Automatic Plex Media Server update script for Linux/Ubuntu

Written March 14th, 2016 by
Categories: Scripts
2 comments

I’m sure many of you know of Plex Media Server (PMS) and how awesome it can be for letting your kids watch your movies on the go. It likely needs no introduction, but if you’d like to learn more, please click Plex Media Server to be taken to their site.

In my home lab running ESXi through my VMUG Advantage EVALexperience (shameless plug, I know), I have an ubuntu VM I built specifically for PMS with 2 vCPUs & 4GB of RAM.

I then set up the mounts for my Synology NAS where my movie folders are so they’re mounted at boot, installed PMS, configured libraries, did some customizations, and BOOM! Kids’ movies on my phone on the go!

Sounds awesome! Why are you writing a post?

Read the rest of this entry »

My phone is spying on me!

Written March 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Android
2 comments

Today at lunch we were talking about the primaries and how everyone was doing in the races. I was eating my lunch with my phone sitting on the table off to the side.

As our conversations continued, I picked up my phone and decided to check Google Now. There was nothing really out of the ordinary. As I scrolled, I saw this:

wpid-wp-1456945626033.png

I thought how that’s a strange coincidence, then brought it up to the lunch crowd and joked how my phone was eavesdropping on our conversation. We all laughed and continued the joke as I put my phone down.

A few minutes later, I went back in to Google Now and it had a tile titled Is your smartphone listening to you?

Wow!! Really?? Yes, it was there, but too bad I didn’t screenshot it. After I clicked the link, then came back to Google Now and it refreshed, tile gone 😢

Coincidence?  I think not!

Now this is not the first or second time this has happened to me, it happens way too often to be a coincidence.

Just a few minutes ago I went back to Google Now to see if that tile came back, which it didn’t, but a new one showed up:

wpid-wp-1456946106162.png

Why on earth would Google Now think I’d be interested in “Fuller House”?  Oh yeah, my wife & kids have watched almost the entire first season and we all talked about it for a good 30 minutes last night. This isn’t the first time it’s showed me a random show I don’t actively watch. I once got a “Gossip Girl” tile, which I’m assuming is because one of my daughters watches it, and she & my wife have had many conversations about it in my presence.

This is way too accurate to believe it’s simply guessing, and I’m clearly not the only one. My youngest recently watched “Finding Nemo”, again, and we talked about “Finding Dory”. Hey look! In that screenshot above it also has that in Google Now!

The Troll

tin foilI honestly believe Google Now, or something within Android itself, is monitoring the conversations I’m having and feeding the info back to me.  I know that’s a on the tinfoil-hat-wearing side of things, but it’s uncanny how often something like this has happened.  I’ve got the Moto X Pure with hot word detection enabled, same with my old Nexus 5, they both have hot word detection, so I know for a fact it’s always listening to me, and now I’m starting to believe it’s using the data it’s collecting.

I may start trolling by repeating random phrases about things I’ve never looked up or been interested in to test my theory. I thought about also disabling background data and maybe mic permissions for some apps, but I actually use the hot word detection and send texts by voice, so I don’t want to limit myself there.

What are your thoughts?

vSphere Fault Tolerance Role Privilege names have changed from vSphere 5.5 to 6.0

I was playing in my lab today and ran across something I thought was strange. I exported the privileges from a test role in one lab, which happened to be vSphere 5.5, then tried to create a new role in vCenter 6.0 with the privileges I just pulled. It worked fine for almost everything, except these two:

Could not find Privilege with name 'Enable Fault Tolerance'.
Could not find Privilege with name 'Disable Fault Tolerance'.

