Think IPM

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PSA: Watch out for CryptoLocker / CryptoWall emails

With the holiday season here, your users will be getting plenty of packages and tracking emails.  They will also be getting more than their share of malware infested scam emails.  Be a good IT Admin and remind them that vendors do not send attachments with tracking information inside for them to click. 

Curious where your package is?  Visit FedEx, UPS or USPS websites directly.  Or better yet, just paste your tracking number right into Google.

We’ve had a few clients recently where some gullible users have clicked through on these attachments and were hit with encrypted files and ransom notes.  Keeping your antivirus and anti-malware DAT files up to date is a great start but a little education and subtle reminders to the user community will provide a good last defense.

Happy Virus Free Holidays! :)

Click Here to Continue Reading >>

Monday, December 15, 2014

IPM Sponsored - Upcoming VDI Rollout Webinar

A few months back, I helped Phil Alberta (CIO at IPM) with a great onsite VDI workshop called VDI Myths.  It was focused for the hedge fund crowd, hosted at Goldman Sachs and was well received by the audience.   For me, it was also a lot of fun to participate in.   You can read about the details here.
(http://www.vmwareinfo.com/2014/07/some-vdi-myths-and-pdf.html)

This time, Phil is teaming up with Jim Kannengieser (Program Manager at IPM) for a webinar titled ‘Make your VDI Project Shine’.  With their varied experience, they will talk about how to get the most out of your VDI investment.  This particular talk will be Citrix focused.

The webinar is Thursday December 18th @ 1pm EST so grab a cup of coffee or sandwich and tune in for 30 minutes.  Be sure to register for the event here and get a handy Outlook appointment so you don’t forget. ;)

After watching, head back here and let us know what you thought about it in the comments below.

Click Here to Continue Reading >>

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

VMware Site Recovery Manager – DNS Stalls for 20 minutes.

Chris Monfet sent over a handy setting for those of us leveraging VMware’s Site Recovery Manager (SRM) to protect our Active Directory infrastructures.

I was running a bubble test tonight in preparation for the main bubble test this week.  Ran into an issue with the AD/DNS starting up on the VM that is being replicated for this purpose.  DNS wouldn’t start on the server even after a 2nd reboot. 

Found the MS article below and adding the RegKey they suggest in the first resolution.  It does work after a reboot and AD/DNS functions normally after that.  Useful if you run into that again.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2001093

The most obvious symptom of this is DNS Event ID 4013 in a servers Event Log.   You would also encounter a 15 – 25 minute delay while bringing up your Domain Controllers (assuming integrated DNS) during your SRM Recovery process.

The Microsoft kb article is a handy one to go through to make sure your Active Directory DC/DNS servers are set up correctly to avoid issues during failover when all DCs will be unreachable at the same time.

Click Here to Continue Reading >>

Monday, December 1, 2014

Citrix XenDesktop 7.x Internals Cheat Sheet

If your current knowledge of the Citrix XenDesktop processes can be boiled down to the diagram below, check out Bas van Kaam’s Ultimate Citrix XenDesktop 7.x internals cheat sheet!

image 

Bas’ excellent blog post includes a handy write-up and a downloadable PDF guide. Nineteen pages of tech goodness that will help you muscle through any awkward silence at a Citrix Synergy group lunch table.

Thanks to Rajen Das for sending this over!

Click Here to Continue Reading >>

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Preventing a hung XD session from breaking Storefront DDC Load balancing

image Chris Hahn sent over an incident that happened at a client recently.

Using findings from XenDesktop Scout and Storefront Event logs,  Chris was able to troubleshoot a sporadic reoccurrence of “There are no apps or desktops available” error when users were trying to log into the XenDesktop Environment.

The data indicates a domino effect being triggered by a user trying to reconnect to XenDesktop session that is in a hung state with the following sequence of events:

  • UserA logs in to Storefront server 1 and tries to reconnect to their existing VDA session, but the VDA is hung
  • Desktop Studio shows the VDA session as Active but unregistered
  • The VDA is pingable but not accessible remotely such as when attempting to browse to \\vdamachinename\c$
  • vCenter reports VMTools service is not running on the virtual machine
  • DDC 1 times out trying to prepare the hung VDA for a connection
  • Storefront times out waiting for DDC 1 to respond, removes it from load balancing, and tries the next broker in the load balancing list
  • DDC 2 times out trying to prepare the hung VDA for a connection
  • Storefront times out waiting for DDC 2 to respond, removes it from load balancing, and tries the next broker in the load balancing list
  • DDC 3 times out trying to prepare the hung VDA for a connection
  • Storefront times out waiting for DDC 2 to respond, removes it from load balancing, and tries the next broker in the load balancing list
  • DDC 4 times out trying to prepare the hung VDA for a connection
  • Storefront times out waiting for DDC 2 to respond, removes it from load balancing

At this point, because all brokers for the target XenDesktop farm have been removed from load balancing, Storefront’s next action is determined by the allFailedBypassDuration setting which is set to 5 minutes. When all brokers for a farm are marked as down, Storefront waits 5 minutes before retrying to broker connections. This results in an outage of up to 5 minutes affecting any users attempting to enumerate desktops from the affected farm on the affected Storefront server.

With assistance from the Storefront support team, we are recommending changing allFailedBypassDuration to 0 on all Storefront servers to avoid the artificial outage induced by a single hung virtual machine. As I understand it, 5 minutes is the default setting on Storefront 2.5. On Storefront 2.6 the default is now 0 minutes.

See related eDoc article for additional information on how to Configure server bypass behavior.

Click Here to Continue Reading >>