Hyper-V World – What would Tad say now?

We've had some pretty exciting announcements over the past two days at VMworld.  VMware is really flexing their muscle, proving that they are dead serious about going beyond simple server virtualization.  We're plowing full speed ahead, delivering on the vision for cloud and now the Software Defined Datacenter that VMware has been painting over the past several years.car Microsoft was apparently threatened by this vision at VMworld last year, and tried to paint VMware as a virtualization-only offering with their VM-Limited campaign … [Read more...]

Using KMS for VMware View Windows Activation

When deploying or recomposing a pool of Windows 7 (or Windows Vista) virtual desktops on VMware View, you may receive an error message stating: “composer agent initialization error (16): Failed to activate software license (waited 0 seconds).”  This error occurs when you use a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) to activate the parent VM.  View Composer QuickPrep, by default, uses Microsoft Key Management Services (KMS).  VMware KB Article 1026556 provides workarounds for activating MAK clients, or bypassing activation by QuickPrep so you can use a trial key.  The workarounds are appropriate for … [Read more...]

Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows 7 Freeze When Using SVGA Drivers

I recently ran into an issue when installing my first Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine.  The VM would hang/freeze randomly when used through the VMware vCenter Client's console.  It turns out this is a known issue (see this VMware KB Article) with the SVGA driver that is installed as part of the default installation of VMware Tools.  While the article does not explain why you should disable the SVGA driver, it's advice is correct if you want to avoid problems in your guest VM.  To correct my problem, I removed the SVGA driver from the Windows Device Manager and rebooted.  If you are … [Read more...]

vSphere Upgrade Breaks Active Directory

I recently completed a VMware VI 3.5 to vSphere upgrade in a small environment (5 hosts, 80 VM's).  Being a small environment, the upgrade was planned for one big overnight blitz.  Unfortunately, the size of the environment did not afford a test environment to uncover potential issues before the upgrade.  The upgrade to vSphere itself went swimmingly (the vCenter server had been upgraded a couple weeks earlier).  However, some things in the environment started to go wonky once the upgrade was complete.  Specifically, name resolution (DNS), DHCP, WINS, Group Policy, and really anything … [Read more...]

Microsoft and VMware Virtualization Documentation

Microsoft published a document named "Getting to Know Hyper-V: A Walkthrough from Initial Setup to Common Scenarios" last week.  According to Microsoft, "this guide provides detailed step-by-step walkthroughs for testing Hyper-V on a pre-production environment. You can use this guide to become familiar with Hyper-V and the process of creating and managing virtual machines. Also included in this guide are useful scenarios that you can test to better understand how Hyper-V can address the business goals of your organization."  The document serves as a sort of evaluators guide for Hyper-V, … [Read more...]

Joining a Mac to a Windows Active Directory

We picked up a few new 17" MacBook Pro's at work. We're a Microsoft shop, so Mac's aren't part of the basic knowledge for our IT staff, myself included. I don't want to be the Windows guy who says "I don't do Macs" - part of being a technologist is serving the user base where they are at with the technologies they require to do their job (but please, included me in determining your requirements and technological solutions - a Mac might be really cool, but might not fit with the organizations needs or your IT group's ability to support your solution). Really, that's what Web 2.0 is all about - … [Read more...]

VI Toolkit for Windows v1.5 Released Today

VMware released version 1.5 of the VI Toolkit for Windows - the PowerShell management and reporting tool of choice for many VMware administrators. The new version carries build number 142961. You can download v1.5 here: http://blogs.vmware.com/vipowershell/. The update includes some 32 new cmdlets, including ones for getting/setting NTP settings on ESX, getting/setting Advanced configuration options on ESX, getting/setting ESX Firewall settings, and the ability to modify DRS rules using PowerShell. Existing cmdlets have also been updated with new parameters, and several fixes have been … [Read more...]

Guest Free Disk Space Revisited

I wrote about a method for determining guest free disk space using a PowerShell script a couple weeks ago.  Scott Lowe picked up the post on his blog last week.  Since then I have had several other conversations with folks looking the best way to report on inefficiencies in their environments (it's the economy, stupid) and mitigate those inefficiencies as budgets get tighter. When it comes to reporting there are a ton of options available.  The solution you choose will be dependent on your environment and the tools you already have in place.  Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMB's) often … [Read more...]

Landing a Virtualization Job

As the New Year rolls around you may find yourself looking for a new paying gig. Times are tough, but the virtualization space shows continued strength as companies seek to consolidate servers, reduce administrative burden, and hunt down cost savings in the data center. We will look at how you can land that new virtualization gig quickly. Virtualization jobs come in all shapes and sizes, from the small shop IT guy who runs everything from the desktop to the data center (or data closet as the case may be) to large silo-structured enterprise environments where IT staff rarely deviate from … [Read more...]

Microsoft Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool v2 Released

Microsoft released version 2 of their Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool (OVMSTv2) yesterday.  The updated version of the tool, a component of Microsoft's Solution Accelerator family of 'best-practice-meets-tools' adds integration with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, and support for System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, and Windows Server® Update Services 3.0 SP1.  The tool works in much the same way as VMware's Update Manager product updates Windows guest VM's. Support for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 obviously … [Read more...]