Saturday, 2 August 2014

Tips for vMA deployment

Installing  the vMA appliance is a straightforward affair . But the same can not be told about configuring the vMA and put it to use for your command prompt based management of vSphere environment . Here I am sharing some of the tips to make your life easier with vMA.
let us start with link to download your vMA  , find the 5.1 version here and 5.5 version here 
Once downloaded , install vMA as an appliance from your vSphere Client software . It is a configured Linux box which will be installed to your ESXi host as a VM .
The first issue you will face  when you try to power up your vMA is related to IP pools . Make sure you defined an IP pool at datacenter level and associate your network portgroup with that IP pool

Remember that root is not the login user for this appliance for us . You have to use the account v-admin for the login . The initial password is blank and you can faceset a password which must be really complex.
once you manged to power on the vMA , you can reach the console to configure the ip , subnet , gateway and DNS for the appliance . But if you did not set the additional parameters like gateway and DNS , setting it from the command prompt of vMA appliance is challenging for a non-Linux guy.  In that case the " system-config-network-tui"  is a great help  . just run this command as the super user and it will guide you through the step by step process of setting up the ip parameters once gain . type

sudo system-config-network-tui  

once you enter  the DNS information , you can connect the vMA to an active directory . for that type
                                        sudo domainjoin-cli join  administrator 
it will ask for the ADS admins password and will join the domain
The next issue normally faced by a virtual admin is to access the vMA remotely using putty  . When I tried it for the first time , it showed me a message like this .

It is the issue with the default settings of the hosts.allow file in the etc folder of vMA , ie  /etc/hosts.allow file
edit this file using vi editor and all line  sshd:  ALL:ALLOW and save the file .
Since this is a read only system file , the vi editor wil not be able to save it even if you try to  override the read only option with w! option. so make sure you run vi editor using sudo command .
ie , sudo vi /etc/hosts.allow  ,  press i to enter insert mode , add line sshd: ALL:ALLOW   , press escape , press full colon , type w! to save it .
and now you can login to vMA using putty as shown below

hope these tips will act as a reference to some  issues normally facing when installing vMA . You can share your experience also using the comment system .

Some additional thoughts :
when we add esxi host as a fp target server , vi-fastpass creates two users on the target server and stores the password information on vMA. users are vi-admin  and vi-user

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