How to generate a full memory DUMP of a VM

Windows DUMP file provides information about the cause of the system crash. But generating a DUMP file on the ESXi system is a bit different. So, will look at the steps. We have divided the process into 2 main steps.

Step 01 – Create and download a VM snapshot

  • In the VMware environment, select the virtual machine that has issues.
  • Replicate the issue on the virtual machine.
  • Right-click the virtual machine and click Snapshots → Take snapshot.

  • Type the name, select the check box next to Snapshot the Virtual Machine’s memory and click OK.

  • Select the virtual machine and click Datastores and click the datastore name.
  • Select the virtual machine, select the .vmsn file (VMware Snapshot file), click Download and save the file locally.

Step 02 – Use the vmss2core tool to create a memory dump from the virtual machine snapshot

  • Download Vmss2core.
  • Select the check box next to I have read and agree to the Technical Preview License I also understand that Flings are experimental and should not be run on production systems. Select the file for your operating system from the drop-down menu (for example, if you want to run the tool on Windows, select vmss2core-sb-8456865.exe) and click Download.
  • Place the vmss2core tool and the VMware snapshot file into the same folder.
  • Run the vmss2core (vmss2core-sb-8456865.exe) in the command line with the following parameters.
  • Specify the guest operating system from which the snapshot was created.

Use quotes if the filename contains blank spaces.

vmss2core-sb-8456865.exe -W8 “virtual_machine_name.vmsn”

  • -W8 —Windows 8 and later or Windows Server 2012 and later.
  • -W —Windows 7 and older or Windows Server 2008 and older.

Finally, you may use the WinDbg tool to analyze the generated Windows DUMP file. 

Overview of VMware Horizon DaaS

Will focus on VMware Horizon Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering that is specifically designed for VMware Service Provider Partners (VSPP).

Horizon DaaS allows Service Providers to:

  • Provide a single management console for provisioning and delivering virtual desktops and applications from the service provider service center
  • Host multi-tenants, providing dedicated compute resources across dedicated or shared VMware vSphere clusters
  • Allows tenants to bring in their own network services (Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, File Servers, etc.) to provide the same level of security and control as if the workloads were running on-premises

High Level DaaS Architecture

Components of VMware Horizon DaaS

Horizon Version Manager applianceHVM Provides orchestration and automation for Horizon DaaS components. The HVM holds the appliance template, and runtime scripts, which allow for the automatic creation of the Service Provider appliances and the Resource Manager appliances. This is a Linux virtual appliance that is deployed from an OVA file in vCenter Server.

Horizon Air Link appliance – Once the HVM appliance is deployed and the template and scripts copied to the machine, the next stage to deploy the HAL appliance from the HVM admin portal. The HAL is responsible for sending API operations to the vCenter Server to create the appliances.

Service Provider appliances – This is deployed as a pair for high availability. The SP provides the Service Provider administrators access to a web-based portal (Service Center) where they can manage the Horizon DaaS environment. This is the main console from where tenants are deployed, which resource cluster they use, as well as creating desktop collections, which are essentially capacity models for virtual desktops.

Resource Manager appliances – Like the SPs, this is deployed by the HAL in a pair. The role of the RM is to provide access and show the hardware resources available from the vCenter Server(s) that is configured for Horizon DaaS. The RM allows the Service Provider administrators to configure the compute resources for the tenants by allocating resources.

Tenant appliances – The tenant appliances (pair) TA are created from the Service Center portal. You configure the settings for the tenant, such as quotas for user licensing and desktop capacity. Per tenant, a pair is being created.

Unified Access Gateway – This is a hardened Linux appliance that is deployed within the DMZ network to provide secure incoming traffic from external environments. External Horizon Clients make a connection to the UAG and do not see the backend environment, it is the UAG that communicates with the backend Horizon environment. The UAG supports multi-factor authentication to provide further security when accessing virtual desktops and applications from the Internet. The new UAGs will have the capability of SSL offloading as seen on ADC Application Delivery Controllers.

Below is the list of official documentation provided by the Vendor.