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Posts Tagged ‘update’

On VMware Fusion updating

October 27th, 2014 No comments

I’ve not had a lot of luck in the past with updating my VMware Fusion installs. Since version 5.x and upwards through to 6.x I’ve always had some annoying bugs or issues crop up when updating Fusion on my work machine. Whether these be relating to functionality I am used to changing, or bugs that interfere with my use of the software, there has always been something that goes wrong when I update.

So here is some general advice for when a new update for Fusion appears (this is what I now do before updating to the latest and so-called greatest version!)

  • Wait. Don’t update as soon as the new release is out. I generally wait about a month now. Generally this should be enough time for the Fusion team to correct initial problems with releases and give them time to submit a follow up patch to fix issues.
  • Keep tabs on the VMware communities forums for Fusion – users will often post issues with new releases here – judging on how much activity appears after a new release, you can generally tell whether its been a bad release or not.
  • Read the release notes in detail. Does the new release really give you any benefit? Have they patched vulnerabilities, or just simply added more features? What existing issues have been fixed? Make your decision to update based on the release notes. Sometimes a new release might not add any value for the way you use the product, and may add 10 new features. You can almost be sure that at least one of those new features is bound to introduce some sort of bug. (This is the nature of new features being added to any software in general, not just Fusion!)

 

 

Categories: Virtualization, VMware Tags: , ,

Update – where have I been?

June 4th, 2013 No comments

It has been a nearly two months since I last posted blog updated in a regular fashion, which is kind of unusual for me. Unfortunately for the blog, I have had a lot going on, and blogging has had to take a hit. There is a good reason for that though, my wife and I recently purchased our first property, so we have been busy with the move, but also with completely renovating it.

We have done all of the renovation work ourselves and so far are quite proud of what we have managed to achieve!   Much more to do though, but hopefully there will be more blogging in the near future!

Here is a start to finish progress log of one room we have managed to renovate…

lounge-transformation-low

Categories: The diary of Shogan Tags: ,

Changing Registry entries on multiple systems with PowerShell and Remoting

June 12th, 2012 2 comments

 

A few weeks ago, a colleague asked if I knew of a way to script the change or modification of the Registered Owner / Organization information on a Windows Server system (2003 or 2008). I knew that this could be achieved with PowerShell and had some initial ideas, so I spent a few minutes whipping up the script below.

For this to work, you should ideally have all systems on the same Windows Domain and have enabled PowerShell remoting on each system that needs to be changed. Of course you could also just run the script on a single workstation/server on its own without the need for PSRemoting.

 

# On all remote machines that need their info changed
Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
Enable-PSRemoting # Say yes to all prompts
#region This part only needed if machines do not belong to the same domain...
# Note: This can be a security risk, only use if you are sure you want to allow any host as a trusted host. (e.g. fine for lab environments)
cd wsman::localhost\client
Set-Item .\TrustedHosts * # Say yes to all prompts
#endregion
# Run on your management machine/machine you are using to update all others...
$computers = @("SERVER1","SERVER2","SERVER3")

foreach ($computer in $computers) {
    Enter-PSSession $computer
    cd 'HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion'
    Set-ItemProperty -Path . -Name "RegisteredOwner" -Value "Auth User"
    Set-ItemProperty -Path . -Name "RegisteredOrganization" -Value "Lab"
    Exit-PSSession
}

 

So the above should update your registered owner and organization details for each server listed in the $computers array. (Specify your own host names here). The above script should be easy enough to modify if you are looking to change other registry entries. Finally, don’t forget that you should always be careful when updating registry, especially via script – make sure you have backups!

 

Upgrading to vSphere 5.0 from vSphere 4.x – Part 2 – Manually upgrading ESX(i) hosts

December 4th, 2011 No comments

 

Introduction

 

In Part 1 of this series, I covered the steps needed to move your vCenter server over to vCenter 5.0, and outlined some points to consider or be aware of. For this post, I’ll be covering two different methods you can use to migrate your ESX(i) hosts over to ESXi 5.0. Which one you use really depends on how big your deployment is. For someone running a small deployment of just a few hosts, it may make more sense to manually upgrade each using an ISO. For others with larger environments, it would be prudent to use an automated method such as VMware Update Manager (VUM). I’ll be covering both methods over the next two posts (today and tomorrow), and will outline the process involved in each.

 

Manually upgrade ESX(i) 4.x to 5.0

 

This is a fairly straightforward process, and simply involves restarting each of your hosts in the cluster, one at a time and booting them off an ESXi 5.0 installer image. To start, you’ll want to prepare each ESXi host as you get to it, by entering it into Maintenance mode. This will migrate any VMs off and allow you to restart it safely with no VM downtime. Ensure all your VMs have vMotioned off before you begin. In my case, my ESXi hosts are virtual, so I simply mounted the VMware ESXi 5.0 installer ISO on each VM. For physical hosts, you’ll want to burn the installation ISO to CD/DVD and pop it into each host of course.

 

Boot off the ISO and select to start the standard installer

 

Once the Installer has loaded, choose the disk you would like to perform the upgrade on. All disks on the host that are VMFS should be marked with an asterisk for you to easily identify.

 

Choose the disk to upgrade

 

 

Press F1 to get the details of the disk you are going to upgrade during installation. The installer should detect your current version of ESX(i) as well as provide a bit of extra information in case you need to confirm you are upgrading the correct disk etc…

 

Viewing the Disk details

 

On the next step, you should get a few options relating to the type of action you want to take on the existing installation of ESX(i). For this type of upgrade, I’ll be choosing to Force Migrate my ESXi 4.1 host to ESXi 5 and preserve the existing local VMFS datastore.

 

 

After continuing, you may get a warning if there are any custom VIBs (VMware Installation Bundle) in your current ESX(i) installation that do not have substitutes on the install ISO. If there are, you should look into whether or not these will still be needed, or check that you have a contingency plan to re-install or reinstate the particular bit of software should you need to after the upgrade. I got a warning about some OEM VMware drivers, but I knew these were just related to the ESXi installation in a VM I am running, so I was happy to continue the upgrade process anyway.

 

Next up, you’ll just need to confirm you wish to Force Migrate to ESXi 5.0.0 on the specified disk you chose earlier.  The installer will also inform you as to whether you will be able to rollback the install or not. Press F11 to continue at this point if you are happy.

 

 

 

Once the migration / install is complete you’ll get the below message. Press Enter to reboot the host.

 

 

 

At this stage, once the host has booted up again, you’ll want to log into it using the vSphere client, or check on it through your vCenter connection in the vSphere client. Make sure everything is configured as you would expect and that it is running smoothly on ESXi 5.0.0. That is all there is to it really – provided all went well, you should have a newly upgraded host ready to run VMs again. The upgrade process is quite quick and straight forward. Test it out by vMotioning a test VM onto the new host and check that there are no issues. Tomorrow, we’ll look at performing more of an autonomous upgrade for your hosts to ESXi 5.0.0 using VUM (VMware Update Manager).

 

More in this series:

 

Part 1 – Upgrading to vSphere 5.0 from vSphere 4.x – Part 1 – vCenter Server
Part 3 – Upgrading to vSphere 5.0 from vSphere 4.x – Part 3 – Using VUM to upgrade ESX(i) hosts

 

Upgrading to vSphere 5.0 from vSphere 4.x – Part 1 – vCenter Server

November 18th, 2011 10 comments

 

Introduction

 

vSphere 5.0 is a great step up in terms of new functionality and features from vSphere 4.1. VMware have introduced some awesome new features that are definitely worth making use of by getting your environment upgraded. A few that caught my eye are sDRS (Storage DRS), Storage vMotion of VMs with Snapshots, and of course the ability to now run those “monster” VMs (much larger VMs supported now).

