Cisco UCS FlexFlash Configuration of Secure Digital (SD) Card

 Cisco UCS FlexFlash /SDCard Configuration for Booting Server Operating System.

As most of the Cisco UCS users might be aware that Cisco has now add a lot of improvements and new features on the latest upgrade 2.2(1e).

One of the feature which we have started using is Cisco FlexFlash which is an SD Card. Its fully support if you buy the SD  Card from Cisco and we can even do mirroring on the Flash cards for redundancy, we will be installing ESXi Server 5.5 on these blades after mirroring them.

So where and How to install the Secure Digital (SD) Card  ?

If the CISCO UCS B200 Blade is in the Chassis you will need to power it off and slide it out just half way through and you should find the SD Card slot on the left

 

cisco ucs sdcard slot

for more information on how about this can be found on the following link http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/unified_computing/ucs/hw/blade-servers/B200M3.html

As you might be aware that CISCO UCS blade is just as equal to a brick and all the configuration is done on the logical server called Service profile. you will need to create a new  / clone an existing Service profile template and modify with the below changes which I have shown below on this post.

You will have to create a boot policy with CD Drive (legacy ) and SD Card and Some time you may end up getting this error ‘ advanced boot or secure boot configuration cannot be applied to the specified server There are not enough resources overall ‘ if you see it follow my blog post.

I have to make you aware that if you want to use SD card with Mirroring or RAID 1 you have to create the following new policies and create a Boot policy as mentioned above.

1. Disk policy with Mirror and any configuration

Raid_policy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.   We have to create two Scrub policy under policy ( you can call it any thing you want which makes you understand what configuration you have selected)

  1. Flex Flash Scrub
  2. No Scrub

So where will you find the Flex Flash Controller?

Click on the Left pan on Equipment and Select the Chassis then the Server, on the right you will find the below details

click on Inventory and select the last tab which is Storage on the Storage tab you will find FlexFlash Controller

Note: this FlexFlash is only support if you are running 2.2 (d1) firmware.

Continue reading “Cisco UCS FlexFlash Configuration of Secure Digital (SD) Card”

Get Started with VMware New Certifications VCA – DCV, Cloud and Workforce Mobility

VMware has added few new certifications  on a Associate level called VMware Crtified Associate and they have restructured the Certifications and renamed the VCP to  VMware Certified Professional – Data Center Virtulization ( VCP -DCV )

The new VCA certifications are:

VCA – DVC

VCA – Cloud

VCA – Workforce Mobility

You can find more information Certification Roadmap:

vcp_Datasheet

Source:

http://mylearn.vmware.com/lcms/web/portals/certification/roadmaps/Cert_Datasheet_Flyer%208.16.13.pdf

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=32567&ui=www_cert

I recently started preparing for VCP -Cloud and I have recently taken the VCA – Cloud and passed it.

The option for all the VCP5 Certified Professionals is you can directly take VCA -IAAS  which has the prerequisite of VCP 5.

And for those who are not a VCP 5 has to take the VCP -Cloud exam however they will need to take the 5 days training from VMware Certified Partners or VMware  directly.

 

Also  click the  above link

Get Started with VMware New Certifications for Free !!

here:  http://quraishi.wordpress.com/get-started-with-vmware-new-certifications-for-free/

My New Physical and Virtual LAB with Nested ESXi (Home Lab)

Hi All,

Just redone my Home LAB as I need more resources  especially the Memory. I recently bought a DL380 G5  which is 2U server.with 24 GB Memory and Intel. Xyon CPU. I have configured RAID 5 with 4 SAS 2.5 Disk they are 148 GB each.

 

Image

 

 

Image

Connecting to the ESXi Server

Image

I have configured nested esxi as you can see ..

Image

 

snmp configuration on Linux (snmpd.conf) NET-SNMP

Hi All,

I am going to show you how to configure the snmp agent on a Linux based distribution – this example is tested on CentOS and Red Hat Linux

Purpose:

The purpose of installing SNMP (Simple Network Transfer Protocol) is to monitor host resources like CPU, Memory, Network and Disk Utilization etc.

