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Think IPM

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Take a trip in the WayBack machine!

imageFor me, New Years is a chance to look forward to the new year ahead (Goals, To-Do lists, Resolutions) and reflect a little on the ones that have past.  Inspired by a tweet I saw referencing the 1996 Citrix Web Page, I took a trip of my own to see the 1996 version of my employer’s Website (IPM) using the Internet Archive’s WayBack Machine.  This was pretty much the time when I started working for them.  Good Times, Good Times. :)

Hoping you have a Happy Holiday Season and a Great 2010!

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Monday, December 28, 2009

XD 4.0 Support for U / L / T / X shaped monitor configurations

imageNice note from David Paoleschi regarding the new monitor enhancements in XenDesktop4

This should make those clients with multiple 30’’ monitors happy! :) 

Enhanced multi-monitor support: Historically, Terminal Services has not allowed the mapping of multiple display devices to a remote (e.g. ICA, RDP) session.  This presented a problem for ICA endpoints with more than one monitors.  The approach that was taken is to present a single display to Windows that overlaps ALL of the display devices on the client.  On the host, the Windows APIs that deal with multiple monitors are then hooked (the infamous MMHOOK) to "fake" the existence of different display devices where in reality there is only one.

The VDA 4.0 was changed such that it no longer uses MMHook for geometries and instead makes use of the native Windows commands (“True Multi-Monitor Support). The client will pass through monitor information which will be used on the VDA. L-shaped and U-shaped monitor configurations, different size and resolution; Basic multi-monitor support on desktop appliance and non-windows client; Advanced on Windows PC using connection bar.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Drobo iSCSI SAN Discount courtesy of Tech Field Day

If you remember my trip to Tech Field Day, Data Robotics was one of the companies we went to see.  Data Robotics is the creator of the Drobo line of inexpensive ISCSI SAN devices which are also certified by VMware for ESX.  They are very comparable to EMC’s Iomega StorCenter with a few differences.

One major difference the Drobo features is BeyondRAID technology.  This proprietary storage technology allows the Drobo to manage, expand, reorder and Self heal while allowing the user to mix and match drive types and sizes.  Normally, drive sizes and types must be match very closely.  Drobo automagically works out the largest capacity RAID available with the disks it has and reconfigures the volume appropriately.  Very consumer friendly in my opinion.  This also allows you to purchase the Drobo chassis and continually fill and replace it with newer and larger drives without having to replace the whole unit.

imageDrobo has arranged a special sale just for Tech Field Day attendees to offer their readers!

The following discounts are available at the Drobo online store through the end of the month (December):

Drobo - $50 off (plus a $30 rebate)
Drobo S - $75 off
DroboPro - $150 off (plus a $60 rebate)
DroboElite - $350 off

Just enter COSTANZO in the Promotional Code field when placing your order at the Data Robotics Store.


They Make Good Christmas Gifts! :)  Happy Holidays!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Scratching the Surface with VMware Data Recovery (vDR)

Finally got a chance to play with the vDR appliance a little more in depth at my last engagement.  I have to say that I am pretty impressed. 

After the installation and configuration process were completed, I set up a quick job to back up all 20 or so VMs in the environment.  Most of the VMs were based off of a 25GB VMDK clone machine.  I had high hopes for the De-Dupe! :)  I set up the backup windows to happen over night and headed home. :)


We had decided to create the De-Dupe store on a LaCie NAS device using a simple share. (\Public).  vDR created a subfolder called VMDataRecovery and put all backups into this directory.  The resulting backup of all 20 or so machines took up only 55 GBs of space on the LaCie.  Very Impressive! 

One thing to note, Unlike Veeam or Vizioncore, vDR does not create individual packages for each backed up VM.  Rather it creates a type of backup catalog where it stores ALL backed up machines and restore points together.  Be sure to replicate or backup the entire store to tape. 

Some additional items to note about vDR.

    • You can’t really set up a schedule of when to backup Machines.  You basically create windows for the appliance to backup the machines.  You could create separate jobs for each VM and stagger very small windows but I think over the long haul it would become too tedious to maintain effectively.
    • There is an option to Backup Now that you can click to perform just in time backup requests.

VMware Data Recovery is included with vSphere for any customers running Advanced or higher.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Do you have any Unmanaged VMware tools?

I’m used to seeing OK, Not Running and even {GASP} Out of Date but after upgrading to vSphere and trying out the vDR appliance, I was surprised to see Unmanaged as a VMware Tools Status entry.


