ESX Virtualization http://www.vladan.fr VMware ESXi, vSphere, DR... how-to, videos.... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:38:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Xangati Released Two New Dashboards to extend their Software Suite http://www.vladan.fr/xangati-released-two-new-dashboards-extend-software-suite/ http://www.vladan.fr/xangati-released-two-new-dashboards-extend-software-suite/#respond Tue, 15 Apr 2014 02:59:04 +0000 http://www.vladan.fr/?p=34572

Xangati just announced two new dashboards in their software suite. Xangati is a specialist in end-to-end real time monitoring, but their product offers some unique capabilities, like storm tracking or automatic recording when your infrastructure is performing badly. There is new Executive Dashboard which offers an overall view of VDI and VI components and also […]

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Xangati just announced two new dashboards in their software suite. Xangati is a specialist in end-to-end real time monitoring, but their product offers some unique capabilities, like storm tracking or automatic recording when your infrastructure is performing badly. There is new Executive Dashboard which offers an overall view of VDI and VI components and also detailed recordings and reporting. This is the main window which is simple to use and operate single dashboard.

Xangati3 Xangati Released Two New Dashboards to extend their Software SuiteThe second dashboard is called MyDashboard and is fully customizable with the elements the admin needs to see all the time, for example a critical application workload or database. The customized view can group the objects of the same type and group them together like VMs, hosts, datastores, NICs, hosts or physical PCs or servers.

The full suite called XSR11 consists of Four main dashboards:

  • Xangati VDI dashboard
  • Xangati VI dashboard
  • Xangati Network Suite – network performance monitoring, end-to-end visibility
  • Xangati for vSphere (Free tool)

The main benefit is to be able to see where the bottleneck is occurring, in the real time. It effectively helps to solve problems faster.

You can of course download 30 days trial or the free Xangati for vSphere. What I liked in the past, with Xangati was the recording possibility. And it’s still present as it very popular.  When used with VDI, the remote users, if experiencing difficulties (slow network, slow application) when accessing their Virtual desktops, they’re able to record the situation…. They’re actually can click on a button in a webpage to record the situation they’re in. They can trigger the DVR recording remotely together with creating a support ticket as Xangati has a built-in ticketing system too….

A quick video from Xangati showing demo of the new dashboards:

Here is a part of the press release:

The Xangati MyDashboard allows users to customize their views to include, for example, just a particular application, or just the activity of a particular data center, cost center, or department – according to individual need or preference – to create a comprehensive aggregated performance index or even to create a live view of activity at a particular instant. Or a customized view can be built around multiple objects of the same type, such as groups of virtual machines, desktops, desktop pools, hosts, datastores, network interfaces, or physical endpoints or servers. MyDashboard therefore extends the benefits of real-time performance monitoring to business-unit executives and managers, allowing them to better manage application workloads in their virtualized environments.

The Xangati suite also incorporates the company’s StormTracker technology, which tracks and analyzes contention storms on the network, and for any virtualized workloads, whether VDI, VI or VNI (Virtual Network Infrastructure). Any authorized user, and even external users with authorization, can then submit a Visual Trouble Ticket, through which end-user issues can be tracked on a recording portal integrated with the organization’s service desk. This capability extends even to WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation), allowing administrators to specify multiple sets of global credentials to facilitate support for multiple Windows domains, to enable or disable WMI access globally or to individual Windows machines, or to perform bulk updates for WMI configuration.

“Even the highest-performing and best-managed cloud environments can be afflicted by storage storms, CPU storms, memory storms, and boot storms, crippling applications and disrupting end-user experiences,” said Sundi Sundaresh, CEO of Xangati. “With StormTracker, you can immediately identify storms and gain second-by-second insights, proactively track their impact, and quickly remediate them. The benefits are twofold:  organizations can not only maximize the ROI on their network infrastructure, but now have the ironclad performance stats they need to meet SLA commitments to their users.”

Source: Xangati

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WIMBoot in Windows 8.1 allows saving storage and memory http://www.vladan.fr/wimboot-windows-8-1-allows-saving-storage-memory/ http://www.vladan.fr/wimboot-windows-8-1-allows-saving-storage-memory/#respond Mon, 14 Apr 2014 04:47:40 +0000 http://www.vladan.fr/?p=34563

The latest update of Windows 8.1 brings an interesting functionality which allows to use lower end machines with small SSDs save space so If you have such a PC or tablet which has a small SSD and struggling to get everything installed, you might consider this type of installation. It’s called Windows Image Boot (or WIMBoot) […]

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The latest update of Windows 8.1 brings an interesting functionality which allows to use lower end machines with small SSDs save space so If you have such a PC or tablet which has a small SSD and struggling to get everything installed, you might consider this type of installation. It’s called Windows Image Boot (or WIMBoot) and allows to organize the disk partitions different way by keeping the WIM installation file in separate partition without uncompressing and copying the system files to the C: drive. WIMBoot in Windows 8.1 uses the restoration partition containing the recovery WIM image as target for booting the system. Some sites reports as well that it’s possible to run on systems with RAM as low as 1 Gb.

