Think IPM

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Ides of March for EdgeSight 4.5, 5.0 and 5.1 : Planned Obsolescence 3/25/2010

Sam Jacobs who is very active in the Citrix Forum community stumbled across this quiet announcement regarding Citrix EdgeSight 5.2. 

http://forums.citrix.com/thread.jspa?threadID=258558

In a nutshell, if you are using ES 4.5, 5.0 or 5.1 they will cease to function correctly March 25th unless you upgrade!image

“Citrix EdgeSight versions 5.0 and 5.1 relies on a digital certificate to authenticate its software. This certificate expires on March 25th, 2010- thus will render the software unusable afterwards. Customers are urged to upgrade to the latest ES 5.2 sp1 by mid-March 2010. Customer who are using ES 5.2 (any sp) will not be affected.”

The post further goes on to say that EdgeSight 4.5 will also be End of Life on that date.

“Also the ES 4.5 version reached the End Of Life (EOL) on March 25th, 2010. Therefore Citrix EdgeSight customers who are still using ES 4.5 will not be able to obtain support for this version of the product.”

I’ve blogged before about the importance of keeping production software maintenance up to date and this is a good example.  Companies with subscriptions that have lapsed and are actively using EdgeSight in their environments will be forced to make some critical decisions. Either switch off EdgeSight or true-up your maintenance to get the ES 5.2 upgrade.

You have 2 months to upgrade your ES servers and Agents; Get back to work!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The SVGA II driver can Freeze Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7.

Frozen ComputerChris Hahn sent me over this note.

The SVGA II driver installed by VMware Tools doesn't work with 2008 R2 or Windows 7.  Console sessions will randomly lockup.

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/218244?start=105&tstart=0

According to the thread there is a WDDM driver in U1 that you can install manually to fix the problem by browsing to -

"C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\Drivers\wddm_video"

As been my experience, the VMware Community Forums are top notch and are all over this. :) If you haven’t signed up for them or checked them out, you might want to.

UPDATE: There is also a KB article out on the subject.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1011709

 

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Citrix Print Detective ; Oldie but a Goodie

Aaron Silber just rediscovered this Citrix tool. Very clean tool, no installation, just launch and away you go. It gives you a list of all of the Printer Drivers installed (you can choose to change to a different server) and then you can choose to delete any of them.

http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX116474

Print Detective is an information gathering utility that can be used for troubleshooting problems related to print drivers. It enumerates all printer drivers from the specified Windows machine, including driver specific information. It can also be used to delete specified print drivers. It allows for log file capabilities, as well as providing a command-line interface

Citrix Print Detective

Although very useful in fixing Citrix printing driver issues, also helpful in removing print drivers in general.  There isn’t an actual dependency on Citrix. Windows 7, 2003, 2008 and XP are all fair game!

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Migrating the XenDesktop Database from Access to SQL.

So it’s time to move your XenDesktop ‘Proof of Concept’ up to production but in haste, you installed everything to a nice little Microsoft Access Database.  Fine for 1 server but if you plan on having multiple DDCs, you’re going to have to migrate this up to SQL.  Luckily Citrix has DSMaint to help.  The same command that helped us move Datastores in XenApp deployments will now also help us move the XenDesktop Datastore.

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From the XenDesktop DDC, create a new ODBC connection FILE.

Select the SQL driver for this connection.

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MF20.DSN currently points to the Access Database so MF20SQL.DSN will be used.

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Create new SQL connection.

Enter the SQL server you will be using for the XenDesktop Datastore. 

 

Note: You should have already created the database on the SQL server at this point.

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Windows NT authentication is fine.

Make sure the AD user has appropriate access to the SQL database.

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Be sure to select the XenDesktop Database that has been created by your SQL administrator.

Default Database: Select the Default database for your XD deployment.

 

NOTE: This database should have been created already.

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Select Finish to complete the DSN setup.

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Run the DSMaint command to Migrate the information over to the new SQL database.

DSMAINT MIGRATE /srcdsn:<OLD DSN PATH> /srcuser:<username> /srcpwd:<pwd> /dstdsn<NEW DSN PATH> /dstuser:<username> /dstpwd:<pwd>


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Verify that the Migration went smoothly.clip_image016

Once the database has been migrated up to the SQL server, the individual DDCs must be reconfigured to use the new database. DSMAINT CONFIG will be the command to reconfigure the DDC.

DSMAINT CONFIG /dsn:"C:\Program Files\Citrix\Independent Management Architecture\MF20SQL.dsn" /user:DOMAIN\USERNAME/pwd:PASSWORD.

This command needs to be run on each DDC. Once run, the DDC needs to be restarted for the change to be completed. Make sure the DSN is created on each DDC pointing to the new SQL server.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Odds and Ends… Win a DVD and donate to a worthy cause.

imageHere are a couple of loose ends that I have been meaning to post in no particular order :

Eric Siebert’s Top 25 Blogs – If you haven’t checked out the vLaunchpad, You totally should!  It is pretty much the most comprehensive list of Virtualization related links that I have found on the web!  Eric is currently updating his Top 25 Blog list for 2010 and has a Vote going on that will end TONIGHT (1/15) at 10PM MST.  If you are so inclined, you can vote here.  Eric will be giving away randomly to TWO voters, TrainSignal’s VMware vSphere Training course DVDs.  Might as well take a shot at winning! (Limit 1 vote per IP/Email address).

