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Do It Yourself Veeam Backup and Replication, Reporter, and Business View vSphere Client Plugins

A common request since I started at Veeam Software has been for the ability to plug in Veeam’s products to vCenter and/or the vSphere Client. After all, VMware admins are used to the idea that they can go to the same interface to accomplish almost everything. VMware’s strategy to make their client expandable via a plugin architecture is brilliant, and many Technology Partners have introduced vCenter and vSphere Client plugins for their products as a result.  Veeam, for whatever reasons (maybe because the developers have been focused on new game changing features!), has not created plugins to date. However, since most of the Veeam Software suite has web pages for management interfaces already, it is very simple to create plugins yourself!

This post  provides unofficial, unsupported template files and a basic “how to” instructions for using vSphere Client plugins for the following Veeam web management interfaces:

These plugins should work whether you are using any Veeam product versions or whether you have the paid or free versions of Monitor and Reporter. Bottom line: If you can make the Veeam web pages work correctly in a standard web browser on the system where you have the vSphere Client installed, then the plugins should work too.

You may have noticed that Veeam Monitor has been left out of the plugin list. That is because Monitor does not have a web interface. However, be sure to read the end of this post to see how you can use the vSphere Client from within Veeam Monitor. It’s “the photo negative” of what VMware admins are used to, but it accomplishes the same benefits.

Also understand, you can use the templates as a base for whatever web interface you want to pull into the vSphere Client.  This is not just applicable to Veeam products.

I want to credit Carter Shanklin, Eric Sloof, and Ricky El-Qasem for originally providing information about how to create web based plugins several years ago. El-Qasem even released a handy .NET tool for auto creating and registering plugins with vCenter which involved making the resulting .xml files centrally available via Tomcat from the vCenter Server. I followed the trail of crumbs from these guys.

Download the Veeam vSphere Plugin templates

Veeam vSphere Plugin Templates (1981)

The rest of this post contains basic instructions, some screen shots, and a tip for making Reporter work correctly in the vSphere Client. Finally, integrating Veeam Monitor and the vSphere Client is covered briefly.


How To Modify the Templates and Instructions for Using the Plugins

The following is the contents of the README file included in the .zip

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Consolidate Helper Snapshot Appears On vSphere VM

Your vSphere VMs may be running from snapshots even though you didn’t create them. That is, if a scheduled job which auto creates snapshots runs into a datastore with insufficient free space. In this scenario a special Consolidate Helper snapshot will be created

The following screenshot shows the mysterious snapshot as I found it on my lab domain controller


In my case, the scheduled job that needs to create and then normally commit the snapshot is a Veeam Backup and Replication job. At some point in the life of my lab I did run out of space, and although it’s not an issue anymore, the snapshot still exists even when the jobs aren’t running! I was a bit surprised that backup jobs could even complete with this snapshot in place.

VMware KB article 1003302 explains that the Consolidate Helper snapshot is actually created when trying to commit (delete all) a snapshot.

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Cost Effective Virtualization Training From Train Signal

Image of Train Signal from Twitter

Image of Train Signal

If you did not already know about Train Signal and their video training series then I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you have been missing out. If you read this blog or listen to the VIRTUMANIA podcast then surely you’re in the know. Train Signal is a long time sponsor here at VM /ETC (as well as at most all of the popular v12n blogs), a friend to and guest of the podcast, a returning sponsor of the VMUnderground VMWorld Warm Up Party, and always highly visible in the community with free video give aways at VMUGs, conferences and events.

I do not just blog about Train Signal because of business, however. I possess several of their videos and know several of the instructors. Train Signal is well worth the investment whether for one individual or an entire staff.

With the recent release of the vSphere Pro Series Vol 2 containing instruction provided by vExperts and recent VIRTUMANIA guests David Davis, Hal Rottenberg, Rick Scherer, Eric Siebert, and Sean Clark (Hey Rick, I got to get you on the show too!) Train Signal keeps adding great content to an already awesome collection for those looking for cost effective, at your own pace virtualization training.

What I find most amazing about Train Signal is the multiple formats available. With DVD, AVI, WMV, MP3, MP4 for iPods/iPads/smartphones, and even PDF you have the flexibility to learn where ever you are and how ever you need. Now, with instant online access via the My Training Portal as well, you don’t even have to wait for the media to be shipped to you! I was recently amazed when I was able to stream videos to my HTC EVO!

