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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Troubleshooting vCenter Service startup issues

There are lots of reasons a vCenter Service would not start up.  The usual suspect is an unavailable SQL database.  ESPECIALLY when the SQL database is LOCAL to the vCenter server.  I know that statement might seem illogical since by having the SQL database on the same server, you are basically eliminating all network related connectivity issues.  The reason it is a common issue for single host solutions though is timing.  Most times during the server boot, the SQL server service is not up and running by the time the Virtual Center service is attempting it’s startup.  This results in a failure due to an inaccessible database.  This can usually be verified if after logging into the console, you can just start up the service without issue.

A good preventive measure for this is to add the SQL server service as a dependency for vCenter.  This will force the service to at least wait until SQL is up before trying to start up vCenter.  VMware has a pretty detailed KB article @ KB Article: 1007669.
So this is USUALLY the case.  Occasionally though, you will come across an ACTUAL SQL ERROR. Smile  Today, I ran into an issue where my vCenter Database was marked as ‘Suspect’.  This prevented any access to the database and of course caused the VC Service to fail on startup.  Inspecting the VC logs (C:\ProgramDATA\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Logs), I noticed an error referring to “[Microsoft][SQL Native Client][SQL Server]Login failed for user 'NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM'.

After firing up the SQL Management Studio, I saw the issue.

Some quick Googling around lead me to the following resolution.SNAGHTML29170e98
Be aware that the commands do include a ‘REPAIR_ALLOW_DATA_LOSS’ statement but in my limited vCenter environment, no data was actually lost.  After running the SQL query, the VirtualCenter Service started right up.  I imagine the SQL Express server must have crashed at some point sending the database into this ‘suspect’ mode.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

RIP: Google Health-Another Cloud Service bites the dust.


After visiting my doctor, I pulled up my mobile browser and went to add in some details from my visit to my Google Health account and was surprised to see a notice that it would be discontinued soon.
Google Health will be discontinued as a service.   The product will continue service through January 1, 2012.
After this date, you will no longer be able to view, enter or edit data stored in Google Health. You will be able to download the data you stored in Google Health, in a number of useful formats, through January 1, 2013.

If you have never heard of Google Health, you are part of the reason for it’s demise. Winking smile Accordingly to the obituary posted on the Google Blog, it was the lack of adoption that led them to shut it down.  As a side note, I do find it pretty interesting that Google with their endless money and side projects decided to bow out of the seemingly explosive healthcare space with this product without there being a clear winner in the market yet.  I would think that the growth alone in this space would have been enough to keep the project alive.

Too Bad.  I liked the service or at least had great hopes for it in the future.  It was kind of like my Health 401k.  I was dutifully contributing data now to hopefully reap rewards in the future.   The goal that I appreciated with Google Health was that it allowed users to track their well being in a central/portable place.  Various providers and devices could be pulled together to give you a holistic look at your well being and track your health history.  I had linked my Fitbit (activity), CVS (prescriptions) and Quest (blood tests) all into the service.  Unfortunately, the thing that would have probably saved the service was doctor participation and that never came through.

Fortunately for the few Google Health users among us, Google has set up a push button way of salvaging the data we have entered for safekeeping.  We can either port any and all data from it’s service to another service (Microsoft’s HealthVault) or just download the data in a variety of easy to use formats.  Since I really like the idea of a centralized repository for my Health records, I’ve chosen to port to MS HealthVault.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Troubleshooting Citrix Provisioning Services vDisk HA issues.

If you have multiple Citrix Provisioning Servers in your farm yet are having some clients freeze/hang when one of the stream services shut down, you might have a simple configuration issue within the Citrix Provisioning Services Console.

After verifying that all vDisks are available and accessible from all Provisioning Servers, check out these additional configuration options.
Verify that the Store is set to service all Provisioning Servers.

Verify that the actual vDisk is set for High Availability.

Verify that the vDisk is set to use a load balancing algorithm and not assigned to a particular Provisioning Server.

Check the Bootstrap configuration for ALL Provisioning servers to make sure all Provisioning Servers are listed correctly.  Incorrect setting in the Bootstrap configuration will affect fail over behavior.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Removing VMware Site Recovery Manager Site IDs from vCenter.

If you have ever installed VMware’s Site Recovery Manager 4 in a Many to One failover configuration, you know that a single SRM installation can multiple Site IDs.  This allows remote SRM installations to pair up with the single SRM installation using an appropriate Site ID.  Think of it like a SQL server with multiple instances on it.  Creating multiple Site IDs during installation is accomplished using additional CLI parameters. 

Sometimes there are times when you need to DELETE these instances (actually unregister them from VirtualCenter).  There really isn’t a way to remove them via a GUI or even a CLI command to do it.  Fortunately, the process is pretty easy.

