Monday, April 29, 2013

VMware Horizon View 5.2 Transfer Server Repository Setup

It has been sometimes that I last setup my Horizon View Transfer server back when it was in version 5.0.

Today as I need to setup in a Horizon View 5.2, I have to start creating.  So my setup was pretty simple, I have a share drive on the Transfer Server (this can be anywhere), and the binary installation was smooth.

I couldn't find any much details of the restriction from the installation guide, but I did remember version 5.2 support Hardware version 9 which was previously not supported.  Also PVSCI was also supported for the virtual SCSI controller for the disk.

After logging into Horizon View Administrator portal, I added the Transfer Server.  It was then rebooted with configuration to add in 4 virtual SCSI controllers.

Now come the exciting part.  I could not add in the respository and keey getting error:
"Error: 59 - Problem verifying information for an image repository"

I was stuck!  Doing a Google returns me the closest KB but with a different error code.  Decide to give it a go and Wala!

It still applies for Horizon View 5.2 even though the KB states till 5.0.x.   We should add the repository first before adding the Transfer server into the Administrator portal.

Another catcha which is if the repository is on the Transfer Server itself, do not use the Network Share location setting use the Local filesystem.

 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

VMware Converter Standalone 5.1 with support for GPT and UEFI

With the release of vSphere 5.1 Update 1, all components that has a dependency with vCenter would be updated.  That would include vCenter Heartbeat, Site Recovery Manager, vCenter Orchestrator, vSphere Storage Appliance, vCloud Director, vSphere Data Protection and not forgeting VMware Converter Standalone.

As we all know that VMware Converter Standalone is free comparing with other Converter products which are chargeable by per system/VM.  But the reason that most of us would go to other solutions because we have systems with GPT disks or UEFI firmware interface.

With the release of VMware Converter Standalone 5.1, it now has new features with the support of UEFI source machines as well as GPT support and many other which you can refer to the Release Notes.  Of course with the new release it will also support the latest OS like Windows 8 and Windows 2012 and file format EXT4.

Though this support came a little bit late, but at least now we are able to save a little bit of cost.


Vmware Converter Standalone Documentation is located here.
Download VMware Converter Standalone 5.1 binary from here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

VMware Horizon Workspace Folder and File Sharing Detailed Walkthrough

I have many people asking me how to share or what can I share to a user on Horizon Workspace.  So Here I am going to share with you some screenshot and understand what can or cannot be done.

We will be able to have a preview of normal office documents, pictures as well as PDF files in Horizon Workspace.  However if its a unknown format or files that cannot be display per se e.g. zip files, it will not be display.

Now let's talk about sharing of files and folder.

First of all, you are able to share file or folder to outside external parties from your domain.  This enable users to share file with third parties outside the domain.  External party will not be able to install the Horizon Workspace client as his account are not connected to the internal Horizon Workspace server.

Below is a screenshot on the context menu you will see when you click to share a Folder or a File.

Sharing a Folder

Sharing a File


When you share a File you will be provided with a URL Link which you can send to your user.  Anyone if that link will be able to access the file.  If you decide to stop sharing, you can do so too by clicking on Stop Sharing as shown below.

For Folder Sharing, you will have more options as show below.  Also you can see that if you try to Invite to edit to external party, this will not be possible.  Simple to understand as this type of user are not part of your domain so its not possible for them to use your internal SMTP server to send the invite.  That would be security flaw!

If you click on the expansion, you will be able to change any sharing rights or Stop Sharing completely.




If you decide to change a invited user rights from e.g.view to view and edit, you will see the confirmation on clicking Share.

When you share a Folder, the user will receive an email just like below.
If you remove the user the rights, he will also receive an email on his rights been revoked.
Interestingly, the picture of the user if he did set it up in his Horizonworkspace account will be displayed when emails are triggered to the sharing users.

Once the user click on the link for the first time, he will be bought to the site to setup the password for future access.  A virtual user will be created and the Administrator will be able to see the user been created once he has created his password.

