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Month: November 2015

Citrix PVS 7.x : No servers available for disk

This error appeared out of the blue on a vDisk maintenance patch day after the scheduled auto-update was set to start. I was given notice by a colleague that the latest vDisk had failed and thus was not updated. Upon further investigation, turns out that when the update VM was set to boot, it pulls an IP from DHCP but is never served a vDisk even though PVS creates the proper maintenance version.

Good news! This fix is about as simple as it gets by only needing a single new key added to the PVS registry on each PVS server.

That’s it, copy/paste that into your GPO’s or SCCM deployments and your PVS maintenance VM’s will boot without issue. No PVS server reboot required!

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Homelab of Doom – Thanks to PernixData

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Some of you may have seen on Twitter that I was the lucky, insanely lucky, winner of the VMworld 2015 PernixData Force Awakens Homelab. Winning it was so shocking, I stared at the Tweetdeck ‘notification’ column for a good 5 minutes in disbelief but low and behold, it was true!

I’ve always been a huge proponent of homelabs for building, breaking, and in turn, learning. Prior to winning this, I had 2 HP Proliant tower servers running over iSCSI to my Synology NAS. I loved that lab… it was with me for my VCP-Cloud, VCP-5, and VCP-5.5 certifications and even learning Xen Server and Hyper-V. But, BRING ON THE SPEED!

The PernixData lab is loaded with 3 SuperMicro 5018D-FN4T’s each with:

  • 8 core Intel Xeon D-1540 CPU’s
  • 64GB of DDR4 PC4-2133
  • 64GB mSATA SSD for ESXi
  • 400GB Intel SSD P3600 PCI NVMe
  • 3TB Seagate Enterprise HDD
  • 1x 1Gbps IPMI NIC
  • 2x 1Gbps NICs
  • 2x 10Gbps NICs
  • Needless to say, these hosts SCREAM. EMC ScaleIO is serving up the capacity layer via the spinning disks while PernixData FVP is giving the performance over Intel SSD’s.

    As you can see, they also supplied some nice switches to get all this connected:

  • Netgear GS728TSB 24 x 1Gbps
  • Netgear XS708E 8 x 10Gbps
  • Beyond the speed of this setup, it’s also surprisingly quiet. Lab noiseI used a decibel meter app on my Nexus 6P to gauge the sound and as you can see, it’s remarkably quiet. That is 3 servers, 2 switches, and 2 NAS’s all running.

    I cannot even begin to thank PernixData, Intel, EMC, and Micron for putting this all together.

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    Citrix Xen Server 6.x Error: VDI Not Available

    Enterprise team shot this issue up to me today which I hadn’t seen before. There was a hung VDI VM in our Xen Server 6.5 farm that refused to boot. Every time it would attempt to power up, it would fail with the error of “VDI Not Available.” Typically this occurs if a VM hangs and is terminated improperly or a host fails. In my case, the host wouldn’t let go of the writecache disk for the VDI VM. Thankfully the fix is relatively easy and doesn’t result in any downtime for the rest of the environment.

  • First SSH into the host holding onto the VM in question
  • Get the UUID of the VM and copy it to your clipboard

  • Check to see if the VM is properly shutdown across the cluster/site

  • Get the VDI disk UUID and copy that to your clipboard

  • Run the reset script packaged with Xen Server
  • And that’s all there is to it. Quick, simple, and effective. If only all solutions were this simple…

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    vSphere Thick Client? I don’t need no stinkin’ thick client!

    Quick post about an awesome, new VMware Fling that was released somewhat recently. I’m a little late to the party but I haven’t needed to deploy a new host since its release until today.

    If you haven’t heard, VMware Flings are small applications built by the VMware engineers that aren’t officially supported immediately but can still prove very powerful for your environment. Recently, they addressed something that bugged me from the day VMware announced that the web client was the future and the C# thick client was going bye-bye. Long story short, if you wanted to directly interface with an ESXi host without vCenter middle-manning, you were left with either PowerCLI, SSH, or the bloated C# client.

    This new fling is called the ESXi Embedded Host Client, a lightweight web client installed on your hosts that gives you a familiar vCenter web client experience. It takes about a minute to install via a one line esxcli command.

    SSH into your host(s) and execute this command:

    That will pull down the latest version of the Fling from VMware’s servers and auto-install. From that point on, you can use your favorite flavor of browser and point to the DNS/IP of your host and interface with it as you please.

    If you find you love this Fling and want to deploy it your datacenter, Brian Graf wrote a nice pCLI script to automate the whole ordeal which you find here.

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