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

November 8, 2009  6:35 PM

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) Management

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Found this story while surfing the net, seems that the management software for Red Hat’s virtualization software needs to be run from a Windows Server, they say that they will have a Linux version ready around 2010, but at the time of this story and for a little while anyways, you will need some sort of Windows box to managed the virtual environment. Read the insert below and then check out the full story.

“As a major Linux vendor, one might expect that Red Hat’s new Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) for Servers solution would be able to run on Linux servers.

You’d be wrong. Not only is that not the case, but the Management Server piece of RHEV, which provides virtualization management capabilities, requires users to be running Microsoft’s Windows Server.

That’s no typo: A Linux vendor is requiring its users to run one of its key new products on the rival, closed source Windows operating system.”

Here is the link to the full article.


November 5, 2009  3:18 AM

Add System Restore to Server 2003

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Download the file and extract it

Double click on AddSystemRestoreEntries.reg (This will add some values to the registry). Click on Yes to continue

Then insert a Windows XP CD to your CDROM drive. Right click on sr.inf and click on install

Reboot the computer

Now you can find the System Restore utility from START–>All Programs–>Accessories–> System Tools –> System Restore

October 30, 2009  4:44 AM

vSwitch and vSwif Problems

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

What happens when you cannot connect to the service console anymore, and even if you had a backup service console and it wasn’t working either, well i happened to me. When I attempted to attach a vmnic to a vSwitch, I got an error message, no matter what I tried I could not get it reconnected. Last ditch effort is to recreate the vswif interface. Below are the steps I took. I had to do the first 4 steps twice, as i had to vSwitches.

Note: On your system the vswif, vmnic, vSwitch numbers and network settings are different.

1.Run the following command to list the name of the vswif adapter:

esxcfg-vswif -l

2.Run the following command to delete the vswif adapter:

esxcfg-vswif –del vswif0

3.Run the following command to list the name of the vSwitch:

esxcfg-vswitch -l

4.Run the following command to delete the vSwitch:

esxcfg-vswitch -d vSwitch0

5.Run the following command to create the vSwitch:

esxcfg-vswitch -a vSwitch0

6.Run the following commands to create default port groups for vSwitch:

esxcfg-vswitch -A “VM Network” vSwitch0
esxcfg-vswitch -A “Service Console” vSwitch0

7.Run the following command to create the vswif adapter:

esxcfg-vswif –add –portgroup “Service Console” –ip=nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn –netmask= vswif0

8.Run the following command to verify that the settings in the network file are correct:

cat /etc/sysconfig/network


9.Run the following commands to list all of the network adapters and associate a vmnic which has a link status of up:

esxcfg-nics -l
esxcfg-vswitch -L vmnic1 vSwitch0

10.Run the following command to verify that the vmnic is associated with the vSwitch:

esxcfg-vswitch -l

11.Ping an IP address to check for network connectivity. If the ping fails remove the previous vmnic from the vSwitch and try another adapter that has a link status of up.

12.Once you have verified connectivity, you can then connect to Virtual Infrastructure client of the affected ESX Server, you may or may not have a bit a work ahead of you at this point, depending on iSCSI, etc…

Good Luck


October 27, 2009  3:42 PM

How to Properly kill a VM

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

We all know that you can use the command “ps -ef |grep (vmconfig filename.vmx)” to find the PID for a VM, but I get confused as to which number that comes up is actually the PID… I found a new command that works much better. See below.

The Definitive way to Kill a PID process

The steps below are based on the fact that you already tried to use “vmware-cmd vmname.vmx stop; stop hard”

1.)    A final solution is to kill the PID (process ID). Issue the following command: “ps auxfww | grep <vmname>” to locate the correct PID (BTW: this cannot be done via *ESXTOP*). The first number to appear in the output is your PID. The PID can be used to terminate the process by issuing kill -9 PID.

2.)    Run vmware-cmd <vmname>.vmx getstate to see if it is now “off”, as it should be.

3.)    You can now go back into Virtual Infrastructure Client and start the machine.


October 27, 2009  1:50 PM

Windows Server 2008 File Management

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

If you are looking for Open files in Windows Server 2008 you need to find Share and Storage Management. To start the tool, choose Start > Administrative Tools > Share and Storage Management, from there you can click on Manage Open Files(from the right most pane). Done.


October 22, 2009  3:14 PM

VMware Vroom!

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon


If you haven’t subscribed to this RSS Feed, you should do so now… it includes Performance Tips for ESX and vSphere. Here is the link and read the insert below.


“We made a huge number of performance improvements in vSphere 4.0. The ESX storage stack was no exception. We ran a wide variety of micro and real world benchmarks to thoroughly evaluate and optimize vSphere’s storage subsystem. It is now even more efficient for the enterprise and ready to support the cloud.

A wide variety of I/O intensive applications will run efficiently on vSphere with all the improvements.  You can find details on the architectural changes and storage performance improvements made in this white paper.”


I suggest you add the feed to your BlackBerries(Viigo) or iPhone immediately, yes now… not later, now. 🙂



October 21, 2009  3:45 AM

vSphere and Datastore Monitoring

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

I just wanted to point out an article that I found while searching about vSphere and Datastore management and monitoring.

