Archive

Archive for April, 2011

vSphere for iPad: The Review

April 12, 2011 Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, VMware snuck the vSphere Client for the iPad quietly into the Apple App Store. I decided to download it and give it a spin to see how viable a management option is was. I went through the steps for install and gave it a shot performing basic day-to-day management task that admins may have to perform. Here is what I experienced.

Installation:

The app itself is easy to find in the App Store and is easy to download. However, it’s not as simple as downloading and pointing it to your vCenter server. To be able to access your vCenter server, you need to install and configure the vCenter Mobile Access on your server. This is where my first gripe comes in. The vCenter Mobile Access is an ‘as-is’ technology that is still in technical preview, which means it has no official support outside of the technical community. Installation of the vCenter Mobile Access piece is fairly straight forward as it comes in an OVF virtual appliance package. Deployment of an OVF is fairly simple, just follow through the prompts, name and point it to a location where you want the new VM to live. Once the deployment is complete, the VM will get a DHCP address if available. I configured a static address as I view this as best practice.

Configuration:

Once you have the IP Address for the vCenter Mobile Access system setup, you can browse to its management have via http://IPADDRESS:5480. Here you can configure passwords and also make your IP changes if you prefer. The default password is passwd and I strongly suggest changing it.

Next you will need to configure your iPad vSphere client. Return to the home screen and select Settings. From there, scroll down and select the vSphere Client from the left. On the right, you will need to enter the IP Address of your newly deployed vCenter Mobile Access virtual appliance.

Using the vSphere Client:

Once you launch the client, enter your vCenter server hostname or IP, as well as your login credentials, much like your standard vSphere client.

From there you will see a listing of your host, as well as some basic details, such has total host and total VMs, as well as a listing of each host and the number of VMs on that host. You can select hosts or VMs to get more detailed information. Once thing I did like was the data displayed about VMs, allowing you to quickly see if snapshots are in use on a VM and the status of the VMware Tools, all in one spot. Inside the app you can perform basic task such as rebooting host and placing them in maintenance mode, among other things. You can also perform pings and trace routes on selected machines, as well as examine their performance data.

Final Thoughts:

While the vSphere Client for iPad is definitely a slick little device that looks really pretty, its uses are limited. I do think eventually it could be a pretty good standalone management tool, but for now I view it more as a monitoring tool for your vSphere environment. The fact that connectivity relies on a Virtual Appliance that is in a “technical preview” state also doesn’t help its case. I would have much rather seen VMware release a vSphere client for OSX or Linux with the same functionality as the Windows counter part, rather than rush to be the first to have a management app on the iPad. The View Client for iPad was second on the scene to Citrix Receiver but its a very well put together app that’s full of functionality and thought, where as the vSphere client feels rushed and a little lacking. I would definitely recommend give it a try if you have the time and availability in your environment. I hope VMware continues to develop this and it gets to the level of functionality that its Windows counterpart has.

Visit your Apple App Store on your iPad or iPad 2 to download the app. The vCenter Mobile Access virtual appliance can be found HERE.

Categories: VMware Tags: , , , , ,

VMUG Carolina Summit: Be There or Don’t…See if I Care. No Really. Do Be There.

April 6, 2011 1 comment

May 5, 2011 is a date anyone in the Carolinas should mark on their calendars. No seriously, go do it. I’ll wait…

Done yet? Cool. For those not in the know, May 5th is the date for this years annual Carolina VMware Users Summit. It’s a great conference to attend and gives you a lot of opportunity to mingle with fellow VMware users, meet with industry experts, learn and see new things related to VMware. It’s an event I strongly recommend to everyone, and if you aren’t in the region, the VMUG puts on other regional events you should think about attending. Below are the details.

Date: Thursday, May 5th

Location: Charlotte Convention Center

Time: 7:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m.

Here is a quick blurb from the organizers:

Join your fellow VMware users during this full-day event for in-depth technical sessions, demonstrations and exhibits. We have an exciting event planned for you with an unprecedented line up of presenters and educational opportunities:

  • Morning Keynote is presented by Scott Harvey, VMware VP of Professional Services
  • Industry Expert Sessions:
    • Mike Laverick – Disaster Recovery
    • Mike DiPetrillo – Cloud in the Real World
    • Martin Klaus – A Practical Guide to VMware vCenter™ Operations
    • Mac Binesh – VMware View™ Reference Architecture
    • Kyle Gleed – Transitioning to ESXi
    • Aaron Miller – Automating vSphere with PowerCLI, A Primer
  • Two concurrent lab opportunities throughout the day
  • Share your success stories, challenges and solutions with your peers

Registration is now open and the agenda will be updated weekly. Be sure to share this meeting information with your colleagues.

And here is a quick peak at the agenda for the event:

More info and the link to register can be found HERE. Hope to see you all there.

Categories: VMware Tags: , , , ,

Citrix WebUI and IE9: Dragging Down the Browser Wars

Today I heard from my Citrix SE about an issue with Internet Explorer 9 and the Citrix WebUI. Symptoms are issues with users unable to launch Web Interface applications after upgrading to IE9. Be clear that Citrix does not currently support access via the WebUI while using IE9.

The issue is that with the release of IE9, Microsoft increased the level of security with its browser. The security changes made by Microsoft are causing IE to treat the WebUI and related ICA files as a security threat. Our SE did recommend a few workarounds:

  • Add the WebUI URL as a trusted site in the IE9 Security Settings. In order for this to work the site must be accessed via HTTPS
  • Manually save and launch the ICA files directly
  • Use a different browser such as Firefox 3.x, or Safari 5.x

It also appears Citrix isn’t support Chrome or Firefox 4.x yet, though I’m not aware of any issues at this time.

Just wanted to pass along the word.

Categories: Citrix Tags: , , , ,

More Mind Maps: Making It Harder to Get Lost

Fresh on the heels of its last one, VMware has release another Mind Map. This one is geared towards troubleshooting Network issues. Like the previous one I just wrote about yesterday, this one takes you through a series of KB articles to help troubleshoot and resolve network issues with vSphere. I think it’s a great tool for anyone to have and I hope VMware keeps them coming.

Link to the Mind Map can be found HERE.

VMware Mind Map: Your Guide to Fixing the Broken

Earlier this week, VMware published the latest version of their interactive troubleshooting guide. The guide is a flash embedded PDF guide that allows you to step through troubleshooting. VMware has dubbed them ‘Resolution Paths’ and I think the whole idea is a great one for admins dealing with issues. While it’s geared about towards newer admins, I think anyone will appreciate any extra tools to help resolve an issues in a faster manner, as well as their bosses. The document contains links to KB articles for the most common issues faced by customers, so while it may not resolve all issues, it definitely gives admins a step in the right direction.

Here is a quick snip from the VMware site about this new Mind Map as well as a sneak peek.

We have featured Mind Maps before in this blog and gotten fabulous feedback on them, so we are continuing to develop these using the latest interactive PDF document technology. These new, Flash-embedded PDFs are clickable so that you can expand sections and drill down to the problem you may be experiencing. We’re also trying to make them a little easier on the eyes.  Let us know what you think of the new look.

Today’s Mind Map details out Resolution Paths for vSphere Management issues. If you recall, a Resolution Path is a collection of KB articles sequenced in a specific order to resolve a specific issue. Since many steps are repeated for different problems, we create separate articles for those steps and reuse them as needed.

A link for downloading this document can be found HERE.