On a totally different note, my colleague Marcos Velez is fund raising this year and I thought I’d give his message a broader audience via this blog.  Marcos has been a great source of information and help to me and others and it would be great to see him reach the goal he has set out for himself.  Here’s a quick blurb from Marcos :
  I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning to the New Year.  With a new year, we often look forward to new goals and challenges.  For my part, I am undertaking a whole year of physical challenges that will see me compete in about 15 endurance races.  As part of my calendar of races, I will be participating in two local races as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training.  Those races are the NYC Half Marathon (March 21, 2010) and the Nautica NYC Triathlon (July 18, 2010).  As part of my commitment to Team In Training, I have also committed to raising five thousand dollars ($5,000) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  All the money that I raise through my efforts will further their mission and goals.

I am asking all of my friends, acquaintances and relatives to help me achieve my fund-raising goal by making a donation on my behalf. Making a donation is quick and easy, and can be done online (via credit card) through any of the following links:


The links above are my personal Team In Training pages through which I will be keeping everyone informed and up-to-date with regards to my training and fund-raising progress. I will be keeping them updated on a regular basis.  Please help me achieve my goal! Your donations will help a lot of unlucky individuals that have been afflicted by cancer.
Here’s the post in a nutshell : You can vote for VMware InfoDonate to a worthy cause (which might up your Karma) and hopefully take home a copy of TrainSignal’s vSphere training course. Seems like a Win-Win-Win to me. :)
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Issue with latest ICA Client for Mac OS X users

Apple CitrixFor all you Apple fans forced to run Windows applications via Citrix! :)

Mac OS X users running the latest version of the Citrix ICA client may encounter difficulties launching ICA files dished by a Web Interface site.  Citrix is aware of the issue, but they do not have an ETA on when they might issue a new client to fix the problem.  Until then, follow these instructions to restore all functionality:

1.  Close all open web browser windows

2.  Remove the Citrix browser plug-in that gets installed into /Library/Internet Plug-Ins

3.  After this is removed, the web browser will go back to downloading ".ica" files

4.  Double click the ".ica" file and you will be prompted to select an application to be used to open the file

5.  Select /Library/Application Support/Citrix/Citrix online plug-in and ICA files should now open like they did with prior versions of the ICA client

Enjoy,

Marcos Velez 

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

vMotion Error : Failed to write.

While trying to Migrate some machines (Cold and Hot Migrations) from my old 3.5 farm to my new shiny vSphere lab, I received the following error : A general system error occurred: Failed to write to <Path>.
Turns out that Update Manager had filled the vCenter Hard Drive with patches using up all available space on my Single Drive VM. (Normally I point UM patches to a D drive but this was my Lab!?!) :)
Cleared up some space on the drive and my Cold and Hot migrations went though without a hitch!
 A general system error occurred: Failed to write to <Path>.
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Verifying Microsoft Exchange 2010 Support in VMware vSphere.

I recently had to find some support documentation for a colleague that verified if Microsoft Exchange 2010 Server running on Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 server would be a supported configuration on a VMware vSphere infrastructure.  Seemed like a pretty quick query but I really had trouble finding any official documentation on the subject.  Partly because of the upcoming VMware Partner Exchange 2010 conference (which is currently monopolizing the Google ‘Exchange 2010 VMware Support’ queries) but also because of the difficulty in creating a matrix that encompasses all the different applications and flavors of Operating systems.

Microsoft does have an official certification program called the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) that I found very useful in figuring out what types of combinations are valid under which support agreements.  They also provide a great support Wizard that allows you to choose the product, OS and Virtualization platform and see if it is officially supported by Microsoft. 

Sample Results image

In my particular case, I could only verify that Windows 2008 was a supported OS under vSphere.  Unfortunately Exchange 2010 is not on the SVVP wizard list yet. 

I did manage to find a Webcast on TechNet that stated Exchange 2010 is supported on any Virtualization Platform in SVVP (Which includes VMware vSphere) and a Guest of Windows 2008 SP2 or R2.  Check out the WebCast and the PDF.

It also clearly states that MS will not support VMs with Snapshots or participating in vMotion (Although I am not sure how they could tell that it’s been vMotion’d unless the error occurs DURING vMotion).

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

First NewSid and now UPHClean; Microsoft discontinues project.

imageFirst the news of NewSid and now the demise of UPHClean! 

Directly from http://blogs.technet.com/uphclean/archive/2010/01/06/status-of-uphclean.aspx

First let me apologize for the length of time since my last post.  Unfortunately this post is to report that UPHClean is now officially dormant.  Release bits for UPHClean v2.0 are not forthcoming.  There's no plan of record for release. This means that even if it was restarted it would be months or much longer to get a final package ready. At various point I had hope that I could get time together to produce a final package but it is not in the cards for the foreseeable future.  This is not happening.

This means that the current beta build (2.0.49.0) is the latest bits and will stay the only code available for the foreseeable future.  This code works well for most people (> 99%).  It does not function on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 nor Windows Server 2008 R2.  As I have mentioned in other posts there's definitely some possibility of machine running beta bits of UPHClean v2.0 to crash or hang.  The best course of action in those cases is to discontinue usage of UPHClean.

For those of us working with Citrix XenApp Server, UPHClean had become a standard part of the builds.  Useful for preventing ‘stuck’ profiles at logoff and keeping many of the issues plaguing Windows profiles at bay.  It’s now up to the Windows Server 2008 Operating System to make sure we don’t wake up to handfuls of disconnected sessions stuck on our servers. :(

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