29 April, 2014

Removing orphaned replica VM's

I have been working on a SAN replacement project with a customer, for me this also meant moving all VM workloads from the old SAN to the new SAN. Usually I work on VMware vSphere environments (Data Center Virtualisation) but this project also involved moving their VMware View 5 environment and View workloads.
With this View environment not using linked clones, the storage migration was pretty straight forward even for a DCV guy like me. At least until I came across VM's called Replica-GUID with which I could not do much as these VM's no longer existed within the View environment (assuming that they were leftovers from a linked clone experiment), but where still registered with vCenter.
So I thought, this should be easy just right click and "Remove from inventory" or "Delete from disk", but both of these "solutions" were grayed-out.
When I searched the VMware KB I came across a very detailed article on how to manually remove replica virtual machines KB1008704
Before I could start removing the replicas I wanted to double check if the VM's were really obsolete. The View admin thought / assumed that they were leftovers from a experiment or on-site training, as we all know assumptions are the mother of all #$&@.
Given the fact that they were powered off I figured why not check for how long they have been in this state. By using the datastore browser to locate the files corresponding with the Replica VM's and checking the "Modified" column I found these Replica VM's have not been altered / powered-on for over a year. This is what I was expecting and aligns with the thought of the View admin.
I started manually deleting the Replica VM's by following the steps outlined in KB 1008704, although this is pretty straightforward please do note that the used command SviConfig is case-sensitive.

At first I had absolutely not luck with removing the Replica VM's it looked like there was a permission / rights issue some where. But I used a user account with full Administrator access to vCenter, used the correct SQL user and pasword to access the View database and still no luck.
As it turns out, the vCenter user account you use, does not only need full Administrator privileges on the vCenter but it also needs Administrator privileges on the View environment (Composer, broker)

When searching for a solution to SviConfig not working at first, I came a cross a blog post of Terence Luk he explains in good detail how to use the SviConfig command. He even provides some extra info on top of the VMware KB article.

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