Dark Developments Where Knowledge Meets Power


DPM – Redirected Access “Backup In Progress”

Posted by Dark#Basics

DPM - Redirected Access "Backup In Progress"

Today I had an issue where our Hyper-V Cluster Volumes were staying in Redirected Access. In this state, the CSV is available to all nodes in the cluster as part of the ClusterStorage namespace, but all nodes in the cluster except the coordinator node perform their IO via the coordinator node. The redirected access is used for example when running a backup using DPM.

As it turns out the DPM Agent running on both HyperV owners was stuck, and thus restarting the DPMRA service made sure that the volumes were back online.


APPV – Registry from Sequenced Application

Posted by Dark#Basics

Sometimes you'll need to access the registry of an application. But what if the application is virtualized and sequenced ? Well the solution is the spawn a commandline within the package using sfttray.

Select All Code:
Sfttray.exe  /exe cmd.exe "APPNAME"

ASTERISK – Move VM issues.

Posted by Dark#Basics

ASTERISK - Move VM issues.

When moving a VM with Asterisk, or another platform dependant package, from for example a VMware Player to VMWare ESXi you might have some issues running the package. In my case after preforming a move from VMware Player to VMWare ESXi using VConverter the ASTERISK package wouldn't start. I received the error message 'Illegal Instruction'. After some Google-ing, trying to convert again using a different VM-version I had an idea of reinstalling the Asterisk package and it worked! Probably when running apt again it installed some additional packages for the new/current chipset. Make sure that you don't overwrite your Asterisk configuration!


VMware- ESX Image Builder CLI

Posted by Dark#Basics

VMware- ESX Image Builder CLI

When installing ESX(i) on different vendor platforms you'll get confronted with warnings related to drivers. In my case it was a Dell R720 and during the installation of ESX I got the message "no network adapters found".
The only option is to build your own custum ESX image and inserting the correct NIC drivers.

1. Download the latest ESXi build from the patch page from VMware. my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere/5_0#product_downloads

2. Next download the approriate driver software from the driver depot. my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere/5_0#drivers_tools
Note: In my case I needed the net-tg3 drivers.

3. Extract all the files so that you can access them with vCLI. You can download vSphere CLI from my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details/vcli41/ZHcqYmRoaCpiZHRAag== .

4. Next, start your PowerCLI session and import the software depots using the “Add-EsxSoftwareDepot” cmdlet.  Import all the software depots you have downloaded.

Select All Code:
Add-EsxSoftwareDepot C:\vmware\ESXi-5.0.0-20120604001-standard.zip
Add-EsxSoftwareDepot -DepotURL "C:\vmware\net-tg3.zip"

5. After the software depots have been imported the next step is to create an image profile using the “New-EsxImageProfile” cmdlet. There are two ways to create a new image profile, you can create an empty image profile and manually specify the VIBs you want to add, or you can clone an existing image profile and use that as your starting point.

Select All Code:
New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile "ESXi-5.0.0-20120604001-standard" -Name "CustomISO" -AcceptanceLevel CommunitySupported

6. Next, you use the “Add-EsxSoftwarePackage” to add VIBs to your image profile.

Select All Code:
Add-ESXSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile CustomISO -SoftwarePackage net-tg3

7. After adding the VIBs you need the next step is to export the image profile. You can export the Image Profile as a software depot (.zip) or as an ISO file (.iso).

Select All Code:
Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile CustomISO -ExportToIso -FilePath C:\vmware\CustomProfile.iso
Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile CustomISO –ExportToBundle -FilePath C:\vmware\CustomProfile.zip




VMware – Move VM to different datastore on ESXi

Posted by Dark#Basics

VMware - Move VM to different datastore on ESXi
It's pretty striaght forward how to move a VM to a different datastore within a standalone ESXi host.

Login by using the vSphere client on the ESXi host and shutdown the VM that you want to move to a different datastore. After the VM is powered off remove it from the inventory by right clicking on the VM and selecting ‘Remove from inventory’.

After that the VM is removed from the Inventory browse the current datastore (source) and the new datastore (destination) and just copy/past or cut/paste the VM's from source to destination.

After that the copying is complete go to the new datastore, right click the VM and select 'Add to Inventory'. Follow the steps in the wizard and the VM will be visible in the inventory. If needed change the VM settings.

When you power on the VM it will notice that he is on a different datastore. Answer the question by selecting ‘I _copied it’ and click ‘OK’.


VMware – ESX(i) Jumbo Frames on Storage Adapters

Posted by Dark#Basics

VMware - ESX(i) Jumbo Frames on Storage Adapters
Jumbo frames are units that contain 9,000 bytes of data instead of the usual 1500, or an MTU of 9000 instead of 1500.  When using the ESX software iSCSI initiator, a network adapter becomes the transport device for your iSCSI traffic.  When creating a virtual switch using the vSphere client, you cannot change the default MTU value of 1500, nor can you even view the values

If the software Storage Adapters are already created the MTU can still be modified using the CLI of your host.
First check the current vSwitches so that you can confirm the changes and settings.

