Common Problems running Metric Insights virtual machine on Laptops
Occasionally, it may be convenient to run a Metric Insights virtual appliance on your laptop. You might do this, for instance, if you want to try out our application and aren't able to obtain access to a suitable server. While this is certainly possible, please be advised of the following pitfalls.
The Metric Insights virtual appliance should be thought of as a full blown server with many moving components that require system resources. At least 2-4G of RAM should be allocated to the MI virtual appliance, as well as 1-2 CPU cores.
On some older VMware instances, pausing the Virtual Machine frequently could cause system clock time errors. Please make sure ntpd is running with:
# chkconfig --level 3 ntpd on
# service ntpd start
MySQL Table Crash
Sometimes, if you force shutdown your virtual machine (either directly or indirectly by your laptop losing battery, for example) on reboot the MySQL database files can be in a crashed and corrupted state. MySQL will attempt to recover this at startup, but this could result in system outage until the database is completely recovered.
Changing IP addresses / Networks with Bridged Networking
By default, it is recommended to use 'bridged' networking for the virtual machine's network adapter. This means that the virtual network adapter will try to get another DHCP address and act just like another machine on your local network. If you move your laptop from one network to another, the virtual appliance is not smart enough to get a new IP address. If you change networks or temporarily lose network connectivity, you may need to force the Virtual Machine to get a new IP address. A simple way to fix this is to reboot the Virtual Machine, or you can login to the VM and run the following commands:
# service network restart && /etc/rc.local
This will print out the new IP address of your MI virtual machine. One other solution to this problem is to use NAT networking, but see NAT Networking below for more information.
VPN Connectivity with Bridged Networking
If you have a VPN client running on your laptop, and the Virtual Machine is set up to use Bridged Networking, then your MI virtual machine will _not_ be able to contact your VPN network. In order to get the network routing to work correctly, you will need to use NAT networking (see below) or install another VPN client on the virtual linux system, which could be quite involved depending on your VPN solution. Consult your local network administrator to see if this is possible.
Limitations of NAT networking (sharing laptop's network connection with the virtual machine)
Setting the virtual machine's network adapter to use NAT networking will cause the Virtual Machine to share your laptop's network address. This allows you to take advantage of your laptop's VPN client and not suffer from problems when you change your laptop's IP address or network.
If you choose to use NAT networking, there is one big limitation, and that's that you will only be able to view the ip address that the Virtual Machine supplies at startup from your laptop. So, under NAT networking, when you see this in your virtual machine startup message:
Welcome to the Metric Insights Demo!
Please point your browser to:
The IP address is only accessible from your laptop. If you want to be able to access your Metric Insights virtual machine from another machine (for sharing with a colleague, for example), you will need to do some extra legwork and setup port forwarding as described here: http://help.metricinsights.com/m/Deployment_and_Configuration/l/104502-expose-metric-insights-on-vmware-when-using-nat-networking
In order to share MI with your colleagues, then, you will need to use your laptop's IP address, not the IP address reported by Metric Insights (there is unfortunately no way for the virtual machine to get your laptop's IP address).