SNMP is a network management protocol used to send and recive
messages between NMS (Network Management Systems). SNMP allows NMS to
manage network devices remotely, by using MIBs .

You might be wondering what are MIB ?
MIB’s are Management Information Base, It can be best described as information in the form of variable that would be useful to manage the specific item. The developer who creates a  MIB has to create a OID  aka Object Identifiers

Now you might be wondering whats OID ?
An object identifier is simply a unique id represented by a series of numbers and point that has a unique corresponding name. The format of OID is a sequence of numbers with periods /dots in between.

example of Print Device OID is like this:
1.3.6.1.2.1.43.10.2.1.4.1.1
This is HP Printer Total Page Count.

To learn more about MIB’s and OID’s please Google it, as I am still learning about it too its a huge topic on its own.

Now that you have a basic understanding of how SNMP works lets start off with the installation of NET-SNMP package ( oh by the way formally it was known as UCD-SNMP)

Installing NET-SNMP on Linux System:

To install the snmp (net-snmp ) I will recommend you to install the other package net-snmp-utils this will be useful for testing as it has handy tools like snmpwalk etc.

You can also watch the snmp installation video created  by me.

 The Video has the full installation process.

 

[youtube=http://youtu.be/BsEzFE_z-UQ]

 

[[email protected] ~]# yum install net-snmp net-snmp-utils 
Loaded plugins: downloadonly, fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
* base: mirrors.coreix.net
* extras: mirrors.coreix.net
* updates: mirror.krystal.co.uk
Setting up Install Process
Package 1:net-snmp-utils-5.5-44.el6_4.1.x86_64 already installed and latest version
Resolving Dependencies
–> Running transaction check
—> Package net-snmp.x86_64 1:5.5-44.el6_4.1 will be installed
–> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

=========================================================================================
Package Arch Version Repository Size
=========================================================================================
Installing:
net-snmp x86_64 1:5.5-44.el6_4.1 updates 303 k

Transaction Summary
=========================================================================================
Install 1 Package(s)

Total download size: 303 k
Installed size: 816 k
Is this ok [y/N]:Y

Give y

Dependencies Resolved

=========================================================================================
Package Arch Version Repository Size
=========================================================================================
Installing:
net-snmp x86_64 1:5.5-44.el6_4.1 updates 303 k

Transaction Summary
=========================================================================================
Install 1 Package(s)

Total download size: 303 k
Installed size: 816 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
net-snmp-5.5-44.el6_4.1.x86_64.rpm | 303 kB 00:00
Running rpm_check_debug
Running Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
Warning: RPMDB altered outside of yum.
Installing : 1:net-snmp-5.5-44.el6_4.1.x86_64 1/1
Verifying : 1:net-snmp-5.5-44.el6_4.1.x86_64 1/1

Installed:
net-snmp.x86_64 1:5.5-44.el6_4.1

Complete!
[[email protected] ~]#

Once the package is installed we can edit the snmpd.conf, before doing that I would suggest you make a copy of the orignal file

#cp /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf /etc/snmp/snmpd.conf.bak

Edit the snmpd.conf file with vi editor

#vi /etc/snmp/snmp.conf

1. Locate the line

com2sec notConfigUser  default  public

and comment it with #or just change the community name to something secret I have changed it to sizmic

com2sec notConfigUser default sizmic

2. Locate the lines and comment them with #

view systemview included .1.3.6.1.2.1.1
view systemview included .1.3.6.1.2.1.25.1.1

add a new line

view                 all                            included                     .1                                   80

3. Locate the line

# group context sec.model sec.level prefix read write notif
access notConfigGroup “” any noauth exact systemview one none

change the systemview to all

access notConfigGroup “” any noauth exact all none none

snmpfile configuration

the same changes are highlighted in the image

Save the file

once the file is configured save it by pressing escape key then : wq!

