Monday, December 12, 2011

Data Center Interconnect: Layer 2 Extension Between Remote Data Centers

This document is intended to help network managers and systems managers understand the various solutions and recommendations that Cisco offers to geographically extend Layer 2 networks over multiple distant data centers. These offerings address the requirements of high performance and fast convergence.
This document also introduces the capabilities of the Cisco® Data Center Interconnect (DCI) solution. Please note that it does not address the requirements for SANs.
Initially, this document describes the types of connectivity (Layer 2, Layer 3, and storage) that can be established between remote data center locations, together with the services that a given enterprise can obtain from a service provider.
The discussion then focuses on LAN extension designs, analyzing some of the most relevant business factors requiring the deployment of a LAN extension, and providing a list of solution requirements.
The document concludes by describing some technical alternatives to provide LAN extension functions, including:

• Point-to-point or point-to-multipoint interconnection, using virtual switching system (VSS), virtual PortChannel (vPC), and optical technologies

• Point-to-point interconnection using Ethernet over Multiprotocol Label Switching (EoMPLS) natively (over an MPLS core) and over a Layer 3 IP core

• Point-to-multipoint interconnections, using virtual private LAN services (VPLS) or advanced VPLS (A-VPLS) natively (over an MPLS core) or over a Layer 3 IP core

For each technical alternative, specific platform support and positioning information is provided.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

VMware vSphere Health Check Report v5.0.0

This script generates a health check report for the new vSphere release of VMware ESX(i) 4.x/5.x and VMware vCenter 4.x/5.x and it's managed entities. User's can now fully customize the report based on the categories that are of importance to their operating environment, including selecting specific set of ESX(i) hosts and/or Virtual Machines.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

VCP 5.0 exam

Test 1: Post

Test 2:

Adding a VM as an unmanaged desktop in VMware View

Copy of article at

I have just come across a situation where I wished to add a VM from one environment (completely separated test and dev environment) to VMware View in another enviorment as an unmanaged desktop. To do this with a physical server you simply install the agent and enter the connection server details during the installation. When trying to do this on a VM the final screen where you are able to enter the connection server address doesn’t appear.

It turns out this is by design and if you wish to add a VM in this manner to View you need to start the View Agent install with the following switch

VMware-viewagent-4.5.0-xxxxxx.exe /v”VDM_VC_MANAGED_AGENT=0″

This will cause it to act as if it is a physical machine and give you the oppertunity to add the View connection server.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hidden VAAI Command

Link to original Scott Lowe article.


As some of you are probably already aware, one of the storage-related features added to vSphere 5 is support for the SCSI UNMAP command. While you would normally want this functionality enabled, there could be instances where you might want to disable this functionality. Unfortunately, there’s no option in the user interface to enable or disable SCSI UNMAP support.

However, you can use esxcli to enable or disable UNMAP support:

esxcli system advcfg setvalue --int-value [0|1] --option /VMFS3/EnableBlockDelete

Setting this value to 0 disables SCSI UNMAP support; setting the value to 1 enables it.

Many thanks to Cormac Hogan of VMware and Cody Hosterman of EMC for their help with this command.

EMC Storage and Backup solutions for VMware

Friday, September 02, 2011

Running VMWare Remote Console outside the browser

I found this solution at

cd /tmp
IP=the.esx.srv.ip # < fill in esx server ip address here
wget --no-check-certificate https://$IP/ui/plugin/vmware-vmrc-linux-x86.xpi
mv vmware-vmrc-linux-x86.xpi
cd ~
mkdir -p bin/vmwareconsole # make directory bin in your own homedir
cd bin/vmwareconsole
unzip /tmp/
cd ~/bin
ln -s vmwareconsole/plugins/vmware-vmrc . # make a symlink for easy access
vmware-vmrc # run the console

In 64 bit CentOS I had to install QtGUI library.

yum install

or from CD/DVD media

yum --disablerepo=\* --enablerepo=c6-media install

VMware-vmrc Documentation



vmware-vmrc -h [] [-u -p ] -M moid



vmware-vmrc.exe -h [-u -p ] -M moid

Example: vmware-vmrc -h -u administrator -p 'password' -M vm-481

There are other options. Run vmware-vmrc -help to get help.