The main benefit is for systems with small capacity SSDs, like tablets. As an example for a device which has only 16Gb SSD you would traditionally use 9Gb and had left 7Gb of free space after installation (and only if not setting up a recovery image. Otherwise you’ll lose even more space) whether with installing Windows 8.1 by using VIMBoot configuration you would use only 3Gb and had left 12 Gb of free space. And the recovery image (a way to recover by booting a clean environment.

WIMBoot in Windows 8.1 - How does it work?

The WIM file gets copied to a separate partition and from C: there is a pointer which points into the WIM file. Windows is aware of the compressed WIM file and allows to boot from there. All the files are kept in the WIM. The user profile, apps, Windows updates, and anything else applied to the OS after it is initially installed will be in the “real” C: drive (Note that the WIM is read-only).

The whole disk with all the partitions looks like this. Img. from Microsoft blog:

WIMboot 590x67 WIMBoot in Windows 8.1 allows  saving storage and memory

The traditional approach will otherwise partition the drive like this:

traditional 590x67 WIMBoot in Windows 8.1 allows  saving storage and memory

Quote from Microsoft:

Effectively, you copy the WIM file into a separate “images” partition (just like you would for a recovery image), then use DISM to create pointer files from the standard C: operating system volume into the WIM file. These pointer files are completely transparent, and Windows knows how to boot the operating system (keeping all the files in the WIM) when configured in this setup.

The downside is that it that the compressed image might cause a little bit of performance loss.

WIMBoot in Windows 8.1 limitations:

  • WIMBoot is available for client editions of Windows 8.1 with Windows 8.1 Update only (not server versions). All architectures are supported, including amd64, x86, and ARM. Some enterprise deployment tools do not support WIMBoot.
  • WIMBoot is available only for UEFI-based PCs running in UEFI mode (legacy BIOS-compatibility mode isn’t supported).
  • WIMBoot is supported for solid-state drives and eMMC (Windows HCK compliant) drives. WIMBoot isn’t supported on traditional drives that contain rotational components, or on hybrid drives that contain both solid-state and rotational drive components. WIMBoot works by taking advantage of the capability of solid-state drives to access different areas of the hard drive quickly.
    It’s OK to have a secondary drive attached to the PC, and the secondary drive can contain rotational components. But the WIMBoot image and pointer files must all be located on the primary solid-state or eMMC drive.
  • Some backup, antivirus, and encryption tools aren’t compatible with WIMBoot images.

You can check how to proceed on Microsoft Technet here where you also find a script which used Diskpart, but basically you must first partition the drive in 4 partitions – for System, MSR, Windows and Images. The WIMboot is part of Microsoft ADK for Windows 8.1 – check the details here.

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Cisco Topspin 120 – Homelab Infiniband silence http://www.vladan.fr/cisco-topspin-120-homelab-infiniband-silence/ http://www.vladan.fr/cisco-topspin-120-homelab-infiniband-silence/#respond Sun, 13 Apr 2014 12:39:09 +0000 http://www.vladan.fr/?p=34557

The old Cisco Topspin 120 are cheap infiniband switches, but very noisy. You can get one for roughly $200 on eBay. If you’re planning for cheap VSAN lab, it might be your interest to read how to make the device more quiet. I’m using one of those in my lab for a backend storage network […]

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The old Cisco Topspin 120 are cheap infiniband switches, but very noisy. You can get one for roughly $200 on eBay. If you’re planning for cheap VSAN lab, it might be your interest to read how to make the device more quiet. I’m using one of those in my lab for a backend storage network traffic. While I’m waiting for some more parts I ordered to complete the lab, I was horrified with the noise the device is making. Unless you have a garage or basement which you don’t live in, it’s ok, but otherwise you must do something.

That’s why a while back I ordered quiet fans (40×40 mm) on eBay and the result is awesome. To see the difference I’ve recorded a short video where you’ll see the Before and After… In fact the after, you won’t hear almost anything… -:).

cisco topspin 120 Cisco Topspin 120   Homelab Infiniband silence

I had a little trouble to make it work as the fans I ordered were two pins only while the board had 3 pin connector. Luckily the fans came with an adapter 2 to 3 pins.