After digging a little deeper, the Unmanaged tools status is designated for VMs where upgrading tools via vCenter is not recommended.  For example, the VMware Data Recovery Appliance.  If there is a need for an updated tool set on the vDR appliance, VMware will just release an updated version of the appliance.  No need to do the tools upgrade separately.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

VCB and PowerPath compatibility Matrix

Recently a customer asked if VMware Consolidated Backup worked with PowerPath.  After Googling around a bit, I came across this VMware KB article.
It has a great matrix of VCB versions and PowerPath versions (other vendor software is represented as well):
As long as you are using the later versions of PowerPath (32 bit only though) and the later versions of VCB, you will be leveraging the technology and features to the fullest.  I normally see VCB in use on fiber storage networks where clients can see real benefit by moving the storage traffic off the network and onto the storage fabric.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Are you using Google Wave?

So I have been using Google Wave for about a month now and it’s not half bad.  One initial gripe I did have with it was figuring out how to integrate it with my normal workflow.  It really is another inbox that you must check on.  Without any native way to resolve this issue, the community at large has come up with some nifty solutions. 

Being a HUGE Firefox fan, I was glad to see a nice little add-on was created to check and notify me of any updated waves.  The discreet little icon in the lower bottom of my browser screen serves as both a notifier and jump point allowing me to go straight to a particular wave in my inbox.  Check it out here.


If you are more of an IE or Chrome users, there is also a desktop Notifier available on SourceForge.

On my Windows 7 setup, it slides a notification window over the tool tray when there are new waves to read.


If you need/want an invite, be sure to drop a comment below and I’ll fire one out to you.  I have about 15 left at this point.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Citrix XenApp v6 - Windows 2008 R2


The Tech Preview for Windows 2008 R2 is now available for download. Looks like this version is going to be called v6.

Get it from here: http://www.citrix.com/English/mycitrix/resources.asp?contentID=1860995

If you are going to install it make sure to read the ReadMe as there seems to be quite a few pre-requisites:  http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/index.jsp?topic=/xenapp6-w2k8-tp/xenapp6-tp-readme.html

-Aaron Silber


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Thursday, December 10, 2009

vCenter Hardware Status Error – You do not have permission for this command. ; Broken Search

Ran into a Web Services error this week at a client that seems to be caused by the update to vCenter 4.  After resolving the issue with Tech Support, it has to do with a newer version of a tomcat sub component (XHives) that is not updated with the vCenter 4.0 upgrade. 

When using the Search functionality within the VI4 client, you receive an ‘Unable to connect to web services to execute query.’ error.   Also the Hardware Status tabs throw back an error. ‘Do not have permission for this command.’ 
 vSphere Error 1 vSphere Error 2
Both of these errors have to do with vCenter’s Web Services (TomCat Webserver). 
During the update from 3.5 to 4.0, the XHives sub component does not get updated to the latest version causing the Web Services to not function correctly.  
To resolve the issue :
  1. Stopping the VMware VirtualCenter Management WebServices service
  2. Replace the C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\tomcat\webapps\vws\data\ directory with this folder : Data.zip
  3. Restart the VMware VirtualCenter Management WebServices service
  4. Restart the VI Client.
This worked for me.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ESX 4.0 Agent Upgrade Check Overview

Due to a bug in the upgrade process for ESX4, (http://www.vmwareinfo.com/2009/11/alert-esx-40-to-40-update-1-can-cause.html), it is a good practice to verify if you have any 3rd party agents running in the Service Console.  vCenter 4.0 update 1 has a nifty program to assist in this check.  Here’s a quick dry run I did at a client to see what it did.. :)









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Monday, December 7, 2009

Job Opportunity : Senior VMware/Citrix Engineer : 120k Base + 18% - 20% Bonus : NYC Area.

If the coming New Year is signaling a time for a new change and you're in the NYC area, you might want to check out this position.

This is a hands-on, senior engineering role that will represent the Global Infrastructure team. The position will be based in Midtown and report to the Director of Corporate Infrastructure.  Here are the particulars :


Please forward all resumes and job inquiries to
Harvey Weissman [HWeissman AT ForumGrp DOT Com] or (212) 687-4050 x355

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Security is no Laughing Matter!

image During a recent password audit at a large company, it was discovered that one user was using the password:


When asked why such a long password, the user responded that they were told that the password had to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one capital. :)

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dell ExtPart.exe ; Extend Volumes Easily.


