Friday 31 May 2013

Windows 8 with UK Language fails to install RSAT

I came across a strange issue recently when attempting to install the Remote Server Admin Tools (RSAT) on a fully patched Windows 8 VM (The issue was encountered on VM but I assume I would have the same issue with a physical desktop / laptop).  I download the x64 version from Microsoft and proceeded to install.  After accepting the license agreement the installation started and then completed straight away:


Now I knew the tools were not already installed so I attempted to install the x86 version and encountered the usual message advising that I should use the x64 (Which is what I expected).  After searching many TechNet forums I came across a few posts that advised that the tools will not install unless you have the English (United States) language pack installed.  I though this couldn’t be correct and set about testing just in case.  To install the English (United States) language pack open the Control Panel and select Add a Language:


Browse to English and double click.  From there select the English (United States)


You should now see both English (United Kingdom) and English (United States).


Click on the English (United States) and select the option to Download and install language pack (accept any prompts along the way):


Once the language pack has downloaded and installed simply start the RSAT installation again and it should install correctly this time:


Once finished you can install the required RSAT tool via Programs and Features.

Thursday 30 May 2013

Free Trainsignal Training for all 2013 vExperts

The guys over at Trainsignal have very kindly offered all 2013 vExperts online access to the entire Trainsignal training library for free for one year.  This is an extremely generous offer from Trainsignal and would like to extend my thanks.  I’ve grown up watching these videos and find them to be an excellent resource for getting to know a product very quickly.  The instructors are all experts in their own fields and produce some valuable training material.  So if you were recently nominated a vExpert for 2013 then head over here and request your free access.

image Once again guys, thanks very much.

P.s.  They do check the list to ensure you are actually a vExpert

Wednesday 29 May 2013

vExpert 2013

Well I’m pleased to announce that myself and 579 others have received the vExpert Award for 2013.  So, what exactly is a vExpert?

“We’re pleased to announce the list of vExperts for 2013. Each of these vExperts have demonstrated significant contributions to the community and a willingness to share their expertise with others. We are blown away by the passion and knowledge in this group, a group that is responsible for much of the virtualization evangelism that is taking place in the world — both publicly in books, blogs, online forums, and VMUGs; and privately inside customers and VMware partners. Congratulations to you all!”

This is the first year that I have received the vExpert award and I am extremely honoured.  The VMware community is great to be involved with and I’m constantly learning from my peers and industry experts.  A big thanks go out to John Troyer and all the team involved.  It must be a huge task to go through all applicants and verify all information.  As an added bonus Tinti are offering all vExperts a free polo t-shirt with the vExpert logo and your twitter handle here.

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Installing Puppet Master

This is the first part in a series of yet unknown posts about my experience in attempting to learning Puppet and Razor.  So, exactly what is Puppet and Razor?  The following are paragraphs taken directly from the products homepage:

Puppet Enterprise is IT automation software that gives system administrators the power to easily automate repetitive tasks, quickly deploy critical applications, and proactively manage infrastructure, on-premise or in the cloud.

Project Razor is a power control, provisioning, and management application designed to deploy both bare-metal and virtual computer resources. Razor provides broker plugins for integration with third party such as Puppet.

Before I start I would like to point out that there is a great Quick Start guide provided by Puppet Labs which basically takes you through the entire process.  In my lab I have two newly built Centos 6.2 VM's called puppetmaster.domain.local and puppetagent.domain.local.  Both VM's have static IP addresses and forward / reverse addresses in DNS.  The usual checks have been performed to ensure both hosts can see each other and the internet.  I've also downloaded the latest version of Puppet Enterprise for Centos 6.2 which includes 10 complimentary agent nodes and sftp'd this up to the /tmp directory on both VM's.

We will start by installing the puppet server software and the first step is to extract the puppet installation files (File versions may vary).  CD into the /tmp directory and run the following command:

tar -zxvf /puppet-enterprise-2.8.1-el-6-x86_64.tar.gz

CD into /puppet-enterprise-2.8.1-el-6-x86_64 directory and run:


When asked if you wish to install puppet master enter Y.  If you were only planning on installing the agent software then obviously you would select N:image

When asked about installing the cloud provisioner select Y:

Select Y to install the console:image

Verify the puppet master certificate name and press enter when happy:image

Verify the puppet master certificate DNS aliases and press enter when happy:image

Provide an admin email address for accessing the console:image

Provide an admin password for accessing the console:image

Enter an SMTP server for email notifications:image

Select Y to install the MySQL database server:image

Select Y to install the Puppet Labs public key:image

Select Y to confirm the installation of all the required packages:image

Select Y to create the symbolic links:image

Select Y to perform the installation:image

The installation of the puppet master software took approximately 8 minutes to complete.  Once completed you will be advised of the web interface URL and any firewall ports that are required to be opened:image

You won’t be able to browse to the Web Interface URL just yet as we need to open the required ports.  To do this I simply added the following text into the /etc/sysconfig/iptables file and restart the iptables service with service iptables restart:

-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 443 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 8140 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 61613 -j ACCEPT


Browsing to https://puppetmaster.domain.local should display a log in box to the web interface GUI which you should be able to log in with the using the credentials that were configuring during the installation:


Congratulations, the puppet master server is now up and running.  Up next we will install the puppet agent software on both a linux and windows VM.

