Uncategorized

...now browsing by category

 

Different App-V flavors

wtorek, Listopad 18th, 2014

App-V is a great technology that can get a bit confusing in terms of naming and flavors of App-V availabled. I’d say there are three types of App-V types that can be used in different situations and different implementations. Mind that applications sequenced with one type of App-V might not work with another.

  1. App-V for Desktops

It is a part of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack so to download it you need to be able to login to Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Centre. App-V for Desktops enables providing applications to users with an App-V agent installed on their desktops. Clients can use App-V infrastructure with the Publishing Server or can load applications directly from application packages stored on a share or locally.

App-V for Desktops can be downloaded also as a part of TechNet or MSDN subscription.

  1. App-V for Remote Desktop Services

It is easily downloadable from Microsoft Download Center http://www.microsoft.com/pl-pl/download/details.aspx?id=22011 but to use it you need to have RDS Client Access Licenses. App-V for RDS provides virtualizaed applications to remote desktops that can be used by users who connects to the desktops.

App-V for RDS can also be downloaded also as a part of TechNet or MSDN subscription.

  1. Server App-V

This App-V flavor is used for System Center Vitrtual Machine Manager to „inject” application into services (virtual machines). The sequencer and agents are available on VMM installation media. Note that if you sequence your application with for example App-V dfor Desktops and put it into VMM library, it will not be imported correctly. Use Server App-V sequencer instead.

Citrix Mobility Warszawa 2013

piątek, Listopad 15th, 2013

19 listopada odbędzie się w Warszawie konferencja Citrix Mobility 2013. Agenda do znalezienia tutaj. Udział w konferencji jest darmowy.

Definite guide to iSCSI with FreeNAS on ESX(i) – Part 2 – FreeNAS installation and configuration

środa, Październik 17th, 2012

This is Part 1 of the definite guide to iSCSI with FreeNAS on ESX(i). Make sure to check out the other parts as well.

1. Introduction
2. FreeNAS installation and configuration
3. Configuring iSCSI on ESX 3.5 (standard vswitch)
4. Configuring iSCSI on ESXi 5.1 (standard vswitch)
5. Configuring iSCSI on a distributed vswitch
6. Migrating iSCSI from a standard to a distributed vswitch

 

2. FreeNAS installation and configuration

FreeNAS will be installed and configured in the same way for both ESX 3.5 and 4.x/5.x so you can follow this point no matter which version you are planning to use. There will be an additional step if you are doing it in the nested environment.

Download iso with FreeNAS from here. At the time of writing the newest stable version is 8.2.0.

Create a new virtual machine and install FreeNAS machine. I advise to create one small disk for FreeNAS system files and the bigger one for the iSCSI storage we will present to ESX hosts later (where you will be able to create VMFS datastore or map it as a RDM). The installation procedure is trivial.

The only configuration necessary after it is installed is setting up networking. Open a console and assign an IP address, then complete the configuration of FreeNAS system or go ahead to the next point.

Open your favorite browser on the machine that has got a network connectivity with FreeNAS server and enter the IP address you configured for FreeNAS.

NAS configuration portal main page

NAS configuration portal main page

Click on Services and find iSCSI. It is disabled by default so click on the slider to turn it on.

Enabling iSCSI service

Enabling iSCSI service

Click on the tool icon next to iSCSI and begin service configuration. In  the upper menu select Portals.

No portal created yet

No portal created yet

A portal is an IP address and port your iSCSI NAS will be listening on. Click Add Portal button and insert portal’s name, IP and port (the default port 3260 is already there and you can leave it as it is or change it if neccessary).

Creating a new portal

Creating a new portal

Portal configured

Portal configured

Click on Initialtors in the upper menu. By default there is no authorized initiator group configured so no one can connect to the portal configured before.

No authorized initiators configured

No authorized initiators configured

Be creating an initiators group you can select who will be able to connect. Click on Add Initiator button. In my example below by using „ALL” keyword I explicitly allow anyone to connect. However, you can of course restrict the access to certain initiators’ names or authorized networks.

Everyone's invited... but not the safest configuration!

Everyone's invited... but not the safest configuration!

No we will bind the target with the initiator group by creating a target. In the upper menu you will find Targets button – click it and select Add Target. Select the target and the initiator group you created before. Give a meaningful name to your target. For the rest of the filds you can leave defauts.

Putting the portal and the initiator group together into target

Putting the portal and the initiator group together into target

While the portal answers the question „how?” and initiator group „who?”, the extent answers to „where?”. Well, if you connect, you’d like to get access to something, right? We will use the second disk (remember when I told you at the beggining to create the FreeNAS virtual machine with two disks? If you didn’t, do it now) to  be presented by iSCSI portal to authorized initiators. In the upper menu find Device Extents. Click Add Extent. If you have a second disk in your FreeNAS VM you will be able to select it in the Disk device menu:

Using a raw disk as a device extent

Using a raw disk as a device extent

The last things to do is to put all elements together and add the extent to the target. In the upper menu select Associated targets. Click the Add Extent to Target button.

