donderdag, april 26, 2007

Microsoft: Terminal Services Load Balancing in LH Beta 3

After announcing TS Easy Print, Microsoft made an even bigger announcement at BriForum Chicago: Longhorn will have Load Balancing! It goes to show, that Microsoft thinks really highly of BriForum A big compliment to Brian as far as I'm concerned! The Load Balancing capabilities will be included in Longhorn Beta 3 for the first time.

Read the article on Thincomputing here

VMware: TSX Nice 2007 presentations now available

The presentations from TSX Nice are available here

Microsoft: Longhorn Beta 3 and the UPD "Easy Print"

Longhorn (Terminal) Server will have its own "universal printer" functionality. It should be available (I have not checked it) in the Beta 3 Longhorn Server version (released & available for download NOW).

Microsoft calls it: Easy Print. It's based on the Microsoft XPS document standard (which is similar to PDF). The "Easy Print" feature of Longhorn server is quite comprehensive though and is more than just a universal print driver in that it:

  • Supports (nearly) every printer 
  • Compresses the data stream send to the TS Client 
  • Enables you to use the properties (UI) of the native printer driver 
  • Allow you to specify which printer gets redirected into your Longhorn TS Session

Tnx to for the info

zaterdag, april 21, 2007

VMware: definitive guide to ... VMware

Check out this post on VMTN forums! It has all the links/references/... you would ever dream of! Tnx to Arne for the info.

woensdag, april 18, 2007

VMware: PAM Password Aging in ESX 3.0.1

As you know, the service console for ESX 3.0 is a modified version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Update 6.0. By default, a password aging & complexity policy is active. Password aging policies are set:

  • Maximum days = 90 days by default
  • Minimum days = 0 days (you can change your password whenever you want)
  • Warning time defaults to 7

Normally, the root and vpxuser have no password aging by default (value is –1).

You can disable the password aging policy as follows:

  • For all newly created users (disable globally):
    esxcfg-auth --passmaxdays=0 (or –1)
  • For existing users:
    chage -M -1 (or 0) <username>

dinsdag, april 17, 2007

VMware: VCB(mounter) "Error: Host unreachable"

Today I discovered that there is an issue with VCB(mounter) and .vmx/.vmdk placement.

For some reason, our P2V tool had placed all config files (.vmx, log files, etc.) on /vmfs/volumes/datastore 1/<Servername> and our .vmdk files on /vmfs/volumes/datastore 2/<Servername>. In a normal environment, config files and vmdk files are kept together.

As you can see in the screenshot, the initial snapshot gets created but no operations can be performed and a timeout occurs after 45 minutes.

vcbMounter created a snapshot, and placed the snapshot files by default in the /vmfs/volumes/datastore 1/<Servername> folder where our .vmx resides. For some reason, VCB(mounter) is not able to “find” our original .vmdk files.

You have 2 options in this scenario:

  1. If you don’t want to have your .vmx and your .vmdk files togheter: change the Virtual Machine Working Location from the location where the .vmx file resides to the datastore location where the .vmdk files reside and (re)add to the VirtualCenter inventory.

    This can be done by editing the .vmx file and adding the following parameter:
    workingDir = "/vmfs/volumes/454b27d2-f2172987-4798-0017085ce0dd/<ServerName>/"

    Note the UID notation, and not the linked name

  2. If you want your .vmx and .vmdk files together: migrate your VM using a “cold" migration and relocate your .vmx (configuration files) to the datastore where your .vmdk files reside (see also my previous article here). This is the easiest & fastest approach.

woensdag, april 11, 2007

VMware: Handy trick to rename a Virtual Machine

Just a quick trick. As you all know, you can rename a Virtual Machine in VirtualCenter. However, the name changes but the files (.vmdk, .vmx, etc.) still have their previous name. Renaming all filenames/references manually is a daunting & error prone task.

Just shut down your VM and migrate it to a different datastore. All relevant files/folders will be renamed! Isn’t that easy or what?

Microsoft: Multiple Password "Policies" in Longhorn Server

Geert Baeke has posted an interesting article on how to deploy multiple password "policies" with Longhorn April CTP build. Check it out here

donderdag, april 05, 2007

VMware: bundled patch ESX-6431040

Be aware of the fact that patch ESX-6431040 is a bundled tgz, so it will not work with the ESX autopatching scripts you can find in the community. The following patches are contained within this bundle:

  • ESX-1161870
  • ESX-3416571
  • ESX-5011126
  • ESX-7737432
  • ESX-7780490
  • ESX-8174018
  • ESX-8852210
  • ESX-9617902

I personally unpacked the main patch, repackaged all extracted patches (they have a normal patch structure and are extracted in subdirectories) and added them to my patches list.

woensdag, april 04, 2007

VMware: Running VirtualCenter in a VM

VMware has released a technical note on running VC in a VM. I personally don't like running VC in a VM, for the reasons covered in the technote. I do like the concept to P2V your existing physical VC (connected to an external SQL/Oracle DB) and use it in a DR scenario.

Some things to note when deploying VC in a VM:

  • You need to obtain a host-based license & an initial standalone ESX host, as you cannot boot your VC without a (host- or server-based) license :)
  • Shutting down/maintenance on your Virtual VirtualCenter can be tricky: you need to locate VC & connect to an ESX host to power on VC or change your hardware config for your VC.

Download it here

maandag, april 02, 2007

VMware: configuring a static MAC address in a VM

Sometimes it can be necessary to configure a static MAC address in a VM. A typical issue during P2V is an application that has its licensing based on the MAC address.

VMware has defined that VirtualCenter does not use the following range: 00:50:56:00:00:00 to 00:50:56:3F:FF:FF where 00:50:56 is the OUI.

The steps:

  1. Power off & remove the server from the VirtualCenter inventory. This is a necessary step, because VC will overwrite your settings during Power On!
  2. Edit the .vmx file and locate the following generated MAC address:
    Ethernet0.addressType =
    Ethernet0.generatedAddress =
  3. Change the value for ethernet0.addressType from “vpx” to “static”
  4. Change ethernet0.GeneratedAddress to ethernet0.Address
  5. Change the current MAC to a MAC address in the following range:
  6. In VirtualCenter, select an ESX host and go to storage
  7. Browse the data store & locate your VM
  8. Right-click on the .vmx file, and select Add to inventory
  9. Power On the server. Issue the command ipconfig /all and locate the VMware NIC. Your manually assigned MAC address should be there.

I know you can set your MAC address inside Windows, but I would avoid this.