Abiquo 5.0

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Supported versions

ESXi 6.x

vCenter 6.x

ESXi 5.5 with known issues:

  • Abiquo HA is not supported. vMotion and DRS features are not affected by this.
  • NFS disks sizes reported in the UI are not correct. Functionality related to NFS disks is not affected

Configuration

vCenter

To connect to vCenter, Abiquo will require valid administration credentials and the port if you are not using the default of TCP 443.

Configure the port in the /opt/abiquo/config/abiquo.properties file on the Remote Services appliances if you are not using the default one:

abiquo.vcenter.port.connection = <Port No.>

Configure the firewall to allow access from the Remote Services appliance to the appropriate port. 

Notes:

  • Check VMware password character restrictions

Firewall and VNC

For the VNC connection to VMs through the "eye icon", add a custom firewall rule to define the ports that will be available to users.

You will also need to define the same range of VNC ports for Abiquo, so that it will allocate available ports. Define these ports with Abiquo Configuration Properties#vncport properties.

You cannot add a VNC firewall rule through the VMware console. Follow the steps below to add the firewall rule with the CLI (using SSH).

The following example shows how to add a custom firewall rule under ESXi 5 for ports 5900 to 5964.
(Credit vInfrastructure Blog)

1. Log in to the CLI for the ESXi as root user
2. Create the XML file

~ # vi /etc/vmware/firewall/Abiquo-vnc.xml

3. Add these lines (copy/paste) to the VI and save the file.

<!-- Firewall Rule for Abiquo VNC Console -->
<ConfigRoot>
 <service>         
  <id>Abiquo-VNC</id>   
  <rule id = '0000'>
    <direction>inbound</direction>
    <protocol>tcp</protocol>  
    <porttype>dst</porttype>    
    <port>      
      <begin>5900</begin>       
      <end>5964</end>          
    </port>              
  </rule>                 
  <rule id = '0001'>                       
   <direction>outbound</direction>  
   <protocol>tcp</protocol>      
   <porttype>dst</porttype>           
   <port>               
     <begin>5900</begin>                   
     <end>5964</end>                         
    </port>                                
  </rule>                                    
  <enabled>true</enabled>
  </service>             
</ConfigRoot> 

4. Refresh the rules and check it has been added;

~ # esxcli network firewall refresh
~ # esxcli network firewall ruleset list | grep Abiquo-VNC

Abiquo-VNC                    true

5. Optional step - Add a specific IP address to the rule for added security;

Set the status of the allowedAll flag to false

/etc/vmware/firewall # esxcli network firewall ruleset set --ruleset-id Abiquo-VNC --allowed-all false

Add the list of allowed IP addresses

/etc/vmware/firewall # esxcli network firewall ruleset allowedip add --ruleset-id Abiquo-VNC --ip-address 10.81.2.20/24

Networking

See How to configure Abiquo to use the Distributed Virtual Switch feature.

On the ESXi host, the vNICs must be attached to a vSwitch, which may be a DVS. Abiquo will automatically create a port group for the host.

Reconfigure an Existing ESX or ESXi Installation

If your host has already been configured with another vSwitch, you may need to delete the port group before adding the host in Abiquo.

NFS Datastores

It is possible to configure NFS Datastores on ESXi hypervisors. However, to allow access to persistent virtual machines and external storage volumes, you should configure the abiquo.esxi.datastoreRdm property to use iSCSI.

Set this property to the name of a VMFS datastore configured for RDM on the ESXi hypervisor, for example on an iSCSI LUN. If you create a persistent VM or add an additional iSCSI disk, ESXi will use the configured RDM datastore to map into the iSCSI LUN. If you create an auxiliary disk, ESXi will store it on the hypervisor's NFS datastore.

Configure the property with the name of the datastore in ESXi. For example, if the hypervisor has an NFS datastore named "datastore1" and an RDM datastore named "datastore2", configure it as:

abiquo.esxi.datastoreRdm = datastore2

All the ESXi hypervisors monitored by the same Abiquo Remote Services will use the same RDM datastore, so all of them should have the same datastore configured with the same name.

Note that ESXi datastores can only be configured with the datastore name – you cannot enter a directory as part of the datastore configuration.

Configuration for VMs with persistent disks only

If you are deploying only virtual machines that only have persistent disks (volumes on external storage devices, not the hypervisor datastore) then you must set the datastoreVmFile property.