Start the snmp service 

once you save the file you can give the following command to start the snmp service

#service snmpd start

Note: each time you make any change to the snmpd.conf file make sure to restart the snmpd service service

For restarting the snmpd service the command is

#service snmpd restart

Configure the snmp service to start automatically: 

once the service is started we need to make sure the Linux server knows to keep the service running in an event of reboot.

give the command

#chkconfig snmpd on 

this enable snmpd on the following runlevel 2, 3, 4, 5 ( this is required to make sure the snmpd service is running after a reboot to the linux system)

to make sure the service is running on the above runlevel you can use the following command

#chkconfig –list snmpd

# chkconfig –list snmpd
snmpd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off

Test the snmpd service :

to test it we need to give snmpwalk command.

snmpwalk -v 1 -c sizmic localhost

I have created a Video which can take you through these changes,belive me I had spend a long time to learn about how snmp monitoring works and I will be happy to help if you have any questions

I hope you find this post useful. Don’t forget to leave comments if you find it useful.

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate Certification

Hey Guys,

As I have been working on Windows 2012 since a while now, in test env. I decided to go for the Microsoft Certifications

The new Certification for Server 2012 is called   The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA).

 We have 3 exams that will prove you to be a MCSA level the 

Required MCSA Exams are: 
410 – Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
411 -Administering Windows Server 2012
412 – Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012.
The good news is I was preparing for the first exam 410 and had given the exam on Saturday.
The exams had 60 questions and 2 hours time. I am proud to say that have passed the exam with flying colors with a grand score of 984/1000.
for those of you who are intrested in taking the MCSA certification path Microsoft has Free Certification Prep tools which you can find at this location 90 Days to MCSA 
If you watch the videos you will have enough background knowledge to start preparing of Server 2012 .
I had implemented a lab at home with Server 2012 and configured it as a Hyper-V role to pratice for the exam, as 2012 has cool new features which are quite diffident from 2008 R2 I strongly recommend that you install and start getting use to the new user interfaces and options. 
Server 2012 is also focused on Server Core which means that you need to practice PowerShell cmdlets and need to be comfortable with basic installation commands. 
I found this blog today after giving the exam that has a breakdown of all the sections for this 410 exam. I think this will be good for someone who are preparing for this exam at Techexam.net
I am going to focus on completing the MCSA certification so 1 down 2 to go … 🙂

 

Citrx XenApp on VMware Cloning Best Practices

It will not sound new if I say that Citrix XenApp server is deployed on a VMware ESXi /vSphere, as VMware is proven tested production.
I was recently tasked to clone a Citrix XenApp server for a new project, then add it back to the same XenApp Farm.

I had to use XenPrep to strip down the SID and GUID and to make it a clean new machine to add it to XenApp Farm.

Prerequisite after Cloning the server:

  1. Isolate the network
  2. login from local Admin account Administrator / pwd
    Remove from domain
    Change the server name
    Change IP address
    Might need to reboot the Server
  3. enable the Xenprep service if its disabled change it to manual and start
    Copy the Xenprep.msi file
    Install Xen prep
    If you have to add it back to the Citrix farm we need to strip down all the SID’s
  4. xenprep.exe \XenApp ;
    after the command does its job.
  5. Add it back to the domain
  6. reboot the server

What you shoul see:
you will Citrix IMA error that the service was started and stoped or did not start etc.
if you try to enabel the service it will not start.
you will find the server will not be added to the Citrix farm
Fix:
The Independent Management Architecture (IMA) service fails to start.

IMA service is not started.
start ->; Run ->; cmd

run the “dsmaint recreatelhc” command

once the fix is executed you should see the server on the Citrix farm

http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX105166

How to extend the ‘C: Drive’ system partion, without rebooting 2003 server

Hey Guys,

I am sure many of us being Systems Administrator have struggled at time to keep the free space on Servers. especially the system partition on Windows 2003 Server right ?

Even after deleting the log files, some how the OS grows as it has to get its monthly security updates from Microsoft and other software installs .. etc.

I know, most people try to use DiskPart command line utility, but it does not work on the system partition or I should say OS partition in lay man’s term.

In the new OS like Windows 2008 pr 2008 R2 etc., we don’t need to worry about this as the OS has new feature to shrink or expand the system partition with out rebooting the server. which mean no down time.

