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Configure Wyse Windows Embedded Standard thin client to load VMware View Client automatically

Objectives:

  • Faster time from power on to View logon prompt
  • User cannot access any other applications on the Windows Embedded O/S
  • Exiting the View Client automatically relaunches it
  • Administrator account is not affected

Procedure:

  1. Disable PXE boot
    1. As the thin client is booting, hit <delete> to enter the BIOS
    2. At the BIOS password prompt, enter “Fireport” (unless the BIOS password has been changed)
    3. Update the device boot order so Hard Drive is first
  2. Get “User” SID
    1. Reboot thin client, load Windows as default “user”
    2. Click “Start|Shutdown|Log off” while holding <shift>, continue holding <shift>
    3. At the logon prompt, logon as administrator using the password “Wyse#123”
    4. Launch Regedit, navigate to HKEY_USERS
    5. Examine the USERNAME value under each “HKEY_USERS\<SID>\Volatile Environment” to find which SID belongs to the default “user”.  A SID begins with “S-1-5-“.
    6. Double-click “Disable FBWF”, wait for system to reboot
  3. Create scripts
    1. Click “Start|Shutdown|Log off” while holding <shift>, continue holding <shift>
    2. At the logon prompt, logon as administrator using the password “Wyse#123
    3. Launch Windows Explorer
    4. Create a folder named” bat” in the root of C:\
    5. Launch Notepad; paste in the following:

      @echo off
      :View
      “C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware View\Client\bin\wswc.exe”
      goto View

    6. Save the file as C:\bat\View.cmd
    7. Launch Notepad; paste in the following:

      Set WshShell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
      WshShell.Run chr(34) & “C:\bat\view.cmd” & Chr(34), 0
      Set WshShell = Nothing

    8. Save the file as C:\bat\View.vbs
  4. Update Shell for “User”
    1. Launch Regedit
    2. Navigate to “HKEY_USERS\<SID>\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon”
    3. If the “Shell” values does not exist, create it as a new String Value
    4. Update the “Shell” value to “wscript c:\bat\view.vbs”
    5. Close Regedit
    6. Double-click “Enable FBWF”
    7. Reboot thin client

Credits to Sparko Design, Free Wyse Monkeys and MidWest Wyse Guys.

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VMware vSphere 5 AutoDeploy on Cisco UCS – Part 1: DHCP

First, many thanks to Gabe and Duncan for their great Auto-Deploy guides that got me started.  Found here and here.  Their information answered a lot of questions, but left me with even more questions about how to implement it in my environment.

My goal is to demonstrate how to implement and configure vSphere Auto-deploy in a near-production environment that uses vSphere 5, Cisco UCS, EMC storage, Nexus 1000V and vShield Edge.

The first hurdle I ran into was trying to make DHCP cooperate.  I’m using vShield Edge for DHCP in some of the protected networks, but the Cisco 2900-series router is doing DHCP for the network where the vSphere Management addresses live.  In IOS for DHCP, you can assign a manual address in a pool via the “hardware-address” OR the “client-identifier” parameter.  Looks like “client-identifier” is used by DHCP, whereas “hardware-address” is used by BOOTP.  When booting, the blade first draws information via BOOTP, but after acquiring the details from TFTP, it changes its personality and sends another DHCP DISCOVER request.

Here’s how we got this working in our environment:

  • Identify permanent addresses for your hosts  (10.10.0.23 in this case)
  • Identify a temporary address for each host (10.10.0.123 is this case)
  • Make sure those addresses are not excluded

    ip dhcp excluded-address 10.10.0.0 10.10.0.20
    ip dhcp excluded-address 10.10.0.25 10.10.0.120
    ip dhcp excluded-address 10.10.0.125 10.10.0.210
    ip dhcp excluded-address 10.10.0.251 10.10.0.255

  • Create your “main” pool if it doesn’t already exist

    ip dhcp pool mgmt
    network 10.10.0.0 255.255.255.0
    default-router 10.10.0.253
    dns-server 10.10.0.61 10.10.0.62
    lease 0 8
    update arp

  • Create Pool for your permanent host address, make sure to use the “client-identifier” parameter

    ip dhcp pool AutoDeploy23
    host 10.10.0.23 255.255.255.0
    client-identifier 0100.25b5.0000.2d
    bootfile undionly.kpxe.vmw-hardwired
    next-server 10.10.0.50
    client-name AutoDeploy23
    dns-server 10.10.0.61 10.10.0.62
    option 66 ip 10.10.0.50
    option 67 ascii undionly.kpxe.vmw-hardwired
    default-router 10.10.0.253
    lease 0 8
    update arp

  • Create Pool for the temporary host address, assigned first by BOOTP and dropped after PXE boot

    ip dhcp pool AutoDeploy123
    host 10.10.0.123 255.255.255.0
    hardware-address 0025.b500.002d
    bootfile undionly.kpxe.vmw-hardwired
    next-server 10.10.0.50
    client-name AutoDeploy23
    dns-server 10.10.0.61 10.10.0.62
    option 66 ip 10.10.0.50
    option 67 ascii undionly.kpxe.vmw-hardwired
    default-router 10.10.0.253
    lease 0 8

Continue on to Part 2, covering the creation and assignment of the image profile

Not all smartcard readers are created equal

04/03/2011 Comments off

Recently, I was working with a customer site where they used smartcards to authenticate to applications. In this case, since the reader was not part of the VMware View session authentication, the USB reader itself had to be passed through via redirection.

