Archives for August 2009

VMware View and PCoIP

Later this year VMware will be releasing a software only version of PCoIP. What is PCoIP? Teradici developed the protocol to compete with RDP and ICA, but offer a richer multi-media experience. Their original product requires specialized hardware on both the server and client end. However, the LAN experience is really amazing. They were showing full high-def movies at their demo booth at VMworld.

Now back to the software version. One of the major limitations of current VDI implementations is the lack of support for isosynchronous USB devices such as head-sets and webcams. In addition, advanced graphics like Windows Aero Glass are challenging. According to Teradici their first software only version for VMware View will NOT support these special USB devices or Aero Glass. Their best estimation on when these would be supported was 12 to 18 months. Without a GPU on the server end, rendering Aero Glass on the client is difficult.

That’s not to say the next version of View won’t have some great features, or be useful for a wide range of customers. But if you have specialized needs, like my customer, for USB webcam and headset, then you will need to wait. Aero Glass support will be nice too, as we start to deploy Windows 7 in 2010. Right now XenDesktop’s provisioning server with OS streaming is probably the best solution for a full client experience over the LAN.

vShield Zones and Cisco Nexus 1000v

So today at VMworld I learned that the current version of the Cisco Nexus 1000v is NOT compatible with the vSphere vShield technology. I didn’t get an approximate release date on when a compatible version would be released. Stay tuned!

9/1 Update: I talked to a VMware lead for vShields and he said Cisco is in the process of making changes to the 1000v to allow it to function with vShields. Basically they are adding a service port to the 1000v which can channel all traffic to the vShields VM and back into the 1000v. They are in the process of testing the update, and likely by year’s end it will be released.

HP Flex-10 and Cisco Nexus 1000v reference documents and video

Cisco has created a good PowerPoint slide deck on how to configure the Cisco Nexus 1000v with the HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 blade interconnect. You can download the slides here. They also created a video which you can see here.

Over the coming months I’ll be working integrating both technologies with VMware vSphere 4.0. So you can count on more posts in the future on this topic.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know HP sells 1Gb copper SFP modules for their Flex-10 10Gb interconnect. So you aren’t required to have an upstream 10Gb switch. They don’t make this too clear in the QuickSpecs, but they do have a 1Gb RJ-45 SFP buried document that you can purchase.

Update: Cisco pulled the slides from the original link. But, Cisco has uploaded an even newer version to the VMware community forums here. So check that out..much cleaner presentation than the older version.

HP printer and Windows logon delay? Solved!

Last weekend I reloaded my new PC with Windows 7 x64 RTM on my new OCZ Vertex 120GB SSD. After being thoroughly impressed with the boot time of Windows, I noticed once I logged in there was a 45 – 60 second delay of items in my startup folder. In addition, I could not launch problems or do much except move the mouse. What the heck?

Well, after a little investigation I found the problem. I have a HP OfficeJet Pro L7580, and installed the Vista x64 drivers. During my troubleshooting I found the following entry in my Application log:

Fault bucket , type 0
Event Name: ServiceHang
Response: Not available
Cab Id: 0
Problem signature:
P1: hpqddsvc
P2: hpqddsvc.dll

A little more investigation and Googling turned me on to the “HP CUE DeviceDiscovery Service”. Apparently it was hanging during my logon session and causing Windows to freeze. The service was set to “Automatic”. By simply changing the service to “Automatic (Delayed Start)” I no longer experience the long logon delays and I can start working within a couple of seconds of seeing my desktop.

Hopefully HP will release new drivers which fix this hanging problem. The problem appears to happen on Vista as well, since a little Googling came up with users complaining of the same problem.

Cookie monster, Part 2

While browsing some RSS feeds today, I came across some more intersting Flash cookie and browser cookie information. There’s a great paper detailing the Flash Cookie issue which I blogged about earlier this week.

If you are concerned about browser privacy and ad tracking, its well worth a read. What I also found intersting was the mention of an opt-out web site for many advertisers. But, it seems this opt-out web site does NOT cover Flash cookies, and browser HTTP cookies are often re-created from Flash cookies. So the NAI opt-out web site really doesn’t do as much as one might think. One might even call it deceptive.

Flash cookies can be accessed in private browser modes, such as IE’s InPrivate. So sites can track you, even if you think the InPrivate session will help mask who you are. Also, if you look at your Flash cookies directory, it will show the domains for which cookies are stored. This in essense tracks your browser history and is NOT deleted when you clear your brower’s history.

On my Windows 7 computer, the Flash cookie file path is:
C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingMacromediaFlash Player#SharedObjects

Under this directory is where I found a list of sites which I’ve visited:
C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingMacromediaFlash Playermacromedia.comsupportflashplayersys

The SYS directory included sites which didn’t show up in the Adobe website storage panel applet. So it seems even if you clear out the data from Adobe’s applet, traces are still left on your computer.

In short, everyone needs to be educated about Flash cookies and the industry as a whole needs to be more forthcoming about their use and make it easier to delete or prohibit these types of cookies.

VMware Workstation 6.5.3 Released

No major updates, but lots of bug fixes and one security patch. No mention of official Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 support, although I haven’t had any issues with them on 6.5.2.

Download it here. Release notes are here.

vCenter 4.0 install with 64-bit SQL

Today at home I’m setting up a vSphere 4.0 environment inside Workstation 6.5.2 so I can get more familar with the product. For my vCenter server I’m running Server 2008 R2 with SQL 2008 SP1 64-bit on my new 12GB i7 920 system.

I started the vCenter installation and got a message that vCenter Server system must have a 32-bit DSN. How do I create that? As it turns out, after a little Binging, the solution was pretty easy:

Run c:windowssysWOW64odbcad32.exe and create a System DSN for your SQL server.

Free copy of Windows 7!

Microsoft is hosting a few ‘launch’ events later this year for Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010. If you register and attend, you get a free copy of Windows 7 (Professional?). See this link for all the dates and locations.

Say no to the cookie monster

I read a very interesting article from PC World regarding browswer cookies. What was news to me was that Adobe Flash and SilverLight can both store their own cookies independent of your browser. So even if you clear your browser cookies or have placed restrictions on them, advertisers and other sites can still track you. Given that Flash has so many security holes, I’m pretty much of the mind to disable Flash all the time except for times when you really need to view flash content.

To help eliminate ads and many tracking cookies, I use a hosts file which does a pretty good job, and for free. What I found interesting about the article is link to a tool from Adobe which allows you to change your privacy settings for flash. This applet has a variety of settings. I promptly launched the applet, disabled all cookies, and deleted all existing cookies.

If you value your privacy, take a look at your Flash cookies! You will likely be surprised how many you have.

Slipstream SQL 2008 SP1

One new feature of SQL 2008 SP1 which I didn’t know about was the ability to slipstream a service pack right into the installation routine, like you can with operating systems.

This will make deployment quicker, faster, and less error prone. The full set of instructions can be found at this MSDN blog.