The Real (and Virtual) Adventures of Nathan the IT Guy


July 14, 2011  2:43 AM

PDFCreator 1.2.1

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

A new version of my favorite PDF Creator has been released. What is this you say? Have you been living under a rock?! PDF Creator is a “print-to-pdf” solution the is rock solid, it just works…

PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDF files from nearly every application.

Create PDF files from every application
Protect your files, i.e. disallow printing
Full support for Windows Vista and Windows 7
Available for Windows 95 / 98 / ME / 2000 / XP

Go here to read more about it, download, and read reviews. Pay attention when you are installing it, you don’t MOST of the time we do not like installing add-ons, i.e. toolbars…

-NS

July 14, 2011  2:38 AM

Exchange 2010 SP1 UR4 has been removed from Microsoft Download Center

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

I love when Microsoft fails to regression test their software updates, especially ones that are deemed critical and install themselves! This one is more under the clients control, nor would i recommend ever installing a major update like this without sand-boxing first. Luckily it can be uninstalled correctly and easily… why are people still using public folders anyways?

A small number of customers have reported when the Outlook client is used to move or copy a folder that subfolders and content for the moved folder are deleted. After investigation we have determined that the folder and item contents do not appear in the destination folder as expected but may be recovered from the Recoverable Items folder (what was previously known as Dumpster in older versions of Exchange) from the original folder. This behavior occurs due to a customer requested change in SP1 RU4 which allowed deleted Public Folders to be recovered. Outlook and Exchange are not correctly processing the folder move and copy operations causing the folder contents to appear to be deleted. OWA and Exchange Web Services clients are not affected by this change and process the folder move or copy actions correctly.

Check out the full story here.


July 7, 2011  3:15 AM

Google+

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

I just got invited, and I have no clue what I am doing on there... I don't know if they can really pry people away from Facebook... maybe as an addition to Gmail? But really I think Google is a little late on this release, and it sure isn't an Android!

Here is a little video of what it can do for you.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/xwnJ5Bl4kLI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

So apparently there are 6 things that Google+ can do that Facebook cannot. Most of them I wouldn't find myself doing anyways. Watch the video and check out this webpage for the full out story.

Update : I must admit, i didn't watch the video until this blog had already been posted, it's pretty neat... I definitely will give it a try, but I still don't see it taking too much away from the juggernaut that Facebook is...

-NS


June 29, 2011  2:06 AM

iLO 2 Update 2.06 – 06/04/2011

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

One of the key things I keep on top of is firmware and software updates. Ilo has been updates at the beginning of the month and a lot of people over look it. So I am here to remind you all of the updates. Below you will find the list of fixes, additions, and enhancements.

Problems fixed since last release:
Disabled SSL/TLS renegotiation to protect iLO 2 against SSL/TLS plaintext injection attacks (CVE-2009-3555).
Fixed security vulnerabilities mentioned in CVE-2008-7270 and CVE-2010-4180.
Fixed an issue with ROM randomly fails to communicate to iLO 2 during POST causing some Mezzanine cards on blades to get misconfigured.
Fixed an issue where the iLO 2 login page could be requested and displayed in HTTP mode instead of HTTPS secure mode.
Fixed an issue with Set_Pwreg_Alert_Threshold.xml doesn’t validate parameters correctly.
Fixed an issue with Set_Pwreg_Alert_Threshold.xml gives false message when server is in aux power.
Fixed an issue with iLO 2 accepting invalid value for warning_duration.
Fixed an issue where user cannot exit from serial CLI when login prompt is shown.
Fixed an issue where pressing ESC + SHIFT 9 key sequence and ESC + SHIFT Q key sequence multiple times can cause serial CLI to stop responding.
Fixed an issue where the Linux console via iLO 2 Virtual Serial Port could no longer work after iLO 2 reboots.
Fixed an issue where mounting Scripting Virtual Media using an invalid hostname in the URL can cause iLO 2 network to stop responding.
Enhancements/New Features

