Upgrading firmware and bios on Cisco’s C220/C240 series servers

 

In order to upgrade the Bios and hardware firmware on Cisco C series series we need to have the following:

  • To know the c-series product model # you looking to upgrade the firmware on
  • Download the latest iso image with server firmware.

How do we achieve it:

  • download HUU ( Host Upgrade Utility) ISO image to your workstation
  • login to C-IMC ( Cisco Integrated Management Controller) via a browser
  • open up Java based virtual KVM
  • attach the iso image from your workstation
  • reboot server
  • Press F6 during the boot
  • boot from virtual DVD
  • run the pre-upgrade check
  • upgrade bios and firmware on raid controller, mlom, NIC cards, and etc reboot the system

Server Product model and version can easily be identified under “Server Summary” when you login to the server via CIMC.

You will need to have an account with Cisco to download the server Continue reading “Upgrading firmware and bios on Cisco’s C220/C240 series servers”

WSUS 2016 error: Report Viewer 2012 Redistributable is required for this feature.

Trying to generate reports on SUS 2016 gives out  an error stating that its missing  “The Microsoft Report Viewer  2012 Redistributable is required for this feature”

Head over to Microsoft’s website to download and install the “The MICROSOFT® REPORT VIEWER 2012 RUNTIME”  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35747

During its installation  you might get another error, this time warning you about missing ” Microsoft System CLR Types for SQL Server 2012

And then Report Viewer installations fails with below error.

 

If that is the case, then you will need to do the following:

TL;DR

  1. Download and install Microsoft® System CLR Types for Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012
  2. Re-install the Report Viewer 2012

Long version

Continue reading “WSUS 2016 error: Report Viewer 2012 Redistributable is required for this feature.”

Migrating WSUS to a new Windows 2016 server, and 2014 standalone SQL server

Plan is to retain current WSUS data and configuration while moving the SUS service from old Windows 2016 TP 5 server to an new fully licensed Windows 2016 Standard server, and move database from WID to a standalone SQL 2014 server.

1)   Setup a new Windows 2016 Server, update. Patch, reboot. Install the WSUS role on it, choose the WID database during the install. Make sure to point to a drive\folder for wsusContent.
a. Copy the wsusContent folder from old server to the new one. Make sure you placing it to the proper drive\path, you identified during post-install configuration for new WSUS service.
Continue reading “Migrating WSUS to a new Windows 2016 server, and 2014 standalone SQL server”

Teradici APEX 2800: how can I quickly confirm if the offloading works or not.

I recently got my hands on teradici’s 2800-lp (low profile) offloading card for the a Horizon view 7 VDI PoC implementation. The one I am using is a PCI Express version of the card that can be installed on any server with PCIe gen2 x4/x8 or x16 slot.

There are also MXM Type A with Mezzanine Adapter and an Amulet Hotkey DXM-A versions. They are designed for HP’s Gen8 and 9 blade servers, and for Dell M Series blades respectively. In either case, standalone, mezzanine adapter, or an amulet hot key, you can install up to 2 of such cards per server.

There are plenty of choices on the market for a GPU offloading, some of which are Nvidia’s Grid K1/K2, Nvidia Tesla K40 /K80, and AMD’s FirePro S7150 (x2) GPU cards.

Continue reading “Teradici APEX 2800: how can I quickly confirm if the offloading works or not.”

VCDX workshop notes

Below are the notes I have taken during the NJ/NY VCDX workshop at @iamAntonZ  ‘s place. We had a great opportunity to have 2 VCDX panelists giving the VCDX workshop, Niran Even-Chen ( @NiranEC) and Agustin Malanco (@agmalanco).  You could find more info on this at http://nycvmug.blogspot.com/2016/06/re-cap-of-njnyv-vcdx-workshop.html 

 These notes are by no means to be used or relied on as primary source for your VCDX preparation.

Your design must include all the VCDX blueprint points.

Don’t use any kind of blogs as an official source for your references . Official VMWARE docs are the only sources that you can quote or reference to in your VCDX design.

One of the main changes to VCDX is removal of the “Troubleshooting” scenarios from the defense.

One design can be submitted 2 more times, if it did not get accepted the 1st time around. This means that you will need to make some modifications to your design, before resubmitting it again. You won’t get any detailed information on why it failed the submission, but you might get a generic response such as ” Storage or Networking needs more info”.

Same design could potentially be submitted by 3 different people, and they must submit it at the same time for the same VCDX track. Also, each and every applicant must know the design inside out, not just the portion he or she design.

It takes an average of 4-7 month to prepare the design and validate it. Once you got accepted for defense, get yourself an official VCDX mentor. The mentor will not be fixing your design for you, but rather guide you and advise you on proper documentation. Lookup the directory, and work with him to help you out on this. Just keep in mind that they are ( VCDX mentors) are not being paid for it and do it rather on their own time.