The thing is that the pins were not at the correct place and I had to seek with a voltmeter the right voltage coming out of the board and change the pins on the connector supplied with the fan to match the correct place. Nothing really problematic if you know how to use voltmeter….

Here is the quick video when after, you won’t hear anything….but the fan is running. I had to completely open the switch and get my hands “dirty”. Also, the fans I ordered were more slim than the original ones and the original attachments did not work so I had to use small 3 mm bolts to attach the fans to the case.

Best to watch in HD, as usually…

I should have all the parts by next week so the full lab shall be up and running.

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How to publish RDS application in Horizon View 6 http://www.vladan.fr/publish-rds-application-horizon-view-6/ http://www.vladan.fr/publish-rds-application-horizon-view-6/#respond Fri, 11 Apr 2014 05:14:59 +0000 http://www.vladan.fr/?p=34546

Horizon 6 announced few days back brought a clearly new wind into the desktop virtualization space. Where in the past the VDI was often subject of performance and cost, see ROI. We might see this changing, is the 2014 finally the year of the VDI? Yesterday’s post showed How to add RDS functionality to Horizon View […]

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Horizon 6 announced few days back brought a clearly new wind into the desktop virtualization space. Where in the past the VDI was often subject of performance and cost, see ROI. We might see this changing, is the 2014 finally the year of the VDI? Yesterday’s post showed How to add RDS functionality to Horizon View by creating an RDS desktop pool. In today’s article we’ll show further steps which will show how to publish an application to the Horizon View 6. We will publish an application which gets installed on Microsoft RDS first (without publishing that application Microsoft’s RemoteApp).

The final result will looks like this. When you’ll launch your VMware View client, you’ll see not only the connection to the full remote desktop (the RDS 2012 icon) , but also the applications icons.

rds apps 590x442 How to publish RDS application in Horizon View 6

First step – Install the application on the RDS. For this example I’m installing a freeware office suite Kingsoft Office. Note that I picked random Free Office Suite for that exercise….

Second step – Go to the Horizon View 6 admin console, and in the Application Pools section click on the Add button.

add rds app 590x313 How to publish RDS application in Horizon View 6

This brings another window where you’ll be able to select the application(s) which you have previously installed on the Microsoft RDS server.

As you can see I’m picking up my 3 apps from the Free office suite I’m testing the functionality with.

rds apps2 590x372 How to publish RDS application in Horizon View 6

By clicking next button you’ll need to affect the groups or users. I simply picked domain users group for the exercise. But in real life you might want to restrict or select things differently.

rds apps3 590x256 How to publish RDS application in Horizon View 6

Click OK and you’re done.

So when you connect with the View client, you’ll see the apps appearing as on the first pic. When launching the app from the dashboard, only the app launches in its window. Not a full desktop.

This function we all know from Microsoft’s RDS portal where you have RemoteApps published on the portal and executing them brings only the application window. Microsoft has introduced this first at Windows Server 2008 if I remember right. Now Horizon View 6 integrates this function as well all along with other PaaS applications. Horizon View 6 allows using Microsoft Windows 2008 or 2012 Server.

final window 590x424 How to publish RDS application in Horizon View 6

As you can see, just with a few clicks you can install and assign this application to the users or group of users in your environment. All I can see is great functionality which simplifies administration for administrators and provides the applications to users. In some future posts I’ll try to put accent on the different ways of accessing those applications as you can basically acces those applications different ways:

  • Use the View client and have a experience like I just described.
  • Use the HTML access which does not need any installation of software on the endpoints.

The workflow of accomplishing this is straight forward. If you need later on to reassign other group or change existing entitlements, you can do so through the menu Users and Groups > Entitlements. But this isn’t new as previous releases of VMware Horizon View operated the same manner. Stay tuned for more.

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How to add RDS functionality to Horizon View 6 http://www.vladan.fr/how-to-add-rds-functionality-to-horizon-view-6/ http://www.vladan.fr/how-to-add-rds-functionality-to-horizon-view-6/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:03:55 +0000 http://www.vladan.fr/?p=34534

The newly announced Horizon View 6 flagship product from VMware brought great enhancements from the architectural point of view as you could already read about in my yesterday’s post. However from the administrator’s point of view (not from the architect’s perspective) there are some really cool features that I’d like to point out in this […]

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The newly announced Horizon View 6 flagship product from VMware brought great enhancements from the architectural point of view as you could already read about in my yesterday’s post. However from the administrator’s point of view (not from the architect’s perspective) there are some really cool features that I’d like to point out in this post. The one I’d like to talk about today is the RDS functionality. And we will see how to add RDS functionality to Horizon View 6. Not only with full remote desktops, but also the published RDS applications an be managed and entitled to users through the Horizon View 6 admin console. In this post we’ll look on the adding RDS functionality and show the connection settings. We’ll quickly look  also on licensing of Horizon at the end of this post.