The parameter moid is Vmware Managed Object ID which can be retrieved by VMware PERL Toolkit. Here is perl example how to get it:

my %filter_hash = create_hash(Opts::get_option('ipaddress'),

my $vm_views = VMUtils::get_vms ('VirtualMachine',
Opts::get_option ('vmname'),
Opts::get_option ('datacenter'),
Opts::get_option ('folder'),
Opts::get_option ('pool'),
Opts::get_option ('host'),

foreach (@$vm_views) {
my $vm_view = $_;
my $moid = $vm_view->get_property('mo_ref')->value;
print "Manage Object ID: $moid\n";
Minimal Centos6 for VNC server running vmware-vmrc remotely

yum --disablerepo=\* --enablerepo=c6-media install xorg-x11-server-Xorg xorg-x11-xinit dbus-x11 xorg-x11-drv-ati twm xterm

it creates new /etc/X11/xorg.conf

yum --disablerepo=\* --enablerepo=c6-media install tigervnc-server
yum install xorg-x11-font*

Other useful links


Monday, July 11, 2011

M. Sean McGee blog about UCS and HP Virtual Connect

is proven SME in this area and he has really good articles about UCS and other server/networking topics ...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

SpiceWorks - Free network management software & IT community

What do you get when you take network monitoring, a helpdesk, PC inventory tools, IT Reporting

and more… and combine it with an online community of IT pros exchanging practical how-tos and vendor reviews?

Spiceworks! The free “everything IT” network management software and IT community that 1.5 million IT pros worldwide use to simplify – and become better at – their jobs.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How to mount vmware virtual disk (vmdk)

The Virtual Disk Development Kit (VDDK) is a collection of C libraries, code samples, utilities, and documentation to help you create or access VMware virtual disk storage. The kit includes:

  • The Virtual Disk and Disk Mount libraries, sets of C function calls to manipulate virtual disk files.
  • C++ code samples that you can build with either Visual Studio or the GNU C compiler.
  • Documentation about the VDDK libraries and the command-line utilities.
  • The Disk Mount utility to access files and file systems in offline virtual disks on Windows or Linux guest virtual machines.
  • The Virtual Disk Manager utility to manipulate offline virtual disk on Windows or Linux (clone, create, relocate, rename, grow, shrink, or defragment).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

vSphere 5 Details - unofficial

In February this year, reported about VMware which exposed some of the upcoming features of vSphere 5 during its Partner Exchange. Last week even more details appeared online, these details leaked on a Turkish Web Forum, but were removed later. The post itself can still be retrieved from Google Cache though.

