Archives for October 2012

URGENT: vSphere Replication Patch Released

Right on the heels of vCenter 5.1.0A release, yesterday VMware released vSphere Replication VMware is STRONGLY urging people to upgrade “ASAP”, since it fixes the problem documented in KB 2035929. You can check out their full blog post here.

Inject Cisco UCS Drivers into Windows Server 2012 ISO

A few days ago I blogged about injecting VMware vSphere drivers into a Windows Server 2012 image, so you can seamlessly install WS2012 inside a VM with PVSCSI and VMXNET hardware. Next up is injecting Cisco UCS drivers into Windows Server 2012, in case you need to install Windows Server 2012 on a physical Cisco UCS blade. The process is the same as injecting the VMware drivers, but requires a little more effort to gather up all the right drivers.

Noteworthy is that you really need to do this on a Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 computer/VM, and use the Windows 8 ADK. The DISM software for Windows Server 2008 R2 doesn’t understand the SHA256 digital signatures on some of the drivers and will barf unless you use an override switch.

1. Download the Cisco UCS Drivers disc v2.0.4 or later, which contain the Windows Server 2012 drivers. You can download the 2.0.4a (Oct 26, 2012) version here. Note: Cisco TAC account is required to download the software.

2. Find a Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 VM that you can use to copy the drivers to and install the Microsoft ADK on. WS2012 comes with many drivers built in, so the only Cisco drivers we need are Network and Storage. All LSI drivers are built-in to WS2012, so you don’t have to worry about the built-in local storage controller on the server. For the Cisco UCS drivers, I created a folder called D:Boot Drivers64-bit.

3. Now that you have a folder to put the WS2012 drivers, you need to drill down into the Cisco driver ISO image and pull out the “W2K12” folders. In my case I only wanted the 1280 and MLOM drivers. Remember Cisco adapters are converged network adapters, so you need both the storage and network folders.

Under each adapter copy the W2K12 folder to your D:Boot Drivers64-bit folder and rename it to make it more clear what the driver is for. 
4. After I completed the copy process, I ended up with this folder structure. Folder names are not important, so call them whatever you want.
5. Download the Windows 8 ADK from here. Run through the installation wizard until you get to the feature set. All you need are the Deployment Tools. Finish the wizard and wait until it is installed.
6. Mount a virgin Windows Server 2012 ISO image and under the Sources directory copy boot.wim and install.wim to the root of your D drive.
7. Open the DISM command prompt and enter the following commands, or save them to a batch file and run the batch file. This assumes your ISO image has five WIMs on it, one boot WIM, and four OS WIMs. If you are unsure how many WIMs are in your install.WIM file, run:
dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile:d:install.wim
:: Creates mount directory for DISM
mkdir D:mount
:: Modifies the boot WIM
dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:D:boot.wim /Index:2 /MountDir:D:mount
dism /image:D:mount /Add-Driver “/driver:d:boot drivers64-Bit” /recurse
dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:d:mount /commit
:: Modifies all of the Operating System WIM images
dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:D:install.wim /Index:1 /MountDir:D:mount
dism /image:D:mount /Add-Driver “/driver:d:boot drivers64-Bit” /recurse
dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:d:mount /commit
dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:D:install.wim /Index:2 /MountDir:D:mount
dism /image:D:mount /Add-Driver “/driver:d:boot drivers64-Bit” /recurse
dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:d:mount /commit
dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:D:install.wim /Index:3 /MountDir:D:mount
dism /image:D:mount /Add-Driver “/driver:d:boot drivers64-Bit” /recurse
dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:d:mount /commit
dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:D:install.wim /Index:4 /MountDir:D:mount
dism /image:D:mount /Add-Driver “/driver:d:boot drivers64-Bit” /recurse
dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:d:mount /commit
rmdir d:mount

8. Review all of the output and verify no errors occurred. If you see any invalid signature issues, then you probably aren’t using the Windows 8 ADK on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012.
9. In your favorite ISO editing tool, such as UltraISO, over-write the boot.wim and install.wim with your customized version. Boot the server from your new media and it should now automatically recognized any vNICs and vHBAs you have provisioned via the service profile in UCSM.

HP Service Pack for ProLiant supports Windows Server 2012

Just released is the October 2012 HP Service Pack for ProLiant, which has full support for Windows Server 2012. Current support for Windows Server 2012 is focused on G7 and Gen8 servers. G6s and earlier will have limited to no WS2012 support. The 2012.10.0 release has these major changes:

  • Added support for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Essentials
  • Added offline support for HP Diagnostics and Array Configuration Utility (ACU)
  • Modified the user interface when booting a server to the SPP
  • Updated to HP Smart Update Manager 5.3.0
  • Added custom baseline functionality
  • Reports in comma-separated values (CSV) format
  • Linux RPM support
  • Fibre Channel switch firmware update support (B-series and H-series only)
  • Support for HP Integrity I/O card online firmware updates
  • Schedule pull from web repository downloads (not applicable to Fibre Channel switches)
  • Support for 16G Fibre Channel QLogic HBA
  • The ability to use the UNC format to identify file paths

You can download the full set of release notes and documentation here. To download the SSP you can go here. For more information on HP’s Windows Server 2012 support, go here. They also have what appears to be a late breaking supplement for the SPP you can find here.