The look and feel for the invited users looks exactly the same other than he cannot do invite any users.  He will be able to edit if he has the rights for it.  Of course if he is an internal user, his Horizon Workspace will be just adding the folder into own Workspace.

What if the invited user forgot his password?  Here he can Reset his password by clicking on "Forgot password?".  You would need to enter the username which is his email else he will see the error message "You must enter a username".  Once the email is sent, you will see the message "An email has been sent to your email address with information regarding resetting your password".



This is the email the invited user will received.  This reset do have a expiry as well just in case the user forgot to use it.

On clicking the link you will be bought to the site again to key in a new password.

For the invited users, once he is log into Horizon Workspace, with a View rights, he will see as below.

If the invited user has Edit rights, he will have additional options namely delete, move and rename.





To remove any virtual users, the Horizon Workspace Administrator will need to log into the Admin portal to remove the users.  The administrator will not be able to reset the password from the portal.  Though there is a way to do that via command but I find that the rational is there, since the invited users can do the reset of password themselves and sending password over email isn't secure in the first place.

Here you have it.  A detail walkthrough on how Folder and File sharing look like in Horizon Workspace.


Update 31st Oct 2013
Out of curiosity what if I shared a folder or a file and I move its location?  Well don't worry, your links that was sent out to your users will still be able to download.  This means that Horizon Workspace has the intelligence to know to update the the location with the link you have previously sent it out.

I tried this with dropbox, sadly it failed.  Meaning you would need to resent a new URL to whom you shared with.

VMware Data Protection (VDP) 5.1.10 Release!

As stated in my previous post,  there was a bug in the Vmware Data Protection (VDP) which was release with vSphere 5.1 in backing up Windows 2008 R2 OS VM.

As of today, a new release of VDP 5.1.10 is been release as stated here.  There are also some added enhancement which you can read about.  You may refer to the release notes here.

With this release, the VDR to VDP migration utility is now make available.  I would like to stress this again, the migration only migrate the data and restore points and NO backup jobs are migrated.  Backup jobs need to be recreated in VDP.  There is no migration utility in VDP Advanced.  The correct way is to migrate from VDR to VDP then to VDP Advance.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

VMware vSphere 5.1 Hardening Guide release!

From the announcement of vSphere 5.1 in Aug 2012 to it's GA in October, it been a short period of time that VMware has managed to release in merely 6 months.

Here is the vSphere 5.1 Hardening Guide.  In case you are looking for the rest of the hardening guides for the other versions, you can locate them here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

VMware Compatibility Guides Know How

References:
VMware Compatiblity Guide
VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes
Business Applications on VMware Platform

I have been asked many times if this hardware will support that hardware or does this solution support the other solution?  What are the databases supported?  Which storage support VMware Site Recovery Manager?

It's pretty easy to find this out but if you do not know how to you might end up goggling and find yourself with lots of links but not very closed to your expected results.  Reason is these are all based on search engines so unless someone posted that on the internet else it would be hard to come by.

Below is a video on how you can easily navigate on VMware website to look for the compatibility matrix that you are looking for.  Do not that as not all hardware are send in for certification, the newest and greatest might not be listed in the database.  For that, you will need to check back with the respective hardware vendor.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

VMware Horizon View HTML5 Blast Desktop Access Timeout

Today I encounter a problem with my Home lab.  As you know I have set up Horizon Workspace with Horizon View integration completed.  Horizon View with Feature Pack 1.  Everything was working fine I was able to access via PCoIP via the Horizon View client as well as via HTML5 via the Blast protocol.

However yesterday, I did a re-installation of my Horizon View Security Server.  Today when I was trying to access my desktop via HTML5 or via Horizon Workspace through HTML it all fail.

I receive timeout on connecting to the desktop.  So I tested with Horizon View Client and it works.  So I have isolate this to be Blast connection related only.

Here you see on my browser I enabled Firebug to trace the connection and realize it stop there with a blank screen of the Blast.

After few seconds later, I get a connection time out.

I decide to recall what has changed in my environment and notice what I did yesterday.  So what connect back to my Horizon View Security Server and check on the Firewall rules and saw the below:

That is the problem!  If you refer to my previous post VMware Horizon View 5.2 Feature Pack 1, I mentioned about the firewall rules.

