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Think IPM

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cleaning up Horizon Database Errors

vSphere vCenter is great.  Horizon is great.  Composer is great.  Sometimes though, they go off script and start getting out of sync.  I’m sure everyone who has run a VMware View Horizon farm has run into issues where the view database just doesn’t reflect reality.  The VMs are long deleted but Composer and Horizon still think they are there and you get the never completing status of Deleting in the Horizon administrator console.


I remember the not so distant days when this would require firing up ADSI edit and doing some surgical removals of MANY entries in LDAP… 

As of Horizon 6.1, there is a MUCH easier way now.  Check out ViewDBCheck.  Most likely in
‘C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View\Server\tools\bin’ on our connection server.


This handy tool will scour the Horizon DB and look for inconsistencies between the DB, the vCenter inventory and Composer DB.  If it finds any, it will give you a yes/no prompt to clean up and then do it’s thing.  Very Nice!

Although officially released for 6.1 and up, you can also use it for 5.3 by using the Fling found here.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pushing the NVIDIA Grid VIB to vSphere using Update Manager for vGPUs.

I’ve been working with a customer getting the NVIDIA Tesla M60 cards working in their environment and compiled some great information for those of you looking into this.

So the official installation guide for the VIB is pretty much this KB article :  https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2033434

This is a pretty manual process.  I found that you can also easily and successfully use Update Manager to push the entire installation of the VIBs to your hosts.  The advantage being scale, consistency and also the ability to see the VIB installation (Baseline) in vCenter.

To start, make sure you are getting the correct enterprise versions of the VIBs and drivers.  (https://nvidia.flexnetoperations.com)

Once you have your offline bundle, you can head over to your Update Manager screen and choose the patch repository and Import Patches.


Once you upload the VIB Offline bundle, you should see it in the list of patches. (Note that the kepler one is the consumer version and should NOT be used) If you know how to remove it from the patch repository, drop me a note on twitter or in the comments.

From there, you can add it to a host extension baseline.


Now you can easily scan and remediate individual hosts or groups of hosts to install the VIB for Shared vGPUs.

To verify that the VIB was installed correctly, you can putty over to a host and run the command nvidia-smi.  If the VIB is installed correctly and you have you GPU cards in the host, you should see a similar output.


Once the VIB is installed, using the HTML vSphere Client, you should be able to add the shared PCI device to the Desktop VM (or image) and see the appropriate profiles.  


Note that shared PCI is a feature of VMware’s Enterprise Plus licensing.  Appropriate host licensing or Horizon licensing will be needed to power a machine up with a shared vGPU card.


After installing the Display Drivers in the Windows VM, be sure to set the licensing to GRID Virtual Workstation.

Bonus: Once you have it all working, test it all out using the new awesome Google Earth!
(Super cool 3D modeling across many of the world’s neighborhoods)


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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Throw-Back Thursday Post –Need to restart Explorer shell Gracefully?

Sometimes you need to restart Explorer to get things straightened out on your desktop.  Maybe the Notification Area is losing it or you want to refresh your Quick Launch.   Whatever the reason, in the past I have always pulled up Task Manager and killed the explorer process.  Simple and effective but maybe too harsh for all particular situations.  Jacques Bensimon let me in on a quick and proper way to shutdown the Explorer Shell gracefully.  Basically check out the image below and know that I CTRL-SHIFT-RIGHT Clicked to get the Exit Explorer option.  Explorer shuts down gracefully and you can restart it using Task Manager/ New Task.  

Explorer Shell Exiting image

*With Windows 8 and above, you need to CTLR-SHIFT-RIGHT-CLICK on an empty area of the Taskbar [second image] instead of the Start Bar.

Nice Tip JB! Way to promote peace. Smile

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Installing SRM–Time Error when connecting to PCS

While installing SRM at a client, I ran into an issue where I could not connected to the PCS.   The setup returned an error stating the time between the vCenter, Site Recovery Server and PCS was not in sync.


Image result for multiple time


Since the vCenter and PCS were on an Appliance, I had to do some quick research to see how to verify and correct the time.   In this case, the forums had the answer.


Enable SSH in the vCenter 6 appliance console
Enable BASH in the vCenter 6 appliance console
Putty in the vCenter 6 appliance
Enter root/PW

Type 'shell'

Enter the following commands:

ls /usr/share/zoneinfo/US/
*  This will display the list of available time zones, in my case I needed Eastern, replace with your time zone
cd /etc
rm localtime
ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/US/Eastern localtime

* Verify that you are now displaying the correct date and time.
** Optionally you can set the appliance to use an NTP server by using the following command:

sntp -P no -r time.windows.com

In our case, we used the local domain controller for the time source rather then the time.windows.com but it was just a one time set to sync those times up completely.  Once completed, the SRM installer continued without issue.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

New Versions of our favorite tools.

Just noticed that some of the tools we (at least I!) love and rely on has been updated. (You can find the complete list here.) From the list of updated ones, I wanted to bring attention to some of the ones that I consider truly indispensable and one in particular that gets very little press.image

· AutoRuns
· Process Monitor
· Process Explorer
· SysMon

I think SysMon is probably the least known from the list above, but maybe one of the most useful. For those who are not familiar, this tool installs very easily from the command line, creates a service, a new EventLog, starts itself up and immediately goes to work. One of the many benefits of the tool is that it installs as a boot-level driver, so it can capture information very early on in the boot process all the way through the logon and beyond.

I like to think of it almost like an Application level WireShark type of tool. It will log every access from your system by any application and tell you the name of the app, what it attempted to do and to where it attempted to do it. I have been able to track down everything from rogue add-ins in Office applications communicating to websites, to performance issues due to over-zealous security applications wreaking havoc on a system. [Ping me if you want to know which one].

To install it, you just run the app with three switches, SysMon.exe -i –n –AcceptEULA


Then launch any application (e.g. Excel) and go to the EventLog (Applications and Services Logs/Microsoft/Windows/Sysmon/Operational) to check out what it really does to your system:


There will be multiple entries for every application depending on what it is doing to your system, so go through the log.

Do you have any particular tool that you find indispensable? Let us know in the comments and we might even review it! Winking smile

Aaron Silber 
Follow Aaron on twitter at @amsilber

P.S. - · AutoRuns is my favorite! (me)  – It’s the quickest way to enable/disable things auto running on your system.  Excellent for cleaning out and tweaking system login times.

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