After uninstalling the SRM Site from Add/Remove Programs, you need to point a browser to your vCenter Server.
Https://<VCServer>/mob/?moid=ExtensionManager (Or choose Managed Object Browser from the main menu)
Log in as an administrator with access to VC and SRM.

Note the name of the Site you want to unregister and choose UnregisterExtension.

In the Value Dialog box that pops up, enter the name of the extension you would like to unregister and click Invoke Method.
At that point, you are complete. Smile

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Citrix Provisioning Server Error : Data Login Failed

It was strange,  I was adding a new Citrix Provisioning Server to an existing farm and every time I tried to launch the console, I would receive the following Critical Error. [The database login failed. The user has no database access rights.]  In the details, it did reference the computer account.  I knew that I was logged in with an appropriately permissioned user account.  The resolution was a pretty painless one.  Re-running the Configuration Wizard, I had inadvertently neglected to check the ‘Configure the database for the account’ option.   Once that option was checked and ran, connection from this machine to the SQL database went through without a hitch.
While troubleshooting, I ended up changing some of the logs from ‘INFO’ to ‘DEBUG’.  These setting can be found in the *.config files.  Below are the standard file locations.
Console log file: “c:\documents and settings\all users\application data\citrix\provisioning server\eeapi.log”
Config file: “c:\program files\citrix\provisioning server console\enterpriseaccess_log.config”
Stream process log file: “c:\documents and settings\all users\application data\citrix\provisioning server\stream.log”
Config file: “c:\program files\citrix\provisioning server\stream_log.config”
Soap server log file: “c:\documents and settings\all users\application data\citrix\provisioning server\soapserver.log”
Config file: “c:\program files\citrix\provisioning server\soapserver_log.config”
MCLI log file: “c:\documents and settings\all users\application data\citrix\provisioning server\mcli.log”
Config file: “c:\program files\citrix\provisioning server\mcli_log.config''
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

BriForum : Advanced Netscaler Customizations by Sam Jacobs

If you are a regular reader, you know that my colleague Sam Jacobs has spoken at BriForum for the past 2 years.  Last year his topic was Advanced Web Interface Customizations and this year he spoke about Netscalers.  Now that the presentation is over, he has been nice enough to share the slide deck with us on VMwareInfo.  Check out the slide deck below.  If you haven’t attended BriForum before, it is chock full of technical goodness. 

Sam has also agreed to share his Netscaler Symphony Skin files.  Download here.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Off Topic : Weekend Project : Wine Bottle Tiki torches.

imageRan across this very cool backyard DIY Project on the interwebs.  The write up is very detailed and really is a very simple project.  I’ve had it on my to-do list for a while and the biggest hurdle to getting it done was getting all the parts.  I remember wishing that they would have included a linkable online parts list so that I could just click away and have everything delivered to my house.
So after tracking down all the parts, I figured I ‘d post it up for someone else.

First, here is the link to the project :
and second, here is the parts list and links to buy everything online. (The INITIAL shipping was a little high so it made sense to me to buy more in bulk to justify the shipping costs.  I bought enough parts for 8 of them and paid 10 bucks for next day shipping)

Description: 3/8" GALV MALLEABLE HANGER FLANGE02162832
Description: 1/2 C X 3/8 C COUPLING REDUCER COPPER COUPLER  - 36889889
Description: 1/2" TUBE CAP09347246
Description: 3/8 X 16 3 FT USA ZINC PL.THREADED ROD [Cut to size with a HackSaw]06050140
Description: 3/8 Hex Nut – 67482927
Description: Replacement Wicks - [I actually bought these from my local brick & mortar store but you can get them online.] Buy.com
The original posts says the project is about 5 bucks and my 8 sets cost about 50 bucks total with next day home delivery so it was not too far off.  Hope this helps someone out there cross this project off their list. Smile

P.S. The same part list can also be used for indoor vases : DIY PROJECT: LINDSAY'S WINE BOTTLE VASES

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Monday, August 1, 2011

VMware View : Transfer Status LOCKED.

Installing the new View 4.6 Transfer server (for Local Mode Offline Desktops) and I noticed that the Transfer Server was UNMOVABLE.  Right click the VM and you will notice that the Migrate feature is disabled.  No Storage or regular vMotions.


Two new Global Attributes were also added to the vCenter Management Console as well.  Transfer Server Status and VM Lock Status. 


If you need to vMotion the Transfer server, you will need to put it into Maintenance Mode via the View Admin GUI.


Be aware that the Locked Status of View Transfer Servers will prevent ESX hosts from entering into Maintenance mode since DRS will not be able to move the servers off of the host automagically.  It will require you to put the View Transfer Servers into Maintenance Mode to complete these types of events.

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