Added Brown-out Recovery Feature for ML/DL servers.
Added Custom SSL Certificate Signing Request (CSR).
Added Support for 2048-bit RSA key in SSL CSR.
Added XML command to delete SSH keys.
Added option to disable the Virtual Media Access port.
Added Support for Java 64-bit JVM/JRE.
Added Support for Integrated Remote Console on Internet Explorer 64-bit Editions.
Added support for Internet Explorer 9, dropped support for Internet Explorer 6.
Improved performance of the iLO 2 Virtual Serial Port when connected via SSH.
Known issues:

After importing a SSL certificate containing a 2048-bit RSA key length, the iLO 2 webGUI could become noticeable slower to some users. This is due to the fact that SSL handshakes with 2048-bit keys take several times more CPU cycles than doing SSL handshakes with 1024-bit keys. The iLO 2 login page could take an extra of 5 to 10 seconds to show up and clicking on the webGUI after the websession is left idle for more than two minutes, could cause the old SSL sessions to expire and force iLO 2 to do new SSL handshakes.
After iLO 2 v2.06 firmware is flashed and running for the first time, iLO 2 will automatically begin to pre-generate 1024-bit and 2048-bit RSA key pairs that are required for the Certificate Signing Request (CSR). This process takes around 20 minutes to complete. During this time, the Remote Console needs to remain closed to allow iLO 2 to finish pre-generating these keys and store them in the NVRAM.

Download the executable here. If you are running Windows Server 2008 directly on hardware you can run the executable and update via Windows, if you are using an ESX Host, you can extract the files and then update ILO from a management server via the browser.

-NS


June 29, 2011  1:58 AM

VMware vCenter Operations

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Check this out. You will need a salesforce.com password, but if you have dealt with VMware or are a vendor, then you should be able to get your hands on one.

 

Drive vSphere add-on sales by showing customers how vCenter Operation’s ease-of-use features can help automate the performance management of vSphere environments. VMware’s Not-for Resale program now offers partners free vCenter Management demonstration software – Plus, we’re giving Partners Free vCenter Operations Advance software licenses for use in your own IT production environment. 
 
Click here to build out your vCenter Management customer demonstration center – at no cost.

 

Once you get into it, it quite an interesting product.


June 28, 2011  2:25 AM

ESXi 4.1 migration guide

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

If you were sitting there staring at your ESX 3.5/4.0 infrastructure and wondering, “How am I ever going to migrate to ESXi 4.1?” Well look no further as I have the link just for you.

VMware ESXi is VMware’s next generation hypervisor architecture and is designed to improve hypervisor management in the areas of security, deployment and configuration, and ongoing administration. In the vSphere 4.1 release VMware has added significant enhancements to either ESXi or the core tools that are used to manage ESXi. This paper describes the architecture of ESXi and then explains how various management tasks are performed in ESXi 4.1. This information can be used to help plan a migration to the ESXi architecture from the legacy ESX framework.

Below is an insert from the PDF Guide.

With the release of VMware vSphere™ 4.1 (“vSphere”), VMware announced plans to transition away from its classic VMware® ESX® hypervisor architecture, based on a Console Operating System (COS), in favor of its newer lightweight hypervisor architecture, referred to as VMware ESXi™. While functionally equivalent, the VMware ESXi architecture is significantly different from its VMware ESX predecessor (Figure 1). The innovative VMware ESXi architecture operates independently from any general-purpose operating system (OS), offering improved security, increased reliability and simplified management.

Download the ful Migration Guide here and get started!


June 28, 2011  2:17 AM

VMware ESXi 5.0 Release Features

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

I have the latest ESXi 5 features, check them out! There might be some additions closer to the release date but as of right now, it looks like there is a good number of improvements.

