Thursday, March 26, 2015

Adding VMware View Linked Clone Datastores = Uknown Error??

Hi All,

This is a weird one.  I was setting up a VMware View Pool to create some desktops and I got almost to the end where you put in the datastores you'll be using to put your new desktops.  Everything is going fine, I see all the datastores, select the one I want, click OK and than I get a very strange error.  "Unknown".  Huh?!?!

Uknown what?

Ummm, I'm not even sure what do do with that!

Maybe my good friend Google will know?


Ummm, what to do, what to do...

I know, I'll see if the vcenter and composer settings are still happy!

AH HA!!!!!

To the Composer server!!!

Yep, Composer service wasn't running.  Start that guy back up and Huzzah, no more Unknown error!!

I hope this was useful!

Until Next Time!

Monday, March 23, 2015

XYZ Requires Adobe Flash ABC or Higher - Flash Player is Intergrated with IE - HUH?!?!

Hi Folks,

This is one that's frustrated me many times, I figure it out and than forget about it.  As I said in an earlier post, I can't remember job stuff, so instead of having to Google it again the next time I install a web application, I'll just look at my own site!  :-)

I've recently started seeing this issue with newer versions of Windows.  You install a web application and when you try to launch it you get this message:

XYZ Requires Adobe Flash ABC or Higher.  Click below to download.

That's nothing new, I've been seeing this message for years, but what is new is what happens when you go to download Adobe Flash Player.

Hmmm, okay, so it's already installed.  Then why doesn't it work?  Ah!  I have to enable it!

So if I click on the little cog dealie, I should see Shockwave Flash Object and should be able to enable it!  So, I click on the cog on my web browser and PRESTO!!!

Ummm, nothing is there...

Okay, okay, don't panic...  My buddy Google will know, Google knows all!

Sure enough, Google knows!!  Apparently there is a Microsoft Feature called Desktop Experience that needs to be installed to get Adobe Flash installed.

Let's head over to Roles and Features and take a look.

Under User Interfaces and Infrastructure there's a Role called Desktop Experience.  Select it and away you go!  Your mileage may vary, so try this out on a test machine before adding this feature in production.

On my Windows 2012R2 machine I had to reboot the server when the install was done, so before you install, make sure you have the ability to reboot.

And with that, Adobe Flash should now work!

Until Next Time!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

vCenter Install - No System DSN Available

Hi Friends,

I'm writing this article because I'd like to share something I found out while installing vCenter 6, but more so because I know I'll forget what I did and when I go to install the next version I'll have this blog!  You see, my blog has become my long term memory.  Sure I can remember most of the jokes from Airplane or recite lines from Simpson's episodes, but I can't remember anything when it comes to my job.  :-)  So it's a win-win!  You get to learn from my experiences and I'll be able to remember this technology stuff for years to come!

Anywho, so what the heck does any of this have to do with System DSN?  Absolutely nothing!

So I was installing vCenter 6 and I get to the part where it asks for a connection to a database.  Oh crud, I forgot to setup an ODBC connection!

So I open up ODBC on my server, set up a System DSN and viola!  No System DSN Available on This System.  What?!  What are you talking about, it's right THERE!  There I tell you!!  I'll show you!!

So I created a 32 bit ODBC connection, maybe that'll fix it.  Nope.

Okay, okay, Google will help, Google always helps!

I found an article that mentioned the SQL Server Native Client.  Hey, this sounds vaguely familiar....  So I logged into my vCenter 5.5 machine and guess what was sitting on the desktop?  sqlncli.msi

So guess what probably happened the last time I installed vCenter?  :-)

Hence why I'm writing it down this time!

I installed the SQL Server Native Client, selected SQL Server Native Client and created a new System DSN.

Went back to my vCenter install and TA-DA!!

So if you're installing vCenter and run into this error, give it a try it might be what the doctor ordered.