There are literally half a dozen different ways to extend a volume and here is one more. :)

This Dell utility will expand boot drives on WindowsXP/2000/2003 without downtime. 

Its was written for Dell arrays but it works on any volume (Physical or Virtual, System, Boot or Data).

Quick download and no installation which I like.

Grab it here : Dell ExtPart

Fast, Clean, Free and Simple to use.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Why we recommend Enterprise Storage Solutions

EMC - Built Jeep Tough! I love people who are passionate about what they do and I love Technologists that are passionate about the technologies they work with.  Although I am not a storage guy by any stretch of the imagination, I do enjoy eavesdropping on the threads that float around the office related to storage (It is such a critical part to a successful Virtualization strategy).  Last week, there was a blog post that was passed around about a company that had chosen EqualLogic as their storage solution and some of the limitations the architect had run into over the course of 3 years.. 
You can read the full text here (
Three Years of EqualLogic).

A colleague of mine, Joel Ramirez, on the storage side responded with a great summary to the basic question of ‘Why do we recommend Enterprise Storage Solutions?’ that I wanted to share. 

The great thing about being consultant-centric is that we use the breadth of our experience to present solutions to fulfill our clients’ business requirements.  As enabling as our partnership with EMC is from the storage end, I know it can appear counter-intuitive to that approach.  Of course, we are not limited to EMC product to solve storage problems, but I’ll tell you why I believe in their solutions. 

I think of EMC as a Jeep.  It does everything.  Some things it does inherently well, some involve some manual intervention, but the thing runs.  It’s technology that you can bet your business on.  And when you need to do more and varied things, you know that you won’t have to go buy a different vehicle.  You can add to what you have and know it will work.  I say this all the time, but it bears repeating.  Once you empower a business with storage technology, they will leverage it.  At year three (or when they turn on an advertised feature of the array), you don’t want a client with a paperweight.  

You can see from the blog that the storage admin is not unhappy with EqualLogic, but he does have to prioritize his business.  He has himself a Honda Accord at a rally event.  It’s just not made for that.  And the vendor has no desire to make it do more than what they sold it for.  This is common in the storage sector.  We don’t have to pitch Clariion CX4-480’s all of the time, but we do have to recognize that even small shops need to be able to use mature and efficient snapshotting, for example.  Innovation happens nearly every quarter at EMC.  Since I’ve been working here, they’ve developed solid state technology into higher capacities while driving cost down, developed VM visualization all the way to disk, and made free de-dupe a checkbox among several other key innovations.  This is just in the CX4 platform.  We are not even talking about backup and replication technologies. 

There are plenty of ways to skin a cat, EMC just makes it as straightforward as anyone available to us. 


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Monday, November 30, 2009

Google Wave Invites : The Giving Season is upon us!

Google Wave has been in a very closed private beta since May 2009 but recently announced plans to bump the Beta up by 100,000 people.  My additional invites showed up right before Thanksgiving.


I’ve been using Wave on and off for about a month and didn’t really ‘get’ it.  At first it just seemed like ANOTHER inbox to check in order to correspond with people.  For the first month or so, that was my experience.  I really did not have many people in my contact list and for the few I did have in my contact list, I did not have a need to collaborate with them.  Up until then, my normal email had been a superior contact tool.

After returning from the GestaltIT Tech Field Day in San Jose, many of us were eager to give Wave a test run as a platform for creating some collaborative posts for the event.  This little experiment has changed my view on Wave a bit.

Wave seems to be an excellent tool for :

  1. Event driven discussions with multiple people providing insight and suggestions for a conversation.  Wave allows people to view the conversation ‘as is’, rather than sifting through email to piece together the current status of things.  I could see this being useful for planning events, reunions, parties, get togethers, etc.. assuming all participants actually have access to and use Google Wave.
  2. Creating collaborative web oriented posts or articles.  I am not sure about actual documents since I haven’t figured out how to integrate Google Docs into it to export to a DOC file.
  3. Although real-time collaboration is allowed, I think this platform is best for staggered collaboration where people are visiting the wave, catching up and contributing.  Very similar to a private wiki of sorts.

One thing I would like to see in a later version of Wave is email alerting;  Although this seems a bit redundant since I am sure Google would like Wave to BE your Inbox, for me it is just another pointed tool for the above scenarios.   It takes a conscious effect to check in on the wave to see if there has been any updates to it.

If you’ve read this far down the page and still want a Wave invite, shoot me an email or drop a comment in the comments. :) I have 13 for now, first come first serve.

My Google Wave Address is CCostanVM @ GOOGLEWAVE.COM

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ALERT: ESX 4.0 to 4.0 Update 1 can cause an Unrecoverable system.

image I just saw this come across twitter.  (BTW: This is a GREAT example of why Twitter is a valuable technology tool if used correctly.)

Upgrading ESX 4.0 to Update 1 using Update Manager when there are 3rd party management agents in the Console will result in an UNRECOVERABLE system. 

Here is the official word from the KB as of now (11/25/2009 : 5 pm EST)

Upgrading ESX 4.0 to 4.0 U1 using Update Manager fails or times out and rebooting host results in a purple diagnostic screen


When attempting to upgrade ESX 4.0 to ESX 4.0 Update 1, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Update Manager (VUM) upgrade operation fails or times out at 33%.
  • Upon reboot, the host that was being upgraded displays a purple diagnostic screen with the following error:
    COS Panic: Int3 @ mp_register_ioapic

Who is affected
Customers using VMware vSphere 4 upgrading to Update 1 with 3rd party management agents running.


To avoid this issue, prior to the update, disable all 3rd party management agents running on the ESX 4.0.0 server before applying the update.

Note: The 3rd party management agents can be enabled after the upgrade is completed.

WARNING: Rebooting the host means the host has to be reinstalled because it is not recoverable after a reboot.
WARNING: If you have virtual machines running on local storage, they may not be retained if you reinstall ESX 4.0 as a result of this issue. Contact VMware Support for assistance in recovering those virtual machines.

The official KB is here : http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1016070 and is being updated as information is released; I would imagine a patch link will appear there when it is ready.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Clean up your Event Logs! WinMgmt Event ID 40

Doing his very best to keep Event Logs everywhere pristine, Aaron Silber helps us knock out another pesky EventLog error :


Not sure if this is an error that has something to do with machines created/deployed via Citrix Provisioning Services or just simply related to WMI and/or ASP.NET, most likely it is the latter, but I have seen it a few times now so I decided to research it. I had noticed some WMI errors which seem to talk about ASP stuff, of course my natural inclination is to ignore WMI stuff as I figure it is something to do with monitoring or reporting, and the ASP.NET stuff doesn’t help the cause as that equals web stuff to me, also something I am not really interested in (Web people, don’t take it personally).

In any case I poked around and found the following article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951683 which lists the exact message I was getting as well as a hotfix to fix it.

After applying the fix I noticed my old friend MSCORVW.exe running so of course I ran NGEN executequeueditems (see here if you don’t remember what this is all about) to force the finishing up of the .NET compilations.

Unfortunately this particular hotfix is not one that available via the web, you have to call to request it. Just be sure to reference KB article #951683 when calling Microsoft.


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NewSid, no more?!... Say it aint so!

GoodBye NewSidI called this one back in February!
http://www.vmwareinfo.com/2009/02/duplicate-sids-big-deal-why-you-might.html and Aaron Silber sent me over this note to confirm it! :)

Looks like our old friend has been put to bed.


A very good read, the bottom line is he says that after much investigating the local machine SID is exactly that, just local and is never used outside the machine, so there is no reason whatsoever to have them be unique; there is no chance that any machine could ever find out what another machine’s SID is.

Here is the final nail in the coffin, he says:

To my chagrin, NewSID has never really done anything useful and there’s no reason to miss it now that it’s retired. Microsoft’s official policy on SID duplication will also now change and look for Sysprep to be updated in the future to skip SID generation.”


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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Issues with Citrix’s ICA Client 11.2

Sam Jacobs dropped this quick note on me this week. image

“I have been noticing an increasing number of posts on the Citrix forums concerning issues with the 11.2 version of the ICA client.  One issue that has come up repeatedly, is the inability to launch applications with the 11.2 client if the FQDN of the WI site *is* in the user’s Trusted Site list!  I would recommend that clients refrain from deploying 11.2 until all the issues have been shaken out.”

Here is one of the threads that Sam was referring to:

Secure Gateway doesn't work added to Trusted Sites in IE 8


Have you deployed 11.2 in your environment?  Let us know in the comments.


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Monday, November 16, 2009

Way cool ICA App Launcher!

Written by Aaron Silber :


If anyone has recently upgraded their Citrix client you find (or not be able to find!) that Citrix has removed a lot from Program Neighborhood. As a matter of fact there is no Program Neighborhood anymore!

