limit the number of namespaces for a project on a Kubernetes zone – The maximum number of supervisor namespaces that can be deployed for the project on a given K8s zone now has a configurable limit.
  • VMware vRealize Orchestrator plug-in for vRealize Automation 8.5 – The updated vRealize Automation plug-in supports scripting objects generation such as cloud accounts, cloud zones, projects, tags, and CRUD operations to build your own content.
  • Enable resources across Azure regions to be added to the same resource group – An Azure resource group is created in an Azure region. However, resources from any Azure region can be added into it. This feature enables admins to add resources from other regions into the Azure RG.
  • Snapshot management for Azure disks – You can now pass the resource group name, encryption set, and network policy while creating the disk snapshot.
  • Ability to enable/disable boot diagnostics for Azure VMs – Day 2 – You can enable/disable boot diagnostics for Azure VMs as a day 2 action.
  • Support for NSX-V to NSX-T migration with vSphere 6.7 – vRealize Automation NSX-V to NSX-T migration now supports migrating deployments that are running on vSphere 6.7.
  • Support for existing global security group as part of NSX-T Federation – vRealize Automation can now discover global security groups configured under NSX-T global manager. These groups can be leveraged in network profiles and VMware Cloud Templates to build deployments.
  • Custom Roles API – The APIs for Custom Roles (RBAC) are now available (Create, Read, List, Update, Delete).
  • Notifications – The Service Broker administrator can view the list of available email notification scenarios and enable or disable them for all users in their organization.
  • Terraform runtime environment authentication – This release introduces authentication for adding Terraform service runtime version to vRA for more secure environments.
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Security Advisory

VMSA-2021-0014 – VMware ESXi Vulnerabilities

VMware has released a new security advisory VMSA-2021-0014: VMware ESXi updates address authentication and denial of service vulnerabilities (CVE-2021-21994, CVE-2021-21995).

Multiple vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi were privately reported to VMware. Updates and workarounds are available to remediate these vulnerabilities in affected VMware products. This advisory documents the remediation of one important issue (CVSSv3 score 7) and one moderate issue (CVSSv3 score 5.3).

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project has assigned the identifiers CVE-2021-21994 to the ESXi SFCB improper authentication vulnerability and CVE-2021-21995 to the ESXi OpenSLP denial-of-service vulnerability.

VMSA-2021-0014 – Description and Workarounds

A malicious actor with network access to port 5989 on ESXi may exploit the SFCB improper authentication vulnerability to bypass SFCB authentication by sending a specially crafted request. SFCB service is disabled by default. The service starts when you install a third-party CIM VIB, for example, when you run the esxcli software vib install -n VIBname command. You can check status and disable SFCB service using:

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VMware Security Advisory

VMSA-2021-0004 – vRealize Operations Manager Vulnerabilities

VMware has released a new security advisory VMSA-2021-0004: VMware vRealize Operations updates address Server Side Request Forgery and Arbitrary File Write vulnerabilities (CVE-2021-21975, CVE-2021-21983).

Multiple vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi, Workstation and Fusion were privately reported to VMware. Updates are available to remediate these vulnerabilities in affected VMware products. This advisory documents the remediation of one critical issue and one important issue.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project has assigned the identifiers CVE-2021-21975 to the server side request forgery vulnerability in vRealize Operations Manager API and CVE-2021-21983 to the arbitrary file write vulnerability in vRealize Operations Manager API.

A malicious actor with network access to the vRealize Operations Manager API can perform a Server Side Request Forgery attack to steal administrative credentials. An authenticated malicious actor with network access to the vRealize Operations Manager API can write files to arbitrary locations on the underlying Photon operating system.

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VMware Security Advisory

VMSA-2020-0026 – ESXi, Workstation, and Fusion Vulnerabilities

VMware has released a new security advisory VMSA-2020-0026: VMware ESXi, Workstation and Fusion updates address use-after-free and privilege escalation vulnerabilities (CVE-2020-4004, CVE-2020-4005).

Multiple vulnerabilities in VMware ESXi, Workstation and Fusion were privately reported to VMware. Updates are available to remediate these vulnerabilities in affected VMware products. This advisory documents the remediation of one critical issue and one important issue.

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project has assigned the identifiers CVE-2020-4004 to the use-after-free vulnerability in XHCI USB controller and CVE-2020-4005 to the VMX elevation-of-privilege vulnerability.

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Performance

12 Performance Tips for Your Virtual Machine

I spent my fair amount of years in IT operations, staying around enterprise VMware infrastructure for about a decade. During this period, I worked with development environments (with crazy stuff like developers running Visual Studio, Jenkins CI/CD pipelines, and automation testing clusters on top of Citrix XenApp farms on top of vSphere). I also worked with production infrastructures ranging from usual CRM and ERP applications to performance-hungry financial and real-time telco-grade applications.

Irrespective of the environment, there was always that user complaining about the slowness of a particular VM. It was not a general performance issue, but specific to one VM. And you know what? Sometimes the user was right and the performance of the VM was subpar. The easiest “solution” would be to add more resources and this was at many times the path supported by the user. “I don’t have enough processing power, give me 4 more virtual CPUs”. Sometimes it is the proper solution. But often these are just resources going out of the door. In fact, all you need to recover the performance is to tune your virtual machine configuration.

In this article, I want to highlight 12 areas worth checking at the virtual machine configuration. If nothing works, then you can look into changes that get easily translated into real money. I will not touch any configuration at a level above the VM and nothing at the operating system level.

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VMware Security Advisory

VMSA-2020-0023 – VMware ESXi, Workstation, Fusion and NSX-T Vulnerabilities

VMware has released a new security advisory VMSA-2020-0023: VMware ESXi, Workstation, Fusion, NSX-T, and vCenter Server Appliance updates address multiple security vulnerabilities. VMware Cloud Foundation is also an impacted product.

ESXi OpenSLP remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2020-3992)

OpenSLP as used in ESXi has a use-after-free issue. A malicious actor residing in the management network who has access to port 427 on an ESXi machine may be able to trigger a use-after-free in the OpenSLP service resulting in remote code execution. If you can’t upgrade to the fixed version, as a workaround you can disable CIM server, documented in VMware KB 76372.

Affected products:

  • ESXi 7.0 – update to ESXi_7.0.1-0.0.16850804
  • ESXi 6.7 – update to ESXi670-202010401-SG
  • ESXi 6.5 – update to ESXi650-202010401-SG
  • VMware Cloud Foundation 4.x – update to 4.1
  • VMware Cloud Foundation 3.x – update to 3.10.1.1
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VMware PowerCLI 12.1.0

VMware PowerCLI 12.1.0

Six months after the previous version of PowerCLI, VMware released the new VMware PowerCLI 12.1.0. I will cover in this article the improvements brought by PowerCLI 12.1.0 and the easy installation process on both Windows and Linux. For full documentation on this version of PowerCLI you can check the code.vmware.com page.

PowerCLI 12.1.0 Changes

New features and updates:

  • New cmdlets have been added to the VMware.VimAutomation.WorkloadManagement module: Get-WMCluster, Set-WMCluster, Enable-WMCluster, Disable-WMCluster.
  • New cmdlets have been added to the VMware.VimAutomation.Core module for managing vSphere Lifecycle Manager: Get-LcmImage, Test-LcmClusterCompliance, Test-LcmClusterHealth.
  • Existing cmdlets from VMware.VimAutomation.Core module have been improved: New-Cluster, Set-Cluster, New-ContentLibraryItem, Set-ContentLibraryItem, New-VM, Set-VM, New-Datastore, New-HardDisk, Get-NetworkAdapter, Get-VirtualNetwork, Set-ScsiLun.
  • New cmdlets have been added to the VMware.VimAutomation.Vmc module for specifying cluster’s EDRS policies: Get-VmcClusterEdrsPolicy, Set-VmcClusterEdrsPolicy.
  • Existing cmdlets from VMware.VimAutomation.Vmc module have been improved: New-VmcSddc, Add-VmcSddcHost, Remove-VmcSddcHost.
  • New cmdlets have been added to the VMware.VimAutomation.Storage module for managing vSAN secure disk wipe: Start-VsanWipeVsanDisk, Get-VsanWipeDiskState, Stop-VsanWipeVsanDisk.
  • New cmdlets have been added to the VMware.VimAutomation.Storage module for managing Cloud Native Storage volumes: Get/New/Set/Remove-CnsVolume, New-CnsContainerCluster, New-CnsKubernetesEntityReference, New-CnsKubernetesEntityMetadata, New-CnsVolumeMetadata, Add-CnsAttachment, Remove-CnsAttachment.
  • New cmdlet has been added to the VMware.VimAutomation.Storage module for managing Virtual Volume (vVol) storage containers: Get-VvolStorageContainer.
  • Existing cmdlets from VMware.VimAutomation.Storage module have been improved: Set-VsanClusterConfiguration, Get-VsanClusterConfiguration, Get-VsanSpaceUsage, Get-VasaStorageArray, Get-VasaProvider.
  • Existing cmdlets from VMware.VimAutomation.Security module have been improved: Get-TrustedClusterAppliedStatus, Set-TrustedCluster, New-TrustAuthorityKeyProvider, Set-TrustAuthorityKeyProvider, Set-TrustAuthorityTpm2AttestationSettings, Add-TrustedClusterAttestationServiceInfo, Add-TrustedClusterKeyProviderServiceInfo, Remove-TrustedClusterKeyProviderServiceInfo, Remove-TrustedClusterAttestationServiceInfo.
  • Added to the supported list in the compatibility matrix: vCenter Server 7.0 U1, vSAN 7.0 U1, vSphere 7.0 U1, Site Recovery Manager 8.3 and 8.3.1, Horizon 7.13
  • Removed from the supported list in the compatibility matrix: vCloud Director for Service Providers 9.5, Site Recovery Manager 6.1.1, vRealize Operations Manager 6.6.1 and 6.7
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VMworld 2020

VMworld 2020 – Which Sessions to Attend?

VMworld 2020 is just around the corner. In this COVID-19 world everything moved online and so does VMworld. Make sure to register to VMworld 2020 and reserve in your calendars the period 29th September to 1st October.

This year, VMware offers two types of access to VMworld:

  • General Pass – includes access to 500+ on-demand VMworld sessions – free of charge
  • Premier Pass – everything General Pass has plus access to roundtables, limited capacity sessions, birds of a feather (informal discussions), hand-on-labs, 1:1 expert consultations  – priced at $299

Few days ago, VMware made available the scheduler, so I will base this article on my selection of VMworld sessions, in no particular order. I have a free General Pass, so I will not touch anything reserved to Premier Pass. 14 sessions spread across 3 days, covering topics as private and public cloud, networking and security, containers, hyper-converged infrastructure, and career.

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