Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category
Microsoft has published a great guide for Windows 8 which gives you an overview of how the OS functionality can be used for businesses. I really like the last few slides as they explain all important keyboard shortcuts and swipes.
Windows 8.1 brings together everything you do across all your devices whether at work or on the go. Windows helps you stay productive and connected while mobile. Windows allows you to create a truly one of a kind experience that is made for the way you work. Whether you’re brand new to Windows 8.1, or just want a refresher, this quick guide will show you the basics and beyond.
I’m back from vacation and it seems that in the last 3 weeks loads has going on! Microsoft has introduced Project Sienna which is a great tool for the LOB to create applications for Windows 8. Actually it’s a WYSIWYG Editor which helps to easily create a GUI for accessing data. On the TechNet blog you’ll find detailed Information and a great Video which Shows the power of Sienna. Please follow the link to TechNet to learn more.
For optimizing the performance and stability of a Mirage cluster it is highly recommended to use a dedicated network interface for the SMB storage traffic. The following article will guide you through the process of getting an dedicated storage network up and running and how to move your existing Mirage volumes to the dedicated network.
Please validate this guide in an test environment before applying any chances to your production environment.
Create dedicated network
It is recommended to use a dedicated network for just the storage traffic. In this example a dedicated virtual switch is created which is only used for storage traffic.
In a productive environment you can use a dedicated network switch, or VLAN. If VLAN is not an option the physical separation of the storage network is the best option. For this scenario you need a minimum of four NICs (2 for storage network and 2 for client network)
A new network card, connected to the dedictated network, was added to each Mirage server.
Mirage server configuration
As a new network card was added to each Mirage servers this cards need to be configured correctly.
First of all the order in which the network cards are accessed by network services needs to be correct.
The primary network card which is used for the general communcation (Active Directory, Mirage server, Backup, Management, etc.) needs to be the first card in the list.
This option can be found under Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network Connections –> Advanced -> Adapters and Bindings.
After configuring the order of the new network card for the dedicated storage the network needs to be configured.
In this example the IP range 192.168.89.0/24 is used for this cluster network. Therefore the first Mirage server gets the IP 192.168.89.1.
The use of DNS isn’t necessary and it is not recommended to configure an additional default gateway. The storage network should be a none routed network with direct connect tot he storage, if possible.
It is also necessary to leave the services „Client for Microsoft Networks“ and „File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks“ checked for the storage interface. If these services are disabled no access to the network share is possible.
Network share configuration
To use a network share as Mirage storage volume the account used for the Mirage services needs to be granted full permissions on the share.
Also, if a Windows file server it used, it also has to have full permissions granted at NTFS level.
If the network share used for the Mirage storage is provided by the Mirage servers itself, no additional configuration steps are needed. Windows automacially binds network shares on all network interfaces which have the „Files and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks“ enabled.
If a dedicated Windows file server or network filer (like NetApp) is used additional configuration steps are necessary to make the used network share available on the dedicated cluster network. These configuration steps are not covered in this article. Please contact your Windows file server administrator or storage vendor for further information on this topic.
Change path of an existing volumes to use the dedicated network
Before the current path of the Mirage volume can be changed the volume needs to be unmountend first. Unmounting a volume places the volume in a non-operational status but retains the CVD and Base Layer data on the volume. This means for time the volume is unmounted CVDs placed on this volume aren’t centralized or backed up.
As unmounting and changing the path of the volume only takes a few moments this shouldn’t be a problem.
When the storage is unmounted the path can be changed to the dedicated network. In this example the path is change from \\mirage2.fluxhorizon.com\miragelocalstorage$ to \\192.168.89.1\miragelocalstorage$.
After the path is changed the volume needs to be mounted again.
These steps need to repeated on each Mirage volume which should be placed on the dedicated network interface.
A new tool on the VMware Labs website might be interesting for a few readers here. It’s a Windows desktop optimization tool which helps to customize the operating system to perfectly work with VMware Horizon View. The tool includes templates to configure system features and services per VMware recommendations.
Image source: http://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-os-optimization-tool
The VMguru.nl guys have published a brilliant article about Windows 7 licensing in a VMware View infrastructure. The article covers SA, VDA, RUR, KMS and loads more. Check this article to get more information on the Windows 7 licensing. Great work!
The flexibility of VDI can be enhanced when using virtualized applications on the virtual desktops. With VMware ThinApp you can install or stream virtual applications to the virtual desktop when the user needs them. Installing the application means that the ThinApp container will be deployed to the machine in a MSI package. When installing the MSI the application will be registered in the Add/Remove software dialog in the control panel and when configured in the package.ini before, the shortcuts on desktop and start menu will be created and also the file type extension will be registered.
Yesterday a customer asked me how to use Windows roaming profiles just on the virtual desktops and not on the local desktops from which the user is connecting. Those local desktops are also a member of the Active Directory and the connecting user has a profile path configured in his user setting within the Active Directory.
While Vista is still not completely supported in every variant with all features as of this writing in a View environment today, I have many customers running it and asking for tips on how to make it run better than it does out of the box. The following are some tips you can try AT YOUR OWN RISK. These are provided as tips and suggestions only. Some you might use and others not. This is provided as thinking and discussion points for running Vista. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way lets get started