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Think IPM

Monday, April 11, 2016

Continue to build out your network

Like most of the rest of the world, I use Outlook as my primary CRM because of it’s seamless syncing with my iPhone (along with a million other reasons) and treat it as my central hub.  For a long time, I used the LinkedIn Toolbar for a single feature;  the ability to highlight someone’s signature and ‘grab’ it into an Outlook contact.  The LinkedIn toolbar would parse the copied information and put all the relevant information into the appropriate contact fields.  It was awesome!  Until it no longer worked. :( [Thanks Outlook 2013!]

Recently, I stumbled across a perfect replacement that I thought I would share.  It is a standalone freeware piece of Windows software called Signus. 


The software allows you to copy the signature into your clipboard and push it into Microsoft Outlook or Gmail.  They have a few other supported CRMs as well on their page.  [Website]

The software is about 2 years old and I’m not sure if it is still being updated but it works great now and fills the hole left by the defunct LinkedIn Toolbar.

Enjoy adding contacts!

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Catch Sam Jacobs at Citrix Synergy 2016!

If you are going to be at Citrix Synergy  this year, be sure to register for Sam Jacobs breakout session on Netscalers!  Check out the official promotional post below:

NetScaler Debugging A to Z
clip_image002You've spent the past few weeks implementing all the latest blog posts on configuring your NetScaler, and you're eager to see the fruits of your labors. You browse to your Access Gateway FQDN, and ... nothing but a blank screen! You review your configuration, and everything seems to be in order, but something obviously isn't. How do you go about figuring out what's wrong?
In this 90-minute breakout session, we will travel through the entire NetScaler data flow, including:
- Pre-logon (navigating to the logon page),
- Authentication,
- Session initiation (routing to StoreFront, Web Interface, or a custom home page),
- Desktop/application enumeration, and
- Desktop/application launch.
At each point along the way, you will learn the most common issues one might experience. Using the built-in NetScaler tools, as well as public-domain (free!) utilities you will learn how to diagnose, isolate, and correct them.

clip_image004Bulletproof your configuration
While having the knowledge necessary to debug and remediate NetScaler issues is critical, the best way to debug a NetScaler configuration is not to have to debug it at all! We will review a set of Best Practices to be used when setting up a NetScaler, so that the need for debugging will be greatly minimized.
NetScaler Rewrite Engine
clip_image006NetScaler has undergone a tremendous transformation since the Access Gateway was acquired from Net6 in 2004. One of the most powerful features of the NetScaler is its ability to dynamically rewrite URLs, allowing clientless access to internal resources. During the session, we will also dive deep into the rewrite engine, where we will examine how the NetScaler performs this process, what can go wrong, and what can be done about it.
So join me at Citrix Synergy for SYN317: NetScaler Troubleshooting and Debugging Best Practices, on Thursday, May 26th from 8:30-10:00AM PST in Bellini 2101A. Let’s go bug-hunting! Hope to see you there!

Sam Jacobs is the Director of Technology Development at IPM, the longest standing Citrix Platinum Partner on the East Coast. With more than 25 years of IT consulting, Sam is a NetScaler customizations and integrations industry expert. He holds Microsoft MCSD, Citrix CCP-M and CCP-N certifications, and is the editor of TechDevCorner.com, a technical resource blog for IT professionals. He is one of the top Citrix support Forum contributors, and has earned industry praise for the tools he has developed to make NetScaler, Web Interface, and StoreFront easier to manage for administrators and more intuitive for end users. Sam became a Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) in 2015.
Sam can be reached at: sjacobs@ipm.com or on Twitter at: @WIGuru.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Stick to the Basics–vMotion fails at 21%

I was working with a client recently and after doing a memory upgrade and vSphere upgrade from 5.x to 6.0, my vMotion activity began to fail when moving VMs back to the host.

The vMotion migrations failed because the ESX hosts were not able to connect over the vMotion network

The error above popped into vCenter when trying to preform a vMotion.  It would stall at exactly 21%.  This being a client environment that I couldn’t be 100% sure of, I went to basic troubleshooting.  After inspecting the connected vNics and looking carefully at the CDP information provided, we noticed that one of the vNics had been connected to an incorrect switch.
Every time you get the above 21% error, check the physical connections.  I’m sure you will find your misconfiguration there.
Physically flipped it back to the right switch and vMotions were moving along without issue.
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Link Collection–Antivirus guides for Citrix & Terminal Servers

Some times you have a good bit of information to write about in a blog post, other times you just have a bunch of links.  ;)

Today is just a good group of links from Aaron Silber related to tuning Antivirus scanning on Citrix XenApp/Terminal Servers.   Some of these links are dated but the meat is good since AV hasn’t changed much in client environments.  I still don’t see much host side scanning done in the hypervisor (at least in the field) so these client recommendations are still very relevant in today’s VDI environments.

imageMicrosoft Window Server

Citrix Servers

PVS Specific

AppV Specific – On Terminal Server

SQL Server
Here is the Microsoft guide for AV on SQL server


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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Removing a Node (or 3) from a Nutanix Cluster

Recently, I had to retire some nodes from a client’s Nutanix cluster.  We were recycling 3 out of the 6 nodes down to DR in this particular case.  I’ve added nodes to a cluster but this was the first time I had to remove nodes from one.  I reached out to Alan Biren from Nutanix for some quick instructions.  As with all my dealings with Nutanix, I knew this would be a simple process.   Below is the short and long of it (which includes removing nodes from a live running system without any user disruptions or data interruptions). –Nice!

Since all nodes participate in data protection and replication, the process needs to be done one node at a time.

First step would be to migrate all VMs from the node (ESXi) to the other nodes (use vCenter).   Since a CVM is running on each node, putting the node into maintenance mode can’t be done (can’t maintenance mode while a VM is running) so I instead opted to remove the nodes from the vSphere DRS cluster and reconfigure them as stand alone ESXi hosts.

Once all VMs are evacuated, remove the NFS Datastore from the node.

CVM needs to be up and running.

From PRISM, go to hardware, select the node from the Diagram and then click the Remove Node and OK the warning message.


This will start the process of moving the data that sits on the node to the other nodes/forcing the data locality.  This process could take up to 6 hours to complete depending on the amount of data.


The process will move through the paces of migrating all of the data from the node for removal to the remaining nodes in the cluster.  Once complete, the GUI will show success and a reduced number of nodes in the cluster.  Verify there are no remaining alerts before proceeding to the next node.

You can also check this has completed by running the cluster status and checking what nodes are in the Nutanix Cluster.
'ncli get-remove-status’, if ‘MARKED_FOR_REMOVAL_BUT_NOT_DETACHABLE is displayed, the process is not complete, if no output is returned then the process has completed.

Once the nodes have been removed from the Nutanix Cluster, you can clean up ESX side, by shutting down the CVM (triple verify in PRISM that no errors pop up when shutting down the CVM), putting node into maintenance mode and removing from ESX Cluster.

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