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Think IPM

Monday, October 17, 2016

Running NetApp? New Blog and Free Book!

If you one of the many customers out there running a NetApp storage system,  here’s a hot lead to a new blog run by Neil Anderson (@flackboxtv).  It’s cloud, Netapp, and more cloud. 

Neil has a great step by step e-book that he is giving away for free that details a step by step process for creating a NetApp ONTAP 9 lab using VMware Workstation and the NetApp simulator.  As a blogger, he has put a lot of work and effort into this and is reaching out to share it back with the community.  That’s pretty cool – Thanks Neil!
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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Dude, where’s my Citrix Client Printers Utility?

Image result for easy hard choiceTime marches on and it’s time to upgrade your XenApp Servers.  7.x, here we come.  But your users have been nicely trained to use the Citrix Client Printers Utility and it’s now GONE in XenApp 7.x!  You have 2 options:  

1) Change your policies to auto-create *all* of a user's client printers, a revolting option if you consider that a traveling user's laptop may have *dozens* of printers defined, most of them obsolete or inaccessible.  Biggest culprits: those damned consultants!

2) Copy the binaries (printcfg.exe and at least its English UI DLL – resource\en\printcfgUI.dll) from a XenApp 6.5 server to your new 7.x servers and you are good to go! Works just as before, and maintains the argument that you only really need to auto-create users' *default* client printer since you can give them the option of selecting more if they really need them.  The argument is especially strong if you also auto-create their generic Citrix UNIVERSAL Printer (with Preview enabled) via policy, for occasional access to additional printers without their having to be auto-created or auto-retained within their sessions.

The choice is obvious!
This great Citrix tip came straight from JB – Follow him at @Jacqbens.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Stuck in Maintenance mode after 5.5 ESXi upgrade

Image result for maintenance modeI received a call from a client asking for help removing maintenance mode from an ESXi host.  The 5.5 host was put into maintenance mode, had some patches applied to it and when it came back to vCenter, the client was unable to exit Maintenance Mode.  vCenter complained that the host was unavailable on the network or that the ‘Exit Maintenance Mode’ command was invalid for the specific state.  Weird.

I connected to the ESXi Host directly from the VI client and the host showed it was NOT in Maintenance mode.  Immediately that told me that the vCenter was not updating it’s status correctly.  From the direct connection, I put the host back into Maintenance mode to match up what vCenter believed.  At that point, I removed the ESXi host from the cluster and from vCenter and gave the Host a reboot.  Freshen things up.  Once returned it refused to be added back into the Cluster.

But then I remembered that pesky VMware KB 2140304 that states that ESXi hosts upgraded are not manageable by a vCenter of a lower patch version!  The easiest fix for this is a quick patching of vCenter to the now current 5.5 Update 3e.

This was a blast from the past for me as most of my clients have upgraded to vSphere 6.x by now but for those out there still holding the line on 5.5, this was an easy one to fix. (Although be sure to always take a snapshot!  - Damn you Murphy!)

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A quick look at the Horizon 7 Access Point Appliance

In case you missed it, VMware has been moving toward more and more appliance driven applications.  vCenter, vRealize and now Horizon Access Points.  The Access Points are replacements for the Windows based Security server we would normally build out in a Horizon View environment.   This server is on the edge of the connection before the user’s endpoint (usually in a DMZ or utilized with a firewall NAT).

Having this server as a VMware hardened appliance seems great!  I’m in.  Let’s check it out…

First off, it’s an OVF appliance.  I like that.  I am deploying 2.7 here.

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There are a couple of different scenarios for NICs.  there are 3 selections. 1, 2 and 3 NICs.  Single NIC is for NAT’d environments, 2 and 3 would be for DMZ installations.  (3 NICs if you want to additionally isolate the management traffic)

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Here is where it gets kind of annoying.  You need to create an IP Pool for the network settings. Even though the next screen will allow you to add in a variety of IP settings.

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On this screen, BE SURE to give the admin user a password since all configuration will have to be done via the REST API via JSON.  What?!?  Yeah .. that’s it for me.  I’m not dealing with that.   Here are the rest of the screenshots for completeness but at this point, I’ve made up my mind to use the Windows Based Security Server.

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After this screen is a nice summary screen and then the appliance will get deployed.  Like I said earlier, this is not for me or my clients.  The manageability needs to be increased substantially before I would consider deploying it to my clients.  Maybe 3.0 or 4.0.  I’ll keep a close eye on the developments of this product.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Upgrading VMware Site Recovery Manager from 5.8 to 6.1.1

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So the Summer is over, school is back, Fall is here, iOS10 has been released and everyone is itching to upgrade stuff.  It’s what you do before the end of the year.  Finish crossing things off your lists before starting new lists. #NewYearResolutions

Today, I am upgrading a client’s VMware  Site Recovery Manager from 5.8 to 6.1.1 (the latest at the time of this writing).  Not so fast though…  Looks like there is no direct upgrade from SRM 5.8 to 6.1.1. Sad smile  

Looks like you have to take a slight detour to 6.0 first and then upgrade to 6.1.1.  Whew!

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