Putting everything together...

Putting everything together...

From the menus select your target and extent. Click ok. You’re done.

Target + Extent = happy NAS

Target + Extent = happy NAS

Now if you cofigured everything correctly, you will be able to see the LUN from your ESX hosts. Check out the next parts of the guide to see how.

At the beggining I found it confusing to get what goes with what so I created this diagram to help you with that.

FreeNAS configuration diagram

FreeNAS configuration diagram

Upgrade to vSphere 5.1 – Part 4 – Upgrading the hosts with Update Manager

środa, Październik 10th, 2012

This is part 4 of the series Upgrading to vSphere 5.1. Make sure to check out the other parts as well.

Part 1 – Upgrading a stand-alone host
Part 2 – Prerequisites for upgrading with Update Manager 1/2
Part 3 – Prerequisites for upgrading with Update Manager 2/2
Part 4 – Upgrading the hosts with Update Manager
Part 5 – Upgrading virtual machines
Part 6 – Upgrading datastores

VMware documentation on the upgrade can be found here.

When you upgraded Update Manager, it’s time to upgrade the hosts themselves in the easiest and the most efficient way. Connect with vSphere client to your vCenter and select Plug-ins > Manage Plug-ins… Scroll down to Available Plug-ins, select VMware vSphere Update Manager Extension and install it.

Downloading Update Manager plug-in

Downloading Update Manager plug-in

Close the client and login again. Go to Hosts and Clusters view and click the tab Update Manager. In the upper-right corner click on Admin view and go to ESXi Images tab. Click on Import ESXi image and point to ESXi 5.1 iso.

Uploading the ESXi 5.1 image

Uploading the ESXi 5.1 image

Wait till it is uploaded.

Upload completed successfully

Upload completed successfully

Click on Baselines and Groups tab and view baselines for hosts. Click on Create… to create a new baseline that we will use to upgrade your hosts. Give your new baseline a meaningful name (like ‘ESX 5.1′ in my case) and make sure that you select Host Upgrade type.

Selecting the baseline type

Selecting the baseline type

Select the ESXi image you uploaded before and complete the creation of your baseline.

Selecting uploaded image to be included in the baseline

Selecting uploaded image to be included in the baseline

Under baselines there will be your new baseline. Now go back to Compliance View (click on the link in the upper-right corner). Select your host from the server list on the left side and click on Attach… (upper-right). Select the baseline you created to be attached to your host.

Attaching a correct baseline

Attaching a correct baseline

When done select the attached baseline called ‘ESXi 5.1′ and click on Scan… (you’re right, the upper-right corner). You may scan for upgrades only. When the scan is finished your host should be listed as Non-Compliant.

Host showing as non-compliant

Host showing as non-compliant

We will make it compliant by applying the attached baseline with ESXi upgrade. Click on Remediate… (no Stage possible as upgrades cannot be staged). Accept EULA

License agreements

License agreements

and configure your upgrade settings.

Upgrade settings

Upgrade settings

Upgrade settings

Upgrade settings

Wait till the upgrade is finished. Your host will reboot during the upgrade process.

Remediation completed

Remediation completed

The host is reporting version 5.1

The host is reporting version 5.1

Update Manager failure on ESX 3.5 – expired secure key

piątek, Październik 5th, 2012

I don’t know if there is anyone who has not done it already but if you have got some old hosts and you have not touched them since June, 1st 2011, you will be suprised to find out that you not only cannot apply patches to this server with Update Manager but even scan it. Update Manager will give you a generic error message:

“VMware vCenter Update Manager had an unknown error. Check the Tasks and Events tab and log files for details.”

is caused by expired signature key and VMware KB1030001 fixes it. You will need to apply a patch (or two) and this is how:

  • Connect with SCP to your host, create sowhere a directory called „patching” and copy the downloaded zip there.
  • Extract the zip on your workstation and copy its content to the same directory on your host. Now you should have on your host in the „patching” directory both zip and its extracted content.
  • Connect with ssh or a local console to the host and change directory to the „patching directory”.
  • Execute the following command:

esxupdate -b ESX350-201012410-BG --nosigcheck update

  • After the update is finished, remove the „patching” directory and reboot the host. Then scan in with Update Manager – it should work well.

Two remarks:

  • it may happen that the patching will fail due to missing ESX350-201012404-BG. You should download it and install it according to the same instructions before installing ESX350-201012410-BG. No reboot is required after that so you can install one after another.
  • a –nosigcheck switch is required to force patching without checking the signature – which is logical as the key has expired and that’s why we are implementing the whole procedure in the first place.

If you have any problems with this patch, leave me a comment and I will try to help you.

„Did you know?” Saturday – DCUI via ssh

sobota, Wrzesień 29th, 2012

Did you know you can connect to DCUI (directly connected user interface) by ssh? Not all terminals support it but Putty will do.

