Archive for June, 2012

Site Recovery Manager failed to start – service did not respond to start in timely fashion

I noticed today that one of my two SRM servers wasn’t online in vCenter. I did some quick checking and found the service itself wasn’t running, and the last log entry was from seven days ago (the SRM log is located here “C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager\Logs”).

It has some info about it being shutdown, and it turns out that was our production patch cycle that rebooted the server. I checked ODBC, all was well, could manually connect to the database just fine. I also checked on the other SRM server, but it was 100%. I restarted both servers and nothing changed: one worked, the other didn’t.

I’m guessing since the service wouldn’t start, it wouldn’t update the log (which is why last write time was June 7th). The windows application log was unhelpful, and the system log only had the typical message

The VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Server service failed to start due to the following error: 
The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion

On a whim, I decided to delete the System ODBC connection and recreate it. After that, SRM started fine.

I’m still on version 5.0, no Update 1 yet. If I encounter this problem again, I’ll upgrade to Update 1 and see if it comes back.

Just thought I’d share.

PowerCLI one liner to move all VMs on one datastore to another and convert to thick or thin

Written June 13th, 2012 by
Categories: Scripts, Virtualization

I wrote this post a while back on how to use the API to convert VMs from thin to thick, which you could also go from thick to thin using it. I had written it because I was trying to use the inflate function, which isn’t allow against powered on VMs.

It was pointed out by a reader that I could have simply used Move-VM to accomplish the same task. This is great, shows how a second set of eyes and a different perspective can help you solve the problem. You could simply do

Move-VM vmservername -Datastore datastorename -DiskStorageFormat thick

and it will move your VM to the specified datastore and convert to thick. You could use either thin or thick.

If you wanted to move every VM on a datastore, say Datastore1, to a new datastore, say Datastore2, and convert all of them to either thin or thick, you could do it like this:

Get-VM -Datastore Datastore1 | Move-VM -Datastore Datastore2 -DiskStorageFormat thick

You cannot specify the current datastore as the destination datastore, though. It will complete, but it will not convert your VM’s disk format, you have to actually Storage vMotion the VM to a different datastore. It basically validates the destination datastore is where it currently resides and exits without trying to convert your vmdk.

You could then take it a step farther and make a function that supports parameters, like if you wanted to move VMs on multiple datastores, or a given list of VMs to a specific datastore. For instance, you could create something like “convert-vms.ps1” and run it like this

convert-vms.ps1 -vms ("vm1",vm2","vm3","vm4") -destination datastore2 -thick

and it would move all four VMs to datastore2 and convert them to thick in the process. Or something like

convert-vms.ps1 -source ("datastore1","datastore2") -destination datastore3 -thin

That would move all VMs from datastores 1 & 2 and thin provision them on datastore3.

If anyone’s interested in the actual script/function, let me know and I can put one together fairly quickly.

And just like that, the Cisco Cius is dead – @Cisco #Cius

Written June 5th, 2012 by
Categories: End User Computing
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As I mentioned in a previous post, the Cisco Cius is an Android tablet designed for corporate use.

I’ve been using mine for roughly 5 months. Initially, I loved it, but it’s proved to be less than (insert some mediocre phrase here). It wasn’t bad, but also wasn’t great. However, over time, the tablet performed worse & worse. The week before last, it pretty much became non-functional. It would drop the SIP connection on wifi, I do have a dock for it, but no POE+ drop to power it. I tried to go into the About section of settings and that started force closing on me. Eventually I got to the point where a full wipe was needed.

I did a quick Google search to see about custom ROMs (again), getting into Recovery, or if there are updates. I did find one update, that update being that Cisco is dropping the Cius.

Senior VP of the TelePresence Technology Group, OJ Winge, wrote, “Cisco will no longer invest in the Cisco Cius tablet”, in This Blog on May 24th. I was really hoping Cisco would have put a lot more effort into it and made it great.

I cannot say I’m surprised, though, I bet I’m the lone user of the Cius table of all that were issued/demo’d here at my employer. I see several laying around, collecting dust, because user experience just wasn’t there. One even has a post-it note simply saying “DEAD”. Initially, it came with Donut (Android 1.6), no Market (Play Store), and was clunky. Luckily, the one I use had a newer ROM, but it was still sluggish and didn’t perform optimally.

I’ll continue to use it, unless it tanks on me again, forcing a wipe, at which time it’ll probably end up on a shelf, too…

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