vrijdag, juli 28, 2006

HP drivers compatibility guide - Citrix

HP and Citrix have updated their driver compatibility overview for july 2006. You can download it on the printingsupport website.

donderdag, juli 27, 2006

HP Proliant and Compaq MPS Table BIOS Settings for ESX Server

I read an interesting article on ESX on proliant servers:


HP ProLiant servers (and pre-merger Compaq ProLiant servers) require specific BIOS settings in order to run VMware ESX Server. These settings ensure that the physical hardware can be addressed properly and consistently by the VMkernel. Use of BIOS settings with values other than those identified below may result in operational instability.


On HP ProLiant servers (and pre-merger Compaq ProLiant servers), the BIOS may not fully populate the PCI interrupt routing entries in the MP Configuration Table (part of the Intel MultiProcessor Specification) if the MPS Table Mode setting within the BIOS is incorrect. An incomplete MP Configuration Table may result in failure of an initial installation of ESX Server, failure to complete the boot process, or instability during normal operation.

For stable operation on these systems, ESX Server requires a BIOS MPS Table Mode setting of Full Table APIC. With the exception of the specific systems referenced below, the following BIOS settings must be applied in order if available:

  1. System Options > OS Selection: Select Windows 2000.

  2. Advanced Options > MPS Table Mode: Select Full Table APIC.

  3. When presented with multiple Windows options (Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows .NET, and so on) select Windows 2000. If both BIOS settings are available and can be modified, both must be set correctly. You should confirm these settings after any BIOS upgrade operation.

For the HP ProLiant DL 740 and DL 760 servers specifically, set the OS Selection BIOS setting to Linux to allow for proper operation when hyperthreading is enabled. The remainder of the BIOS settings, and the order in which they are applied, are as specified above.

If any BIOS setting is incorrect, you may see one or more messages in /var/log/messages or /var/log/vmkwarning on the Service Console similar to the following:
  • May 11 22:36:30 esx101 vmkernel: 0:00:00:00.00 ALERT: Chipset: 303: no PCI entries - Check BIOS Settings

  • May 11 22:36:30 esx101 vmkernel: 0:00:00:00.000 cpu0) ALERT: Chipset: 433: no PCI entries in MPS table - check BIOS settings

  • May 11 22:36:30 esx101 vmkernel: 0:00:00:00.000 cpu0) WARNING: IOAPIC: 986: no PCI entry for busID 2 busIRQ 8 - trying ISA irq 15

You may also see unnecessary hardware interrupt sharing, which is explained in detail in knowledge base article 1290 at www.vmware.com/support/kb/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1290.

You may need to use the ROM-Based Setup Utility (RBSU), SmartStart CD, or other BIOS configuration tool to make these adjustments. Hewlett-Packard's Web site includes extensive documentation on how to adjust BIOS settings on HP and Compaq systems, including generalized RBSU guides which may be found at search.hp.com/query.html?qt=title%3A%22ROM-Based+Setup+Utility+User+Guide%22.

The "OS Selection" section of the HP RBSU User Guide notes that, in certain circumstances, adjusting the OS Selection BIOS setting may result in an automatic change of the MPS Table Mode BIOS setting (emphasis added):

The OS Selection option allows you to select the primary OS for the server. A list of supported OSs for the server displays on the menu, with the ROM defaulting to Microsoft Windows 2000 when the server supports it. Default server Multi Processor (MP) settings and PCI Hot Plug reservation settings are automatically set based on the OS selected.

Although an automatic change may occur, the individual BIOS settings should be confirmed explicitly if you intend to use this system with VMware ESX Server. For additional assistance in making these changes, please contact HP Technical Support.

Unlimited virtualization rights for Windows 2003 Datacenter edition


"In October 2005, Microsoft announced unlimited virtualization rights would be available with the Datacenter Edition of Windows Server code name “Longhorn,” but decided to make these virtualization rights available with Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition based on customers’ requests to make licensing easier and more cost-effective for large-scale virtualization."

Great news! Now it makes sense to buy a big machine as an ESX host!

zaterdag, juli 22, 2006

iSCSI tutorial for ESX 3.0 with WinTarget

Hi guys,

I decided to write a small tutorial on iSCSI configuration with ESX 3.0. I used the Sofware Initiator build into the latest ESX 3.0 to configure a small iSCSI testenvironment with WinTarget (recently bought by Microsoft).

Ok, here's how I did it:
- First, install f.e. Windows 2003 server on a dedicated iSCSI box. I used an old Proliant 1600. After the initial config, install WinTarget on it. You now have 2 options:
1) use a complete volume as an iSCSI LUN
2) use a file as an iSCSI LUN
I used both for testing :)

- Configure a host(s), f.e. esx1 and esx2 with the appropriate IQN name (i used iqn.1998-01.com.vmware:esx1 for example) and add the freshly configured devices/disks

- DO NOT configure the software iSCSI configuration via the VI client, but use the tips in Mike's Service Console guide.

  • Create a VMKernel switch (via Add networking)

  • Remember to set the default gateway for the newly created VMKernel switch

  • Use the commandline to enable the vmhba40 (Software iSCSI initiator) and add the IP of your iSCSI target.

    • Use the command esxcfg-swiscsi –d and esxcfg-swiscsi –k to disable & kill all iSCSI processes

    • Next, use the command esxcfg-swiscsi –e to enable it

    • Use vmkiscsi-tool -D -a vmhba40 to add the iSCSI target's IP address

    • Now try executing vmkiscsi-tool -l -T vmhba40 to see if it recognizes the iSCSI target. It will tell you "No targets are configured" if it does not see anything

    • Now is the time to fire up your VI client & do a rescan (in Configuration => storage adaptors)

    • Create a VMFS

    • Done :)

You can also use f.e. Openfiler (Beta 2 version), Fedora Core, etc.
Just try it, you will like it!

Greetz, Vince

Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI)

I read an interesting article on http://www.brianmadden.com on VDI (or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). Check it out here

donderdag, juli 20, 2006

Sys/Winternals on the way to Microsoft!

Mark & his world-famous free tools (regmon, filemon, handle, etc.) have been acquired by Microsoft! See this link for more info.

dinsdag, juli 18, 2006

vrijdag, juli 14, 2006

VirtualCenter 1.4 is available for download

As stated in the title :) VC 1.4 is now available for download on the vmware site. It includes some bugfixes.

Intro in to Longhorn Terminal Services

Microsoft has a very interesting recorded session on all new TS features that will be included in Longhorn Server.

Features include:

  • SSL TS Gateway

  • Web Interface

  • Seamless applications & application publishing

The session can be viewed here

donderdag, juli 13, 2006

HP - G5 servers are available!

The new G5 (Generation 5) server lines are made available on the HP website (http://www.hp.com). Check them out! There are a lot of new features, including:

  • Dual core CPU's

  • New SmartArray controllers (SAS/SATA!)

  • The brand new SAS (Serial Attached Scsi) drives

  • PC2-5300 fully buffered RAM

  • 1066 Mhz FSB technology

  • An last but not least... The all new design

Check out the new DL380 G5!

VMware Server released

Vmware just released the final build of there FREE Vmware Server. This is a direct competitor of M$ Virtual Server 2005 and is a replacement for the Vmware GSX server.

See http://www.vmware.com for more info!