So what happen when you do a re-installation of Horizon View Security binary, the firewall rule will be disabled which is the setup default for Blast when doing installation.

So now you know Horizon View binary does not keep your firewall rules, it overrides to the binary default.  So next time if you do a re-installation, please remember to check the firewall rules again.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

VMware Horizon Mirage Installation

Below is an video on how you can install and setup a VMware Horizon Mirage server.  Do note that this video was done using Mirage 3.6 SP1.  The installation does not change however the installation interface but differ just a little bit.

You may refer to the Administration Guide for the installation guide found here.

Please note that you can configure the server after all are installed instead of what I did in the video to have license imported before carrying on the installation of Mirage Server.

Make sure your Mirage Server do have enough space for storing the images and cache.  I have to do that in the middle of the video as I forgot about it.

The installation order should be as follows:
  1. Mirage Management Server
  2. Mirage Management Console
  3. Mirage Server
  4. Mirage Web Access (optional)
For SQL database, if you are using the default instance name, you do not have to fill in the sql instance name else you would hit an error.

If you are doing Windows upgrade migration from XP to 7, you would need the USMT 3.0.  Do note that Windows XP 64bit is not supported for migration.

All Mirage client would require Dot Net Framework.

VMware Horizon Workspace Reviewer's Guide Gotcha!

On my previous post on VMware Horizon Suite, in it I provided some of the articles and one of them is a Reviewer's Guide.

Going through the guide you might hit some hiccups.  Here I have show some of the resolution to get around it.

Before we start, I assume you would have done your VMware Horizon View 5.2 if you are keen to integrate with Horizon Workspace.

An overview before configuring the vApp.
  • Make sure you do have the resources stated to run the Horizon Workspace vApp.  Do not downsize the resources as this will results in unexpected errors.
  • Prior to setup, make sure you have create all entry for Forward and Reverse DNS and as well as SMTP server.
  • Create IP Pool under vSphere Client under Datacenter.
On Page 30, for Base DN,m its best to put the domain that you are going to work with entitling the user.  If you use a Group, the user can only below within that group.

On Page 31, include all the groups and OU where the users will be located.  That includes user of the View pools.  In my case, I have create an OU named View Users which I have included in.

By default, Horizon Workspace is able to preview PDF files but not Microsoft Office documents.  On page 49, the instruction show you to install LibreOffice to enable preview of Microsoft Office Documents.  Please note that your data-va must be able to access internet else you will have to download the package and SCP it into data-va and install offline.

Follow the instruction to call the command, do not call the command within the folder.  You can see what I have did and the download will never be completed.

Next page 50,to restart the service the command would be without '-' not as stated in the document.
> su zimbra 

If you browse to the download Horizon Workspace client after you login, you will be provided with the link for the respective end points you are log in on.  However the clients are older version than the ones provided on VMware site.  You can see the original version and the updated one.
E.g. The default in Horizon Workspace 1.0 for Windows client Build 1017077 while the latest is Build 1028171.


To install Horizon Workspace client make sure you do have at least .Net Framework 3.5.

To update the clients, you would need to follow the instruction from Horizon Workspace Installation Guide, Page 32 to amend the clients files correctly.


You might want to upload the client files into the data-va using WINSCP, however you would need to enable root account for SSH.  You can do this by opening the console using vSphere Client, log in using the root and the global password you specify during the initial configuration of the Horizon Workspace vApp.  Type the following commands:

>vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config

You will see the screen below.  Go to the line that state PermitRootLogin and change the word from no to yes.
To do this, type 'i' to go into insert mode.  Delete the word no and insert yes, press the Esc button to exit insert mode, type ":wq!".  What this do is to write and quit immediately.  Just restart the ssh service using the command below:

>service sshd restart.


To manage Horizon Workspace you would need to keep the following URL at hand on Page 31 of the Installation Guide.

vMotion Between CPUs

With the release of vSphere 6.7, and the ability to have EVC on a per VM level instead of a per cluster level raise some questions. Before...