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Posts from the ‘VMware’ Category

8
Nov

Network Path Not Found

We’re spinning up Windows 2008 R2 Standard servers from templates in our vCloud environment and begin to notice a problem. We can’t join them to a working domain.

Network Path Not Found is the error we got when we attempted to join the domain.

After some troubleshooting, we think it might be DNS issues… but everything works. After further investigation we notice that the service TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper is set to Automatic – but is not running. Attempts to start it, fail.

Nothing around the net is helpful – so we start tearing apart a working server. The one registery key related to the TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper is different.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\NetBT

Start Value should be set to 2 instead our broken server was set to 4.

This also solved the event log entry:

Service Control Manager (7001 – None): The TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper service depends on the NetBT service which failed to start because of the following error: The service cannot be started either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.

17
Sep

In the groove

Getting back into the groove at a new job, new list of tasks, new home schedule, and for once – a true training schedule to get me back on the road to good (better?) health.

I’ve signed a five page NDA that is scares me to type anything more work related than the words “work related” so my posts will typically be generic if they discuss VMware or my new employer TDS Hosted and Managed Services (TDS HMS). And anything I typically share – will always be available somewhere else already published and approved the marketing… okay with that out of the way, here we go.

Visi, Team, Vital Support Systems, and OneNeck are all owned by TDS. With a big toolbox of resources and a roster of some of the smartest and battle hardened folks in the business – I’m honored to be onboard with the crew leading up their new cloud IaaS product ReliaCloud. And for those who ask, no that is not me in the NOC photo this time. I honestly tried to find the photo but wasn’t successful. Internet Wayback Machine to the rescue… which goes to prove don’t let marketing photograph you – you’ll never get it off the internet. 🙂

And with that, I’m wrapping up a lunch hour post and hope to add more meaningful entries in the near future.

24
May

VMware View 5.1 Deployed

I took this week after classes finished to tear down our View 4.6 cloud that was hosted on vsphere 4.1 ESX servers and redeploy it properly with a dedicated vCenter server, upgrade the vmware environment to 5.0 U1 and then roll out a new View 5.1 environment.

A few quick observations for those planning upgrades. Read the installation, administration, and upgrade manuals completely and make notes of all the changes or ancillary upgrades you may need to do.

I ran into a couple of hiccups but nothing too painful.

The security server wouldn’t link with the connection server until we opened up the extra ports in our DMZ firewall and had IPsec encapsulation enabled. Yes, it’s clearly documented – it just needed to be read. Oh and the installer says you can use the IP or FQDN of the connection server while installing the security server – don’t use IPs. Use the FQDN and make sure that your security servers can resolve the FQDN of the connection server.

Make sure you have a good public cert if you’ll be letting anyone outside your organization connect. If not, bone up on running a certificate authority in your network. You should already be deploying internal certs to your servers and workstations.

I’m digging the new features like host caching (2GB of server ram dedicated to caching storage… Zoom!) and finally an OS X client that does PCoIP and doesn’t require Microsoft’s RDP client.

I just finished deploying new thinclient images with View 5.1 clients and the new root CA. The wildcard cert we purchased in February from GeoTrust was great… Except the HP thinclients didn’t have GeoTrust’s root cert so the entire view environment was Untrusted and the clients just failed to connect.

Tomorrow I start deploying Win 7 desktops…

1
Apr

My new whip.

As a technology professional, I typically have most of the equipment I need provided for me by my employeer. My laptop for the last four years has been a trusty ThinkPad T400. Upgraded over time to its final configuration of a 256GB SSD (FDE) and 8GB of ram. The T400 has been my trusty whip through power outages and daily VMware Workstation labs – it carried the brand name well. Lenovo support and quality is still top notch.

With that said, my family has grown to a few Macs and I’ve grown to love and envy my wife’s MacBook Pro that I got her for Christmas. During a weekend trip to Chicago for our 15th anniversary, we stopped at the Apple store to get her MBP a hard case – and I was oogling the laptops there. She had finally had enough and convinced me to order a 15″ MBP, no it wasn’t that difficult. I wish the Apple store had stocked the high resolution screens or I would have walked home with one. I was a little disappointed at the insane charges Apple tacks on for memory, but a quick search on NewEgg resolved that issue.

I scored a 2nd power brick at BestBuy for $35 (open box) and a DVI adapter.

At work I work mostly in the boot camp partition that I run Windows 7 64bit natively. However, I love using VMware Fusion to run Win 7 from bootcamp when I’m in OS X. It’s a great way to keep all my options on the table. I dare say, even if I couldn’t run OS X on this laptop – the build quality and features like the backlit screen and magsafe power connection – it more than a value for the laptop cost.

8
Aug

USB Concentrators And The Software That Sells Them

Recently I’ve been targeting some old servers for virtualization. Getting rid of these old, slow, power sucking, rack hogging servers should be in my job description… worded just like that.

Only thing keeping these dinosaurs around is software that the developers have decided was so unique and expensive that they require USB dongles to prevent us from posting their software on the internwebs for all to download and install.

Software like, CNC machining and CAD drafting licensing servers. No only do these license servers require a stupid USB dongle – they also call home to check in. Redundancy? You bet. Do they care? Not that I can determine. License servers are nice and very handy in an educational environment where the software can be installed in many rooms – but only scheduled to be used in one room. The software on the desktops check out a license when launched and won’t run if there are no more left.

So when I want to virtualize a server like this – I can’t because virtual servers don’t have USB ports. No USB port, no USB dongle to authorize the license server. No license server, no desktop software will run.

Luckily there is a fix – USB Concentrators. A USB concentrator is simply a box with USB ports on one side, a network port on the other, and some fancy software in between and on the virtual machine itself. With a bit of software and a pinch of luck, your VM will have a true, i’m touching reality, USB port.

We have a few of these damn USB dongles for various software, so I was able to justify the 14 port Digi AnywhereUSB concentrator. Our EDU price weighed in at about $1,400. Yep, a C-note per port – thank you software DRM. Luckily they now are routable – so one concentrator can support servers in multiple locations. They make smaller ones, but the cost per port is higher and we’d need two of them – which brought us within a few hundred bucks of going for the 14 port.

One of our license servers, GibbsCam, decided it wasn’t going to work with our Digi AnywhereUSB ports. After a few reboots and reinstalls, Windows actually kicked off a “Problem Report and Solutions” report that explained that a service called HASP had gone over the deep end and after checking with Microsoft – a fix was recommended. Insert shocked emoticon here, because that’s a first that this service has actually provided usable information – and insert a second shocked emoticon for software that I wouldn’t consider commonplace is actually tracked by this.

A couple of clicks later, I’m staring at a new web page hosted by esafe.com, specifically this one.

After downloading and installing the HASP update, our USB dongle was recognized and we could continue on with the heavily DRM’ed license server – in a virtual environment.

This is not a knock on GibbsCam support, they actually do rock. To complete our install they had to “adjust or reset” some settings on their end. But they returned their calls quickly and we’re professional about it.

I’m more upset about the layers of DRM used by them to prevent piracy or non-compliance of their software. I’m also upset with the fact that companies that have to deploy hardware to support this crap when a very viable solution is already available that doesn’t require hardware.

The end of the story really is this: If you’re going to be paranoid about someone stealing your software, just have the software phone home -or- require a hardware key. Neither will prevent all piracy, but the problems with requiring hardware is archaic and an assumption that your customers are running hardware to support it.

It’ll take us about 2 years to recoup the cost of the USB concentrator… a waste of money that could have been put towards more software licenses or things that would actually help students like workstations and teachers – if these dongles didn’t exist.

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