Horizon View 6 can now use RDS hosted functions, which means that you’re able to integrate and manage Microsoft RDS from within Horizon View 6 admin console. We’ll see the steps below:

What do you need to do is to install Horizon View agent on to Microsoft RDS server first:

horizon view agent 590x500 How to add RDS functionality to Horizon View 6

Then you can easily create a pool where you first specify a name for the new farm and choose the RDS server from the list. Note that 2008 and 2012 versions of Microsoft Windows servers are supported (not 2003).

rds farm 590x219 How to add RDS functionality to Horizon View 6

Then you can create new destop pool based on Microsoft RDS.

rds desktop pool 590x283 How to add RDS functionality to Horizon View 6

Then select the RDS desktop farm which will be used for the pool creation:

rds desktop farm 590x202 How to add RDS functionality to Horizon View 6

 

The Horizon View client got a face lift as well. You get small dashboard where you can add several connection servers. You can adjust the security via the options. By double clicking the icon of the connection server the connection window pops up. You can enter your user name and password (in my case I’m not member of domain).

view client1 How to add RDS functionality to Horizon View 6

Here is the shoot from the connection window…

horizon view client How to add RDS functionality to Horizon View 6

When authenticated, the remote desktop won’t open straight away, but instead you can adjust the connection settings, like protocol, multiple monitors or size of the connection window. The screen looks like this:

Options How to add RDS functionality to Horizon View 6

And when finaly the window opens, it’s like a usual RDP connection, but via PCoIP… Check it out.

connection window How to add RDS functionality to Horizon View 6

Easy. The PCoIP is the best quality connection, but needs the Horizon View client to be installed. Horizon View 6 client is available for Mac OSx, Windows, Linux or Android devices.

The Horizon View 6 brought different Licensing models as well where some editions do not have the VSAN.

The Standard edition - is unchanged  (virtual desktops and ThinApp packaged applications).

Advanced edition – includes a version of View capable of delivering both virtual desktops and published applications from a single platform (same as Xen Desktop platform). This edition has also a common workspace where users can access virtual desktops, Horizon-hosted applications, software as a service (SaaS) applications, but also  Office 365, all via Single Sign On (SSO).

The advanced edition has also included VSAN – which is the main point of lowering the costs per virtual desktop. By going SANless -  reduces the storage costs of operating virtual desktops for customers.

Entreprise Edition – has all this and also vCOPs for View and Horizon, plus the vCloud automation and self-service via vCenter Orchestrator.

You can find the VMware Horizon View 6 licensing PDF here, where you’ll be able to see all the details.

Quick recap of Horizon 6 major features:

  • Global LDAP Replication - Support scaling View Deployments across datacenters with
  • Cloud Pod Architecture can support up to 20,000 desktops (in 2 datacenters)
  • RDS Applications and Hosted Shared Desktops (same as Citrix XenApp)
  • VSAN Included in Advanced and Enterprise Edition
  • vCops 6 for View (Enterprise Edition)
  • Cloud Automation and Self Service via Orchestrator + Desktop Plug-in (Entreprise Edition)

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VMware Horizon 6 – Major evolution in architecture and tighter integration of suite components http://www.vladan.fr/vmware-horizon-view-6-major-evolution-in-architecture/ http://www.vladan.fr/vmware-horizon-view-6-major-evolution-in-architecture/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:00:31 +0000 http://www.vladan.fr/?p=34363

VMware Horizon 6 has been announced by VMware. This major update to VMware Horizon brings some major enhancements into the architecture, concerning Cloud Pod Architecture, which now supports global entitlements across View pods, RDS hosted apps, VMware VSAN (supported since View 5.3.1). Also new Application catalog which provides unified access to desktops and applications (previously […]

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VMware Horizon 6 has been announced by VMware. This major update to VMware Horizon brings some major enhancements into the architecture, concerning Cloud Pod Architecture, which now supports global entitlements across View pods, RDS hosted apps, VMware VSAN (supported since View 5.3.1).

Also new Application catalog which provides unified access to desktops and applications (previously separated views). There is also VCOPS for View 6 which brings new enhancements to monitoring View desktops and architectures. Also this version now supports deployments on Windows Server 2012 R2.

