Archive for August, 2011

Migrating Systems Director Database from Apache Derby to SQL 2005 (Remote)

I’ve previously detailed the steps to migrate Systems Director’s default Apache database to a local instance of SQL Server 2005.  I’ve also tested the steps to migrate Apache to a remote SQL Server 2005 instance below.   My Systems Director Server is running on Windows Server 2008 R2 (64 bit).

If you login to your Director Server and select Manage – IBM Systems Director Server you should see that Apache is the current database.

To migrate to a remote instance of Microsoft SQL Server 2005, follow these instructions:

1)  Ensure that the pre-requisite software is installed on the ISD server:

  • Microsoft SQL Server JDBC Driver 3.0
  • Microsoft SQL Server Native Client
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Command Line Query Utility

You can download these components from Microsoft’s web sites.  I’ve stored the versions I used here.  I found I had to logoff/logon again so the SQL command line tool would be found in the steps below.

2)  Stop the IBM Systems Director Service.

3) On your SQL server, create a database for Director, for example IBMSystemsDirectorDB and an associated owner account.  I called mine SystemsDirectorDBUser

Note that I’ve unticked the enforce password policy and expiration.

4) Edit the following file C:\Program Files\IBM\Director\proddata\cfgdbcmd.rsp  and comment out the Apache section and update the SQL database section.  I’ve attached a copy of my cfgdbcmd.rsp file here.  The password isn’t shown in my file (put in your own) and this is encrypted in the next step anyhow.

5) Encrypt the password in the cfgdbcmd.rsp via the following command:  C:\Program Files\IBM\Director\bin cfgserver.bat –db

6) Enter the IBMSystemsDirectorDB user id/password when prompted

The output when I ran this command is here

7) Change to the C:\Program Files\IBM\Director\bin directory

8 ) Run the following command:  cfgdbcmd.cmd

The output when I ran this command is here

9) Change to the C:\Program Files\IBM\Director\bin directory

10) Run the following command:  smreset  (select 1 if prompted)

11) Start the IBM System Director Service (it may take up to 20-30 minutes to be fully initialised)

When you login to your Director Server again and select Manage – IBM Systems Director Server you should see that SQL is the current database.

Your work is done !

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IBM Upward Integration for VMware vSphere

IBM recently announced the IBM Upward Integration for VMware vSphere, v1.0 which provides a number of exciting new platform management features for VMware vSphere customers running IBM System x servers.

I was able to get access to the software in IBM and give it a go with our vSphere lab in Melbourne running on XIV storage.  The IBM Upward Integration for VMware vSphere plugin (or UIV) was less than 100MB in size and contained the following files:

After reading the release notes (or so I thought I did, see below) I began the process of installing the plug-in by running the IBM_plugin_for_VMware_vSphere_Client_x64.exe on my vSphere server and entering in the vCenter server’s IP address.  So far so good.  I then followed the instructions and put my ESXi server into maintenance mode, and using the vihostupdate.pl   inserted the plugin bundle into my ESXi test server.  The command I used was the following:

vihostupdate.pl –server 10.1.60.10 -install -bundle d:\ESXiInstalledBundles\offline-bundle.zip -c

After restarting the ESXi and taking it out of maintenance mode I browsed to my ESXi server and went to the IBM Upward Integration tab to unfortunately be greeted with the following error:

The IVP.log gave me the following error message “Tue, 09 Aug 2011 23:54:52  IVP  ERROR    –  Failed to validate ESXi image for host uuid=80f53a03-e379-b601-7453-001a64dba754, ip=10.1.60.13, Failed to enum Instance of UXSPI_VMpkgInstallationService: tools/cimcli.exe CIMException:  Cmd= ei Object= UXSPI_VMpkgInstallationService Code= 3

OK, what did I do?  After reading the release notes again (RTFM!) I noticed I’d overlooked that the plugin requires the use of the VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) 4.1 U1 with IBM Customization (or IBM customised ESXi for short) which provides a number of additional hardware management features and drivers for IBM hardware.