Until Next Time!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Got PowerShell? Let Integra expose it via REST

Hi Friends,

I've got some exciting news!  I've been chatting with a friend of mine, David La Motta - Co-Founder of Emitrom Inc., regarding his cool new product Integra.  David was nice enough to give me a demo of his new product and I thought, "This is so cool, I want to share it with my blog friends!".  What is Integra you ask?  From Emitrom's site, "Integra is an integration, orchestration and automation Platform as a Service, allowing you to make orthogonal components of your IT infrastructure work together for the better good of your business."  With Integra you can create workflows, customize them for your customer needs and automate the workflows so you don't have to spend tons of time re-running steps by hand!

I invited David to be a guest blogger on Glick's Gray Matter to share his new product and luckily he accepted!  Without further delay, I give you Emitrom’s Integra!

For the original article, please see:

Got PowerShell? Let Integra expose it via REST
  • Posted on: 13 March 2015
  • By: David La Motta

No kidding, right?  With Integra, you can expose _any_ PowerShell (PS) module's cmdlets as Integra actions in a matter of minutes and without writing a single line of code.  The beauty of this is that now your PS benefits from everything Integra provides.  To name a few, your PS module gets:

  • authentication (see the different types we support)
  • an automatically generated REST API
  • access via SDKs in 8 programming languages
  • remote execution via Integra's CLI
  • remote execution via Integra's mobile portal
  • ...and more
In this post I am going to concentrate on showing you what you need to do to expose your PS cmdlets via REST.  The PowerShell module we are going to use in this example is the Nimble PS module provided by Justin Rich (thanks, Justin!).  As you will see, you could follow the same steps for any other PowerShell module.


There are only a few things you will need to follow this awesome example:

  1. Integra--get a free trial here.  The PowerShell Provider is in beta as of this writing, so please make sure to request it.
  2. vCenter Server Appliance for the Integra vCenter plugin
  3. Nimble PS module
  4. CentOS VM for hosting Integra
  5. Windows VM for hosting the PS module
We are going to end up with a wildly distributed application, on purpose.  Technically speaking, you could run absolutely everything from a single Windows machine, but that would be no fun.  Instead, we will have the Integra Reactor running on CentOS communicating with the PowerShell provider running on Windows.  Connecting to the vCenter client and REST endpoint will be done from my laptop.  It is very important to mention that direct communication with the providers is not allowed; instead, the Reactor acts as the gatekeeper to the provider for a number of reasons: security, communication, scheduling, among other things.

Get Ready

I am not going to cover installing Integra, as that is detailed here and here.  Instead, we'll assume that Integra is up and running on that CentOS VM, and the PowerShell provider is running on the Windows VM.  Our CentOS VM is running in a datacenter here in the RTP area of NC, and our Windows VM is running in the Azure cloud.  Your environment should look similar to the following image.

Get Set

With Integra configured and the Nimble (our PS provider in disguise) provider connected, the next thing to do is to install the Nimble PS module on your Windows VM.  This allows us to import it into the Integra runspace.  Create a new action called Import Module, set the Name field to Nimble, and execute the action.  Now the Nimble module's cmdlets are all available as Integra actions, ready to be configured and executed.  It doesn't get any simpler than that!


Now that the hard (right?) part is over, let us take a look at what the REST API looks like.  We will configure one action and show you the XML that is returned by the Integra Reactor.  With that in hand, you can use Integra's REST model to execute any action that you may have configured (as in this example).  You can change parameters to match your environment via REST, so you have all the control over what gets set and executed.

You can either interact with Integra's REST API via JSON or XML.  For example, our newly configured action Connect Nimble Array looks like this:

The parameters have been previously set in the Integra vCenter UI, but nothing prevents you from altering those values before sending the REST request.