Horizon 6 architecture got more polished in terms of tighter integration of Horizon applications and integration with RDS. If not the architecture stays the same with Horizon security servers, connection servers, View composer. The new support with Windows Server 2012 R2 for the installation implementation will facilitate the deployments on the latest Microsoft architecture.

VMware Horizon View 6 - Cloud Pod Architecture

10 000 desktops or more… It’s possible to scale Horizon deployments to multiple datacenters with over 10,000 sessions. The horizon deployments will be able to use global LDAP replication between different datacenters. The metadata will replicate over to the other side where data are replicated like the user entitlements.

The global data layer is stored in a new ADLDS instance.

horizon6 VMware Horizon 6   Major evolution in architecture and tighter integration of suite components

The current limits and maximums:

  • Number of sites: 2
  • Number of Pods: 4
  • Number of Users/Desktops: 20,000

The initial replication between pods will be initiated by PowerShell (later by PowerCLI and in the future integrated into the GUI).

RDS Hosted Apps

RDS hosted apps and desktops can be used with Horizon View 6. So Microsoft Windows Remote desktop services can provide applications and full desktops. (Windows 2008 or 2012 only).

  • Integration of RDS hosts with preinstalled applications
  • Access to Windows apps from mobile devices
  • Using standard Horizon Clients with PCoIP (Windows, MAC, IOS and Android).

So the client view will looks like this:

rds horizon view6 VMware Horizon 6   Major evolution in architecture and tighter integration of suite components

A very simple deployment for applications which can be used on mobile devices. For remote employees providing critical business applications which do have data and apps close together in remote datacenter. Simplification of application management with centralized management.

The integration on MAC shows the local experience for remote apps:

  • Dock or task-bar integration (MAC)
  • Start Menu shortcuts or application launchers (Windows)
  • Copy-paste works between apps (like unity feature in VMware Fusion).

bar VMware Horizon 6   Major evolution in architecture and tighter integration of suite components

Flexible clients support for Windows and non Windows clients.

Virtual SAN – VSAN

vsan horizon view VMware Horizon 6   Major evolution in architecture and tighter integration of suite componentsVirtual SAN has been released recently and the support for existing Horizon View 5.3.1 has been added. The usage of spinning disks together with SSDs where the SSDs are used for read/write caching.

Magnetic disks are participating for storage capacity where the SSD disks does not. SSDs are for Read/write caching.

  • First write to SSD cache and then to HDD
  • First read from SSD cache and then if the block isn’t there, read from HDD.

Individual VMs or group of VMs can be configured with different storage policies:

  • Number of disk stripes per object - is number of HDDs across which each replica of a storage object is distributed.
  • Number of Failures to tolerate - how many number of hosts, network and/or disk failures a storage object can tolerate. Example for N number of failures to be tolerated in the cluster, “N+1″ copies of the storage object (VMs files) are created and at least “2N+1″ hosts are required to be in the cluster.
  • Object space reservation – is percentage of logical size of storage object (including snapshots, that should be reserved – thick). The rest of the object is thin provisioned.

Read more about VSAN in this detailed article.

Application Catalog (Horizon Workspace)

Unified workspace for applications. There is one place to go and launch an application. You can use different platforms and browsers.

There is different applications (SaaS, or Citrix, Remote apps, local apps as Thinapps).

Horizon workspace1 590x339 VMware Horizon 6   Major evolution in architecture and tighter integration of suite components

  • Xenapp Integration – Xenapp application can now be integrated in the Horizon catalog and through the Horizon UI you can entitle users and groups based on Xenapp farm. Support for Xenapp 5.0 and above. You’ll need to install Citrix Receiver on the client.
  • ThinApp package delivery on any Windows desktop – It’s possibly to deliver Thinapps to clients which lays outside of the Microsoft domain. Suppporting Windows DFS for app distribution. It’s possible to use Thinapp 5.0 packages with x32 or x65 applications. Uses Kerberos to automatic logins for client.
  • Office 365 and non-SAML – SSO is used from Horizon Workspace to Office 365, Sharepoint and Outlook 365 Web applications.
  • Improved resource mgmt and categorizaton
  • Integration with Horizon View

Multi-forest AD support!

The integration is done through domain joined connector-VAs and users can chose which domain they want to login.

multi forest ad VMware Horizon 6   Major evolution in architecture and tighter integration of suite components

 Custom Brandings – Logos, login prompt, Favicon, Background picture…

You are able to personalize the application to fit your client’s needs (or yours). It’s possible to customize the UI in many different ways:

  • Change of logo
  • Login prompts
  • Application launcher
  • Favicon
  • Change Background picture
  • Company and product name
  • Web clips for mobile device.

customization VMware Horizon 6   Major evolution in architecture and tighter integration of suite components

vCOPs 6 for View 6

VMware vCOPs 6 gets enhanced which is more scalable (25 000 concurrent users per instance). The new “what if” capability was added.  Newly added also:

  • Single console for all vCOPs (desktop, server..)
  • RDSH session support
  • Application and in guest process metrics with the possibility to do a drill down to each individual process. You can get visibility fast to troubleshoot where the bottleneck is. Faster and straight forward problem identification.
  • Desktop workloads optimization and modeling.

Here is a screenshot from the new UI.

vcops6 590x397 VMware Horizon 6   Major evolution in architecture and tighter integration of suite components

This covers in depth the VMware Horizon 6 product release. It seems that the Horizon View and Horizon Workspace are finally joining together as a product suite with very tight integration concerning the desktops and applications of different kinds – together to the single UI and the process of getting single console only for management of all Horizon parts will be done through single UI from now on.

The Horizon View 6 version has been anounced in this post, but the other suite products (Horizon Mirage, Thinapp or vCenter Operations for View) are at the moment at different version numbers). The GA of the Horizon View 6 shall be effective later in Q2.

Source: VMware

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VMware Labs updated VMware tools for ESXi http://www.vladan.fr/vmware-labs-updated-vmware-tools-esxi/ http://www.vladan.fr/vmware-labs-updated-vmware-tools-esxi/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 09:00:17 +0000 http://www.vladan.fr/?p=34511

There was an update of VMware tools for nested ESXi on VMware Labs website recently. The new update allows to report IPv6 addresses as well as IPv4 addresses for nested ESXi guests. If you don’t use VMware tools for your nested lab, you should as it allows to interract with the ESXi OS the same way […]

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There was an update of VMware tools for nested ESXi on VMware Labs website recently. The new update allows to report IPv6 addresses as well as IPv4 addresses for nested ESXi guests.

If you don’t use VMware tools for your nested lab, you should as it allows to interract with the ESXi OS the same way as you do interact with other OSes. It means that your mouse is not stuck inside the nested hypervizor and you can also initiate gracefull shutdown and restart operations through the what’s called VMware VIX (the guest operations API).

Quote from VMware Labs:

This VIB package provides a VMware Tools service (vmtoolsd) for running inside a nested ESXi virtual machine. The following capabilities are exposed through VMware Tools:

  • Provides guest OS information of the nested ESXi Hypervisor (eg. IP address, configured hostname, etc.).
  • Allows the nested ESXi VM to be cleanly shut down or restarted when performing power operations with the vSphere Web/C# Client or vSphere APIs.
  • Executes scripts that help automate ESXi guest OS operations when the guest’s power state changes.
  • Supports the Guest Operations API (formally known as the VIX API).

Here are some screenshots showing the new functionality:

VMware tools esxi 590x177 VMware Labs updated VMware tools for ESXi

How to install VMware tools for ESXi? – for Nested ESXi.

1. Download the VIB package from VMware labs website here and copy it to a datastore visible by your ESXi host. (usually the local disk)

2. Use this command to install:

esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/[YOUR_DATASTORE]/esx-tools-for-esxi-9.7.1-0.0.00000.i386.vib -f

3. There is no third point… That’s it -:)

You might say, hey, I could also integrate the VIB into an iso image and use it for the nested lab. That’s exactly where I’m showing how to do it - How-to Build a custom ISO with VMware tools for Nested ESXi YouTube1 VMware Labs updated VMware tools for ESXi.  

You can also prepare several ISOs ahead with those tools “baked” inside. You might need a different version of ISO if you need to do a vSphere lab with previous releases of ESXi or need to do a POC. Very flexible.

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VMware Horizon Workspace Fundamentals [V1.8] Free Training http://www.vladan.fr/vmware-horizon-workspace-fundamentals-v1-8/ http://www.vladan.fr/vmware-horizon-workspace-fundamentals-v1-8/#respond Mon, 07 Apr 2014 07:11:32 +0000 http://www.vladan.fr/?p=34506

VMware Horizon Workspace 1.8 which has been released last month is fully compatible with vSphere 5.5 U1. The product grew further with new feature and enhancements. While you can read what’s new below, I’d like to point you to New Free 2 hours training for VMware Horizon Workspace 1.8 called VMware Horizon Workspace Fundamentals [V1.8]. If […]

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VMware Horizon Workspace 1.8 which has been released last month is fully compatible with vSphere 5.5 U1. The product grew further with new feature and enhancements. While you can read what’s new below, I’d like to point you to New Free 2 hours training for VMware Horizon Workspace 1.8 called VMware Horizon Workspace Fundamentals [V1.8].

If you’re new to Horizon you might want to check some of my articles which gives you further details about the technologies used in Horizon, like Octopus or Blast. Check out this post –  VMware Horizon Workspace – New Suite from VMware.

The new training for Horizon Workspace 1.8 is Install, configure, manage and use training. It’s an e-Learning which is available online via VMware Education - how to install, configure, and use VMware Workspace. There is 5 modules:

VMware Horizon Workspace Fundamentals [V1.8] Free Training

Horizon VMware Horizon Workspace Fundamentals [V1.8] Free TrainingModule 1: Introduction to VMware Horizon Workspace: You will learn how Horizon Workspace works and some of its key features that help end users and IT administrators manage personal and corporate data on multiple devices.

Module 2: Architecture and Components: You will learn about the components that make up the Horizon Workspace architecture.

Module 3: You will learn the key tasks for installing and configuring Horizon Workspace.

Module 4: You will learn how to access the Horizon Workspace interfaces and how to work with the Administrator Web interface to manage Horizon Workspace modules, users, groups, catalog of resources, policies, reports, and how to edit administrator settings.

Module 5: You will learn how users can sign in from the Horizon Workspace user portal, and install the Horizon Workspace client application on the appropriate devices. In addition, this module teaches  how users use the Horizon Workspace features to access and manage their applications and use Horizon Files to manage and share their folders and files.

Get further details and register here.

If you did not see the announce about the Horizon 1.8 release here are some highlights from the release:

  • Citrix-based Application integration. From the Horizon Workspace User Portal, users can launch Citrix-based applications via XenApp 5.0, 6.0, and 6.5 using single sign-on.
  • VMware ThinApp package delivery to Windows desktops. Horizon Workspace provides delivery of ThinApp 5.0 packages with 32-bit/64-bit applications to all Windows devices.
  • Microsoft Office 365. Single sign-on from Workspace to Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, and Outlook 365 web applications. Browser based and native email clients are supported.
  • Horizon Workspace User Portal and App Center. The User Portal has been enhanced to make application resource management easier. The App Center provides users with self-service category filtering, which shows the latest applications added.
  • Web application links. IT administrators can now create Web application links that do not require user authentication, allowing administrators to create static Web links.
  • Enterprise enhancements, including the following.
    • Support for multi-forest Active Directory deployments. You can integrate Horizon Workspace with multiple Active Directory (AD) forests.
    • Application access policy. IT administrators can apply access policies and select different authentication methods based on application type.
    • Support for enterprise branding of Horizon Workspace.
  • VMware Switch enhancements, including the following.
    • Support for Android 4.2 (JellyBean) as the workspace operating system.
    • Support for Android tablets.
    • Enhanced Horizon Mail 1.7x.

Links:

Source: VMware Education Blog

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How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions http://www.vladan.fr/how-to-reset-esxi-5-x-root-password-and-under-which-conditions/ http://www.vladan.fr/how-to-reset-esxi-5-x-root-password-and-under-which-conditions/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 13:25:22 +0000 http://www.vladan.fr/?p=34479

I had this question recently through an e-mail and was sure that I already wrote about it. After some research I figured out that a blog post would clear my doubts. VMware says that it’s not possible to reset ESXi password on ESXi 5.x systems. However under certain circumstances, there is a possibility to change […]

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I had this question recently through an e-mail and was sure that I already wrote about it. After some research I figured out that a blog post would clear my doubts. VMware says that it’s not possible to reset ESXi password on ESXi 5.x systems. However under certain circumstances, there is a possibility to change (to reset) the root password.

There are two conditions to reset ESXi 5.x root password:

1. The ESXi host is visible and accessible through vCenter.
2. VMware vSphere Host Profiles – The organization uses vSphere Enterprise Plus licensing.

The is a VMware KB which mentions root password recovery is this one and it clearly states that it’s not supported to reset passwords on ESXi 5.x and ESXi in general as there is no longer the Linux console where you would use the single-user mode for the job:

Reinstalling the ESXi host is the only supported way to reset a password on ESXi.  Any other method may lead to a host failure or an unsupported configuration due to the complex nature of the ESXi architecture. ESXi does not have a service console and as such traditional Linux methods of resetting a password, such as single-user mode do not apply. 

But using host profiles to change the root password on ESXi host is supported and if you got the appropriate licensing then you should be able to change the root password.

So How to reset ESXi 5.x root password?