Centos File Locations

This post is mainly for my information since my brain is like a sieve when it comes to linux file locations.  Basically any Centos file that I need to edit / view more than once will be going in here for reference:

Eth0 Interface File:

Network Card Hardware File:

iptables File:

Saturday 18 May 2013

Creating a Centos vCenter Template

Since I'm going to start learning puppet I figured I'm going to be building and destroying a lot of linux VM's so I might as well create a template.  Following my previous post I create a base template VM with the minimal install of Centos and all the required updates.  Once created you need to edit the following file to remove IP and MAC address details:

vi /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

Remove the following entries then save and exit:


Now edit the following file and remove all entries that have a MAC address then save and exit:

vi /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules

an example would be to remove the following text:

# PCI device 0x15ad:0x07b0 (vmxnet3)
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", DRIVERS=="?*", ATTR{address}=="xx.xx.xx.xx.xx.xx", ATTR{type}=="1", KERNEL=="eth*", NAME="eth0"

Once completed power off the VM and remove and re-add the network adapter from the VM (This ensures that a new MAC address is generated).  Finally convert the VM to a template and test.  Once you have created a new VM from the template you will need to do the following:

Change the hostname (including domain name i.e. server.domain.local)
Add IP address information including the new MAC address as per this post

Centos linux minimal install config

I'm planning on attempting to learn Puppet which requires a linux operating system.  I'm competent enough to get around linux and perform basic tasks but I'm by no means an expert or even intermediate.  My linux distro of choice is the minimal install of Centos.  The minimal install is exactly what it says, the minimal install of binaries that are required to get the system up and running.  All other binaries will have to be manually installed.  This post shows how to set a static IP address and install the VMware tool into a minimal install of Centos.  I'm not going to show you how to install Centos as it's a simple next next type of installation.

Once you have the minimal install up log in and use vi to edit the eth0 interface file:

vi /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

Enter the required IP information and then save and exit:


To add your internal DNS servers edit the resolv.conf file:

vi /etc/resolv.conf

Enter the required DNS servers then save and exit:


Finally restart the network service:

service network restart

You should now be able to ping the server by IP address and also ping form the server via DNS.  Remember to add both forward and reverse A host entries into your DNS server.  You should also now be able to SSH into the server rather than using the console.  Next step is to update the server (Ensure your server has access to the internet):

yum upgrade -y

This may take a while depending on how many updates are required.  Once it has finished just perform the same command again to ensure there are no more updates required.

The final step is to install the VMware tools as per VMware's best practice   Start by initiating the VMware tools install via the vSphere Web Client / GUI and then perform the following commands:

yum -y install perl
mkdir /mnt/cdrom
mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
cp /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz /tmp
umount /mnt/cdrom

End VMware Tools install via the vSphere Web Client / GUI and the continue:

tar -zxf /tmp/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz -C /tmp
cd /
./tmp/vmware-tools-distrib/ --default
rm -f /tmp/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz
rm -rf /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib

Once finished the VMware tools should be running and current.  If you have any issues with the vmware-tools service the commands to start | stop | restart | status are:

status vmware-tools
start vmware-tools
stop vmware-tools
restart vmware-tools

Monday 13 May 2013

vCenter 5.1 to 5.1 Update 1 Upgrade Process

This post is mainly for my own knowledge to remember the correct order to upgrade from 5.1 to 5.1 Update 1.  The following products should be installed in the following order:

  1. VMware vCenter Single Sign On
  2. VMware vCenter Inventory Service
  3. VMware vCenter Server
  4. VMware vSphere Web Client
  5. VMware vSphere Client
  6. VMware vSphere Update Manager
  7. VMware vSphere Update Manager Plugin
  8. VMware vSphere Web Client Client Integration Plugin
  9. All ESXi Hosts

Hopefully this might help someone else looking to perform the upgrade anytime soon.

Friday 3 May 2013

North East VMUG–6/6/2013

Well it’s time again for the next North East VMUG.  The event will take place on Thursday 6th June from 12:30 onwards and will take place at:

Simpson Room
Melbourne Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Direction Here

The full agent will be posted up shortly but here are some highlights:

  • Networking and Lunch
  • Cisco Presentation: How Cisco Do IT
    Meet Richard Gore who will discuss how Cisco deployed VMware in their environment as the first step toward deploying private cloud, IaaS and PaaS in Cisco production data centers.
    Rich is a Cisco IT senior manager with 14 years’ experience in Cisco IT infrastructure architecture.  He has 30 years of IT experience at Bell Labs, AT&T, as a private consultant and now with Cisco IT.
    User Presentation: Virtualising SQL instances
  • Rod Hope from BSkyB (and Scottish VMUG) will give a presentation on his real world experiences virtualising SQL Server.
    Rod has over 13 years’ experience working with some of the world’s largest investment / investment services banks and has recently joined BSkyB’s Operations Engineering group in an Infrastructure Designer role.
  • VMware Presentation: “DR and the Cloud – To, From, Of”
    Meet Mike Laverick who will discuss the challenges of doing DR to the cloud, from the cloud and of the cloud.
    Mike is a real VMware A lister, having spent several years as an instructor and blogger, and written several books on topics such as vSphere 4, SRM and View, he joined VMware as an employee last year.
  • Q&A and Wrap-Up: Raffle and Interactive Feedback: Bring Your Own Device
    We’ve been using an App to ask the audience so far but if the Wi-Fi lets us down we’ll go old school and ask for show of hands on what you’d like for forthcoming topics.
  • vBeers: Join us in a local pub, The Bridge Hotel, for a drink courtesy of our sponsors Nimble Storage

Click here to register for the event

Big thanks to our sponsors Cisco and Nimble Storage

logo_cisco           shkshfbl