See Abiquo Configuration Properties#esxi:

abiquo.esxi.datastoreVmFile = 

Thin Provisioning

Abiquo uses thin provisioning on ESXi. It is enabled for all VMs deployed using Abiquo, which will all be deployed with thin disks. If the disks are attached to an IDE controller, you can resize these disks outside Abiquo, using VMWare tools such as vCenter. Within Abiquo you can only resize disks attached to a SCSI controller, due to an ESXi limitation.

Rescanning External Storage Devices

Abiquo avoids performing a full HBA rescan of storage on ESX or ESXi for performance reasons. Instead it checks for a raw device mapping for a given IQN and LUN. However, if a volume has been removed or replaced in the storage device, Abiquo may try to attach a volume that does not exist or is completely different to the one previously configured.

This situation may occur with: managed storage volumes, generic iSCSI volumes and persistent virtual machines. It can be resolved by manually performing a full HBA rescan of all ESX or ESXi hosts that had raw device mappings for the devices involved.

Ignore datastores that are not writable

When the platform registers hypervisor datastores, it creates a datastore UUID folder. To ignore datastores that the platform does not have write access to, set the following property in the abiquo.properties file on the Remote Services server.

com.abiquo.esxi.experimental.unsafe.ignorebaddatastore=true

If you enable this property, the platform may remove datastores during an infrastructure check

Disk Controllers

You should check that the appropriate iSCSI adapters were enabled as part of the ESXi installation process. See How to enable iSCSI Initiator on ESXi

Abiquo recommends that you install the drivers for the appropriate SCSI controllers when preparing virtual machine templates that will be uploaded to the Abiquo platform.

SCSI Disk Controllers

Users can set the SCSI disk controller type and controller for ESXi. The supported disk controllers are listed in the following table.

ResourceSubType valuediskController saved in template and created on VMware
contains "bus"VirtualBusLogicController
contains "paravirtual"ParaVirtualSCSIController
contains "sas"VirtualLsiLogicSASController
other (default value)VirtualLsiLogicController

If the user does not set a controller, the defaults are:

  • IDE drivers for non-persistent primary disks because they are compatible with almost all operating systems and hypervisors.
  • SCSI drivers for persistent disks (persistent primary disks and data volumes) for performance reasons.
    • The default configuration set by the administrator in the abiquo.properties file

    • LSI Logic Parallel SCSI controller

      # Default VirtualSCSIController implementation when diskController is not 
      # specified. Range [lsilogic, paravirtual, bus, sas]
      #abiquo.esxi.scsicontroller=lsilogic 

      If the user does not set the controller before deployment, Abiquo attaches SCSI disks to the default controller.

Disk controller user information

  • Users can now set disk controller and disk controller type

    • You can set multiple controllers but only ONE of each type (e.g. you cannot set two LSI Logic controllers)

  • You can change the controller type after it is set


ESXi Disk Resize Capabilities

To resize disks of virtual machines running on ESXi using Abiquo, the disks must be:

  • SCSI disks on SCSI controller 
  • Thin provisioned disks

You cannot resize the primary disk of a virtual machine that is not allocated (not deployed)

Note that 

  • Abiquo uses thin provisioning by default
  • Disks of captured VMs may use thick provisioning, so may not be able to be resized

See VMware knowledge base article

vMotion support

Abiquo supports vMotion. See How to make VMware vMotion work with Abiquo for configuration information.

VMware specific properties

Log in to the Abiquo Remote Services machine (or if you performed a Monolithic installation log in to the Abiquo Server) and set the appropriate properties for your system to appropriate values in the /opt/abiquo/config/abiquo.properties file:

abiquo.esxi.datastoreRdm
abiquo.esxi.datastoreVmFile
abiquo.esxi.scsicontroller

RemoteDisplay.vnc.keyMap

com.abiquo.virtualfactory.esxi.timeoutConnectionMs
com.abiquo.virtualfactory.esxi.timeoutReadMs

abiquo.dvs.portgroup.loadsharingmechanism
abiquo.dvs.portgroup.maxsize

abiquo.vcenter.port.connection

abiquo.esxi.forcehardwareversion

Log in to the Abiquo Server and add the properties that apply to your system to the abiquo.properties file:

abiquo.vncport.min
abiquo.vncport.max

Features

This page describes the VMware ESXi features supported by Abiquo. You can manage VMware technology at the following levels: vCenter, ESXi, vCloud Director: ESXI feature support

  • Multiple SCSI controllers
  • Change of SCSI controller after configuration 
  • Property to specify downgrade of hardwareVersion for new virtual machines
  • Hot-add and hot-reconfigure options set in template and available in the Abiquo UI
  • Deploy of VMDK_STREAM_OPTIMIZED disks. 
  • Support in VM template for latest GuestOsIdentifier from vSphere. See Modify a VM Template#Operating system and OS version
  • Detect all HostProxySwitch as DVS without requiring a naming convention

  • Deprecated abiquo.dvs.enabled property
FeatureDescription
vCenter Server

(tick) Add vCenter as a master hypervisor with the appropriate credentials, and then add individual hypervisors

dvSwitch

(tick) Abiquo will use the vCenter credentials. User must have access to vCenter. Configure optional "dvs" properties as required.