I tried setting the “AllowSmartcards” value to true:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\VMware VDM\USB AllowSmartcards=true

But the reader still wasn’t redirected to the View session. In this case, I ended up having to follow this KB article to recognize the device as one that can be redirected. The particular reader is identified as a “USB Keyboard”, which are typically not redirected. Obviously, you’ll have to make sure that you don’t redirect your actual keyboard.

Experience in upgrading UCS to 1.4(1j)

01/15/2011 Comments off

The UCS deployment in the Mobile VCE is different from many deployments because it does not employ many of the redundant and fault-tolerant options and doesn’t run a production workload.  So, I have the flexibility to bring it down at almost any time for as long a duration as needed.

All this aside, it IS a complete Cisco UCS deployment with all the same behavior as if it were in production.  This means, I can perform an upgrade or configuration change in this environment first and work through all the ramifications before performing the same action on a production environment.

There’s a lot of excitement around the web about the new features in this upgrade and I’ve been looking forward to installing it.  For me, I’m excited about the lengthy list of fixes, the ability to integrate the management of the C-series server with the UCS Manager, FC port-channels and user-labels.

To start, I used the vSphere client to shut down the VMs I could and moved those I couldn’t to the C-series.  Please note that I have not yet connected the C-series to the Fabric Interconnect for integration yet (that’s another post).  Then I shutdown the blades themselves.

For the actual upgrade, I simply followed the upgrade guide – there’s no reason to go through the details of that here.

However, the experience was not exactly stress-free.

Although it makes sense, when the IO Module is rebooted, the Fabric Interconnect loses connection to the Chassis.  It cycled through a sequence of heart-stopping error messages before finally rediscovering the chassis and servers and stabilizing.  During this phase, it’s best to not look – the error messages led me to believe the IOM had become incompatible with the Fabric Interconnect.  Like I said, after a few minutes, the error messages all resolved and every component was successfully updated to 1.4.1.

GUI changes after upgrade

Nodes on the Equipment tree for Rack-Mounts/FEX and Rack-Mounts/Servers

 

 

 

 

 

 

User labels (Yes! )

Summary
I’ll be connecting the C-series to the Fabric Interconnect soon and am looking forward to setting up the FC port channel.

Resolve Hardware Status Alert SEL_FULLNESS

I noticed an alert on two UCS B250M2 hosts in the vSphere Client.  The alert Name was “Status of other host hardware objects”.  This isn’t helpful.  To get more information, you have to navigate to the Hardware Status tab of the host properties.  Here I saw more information about the alert.  It’s cryptically named “System Board 0 SEL_FULLNESS”.

SEL_FULLNESS alert in vSphere Client

This points to the System Event Log for the UCS blade itself.  Luckily, this is easily cleared by using the UCS Manager to navigate to the management Logs tab of the Server properties under Equipment.

Clear management Log for UCS Blade

Once there, you can back up and clear the SEL.  Within a few minutes, the vSphere sensors will update and the alert will be gone.

UPDATE:  Once UCSM has been updated to 1.4.1, the “Management Logs” tab is named “SEL Logs”

“Mobile” VCE?

12/01/2010 Comments off

Venture has a unique tool in its arsenal.  We are the only partner that I know of that are able to bring a complete top-tier Virtual Computing Environment to a customer.  The Mobile VCE is composed of four 10-RU rolling cabinets, which together contain the storage, compute and network resources.  This rolling data center allows us to demonstrate the technology in front of a customer; at their location – even on their network.

The options are nearly limitless.  We can not only show a vSphere vMotion from host to host, but move a UCS service profile from one B-series blade to another.  We’re able to step through a simple deployment of VMware View, consumed by thin clients and demonstrate how VMware data Recovery can work with the NAS features of the EMC Celerra NS-120.

To see how the technologies discussed here (and more) can be used by your company, please contact us.

Functional Diagram

12/01/2010 Comments off

This diagram depicts the relationship of the components involved in the running and support of the Virtual Computing Environment.

 

Mobile VCE - Functional Diagram

Mobile VCE - Functional Diagram

Here, you can see the role of the hypervisor on each B-series blade and on the C-series, in addition to the management and connectivity with the UCS and EMC components.