June IE Patch Blows UP IE for Optimized Golden Images

    After updating my golden image I was treated to IE not being able to launch.

    The registry key in question comes from the optimization script from VMware for Windows 7/8.

    reg ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters” /v EnableSuperfetch /t REG_DWORD /d 0×0 /f

    I was able to find the fix on TechNet,

    HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management” MoveImages

    If you set the key to 1 instead of 0 then reboot the machine you’ll be all fixed up.

    Of course I found this after installing\installing IE 2 times first.


    VMware Horizon 6 with View – Hosted Shared Virtual Desktops with Nutanix

    With Horizon 6 adding support for RDS, Application pools is getting a lot of buzz. With application pools, you can deliver a single application to many users. The application runs on a farm of RDS hosts. However, you can use a farm of hosts to deliver hosted shared desktops (HSVD). I suspect in reality this will shift lots of workload over at least from the task worker use case.

    To get HSVD setup with Horizon 6 you have to:

    Once the farm is created you can go to desktop pools and pick the appropriate option.

    Nutanix Value

    1) Quick Clones\VMCaliber Clones – Horizon 6 does not support View Composer for RDS so there could be a potential for lots of storage to be gobbled up. VMCaliber Clones have no negative impact on performance, allow for fast deployment and is available in every Nutanix software edition.

    Check out the space saving from quick clones. 84 GB to 12KB

    Check out the space saving from quick clones. 84 GB to 12KB

    2) Data Locality & Fair Share – Fair Share from 2012 R2 to gives predictable user experience so one user does not negatively impact the performance of another user’s session. Combined with data locality as the cluster scales, IO performance will be consistent and not users can’t steal or bleed the rest of the performance from users on other nodes.

    3) Tunable Redundancy Factor – Starting with the Pro Software Edition and up you can allow VM’s to have greater resiliency by creating additional copies of data. Since VMCaliber clones(per vm snaphots\clones) are reducing the foot print the added capacity cost of higher Replication Factor will be mitigated. Now you can lose up to 2 nodes on a 5 node cluster as an example without having to buy additional HDD’s for capacity. Additional block awareness can let you lose an entire block (4 nodes/servers) at the same time without downtime, without requiring any extra space! This all adds up to more capacity for other server workloads in your environment.

    Hope see you at VMworld 2014 and talk more on this topic.



    Nutanix One-Click Upgrade: Easy As Picture Pages


    Dell & Nutanix – Building A Better Foundation for the SDDC

    Lots has been written about the business side of the deal and some of the long term strategy on why an OEM deal with Dell is so big for Nutanix. I want to focus my thoughts on the technical side. For me the partnership with Dell is a signaling that the “start-up” phase is over when it comes to shipping Enterprise software. The Dell sales force is massive and would have had the potential to sink Engineering efforts on support and lower the rate of new features if it wasn’t the effort put into the Nutanix Software deployment tool called Foundation. Foundation is the automation tool the deploys and configures the Nutanix software along with your hypervisor of choice(ESXi, Hyper-V, KVM). Foundation gives a common starting point for all deployments: performance, capacity, support, consistency and cluster initialization. Within 45 minutes to 60 minutes, you can have a platform to deploy virtual workloads without worrying missed steps or stealing resources from other projects. This story is complete if it’s Dell box or a Nutanix model. Without this tool in place the Dell agreement could have never of happened.

    In the Supermico only world Engineering could get away with hardcoding what type of SSD drive or RAID controller it was looking for. With the Dell coming onboard this really wasn’t going to scale. Foundation was really born out of the need to support multiple hypervisors and the Dell OEM agreement only increased its need.

    Foundation and Nutanix has moved to be data driven vs being hard coded. Foundation has a built-in HCL to qualify all components, Hypervisor version, NICS, RAID controllers(Nutanix doesn’t use RAID), motherboards when the software is being laid down. Components are checked against a JSON file and life goes on. It doesn’t matter if it’s IPMI from Supermico or iDRAC from Dell. All alerts can be fired through SNMP or seen visual through the PRISM UI. The customer is the one who wins here.

