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

October 12, 2009  2:43 AM

Nvidia’s New GPU

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Its called “Fermi” Nvidia’s new super GPU. It has around 3 billion transistors, which is three times the amount of transistors in Nvidia’s most powerful GPU. Fermi will contain 512 processing cores, they say that this would enable scientific breakthroughs, and can only be possible with the new technology. Read the full story here and check out this story over at CNET for a gaming perspective. I included an insert for a quick preview of the full story.

“From a gaming perspective, the most significant features Nvidia mentioned are that Fermi will indeed support DirectX 11, and that it will use GDDR5 memory. Those features answer two of AMD’s most obvious advantages with its new Radeon HD 5800-series cards, but Nvidia hasn’t provided information on availability, which remains AMD’s most important edge.”

October 7, 2009  1:55 AM

Understanding VMware Snapshots.

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

I wanted to clear the air on snapshots, everyone is always asking, how much space does it take to remove a snapshot, but no one has a real answer…  whatever the answer may be this information inserted from the Basic System Administration PDF, which is readily available from VMware and can be downloaded from this link here, will help to explain how they work, and what can be done if you run out of space and cannot commit a snapshot. Please take your time and read through the below information and you will get a much better understanding of snapshots. The information below is a copyright of VMware. I have in no way altered its content.

“The Understanding Snapshots section does not include information on delta disks. The section should contain the following content:

To take a snapshot, the state of the virtual disk at the time of taking the snapshot must be preserved. When this occurs, the guest operating system cannot write to the VMDK file. The delta disk is an additional VMDK file where the guest is given write access. The delta disk represents the difference between the current state of the virtual disk and the state at the time of the previous snapshot. If more than one snapshots exist, delta disks might represent the difference (or delta) between each snapshot. Also, the guest can write to every single block of the virtual disk causing the delta disk to grow as large as the base VMDK of the virtual machine.

NOTE To consolidate all snapshots into the base virtual machine, you might need extra disk space, as large as the base VMDK.

When a snapshot is deleted, if a user chooses to merge the changes between the snapshots to the previous disk‐state, all the data from the delta disk that contains the information about the deleted snapshot is written to the parent disk. This might involve a large amount of disk I/O and might reduce the virtual machine performance until consolidation is complete.

If the user chooses to ignore the delta disks, delta consolidation is not required.

See VMware Knowledge Base system for more information on the iterative snapshot deletion behaviour. I’ve Included the details of the (KB article 1003302).


If you try to initiate a Delete All snapshot for a virtual machine using Snapshot Manager, and if that virtual machine is on a datastore that does not have sufficient space for the snapshot, the following message displays in VMware Infrastructure (VI) Client:

msg.hbacommon.outofspace: there is no more space for the redo log of <VMname>-0000xx.vmdk.

You are given the option to abort or retry.

  • If you choose Abort, the virtual machine is powered off, the snapshot is aborted, and a Consolidate Helper snapshot is created. The Snapshot Manager UI displays that Consolidate Helper snapshot. You can delete the Consolidate Helper snapshot after you have made space available.
  • If you click Retry, the Snapshot Manager returns to Consolidate Helper snapshot mode unless you have made more disk space available.


Free up disk space if possible, or extend the VMFS volume using VI Client.

To extend the VMFS volume:

  1. Select the host on which the virtual machine resides and click the Configuration tab.
  2. Select the datastore on which the virtual machine resides and click Properties.Note: If there is no available storage, a new LUN must be presented to every ESX host that can see the LUN.

  3. In the dialog that appears, click Add Extent and follow the prompts in the Add Extend wizard to add an extent.
  4. Perform a rescan on every ESX host that is being presented the new LUN so that the addition of the extent is detected.
  5. After you have extended the VMFS volume, you can check the Retry option of the Redo log pop-up.

Caution: When using Delete All in the Snapshot Manager, the snapshot furthest from the base disk is committed to its parent, causing that parent snapshot to grow. When that commit is complete, that snapshot is removed and the process starts over on the newly updated snapshot to its parent. This continues until every snapshot has been committed. This can lead to an aggressive use of additional disk space if the snapshots are large. Use care when exercising this option if there is not much space available on the datastore.”

October 6, 2009  9:33 PM

Veeam Monitor 4.5 + Veeam Business View

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

… Are now  is now available!

For the first time ever, you can see the impact of virtual infrastructure performance on individual business units…and take immediate action! Veeam’s newest release now allows you to bridge the gap between IT and business:

– Group, view, and manage virtual machines based on business criteria such as business unit, location, application (e.g. all Exchange servers), service level agreement (SLA), owner, etc.

– Create flexible alerts based on server or application type (e.g all Exchange servers) and business impact (e.g. all high SLA VMs)

– Identify the business impact of the virtual infrastructure’s performance

– Fight VM sprawl

– Discover how easy it is to see your business in a brand new way with Veeam Monitor 4.5 plus Veeam Business View.

Go Here to download Veeam Monitor and Veeam Business View

October 6, 2009  9:29 PM

Sysinternals Suite Updates

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

New Updates to the Sysinternals Suite

Process Monitor v2.7
This update to Process Monitor, a system monitoring utility, adds a new option to the process tree dialog that direct it to show just the timeline for displayed events, uses kernel-based thread profiling on Vista and higher for better performance, and includes a number of minor fixes and enhancements.

ProcDump v1.5
ProcDump now includes a new switch that enables the creation of a process dump upon process termination, which can help with troubleshooting unexpected process termination. It also fixes a bug where the -ma switch wouldn’t generate a full dump when combined with -r , the Windows 7-specific process reflection switch.

