VMware vSphere 6.5 PSOD: GP Exception 13

While at a customer site, migrating an old vSphere 5.5 environment to 6.5, several hosts suddenly crashed with a PSOD during the migration. Long story short, we got hit by this: VMware KB 2147958: ESXi 6.5 host fails with PSOD: GP Exception 13 in multiple VMM world at VmAnon_AllocVmmPages (2147958)

It turned out that a bunch of the VMs we were vMotioning from the old environment had the cpuid.corePerSocket advanced setting set in the .vmx file, and this can cause ESXi 6.5 to enter a state of panic, and in our case it certainly did.

Upgrading the hosts to 6.5a, like the knowledgebase article states, alleviated the issue and we did not experience PSOD’s again while migrating the 100+ VMs from the old environment to the new one.

ESXi Snapshot Problems: msg.snapshot.error-QUIESCINGERROR

Photo by Sonja Langford

Just a quick post about something I experienced at a client, with ESXi 6.0 hosts, today:

If you have trouble performing VMware snapshots, and see a  msg.snapshot.error-QUIESCINGERROR error, check the host time settings and NTP.

In this case, snapshots of VMs located on other hosts in the cluster were fine, but once a VM was moved to the new host, snapshot operations failed after an hour or so.

It turns out a new host in the cluster was not properly set up to use NTP, and time drift between the host and the vCenter caused the snapshot failures. Correcting the time on the host and configuring NTP resolved the issue.

Always remember: If the problem isn’t DNS, it almost certainly is NTP.

Oh you can do that?: vSphere Platform Services Controller (PSC) topology and Omnigraffle

A little while ago William Lam published a little python script called extract_vsphere_deployment_topology.py that basically lets you export your current vSphere PSC topology as a DOT (graph description language) file. Great stuff, and in itself useful as is, especially if you run it through webgraphviz.com as William suggests.

The thing is, you might want to edit the topology map, change colours and fonts, and even move the boxes around, after you get the output. If you have a large environment, you might want to combine all your PSC topologies into a single document? It turns out, that’s pretty easy to do!

Omnigraffle Pro imports the DOT files natively, and lets you play around with the objects as if they were drawn in Omnigraffle from the beginning. Save the output from the script somewhere as a .dot file. Then open Omnigraffle and go to File -> Open and select the file.Screenshot 2016-05-22 21.10.12

Now, select the Hierarchical option, and you’ll get a nicely formatted canvas with your PSC components already laid out inside of Omnigraffle. Now you can edit it at will!

Screenshot 2016-05-22 21.13.56

As far as I can tell, this isn’t possible with Microsoft Visio, as it doesn’t support the DOT format, but you could always save it as a Visio file with Omnigraffle if you need to sent it to your more Microsoft inclined friends.

I’m sure there are more fun to be had with these DOT files, it’s just text files after all, perhaps someone can even code up a script that converts them to Visio .vdx files or some other format that Visio can import natively.