I thought that was kind of strange, so I ran a quick

Get-VIPrivilege | ? {$_.name -like "*fault*"} | select Name,Id

and looked for something similar. Below is the comparison of 5.5 & 6.0:

vSphere 5.5
Name - Id
------
Turn On Fault Tolerance - VirtualMachine.Interact.CreateSecondary
Turn Off Fault Tolerance - VirtualMachine.Interact.TurnOffFaultTolerance
Disable Fault Tolerance - VirtualMachine.Interact.DisableSecondary
Enable Fault Tolerance - VirtualMachine.Interact.EnableSecondary
Query Fault Tolerance compatibility - VirtualMachine.Config.QueryFTCompatibility

vSphere 6.0
Name - Id
------
Turn On Fault Tolerance - VirtualMachine.Interact.CreateSecondary
Turn Off Fault Tolerance - VirtualMachine.Interact.TurnOffFaultTolerance
Suspend Fault Tolerance - VirtualMachine.Interact.DisableSecondary
Resume Fault Tolerance - VirtualMachine.Interact.EnableSecondary
Query Fault Tolerance compatibility - VirtualMachine.Config.QueryFTCompatibility

The difference is not drastic, but one simply word, or even one character, out of place will cause your script to fail. It’s easy to see that “Turn On” and “Enable” sound the same, so the need to rename “Enable” to “Resume” makes sense to me. Same with Disable & Suspend. These are just the two I know about, I really should write another article listing which ones have changed, but that’s for another day :)

Just something to watch out for I wanted to share.

Happy scripting!

VMware Virtual SAN Health failed Cluster health test

Written December 2nd, 2015 by
Categories: Virtualization, VSAN
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Here’s the error

While building a new environment for my lab, I ran across an interesting thing yesterday.

I looked at my cluster’s VSAN health and saw this error:

It’s complaining that my hosts don’t have matching Virtual SAN advanced configuration items.

If you click on that error, you’ll see at the bottom where it shows comparisons of hosts and the advanced configurations:

It shows VSAN.DomMaxLeafAssocsPerHost and VSAN.DomOwnerInflightOps as being different between a few of my hosts. Looking at the image above, you’ll see node 09 has values of 36000 and 1024, respectively, while the other nodes 10-12 show 12000 and 0.

I immediately went to the host configuration advanced settings in the web client, searched VSAN and don’t see either of those. I even checked through PowerCLI and can’t see those: Read the rest of this entry »

VMware vSphere 5.5 Web Client authentication fails with ‘cannot connect to the vCenter Single Sign On server.’

Written August 28th, 2015 by
Categories: Virtualization
No Comments »

Earlier this week we were greeted with this awesome message:
webclient-fail-sso.

It’s so descriptive we knew exactly where to start! Okay, yeah, not really. Sarcasm aside, you’d think the culprit would be SSO. I began checking the two SSO servers we have in an HA configuration and they appeared fine. What’s even more strange is the fat clients were all authenticating fine. I started checking logs on the SSO servers and saw several things similar to this:

2015-08-25 23:20:49,538 INFO [ActiveDirectoryProvider] Failed to find user snip@snipPrincipal id not found: {Name: snip, Domain: snip} via ldap search
and
2015-08-26 00:29:37.709:t@21945040:ERROR: ldap simple bind failed. Error(4294967295)

So I assumed it was SSO again, maybe related to the domain we auth against.

Great! So now what?

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vSphere Replication 5.8 lets you violate VSAN Storage Policies

Written June 8th, 2015 by
Categories: Disaster Recovery, Virtualization
2 comments

I’m sure many of you know VSAN’s Failures To Tolerate, or FTT, is something that adds overhead to both your cluster & your data. It’s no secret FTT of 1 doubles your data, think of it as N+1 copies of your data. You could essentially have two, three, or four copies of your data, redundancy is a good thing!

When you look at the cluster side of it, there is another ‘gotcha’. The host needs becomes 2N+1. Let’s look at FTT of one, that’s saying you need 2(1)+1 hosts, so 2+1 = 3. And of course, FTT2 requires 5 hosts, and FTT3 requires 7.

What’s the problem?

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VMworld 2015 Public Voting is OPEN!

Written May 14th, 2015 by
Categories: Disaster Recovery, Virtualization
No Comments »

It’s that time of year again, and I know you’re as excited as I am, VMworld has opened up the sessions to public voting!