What would be better than being warned that your datastore is reaching a critical point, wouldn’t it be nice to intercept before the VMs crash?! Of course it would. Check out this pdf “Storage with VMware vSphere“, I have included an insert below.

“vSphere enables many new features for the management of virtualization storage resources. These capabilities provide vSphere administrators with new ways to increase efficiency for disk utilization and CPU cycles. With automated proactive alerts and alarms, vCenter provides more visibility and control of storage resource allocations, deployment, and monitoring. Also, new levels of reporting, topology maps, and datastore status and details screens provide an easy way to manage access and limit storage sprawl in VMware deployments. Storage VMotion has been enhanced to enable more choices for migrating VM homes from one type of storage to another. And finally, new choices exist for optimizing I/O traffic for I/O intensive Virtual Machines.”

This next link gives you a quick insight into what vSphere Offers in terms of Data Management overall, including “Responsible Thin Provisioning”.

Of course if you just cant get your hands on vSphere 4, then you can purchase Veeam Monitoring, which can monitor datastores and alert you when the datastores are almost full… see insert and check out the Veeam Monitor Homepage

“Veeam Monitor 4.0 provides full storage monitoring capabilities, including disk space, disk issues and datastore monitoring. The latter allows for viewing datastore load information aggregated from disk utilization statistics of all VMs and hosts using the specific datastore. This allows you to see the actual cumulative load on a particular datastore, and set up an alarm that fires off when the datastore load is above a specified threshold. Datastore I/O monitoring is a unique Veeam Monitor feature not available from other VMware monitoring applications.”

October 20, 2009  1:31 AM

New Sysinternals Release Disk2VHD

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Anything from Sysinternals is worth a look, I have never used Disk2vhd, but im sure it works like a charm. Remember not to make your VHD bigger than 127GB as Virtual PC cannot handle and will not work with VHD’s of that size. Also Disk2vhd runs Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and higher, including x64 systems. Read the full article here.

Run it from

Insert from Sysinternals

Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk – Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online. Disk2vhd uses Windows’ Volume Snapshot capability, introduced in Windows XP, to create consistent point-in-time snapshots of the volumes you want to include in a conversion. You can even have Disk2vhd create the VHDs on local volumes, even ones being converted (though performance is better when the VHD is on a disk different than ones being converted).

October 20, 2009  1:22 AM

“Windows 7” is only Three Days Away!

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Everyone ready to buy and install the latest and greatest Operating system since Windows XP? Based on the below stats(see insert), i think it is. I for one give Windows 7 a big thumbs up. I haven’t had this good of an experience with anything before retail as I have had with Windows 7 RC2. In fact, even though as an MSDN subscriber I am not going to install the latest copy of Windows 7, its just not needed at this point(for me personally). If you my readers can give me a few reasons why,(other than testing App-V; which I will most likely be able to download and install here anyways) then I might have to bite the bullet and start over once again. Its not like I haven’t re-installed my PC about a hundred times in the last 5 years! What is one more reload right?

Insert from Business Standard

“Microsoft, despite claims to the contrary, has not had much success with Vista which was launched in 2006. Analysts estimate that just one fifth of the world’s 1.2 billion computers use Vista. About four fifths use Windows XP (launched in 2001), introduced eight years ago, or even older Windows operating systems. XP is eight years old, but still runs on 70 per cent of all the Windows PCs across the globe. Microsoft will end active support for XP by 2014, and extended support by 2017.” Read the full story here.

October 12, 2009  7:03 PM

Hosted Exchange and Outlook 2007 SPLA

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

EPIC Information Solutions hosts exchange for many clients, and one of those clients emailed me and asked me to fix the “AutoComplete” option in his Outlook 2007 installation. When a customer subscribes to hosted exchange we can provide them with an Outlook 2007 SPLA (Services Provider License Agreement) Client (Outlook 2007 only) Doing some quick research turned up this article from Technet “Impact of deploying Outlook 2007 without Word 2007“, for your reference i have inserted a small portion of the article.

“Features that are not available without Word 2007

When Office Outlook 2007 runs on a computer where Office Word 2007 is not installed, the following functional areas are affected.

Attachment Preview
Attachment preview in Office Outlook 2007 is not supported for Microsoft Office 2003 file types or earlier. To preview attachments in Office Outlook 2007, you must have an application installed that can preview the file type and uses the IPreviewHandler interfaces that were introduced with Office Outlook 2007 and Windows Vista. For example, to preview a Word file in Office Outlook 2007, you must have Office Word 2007 installed. This also applies to other Office file types regardless of the Office compatibility packs or viewers installed.

All auto-formatting behaviors, with the exception of hyperlinks, are disabled. This includes AutoIndent for tabs, AutoFormat of bullets and numbering, and so on.

Internet and network paths with hyperlinks are still automatically formatted as hyperlinks.

Autotext functionality and the new Building Blocks feature (Quick Parts) are disabled and removed from the user interface (UI).

Background spelling
The option to use F7 for spell checking is enabled, but there is no background spell checking (no red squiggles* under misspelled words).

* I like how they actually used the word squiggles


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