Besides, Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS) for Storage, Host-based replication for Site Recovery Manager, and Network I/O control for Virtual Machines, vSphere 5 will feature:
  • Build on the vSphere ESXi hypervisor architecture
  • vSphere Auto Deploy combining host profiles, Image Builder and PXE
  • Unified CLI framework, allowing consistency of authentication, roles and auditing.
  • Support for up to 1 TB of memory
  • Support for 32 vCPU’s per VM
  • Nonhardware accelerated 3D graphics for Windows Aero support
  • USB 3.0 device support
  • UEFI virtual BIOS
  • Host UEFI boot support
  • New GUI to configure multicore vCPUs
  • Client-connected USB devices
  • Smart card reader support for VMs
  • Apple Mac OS X Server 10.6 (Snow Leopard) guest OS support
  • Support for up to 512 VMs
  • Support for up to 160 Logical CPUs and 2 TB or RAM
  • Improved SNMP support
  • Storage driven storage delivery based on the VMware-Aware Storage APIs
  • Improved version of the Cluster File System, VMFS5
  • Accelerator for specific use with View (VDI) workloads, providing a read cache optimized for recognizing, handling and deduplicating VDI client images.
  • iSCSI user interface support
  • Storage APIs – Array Integration: Thin Provisioning enabling reclaiming blocks of a thin provisioned LUN on the array when a virtual disk is deleted
  • Swap to SSD
  • 2TB+ LUN support
  • Storage vMotion snapshot support
  • vNetwork Distributed Switch improvements providing improved visibility in VM traffic
  • ESXi Firewall protecting the ESXi 5.0 management interface
  • A browser-based, fully-extensible, platform-independent implementation of the vSphere Client based on Adobe Flex.
  • vCenter Server Appliance
  • Inventory Extensibility: providing a manager to monitor partner extensions.
  • vCenter Solutions Manager, providing a consistent interface to configure and monitor vCenter-integrated solutions developed by VMware and third parties.
  • System message logging enhancements
  • Revamped VMware High Availability (HA) with Fault Domain Manager
  • All hosts in cluster can be primary nodes
  • Cluster also uses shared storage as a channel for heartbeat detection

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

VMware Virtual Machine Remote Console

VMware vmrc (Virtual Machine Remote Console)

VMware player as a remote console

VMRC to ESXi Guest

VMware-esxi-server vmware-vmrc console linux

vmware-vmrc vmware console for esxi-server via linux because there is no vsphere client for linux around at the moment!

1) download vmware server (in my case VMware-server-2.0.2-203138.exe

2) unpack it (install it on a windows machine)
3) get the file Programs/VMware/VMware Server/tomcat/webapps/ui/plugin/vmware-vmrc-linux-x86.xpi
4) rename it to .zip, and unpack it
5) change dir to subfolder 'plugins' and start ./vmware-vmrc

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

ixData is a comprehensive management solution for new, dynamic IT infrastructures being built with mixed virtualization. Bix's platform represents a profound innovation in management science, uniquely suited to the complex demands of this technology. Breakthrough p2p architecture condenses a full-feature management suite into a single streamlined, self-installing package.

BixData Solution - Mixed Virtualization Management

BixData integrates Monitoring, Management and Analytics for (physical and virtual) application, server, and network layers.
  • for Windows, Linux, Mac, FreeBSD; VMware, KVM and Xen
  • Self-installs in less than 5 minutes
  • Scales to 1000's of servers
  • Consolidates management of VMware and Xen
  • Orchestrates from a single graphical desktop

Monday, March 21, 2011

Orion solarwinds

Orion Network Performance Monitor (NPM) makes it easy to quickly detect, diagnose, and resolve performance issues within your ever-changing corporate or data center network. It delivers real-time views and dashboards that enable you to visually track network performance at a glance. Plus, with our dynamic network topology maps and automated network discovery features, you can keep up with your evolving network without breaking a sweat. And Orion NPM is the easiest product of its kind to use and maintain, meaning you will spend more time actually managing networks, not supporting Orion NPM.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Enterprise class Open Storage

NexentaStor provides enterprise class unified storage capabilities via a software solution that ends vendor lock-in while delivering superior storage management functionality with a particular focus on virtualized environments.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cloud storage

Client software for mounting cloud storage to OS as a local drive

Tech Wiki

Cloud storage can be from simple FTP, through Google Docs, up to EMC Atmos.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


PowerGUI is an extensible graphical administrative console for managing systems based on Windows PowerShell. These include Windows OS (XP, 2003, Vista), Exchange 2007, Operations Manager 2007 and other new systems from Microsoft. The tool allows to use the rich capabilities of Windows PowerShell in a familiar and intuitive GUI console.