Update: Find my blog post about the February 2013 HP Service Pack for ProLiant here.

Office 2013 RTM Suite released to TechNet

Ahead of schedule, Microsoft has released the RTM versions of Office 2013, Visio 2013, Project 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013, and Lync 2013. Sign in to your TechNet/MSDN account and download today!

VMware Publishes vSphere 5.1 SSL Implementation Guides

As people quickly found out when vSphere 5.1 was released, installation and configuration of vSphere 5.1 SSL certificates was very painful and no accurate VMware documentation existed. Through a lot of work and help from some of my readers, I published a process that was pretty successful but required some workarounds and wasn’t “official”. VMware is now making public a series of KB articles that are much more accurate and usable. I reviewed a draft version, and spotted a few areas that I gave VMware feedback on. You can find the KB articles here.

As I install the vSphere 5.1.0A update, and review all of the KB articles, I will update any of my posts as needed. Most seemed spot on, but they did have a different method for fixing the Web Client and Log Browser SSL issues. So that post will get a re-write once I can test the procedures. I should get everything updated over the weekend.

vSphere 5.1 SSL Install Guides

If you want to follow a whole series of blog posts on how to install vCenter 5.1, soup to nuts, then check out my posts here.

Cisco UCS now supports Windows Server 2012

If you want to run Windows Server 2012 on Cisco UCS blades, fear no more! As of the 2.0(4a) release they now have official support in firmware, and an updated drivers disc. Just login to Cisco TAC, get the firmware and new driver disc. As you can see in the image below, they have directories for Windows Server 2012. You can check out my blog article about firmware 2.0(4b) which contains minor bug fixes, unrelated to Windows Server 2012.

VMware Releases bug fix vSphere 5.1.0A

STOP THE PRESSES! The solution to your vCenter 5.1 woes may be at your finger tips. If anyone has tried to install and configure VMware vSphere 5.1, you may have run into a plethora of difficulties. My 14 part vCenter 5.1 installation series, found here, have gotten massive page views and reader feedback. The process to use trusted SSL certificates is NOT easy, and was poorly documented. VMware is working on several KB articles to help clarify the process. Contained in the updated vCenter 5.1.0A release are some fixes to the installation process, a couple of which address SSL issues. You can find the full release notes here.

Fixed problems include:

  • vCenter Server Services fail on startup after upgrade to vCenter Server 5.1
    After you upgrade to vCenter Server 5.1, the vCenter Server services fail to start up and generate vpxd dumps. This issue occurs if old certificates are removed during upgrade of vCenter Server or if you attempt to perform a fresh install of vCenter Server with an already upgraded vCenter Server 5.1 database.

  • Users unable to log in to vCenter Server after upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1
    After upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1, you might be unable to log in with the user or group administrator privileges provided by the vCenter Server installer during the upgrade process. This issue can occur if vCenter Server finds a vCenter Server Administrator user or group that can be authenticated against vCenter Single Sign On while searching the vCenter Server database.
  • Invalid solution certificate. Certificate already expired. error message occurs when upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1 and registering the vCenter Server instance to vCenter Single Sign On The vCenter Server installer does not allow upgrade if the certificate is invalid or already expired.
  • vCenter Server takes an unusually long time to start and the vSphere Client might time out
    When a large number of permissions are assigned to objects in the vCenter Server inventory, the vCenter Server service does not start as quickly as expected as vCenter Server verifies that the users and groups exist in the identity source. Also, the connection to the vSphere Client might time out when you log in with Windows session credentials.
  • Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1 might fail with error 29107 even though the service or solution user is already registered
    Attempts to upgrade vCenter Server 5.1 might fail with the following error message:
Error 29107. The service or solution user is already registered. Check VM_ssoreg.log in system, temporary folder for details.
  • Installing or upgrading vCenter Server 5.1 fails with the error: Could not contact Lookup Service
    vCenter Simple Install might fail with the following error if the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) contains the string port during the installation:
Error 29102 . Could not contact Lookup Service. Please check VM_ssoreg.log in system temporary folder for details.
  • Installing vCenter Single Sign On fails with the error: Unable to create database users: Password validation failed
    When you attempt to install vCenter Single Sign On using an existing database or the bundled SQL Express database, the installation fails with the following error:
Error 29114. Cannot connect to DB
vCenter Server and vSphere Client
  • Unable to log in to the vSphere Web Client due to incorrect proxy settings
Slow network speeds caused by incorrect proxy settings might result in delay during the interaction between the vSphere Web Client, domain controller, and external vCenter Single Sign On. You might encounter the following issues due to this delay:
  • Attempts to log into the vSphere Web Client fail with the following error: The vSphere Web Client cannot connect to the vCenter Single Sign On server.
  • A delay in excess of 20 minutes to list all domain users
  • A delay in excess of 20 minutes to load the whole vCenter Server inventory after domain use login

vMotion and Storage vMotion
  • Unable to access the cross-host Storage vMotion feature from the vSphere Web Client with an Essentials Plus license
    If you start the migration wizard for a powered on virtual machine with an Essentials Plus license, the Change both host and datastore option in the migration wizard is disabled, and the following error message is displayed:
    Storage vMotion is not licensed on this host.
    To perform this migration without a license, power off the virtual machine.

