zondag, augustus 27, 2006

HP SmartStart - Supported OS for Assisted Installation

SmartStart assisted installation supports the following operating systems:
  • Windows 2000 (Standard, Advanced Server and Small Business Server)
  • Windows 2003 (Standard, Enterprise, Small Business Server and R2)
  • Windows Server 2003 for x64 editions (Standard and Enterprise)
  • Novell NetWare 5.1, 6.5 and 6.6
  • SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 (X86 and AMD64/EM64T)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (X86 and AMD64/EM64T)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (X86 and AMD64/EM64T)
View the updated OS supported list.

ESX 2.5: expanding RDM LUN's

We got a question from a customer about disk expansion in combination with RDMs in ESX 2.5. Check it out on Baeke's blog!

woensdag, augustus 23, 2006

Adding a Generic SCSI Device in Vmware/GSX Server

To add a Generic SCSI device in Vmware GSX/Server, you should follow the guidelines in the article you can find on http://www.vmware.com/support/gsx3/doc/devices_genscsi_gsx.html

Citrix: Make autocreated printers available to Admins/Power Users

As you may already know, all client printers are visible to Local Administrators/Power Users. However, it is not possible to manage these printers without taking ownership (via Security tab). You get an "Access Denied".

You can, however, set a global flag to enable managebility. Use regedit and do the following:
- Add a registry key on the server: HKLM\Software\Citrix\Print
- Add a REG_DWORD with the value "DefaultPrnFlags"
- Set the bit to 0x00004000
- Reboot

This feature is also covered in the Citrix Advanced Concepts Guide, available here

Citrix EMF UPD driver improvements & limitations

I listened to a webcast this evening presented by Gary Barton, a principle design engineer and the father of all UPD drivers in Citrix since the beginning. It was very interesting indeed!!!

To summarize, a few screenshots of the presentation:

Performance inmprovements by using the new EMF UPD III printer driver:

EMF limitations:

Tips & Tricks on Printing troubleshooting:

Citrix autocreation errors/info/warnings in event log

Some people may find this interesting: normally, a failure to auto-create a client printer will result in your eventlog filled with warning/info/error messages.
To avoid this, use regedit and do the following:
- Add a registry key on the server: HKLM\Software\Citrix\Print
- Add a REG_DWORD with the value "DefaultPrnFlags"
- Set the bit to 0x08000000
- Reboot & your event log will be clean (from now on) :)

This feature is also covered in the Citrix Advanced Concepts Guide, available here

maandag, augustus 21, 2006

SNMP settings for HP Homepage

Sometimes you get the "System Model: unknown" when installing the PSP (Proliant Support Pack) after installing the OS (without using SmartStart).
You should install the SNMP service first via Add/Remove Windows Components and configure it like in the following screenshots:

vrijdag, augustus 18, 2006

Citrix R02 Hotfix Rollup Pack released

Citrix just released the new R02 Hotfix Rollup Pack for servers running Windows Server 2003 with one of the following installed:
  • Citrix Presentation Server 4.0
  • Presentation Server 3.0 with Service Pack 2005.4
  • Citrix Access Essentials 1.5
  • Citrix Access Essentials 1.0

Before installing this hotfix rollup pack, you must uninstall the following hotfixes, if present, from Add/Remove Programs on the Control Panel. Failing to do so may lead to system inconsistencies:
  • PSE400W2K3029
  • PSE400R01W2K3004
  • PSE400R01W2K3053

Download it here.

I hope this fixes the print spooler crashes :)

maandag, augustus 14, 2006

Add /usr/sbin to user's PATH

  • Check what your current path is by typing echo $PATH
  • PATH=$PATH:/usr/sbin
  • export PATH
  • To add that PATH to a specific user(s), add the line(s) to /home/user/.bash_profile
  • Done :)

Service Console memory sizing in ESX 3.0

I read a very interesting statement on VMTN Discussion forums on Service Console memory sizing:


"No, there should be no need to increase the size of the Service Console to run an increased number of VMs. The reason for doing that in previous releases is that part of our virtualization system ran in the Service Console and it required more memory with an increased number of VMs, thus obligating you to increase the amount of memory allocated to the Service Console. However, with 3.0, all of our virtualization infrastructure has been moved into the VMkernel, which means the Service Console is now essentially unaffected by the number of VMs you run.

So, the only reason you'd need to increase the amount of Service Consolememory is if you're running some memory-hogging app in it (such as a hardware monitoring tool or such)."

See this thread for more info!

donderdag, augustus 10, 2006

Short tutorial: ESX 3.0 cluster in-a-box with RDM

Hi guys,

I decided to write a small tutorial on clustering (in a box) with RDM on ESX 3.0.
What you need:
  • 1 ESX 3 server :)
  • 2 virtual nodes with the same config:
    • 2 virtual NICs, 1 to an external switch, 1 to an internal switch with no external pNICs
    • min. 2 virtual hard drives, on a separate virtual LSI Logic SCSI controller
  • A small LUN to use as the Quorum disk (100 Mb)

Each VM node should be configured with a separate LSI logic controller, 2 extra Hard disks (pointing to a Raw LUN, quorum and resource) and an extra "heartbeat" NIC. The SCSI controller should be set to "Virtual" when using a cluster-in-a-box (on 1 ESX server).

The extra harddisks are mapped directly to a SAN/iSCSI LUN via RDM in virtual compatibility mode (non‐pass‐through RDM).

For the first node, use the add hardware wizard to add the extra disk and select "Mapped SAN LUN" to make a .vmdk disk that points directly to the RAW LUN (instead off a new/existing .vmdk disk on a VMFS datastore).

On the compatibility mode, select "Virtual".

Make sure that you choose SCSI (1:0) and NOT (0:0)!

For the second node, follow the same procedure, but choose "Use an existing virtual disk" and point it to the .vmdk file created for the other node (should be something like "[iscsilun4-DS] Sr-Node1/Sr-Node1_1.vmdk"). Use the exact same config (SCSI (1:0) for the quorum disk, etc.).

That's about it! The rest of the configuration is a default cluster setup.

For extra info, consult this PDF on clustering

dinsdag, augustus 08, 2006

Microsoft reduces Softricity Licensing pricing by almost 85%

See the following article on Brian Madden's website for more info. This could mean serious competition for Altiris' SVS!

donderdag, augustus 03, 2006

Avoid Delayed Write Failed in Windows 2k/2k3 on ESX

For the Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 guest operating systems, you may want to increase the standard disk TimeOutValue so that Windows will not be extensively disrupted during failover.

1. Select Start > Run, type regedit.exe, and click OK.
2. In the left panel hierarchy view, double-click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, System,
CurrentControlSet, Services, then Disk.
3. Select the TimeOutValue and set the Data value to x03c (hexadecimal) or 60 (decimal). By making this change, Windows waits at least 60 seconds, for delayed disk operations to complete, before generating errors.
4. Click OK and exit the Registry Editor program.

Resizing Windows 2003 system partition in Vmware

I came across a cool article explaining how to extend a Win2k3 System partition the "cheap-ass" way, by using Diskpart.exe.

Definitly check it out here!

woensdag, augustus 02, 2006

Citrix users see all printers

A customer had the following problem: for some reason, all users could see all other users printers in a CTX session. This is because the user(s) belong to a group that is a member of the local Power users or Administrators group. So watch out for this one!

Citrix "special" users explained

A brief explanation on Citrix special users:

ctx_smauser is the account used by Presentation Server's new print subsystem. You will find that many printing functions fail if this account doesn't have the correct rights.

ctx_configmgr is used by the Web Interface's central configuration service to allow you to copy WI config from one server to another.