Introduction to PowerGUI demo

PowerGUI Library » Virtualization

PowerGUI and VMware vCenter Virtual Machine attributes

EATON Intelligent Power Software Suite

Eaton’s Intelligent Power® Software Suite gives you all the tools you need to monitor and manage power devices on your network, even in a virtualized environment. This innovative software solution combines the most critical applications in ensuring system uptime and data integrity: not only power monitoring and management, but also graceful shutdown during an extended power outage. Both software programs in this suite, Intelligent Power Manager and Intelligent Power Protector, can be downloaded free of charge.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

GroupDrive Collaboration Suite

GroupDrive Collaboration Suite

Shared network disk as a service.

Monday, January 24, 2011

32 bit DSN on 64 bit Windows Server


Synchronize the Time Server for the Domain Controller with an External Source

Original article: Synchronize the Time Server for the Domain Controller with an External Source
Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

By default, the primary domain controller (PDC) emulator gets its time from the BIOS clock. In a network with a single DC, that DC automatically has this role.

The PDC emulator establishes the time and date settings for all computers within its domain. If the time is not accurately set in the PDC emulator’s BIOS, all computers in the domain have incorrect time and date settings.

To prevent this, you can synchronize the domain controller with an external time source such as the time servers provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). For a list of the names and IP addresses of NIST time servers for your area, see the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Internet Time Servers link on the Web Resources page at


* Be aware that the Network Time Protocol (NTP) is unauthenticated, and unencrypted, and it is possible for an intruder to spoof the time root source, causing the wrong time to be set on the DC. You can avoid this possibility by using IPSec to secure the transmission, by accessing the time root source by its IP address rather than its fully qualified domain name, or by purchasing an NTP-capable hardware clock for your DC time synchronization.

To synchronize the domain controller with an external time source

1. Click Start, and then click Command Prompt.

2. In the Command Prompt window, type the following line, where peers is a comma-separated list of IP addresses of the appropriate time sources, and press ENTER:
w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:peers /syncfromflags:MANUAL
The time sources you choose depend on your time zone. For example, if your domain controller is located in the Pacific Time zone, this line might read:
w32tm /config /manualpeerlist: /syncfromflags:MANUAL
In this example, the IP address of the timeserver is used instead of the fully qualified domain name for security purposes.

3. Press ENTER. You should get a message that the command completed successfully.

4. Type w32tm /config /update

5. Press ENTER. You should get a message that the command completed successfully.

W32time uses a variable poll interval based on the quality of timesync with the server. On DCs, this interval defaults to between 64 and 1024 seconds.

6. To immediately synchronize with the external time server, type w32tm /resync and press ENTER. You should get a message that the command completed successfully.

7. Type Exit and press ENTER.

Here is quick batch for Czech NTP servers provided by CESNET.
 w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:"" /syncfromflags:MANUAL  
 w32tm /config /update  
 w32tm /resync  

Virtual Machine - Disabling Time Synchronization 

If you are running your Active Directory domain controllers (more specifically PDC emulator) as a virtual machine in VMware vSphere another recommendation is to completely disable VM time synchronization with ESXi host. It is explained in VMware KB 1189 - Disabling Time Synchronization (1189). This will help you to mitigate the problem of Active Directory time issues after several VM operations (vMotion, snapshot, etc.) in case of ESXi host bad time. AD tolerance for time skew is 15 minutes max, at which point things start to fall over. For example during the vMotion operation, the PDC-E's time is adjusted to match the host's time (even though the "synchronize guest time with host" option is not checked on the PDC-E VM). This is a default behavior in ESX, and it should be changed as instructed in VMware KB 1189.

In a nutshell following VM configuration options has to be set to 0.

 tools.syncTime = "0"  
 time.synchronize.continue = "0"  
 time.synchronize.restore = "0"  
 time.synchronize.resume.disk = "0"  
 time.synchronize.shrink = "0" = "0" = "0" = "0"   
Note: The value of setting can be 0, false, FALSE, False. All these value have the same effect - not synchronize time after particular VM operation.

You can use following PowerCLI script to set these VM options to particular VMs.

