App Volumes 2.12 – Provisioning Machine Must be Domain Joined?

App Volumes uses a provisioning machine to capture applications in order to create AppStacks. According to the App Volumes User Guide, “the provisioning of AppStacks must be performed on a clean base image…”

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In my opinion, a “clean base image” implies that this machine is not domain joined and therefore not inheriting any group policies.

In earlier versions of App Volumes, there was an option when initially configuring or later reconfiguring App Volumes’ Active Directory integration to “Allow non-domain entities.” This is an option that I always selected in order to have a non-domain joined provisioning machine.

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However, now in App Volumes 2.12, that option is no longer available.

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I’ve yet to figure out an option to bypass having the provisioning machine on the domain. And there’s no mention of this in the release notes.

😦

2016 takes a leap…a leap second

As if 2016 weren’t bad enough…this year is going to be slightly longer than normal. New Year’s Eve will be one second longer in 2016 to adjust for the shifting rotation of the Earth.

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leap second is a one-second adjustment that is sometimes applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to keep its time of day close to the mean solar time, or UT1.

This leap second has the potential to cause chaos for IT systems that cannot deal with a 61-second minute. Websites such as Reddit, Yelp, LinkedIn have previously experienced outages for a period of time due to the leap second in 2012.

Most VMware products are unaffected by this time change that will occur this weekend However, some products are affected. Please see KB 2147498 for more information.

For those VMware products affected, the common work-around is to enabled Slew Mode for NTP. For more information see KB 2121016.

Horizon Agent fails to install: “system must be rebooted” error

Nothing is more fun than walking into a client site on a Monday morning and something that’s supposed to be easy (installing Horizon Agent in base image) doesn’t work.

I logged into the Windows 7 virtual desktop image and tried to install the Horizon Agent, however, I received a message stating: “The system must be rebooted before installation can continue.” Seemed simple enough, so I restarted the machine, and tried again. Same error. #facedesk

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Did some digging and found an old KB (1029288). The KB doesn’t say that it is applicable to Horizon View 7.0.x but it solved the issue I was having.

First I tried to uninstall and re-install VMware Tools. No luck.

I went through the registry keys suggested by the aforementioned KB but there weren’t any associated strings associated with the registry keys.

At the very end of the list, two registry keys were listed:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce\
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnceEx\

There were values located in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce, so I deleted all the values, rebooted the machine.

Voilà! I was finally able to get the Horizon Agent to install so I could proceed with my day. It appeared that there was a previously failed installation that was preventing the Horizon Agent from launching its own installer.

Horizon 7 Instant Clones – Folder Structure

When provisioning Horizon 7 Instant Clones, you may have noticed some new folders that were created in the VM and Template view in the vSphere Web Client.

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Each of these folders has a specific purpose for Instant Clones:

  • ClonePrepInternalTemplateFolder
    • cp-template-xxxx –  Virtual machine that is a template used to create Instant Clones; this is created from the master image.
  • ClonePrepParentVmFolder
    • cp-parent-xxxx – These virtual machines exist in a 1:1 relationship to the number of ESXi hosts in the cluster. I have a four node cluster, therefore I have 4 clone prep parent virtual machines. Each ESXi host has one of these powered on and in memory in order to provision the Instant Clone VMs.
  • ClonePrepReplicaVmFolder
    • cp-replica-xxxx – This virtual machine is used to create the clone prep parent virtual machines. It will be also used as necessary to provision additional clone prep parent virtual machines.
  • ClonePrepResyncVmFolder
    • If the Instant Clones are updated with a new image, a virtual machine will be created here for staging purposes.

VCAP6-DTM Design (Beta)

Today I had the opportunity to sit the VCAP-DTM Design portion of the VCIX-DTM certification. A few notes to share:

– My biggest complaint by far is that there is no calculator. Make sure that you are comfortable with multiplication and division.

– No more multiple choice questions, all drag & drop and designs.

– Ensure that you are very comfortable with all components of the Horizon suite, to include VSAN, Mirage, and AppVolumes. Make sure you know ports as well.

– I felt like there was sufficient time. I’ve always felt that the hardest part of the VCAPs was the time limit but I finished this one with a lot of time still on the clock.

– Out of 38 questions, 10 of them were designs.

Good luck to all the test takers out there!

Upgrading Horizon Workspace from 1.8 to 1.8.2 or 2.0

I recently went through the process of upgrading Horizon Workspace for several of my clients in the past few weeks.

It’s a rather painless process that I’m going to share with you!

First, and foremost, make sure that your Horizon Workspace vApp has Internet access. If you need to configure proxy settings, first open a console each virtual machine in the vApp and login as root.

From there, type yast. This will bring up a GUI that will allow administrators to configure many different settings.

See example of GUI below. Navigate to Network Services > Proxy and press Enter.

Enter the proxy information as needed.

Follow the GUI navigation to get back to the shell in order enter the upgrade commands.

REPEAT THIS PROCESS FOR ALL HORIZON WORKSPACE VIRTUAL MACHINES.

If proxy settings are not required and your Horizon Workspace virtual machines have Internet access, then begin here!

Log into the configurator-va using root.

To check for updates, type:

/usr/local/horizon/lib/menu/updatemgr.hzn check

This is demonstrated in the following screenshot.

Once this command completes, it will notify if any updates are available.

To install the updates and upgrade the applications, type the following command:

/usr/local/horizon/lib/menu/updatemgr.hzn update

or

/usr/local/horizon/lib/menu/updatemgr.hzn update20 to upgrade to Horizon Workspace 2.0.

This is demonstrated in the following screenshot.

 

This process may take awhile so be patient!

Once this is finished then restart the vApp using vCenter Server.

Happy upgrade!