Select All Code:
esxcfg-vswitch -l

Run vmknic to change the MTU of all the vSwitches.

Select All Code:
esxcfg-vmknic -m 9000 "VMkernel iSCSI 2"

VMware – vCenter Converter

Posted by Dark#Basics

VMware - vCenter Converter
Taking physical machines and making them virtual can be a long and complex process.  With vCenter Converter it is possible to automate and simplify physical to virtual (P2V) as well as converting virtual machine formats for example VMDX-files from exported VM's in VMWare Workstation. It is possible to convert Microsoft Windows and Linux-based physical machines and third-party formats to VMWare virtual machines.

When running vCenter Converter the first option you will need to chose is a source type. There are five available options in the current version:

  • Powered-on machine - Convert any powered-on physical or virtual machine (local or remote).
  • VMware Infrastructure virtual machine - Convert a virtual machine from VMware VirtualCenter or VMware ESX Server.
  • VMware Workstation or other VMware virtual machine - Convert a virtual machine from VMware Workstation, VMware Player, VMware Fusion or other VMware product.
  • Backup image or third-party virtual machine - Convert a backup image or a third-party virtual machine. For example Microsoft Virtual PC, Parallels,  VMware Consolidated Backup, Symantec LiveState Recovery Image, StorageCraft ShadowStor Image, Acronix True Image Backup.
  • Hyper-V Server - Convert a virtual machine from Microsoft Hyper-V Server.

After selecting the desired option and selecting/adding the necessary information you will be able to configure the VM's settings. For example CPU, memory, hard disk,... Based on previous selection you will be able to create (a) virtual machine(s) to a vSphere host, VMware Workstation, VMware GSX Server, VMware Player, VMware Server or VMware Fusion.

You can get a free copy of vCenter Converter here at www.vmware.com/products/converter/



Posted by Dark#Basics

Publishing applications over the Citrix XenApp platform is easy but what do you do when the client gets prompted with SSL Error 82 ?

"Cannot connect to the Citrix Presentation Server.
SSL Error 82: The security certificate "<TheNameOfYourCertificateAuthority>" is not suitable for use in SSL connections. Reason: Unsuitable Netscape Usage Extension field."

Easy, just install a version of the Presentation Server Client (higher than 10.0).

More Information: support.citrix.com/article/CTX113002


D#B Backup&Recovery Notes [PART5]: Citrix XenServer

Posted by Dark#Basics


XenServer Hosts use a per-host database to store metadata about VMs and associated resources such as storage and networking. When combined with storage repositories, this database forms the complete view of all VMs available across the pool. Thus, it is important to understand how to backup this database in order to recover from physical hardware failure and other disaster scenarios.


In a pool scenario, the master host provides an authoritative database which is synchronously mirrored by all the slave hosts in the pool. This provides a degree of built-in redundancy to a pool; the master can be replaced by any slave since each of them have an accurate version of the pool database.

This level of protection may not be sufficient; for example, if your shared storage containing the VM data is backed up in multiple sites, but your local server storage (containing the pool metadata) is not. To fully recreate a pool given just a set of shared storage, you must first backup the xe pool-dump-database against the master host, and archive this file.

Making a manual backup can be done follow CLI-command from within the pool master.

xe pool-dump-database filename=<filename>

This command can be automated with for example Cron.


As for recovering the metadata following CLI-command must be used.

xe pool-dump-database filename=<sourcefilename>

Do note that all of the hosts AND the node will be rolled back.



Creating a backup through the CLI can be done with the following command.

xe host-backup file-name=<filename> -h hostname -u root -pw <password>

This can be automated Cron. By using a Bash-script made by Andy Burton it is possible to make a snapshot from all, running, none and specifically (by VM uuid) set VMs.


Recovering a VM can be done with both CLI and XenCenter. With XenCenter just use Import VM under File to import the backup image.

Not only the snapshot but also the metadata of the VM will be restored.

If you want to restore a XenServer Host from a specific backup, run the following command while the XenServer Host is up and reachable.

xe host-restore file-name=<filename> -h hostname -u root -pw <password>

This restores the compressed image back to the hard disk of the XenServer Host. In this context “restore” is something of a misnomer, as the word usually suggests that the backed-up state has been put fully in place. The restore command here only unpacks the compressed backup file and restores it to its normal form, but it is written to another partition (/dev/sda2) and does not overwrite the current version of the filesystem.

To actually use the restored version of the root filesystem, you need to reboot the XenServer Host using the XenServer installation CD and select the Restore from backup option.

After the Restore from Backup is completed, reboot the XenServer Host machine and it will start up from the restored image.

Finally, restore the VM meta-data using the xe pool-database-restore command.