Tuesday, October 22, 2013

VMware Horizon View Persona Management Gotcha!

Remember back in the release of VMware View 5.0 (yes the name Horizon wasn't there then), I wrote an article on Deploy Persona Management Overview.  I also helped to answer one question in details here on Persona Management in the communities which now when I read it, I seems to know a lot I have forgotten already (am I aging).

While doing a POC I gotten some difficulty in getting Persona Management to work even though policy was applied via Active Directory as well as even tried on the "master" VM used for creating the desktop pool.  Here is a KB on it.

This is a screenshot on my customer environment apparently they have a global police in place to use only Local User Profiles so your persona will not work even settings it at domain policy or at local image policy.  I log into one of the View Desktop and run rsop.msc (you would need administrator rights), to see what policy is applied in the domain.  Some domain might take a bit of time up to 10mins to see the policy applied due to the number of policies they have in the domain.

Now before start any VDI solution, do note that not all policy are applicable to VDI desktop.  Yes some might be helpful still e.g. Folder redirection instead of using from Persona Management, others like the one above would hinder you to have a floating profile setup.

Keep in mind to have it excluded on the VDI desktops and the easiest we would place these VDI desktop in a separate OU.

One of our consultant, Jason Yeo  told me about Volume Shadow Service (VSS) requirement for Persona Management.  Persona Management uses VSS to capture the changes of your profile and update the repository every x period (default 10mins).  So make sure VSS service is not disable via policy in the domain or locally.  It has to be in Manual status.

I did not find any KB stating this however I found this on the Windows 7 optimization guide so if you refer to page 21, Persona management require VSS as stated.

It always good to learn something new.  Seems to find out more of Horizon View than before every time I touches it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

vSphere Network Health Check Saves The Day!

Was doing a Proof of Concept for Horizon View at one customer with a partner.  The infrastructure was setup and network trunked on the uplinks.

We started out deploying all the components leveraging on customer's Active Directory, DHCP server and as well as Database.

All was well and setup but two things was encountered:
Every Desktop pools will always have some desktops not getting IP address.
Horizon View client receive connection error after choosing a desktop or while using a desktop.

Spend a bit of time troubleshooting by the partner.  Things like using a Windows DHCP instead of Linux (customer's was linux DHCP) and putting Horizon View Connection Server in the same subnet as the Desktops.

I took over to see what have gone wrong since my partner has already done so many work.  Did some tests with my colleague, Wei Chiang who is strong in networking.  We managed to isolate the issue and even set static IP on those Desktops that does not have IP however they still have intermittent problems.  Wei Chiang then suggest to use the vSphere Network Health Check and we did.

By default the Network Health Check is not enabled.  So you have to enable it from here.

Next we did a check on the vmnics connecting to each ESX servers.

I have to masked out the VLANs set and the IPs as these are not to be revealed.

Did you see what we see?  Yes the network was either configured wrongly or the wrong vmnics was used.

A quick check with the customer's team and one of the vmnic was not correct.  So after amending the correct vmnics to be used, there are still one server vmnic trunked wrongly.

A feature we hardly use but become very useful when you really need it saves you all the time and headache.  I am starting to appreciate and love vSphere Network Health Check now.  Do note this can only be done in vSphere 5.1 and only on Virtual Distributed switch and accessible only via the vSphere Web Client.  So you are using Horizon View, you would have vSphere for Desktop that carries Enterprise Plus features.  If you are on vSphere, then you would need Enterprise Plus.

Yet another issue resolved.  This will be very useful for VMware guys where they maintain en environment and doing any changes to network or scaling out their infrastructure.  It is also very useful for implementation or consultants to make sure the network is properly configured before starting any work as not to waste unnecessary time.

Hope this is useful for those having such problem.

Monday, October 7, 2013

VMware Certifications Promotion 2013

After the big event, VMworld 2013 at San Francisco and the coming Bacelona, there will be various events to carry on the information that was announced at the APAC regional vForum or VMware Solutions Symposium at individual APAC countries.

Other than the announcements and launches of new version and products, there is also promotion for certifications announced here.

I am going to take Singapore for example here where vForum 2013 will be held on 24th Oct where information of all the events are shown here.

For Singapore, you will be able to take the certification exams like the new associates exams with 50% off the price and as well as VCP and VCAP exams at 75% off the price as shown here.  One thing as a reminder, if you are taking exams that need authorization, you will still need to go through this process which I posted here.

The information on this page is rather confusing so here I am going to make a summary for easy understanding.

Exams can be taken from 11th Nov 2013 to 15th Nov 2013 at any test centers in Singapore and the discount code will NOT work if it is outside these dates.  You can also take the exam at VMware Singapore office on the vForum date if you choose the location as Suntec Tower 4 location and this ONLY possible on 24th Oct 2013 and not any dates outside with this location selected.

Here are the screenshots:

Choosing VMware Singapore office, it can only be done on 24th Oct 2013.

Using discount code outside 11th-15th Nov 2013 time frame received the below error.

Select dates within 11th-15th Nov 2013 with any exam center in Singapore will be successful applied with 50% discount.

Hope we will have more VCPs and VCAPs.  You will have a month to prepare so start the engine!

Update 7th Nov 2013
Apparently I have feedback on the booking system and now you can really take in VMware office now on those dates.
I didn't check back on the system so just to update if you choose VMware Singapore office as your test center, you will be offered 11th Nov to 15th Nov as the available dates. 

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