If you want to download these apps go to the Systinternals Live Site or go here for the whole updated package.

Posted in August that is Definitely worth a read.

Mark’s Blog: The Case of the Temporary Registry Profiles

In the latest post in Mark’s “Case of the Unexplained” series, he documents a perplexing case affecting many Microsoft and Citrix customers that Microsoft Customer Support Services solved with the use of Process Monitor’s boot logging and stack trace features.

September 29, 2009  3:27 AM

Unstoppable Copier 4.2

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

One of my favorite data copy and recovery software applications has recently been updated. One of the best things about it is that you can copy all files from any location to any specified location, if it his a corrupt or unreadable file, it just skips it, logs it, and goes on until it has no more files to copy. This is a very easy to use program so please don’t pass it by.

Here is an insert from his page, “Recovers files from disks with physical damage. Allows you to copy files from disks with problems such as bad sectors, scratches or that just give errors when reading data. The program will attempt to recover every readable piece of a file and put the pieces together. Using this method most types of files can be made usable even if some parts of the file were not recoverable in the end. The program can be used as a daily backup system using its batch mode functions. A list of transfers can be saved to a file and then run from the command line to perform the same batch of transfers on a regular basis without having to use the GUI interface. The program supports command line parameters which allow the application to be run from schedulers or scripts so it can be fully integrated into daily server tasks.

You can download installable files, or standalone which can be used from a USB key.

Downloads Unstoppable Copier here.


September 28, 2009  10:51 PM

Internet Privacy, You are not Alone.

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

There is a really interesting story over at TechNewsWorld. I have included an insert below…

“When you’re surfing online, privacy is really a matter of degree. If you’re browsing unprotected, site owners can manage to figure out quite a lot about you based on where you go. Many browsers now offer so-called privacy modes, but those don’t come close to masking everything about you. Even advanced proxy systems aren’t always a complete privacy panacea.”

Check out the full story.


September 26, 2009  5:01 AM

DRS, Vmotion, and Snapshots

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

I think setting DRS(Distributed Resource Scheduling) to manual mode when removing snapshots, should be best practice, especially when you are only running two ESX servers and they are slightly taxed. Why? Mainly because when you remove a snapshot, especially a two tiered one, it can cause the hard disk to “thrash” and thus signaling DRS to Vmotion a Virtual Machine from one ESX Server to the other ESX Server automatically. This will of course cause more stress on the hardware and eventually the client may notice the decrease in performance. Hey I’m just speaking from personal experience. When the snapshot is removed, re-enable DRS. Comments?


September 23, 2009  4:51 PM

Updating BlackBerry Devices via BlackBerry Desktop Manager

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Here’s a warning for all you BlackBerry junkies out there. The scenario goes like this. My father bought a BlackBerry 8320 SmartPhone, i being the wonderful son I am, wanted to update his OS software. So I plugged the phone into my computer, BlackBerry Desktop Manager 5 saw the phone and said there was updated software available, so i trusted BlackBerry Desktop Manager to update the phone. What ended up happening is far from what I expected or wanted, the phone got backed up, thankfully, and wiped, when it went to upload the new OS, it said that there was non available. Rebooting the phone it ended up giving me the 507 error. I figured it was a total loss and I would have to make up some wacky story to get the phone RMA’d. What I ended up doing was scouring the Internet for answers and I found it, here. This website tells you how to restore a nuked or wiped blackberry and it definitely saved my butt. Another little bit of knowledge, it took the BlackBerry 8320 15 minutes on its first boot, so dont go thinking its the “Hour-glass of death” like some people like to call it. If after 20-25 minutes it still won’t boot you should reload it again, if all else fails, then there is no hope other than bringing it back to the manufacturer.

So the moral of the story, use the BlackBerry Desktop Manager that came with your phone, do not use any other one, if you do you might end up spending the night reloading a BlackBerry like I did.


September 17, 2009  12:05 AM

Openfiler, Free and Opensource

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

I am back in the books after being un-prepared for VCP-310 and was needing some iSCSI practice, well i dont have an MSA or HP All-In-One laying around so i improvised. My buddy Raj ( he has a blog on here also) pointed me to a program called Openfiler. I was able to create a VM on VMware Workstation, install Openfiler, and then create an iSCSI target for my ESX Box. Worked like a charm. Since I had never used this product before, I used this Petri Article, “Use OpenFiler as your Free VMware ESX SAN Server”. Read through it all, its a 2 part post.

Just wanted to share my awesome experience of configuring an iSCSI target out of a laptop and virtualization components!


September 16, 2009  3:42 AM

Palm Desktop Calendar Sync to Outlook Calendar

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Well I found out the hard way that there is an easy way to do this. Mind you the easiest is to change your syncing from Palm Device to Palm Desktop to sync between Palm Device and Outlook, the rest takes care of itself.

Although, lets say you do not have access to your old palm device, what then? Well Yahoo allows you to sync from Palm Desktop exported files(dba) but trying to do so via the website didn’t work for me.

Intellisync for Yahoo did the trick, I’m not going to get into details, other than, you install the app, select, sync from Palm Desktop to Yahoo (you must have a valid yahoo account), then change the settings again to sync from Yahoo to Oultook.

When syncing to Yahoo, make sure you set the time zone on your yahoo calendar to the right zone, or all your appointments will be off.

Read up on Intellisync for Yahoo here.

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: