vSphere 5.5 QuickTip: Upgrading vCenter 5.1 to vCenter 5.5

it-crowd-unexpectedSo I did my upgrade of my new environment and began using Chrome (native Mac Browser) to access vCenter. As I was doing was I was being innodated with “Unable to create the managed object for ” kinds of errors. I thought at first it was a browser issue so I tried Safari and Firefox.

Still didn’t work.

So I tried it on the native system and noticed that the error propagates there as well. A quick search internally I found a similar, yet different issue that suggested a restart of services might solve that issue. That got me thinking. Sometimes a reboot (or “forcing an unexpected reboot”) can solve some issues (e.g., clears out the cache, restarts services properly, etc.).

Eh. What could it hurt? At worse, I’d do a fresh install. At best, it’d solve stuff.

Turns out, it was the “at best” situation. Horizon View 5.2, although no official sanction is out yet for support (assume that Horizon View 5.2 and vSphere 5.5 are “unsupported”; that means best effort — usually — from GSS for tickets) Horizon View seems ok with the upgrade. I’ve yet to test whether Composer will like it (that’s next). And I still need to upgrade my MacMinis themselves.

Oh. Joy.

A moment of Bazinga: SQL Server and View Events configuration

bazinga-bazzinga-lol-sheldon-cooper-tbbt-Favim.com-234798This past week I’ve been working on a variety of projects, including my home lab. I’ve been wanting to have a lab I can “use and abuse” to find all the ins and outs I can for the whole Horizon suite. For me, a lot of it centers around View and its configuration. Within our Education classes a lot of that is already pre-configured. This is done for both the instructor’s benefit (less troubleshooting) and the student’s (more consistent and better lab experience). But that also hides certain things from view. In particular, the SQL setup.

Installing View is easy but configuring SQL to work for things like the Events Database was troublesome. I spent nearly three days trying to figure out why I couldn’t get the Connection Server to talk with the SQL server. I had disabled all firewalls, had ensured proper name resolution in place, etc. I could telnet to the port but just didn’t seem able to connect to the service.

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Home Lab Notes: Networking Face Palm Moment

Kaley-Cuoco-Damn-Gif-In-Big-Bang-TheoryEvery now and again, I run into weird things that just never occurred to me. It’s that one main danger of having too much experience. You start making assumptions as to how things should be configured and how they should work (a dangerous combination at times). Today was no exception. I wanted to finally finish building my environment by having View setup amongst other things. But no matter what I did, the ESXi hosts refused to stay put. vCenter and Active Directory were ok but ESXi just didn’t want to play. At first I thought it might have been a side-effect of using Chrome as the Web Client but even when switch to Firefox (Windows 2012 IE is way too locked down to be useful), I still saw the same behaviour.

I investigated the DNS settings on the ESXi host and realized that I had the wrong ones. I fixed that but still ran into issues. I was getting tempted to get an old network hub on the off-chance that my little network switch was causing challenges. But I figured it wasn’t that since I could connect from my MacBook to vCenter and the AD controller. I then pondered the possibility that there was another setting. It was then that I saw the IPv6 setting.


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Horizon View: The Need for Use Cases

One of the things that has to be understood is that the innovation that was done in the server world with vSphere/vCloud is now happening in the enterprise desktop world with the Horizon Suite. The concept of the desktop today has mine-smallchanged significantly over the years. When computers were first introduced in the work environment, it was a slow tool that was used. But only used for things such as a database maintenance and such. In 1995, Microsoft introduced Windows 95 with great fan fare and home computer use increased significantly as a result of that and the advent of more general access to the internet (e.g., Broadband, DSL, AOL, etc.).

This resulted in a change in the way computers were used at work. No longer was a tool used to maintain databases about sales or salaries but rather to generate data to be sold. The Information Age exploded. Unfortunately, most environments did not maintain processes to control the data and left it up to end users to do so. For a while this meant mounds of floppy disks and many long nights recovering data when hard drives failed or “Oops!” happened. As time passed, users got very attached to their desktops to nearly an overly possessive manner.

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10 Hints on Studying for a VCP-Level Exam

calvin_hobbes_one_lifeOne of the most common questions I hear is: how to study for the VCP-<insert version/topic> exam? What book I buy or what class should I take? I figured it may be worthwhile to post what I usually tell people who come up to me and ask these questions.

A lot of people I know aren’t fond of our class requirements for certifications but as someone who has met a few MCSEs who had never used Windows NT Server (!?). To me, the VCP is a good technical starting certification. I know that they have, at the least, taking a week’s worth of training to learn how to use the product. What the goal is to avoid “paper VCPs”. To be honest (from my view), people who use products that “have all the questions” usually have the wrong answers and it doesn’t do anything for you, really. You end up cheating yourself in the short and long run. VMware Certification has gotten better and better at having a variety of questions available and a pool to draw on for variety sake.

So let’s look at how one should study for a VCP-level exam.

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Post-VMworld/Labour Day Thoughts

tired-TBBTSo life has begun to return back to some normalcy, post-VMworld and post-Labour Day weekend (for those not in Canada or the US, the first Monday of September is pretty much a statutory holiday for both countries). VMworld, as always, was a lot of work but well worth it, IMO. The ability to connect with customers/partners and colleagues; to answer questions about products, certifications, classes and whatever else comes to mind; and sometimes to just listen to customers, partners and colleagues about how they implement our products and what neat things they come up with is the biggest reason why I always want to go to VMworld. While I haven’t made it across the “Pond” (the European version of VMworld), I always try to attend the US one at the least.

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VMworld 2013: Day 3

Yesterday ended up being rather a full day with the General session, tonnes of questions about certifications and then helping with the Test Track (where you can do one or more sample DCA questions in 10 min and maybe win a prize). Afterwards, I attended one of the VCDX parties and then went to the Occidental Cigar Bar (on Pine Street in San Francisco) to join my manager and his son for a cigar.

Although many view conferences as avenues for companies to market and advertise to you, there is a fair amount of networking for information that is traded in the breakfasts, lunches, dinners and after dinner events. And that is one of the best reasons to attend a conference like this. Being able to connect with VMware experts and employees to find the answers to questions about how things work or how to fix things that no longer work. It was also good to hear from people how much they like our videos at VMware Learning. We should have some more new videos before year’s end so watch this blog and that space for them. You can get notifications by subscribing to the “New Video Notification” list

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Rick with his stacks of the network diagram

Today I’ll be in the Hang Space again (we’re kind of hidden behind the Cloud Cred area). You can get the networking diagram from Rick Blythe of the Knowledge Management team so definitely drop by for that.

VMworld 2013: New VMware Education Learning Path site

Today we launched a new site to go with our other ones, VMware Learning Videos and VMware Certification Videos, that we introduced this year. VMware Learning Paths was introduced a while ago but it recently went through a revamp. The site originally provided learning paths based on three categories: Solution Track, Role or Product. Today it also includes Achieve Certification.

This path allows you to find out what required or suggested courses you need to achieve a particular certification. It includes a link to the courses directly, making it easier to justify taking training. And that is the hardest part often when it comes to training. But if the training is relevant to both your job and the certification, then it’s akin to getting double bang for your buck.

Additionally, taking an instructor led class means those burns questions about why something did that or this can be answered. And that can be even more valuable than the course itself. Enjoy the sites and if you need help, post me a question here. I’ll try to answer between my sessions.

VMworld 2013: Day 1


So today I start off in the Education/Support Hang Space with my colleague Rick Blyte (if you tweet and follow @vmwarecares, that’s him). We may not be so obvious because of layout. We’re behind the Cloud Cred wall. Hope to see you there.