Horizon View 5.3 available for download!

5.3 Screenshot

Hot off the Press! View 5.3 Pieces are available to download.

I will have a couple of posts detailing the upgrade process from 5.2 in the next few weeks (holidays will slow this down) but for now here are the download links:

Quick overview of some of the features for Horizon View 5.3:

  • vDGA is no longer Tech Preview, full support for NVIDIA GPU’s passed directly to VM’s
  • VSAN Tech Preview – this will be a lot of fun to play around in the lab!
  • Windows 8.1 Support
  • Multimedia Redirection for H.264 media encoding
  • View Blast protocol now supports Audio, Copy/Paste and GFX improvements (View 5.3 Feature Pack 1 and HTML Access install required)
  • USB 3.0 Support (Thin/Zero Clients must have USB 3.0 for support)
  • VCAI is fully supported (offload composer operations to your SAN – a dream come true!)
  • iOS 7 – New View Client (released last week)
  • and much more!

Andre Leibovici has a great article detailing what really is in View 5.3, you can find it here.

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Top vBlog 2014 – Starts Soon

If you are not familiar with Eric Siebert’s Blog and vBlog awards please check out his site. Eric hosts an annual Top vBlog Awards to those dedicated several that blog about Virtualization and Storage. For 2014, Eric has got some very special news, Veeam is sponsoring it so not only can you brag about being one of the best vBlogs (think – Highlander) but you could also win some cool prizes like a Mac Mini, iPad Mini, HP MicroServer, Beats by Dre Headphones, Roku 3 and a Wii U.

Call for nominations  for blogger categories will start in December with official voting beginning in January. For more information about vBlog 2014, check out Coming Soon: Top vBlog 2014 Edition on vsphere-land.com

Manually Remove vCenter Server from SSO

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I was playing around in our test lab with Linked Mode vCenter Servers last week and ran across an error in the vSphere Web Client after I removed the second vCenter Server. The specific error I got was: Could not connect to one or more vCenter Server Systems: vcenter address:443/sdk

My first guess was that the uninstallation was successful but that SSO had held onto some remnants of the second vCenter so it needed to be manually unregistered with the Lookup Service. Here is what I did to get everything fixed.

Credit Due: Mark Almeida-Cardy at vi-admin.net has a great article about how to resolve this with vCenter 5.1 so I will use his post with updates for vCenter 5.5

VMware has a KB Article 2033238 that lays out the steps for vCenter 5.1 as well.

For Windows: <SSO install directory>\ssolscli\ssolscli listServices <Lookup Service URL>

For vCenter Server Appliance: /usr/lib/vmware-sso/bin/vi_regtool listServices <Lookup Service URL>

  1. In the list of services, locate the service entry that contains the address of the system where the solution was installed.
  2. Record the ownerId of the service entry.
  3. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to Administration > SSO Users and Groups > Application Users and locate the application user with the same name as the ownerId you recorded.
  4. Right-click the user and select Delete Application User.
  5. At the command line, remove the service entry from the Lookup Service.
    1. Create a text file that contains the service ID.
      The service ID must be the only text in the file.
  6. Unregister the entry for the solution by running the unregisterService command.Note: It be necessary to Set your JAVA_HOME environmental variable (default jre location below).
    set JAVA_HOME=c:\program files\vmware\infrastructure\jre

For Windows: <SSO install directory>\ssolscli\ssolscli unregisterService -d <Lookup Service URL> -u “Lookup Service administrator user” -p “administrator password” -si <serviceId file>

For vCenter Server Appliance: </usr/lib/vmware-sso/bin/vi_regtool unregisterService -d <Lookup Service URL> -u “Lookup Service administrator user” -p “administrator password” -si <serviceId file>

Script I Used: ssolscli.cmd listServices https://VCENTER FQDN:7444/lookupservice/sdk > C:\sso_services.txt

Output txt file looked like this: 

Intializing registration provider…
Getting SSL certificates for https://VCENTER FQDN:7444/lookupservice/sdk
Anonymous execution
Found 15 services.

Service 1
———–
serviceId=Default-First-Site:9a003c74-4229-4d60-b89d-a0814ea00060
serviceName=VMware vCenter Support Assistant, WebClientPluginPackage
type=vsphere-client-serenity
endpoints={[url=https://IP ADDRESS:8443/plugin/package/ph-admin-ui.zip,protocol=http]}
version=1.0.0.1398556
description=
ownerId=support-assistant-localhost.localdom-21cb77ad-266c-4f84-9262-a1c0ddf1726c@vsphere.local
productId=com.vmware.phonehome
viSite=Default-First-Site

etc…..

Next let’s identify the services that we need to unregistered and copy/past the serviceId’s into another txt file (remember the name and location of this file)

Now we can run our unregistered script, mine looked like this: ssolscli unregisterService -d https://VCENTER FQDN:7444/lookupservice/sdk -u “LOOKUP SERVICE USERNAME” -p “PASSWORD” -si <FILE LOCATION>

Here is the result that I got:

C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VMware\CIS\vmware-sso>ssolscli unregister
Service -d https://VCENTER FQDN:7444/lookupservice/sdk -u “LOOKUP SERVICE USERNAME” -p “PASSWORD” -si C:\sso_services.txt
Intializing registration provider…
Getting SSL certificates for https://VCENTER FQDN:7444/lookupservice/sdk
Service with id “Default-First-Site:cdda2053-438a-439d-95aa-b47081f94e42” is successfully unregistered
Service with id “Default-First-Site:31d628f8-60e7-4955-a9aa-fd3e3a24bb31” is successfully unregistered
Service with id “Default-First-Site:6e21c57b-da61-460b-b6b2-ef82a3647dad” is successfully unregistered
Return code is: Success 0

Second instance of vCenter has been remove and no error on start up of vSphere Web Client….Happy Admin!