    Engineering has been hard at work for months with Dell before the announcement. The beauty of convergence is that you don’t have to worry about building the solution and find the breaking points, we do that for you. It’s also were software can provide a lot of value when you can understand the hardware you are working with. One HBA was that tabled to be used in some of the newer models had an issue of not turning on the LEDS when the drive went bad. I am sure it worked fine when RAID was involved but since we don’t use RAID it probably was never engineered for it. Nutanix Engineering was able to write the software to provide the serviceability needed. Imagine all the other nasty things that can happen with that one component alone. The adaptability of the NOS gives customers peace of mind as they scale out their environments.

    If you believe in the Software-Defined Data Center(SDDC), choice of hypervisor, hardware vendor and networking should allow for VM mobility. While the SDDC might just being getting past 1.0, Nutanix is not sitting still to see what 2.0 will bring. The Dell OEM agreement is a great sling shot towards the future.


    Why #Webscale Reason 5: Brain Drain, Training Budgets & Turnkey Solutions

    Companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook had to invent (code) new technologies and approaches to doing IT because no alternative to traditional IT existed. Lots of the technologies surrounding this can be complicated and does take a highly trained team to forge ahead. Web-scale is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Today we’ve reached a point where the principles and patterns are well-understood and turnkey enterprise-class solutions are emerging to bring web-scale capabilities to the enterprise. These don’t require PhDs to operate. Even some of the industry storage giants like EMC are trying to deploy similar technologies to provide true scale out technologies. Nutanix has been building upon these technologies since 2009 so people can do more with less. An IT Admin has the option of never leaving the Prism UI if they want.

    Like it or not, enterprise IT is fighting with the cloud for relevance. Enterprise IT is not that way by choice. The politics and finger-pointing is what traditional infrastructure constraints and complexity have created. Budget constraints are all the more reason why you need an alternative. If you have the opportunity to learn one skill to save countless hours down the road is that not a fair price to pay? I remember an old boss questioning my VMware 3.0 training over the same things. Do I need it? Is it valuable? Many of the skills that were considered niche 5 years ago are now mainstream. Companies like Nutanix are eliminating the need for specialized talent by delivering turnkey solutions that are web-scale inside but provide enterprise capabilities, offering the best of both worlds.

    The reason why VMware SRM was invited was so people could get out of the weeds of scripting and engineering their DR plans. When people changed jobs or left the company you wouldn’t have to be worried about the next lady/man stepping into fill their shoes and figure the failover process if a disaster were to occur.

    With any new technology or paradigm shift there needs to be a way to bridge the gap between the two worlds. The difference between Public vs Private cloud in this case is learning a UI and hiding the complexity. Virtualization is a key aspect to Nutanix so a lot skills will work in the old and the new land of the datacenter.


    Why #Webscale Reason #4: Machine Data & Analytics #Nutanix #Linkedin

    When you open up your infrastructure up to API’s and have a platform to automate all aspects it allows a common management and analytic platform. Silo’s of infrastructure not only put additional strain not only for storage performance with the IO blender effect but also managing the wealth of data that is generated. Google’s ability to collect and analyze has changed the game for them. Having different hardware, different data centers and different use cases to contend with, it’s all about managing the whole story and seeing problems before they end up on your CIO’s dashboard. This can really only be with a shared nothing architecture.

    Look at how LinkedIn is doing it. Similar aspects to the Nutanix design.

    Want to learn more, great live info coming here.


    Why #Webscale Reason #3: It’s about the people – #Twitter #APIgee #DataStax #Nutanix

    It’s not all about wing dings and nuts & bolts. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of technology and forget the greater purpose of why a IT department exists. When technology religion starts to dictate what is right for business it can easily turn into a dead end street. People and process are the hardest things inside of tech and where web-scale plays a part. Web-scale is about launch first, optimize later. Focusing what you’re good at and getting to the last 10% can be iterative process. It’s not about speeds and feeds, it’s about getting your teams to focus on the business and work together. It’s breaking down tradtional silos and helping move the needle. I believe the general sysadmin will have a long life ahead of them versus people that are totally focused in one area.