Here’s a quick list of the virtualization training series that I feel are well worth checking into. Be sure to check the free videos listed at the end of this post too!

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VIRTUMANIA Episode 21: Announcing WUPaaS. Exploring vSphere 4.1. Denying ESXi. Predicting VMWorld.

The VMUNDERGROUND invades VIRTUMANIA Episode 21 with a special VMWorld 2010 Warm Up Party announcement! Rick Vanover is my co host and we are joined by special guests Sean Clark and Brian Knudtson. The following is the podcast summary:

VIRTUMANIA Podcast Episode 21Announcing WUPaaS. Exploring vSphere 4.1. Denying ESXi. Predicting VMWorld. Rich Brambley (@rbrambley) of VMETC and Rick Vanover (@rickvanover) of are joined this episode by Sean Clark (@vseanclark) of and Brian Knudtson (@bknudtson) of This week we talk about everything VMworld 2010, point out some changes introduced with vSphere 4.1, air some concerns about using ESXi in the future, and announce the 2010 theme of the VMUnderground VMWorld Warm Up Party. Virtumania is an Infosmack Production.

Before, between, and after the important stuff we also have some fun with Sean’s hat, swagger wagons, iPads (again!), Dr. Seuss, VMworld 2010, and more!

Listen to the podcast with the embedded player or subscribe to get a weekly copy so you can listen when convenient.

Subscribe to VIRTUMANIA with iTunesAdd to my GoogleAdd to my Yahoorss2 podcast

Check out the VM /ETC VIRTUMANIA Page to listen to past episodes as well as episodes of Infosmack.

The following links offer more information on some of the topics mentioned in VIRTUMANIA Episode 21:

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Future vCenter And SRM Requirement For 64 bit OS Means More vCenter VMs

VMware engineer Michael White’s post 64 bit is almost here – are you ready? on the Uptime (VMware and Business Continuity) Blog foretells of the future 64 bit requirement of both vCenter and SRM (Site Recovery Manager). White writes:

“I wanted to remind everyone, of what I have already seen floating around the internet, but still important enough to remind.  Our next release of SRM is going to require a 64 bit OS.  This is the same as our next release of VC as it too will require a 64 bit host OS.  This change is required to support the increased capabilities of our products.  As we scale our products to match our customers needs, generally 1 – 2 years in advance of where they will need all the capabilities of a given product we have had to use a 64 bit OS.  This will show itself in increased numbers in things like more simultaneous vSphere client connections.”

To me these new operating system (OS) requirements mean we will see even more instances of vCenter as a VM (virtual machine). It only seems logical that a least path of resistance is to virtualize the management server in order to upgrade, especially considering all have already invested in 64 bit hardware for their hypervisors if they decided to upgrade to vSphere 4 in the first place. To go a step further, I’m willing to argue that it will be more common for an IT Department to justify the cost of additional ESX hosts, even if only dedicated for management, then it will to deploy new servers for physical instances of vCenter.

The looming transition to a console-less ESXi eventually means more management virtual appliances in the future too. Solutions which will continue to need a ESX console or similar will have to substitute their own appliance to operate with ESXi. This means even more justification for additional ESX/ESXi hosts and thus greases the decision to virtualize vCenter as well. I expect to see management clusters of ESX hosts become more common in the future than even the use of management networks today.

ESX hosts have bigger and badder hardware now than ever before allowing for higher consolidation ratios and larger applications to easily run in virtual machines, but it will be interesting to see if the vCenter as a VM best practices change over time. I personally feel that continuing to separate the database from the virtualized vCenter will continue to be a smart choice. Running a separate, and even virtualized, SQL instance ensures not only better performance of vCenter as a VM but enhances DR scenarios. In fact, those that already have the vCenter database on a remote instance will likely have a safer upgrade to the 64 bit vCenter.

The new 64 bit requirements will no doubt make for an interesting migration scenario, and I’m sure we will see some positive and negative opinions. Let me know your thoughts on a 64 bit vCenter as a VM in the future!

What Is VAAI And What Does It Mean For Virtualization?