In this short post we saw how to expose a PowerShell module via REST using Integra.  There are extremely important takeaways from this example--do not let its simplicity fool you into thinking that this doesn't pack a punch:

  1. Time to market: the speed of adding new functionality to Integra is unparalleled via the PowerShell provider.  If you have a PowerShell module, you can import it and start using it right away.
  2. PowerShell cmdlets normalized into Integra actions can now be piped, be executed sequentially or concurrently, use Integra variables, be scheduled or ran on demand, have validation in the UI, etc.
  3. An otherwise confined-to-Windows PowerShell module can have a new meaning in life and be accessed from anywhere via REST.  This means that you can concentrate on providing the best PowerShell module you possibly can, and letting Integra handle the REST (pun intended :-).
  4. True cross-platform operations are now a reality.  You may have an Integra workflow that executes a core Windows PowerShell action, whose output is fed to an action on Linux, whose output is fed to the Nimble array, and at the end everything is packed in an email and sent to you.  The possibilities become endless.
  5. Integra provides SDKs in many different languages.  REST is not your cup of tea?  With Integra you can execute the same PowerShell cmdlets from Java, Python, Ruby or more by leveraging the Integra SDKs.
At Emitrom we are extremely excited about this new PowerShell provider; it is currently in beta, and we have a few more goodies that we are adding as we speak.  Do drop us a line if you have any questions.  You can always find us via Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

Happy RESTing  ;-)


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why Won't These XenDesktop Desktops Register?!

Hi Friends,

Got another weird one for you.  It might be cause I'm a dork and missed something, and usually that's the case, but, and it's a big but, if you happen to run into this, maybe this will work!

I'm setting up XenDesktop 7.6, and for reasons that really don't make any sense, I decided to change the name of my DDC after XenDesktop was installed AND after the agent was installed on my golden Windows 7 image.  Easy fix I thought, just open up the golden image, change the DDC name and blam-o, I'm done!

Wait a second...  Where do you change the name of the DDC on the golden image???

Hmmm, I'm probably just missing it, but heck, I'll just run the install media and tell it the new name of my DDC!  So I run the install, change the name of my DDC, create a new snapshot, point the new clones to the new snapshot and presto!  WHAT?!  Still can't connect to DDC?!  Still unregistered?!

Okay, what's the deal XenDesktop?  I look up the error and get a bunch of suggestions about ports, firewalls, active directory, yada yada yada...  Everything looks good, but still no love from XenDesktop.  Hmmmm.....

So I came across this page by Ralph Jansen.  Citrix XenDesktop Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) 7 stays Unregistered.  He noticed that DNS aliases weren't allowed anymore so he went into the registry and changed the DDC name.  Maybe something similar?  I opened up the registry setting which is at:


The DDC name was still set to the original server name from when I did the install.  Hey, I changed you!  So I edited the registry key with the new DDC name, shutdown the golden image, took a new snapshot, ran Update Machines and my desktops began registering!!

Big thanks to Ralph Jansen for his article!

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Mom's Cute Dog!

Hi Friends,

This has nothing to do with technology, but this a great picture of my Mom's dog!

Woo Hoo!! - Top vBlog 2015 Voting is Open!

Hi Friends,

The Top vBlog 2015 voting is open!!  In traditional Brain fashion I'm going to show you how easy it is to vote.  (and hopefully for ME!)  :-)  Remember, I'm not telling you who to vote for, I'm just showing you how the process works.

Head over to

Click on the "Click here to vote." link.

You'll be greeted with this page.  Note you'll need to vote for 10 blogs and then rank them.

Now comes the fun part!  You'll see all the blogs and you'll want to click on 10 of them.  Don't worry about the order yet, that will be the next page.  Oh look, there's Glick's Gray Matter!  It just happens to be selected, but you don't need to select that one.  :-)

After you choose your favorite 10, you'll go to another page where you drag and drop them in the order you want.  Pretty cool that you can do that!!  Hey, who put Glick's Gray Matter there?

Next is the special categories and wouldn't you know it, Glick's Gray Matter is in two categories.  Storage and VDI!  I'm not telling you to vote for me, but if you happen to, that would be great!

Whoa!  There's Glick's Gray Matter in the VDI category too!

Next identify yourself and submit your vote!  Remember, I'm not telling you who to vote for, but it sure would be nice to win!  :-)

After you submit, you'll be greeted with a finish page.  And you're done!

Thanks for reading friends!

Until Next Time!