woensdag, februari 28, 2007

VMware: VCB troubleshooting "guide"

SearchServerVirtualization has a nice (basic) article on VCB troubleshooting. It explains what error messages you can (and will :) ) encounter and what you can do to fix it.

One of our large customers is using VCB. We created a custom script using PowerShell and Perl to automate backup to disk (so no backup to tape because it would be to slow). We use Perl to enumerate all running VMs in VirtualCenter (see baeke.info for more info on this). Then we use PowerShell to leverage the VCBMounter command on the VCB server and capture the verbose log files (switch -L 6) to get as much information as possible.

Citrix: Office 2007 vs Office 2003 performance

Want to know how well Office 2007 performs on a SBC platform? Check this article that states that the impact on the CPU is significant compared to Office 2003. I wonder how well this will run in a Citrix VM...

Thanks to Wilco for the link!

dinsdag, februari 27, 2007

Microsoft: Virtualization licensing round-up

For those who are not aware: I decided to post a short round-up list on MS "virtualization" licensing.

  • Windows 2003 R2 Datacenter edition: unlimited number of VMs with Windows 2003 Datacenter edition can be deployed on 1 physical host.
  • Windows 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition: up to 4 instances/ Virtual Machines can be used with 1 single Enterprise license on 1 physical host
  • SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition SP2: an unlimited number of virtual instances can be run on servers that are fully licensed for SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition.
  • Virtual Server 2005 R2: free (SP1 coming up shortly)
  • Windows Vista Enterprise Edition (?): up to 4 VM instances with 1 license (not yet confirmed). This would be great for VDI!

The main question here is: in a world where we use VMotion (and soon: Live Migration for Windows Server Virtualization) to do hot migrations between different physical hosts, how can we keep track of these "free" instances? Is it still useful to look at the (single) physical host level? Should we buy a separate datacenter/SQL/Enterprise license per server? IMHO, this is nearly impossible to maintain and not intuitive...

BTW: Exchange Server 2007 (= x64 only) is not yet supported in a VM, so no "free" virtual licenses (yet).

VMware: MSA 1000/1500cs optimal config (Active/Passive)

When configuring an MSA 1000 or 1500cs, use the following recommendations/guidelines (this for Active/passive or single controller setups):

  • Make sure you have the recommended firmware version. Currently, for MSA 1500cs this is version 5.10. Minimum version is 5.02. Minimum version for MSA 1000 is 4.48 (is also the recommended version).
  • Make sure Selective Storage Presentation is enabled (can be done via the ACU) and the Host Mode for your HBA connections is set to Linux (NOT default). This is true for VMFS and RDM LUNs. Mode can also be set via the command line.
  • The Array rebuild should be set to "High"
  • Make sure all shelves (MSA 30 or MSA 20) are populated with at least 1 RAID set and not left empty.
  • Make sure all disks have the latest firmware. This is important (disk threshold metering). Some customers have witnessed problems where disk status was presented as green. However, the disk had failed causing the MSA (or EVA) to fail completely.
  • HP recommends assigning a dedicated I/O module to each enclosure.

HP has a SAN Best Practices paper for VI3. Download it here. Also, make sure to read the Storage SAN compatibility guide

zondag, februari 25, 2007

Citrix: Client package 10 & streaming client now available

Citrix has released the new version of there ICA client package, 10. This version is used with CPS 4.5 (to be released in march).

Windows Vista is officially supported now. The majority of the known issues experienced with Presentation Server clients 9.x on Vista have been resolved. For more information, refer to Knowledge Base article CTX112067, Microsoft Windows Vista - Known Issues.

The Citrix Presentation Server Client Package is a three-in-one package of ICA clients. Based on Windows Installer technology (.msi), the client package provides an easy-to-use wizard that guides one through the installation and configuration steps for any or all of these individual clients:

  • Program Neighborhood
  • Program Neighborhood Agent
  • Web Client

The Citrix Streaming Client is a new client introduced with the Presentation Server 4.5 release. This client is used when Streaming Applications to the Desktop.

Download it here

vrijdag, februari 16, 2007

Microsoft: Vista Enterprise released

Microsoft has released the Enterprise version of Vista (x86 and x64 version). It makes use of the new VA 2.0/MAK (Volume Activation 2.0/Multiple Activation Key) as Volume License Key system.

Gone are the days where you could install XP on VMware Workstation and test/snapshot/copy/delete/play/etc. with it. You have to activate this one :). Only a number of activations is allowed. I'm assuming they will use the same Licensing mechanism for Windows Server 2007 (Longhorn).

Download (and activate ;)) it now on http://www.microsoft.com/technet

donderdag, februari 15, 2007

Citrix: Hotfix Rollup Pack R03 released

Just a quick note here: Citrix has just released the next Rollup pack for CPS 4.0 and AE 1.0 & 1.5. Download it here

dinsdag, februari 13, 2007

Citrix: Presentation Server 4.5 released

OK guys, Citrix has launched Presentation Server 4.5. However, it is not available for download yet.

Brian Madden has an excellent article on his blog. It looks like Citrix will drop the Standard Edition and will launch a new version called "Presentation Server Platinum Edition" (what's in the name).

A remarkable thing is that it will support 500 users per server (!). This would need a powerful server + an x64 edition on it for sure.

Citrix: Wilco reviews Ardence

Wilco van Bragt has written a good review on OS streaming/virtualization with Ardence (recently acquired by Citrix). Check it out on Wilco's blog

dinsdag, februari 06, 2007

VMware: vmhba display bug in VI Client

Be aware that there is a bug in the VI client that shows strange HBA/SP configurations after doing a rescan. In our screenshot below, only 2 targets (0 & 1) are configured. However, an (empty) 3rd target is shown:

To avoid confusing, use the esxcfg-mpath -l command to display all available SAN volumes, there paths & policy.