Thursday, August 25, 2011

vSphere 5 is now available!

According to Yellow Bricks, it is now available for download. I'll update with links as soon as I get to a computer, but here is Yellow Bricks post.

Dustin Shaw

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Exchange 2010 and IE9 Issues

Ran across a known issue with Exchange 2010 and IE9. How do I know it was a known issue? I happened to be on the phone with Microsoft Support at the time for another issue...

The error that this combination causes is that you cannot close the Exchange Management Console in Exchange 2010. When you try to close it you receive the error message "You must close all dialog boxes before you can close Exchange Management Console."

My friendly guy on the Microsoft call told me that there is currently no fix - they are expecting to have a patch out around Q4 2011. The current fix, according to him, was "Don't install it. And uninstall it if you have already." I almost forgot to mute the phone before I started laughing. Gotta love when Microsoft tells you to not keep your computer up to date because it will break it...

So I decided to do some research on my own and (easily) found an article here with the fix.

Basically what you need to do is disable the Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration, then add https://localhost to the trusted sites in IE and your good to go.

Dustin Shaw

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

vSphere 5

A number of vSphere 5 official announcements came out today. You can check them out on VMware's official site.

Dustin Shaw

Friday, June 24, 2011

View Pool Issues

Had a client call me this morning with an issue with one of his VMware View 4.5 pool. He said that his users were having issues logging into their desktops. They could login, but it was taking a long time to login. When he went to double check the settings in the pool he found that his vCenter Settings tab was red and the error it stated:
Cannot find host or cluster for this pool.

Since I set it all up for him initally, he stopped there and thought he'd better differ to the expert. Oh, and yes it does say "Data-Denter" - he's dislexic (aren't we all?)

I dug in further and found the following other errors. When clicking on "Browse" to chose Host or cluster, I received this error:
Server Error
One of the required objects is not found in vCenter Server vcenter.

When I looked at the desktops, they all had the same error listed:
Resource Cluster \'/Data-Center/host/Cluster/Resources\' not found for pool: Poolname

Since it was a Floating resource pool with no persistent desktops, I decided the quickest and easiest thing to do for him would be to just create a new pool based of the same image (I'm going to have to give him a refresher on Recomposing; it looks like he is still running off the image I helped him create over a year ago). I disabled his old pool and told him to delete it once he felt comfortable that everything was running good on the new one.

Afterwords, I decided to glance around for an answer, and found this VMware KB article:
Editing an existing pool in the VMware View web admin interface fails with the error: One of required objects is not found in the VirtualCenter server <IP address>

Nothing has changed on his environment. He only has the vSphere Essentials bundle (he has a small shop with only 2 hosts), so he doesn't have any actual Resource Clusters. This is my thought as to where the corruption came from, but I've got nothing to confirm my suspicions. If anyone has some thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.

Dustin Shaw

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Purple Screen of Death - Dell issues

You may notice I don't post a lot of issues on here. That's because we frankly don't have a whole lot of issues. I personally attribute it to using Best Practices, and regular maintenance. That said, things will still get lost in the weeds occasionally.

We ran into the Purple Screen of Death on one of our ESX 4.1 boxes yesterday. It is a Dell R610, and apparently had a hardware hiccup, and kicked out errors stating:

Tue Apr 19 21:09:15 2011
PCIE Fatal Err: Critical Event sensor, bus fatal error (Bus 1 Device 0 Function 1) was asserted
Tue Apr 19 21:09:15 2011
Err Reg Pointer: OEM sensor, OEM Diagnostic data event was asserted
Tue Apr 19 21:09:15 2011
PCIE Fatal Err: Critical Event sensor, bus fatal error (Bus 1 Device 0 Function 0) was asserted
Tue Apr 19 21:09:15 2011
Err Reg Pointer: OEM sensor, OEM Diagnostic data event was asserted

We rebooted the box, and it came back online just fine, but we didn't feel comfortable with it, so we stuck it in maintenance mode and had someone contact Dell. Dell reports that we need to update the Bios on it:


Yes, it appears your system is affected by some of the microcode updates released from Intel on the 5500 and 5600 series processors.  That is likely the cause of these PCI errors.  The course of action we need to take is:

·         Update the BIOS

·         Update the iDRAC

·         Clear out the old log entries

·         Monitor for re-occurance.


So it's sitting in maintenance mode until someone has some time to love on it. The awesome thing is that we run N+1 (one more box than we need) so we have that luxury. I know plenty of people that refuse to listen to why you should go N+1 who would be scrambling to make a maintenance window to update it.

The downside to this whole fiasco was that when it hiccupped, it stayed online (as is the default with ESX), and held onto the Storage of it's VMs. Therefore, HA couldn't restart them on another box until someone manually SHUT OFF the pretty Purple-VM-Eater. As soon as they did that, all was well in the world and the phone stopped ringing.