High Availability
  • Abiquo supports vSphere HA
  • Abiquo High Availability does not support vCenter Server
    • Experimental support has been introduced for Abiquo HA with vCenter but without DVS. This configuration is not recommended
  • Abiquo will failover between two hosts of the same major version. In order to use Abiquo HA, all the hosts on the same rack should be of the same major version. Abiquo HA will not failover a VM from two hosts of different major versions.
Fault Tolerance(error) Abiquo does not support fault tolerance because it requires two VMs with the same name to be present in a cluster at the same time
Clusters(tick) The platform automatically detects clusters and displays them on the racks with the physical machines. Compute load level rules can be set at the cluster level
VM Live Migration

(tick) Abiquo supports vMotion of virtual machines, including those between hosts with different versions of ESXi

Storage Live Migration
  • Abiquo detects storage vMotion on all datastores
Templates

(tick) VMDK fixed ((star) default format)
(tick) VMDK sparse
(tick) VMDK stream optimized (deployed directly)

DVD

The DVD feature was replaced by the ISO feature but CD-ROM configurations may be supported on imported VMs

Remote Access

(tick) VNC - can be enabled/disabled through Abiquo including with hot-configure

  • Limitation: you cannot change the password with hot-reconfigure; you must reboot to update the VNC password for the VM
Network Drivers
  • E1000
  • PCNet32
  • VMXNET3
CPU hot-add 
RAM hot-add 

(tick) With supported guest operating system. The user can mark supported templates and perform hot-add

Disks hot-reconfigure
NICs hot-reconfigure 
Remote Access hot-reconfigure 

(tick) With supported guest operating system. The user can mark supported templates and perform hot-reconfigure
SDN using NSXAbiquo supports SDN using NSX in gateway and ECMP configurations. See Configure the NSX integration

Storage features

FeatureDescription
Datastores
Disk Controllers
  • Abiquo recommends that you configure disks to use SCSI controllers
  • In the Abiquo UI and API, you can configure controller type and controller for VM templates and VMs
    • By default the primary system disk will be mounted on an IDE controller
    • By default the auxiliary hard disks on the ESXi datastore are mounted on an IDE controller
  • Abiquo can also detect the SCSI controller from the OVF file
  • On VMware hypervisors Abiquo supports more than one type of SCSI controller
  • Set default and allowed with Abiquo Configuration Properties#pluginmetadata
SCSI Controllers
  • Default value: VirtualLsiLogicController 
  • OR can set from pull-down list or text containing one of the following values:
    • "paravirtual": ParaVirtualSCSIController
    • "bus": VirtualBusLogicController
    • "sas": VirtualLsiLogicSASController
  • If no controller is supplied at deploy time, and no default controller is set in properties, the platform default controller of lsilogic will be used
  • Abiquo allows you to set more than one type of SCSI controller
  • Abiquo allows you to change the SCSI controller before or after you deploy the VM
System disks

For all virtual machines deployed on ESX/ESXi hypervisors:

  • If disks are deployed from VMDK Sparse templates, they will be in Sparse format
  • If disks are deployed from VMDK templates or conversions from formats other than VMDK Sparse, they will be in flat/fixed formats with thin provisioning enabled
Persistent Virtual 
Machines

By default persistent virtual machine disks are mounted on IDE controllers

  • Abiquo recommends that you configure disks to use SCSI controllers
    In the Abiquo UI and API, you can configure controller type and controller for VM templates and VMs. See Modify a VM Template
  • Abiquo can also detect the SCSI controller from the OVF file. See Extended OVF Support and Template Definition
  • If using only persistent disks, set an esxi property to supply a datastore for VM definitions (datastoreVmFile)
Disk Resize

(tick) (warning) System disk resize
(tick) (warning) Hard disk resize

 (warning) Disks must be:

    • thin provisioned
    • iSCSI disks mounted on a SCSI controller
Storage Live Migration
  • Abiquo detects storage vMotion on all datastores