 

Before you take the plunge and upgrade, I would recommend doing a good amount of reading best practises documentation and planning. I have linked to two very useful documents from VMware that will help with your planning. There is an upgrade checklist which you can work through systematically, as well as a best practises whitepaper which helps explain the process in good detail with some great screenshots. In my post I will be going through the process I followed to upgrade my lab environment from vSphere 4.1 to 5.0. As it is a lab environment, I didn’t do too much in terms of planning, but for production environments, this would be a good idea as it never hurts to be prepared.

 

As part of the process, I also set up a brand new VMware Update Manager server in a VM once my vCenter server was updated to 5.0 to aid upgrading my ESXi hosts from 4.1 to 5.0. I only have three virtualised ESXi hosts running in my lab cluster, so it would have been quicker to use the ISO and do them manually, but I wanted to go through the process myself as I don’t spend enough time on Update Manager in my work environment.

 

Documentation to read

vSphere 5.0 upgrade checklist

VMware vSphere 5.0 Upgrade Best Practises Technical Whitepaper

 

So without further ado, let’s begin.

 

Update your vCenter Server

 

  • First of all, make sure you are running vCenter Server 4.0 or above. If you are, then chances are you’ll be running a 64bit OS. Just be sure to check though, as it is possible to run vCenter Server 4.0 on a 32bit OS. If you have vCenter Server running on a 64bit OS, then you are good to go, otherwise you’ll need to take a slightly more complicated route, which involves creating a new vCenter server on a 64bit OS, installing vCenter 5.0 and then migrating the existing database over to the new server. For specifics there is documentation on this process in the vSphere 5.0 Upgrade Guide from VMware.
  • Next up, check that the other minimum requirements are met; especially in terms of CPU and RAM.
  • Backup your existing vCenter database – this is clearly a very important step. Make sure you back up everything. Before I upgraded my lab, I took a backup of my vCenter SQL 2005 Express Database as well as my SSL certificates. The vCenter 5.0 upgrade wizard will remind you about this too. Keep your backups safe. For my lab vCenter database, I simply installed Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express (free) and used the backup option in there to backup the database as well all other SQL system databases just to be safe.

 

You can use SQL Server Management Studio Express to backup your SQL Express Database.

 

  • Also take a backup of your vpxd.cfg file. On a 2003 Server this would by default be located under %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\ or for a 2008 Server, it would by default be under C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\
  • Now you should look at your Database options and upgrade path. Review the Prerequisites documentation in the Upgrade Guide for databases and ensure yours is supported. If it is not, then be sure to follow the correct procedure to migrate to a supported one.
  • Ensure your vCenter Server has a 64bit DSN – it will already have one if you are running vCenter Server 4.1 (as this is 64bit only) but could be different if you are still on vCenter 4.0.
  • If you are running a Microsoft SQL Database (as I am in my lab), ensure your System DSN under ODBC connections is using the SQL Native Client driver.
  • Ensure you have Microsoft .NET 3.5 SP1 and Windows Installer 4.5 or greater installed on your vCenter server.

 

Ensure your System DSN under ODBC connections is using the SQL Native Client driver.

 

If you already have a running vCenter 4.x deployment then you shouldn’t have too many more things to sort out, but a few other fairly obvious ones to check (taken from the Upgrade Checklist document I linked above) are:

 

    • Note down all your database login credentials and ensure the vCenter database login has db_owner permissions.
    • Make sure your current installation path of vCenter does not have any commas or periods in it. (I assume this can cause trouble for the upgrade!)
    • Ensure your vCenter Server name is not longer than 15 characters and is registered correctly with your AD Domain’s DNS.
    • Ensure all required ports in/out of the vCenter server are open.
    • Make sure any additional plug-ins you use for vCenter Server are compatible with 5.0 – also make sure you re-enable or reconfigure these post-upgrade.
    • Make sure you know the rest of your hardware is compatible with vSphere 5.0! i.e. check your ESX / ESXi hosts are compatible and there will be no issues there. You can use the vCenter Host Agent pre-upgrade checker utility included with the vCenter 5.0 installation media for this.