Since I'm not fond on relying on manual intervention to make HA work, I found the command for auto-restart when a PSoD happens and applied to ALL our hosts:

esxcfg-advcfg -s X /Misc/BlueScreenTimeout

Were X = number of seconds before restart

I went with 30 seconds, that way I have the opportunity of seeing the screen if I so happen to be looking at it when it dies.

Dustin Shaw

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

vSphere 5 Around the Corner!

VMware recently announced vSphere 5 will be coming July-August time frame 2011.

Three big new features will be included when it does come:

Storage DRS

Just like you use DRS to help you manage the workload on your hosts, Storage DRS will help you manage the workload on your SANs. The essential workup is that you'll be able to group your storage into storage pods that you can allow Storage DRS to manage what goes where based on capacity. Pretty cool, if you are dealing with some complicated storage situations.

SRM Host-Based Replication
This buys you the ability to use SRM even if you have disparing storage at your different locations.

Network I/O Control for VMs

This allows you the option to reserve bandwidth for high-priority VMs when you've got a congested network. Very useful control to have, depending on your network layout and configuration.

Another anouncement that VMware has made about vSphere 5 - it's ESXi all the way. That's right, ESX will be discontinued in favor of it's lighter, tigher cousin. I mentioned that this was coming before, but now it's actually here. Hope you are ready for migration!

VMware won't leave you figuring it out on your own, though. They recommend that you start migrating off ESX to ESXi now in preparation for the move to vSphere 5. Here is their Info Center about it, and here is their Migration Guide.
Dustin Shaw

Friday, March 11, 2011

Basics of Installing VMware View 4.6

We just got View 4.6 up and running in our Demo environment, and here are the basic take-aways that we have.
  1. Windows 2008R2 is the minimum for VMware View Secure Gateway. Or Demo Environment was previously on 2003R2, so we had to do an upgrade.
  2. You have to update all of your View Base Images to the View 4.6 Agent.
  3. You have to install the latest version of VMware Tools in your View Base Images
  4. A number of Microsoft Patches need to be installed on your View Base Images:
  5. You must remove all previous Snap Shots, and start fresh for your Linked Clones

Dustin Shaw

VMware View released for iPad

VMware released the VMware View App for the iPad this week.

This allows you to use PCoIP on the iPad; the only App previously was the Wyse PocketCloud, which limited you to using RDP through View.
You can see the app in iTunes here.

VMware has also created a forum for the VMware View for iPad App to discuss feature requests, issues, and ideas.

The new app will work with VMware View 4.6 or later, not with View 4.5, so if you aren't yet upgraded to View 4.6 (which came out at the end of Febrary), you'll need to first.

Dustin Shaw

Friday, February 25, 2011

VMware View 4.6 Released

With very little fanfare, VMware slid View 4.6 onto the market yesterday.

One of the noticeable improvements in View 4.6 is the support for PCoIP connections through the Secure Gateway. There are also some USB compatibility addressed for iPhones, iPads, and scanners; keyboard mapping improvements, and updated timeout settings for SSO users. Plus a minor 160 bug fixes.

You can download View 4.6 from VMware with a free 60 day trial if you want.

For your convenience, here's the "What's New" section of the Release Notes:

What's New in View 4.6

VMware View 4.6 includes the following new features:
  • Security servers can now accommodate PCoIP connections - Security servers now include a PCoIP Secure Gateway component. The PCoIP Secure Gateway connection offers the following advantages:
    • The only remote desktop traffic that can enter the corporate data center is traffic on behalf of a strongly authenticated user.
    • Users can access only the desktop resources that they are authorized to access.
    • No VPN is required, as long as PCoIP is not blocked by any networking component.
    • Security servers with PCoIP support run on Windows Server 2008 R2 and take full advantage of the 64-bit architecture.
  • Enhanced USB device compatibility - View 4.6 supports USB redirection for syncing and managing iPhones and iPads with View desktops. This release also includes improvements for using USB scanners, and adds to the list of USB printers that you can use with thin clients. For more information, see the list of View Client resolved issues.
  • Keyboard mapping improvements - Many keyboard-related issues have been fixed. For more information, see the list of View Client resolved issues.
  • New timeout setting for SSO users - With the single-sign-on (SSO) feature, after users authenticate to View Connection Server, they are automatically logged in to their View desktop operating systems. This new timeout setting allows administrators to limit the number of minutes that the SSO feature is valid for.

    For example, if an administrator sets the time limit to 10 minutes, then 10 minutes after the user authenticates to View Connection Server, the automatic login ability expires. If the user then walks away from the desktop and it becomes inactive, when the user returns, the user is prompted for login credentials. For more information, see the VMware View Administration documentation.
  • VMware View 4.6 includes more than 160 bug fixes - For descriptions of selected resolved issues, see Resolved Issues.
  • Experimental support for Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 RC operating systems

Dustin Shaw

Thursday, February 10, 2011

VMware View Client Fails to Connect

If you just recently installed Microsoft Windows Updates on your Windows 7 machine, you'll soon discover that two of them broke the VMware View Client 4.5.