Enable ssh, connect and login and then enter the command:

dcui

DCUI via ssh

DCUI via ssh

Free solutions from Veeam for your virtual environment

piątek, Wrzesień 28th, 2012

Veeam’s solutions don’t have to be presented. They also offer some really cool stuff that apart from being awesome has one more advantage – it’s free :-) So let’s see what we can get and how we can use it in the virtual environment.

FastFCP

It’s a tool to copy files between ESXis and Windows workstations or servers as well between ESXi machines and, as Veeam claims, it does it „6 times faster than WinSCP” by using a full network capacity. Now the tool is a part of Veeam Backup.

Veeam Backup Free Edition

It’ a set of tools that includes a new verion of FastSCP that provides support for both VMware and Hyper-V. What’s more? We get VeeamZIP, a tool to encapsulate all VM files without any disriuption to a one backup file. Then each full VM and its files can be restored to any host. It supports ESX and Hyper-V technologies. It removes zero-blocks and swap to save space. It can restore guest OS files too. How cool is that? And on the top of that – it’s free.

VeeamZIP has some drawbacks as it does not support scheduled or incremental backups. But it is perfect for ad-hoc full VM backups. A nice comparision of full and free versions can be found here. If you feel you’re ready for a paid version, all you need to do is to insert a license file, no reinstallation needed.

Veeam ONE Free Edition

A free version of Veeam’s management and reporting tool provides live monitoring and on demand reports for VMware and Hyper-V environments. The free version has some limits like some reports for only last 24 hours, limited number of VMs in reports or lack of customization but it is a great start to evaluate this solution.

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange

This one is really cool – now if you backup your Exchange virtual machines and you need to restore some emails, contacts, etc. you can do it directly from the backup. No need to restore the whole VM anymore or even mailbox stores! The software is still in beta and you can request one by registering on Veeam website and going here.

Veeam Stencils for Microsoft Visio

It provides a free collection of VMware and Hyper-V virtualization Visio stencils that include ESX/Hyper-V hosts, datacenters, LUNs, NICs and more. Here’s a nice example of a reports created using the stencils.

Technorati claim code

sobota, Wrzesień 22nd, 2012

Q9CC4NTFFB3E

Missing vmdk header (descriptor) file? Fear not!

poniedziałek, Wrzesień 17th, 2012

If you wake up one day and find your VM’s files missing (due to host having been shut down ungracefull e.g.) not all is lost. You will probably  need to recreate vmx configuration file (easy peasy, just create a new VM with your old VM’s specifications) but also .vmdk virtual disk file might be missing.

Ok, a few words of theory. Your virtual disk is composed of two files: VM-flat.vmdk (extent file) and VM.vmdk (descriptor, we will try to recover this one as it may be missing). If your -flat.vmdk is lost, well, not much can be done as it is the file that contains the disk’s data. You did backup your VMs, didn’t you?

However, if it is the header / descriptor file that is missing, it can be fixed quite quickly. In this tutorial we assume that both your vmx and .vmdk are lost.

VM's sitting there

VM's sitting there

Everything's there

Everything's there

But hey! something's missing

But hey! something's missing

 

1. Create a new virtual machine. We will call it VM_recovered. Specify the settings as for your original VM. Do not add the disk yet. Login via ssh / local console or browse the datastore and confirm that a new .vmx file is there. Copy it to the folder where your original VM is changing the vmx’s name to your original machine’s name.

Don't add any disk now

Don't add any disk now

New temporary VM is ready

New temporary VM is ready

And its files

And its files

So we copy vmx

So we copy vmx

2. Check the size of your original vdisk extent file with the following command:

ls -al | grep flat

Note down the extent's size

Note down the extent's size


3. In your original VM’s directory create a new vdisk with the exact size of your old one. It can be thin-provisionved as the data part we will delete anyway soon.

vmkfstools -c xxxxx -d thin -a lsilogic temporary_disk.vmdk

where you replace xxxxx with disk’s size obtained in point 2.

Create a new, temporary virtual disk

Create a new, temporary virtual disk

 

4. Remove extent file of the newly created temporary disk:

rm ./temporary_disk-flat.vmdk

 

5. Change the name of the new .vmdk file:

mv ./temporary_disk.vmdk ./VM.vmdk

Change the name of the header to match your VM

Change the name of the header to match your VM

You’ve just re-created your VM virtual disk’s header. Now let’s finish its customization.

 

6. Use your favorite editor to edit the descriptor file. You can use nano (ESX only) or vi to do it directly on your host or download the file to your workstation, edit it and upload it again (here are instructions for both vi and nano). Find the line starting with RW and change the name of the extent file (1) from temporary_disk-flat.vmdk to VM-flat.vmdk (the name that maches the existing extent file you found in point 2, Workstation 1-flat.vmdlk in my example). You may also remove the thin provisioning configuration (2). Save the file.

Editing the vmx file

Editing the vmx file

 

7. Edit your VM settings and add an existing disk. Point to the VMFS datastore where you have got your VM. After the change is commited run the VM.

Your VM is back alive

Your VM is back alive

A terrific video on Distributed Power Management

niedziela, Luty 12th, 2012

A must see: