VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) – installation, configuration and usage

VMware-vSphere-Management-Assistant-5

vMA - what is it?

VMware vSphere Management Assistant (vMA) is appliance based on Linux system which can be used as centralized management point in VMware environment. It has several tools used in VMware environment like: vCLI, resxtop, vifs or vmware-cmd. vMA after initial configuration is quite handy if you manage several hosts.

vMA - installation

In order to install vMA you have to download it from VMware website. Here is link to latest available vMA version 5.5.0 https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?productId=352&downloadGroup=VMA550.

In order to deploy it we simply have to follow OVF Template deployment.

  1. Click right mouse button on cluster (in my case) and select Deploy OVF Template. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - installation 1
  2. If you downloaded it locally select Local File and point to ovf file. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - installation 2
  3. Review details and click next. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - installation 3
  4. Accept EULAs. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - installation 4
  5. Provide name for your vMA and select desired place for it in you infrastructure. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - installation 5
  6. Select desired storage placement. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - installation 6
  7. Select network setup. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - installation 7
  8. Click finish and wait for ovf deployment. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - installation 8
  9. Summary of appliance after deployment. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - installation 10

vMA - configuration

After we successfully deployed vMA we need to power it on and configure it.

VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - installation 11

  1. Hit 6 and set IP address and netmask. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - configuration 2
  2. Hit 2 and enter default gateway according to your network setup. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - configuration 3
  3. Hit 4 and provide DNS server. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - configuration 4
  4. Hit 3 and enter desired hostname. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - configuration 5
  5. Hit 1 to end configuration. Now we need to enter new password for default vMA user vi-admin. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - configuration 6
  6. After password change vMA will be configured and you will see following screen in console. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - configuration 7
  7. You can login using browser https://vMA\IP\ADDRESS:5480 where you can configure if needed vMA. You can check for updates, set time zone, or reboot vMA. VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - configuration 8

vMA - usage

As vMA acronym says - vSphere Management Assistant, we installed it to manage ESXi hosts. Before we start executing command from vMA we need to add remote host. In order to do it we use following command.

vifp addserver esxi01.marusiak.local --authpolicy fpauth --username root --password Password

We can verify if server was added correctly using this command.

vifp listservers

As you see I added my three ESXi hosts.

VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - usage 1

In order to execute commands against any of added hosts we use following command.

vifptarget -s esxi01.marusiak.local

VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - usage 2

As you see I am in a context of specific host and I can execute remote commands on it.

VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - usage 3

vMA - optional configuration

We have two optional configuration items which I would like to share here.

Join vMA to Active Directory - to do it first ESXi host has to be added to domain as well. You can use my post https://www.wojcieh.net/vmware-esxi-5-5-active-directory-authentication-step-by-step/ as a reference how to configure it. Once this step is finished you can join vMA in Active Directory using following command

sudo domainjoin-cli join marusiak.local administrator

You will be prompted with vi-admin password and later on with domain administrator user password. As it says on the screen VMware suggest to reboot vMA after joining Active Directory domain.

VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - optional configuration 1

After reboot we can easily login to vMA using domain credentials.

VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - optional configuration 2

**Use fastpass with vCenter **- instead of providing credentials for each ESXi server we can use vCenter with vMA. Simply add connection using following command

vifp addserver vCenter.marusiak.local --authpolicy adauth

After that command executes we can execute esxcli or vicfg without specifying username and password.