    At Nutanix we have no religion on hardware. Today we OEM through Super Micro, tomorrow we could switch if the economics made sense, performance and form factor made sense.

    Launch first has allowed Nutanix to get to MapReduce Dedupe (Post-Process) probably in one of the quickest fashions. It started with inline dedupe for performance, it was put into production and built upon work from out Medusa/Cassadonra team. Then MapReduce Dedupe came focusing on OS and application data. Over time more algorithms will be added to MapReduce Dedupe which will potentially lead to more features.

    From a customer perspective launch first gives you more options to make a better descsion. This is another reason why hybrid cloud will succeed.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”

    Catch a live tech panel on Wednesday June 25th, 2014 – 10:00AM–10:45AM PDT

    Designing and Building Web-scale Systems

    Panel line-up:

    Dmitriy Ryaboy (Engineering lead at Twitter)
    Karthik Ranganathan (Engineer at Nutanix)
    Anant Jhingran (CTO of APIgee, IBM Fellow)
    Darshan Rawal (Director of Product Management, DataStax)



    Why #Webscale Reason #2: System Design #Nutanix

    Keeping things up to date in the Enterprise usually happens when a support contract is about to run out or when a new feature is needed. Teams are reluctant to make changes when outages need to be planned, load on the systems needs to low and possible manual intervention is needed throughput the process.

    Web-Scale allows non-disruptive rolling upgrades, no single point of failure and minimal intervention. Self-defining (and versioned) disk format, like protobufs This way, upgrades of disk data can be done lazily. Web-scale can’t assume 1-shot data upgrades, given the scale that it could consume. This also inherently allows client/servers relationship to be a different versions throughout the process which is a pretty big accomplishment onto itself.

    Join Web-Scale Wednesday to learn more and hear from Industry leaders like Dmitriy Ryaboy Engineering Lead at Twitter.



    Why #Webscale Reason #1: The swipe card effect #Nutanix

    Web-scale IT is making its way into the mainstream enterprise datacenter. In support of a joint event that Nutanix is supporting I will give my reasons why web scale is becoming common place.

    Reason 1:

    swipeClients\customers leave to public service providers when their needs aren’t be meet fast enough. Enterprise IT has lots of complexity and silos arounds networking, storage and compute which results in unpredictability with scaling out current environments. Do you have enough throughput available to add your next storage array? Do I have ports left on my fiber channel switch to add my next server? At the end of the day the business doesn’t care how this achieved. Adding storage or compute should be a non-event. It’s all about delivering services. Shrink or grow, 1 node, or 20 nodes it needs to happen at the pace of business.

    On June 25th, Nutanix is celebrating web-scale IT with Web-Scale Wednesday, a live online event that will bring together IT leaders, industry experts and enterprise customers to share their perspectives and experiences adopting web-scale IT and bringing it to the enterprise. Speakers from Twitter, DataStax, Dell, Citrix and more across the industry. Join us


    Loginvsi and the Launchers from Hell

    Just from friendly advice from a guy who has been hunting down bugs and to remember a healthy launcher is just as important as great golden image.

    1) Remove the Windows XPS printer so you don’t have to worry about printer redirection issues.

    2) vSphere 5.5 and VMware tools has issues and can reset the network. Easiest thing to do is disable logging for VMware tools.

    3) Installing Citrix receiver installs some older version of c++ 2005 libraries and you’ll see a ton of sidebyside in the event logs. Install by the X86 and X64 of the SP1 and you’ll be good to go.

    4) More VMware tools issues – Unity (Mac) showing up in the logs, KB here to fix

    5) Stick to the recommendations when using connectors of your broker of choice. If you need a lot of launchers here is PowerShell script that will help you along -> http://vmwarepro.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/provision-multiple-vms-from-template-via-powercli/

    or a great tip from @shanetech is to use PVS for the launchers.