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.

 

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Connecting to the ESXi Server

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I have configured nested esxi as you can see ..

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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.

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’”

Successfully completed my VMware Certified Professional certification!

Hi Folks,

I am very exited to inform that I have completed my VMware certification in vSphere 5. I have to admit the training provided by HP was good Insight for few features.

One of the pre-requisites of VCP 5 examination is to get official training form VMware authorized partner. I attended my training from HP.

Let me share my experience for the VCP examination – First of all I am not allowed to disclose any exam questions I have accepted a NDA with VMware before starting my VCP exam.

If you have previously worked on old versions of VMware vSphere product, then it will be very helpful to adapt the new VMware vSphere 5 product.
However if you are trying to get into the cloud computing and are serious about VMware product then the training will be helpful.

I would suggest that you try to install the product on your on create a virtual lab and practice features, the material you will be getting once you enrol for the VMware course will be good place to check if you get stuck.

We have a lot of forums around if you do a quick google search you should be able to quick resolve the issue.

As always you can post the question to me using the contact page I have on the blog and I will do my best to answer it.

About the exam :
Once the exam is started VMware will be asking 8 survay questions.

This is to get an idea of your level of understanding with the product on diffrent fetures of the vSphere etc.

Time: the exam time is 90 minutes, however if you are giving the VCP exam from a non english speaking countery, where english is not the native lavanguage.

Exam: like any other exam if you have given at any vue center the environment is similar.

For VMware you will be getting 80 to 85 questions on the VCP 5 exam, maybe 10 to 12 which will be exabits that you need understand and answer.

the entire exam is multiple choise, on some questions they will ask you to chose 2 or chose 3 right answers.

Once the exam is fineshed you can review the questions.
The exam is out of 500 and the passing score is 300.

I very pleased to inform that I scored 450 / 500.

A very big thanks to everyone who helped me in becoming V C P.

I’m planing for VCAP shortly, will keep you guys posted

Thanks for visiting my blog

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator Installation on Windows Server 2012

Hi Folks,
Finally I got some time to write the post for installing  Microsoft System Center Orchestrator(Beta) 2012, I have installed this on Windows Server 2012 datacentre  (Beta edition) as I have been testing it for a while now. (download link for SCCM 2012:  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/system-center/default.aspx )

Please go through the pre-requisite documentation for more detail information on installation of SCCM and good luck finding it J

According to my experience their are the 3 main pre requirements

  1. .NET 3.5 or above
  2. MS SQL Server ( I have installed MS SQL Server 2008 Express edition ) please go through my post on how to install SQL for SCCM
  3. Firewall ports need to be unlock

To be honest once you get the SQL installed and configured in the way I have shown on my recent post : http://quraishi.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/microsoft-sql-server-2008-express-for-system-center-configuration-manager-sccm/

There is very little to worry about, the installation of SCCM should be very swift.

Just to define few terms which I will be using in my post / screenshots

Server Name: SIZMIC1

Domain Name: Sizmic

SQL Instance: MSSQLSERVER Continue reading “Microsoft System Center Orchestrator Installation on Windows Server 2012”

VMware Strategic Acquisitions in 2012, and counting …

VMware has been doing a lot of acquisitions since past few years, which are complementing their core product of cloud Infrastructure.

Starting from Cetas Software On 24 April 2012, California based company, was founded the 18 months ago. Cetas offers unique Instant Intelligence for online businesses by providing real-time analytics that help business users gain insights and visibility into their customer/audience behaviour.

Sudhakar Muddu, co-founder wanted to provide a way for companies to sift through “massive amounts of data” to identify “core customers” and make sure that they “come back every day”http://www.cetas.net/

The second acquisition was Wanova Inc which was completed on May 22 2012,  Wanova was founded in January 2008 by Ilan Kessler and Issy Ben-Shaul, previously co-founders of Actona Technologies. The company provides cloud based, centralized and endpoint management recovery solution to enable IT departments to address the task of deploying desktop virtualization to a growing worldwide. http://www.wanova.com/

Continue reading “VMware Strategic Acquisitions in 2012, and counting …”