VMworld 2015 Public Voting is OPEN!

Written May 14th, 2015 by
Categories: Disaster Recovery, Virtualization
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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:


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

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 »

Storage vMotion Compatibility Failed – File is larger than the maximum size supported by datastore

Written October 6th, 2014 by
Categories: Virtualization

We ran into an interesting issue last week.  While trying to migrate some VMs onto a replicated datastore for SRM, we got this interesting error:

File [source-datastore]path/to.vmdk is larger than the maximum size supported by datastore ‘target-datastore


It’s strange because this is a 5.5 vCenter, 5.1 hosts, both datastores are vmfs5 and the vmdks were 60GB & 80GB. From what I could tell, everything was identical. Further testing revealed I could storage vMotion from the SRM datastore to regular datastores, but I could not move anything onto the SRM datastore.

After googling, I found the standard VMware response of ‘select a different datastore’, and further research didn’t show much else beyond the differences of the vmfs versions, and differences between vmfs5 among 5.0, 5.1, and 5.5. That’s nice and all, but none of these applied to me.

Restarted vCenter services on a whim, and guess what? It worked! LOL! Sometimes the strangest of issues can be fixed by the simplest of things.

Public Voting Now Open for VMWorld 2014!

Written May 12th, 2014 by
Categories: Disaster Recovery, Virtualization
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When you get a chance, stroll on over to vmworld.com and click the link “Vote for your favorite proposals today”:

VMworld 2014

I’m bringing this up because I submitting a session, 1152 “vCenter Site Recovery Manager: Architecting a DR Solution”.

It’s pretty simple to find, it’s one of only two sessions for Site Recovery Manager at the Advanced Technical Level under Software Defined Data Center in the subtrack Storage and Business Continuity. An easy way to find it is set the keyword filter to “site recovery manager” and mine’s the first one:

Submission 1152 for VMworld 2014

The abstract states:

VMware’s vCenter Site Recovery Manager is the market-leading disaster-recovery management product. It ensures the simplest and most reliable disaster protection for all virtualized applications. However, it is not a turn-key DR solution. Architecting your SRM solution requires deep thought and heavy planning. This presentation will help you with planning and architecting your SRM solution as well as addressing specific configuration and installation challenges. Our goal is to help you deploy and maintain a solid SRM solution to enable your DR Plan.

The agenda will flow like this:

  • Basic SRM Functions
  • Planning
  • Designing & Architecting SRM
  • Deployment Considerations & Road Blocks
  • Maintaining, Migrating, & Upgrading

Everyone knows what SRM, and most understand what it does; however, very few actually understand how it works. This session will briefly cover how each function of SRM works, but will go deeper into how to plan & architect your DR solution leveraging SRM. There are several design considerations you need to keep in mind when planning & building it out, and I’ll also touch on migrating & upgrading your SRM installation to make sure you’re protected, even during an upgrade.

If this looks like something you’d like to see at VMworld 2014, please sign in and vote!

Thanks, and happy scripting!

Building a Disaster Recovery Solution using Site Recovery Manager – Part 1: Planning

I wrote this blog article for Rackspace to go on their Blog. Original can be found HERE on the Rackspace Blog site.

VMware® vCenter™ Site Recovery Manager™ is used to orchestrate the failover of a group of virtual machines (VMs) from one location to another. It’s a really useful tool to have in your arsenal to tackle the daunting task of disaster recovery (DR), especially if you take a little time to plan for how and when it will be used.

Read the rest of this entry »

PowerCLI script to migrate clusters to new vCenter

Written April 30th, 2014 by
Categories: Scripts, Virtualization

Hey scripters! I recently had a task of migrating an entire virtual datacenter from one vCenter to another. It sounds like a pretty simple task, but manually recreating the cluster(s) could cause some human errors. I decided to write a script that would look at a specific vDatacenter and get all it’s clusters, then recreate that tree in the new vCenter. It’s pretty simple, really, it pulls all the clusters, then creates new clusters with the same attributes. When moving over the hosts, it first disconnects them from the original vCenter, then removes them from inventory.

I thought about disabling HA & DRS on the source vCenter cluster right before hand, but manually disconnecting & removing shouldn’t be an issue. If you add the host to the new vCenter without first removing from the old vCenter, that’s when you’ll get some HA weirdness because the old vCenter doesn’t know what just happened.

What does it do?

Read the rest of this entry »

San Antonio VMUG – Let’s Feed Forward

Written March 4th, 2014 by
Categories: Uncategorized
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If you’ve read the VMUG Voice newsletter for February 2014, you know what I’m talking about. For those who, like many of us, are pressed for time to read newsletters when our inboxes are filled with tech articles, white papers, & other job/techie-related pieces, I’ll explain it briefly.

It’s like ‘paying it forward’, but there’s nothing being paid or given. I like to present, I enjoy Q&A, and I have fun being the chump when those want to play “stump the chump”. It’s always a learning experience for me, although not everyone is like this.

Some may want to present, but are uneasy, don’t know where to begin, and simply need a little jump start to get going. That’s what Feed Forward is about, helping [feeding] others to get them up there presenting.

After all, this is a ‘user group’ :)

With this, I’d like to put out the invitation to anyone in our SATX VMUG community who would like to present, but don’t feel they have the tools necessary. It’s March now, less than a month from our last meeting, and I’d like to get the ball rolling on the next meeting. In this meeting, I’d like someone to present about…well…I dunno, why don’t you tell me what you want to present about?

I’ll be happy to help out, provide info, even be an audience for a trial run. Maybe even do a small group audience (5-10) for feedback during a trial run.

What do you say SATX VMUG? Who wants to go first? Email me, head over to the San Antonio VMUG workspace, tweet, whatever, just let me know and we’ll get the ball rolling.

Head on over to the VMUG Workspace blog: http://www.vmug.com/p/bl/ar/blogaid=512

PowerShell User Management script for Windows Server 2012 Core

This post is long over due. I’ve been playing with Windows Server 2012 without the GUI (aka Core) for a while and one thing that irks me is that without the Graphical Management Tools, you’re really stuck using old school “net user” commands. Sure, you can use another GUI 2012 server’s Server Manager to connect and manage your core server, but what if you only have one core server you’re testing? Or, what if you simply want to do things the hard PowerShell way?

I had some ideas, since 2012 Core has the SConfig thing, I decided to do something similar and create a user-management script specifically for this scenario.

So what does it do? Some pretty basic tasks: create & delete users, create & delete groups, as well as edit users. Editing users includes changing the password, enable & disable, and adding & removing group membership. All done from a nice little PowerShell window!

Here’s a screenshot:
User Management Script Menu Read the rest of this entry »

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