VMware recommends in their KB Article that you update to the latest patch of the View Client (the latest patch available on their website is Build 353760), or uninstall the two offending MS Updates (KB2482017 & KB2467023).

Essentially the two patches are to fix holes in Internet Explorer and to address issues that occur when the system binaries are unloaded and loaded. Installing either of these updates will break the VMware View Client so that it will not connect to the View Connection Server. The behavior I experienced was that it appeared as if the VMware View Client locked up after I clicked on Connect.

To fix it, simply download the patch, install, and your back in the game.

Here's the text of the VMware KB Article for your convinience:

Unable to connect from the View Client on Windows 7 to the View Connection Server after installing the patch in Microsoft Knowledge Base article 2482017 or 2467023


  • Unable to connect from the View Client on Windows 7  to the View Connection Server
  • Connecting the View Client on Windows 7 to the View Connection Server fails
  • You have installed one or both these Microsoft patches 2482017 or 2467023


This issue occurs when you have installed one of these Microsoft patches, 2482017 or 2467023.
If you have already installed these patches, you can install VMware View Client (build 353760) or uninstall the Microsoft patches.
If you have not installed these patches, delay the installation of the Microsoft patches until you have installed VMware View Client (build 353760).
VMware View Client build 353760 has been tested on: 
  • Windows 7 Enterprise 32 bit +  Internet Explorer 8
  • Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit +  Internet Explorer 8
  • Windows 7 Home 32 bit +  Internet Explorer 8 
The View Client patch can be downloaded from here. Enter your credentials, accept the EULA and download the appropriate file:
  • If you are using Windows 7 32-bit, use VMware-viewclient-4.5.0-353760.exe.
  • If you are using Windows 7 64-bit, use VMware-viewclient-x86_64-4.5.0-353760.exe.
Note: If you are using View Client 4.0.x and are experiencing this issue, you can install the appropriate View Client 4.5 for your environment.
Disclaimer: Using Windows 7 with a View Client 4.0.x is not supported, so this information is provided as is, and without testing.
To apply this patch 
  1. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs.
  2. Choose the previously installed VMware View Client and click Remove.
  3. Navigate to where you downloaded VMware-viewclient-xxx-4.5.0-353760.exe and run the executable file.
  4. Follow the installation installation wizard to complete installation.
  5. Reboot the computer.
Note: VMware View Clients with build number 353760 or later are not affected by this issue.

Dustin Shaw

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Migrate from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010

I ran across a great article by Jaap Wesselius that gives you a step-by-step on upgrading Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010.

You can find it here.
If you follow it through straight from beginning to end, you can't go wrong.

Dustin Shaw

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

vRanger 5.0 is released!

As of January 31, 2011, Quest vRanger 5.0 is now publicly available and out of beta.

There are now two versions of vRanger available: vRanger Standard Edition 5.0 and vRanger Pro 5.0. Pro buys you these additional features that people have been looking forward to: Replication, LAN Free, Catalog, and Linux FLR. Here's a look at them:

vReplicator is integrated into vRanger Pro
You no longer have to buy two separate products to do backups and replication if you choose to go the Quest route. You can use one single product for both.

Support for NFS and FTP Repositories
We already had support for CIFS and SFTP targets. The addition of NFS and FTP gives more flexibility on what you can use as a backup target. They didn't integrate credentials into the NFS support, however, so you will need to make sure that you lock down your NFS shares in other ways.

Linux File Level Restores
I know a number of people who are excited about this one. You've always been able to do FLR on Windows VMs, and now you can do the same with LinuxVMs.

You now have the option to catalog your file and directory structure during the backup process, rather than having to wait for it to propagate during your restore process. Awesome thing if you are always doing the type of restore where someone is sitting over your shoulder because they needed the file (that they deleted, coincidentally) yesterday; now they can't scream at you for it taking too long. My concern is that it might increase the backup window (one of the big selling points for vRanger for me is the speed) - I'm going to have to test it out and see.

LAN Free Restores over Fibre
Allows you do restores on your fibre network without touching the bandwidth on your lan.

What's Missing

Unfortunately, I notice several key features missing that were promised, that we will probably have to wait for vRanger 6.0 (current due date 2012) until they are released:

Direct-to-Target backups from ESXi (it has to backup using the vRanger box as a proxy) via a Virtual Appliance. You can currently do Direct-to-Target from ESX, but due to the lack of service console on ESXi, it will need a VA.

FlashRestore, which allows you to start running a VM before it finishes restoring. Very cool for those who are under a time crunch (wait, I believe that's the whole IT industry).

If you want to read more, or download a trial, you can from the Quest vRanger Website.

Dustin Shaw