VMware vSphere 5.1 ESXi Patch Released

Today VMware released an update for ESXi 5.1, and the new build number is 838463. This is a bugfix only release. You can read the full bulletin here. As always, you can download it from the patch center here.

  • PR919634: When you perform an upgrade from vSphere 5.0 to vSphere 5.1 with PowerPath/VE 5.7 or PowerPath/VE 5.7 P01 already present and attempt to unclaim and claim these PowerPath devices, the ESXi host might fail with a purple diagnostics screen
  • PR922576: When you perform an upgrade from vSphere 5.0 to vSphere 5.1 with PowerPath/VE 5.7 or PowerPath/VE 5.7 P01 already present, persistent settings, such as load balancing policy or feature enable/disable, are not preserved across reboots.

  • PR923756: When the View Storage Accelerator feature is enabled in View, Multiple Content-Based Read Cache (CBRC) disable requests issued from View to hostd might cause View to lose connectivity to an ESXi host

This patch is required for VMware View 5.1 compatibility.

New Cisco UCS Firmware – 2.0(4b)

Today Cisco release a new firmware bundle for their UCS servers, 2.0(4b). No major fixes in the bundle. You can find the full Release Notes here. If you want to run Windows Server 2012, 2.0(4a) is the minimum supported version you need to be running. You can check out my blog post about that here.

KVM Viewer no longer fails to establish a connection to the KVM Server if the trusted.certs keystore password is not the default. (CSCuc48582)

User passwords with more than three consecutive characters or numbers are no longer accepted by Cisco UCS Manager. (CSCtq09466)

When polling ipAdEntIfIndex, “No Such Instance currently exists at this OID to the MDS boxes” error is no longer received. (CSCub84958)

SNMP no longer returns a “No such instance” error when VRF context is configured. (CSCub90031)

Chassis with four PSUs and n+1 power redundancy no longer displays “Power state on chassis X is redundancy-failed” error. (CSCub84671)

The Cisco UCS Manager GUI no longer displays “Unable to authenticate this site certificate” messages. (CSCub94755)

The Cisco UCS B200 M3, B22 M3, and B420 M3 Blade Servers no longer experience `Server Hardware Not Supported’ or discovery errors when you are upgrading from Release 2.0(2) to Release 2.0(3) or 2.0(4) and the blades are inserted into a UCS DC chassis. (CSCuc35326)

The KVM Java client will no longer display an error/warning message stating that the KVM certificate to the blade has expired. (CSCuc26360)

The IOM upgrade no longer fails and gets into a continuous reboot after the IOM is activated by the FI. (CSCuc15009)

Cisco UCS Manager is no longer truncating the last digit of the license file id from the license. (CSCuc32555)

NEW! HP Insight Control Storage Module for vCenter

For those of you using HP storage arrays (P2000, P4000, P6000, 3PAR, XP) HP has released a major update to their vCenter plug-in. You can now actively manage a wider range of HP arrays, you get full vSphere 5.1 web client capabilities, and expanded VASA support. You can check out a brochures about it here. For additional details and download links, you can view their HP Insight Control page here.

Features and Benefits

  •   Monitor and manage the physical/virtual relationships between the VMware Virtual Machines, ESX servers and the HP arrays:
    • Map VMware/virtual environment and provide detailed information about the HP storage being used
    • Create/Expand/Delete datastores on HP arrays
    • Create a Virtual Machine from a template on HP arrays
    • Delete an unassigned volume
  • Includes support for vSphere Storage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA), which enables vCenter to query and capture the capabilities of HP arrays and make use of the new vSphere 5 Storage DRS and Profile-Driven Storage features
  • Available for the following arrays: 3PAR, MSA, EVA, XP, and LeftHand including the Virtual SAN Appliance.
New Features in v7.1
  • Full Interoperability with VMware’s latest version — vSphere 5.1.
  • New Web Client Graphical User Interface introduced in vCenter with vSphere 5.1.
  • Portlet based overview and detailed table dashboards for HP Server, HP Infrastructure and HP Storage
  • Active management for 3PAR arrays, including the ability to perform storage provisioning operations such as adding a new datastore, deleting or expanding an existing datastore, creating new VMs from a template, and cloning existing VMs.
  • In context launch of HP management ecosystem tools (iLO, Onboard Administrator, Virtual Connect, HP Storage Management)
  • One installer delivers both vCenter .Net Client Graphical User Interface and the New Web Client Graphical User Interface
Overall this looks like a great release, and is great to see the feature enhancements. Prior versions may have been somewhat feature lacking, so the full support for vSphere 5.1 and active management of most HP arrays is quite welcomed indeed.