After updating my server with the IBM customised ESXi, and repeating the vihostupdate.pl above, I was greeted with a working plugin as shown below.  Yay!

Dashboard

The Dashboard screen shows key system health of the ESXi host categorised by Critical, Attention and Information Events.

System Analysis

The System Analysis screen shows key hardware and software information on the ESXi host.  I clicked the Refresh button for the the UIV to begin it’s analysis and it took a few minutes to complete on my ESXi HS22 blade.  I guess I could then then send this info to IBM support if requested.  I assume this would be by sending logs from the C:\IBM_Support directory on my vCenter server.   If I get any other info I’ll post it here.

Firmware Update

The firmware update screen allows you to check for the latest IBM firmware updates for your ESXi host, without ever leaving the vCenter console.  I’ve been testing this with a HS22 blade and will post additional info as I expand this testing to other IBM ESXi hosts in the coming weeks.

Power Metric

The Power Metric screen provides current power usage information for the ESXi host.  You simply have to click the Enable button and entering credentials for the ESXi host for it to begin collecting info.

From what I can see, the plugin also added extra Power info into the core vCenter Performance monitor.  I could then graph the overall power used by the ESXi host and the energy used by each of the VM’s if I wanted too.  Depending on your business, this might not be a gimmick but the ability for you to charge back power (or simply account for it) that is used by a VM to an internal department or a customer if you’re a cloud provider running on vSphere.

The UIV plug-in User Guide

The plug-in user guide is available to download here.

Getting access to the UIV plug-in

How do IBM customers get access to this plugin ?  Customers purchase IBM Systems Director Standard Edition for x86 (note they would require to purchase per Physical Server).  If the client has already purchased the IBM Systems Director Standard Edition for x86 then as part of the Subscription they are entitled to download the IVP via Passport Advantage.   However, just to make it clear the plugin technically doesn’t require Systems Director to function.  It’s simply included as part of a Systems Director license.   Contact your nearest System x seller on licensing details, a demo  and getting access to the plug-in.

Feedback

I’d love to hear your experiences too on how the plug-in works in your VMware vSphere environment, which I can pass back to our product management teams.  As I find out additional information, I’ll post them to my blog.

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Two Windows 7 and VMware View 4.6 tips

You can get VMware View 4.6 with Windows 7 up and running reasonably quickly.  However it’s all of the various Windows 7 tuning and customisation that can take all of the time.  There are a range of customisation guides already on the Internet such as the VMware View Optimization Guide for Windows 7

There are two tips I wanted to share, which will hopefully make your implementation easier as well.

Windows 7 VDI clients registering to Active Directory

I used VMware’s Customization Specification Manager to create a specific customisation for Windows 7, which I then used in VMware View.

However, I found that when the Windows 7 VM’s were customised and it completed, the clients were not members of my Active Directory.  I found I needed to enter the DNS Active Directory name (ie. acme.org) rather than the old NETBIOS Active Directory name.  ie. ACME.    My Windows 7 clients would then happily join the name when being customised.

 

Making my users Local Administrators

For my lab environment, I wanted to allow all of my users to be local Administrators.  That way they could do what ever they wanted to their own Windows 7 VM.  They are all technical IBMers so they are big girls and boys !  🙂   I remember working for a client several years ago that had a similar approach.  They allowed users to install what ever they wanted on their PC.  Any problems and their workstation was wiped from the Helpdesk.

To do this, I used the approach I’d resolved for that client many years ago.  I created an OU and moved the Windows 7 workstation objects into that OU.  For that OU I created a Group Policy Object (GPO) with a Restricted Group setting that included the INTERACTIVE group.  I did this by following the instructions here.   I also included the Domain Admins group as well.

I also applied the Loopback processing mode of Enabled (mode Replace), which is located under the Computer Configuration and location of Administrative Templates\System\Group Policy\User Group Policy loopback processing mode.

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