Citrix wants everyone to use the new Citrix client the Citrix Receiver.  If you’re like me and have you have held off upgrading because you don’t want to lose all of the PN features you’ve come to love, like being able to just put a server name in and launch a published app, fear not, upgrade away! Just download the this handy-dandy Citrix tool!

Citrix article: http://support.citrix.com/article/ctx122536

Direct link to download: 


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Friday, November 13, 2009

Tech Field Day : Additional Notes

imageThe days here are Tech Field Day have been very packed and exciting.   

The conversations have been diving very deep into storage related discussions.  Not really my bag of tricks at that level but interesting for me none the less.  At the 3PAR building, 3PAR and Symantec Storage went into their presentations around their storage offerings.  One interesting thing that I took away from both presentations was some of the inherent problems and risks associated with ‘stock’ thin provisioning.  Issues with Oversubscriptions and free space reclamation that I was totally unaware of.  A fellow attendee who patiently explained the issues to me should be posting a more detailed explanation soon here
Keep an eye out on the Storage Architect if you are considering Thin Provisioning. I’ve come to the conclusion that I will not recommend thin provisioned storage unless the underlying SAN can reclaim the deleted storage.

The day rounded out with a visit to the Computer History Museum! 40 Years of computer Artifacts. Very Cool!

Other vendors that presented to us were Ocarina Networks [Software Data compression and DeDupe] and Nirvanix [Cloud Provider].  Nirvanix is a competitor to Amazon S3 providing remote disk and storage and gave us the opportunity to use their service for free for 1 year. I plan to take them up on that! :)


GestaltIT’s Tech Field Day Pictures courtesy of the Ugly Green Photographer!

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Tech Field Day : MDS Micro & Xsigo

imageThis was my first ‘Tech Field Day’.  I was not sure what to expect and at first it seemed like the beginning of a strange Technology Reality TV Show.  Everyone loaded up on a bus, most meeting for the first time only hours before and headed to a vague location for an unknown agenda.  I felt like someone might get voted off by the end of the day.  In reality, I have been incredibly surprised.  This is definitely a well run professional event.   The Attendees are all VERY SMART and excited to be here and the Sponsors seem equally excited to present to us.  It’s great to learn more about technology but it has been a welcome surprise to also meet the people whom I have been reading blogs and tweets from and put a name/face/personality to the avatar. :)

The day started off bright and early (7AM on the Bus!) and headed to the VMware Briefing Center.

imageFirst set of presenters : MDS and Xsigo ; Dense hardware and Virtualized I/O.  Something completely new to me.  Living in a software world, I don’t get into hardware so much. It was very interesting to see how VMware has used these exact technologies at major events including VMWorld 2009 where they used this gear configuration to run 30,000+ VMs for all their labs.

From the MDS Micro side, they showed off a very cool QuadV server.  Basically, it is a 2U 4 server chassis fully loaded for about 25k.  (If I heard them right.)  Of course fully VMware certified as an ESX host platform.   This allows for a very utilized efficient use of space and power.

For the Xsigo, The hands on demo was GREAT.  Although not a real deep dive, it give us a chance to play with the interface and allowed me to relate the slides to actual real world situations.  For starters, I love that the Xsigo interface is embedded in the vCenter client (notice the button on the top bar).  Being the virtualization guy that I am, I like using VC as my central console for management.  The more visibility and management that I have in the VI console, the better.  

From what I gathered from the Xsigo demos, the product further abstracts the hardware from the base OS (ESX hosts in our demo).  For example, I was able to add an additional NIC and HBA to an ESX4 host without rebooting the host!  Cool! Apparently, the appeal of this product is it’s ability to reduce and maximize overall connections and do this abstraction of hardware (MACs, WWNs, etc).  Not sure if it is a ‘Must Have’ for a VI environment unless you are running super dense machines [VMWorld].  Definitely a ‘Nice to Have’ though.

Check out some of the screenshots below :



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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

GestaltIT Tech Field Day!

image Tomorrow night I am heading out to Silicon Valley to attend an invitation only Tech Field Day organized by GestaltIT.  Never heard of Tech Field Day?  Understandable, this is the first one!  Organized by GestaltIT’s founder, Stephen Foskett and inspired by the HP Tech Field Day, this will be a unique event to which independent bloggers like myself, will be given up close and personal access to some great hardware, software and services provided by a select few vendors.  I would imagine the hopes for the companies are to expose people via social media to their products and services in a very targeted way.  The hope for me is to learn about some new tech and meet some fellow bloggers and engineers to learn a few new tricks from!  I am really looking forward to this event!

