Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Orphaned Replica in Horizon View

In my home lab, I do not have any redundancy since it for testing purpose and in such, I encounter a power failure and resulted in my Horizon Connection server to be absent.

Upon recovery of powering up again, one of the replica end up lost link with the database.  In my vSphere Web Client, I see a replica (orphaned).  I was able to delete the replica folder but the entry still stay in the vSphere Web Client inventory tree (that applies the same to vSphere Client).

By the way I am running Horizon View 6.1 and this solution found in the KB still works.

I didn't manage to capture my screenshot and found the below similar.  You will see the same on the web client.  Do note that the name of the replica will look like "replica-d0d123123c-f3j2-... (orphaned)".  Do note the actual name does not contain "(orphaned)".  DO NOT include when using the commands below.

source: http://www.vladan.fr

The command in the KB states and this was the confusion I have and I like to address for you to use it correctly.

sviconfig -operation=UnprotectEntity -DsnName=name_of_DSN -DbUsername=Composer_DSN_User_Name -DbPassword=Composer_DSN_Password -VcUrl=https://vCenter_Server_address/sdk -VcUsername=Domain\User_of_vCenter_Server_account_name -VcPassword=vCenter_Server_account_password -InventoryPath=/Datacenter_name/vm/VMwareViewComposerReplicaFolder -Recursive=true
  • In View Composer 2.5 and later, you can re-protect the VMwareViewComposerReplicaFolder using -operation=ProtectEntity

The main problem comes from the InventoryPath.  As my Datacenter_Name contain space, please use "" for the whole string.

Leave the second part /vm the same, do not change it.

Since replica is in the main inventory list not in any Folder created, then leave /VMwareViewComposerReplicaFolder.   This is the default recognized for vCenter.

Here is an example how it should look:

sviconfig -operation=UnprotectEntity -DsnName=viewDSN -DbUsername=viewdsnuser -DbPassword=mypassword123 -VcUrl=https://prodvC/sdk -VcUsername=plain-virt\vCadmin -VcPassword=vCadminpasswd123 -InventoryPath=/Datacenter_name/vm/VMwareViewComposerReplicaFolder -Recursive=true

Hope this helps you to resolve such incident.  This was the first time I encounter it so I thought I just share this out. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

vSphere 6.0 Web Client Mark Disk As Flash or HDD

Just some sharing that I chanced upon.

This might be most useful for those who are building their demo labs when you try to nested environment or simulate your disk as Flash when it is actually magnetic disk (MD).

It is also applicable where your Flash Disk/SSD is detected as a normal MD but you need to mark is as Flash disk or revert it when needed.

This is typically very true in a Virtual SAN (VSAN) environment.  When you need for a disk group with a minimum of at least one SSD.

If you refer to our KB, you might have to go through a list of commands.  However in vSphere 6.0, the web client has the function to do it via the GUI.

Below is a screenshot taken from my home lab.  My ESXi server has a normal SATA disk and a SSD disk.  So upon selecting either of them the icon will change to allow you to change it.  Technically you can even build a all Flash VSAN without having to own a VSAN license only different is the read and write ratio remain the same unlike a real All-Flash VSAN where 100% write goes to the cache disk and 100% read comes from the persistent disks.

Mark as flash disks.

 Mark as HDD disks.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

vSphere 6 Installation Experience

Previously I posted on my installation and upgrade of my vSphere 5.5 here.  Since each upgrade comes about a year or two that I perform, we ought to forget some important things.  So here is my experience.

Before you start, head to the vSphere Upgrade Center.  Here you will find all the resources needed.  There is also a simple install walkthrough to guide you through with screenshots!

1) Read the documents on the requirements!  During the installation the vCenter requires at least 17GB of space to store the MSI and part of it the new Platform Service Controller (PSC) takes up 8GB install in the C:\ProgramData path.  Go through the requirements in the product documentation page.

2) Your DSN user in SQL for vCenter (vpxuser), needs to have additional rights for installation and upgrade but not during operations time. Grant this rights back.  In vCenter 6 installation, it points out the additional rights required.  This is great!  So I just use my SQL Management Studio and do the needed instead of going through a list of stuff (Nope I am not a SQL expert :) )  You can of course remove these two rights after installation.

