Installing vCenter Server does not complete with Windows Server 2008

This is a quickie post to share what I found when installing vCenter Server on a 64-bit Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition virtual machine. This VMware KB article is the error we received.

Apparently, during the installation of vCenter Server, Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services is installed. I hadn’t noticed this before. We had no server roles installed prior to installing vCenter, but after clicking through the error boxes that appeared, we saw that AD LDS, sure enough, appeared to be installed.

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Upgrading NX-OS on the Nexus 5020

During another virtualization implementation at a customer’s site, I had the opportunity to upgrade Nexus 5020 switches. We upgraded from 5.0(2)N2(1) to 5.0(3)N2(1). The process was surprisingly simple. The steps include

1. Setting up an TFTP server
2. Uploading both the NX-OS binary and the kickstart binary
3. Installing the binaries

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The Quick and Dirty (and Free!) IP Scanner

If, on occasion, you need to scan a range of IP addresses for live devices but don’t have access to the many tools for such a task, free or otherwise, memorize this little trick and move on to more important things!

Open a command prompt and type

for /L %i in (1,1,254) do ping -n 1 | find “Reply” >> c:\ping.txt

Be sure to replace the x’s in the above command with the correct portion of the IP address range you want to scan.

The output below is what the command looks like when it’s running.

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vSphere 5 Best Practices: Dell PowerEdge R710 BIOS

I’ve had occasion recently to implement many vSphere 4.1 environments for a customer. There’s a lot to learn during these deployments and many worthy blog posts are just waiting to be written. But one especially comes to mind mainly because of its temporal relation to a recent query I had regarding a BIOS setting for a Dell PowerEdge R710. The exact query doesn’t matter, but what’s important is that I ran across Marek.Z’s blog, Default Reasoning, and this post in search of an answer. His post regarding vSphere 4.x BIOS settings and best practices interested me in writing a BIOS best practices post for vSphere 5. This is going to be very similar to vSphere 4.x, but you’ll notice I’ve included explanations as to why these settings are best suited to vSphere 5 environments. Some of these settings may be obvious, while others, like NUMA, C1E, and Memory, may not be. Especially for these, I’ve included the results of my research.

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Add e-mail alerts to all 41 default vSphere 4.1 alarms

Towards the end of a customer’s virtualization implementation we’re doing some clean-up of the environment. During the initial setup I was using my own local email address to test various alerting processes, of which there are several. For instance, every SQL Server maintenance task sends a success/failure e-mail alert, the NetApp Virtual Storage Console plug-in can be configured to e-mail an administrator after snapshots are taken, and the Dell iDRAC can send e-mails on hardware status changes. All those are fairly quick to configure or lack a way to script a quick solution. But with 40 default alarms in vSphere, three vCenters, and being lazy as I am, I knew there must be a better solution than right clicking 120 alarms and copying-and-pasting an email address. As the proverb goes, if you repeat it, script it. So I set out to find how PowerCLI could help me.

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Ever heard of ARP Stuffing? Me neither.

So I’m looking at a metered APC PDU, model 7811, that I need to access. It’s fully racked and stacked, boxes on top of and below it. I don’t have the RJ-11 to serial cable that came with it and I don’t feel like making one. There’s currently not a DHCP scope on the subnet it will belong to so it will likely assign itself an APIPA address assuming it’s set to DHCP by default. It’s essentially an out-of-the-box config – which is nothing. What’s the easiest way to gain access to it?

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