You’ve probably heard VMware virtualization and storage talk about VAAI (vStorage API for Array Integration. If you’ve listened to episode 4 of VIRTUMANIA or watched the recent video from the vExpert Panel session at the Carolina VMUG Summit then you’ve heard me talk about it with some of those most in the know on the topic. But what is VAAI exactly and how will it impact virtualization in the future?

Side note – I hate saying “V A A I”. IMO it’s quite a tongue twister. I have adopted saying “V double A I” because it is much easier to get out.

VAAI Introduced 2 years ago

Although it does not exist in vSphere 4.0 today, believe it or not VAAI was first introduced at VMworld 2008 when the vStorage API was announced.

VMware Unveils New vStorage Technologies to Deliver Leading Efficiency and Manageability for the Virtual Datacenter Operating System

New Capabilities Deliver Deeper Integration with Storage Partner Functionality
vStorage enables intelligent integration of storage products within the Virtual Datacenter OS through the new vStorage APIs. 

vStorage APIs deliver tight integration of advanced capabilities from storage partners with the Virtual Datacenter OS from VMware.  vStorage APIs for array integration will enable customers to leverage array-based capabilities, such as snapshots, provisioning, replication and restore, directly with individual virtual machines in conjunction with the clustering and pooling capabilities of VMware Infrastructure.  vStorage APIs for multi-pathing will provide customers the ability to integrate advanced load balancing capabilities provided by leading partners’ multi-pathing software with their virtual environment.

If you are like me you were probably so overwhelmed by the news of the VCD-OS (That’s what VMware was calling the hybrid Cloud at the time … I guess?) that you missed (or were not capable or ready to comprehend) how complete of a strategy already existed for building Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) with the vStorage API. For me, looking back 2 years later it is amazing to me it was all there – at least in concept.

Don’t confuse VADP and VAAI

VAAI is only one part of the vStorage API. VADP (vStorage API for Data Protection) is another, but the these two seem to have been easily confused lately. VADP is

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ESX 4.0 Update 2 Released. Connection Problems with PCoIP Virtual Desktops

VMware announced the U2 (update 2) release of ESX 4.0, and unfortunately early adopters quickly discovered VMware View virtual desktop connections using the PCoIP protocol were failing. This post provides some quick info on both the new release and the new VDI problem it creates.

UPdate 2 Info

VMware ESX 4 Update 2 is available for download here. The following is a cut and paste of What’s New from the Release Notes:

  • Enablement of Fault Tolerance Functionality for Intel Xeon 56xx Series processors— vSphere 4.0 Update 1 supports the Intel Xeon 56xx Series processors without Fault Tolerance. vSphere 4.0 Update 2 enables Fault Tolerance functionality for the Intel Xeon 56xx Series processors.
  • Enablement of Fault Tolerance Functionality for Intel i3/i5 Clarkdale Series and Intel Xeon 34xx Clarkdale Series processors— vSphere 4.0 Update 1 supports the Intel i3/i5 Clarkdale Series and Intel Xeon 34xx Clarkdale Series processors without Fault Tolerance. vSphere 4.0 Update 2 enables Fault Tolerance functionality for the Intel i3/i5 Clarkdale Series and Intel Xeon 34xx Clarkdale Series processors.
  • Enablement of IOMMU Functionality for AMD Opteron 61xx and 41xx Series processors— vSphere 4.0 Update 1 supports the AMD Opteron 61xx and 41xx Series processors without input/output memory management unit (IOMMU). vSphere 4.0 Update 2 enables IOMMU functionality for the AMD Opteron 61xx and 41xx Series processors.
  • Enhancement of the esxtop/resxtop utility vSphere 4.0 Update 2 includes an enhancement of the performance monitoring utilities, esxtop and resxtop. The esxtop/resxtop utilities now provide visibility into the performance of NFS datastores in that they display the following statistics for NFS datastores: Reads/s, writes/s, MBreads/s, MBwrtn/s, cmds/s, GAVG/s(guest latency).
  • Additional Guest Operating System Support— ESX/ESXi 4.0 Update 2 adds support for Ubuntu 10.04. For a complete list of supported guest operating systems with this release, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.
  • Resolved Issues In addition, this release delivers a number of bug fixes that have been documented in the Resolved Issues section.

PCoIP Connections Issue

The following cut and paste is from the VMware KB Article Upgrading VMware Tools in a virtual desktop causes PCoIP connections to fail: Continue reading



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