There are TONS of sessions to choose from, and I submitted a handful listed here:

vmworld-2015

The last one is something special with GS Khalsa, so please vote for us!

If you like any of these and would like to see these presentations on the big stage, please vote for them!

Go to http://vmw.re/1Pj6Lcc and you can either search for my last name or session ID.

Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Setup – The network path was not found

Written December 16th, 2014 by
Categories: SCCM
1 Comment »

This error may be old news to a lot of you, but I’m finally getting back into playing with the goodness known as Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager, aka ConfigMgr, aka SCCM, and went through quite a bit to get it set up in my lab.

I jumped right in and did it blindly, which, although worked fine, I did have some speed bumps along the way.

I used several PowerShell one-liners I slapped together to install all the Windows’ features & WADK; however, when I got to the SQL portion of the SCCM installer (where you point to the SQL FQDN, Insance Name, Database name, etc), I kept getting a very generic error that simply said

The network path was not found.

and the log file, ConfigMgrSetupWizard.log, said

Exception details: [System.IO.IOException: The network path was not found.

At face value, this sounds like a simple network connectivity issue. However, I could nslookup the FQDN of the SQL server, which happened to be the same box (all-in-one install), I could ping the FQDN, netstat showed port 1433 was listening, my firewall was turned off, so I started googling.

Everyone points at these as the problem:

  • Firewall
  • SPN
  • SQL Port
  • Maybe a few others I’m forgetting?

As it turned out, I forgot to enable and start the Remote Registry service. That’s all it was. I actually had this in my notes:

Set-Service RemoteRegistry -StartupType Automatic
Start-Service RemoteRegistry

But forgot to run them, lol!

Oh well, live & learn! I think I’m going to do another post regarding the different one-liners I ran to get SCCM 2012 R2 up and running.

Site Recovery Manager Error: Placeholder VM creation error: No hosts with hardware version 10

Written December 5th, 2014 by
Categories: Disaster Recovery, Virtualization
1 Comment »

If you attended my SRM session at VMworld 2014, or one of the VMUG User Conference sessions I’ve presented at, you’ve heard me talk about upgrading SRM and the entire infrastructure.

I stressed the importance of upgrading the Recovery/Target Site’s hosts before upgrading the Protected/Source Site’s hosts.

As you can imagine, upgrading out of order does happen, and I got to see exactly what happens when you’re in that situation. Well, not in a disaster, but in regular day-to-day tasks.

Have you seen this error when trying to protect a VM in SRM, specifically trying to create the placeholder?

Placeholder VM creation error: No hosts with hardware version ’10’ and datastore(s) [datastore01] which are powered on and not in maintenance mode are available

Read the rest of this entry »

Setting EMC’s RecoverPoint SRM SRA to Authenticate over SSL for 4.0 and 4.1

Written November 21st, 2014 by
Categories: Disaster Recovery, Virtualization
1 Comment »

You may or may not know that EMC’s SRA defaults to authenticating over non-SSL communication. It basically hits the RecoverPoint Appliance (RPA) on port 80 when doing anything. RPAs don’t handle a NAT, so chances are your devices are not publicly facing, at least I hope not!

It’s always a better idea to encrypt any traffic containing usernames and passwords, so why wouldn’t you do this? In RPA versions up to 4.0, they defaulted to non SSL, although they refer to it as non-https. RPA 4.1 no longer accepts port 80 and requires you to use 443, or https, or SSL encrypted, whatever you want to say.

This is great, until you try to add RPA 4.1 to a standard install of RecoverPoint’s 2.2 SRA. Why? Well, because it defaults to non-https and doesn’t give you an intuitive way to change it.

Adding RPA 4.1 to SRA 2.2 will give you this error:

“SRA command ‘discoverArrays’ failed. Failed opening session for user to site mgmt IP.
Please see server logs for further details.”

Check the vmware-dr.log and you’ll likely see something like

Error code=”1049″

and what’s funny is I even found “Ouch!” in the log, lol! I love when devs throw things like that out there.

Keep reading for the fix! Read the rest of this entry »

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