Sep 282010
 

Last night I was working on my vSphere test cluster, and an old memory popped up into mind. I just want to share on my blog since this extremely important peice of information could affect you or one of your own deployments.

There are numerous guides on the internet out there telling you how to set up your own SAN or NAS using iSCSI for your own ESXi boxes. One thing these guides don’t factor in is environments that have multiple ESXi hosts.

VMware ESXi (and ESX) when using iSCSi and a shared VMFS volume, require an iSCSI target (iSCSI server) that supports SCSI reservations. Most opensource iSCSI targets like IETD (iSCSI Enterprise Target) DO NOT SUPPORT this standard as of the time of this article being written.

With this being said, operating an iSCSI VMFS volume shared to multiple hosts could ultimately end up in corruption and data loss.

One opensource iSCSI target that I know of that DOES support SCSI reservations is Lio-Target (available here). I personally haven’t experimented with it, but it does support it. One of these days I’m going to do some of my own testing with it.

Keep in mind that instead of using iSCSI you could alternatively use NFS. I use NFS at my company and it works great as a ESXi data store for 3 ESXi boxes. For those of you curious, NFS data stores DO support High Availability (FT), and Vmotion!

UPDATE: Tried out FreeNAS running on a SuperMicro Server with a HP Smart Array 6400 Array controller with an MSA20 storage unit. FreeNAS started spewing a very large amount of errors when accessing VMFS over iSCSI. I think this could be due to some of the disks I have in the array that aren’t being flagged as bad, but are in fact bad.

Sep 222010
 

Just a note for you guys. I was searching for this and it was incredibly hard to find out any information, so I thought I’d create something that could be easily indexed when searched for.

Symptoms:

You try to upgrade the processor on a DL360 G5 to a Quad-Core processor and you receive the message:

“The revision of the Intel (R) 5000 series chipset on the system board does not support the installed processor type. System halted!”

Cause:

There are two separate motherboards that were being shipped with the DL360 G5. The first version of the motherboard only supported 50xx and 51xx dual core Xeon processors. This version shipped with the earlier products.

The second version supported 54xx quad core Xeon processors.

Part Numbers:

412199-001 – Only supports 50xx and 51xx Dual-Core

436066-001 – Supports up to 54xx Quad Core Processors.

435949-001 – (Not Confirmed) Supports up to 54xx Quad Core Processors. (Updated March 22nd, 2011)

Sep 192010
 

If you’re running a 64-bit version of Linux, I highly suggest you update your distribution as soon as possible. Just read an article highlighting a various serious vulnerability inside of 64-bit Linux kernels. Apparently it’s just taking over the intarwebz as we speak!

To see if you’re infected, download this tool and run as a non-root user: https://www.ksplice.com/uptrack/cve-2010-3081.ssi.xhtml

Sep 162010
 

For some time I have had clients reporting issues when saving files using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Microsoft Office applications on network locations (which includes “FolderRedirection” for the “Desktop” and “My Documents” which is included in Windows Small Business Server 2008).

Over the last couple months I have spent quite a bit of time using Google to try and find out why this is happening. Tonight I told myself I NEED to find a proper fix.

After trying numerous search strings, I started to read articles that pointed towards disabling SMB2 (SMB version 2). I would be interested in trying this approach on a typical Windows Server 2008 box, however most of my clients run SBS 2008 and I’ve seen no feedback on whether or not this will cause issues when performing this fix. Also, I have no idea what type of impact it will have on other applications. Generally I just didn’t feel comfortable doing this.

Spending another hour searching, and trying more search strings, I finally came across this KB article 2292752 posted by Microsoft (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2292752).

The KB article states that this is related to a Network Driver included inside of Windows 7, and that an alternative patch that was designed for a different type of issue also fixes this issue. This patch can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/981711.

Make sure that when filling out your e-mail to download the hotfix that you download the appropriate fix (x86 vs. x64 vs. Itanium).

Please note: This fix comes with Microsoft “This has not been fully tested stamp”. We also take no responsibility in you performing this fix.

I downloaded the fix, and installed it on one of the computers that was experiencing the issue. After installing this I no longer experienced the “Save As” function, or “Save” function take forever with Office 2007/2010 apps. I will post a comment later after user testing has been completed to confirm this fully resolves the issue.

Sep 052010
 

One of the most annoying things I’ve had to deal with is installing BES Express on SBS 2008. Way back earlier in 2010, I was mostly dealing with the 5.0.1x release. There were soo many bugs, so many issues, registry hacks, SQL queries that had to be run, it was just ugly!

 

One word of advice, always download the latest version of the software. Do not take ANY shortcuts on installing it. Either use the video tutorial that RIM has on their BlackBerry site, or use the guide from http://www.smallbizserver.net/Articles/tabid/266/Id/343/How-to-install-BlackBerry-Enterprise-Server-Express-on-a-SBS-2008.aspx

 

I don’t know how much is fixed, however after installing a 5.0.2 this weekend it worked flawlessly after the first install (keep in mind I always use “Blackberry Administration Service Authentication” instead of Windows Authentication because of an old known issue).

Sep 052010
 

I’ve done a bunch of these migrations in the past, and I’ve noticed two main issues that I’m sure a lot of you have also come across. I decided to whip up a post here to go over them, and how to deal with them. I know it’s happening to other people because of how many searches bring in to my blog for people looking for this stuff.

 

Access denied when copying network shares from source server to destination server

When you get to the point of copying data over from the source server to destination server, using the robocopy command that is listed inside of the migration document; comes up with “Access is Denied”. To resolve this issue, you need to make sure that on both shares configured on the source server and destination server, that you have to add the share permissions to provide “Administrators”, and your Administrator account added and allowed full access. I’m not too sure, but it may also be wise to add “Administrators” and your Administrator account to the actual file security permissions as well (full access). After doing this you should be able to copy everything over perfectly.

 

Lack of documentation on moving “RedirectedFolders” from source server to destination server

There are typically two things I want to cover in this. The first is actually how to move them. Please note that you do NOT need to use robocopy, manually copy, or do anything to actually move them. When you update the group policy on SBS and change the location from the source server to the destination server, the workstations will automatically move their “RedirectedFolders” on their first login after the GPO has been replicated. To force a replication of the GPO, login and issue “gpupdate” from the command prompt.

 

The second issue (which I always come across) is when doing a migration; it mentions that the first step is to move the location of your data (ie. RedirectedFolders, UserShares, WSUS updates, etc…). In most of my installations we have a dedicated C drive for SBS and OS, and use a second array (D Drive) for all data. I’ve noticed that during these migrations, folders for each user’s “RedirectedFolders” are not automatically created on the destination server. This is very important because these folders have their own security permissions that you DON’T want to mess with. In my cases, when I update the GPO to the new location, when the folders SHOULD move, they don’t because the users don’t have security access to create \\destinationserver\RedirectedFolders\$username. What I’ve had to do is use RoboCopy to copy the user folders from “UserShares” (most of my clients don’t use the UserShares, so they are empty) to the RedirectedFolders share just to create a bunch of blank directories with the appropriate security permissions. After doing this the workstations could then move the data upon logon and all is good!