 $o = Add-PSSnapin VMware.VimAutomation.Core  
 $o = Set-PowerCLIConfiguration -InvalidCertificateAction Ignore -Confirm:$false  
 # Connect to vCenter  
 Write-Host "Connecting to vCenter ..."  
 $VC = Read-Host "Enter one vCentre Server or multiple vCenter servers delimted by comma."  
 Write-Host "Enter vCenter credentials ..."  
 $CRED = Get-Credential  
 Connect-VIServer -Server $VC -Credential $CRED -ErrorAction Stop | Out-Null  
 # Array of virtual machine names   
 #$vm_names = "W2K8R2-test1","W2K8R2-test2"  
 $vm_names = "W2K8R2-test"  
 foreach ($vm_name in $vm_names) {  
  Write-Host "VM: [$vm_name]"  
  try {  
   $vm = get-vm -Name $vm_name -ErrorAction Stop  
   New-AdvancedSetting -Entity $vm -Name tools.syncTime -Value 0 -Confirm:$false -Force:$true  
   New-AdvancedSetting -Entity $vm -Name time.synchronize.continue -Value 0 -Confirm:$false -Force:$true  
   New-AdvancedSetting -Entity $vm -Name time.synchronize.restore -Value 0 -Confirm:$false -Force:$true  
   New-AdvancedSetting -Entity $vm -Name time.synchronize.resume.disk -Value 0 -Confirm:$false -Force:$true  
   New-AdvancedSetting -Entity $vm -Name time.synchronize.shrink -Value 0 -Confirm:$false -Force:$true  
   New-AdvancedSetting -Entity $vm -Name -Value 0 -Confirm:$false -Force:$true  
   New-AdvancedSetting -Entity $vm -Name -Value 0 -Confirm:$false -Force:$true  
   New-AdvancedSetting -Entity $vm -Name -Value 0 -Confirm:$false -Force:$true  
  } catch {  
   Write-Warning -Message "VM doesn't exist";  
 Disconnect-VIserver -Server $VC -Force -Confirm:$false  

Current version of PowerCLI script is available on GitHub here.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Comparison of Cisco UCS Service profiles vs HP BladeSystem to manage user interface settings


This post is based on article at

Here’s a simple guide to setting up a VPN server on FreeBSD so that Windows clients can connect using their built-in VPN clients…

First, make sure your ports collection is up-to-date, then build poptop in /usr/ports/net/poptop:

# cd /usr/ports/net/poptop/
# make
# make install

Next we need to create a config file for poptop… create the file /usr/local/etc/pptpd.conf as follows:

pidfile /var/run/

Next we need to create a PPP configuration file called /etc/ppp/ppp.conf (overwrite the existing file) as follows (edit the IPs to suit your network requirements):

set timeout 0
set log phase chat connect lcp ipcp command
set device localhost:pptp
set dial
set login
# Server (local) IP address, Range for Clients, and Netmask
set ifaddr
set server /tmp/vpn-in-%d “” 0177

set timeout 0
set log phase lcp ipcp command
allow mode direct

load loop
disable pap
disable passwdauth
disable ipv6cp
accept dns
enable MSChapV2
enable mppe
disable deflate pred1
deny deflate pred1
set device !/etc/ppp/secure

Every line above except those ending with a colon(:) should be indented or ppp.conf will not work.

Next we need to create a file called /etc/ppp/secure with the following contents:

exec /usr/sbin/ppp -direct loop-in

And set it to be executable with chmod 0755 /etc/ppp/secure – this script will be run automatically during the VPN setup process.

Now we need to add a login for the VPN (you can have multiple username/passwords in this file) called /etc/ppp/ppp.secret like so:

user1 pass1
user2 pass2
user3 pass3

And finally set the VPN server to start on bootup automatically by adding the following into /etc/rc.conf:


Now startup the VPN server by running:

/usr/local/etc/rc.d/pptpd start

Your VPN server is now ready on your FreeBSD server and you’re ready to configure your Windows clients to connect to it.