 

Veeam B&R v7 Support for vSphere 5.5 is here!

Veeam_v7

Veeam has released Update 2 for Backup & Replication v7 today with full support for vSphere 5.5 and Hyper-V 2012 R2 (the first backup company to support both!), here is a breakdown of all the new and exciting features:

VMware

  • vSphere 5.5 support, including support for 62TB virtual disks and virtual hardware v10 virtual machines.
  • vCloud Director 5.5 support.
  • Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 as guest virtual machines (VMs).
  • Added ability to limit maximum amount of active VM snapshots per datastore to prevent it from being overfilled with snapshot deltas. The default value of 4 active snapshots can be controlled with MaxSnapshotsPerDatastore (REG_DWORD) registry key.

Microsoft

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and free Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 support, including support for Generation 2 virtual machines.
  • Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 as guest virtual machines (VMs)
  • Support for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
  • Support for the installation of Veeam Backup & Replication and its components on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1.

Built-in WAN acceleration

  • Increased data processing performance up to 50% with hard drive based cache, and up to 3 times with SSD based cache. Multi-core CPU on source WAN accelerator is recommended to take full advantage of the enhanced data processing engine.

Replication

  • Added ability for source and target proxy servers to reconnect and resume replication when network connection between source and target site drops for a short period of time.

Tape

  • Added support for a number of enterprise-class tape libraries with partitioning functionality that allows presenting multiple tape library partitions to the same host.
  • Import/export slot interaction has been redesigned to add support for a number of IBM and Oracle tape libraries.

Application-aware processing

  • Added ability for application-aware processing logic to detect passive Microsoft Exchange DAG database present on the VM, and process it accordingly.
  • Added support for Exchange CCR clusters.

User interface

  • User interface should now remember size and positions off the main window, as well as all panels and columns.

I am proud to say that we upgraded our Backup Environment this morning and everything is running great. Big thanks to Veeam and their Engineering Team for releasing this so fast!

Here is a link to the KB article for this Update.

Install and Configure Teradici APEX 2800 Offload Card

apex2800_lowpro

What is the APEX 2800 Offload Card?

The Teradici APEX 2800 is a PCoIP Offload card for your compute nodes. What this means is when PCoIP traffic is detected on your nodes, each node that has a properly configured APEX card installed, the PCoIP software encoding compute cycles can be offloaded (read: dynamically moved) to this card. This benefits the amount of VDI machines (more importantly your displays)  from being crunched by the processors to produce visuals.

Is there a benefit? Absolutely! We have roughly 40-75 Task Worker profiles on each host, that’s 80-150 displays being crunched by the processor on top of Windows, Office and other applications. That is a big load on the processor, by moving the PCoIP processing onto the APEX we can save time and resources for those items that really need the speed of the Xeon platform. For the current firmware only 100 displays can be offloaded, still that is a ton of compute processing saved by moving to this card!

Install the APEX 2800

So now that we understand what it does, let’s get one physically installed into a host and then install the VIB file and enable the offloading.

  1. If this Host is in production, move all powered on/off VM’s to another available host.
  2. Put Host in Maintenance Mode, Shutdown Host, disconnect all cables (power, etc)
  3. Install APEX 2800 card to available PCIe slot (document slot location, try and make location consistent for all hosts in cluster)
  4. Reconnect cables and power Host up
  5. Confirm Host is at DCUI ready screen
  6. Enable SSH on Host, leave in Maintenance Mode
Install APEX 2800 Drivers into ESXi

For this part make sure you have a SSH client like Putty and a SFTP client like WinSCP to transfer the VIB package to your host. Go to Teradici My Support (requires login) to download the latest verified VIB package for your version of Horizon View (we will be using the package for View 5.2) Now that we have all of our stuff, lets load up the VIB package!

  1. SSH has been enabled from the prior steps, SSH into host
  2. Fire up WinSCP and start a session to the host.
  3. In WinSCP browse to the location where you downloaded the ZIP package (i.e. Downlads) on the left pane, on the right pane browse to /tmp/ and move that package in that folder
  4. Back in Putty lets verify the file is there by entering this command: “cd tmp” then “ls” you should now see the .zip file in that folder
  5. To install the VIB package enter this command: ” esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/apex2800-version-esxi-versionxxxxxx.zip” hit enter
  6. After installation it will spit out an install summary, if you had an existing version that was upgraded it will tell you here
  7. Close WinSCP and Putty and reboot the Host from vSphere
  8. When the Host become available again, enable SSH and exit Maintenance Mode
Install APEX 2800 Drivers for Windows

At this point we have physically installed the APEX 2800 card, installed the VIB package to ESXi, the last piece is to install the OS aware agent .  Go to Teradici My Support (requires login) to download the latest version of the OS Agent. Let’s get started!

  1. The VM can be on the Host we just installed the VIB package on.
  2. On your VM locate the OS Agent download and run the “apex2800-version-rel-xxxxx.exe” install package.
  3. Next, next, next!
  4. Finish and Reboot
  5. Time to verify the PCoIP processing is being offloaded!
APEX 2800 Commandlets

Each of these commands can be run from a SSH session, so fire up Putty and let’s verify that it’s working!

View APEX 2800 Status

/opt/teradici/pcoip-ctrl -I

View VM Usage and Monitoring Status

/opt/teradici/pcoip-ctrl -V

Enable/Disable APEX 2800

/opt/teradici/pcoip-ctrl -d <device number> -e
/opt/teradici/pcoip-ctrl -d <device number> -x

Displaying VM Property Values

/opt/teradici/pcoip-ctrl -O

All APEX2800 Commandlets