• Build on the vSphere ESXi hypervisor architecture
• vSphere Auto Deploy combining host profiles, Image Builder and PXE
• Unified CLI framework, allowing consistency of authentication, roles and auditing.
• Support for up to 1 TB of memory
• Support for 32 vCPU’s per VM
• Nonhardware accelerated 3D graphics for Windows Aero support
• USB 3.0 device support
• UEFI virtual BIOS
• Host UEFI boot support
• New GUI to configure multicore vCPUs
• Client-connected USB devices
• Smart card reader support for VMs
• Apple Mac OS X Server 10.6 (Snow Leopard) guest OS support
• Support for up to 512 VMs
• Support for up to 160 Logical CPUs and 2 TB or RAM
• Improved SNMP support
• Storage driven storage delivery based on the VMware-Aware Storage APIs
• Improved version of the Cluster File System, VMFS5
• Accelerator for specific use with View (VDI) workloads, providing a read cache optimized for recognizing, handling and deduplicating VDI client images.
• iSCSI user interface support
• Storage APIs – Array Integration: Thin Provisioning enabling reclaiming blocks of a thin provisioned LUN on the array when a virtual disk is deleted
• Swap to SSD
• 2TB+ LUN support
• Storage vMotion snapshot support
• vNetwork Distributed Switch improvements providing improved visibility in VM traffic
• ESXi Firewall protecting the ESXi 5.0 management interface
• A browser-based, fully-extensible, platform-independent implementation of the vSphere Client based on Adobe Flex.
• vCenter Server Appliance
• Inventory Extensibility: providing a manager to monitor partner extensions.
• vCenter Solutions Manager, providing a consistent interface to configure and monitor vCenter-integrated solutions developed by VMware and third parties.
• System message logging enhancements
• Revamped VMware High Availability (HA) with Fault Domain Manager
• All hosts in cluster can be primary nodes
• Cluster also uses shared storage as a channel for heartbeat detection

I am curious to see how the Adobe Flex Web front-end will fair compared to the web based interface, it can definitely only be better!


June 27, 2011  9:15 PM

Why TOE (TCP Offload Engine)

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Here is a great article on TOE, and how it benefits iSCSI Traffic for VMware. But first the insert.

The development of TCP offload engines marks a significant advance for all TCP/IP based protocols, including iSCSI. Although TCP provides session integrity in potentially congested or unstable networks, it incurs significant processing overhead on the host CPU. Offloading this processing to a host Ethernet adapter frees host CPU cycles and enables much higher performance solutions.

Because block I/O transactions can generate sustained high volumes of TCP/IP exchanges, IP storage is a direct beneficiary of TOE technology. With the burden of TCP overhead removed from the host CPU, only iSCSI processing is required. The remaining challenge for CPU utilization is optimizing iSCSI handling so blocks of data can be served to the host more efficiently. With clever engineering, wire-speed performance can be achieved when running software iSCSI on an optimized TOE-accelerated network adapter.

Remember that not all network adapters support TOE nativly via ESXi, so check the Hardware Compatability List and make sure your adapter is fully supported. Read the full PDF here. Page 6 is where it starts to explain the benefits of TOE and iSCSI.

-NS


June 21, 2011  1:55 AM

XenApp 6 Web Interface Install Issue

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Scenario.

You are installing XenApp 6 onto a Windows Server, XenApp and the License Server pass, but the Web Interface install fails. You check the installation logs and you see an error similar to this.

XenApp Server Role Manager\Startup\StartupIndicator.exe’ exited with error code

This is a confusing error that can and will baffle you till your hair falls out…

Solution.

I bet you are logged in as a user other than a true local administrator aren’t you? Log off, and log in as a local administrator, finish the install. That easy.

-NS


June 17, 2011  11:56 AM

GoDaddy unveils cloud computing

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Cloud Computing has become so prevalent over the last couple years and GoDaddy is finally on the bandwagon.

It looks like web hosting giant GoDaddy is now in the cloud computing business with a new service called Data Center On Demand, which could potentially make a dent in the market share of providers such as Amazon Web Services or Rackspace. The service is currently in a limited-release phase and is expected to launch in July.

They have many operating systems to choose from like Windows(of course), CentOS, Ubuntu, and Fedora. Prices Range from 30$ a month to over 300$ a month, 1GB of Ram Virtual Machine to 8GB of Ram dedicated machine.


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