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 9

vMA – configuration

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

VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - configuration 1

  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 provideDNS server.
    VMware vSphere Management Assistant 5.5 (vMA) - configuration 4
  4. Hit 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.

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

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.

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 http://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

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

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

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Wojciech Marusiak
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Wojciech Marusiak

Consultant at VMware Global, Inc.
I am innovative and experienced VMware and Windows Server Engineer with over 10 years in the IT industry specializing in VMware virtualization and Microsoft Server environment.

My experience and skills has been proven by leading vendor certifications like VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration, VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design, VMware Certified Professional 6 - Data Center Virtualization, VMware Certified Professional 6 - Network Virtualization, Microsoft MCITP Server Administrator, ITIL V3, VMware vExpert 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Award.

My blog wojcieh.net - was voted #50 in TopvBlog 2016 contest!
Wojciech Marusiak
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