Continue reading “VCDX workshop notes”

Recovering VMs after a vmware’s Purple Screen of Death (PSOD)

I had an interesting case a while ago. One of our test ESXI hosts running ESXi version 5.5 has crashed taking down number of test environments with it.

All the attempts to bring the host back to life was in vain, as each reboot was giving us a Purple screen of Death.  We needed these test environments up and running ASAP, and due to time limit on hands, it was decided to :

  1. keep the current VMFS datastore and install partition intact,
  2. Install ESXI 5.5 from scratch onto a USB flash drive, and
  3. Re-create the vSwitches
  4. Re-import the VMs into inventory
  5. Re-import and start up the vCenter
  6. Login to vCenter and bring up the test environment back online

Luckily this test server- a Cisco UCS C220- had its CIMC enabled, and IP configured for remote access.  So, I was able to connect to the hosts’s remote management panel (CIMC) and install the new Esxi via Continue reading “Recovering VMs after a vmware’s Purple Screen of Death (PSOD)”

Some useful UNIX shell commands for VMware admins

These are the esxi host log files one needs to be quite familiar with. These logs should be checked depending on the issue you facing, and trying to troubleshoot.

  1. /var/log/auth.log: ESXi Shell authentication success and failure.
  2. /var/log/lacp.log: Link Aggregation Control Protocol logs.
  3. /var/log/hostd.log: Host management service logs, including virtual machine and host Task and Events, communication with the vSphere Client and vCenter Server vpxa agent, and SDK connections. Continue reading “Some useful UNIX shell commands for VMware admins”

Error while upgrading from VMware vCenter 5.1 to vCenter 6.0

 

I have not seen any special feature improvements in 5.5 over 5.1 that would have benefited our environment, and as with any other major new releases  was patiently waiting for VMware to come out with Update 1 for vSphere 6. Originally I had the SSO, VMware Update Manager, and vCenter each running on its own server. Databases for SSO and vCenter are separated to a standalone SQL 2008 R2 server.   I ended up combining the VUM and vCenter on one single server, and upgrading the SSO to PSC (Platform Services Controller) and kept it separate, in case if we go with 2nd vCenter in the future.

Upgrading vCenter from 5.1.x to 6.0 is quite straight forward process, mount the vCenter 6 VMware-VIMSetup iso image to the vCenter server, and run the installer. It will recognize that there is a previous version installed and offer you to upgrade it.But first, make a backup of working production servers, before the upgrade. Shutdown the VMs, and copy the SSO and vCenter vmdks to a separate folder – in case if snapshots decide to take a break from work. Take the SSO, vCenter snapshots, and of course backup the SQL databases, if you have them running separately.

Don’t despair, if you receive the below error during vCenter upgrade: Continue reading “Error while upgrading from VMware vCenter 5.1 to vCenter 6.0”

Working with OpenDJ Server configs

This post provides examples of dsconfig usage for OpenDJ config management. I might expand and update the post in the future, as i find more info.

All the logs audit trails will be saved as long as you use OpenDJ supplied tools for modifying the DJ configs:
Tools are:

  • OpenDJ Control Panel and
  • openDJ command line tools, located under /bin directory, of the OpenDJ install

You could also modify the config files directly, via vi or nano, if you don’t care about proper audit trail or automatic config file backups, each time you modify something. Continue reading “Working with OpenDJ Server configs”

Find emails with specific subject via Exchange management shell (Powershell) in Exchange 2007 and 2013

 

I have recently needed to find out if an email with specific subject ever hit our Exchange servers or not. Using  Meesage Tracking via Toolbox was not an option, given that we have number of exchange servers and email boxes across several  Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2013 SP1 servers.

After some searching on Technet forums and via Google, I ended up with the following Powershell commands. The commands were ran under Exchange 2007 Exchange management shell. I did not need to run it seperately on Exchange 2013 servers, it pulled the logs from both; Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2013 SP1 servers.

1)  Get all the transport servers, then get all the message logs, and find emails with Subject of “Some Subject” -or  “Some other subject” , and export it to a csv file

 

2)  Get all the transport servers, then get all the message logs, and find emails with Subject of “Some Subject” -or  “Some other subject” ,   from  “5/25/2015 12 :01:00 PM” TO “5/26/2015 11 :01:00 PM”  and  Recipient is “Recepient1@labs.shaulov.us” and export it to a csv file

 

3) Get all the transport servers, then get all the message logs, and find emails with Subject of “Some Subject” -or  “Some other subject” ,   from  “5/25/2015 12 :01:00 PM” TO “5/26/2015 11 :01:00 PM”  and  Sender  is Sender1@labs.shaulov.us 

 

 

 

Links:

http://exchangeserverpro.com/searching-message-tracking-logs-by-email-subject/

http://www.msexchange.org/kbase/ExchangeServerTips/ExchangeServer2010/Powershell/WhydoIgetSystem.StringwhenusingGet-MessageTrackingLogandexportingtoaCSV.html