 

At this point, if you are happy to proceed and have your backups safe, load up the installation media for vCenter 5.0 and begin the installer. Start the installation wizard for vCenter 5.0 – this wizard does a great job of guiding you through the upgrade process and asking what configuration options you would like. They are fairly straight forward – choose as applicable to your installation. I have captured screenshots of the installer process I followed for my lab – most options for me were fine to leave on their defaults. See the following series of screenshots:

 

The main vCenter 5.0 Installation menu

 

Using Windows Authentication for SQL server.

 

We are upgrading, so this is the obvious choice.

 

Automatic upgrade of vCenter agent on hosts.

 

Configure the vCenter server service account.

 

Configure your ports - in most cases these *should* be the defaults

 

More ports to configure...

 

Web Services JVM Memory Configuration - based on how many hosts you have

 

Increase ephemeral ports available if you have this VM Power on requirement!

 

After this wizard is completed the upgrade will begin. If applicable your vCenter database schema will also be upgraded and soon you’ll be up and running with vCenter 5.0. Note that this upgrade does require your vCenter service be down for the duration of the installer upgrade process – how long this is really depends on how big your vCenter DB is. My lab vCenter upgrade took about 25 minutes to run through, but its inventory is very small – for most production environments with up to 100 VMs or so I wouldn’t see this taking longer than 45-60 minutes in most cases, but remember its dependant on various other factors. Once the installer is finished, it would be a good idea to also update your vSphere client to access your vCenter server with – install the version that comes with your vCenter 5.0 installation media and login again. You should see your inventory as per usual and hopefully all will be well. One thing I noticed immediately following my upgrade was that I had an alert for my datastores – I blogged about this over here actually. This is only really applicable if you are running a lab environment (or small production) with only 1 or 2 shared datastores. Other than this, the rest of my VMs were all running happily on their respective ESXi hosts and everything else was just fine.

 

So coming up in Part 2, I will cover the next step in upgrading your environment to vSphere 5.0 – the ESX(i) hosts along with a couple of different methods of doing this. If there is anything that I have missed, or you have any tips or additional info, please feel free to update using the comments section.

 

More in this series:

 

Part 2 – Upgrading to vSphere 5.0 from vSphere 4.x – Part 2 – Manually upgrading ESX(i) hosts
Part 3 – Upgrading to vSphere 5.0 from vSphere 4.x – Part 3 – Using VUM to upgrade ESX(i) hosts

Cosmosis (iOS) – updated to version 1.3

August 9th, 2011 No comments

So heres an update that is slightly off my usual subject matter! I have been spending a little bit of time updating my 2D Space shmup game I have developed for iOS (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad). I  finished submitting the update to Apple on 04/08/2011, and this morning I saw it has now been approved, so it is ready to be downloaded / updated from the App Store.

 

Bonus level 2 added in version 1.3

 

Here is a list of the most significant new features in version 1.3.

 

– Unlocked all levels by default
– New (Second) Bonus Level added
– New enemy ship type added
– New enemy ship attack patterns (more challenging/interesting)
– New scrolling level select screen
– Main menu redesigned and new ambient music added for menu and in game
– OpenFeint updated
– New News menu option added for the latest news and announcements
– Game difficulty tweaked to make it slightly more challenging
– Bosses are a bit to tougher to fight now
– Survival mode difficulty tweaked
– New loading & credits screen
– App rating dialog that appears after a few days now works

 

So there is some new content as well as better difficulty and more challenging enemies to fight. I also added an interesting new feature – the News screen. This integrates with OpenFeint and pulls down and news / announcements I make on my developer control panel for OpenFeint into this custom designed (Cosmosis themed) News screen. It also updates the App’s badge icon according to the number of new (unread) news announcements and displays a small badge icon on the news menu in game. The main reason I developed this extra bit, is that I would like to be able to notify users of any future new releases (apps) I may release.

 

If you have any feedback or comments about Cosmosis, feel free to leave them below, or grab a copy and leave me a review on iTunes!