Category Archives: Cloud Computing

vSphere 5.5 Client Integration Plug-In on Mac OSX Error

This took me quite a while to track this down so I decided to post a quick article on it.

Symptom:  Getting page cannot be displayed errors when attempting to access a virtual machine’s (VM) console while using Safari, Firefox, or Chrome on a mac.  This only applies for people using the VCSA (VMware vCenter Server Appliance) and running version 5.5.

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Direct Access Computers Can’t Ping Domain Controller on Internal Network?

Can’t ping the domain controller via FQDN while on the internal network?  Trouble accessing any of the internal domains that are available via Direct Access while on your internal network?

This is a quick blog post to document an error I encountered that took me a while to figure out, as is typical with errors that are caused by configuration mistakes, yes self-inflicted.  In the Microsoft Unified Access Gateway administration documentation for configuring Direct Access (DA), it says 2 things that are extremely important but does not emphasize just how important they are, or the errors that will be encountered if they are not followed.

Your Network Location Server (NLS), which must be able to serve HTTPS requests, is used by your DA clients to determine whether they are on the internal network, this site must not and cannot be accessible through DA or any other means from outside your network, so make sure the HTTPS resource is NOT something you need to access from external networks.  If your clients can access the NLS then they will not attempt a DA connection.  If they cannot access the server, then they will attempt a DA connection.  There are a few key points to this server that also cannot be overlooked.

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Free SSL Certificates for Public Domains and Sub-Domains via StartSSL

I’ve been using internally generated SSL certificates for testing and publishing, as most developers, IT pros, and DIY people have, and though it works, it can be a little frustrating when dealing with CRLs and OCSP Responders if you don’t want to receive warnings from browsers and applications about them being untrusted.  For public facing sites, there’s a vendor that is now providing free certificates and an excellent toolbox for managing them.

StartSSL logo
Read on for more info or take the link: https://www.startssl.com.

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vSphere: Move Hosts to New vCenter Server

host migrationI recently set out to recreate my vCenter installation since I was still running on Windows Server 2003 R2 64-bit and wanted to the set it up on Windows Server 2008 R2.  The problem here was that my Management Network was attached to a dvSwitch (Distributed Virtual Switch).  I’ll briefly outline the process of how I removed each host (3 hosts in total) from vCenter, attaching the host to the brand new vCenter installation with only about 10 minutes total virtual machine (VM) downtime.  This can actually be done with no downtime if planned properly and aware of the possible hiccups.

The new environment is now up and running, and after refining the process (poking around a lot), it only takes about 10 minutes to move each host.  This was done on vSphere 5 (moving from vSphere 5 to Update 1).

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My Experience: The Synology DS1511+ NAS is Purely Rock Solid

12-26-10-synology-15tb-nasI’ve been running a vSphere lab of my since ESX 2.x.  Over the years, I’ve used both local and NAS based storage with varying degrees of satisfaction with the results.  In the case of NAS storage, which is required since I can’t afford a SAN, I looked at Synology devices over the last year trying to gain the motivation to make the investment.

Needless to say, I dove in with both feet, and maxed out a Synology DS1511+ with 3TB drives.  I purchased my Synology DS1511+ from SimplyNas with the drives included, including their burn-in testing, and I haven’t looked back.  The device has been up and running since October 2011.

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Extending The Life of Your VMware vCloud Director Appliance and Changing Certificates

vCloudDirectorVMware is distributing a limited usage vCloud Director virtual appliance to facilitate and support evaluation of the product.  I wanted to stand it up in my lab as a test-bed and to get to know the product better, but after checking into it, it’s not just the eval licenses that will expire.  The http certificates will also expire within 60 days of the certificates being generated since it uses the Java ‘keytool’ utility and it’s configured to.  As a VMware partner and I have access to licenses to extend the life of the appliance but due to my environment, I cannot work with expired certificates.

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