The 2 day event starts tomorrow and already there has been significant buzz about it within our virtual blogosphere.  Here’s the skinny on it :

I’ll start with the Attendees :
This will be my first opportunity to meet most in real life but have been reading many of their blogs for a while and get a feeling that this will be a very technical group. Stephen has pulled together a group of people from varied technical backgrounds (Networking, Storage, Virtual) and geographic locations (East Coast, West Coast, England and Australia to name a few)!

Rich Brambley          
VM /ETC Gestalt IT           RBrambley               Chris Evans    The Storage Architect Gestalt IT       ChrisMEvans
Greg Ferro                
EtherealMind Gestalt IT   EtherealMind           Bas Raayman  Renegade’s Technical Diatribe          BasRaayman
Rod Haywood           
Musings of Rodos              Rodos                      John Hickson Studio Sysadmins                               StudioSystems
Greg Knieriemen      
Storage Monkeys              Knieriemen              John Obeto    Absolutely Windows                           JohnObeto
Devang Panchigar     
StorageNerve Gestalt IT   StorageNerve           Nigel Poulton Ruptured Monkey                              NigelPoulton 
Ed Saipetch              
Breathing Data Gestalt IT EdSai                       Robin Harris  StorageMojo                                       StorageMojo
Simon Seagrave        
TechHead                         Kiwi_Si                   Rick Vanover  Virtualization Review Tech Republic RickVanover
Stephen Foskett      
GestaltIT                           Sfoskett

I am very excited to meet and hang with this group.  Browse through the blog list above and you will notice a very diverse set of people.  Hopefully I can hold my own within this group.   You can follow the real-time tweets from everyone at http://twitter.com/TechFieldDay/tfd1-attendees

Next up (in no particular order) the Sponsors:
Although, lesser known companies for me and I am excited to find out what each can bring to a virtual environment.  Personally, I am very interested in seeing Data Robotics’ DroboPro which is a low cost VMware Certified iSCSI SAN since I am currently in the process of rebuilding my lab.  (These would be AWESOME take homes! [Hint, Hint])

Data Robotics Nirvanix Ocarina
symantec-logo-72dpi Xsigo 3PAR Logo MDS Micro

The following sponsors will not be presenting, but they have offered to provide support for other portions of the event:

bhava_communications_medium TechValidate Logo Truth in IT VMW_09Q3_LOGO_Corp_K

Finally the Agenda:


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Monday, November 9, 2009

Boot Options for a Citrix Provisioning Services Target

Provisioning Services Targets can boot from PXE, CDroms or Hard Drive Boot code.  This boot code tells the bare metal target where to go to receive it’s streamed Operating System (vDisk).  Chris Hahn sent over a short punch list on how to boot from Hard Disk.

Putting the boot code on the hard disk in 7 easy steps. 

1)      Boot up a machine in private mode with a local disk with no data on it

2)      Create a small partition at the beginning of the local disk (I used 100mb)

3)      Run BDM.exe from the XA or XD machine (you can just browse to the executable on the Provisioning Server over the network)

4)      Run through the BDM wizard and set the appropriate IP settings (use verbose mode also so you can see what is going on during the boot process if there are any problems)

5)      At the end of the wizard, select the appropriate partition to write the boot code to.  It should look something like this –


6)      From Disk Management, set the partition as active.

7)      Reboot.  The server should now boot using the boot code on the hard drive.


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Friday, November 6, 2009

Cryptic Windows error codes no more!

Written by Aaron Silber:

This tip has been written by many out there on the big World Wide Web, but figured it was worth repeating, just in case you haven’t seen it.

Ever find yourself looking at an Event Log error message hoping that it will provide a real answer to a problem only to find it referencing some hex number?


Great, now what do I do with this you may be asking yourself. Well this little tip in many cases can lead you to your next step!

The key here is the status code, which will be in hex, in this case 704.

Open up Calculator and choose Scientific mode (unless you’re one of those math geeks that can do hex├áDecimal conversion in your head!)


As soon as you change the mode from hex to decimal you will get 1796, stay with me, we are getting there.

Next, open up a command prompt and type in:


Now we have a real message and something to look into! This printer was looking to create a custom Port.

This tip should work on almost any windows error codes otherwise you are probably dealing with a custom app I imagine.

- Aaron

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