So, how can we expand or extend the NTFS formatted C drive on 2003 Server with out rebooting it?

Solution is a utility called ExtPart from Dell. its a simple command line utility easy to use tool to expand or extend the size of your C drive provided you have more disk space or another partition that is un-formated.

Dell Basic Disk Expansion
The ExtPart utility provides support for online volume expansion of NTFS formatted basic disks. This is a self extracting file that will install the extpart.exe utility. No reboot is necessary.
Please note some people think that ExtPart does not work on 64 bit OS of Windows 2003, but just to let you know it does work, its just the extractable binary is only 32 bit so it will give you an error that its a 32 bit application if you execute it on a 64 bit windows.
I have used it recently, deployed a virtual machine from a template, the template had the OS installed on only 20 GB. I added more size to the HDD from the data store, from the windows side in the disk management I can see the raw partition, all I had to do is create a new partition and used the dell ExtPart follow the steps and I will extend the C drive, you will not need to reboot the server.

The solution is to extract the binary after downloading on a 32 bit OS and use it on a 64 bit OS and its work.

Their you go! you can now expand the C drive with out rebooting the OS 🙂

the link given below takes you to Dell website what has the ExtPart utility :

http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/DriverDetails?driverId=R64398

Hope you find my post useful and if you have any question please feel free to comment below.

A Bold step in Virtualization

Hi Guys,

I think I have taken  a Bold step as throughout my carrier I was revolving around telecommunication, and use to think that IT is more evolving in telecommunications than any other sectors…

After getting VCP certification, I was looking around if I can get new role that is more in design and delivery rather then just support.  I updated my CV on few famous jobsites and  Linkedin, there I was getting lots of emails and calls from the agencies 8) . I ended up hiding  my CV from recruiters and started looking for the jobs which I am interested in. I narrowed down few companies and job that I wanted to do moving forward.

I applied for this role which was more in VMware and Citrix as the title was very catchy   Virtualization Data Center Consultant at Clinical Solutions Capita Clinical Solutions.

Well as the name suggest they are an accusation of Capita group, Capita Health division, they provide Secure Hosting, Managed Services and N3 connectivity designed for healthcare, NHS and NHS Direct and other health companies. In this new role I am  focused on design and delivery of products through private cloud giving SAAS (Software as  a Service ), and PAAS (Platform as  a Service) using the cutting edge technology’s available in the market today!

So my  thinking that IT is more evolving in telecommunications than any other sectors was wrong !!!

After working for nearly 2 weeks in my new role, I have seen the best use of technology money can buy and the best part is I’m among the one designing it 😀 .

Test Drive ‘Windows 8 Relealse Preview’

Hi Guys,

Since few months I have been using Release Candidate of Windows 8, and decided to Switch to the Release Preview Evaluation Build 8400 recently, I have to admin that,  Microsoft improved a lot of features from RC edition. Hence why I decided to write this post about my views.

Some important fact’s Microsoft has changed a lot of stuff from the the traditional Windows OSes. I guess as Windows 8 is also a Tablet OS they wanted to bring a big change in it.

First of all let me remind you that Windows 8 is still build on the existing Windows 7 which has proved to be robust. Unlike Vista which non of the enterprises bothered to touch , However you will find it different in many ways as , its way smarter  then Windows 7. (Honestly I am not kidding!!!)

You no longer have programs its all about ‘App’s ‘. (don’t worry they are just renamed to App’s)

Don’t be surprised if you cant see the start menu as the old Window XP or the existing Win 7, its been changed to the new tile’s look which gives you live content, example I have my email, and like twitter, facebook, linkedin etc..  at one convenient  place social network HUB and it has all the current live updates running. So … I don’t need to login to check what my mates are up to I can see that at a glance.

I have been testing it on my laptop which has Core 2 Duo Intel Processor and 6 Gig of Memory, and I have done a lot of testing on it and loved the way it works.

Start Menu

Continue reading “Test Drive ‘Windows 8 Relealse Preview’”