3) Yes poor Update Manager is still using 32bit ODBC DSN.  I haven't been using it for awhile so decide to install it.  So head over to Windows C:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe.  Also the SQL user for vCenter Update Manager need db_owner rights for MSDB too.

4) Already have all your VMFS volumes in version 5 yet still receiving warning that some of your datastore is deprecated?  This is a false positive warning as state in the KB, just restart your management agent.

5) In any case this is your new installation, do note that Transparent Page Sharing is disabled by default and if you need it to be on, refer to this KB.

Lastly, if you did a fresh install but using back the same database which contain all your data of your infrastructure, do note that all password will not be recognize.  What I mean by password will be e.g. those you created in the Customization Specification Manager for automatic installation by joining domain etc., where you ahve specify perhaps a domain account to help join domain.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

VMware VCP6-DCV Certification is now available!

The wait is over.  With the announcement of vSphere 6 in Feb 2015, to the General Availability in Mar 2015, today marks the day where the certification becomes available.  This is one of the fastest release over a major version release I seen since VI3.5.

Read about it here.  You can also find out the requirement to be certified VCP6-DCV.  There is also extension to re-certify your VCP and discount for existing VCP on VCP6-DCV as announced here.

In previous article, for new comers, you will have to take up the 5 days course, if you have attended a vSphere 5 training course but not taken an exam, you can proceed to next step.  Next step is to pass the foundations exam (75 questions in 90 minutes for USD50) and the VCP6-DCV (100 questions in 120 minutes for USD50) exam.  All exams requires application for authorization.

For existing VCP5-DCV, course is recommended but not required.  You can go straight to VCP6-DCV Delta (75 question in 90 minutes for USD50) exam.  Alternative you can choose to take the official exam too (which I do not see the need though).

Do note that current release are all beta exams.  In such, the passing score is not stated.  The price is also at priced at USD50 which you will not see this once this is general available.

Do it fast and quick and help evaluate the exam at this special price.  If you have experience, this should not be tough.

Good Luck!

Thinapp Assignment in Horizon View Access Denied

Finally upgrade my home lab with vSphere 6.0 and Horizon 6.1.  Have to perform a demonstration to my customer how to assign Thinapp easily via the Horizon View Admin portal.  Guess what, luck never on my side and hit with lots of issues.

This issue comes with lots of testing.  The error I encounter after assignment was HRESULT hr = 0×80070005. Access is denied.  Doing a few Google didn't bring me nowhere.  Assignment installation failed.

Let me just walk through what I have done:
  • Package a few Thinapp packages with editing of Package.ini mainly the MSI settings since I am doing a assignment from Horizon View Admin Portal.  Read more here.
  • Place them in a file share with permission to VDI users (yes make sure the VDI users can access those folders)
  • In Horizon View Admin portal, scan the repository for the Thinapp, make sure the .msi and .exe and .dat (if you are streaming and app is too big to build into .exe file) in the same folder in the repository. 
  • Assigned the Thinapp to my desktop pool.
  • Logon to one desktop that is part of the pool, check in Horizon View Admin portal on Thinapp and saw the screen shot as shown.
I know this is some permission problem but did not know where to start.  I checked the MSI settings and rebuild the Thinapp multiple times.

I came across this article, point 2 sound like something I never tried before.  I decide to give it a try, if it could be Local System account doesn't have rights to install on the virtual desktops which make sense here.

I create a service account (make sure it has local admin rights on the View Connection server else the service will not start) for View Connection Server.

This time round my Thinapp got installed successfully!  Horizon View Connection Server service is the one that trigger the Thinapp push down to the assigned desktop.  If it is by default installation, the service is assigned to Local System.  This "account" has log in rights for the local OS it is running on.  In such, it does not have rights to perform log on to a remote desktop.  Having to create a domain account and use it to run the Horizon View Server service, now I have an account that has rights to log on to the remote desktop.

Do note that, if you have already create any Application Pool or Desktop Pool, all your entitlement will be lost, you will need to entitle the rights again.

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