1. Create a Host profile from your host – first go and click the Host profiles icon.

host profiles web1 590x292 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

Click the Plus sign and select the radio button Extract profile from a host.

host profiles web2 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

2. Then select the host from which you want to extract the profile. It’s the host from which you’ll copy all the values.

host profiles web3 590x345 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

3. The next step in the assistant invites you to name the host profile. You can also put some comment in order to explain what the profile does. Quite handy.

host profiles web4 590x345 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

4. The recap screen…. Click Finish to close the assistant.

host profiles web5 590x345 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

 5.  Select the profile and click Actions > Edit settings

host profiles web6 590x295 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

6. This starts the assistant again. Click next. You’ll be at the screen below. Deselect all parts of the host profile except the Security configuration. There, you have the option from the drop down menu (2) to select Configure a fixed administrator password. Enter the new password and click next and finish the wizard.

host profiles web7 590x346 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

7.  While selecting the host profile, click on Actions > Attach/Detach hosts and clusters. This allows you to specify the host to which you want to attach this host profile.

host profiles web9 0 590x295 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

This is showing the next screen…

host profiles web10 590x346 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

8.  Once attached, we need to check the host profile compliance. 

host profiles web9 1 590x295 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

9. As you can see, our host is not compliant because the root password is not the same as we entered into the host profile.

host profiles web12 590x134 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

10. Put your host into maintenance mode and do a right click > All vCenter actions > Host profiles > remediate

host profiles web13 590x346 How to reset ESXi 5.x root password and under which conditions

11. That’s it. You can exit maintenance mode and login to your host.

Enjoy… -:)

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Shadowing RDS connections in Windows 2012 R2 http://www.vladan.fr/shadowing-rds-connections-windows-2012-r2/ http://www.vladan.fr/shadowing-rds-connections-windows-2012-r2/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 12:37:21 +0000 http://www.vladan.fr/?p=34465

Some sources reported that Microsoft has removed the possibility to shadow RDS connections in Windows 2012, but then put it back in the Windows 2012 R2 release. I quickly checked in my lab on two VMs, but saw that both versions of Windows Server 2012 allows that. I double checked that and unfortunately the statement […]

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Some sources reported that Microsoft has removed the possibility to shadow RDS connections in Windows 2012, but then put it back in the Windows 2012 R2 release. I quickly checked in my lab on two VMs, but saw that both versions of Windows Server 2012 allows that.

I double checked that and unfortunately the statement was true. Check out the image below showing Windows 2012 R2 on the left and 2012 on the right. Clearly we can see the shadow menu option in the R2 release.

rds 2012 590x229 Shadowing RDS connections in Windows 2012 R2

I thought that it might interest someone, that’s why this post. Shadowing RDS connections was here since ages. the feature was present in previous releases of Windows servers, like 2003 or 2008. This Shadowing feature allows the help desk personnel follow a remote user in shadow session (view or control mode).

In simple all-in-one server deployments, for testing or smaller site deployments, the RDS deployment options are very simple. It’s actually a two step process. I’ll show you where to find the options, but basically as being said for simple deployments you’ll need first:

  •  Join the server to the domain if it has not been joined already.
  •  Go to Server Manager > Add roles and features > RDS Installation > Quick start > Session-based desktop deployment > finish wizard.

You have then 180 days to worry about licensing.

Here is a confirmation screen:

rds 590x212 Shadowing RDS connections in Windows 2012 R2

You’ll need to reboot the server to complete the installation…

In my situation, after the reboot the installation continues.

rds deployments 590x419 Shadowing RDS connections in Windows 2012 R2

Then the RDS > collections > you’ll see the option …

rds shadowing 590x443 Shadowing RDS connections in Windows 2012 R2

There is still the option (can be unchecked) to ask user for a permission. This is usually necessity…

remote monitor Shadowing RDS connections in Windows 2012 R2

When doing a right click you’ll see the Shadow option there.

shadow Shadowing RDS connections in Windows 2012 R2By clicking you can see the two options that allows you to view or to take control of your user’s session.

Easy and built-in.

The Quick start option is quite useful and handy for quick prototyping in lab environment or for smaller one-server deployments. Quick Start is an option in RDS deployment during the process of adding roles and features with Windows Server 2012 Service Manager. You can still add add additional RDS servers as needed.

You can be up and running in minutes.

Good to know that as an administrator you can also override the behaviour through the GPO. The group policy in this case must be set to allow shadowing without user permission.

You’ll find the shadow group policies in the following path (gpedit.msc):
[<Computer Configuration> |<User Configuration>

\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services

\Remote Desktop Session Host\Connections

\Set rules for remote control of Remote Desktop Services user sessions

gpo1 590x342 Shadowing RDS connections in Windows 2012 R2

Enjoy… -:)

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