Thursday, May 29, 2014

What?! Not Authenticated?! I'll Show You Not Authenticated!!

Hi Friends,

I got a weird ViewPlanner error the other day and wanted to share it with you in case you run into it.  I was happily running ViewPlanner tests and I needed to provision some Windows XP images for my PCoIP testing.  For those not familiar with ViewPlanner, you can create desktops through ViewPlanner, pretty cool eh?  Well I think it's cool...

Anywho...  Normally you enter what names they should use, their parent, the number to create, and you get to a point where you point to where the desktops will live.  It looks like ViewPlanner takes authenticity information you entered on the Config tab and uses this to log into your vCenter.  Well, when I tried to select a home for these new desktops I just got the hourglass thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking.  Hmmm, too much thinking is not good!  So I opened up the viewplanner.log and noticed the following error:

Hmmm, lots of code stuff, but what got my attention was, 'The session is not authenticated."  Huh?  Yes it is!!  No it's not, it says it right here!

Arguing with yourself in your cube isn't the best thing to do, people start to talk...

I re-entered the passwords on the config tab, nope, still the same error!  Okay, time for something drastic, reboot!  I rebooted the ViewPlanner appliance and sure enough when it came back everything worked like a charm.  When I went to the host configuration, ViewPlanner was able to successfully connect to my vCenter.

Well, as you can see, sometimes a reboot just does the trick!  :-)


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Brain & Wendel Live - Storage Performance Monitoring and Measuring: Size Matters! (5/29/2014)

Hi Friends,

Yep, I'll be hosting a live webinar tomorrow with my buddy Wendel!  Tomorrow we discuss Storage Performance Monitoring and Measuring.  If you have questions about storage sizing, are thinking of getting a new storage system, but don't know where to start, I'll give you a lot of good information to begin with and arm you with some questions you can ask your storage vendors, to help get you the appropriate sized storage!  Sign up by clicking on the image below!

Hope to see you there tomorrow!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cisco UCS 101 - Updating Your Firmware

Hi Friends,

If you've worked with the Cisco UCS you know it is a VERY flexible system allowing you to update and administer it in multiple ways.  Today I thought I'd show you how to update the firmware on your blade's adapters and CIMC Controller.  Remember be careful updating and check with your Cisco representatives or Cisco docs if you have any questions!

So let's get our updated firmware.  To update our firmware, we first have to download the firmware we want off the Cisco site and download it to our Fabric Interconnect(s).  Go to, select Support, and All Downloads.  Click on Servers - Unified Computing.  You'll probably need a username and password to log in.  Next download the software bundles you need.  This will be varied depending on the model, rack or blade, version, etc.  So take a look at the link I provided on "firmware" and it will go into a lot more detail then I will.

Once you've downloaded the firmware you need, it's time to download it to your Fabric Interconnect.  Log into your UCS and select the Equipment tab, click on Equipment, Firmware Management tab, Installed Firmware tab.  Notice I'm already on the running version I want, it just hasn't been applied to all of my blades.  If you're not, click on Download Firmware and point to the location you downloaded the firmware from

Now remember, there's lots of ways to do things in UCS land, but instead of applying the firmware directly to a blade, I'm going to apply it to a profile assigned to the blade.  Pretty neat huh?  :-)

Find the profile you want to apply the firmware to under the Servers tab and select the Policies tab on the right hand side.  Expand the policy and you can see what version of firmware has been assigned to this policy.

Now we need create a Host Firmware Package to allow this policy to be associated with the new firmware.

Click on the Create Host Firmware Package link, give the new package a name, choose whether to create a Simple or Advanced package and what firmware should be used.  Here I'm only creating a profile for a blade and not a rack server.

Now that you've created the Host Firmware Package, you can apply the firmware policy to your server policy.

When you save the changes you should get a pop up box like this, stating what's going to happen and that a reboot will be necessary.  Make sure to migrate your virtual machines off this ESXi server if you need to.  I'm going to put the machine into Maintenance mode and everything will migrate automagically for me!

When you're ready, click Yes.  Next you should get a pop up telling you the changes have been made.

Under the Firmware Policies you should now see the Host Firmware and Host Firmware Instance on the new version you selected.

Now head back to the Equipment tab, select the server you just applied the new firmware to and select the Installed Firmware tab.  You should notice the firmware is being updated and activated.

When the update has completed the update and activate status will state "Ready" and the new firmware version will be visible in the Running Version column.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Friday! - Making VDI A Reality Webinar

Hi Friends,

If you missed it yesterday I presented a live webinar on making VDI a reality.  Not to worry if you had <<cough cough>> more important <<cough cough>> things to do because it was recorded for your viewing and listening pleasure.

It can be found here on Youtube!

I cover the components of VDI, the trouble areas, different methods and products to make VDI a reality, sizing, how Nimble Storage can help and close up with a couple of reference architectures you can follow if you're looking to do VMware Horizon View or Citrix XenDesktop with Machine Creation Services (MCS).

We had a great turn out and the audience asked great questions!

Be on the lookout for my next live webinar in a couple of weeks where I discuss performance.  it's a tough topic because of the multidimensional complexity of the topic.  Let's face it, performance is an art form and I'm just an apprentice myself, but I do my best to make a difficult topic a little easier to grasp!  Click on the image below for more details about this and other Nimble Storage webinars.