How AWS does networking

Came across this video after reading a Reddit thread asking who really uses SDN. Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this excellent talk.

From the description:

In this session, we walk through the Amazon VPC network presentation and describe the problems we were trying to solve when we created it. Next, we walk through how these problems are traditionally solved, and why those solutions are not scalable, inexpensive, or secure enough for AWS. Finally, we provide an overview of the solution that we’ve implemented and discuss some of the unique mechanisms that we use to ensure customer isolation, get packets into and out of the network, and support new features like VPC endpoints.

Graylog Extractors for pfSense 2.2 filter logs

Hi all,

I’m trying out Graylog for log collection, aggregation, and analysis. It’s free and pretty damn easy to deploy, available in OVA format.

The first thing I noticed is there seemed to be no extractors for pfSense 2.2’s new log format. Extractors allow you to parse a syslog message and place certain values into ‘fields’ for analysis or use in graphs.

Here’s one I prepared relatively quickly. You can import by:

  1. Click System -> Inputs in the Graylog UI
  2. Click ‘Manage extractors’ next to the relevant input
  3. Click ‘Import extractors’ in the ‘Actions’ menu at the top right of the page
  4. Paste the below script into the window and then click ‘Add extractors to input’

The extractors will parse the following fields out of the pfSense 2.2 filterlog messages:

  • Rule number into pfsense_filter_rulenum
  • Direction into pfsense_filter_direction
  • Ingress interface into pfsense_filter_ingress
  • Action into pfsense_filter_action
  • Protocol into pfsense_filter_proto
  • Source IP into pfsense_filter_sourceip
  • Source Port into pfsense_filter_sourceport
  • Destination IP into pfsense_filter_destip
  • Destination Port into pfsense_filter_destport

Right now they only interpret IPv4 logs, IPv6 log entries don’t get parsed (thanks to the condition regex) as they are formatted differently.

The script is available here, or click ‘Continue Reading’.

Hope this helps!

Continue reading

NetApp & Powershell – Snapshot Report

2015-02-27 10_37_36-Remote Desktop Manager Free [APUTIL02]

This post follows on from my last, where I created a script to send an email report when running dedupe operations were detected.

Utilizing the same script, I made some quick modifications to have it send an email report of volume snapshots and their sizes/creation date. Here’s what it looks like.

2015-02-27 10_36_20-NetApp Volume Snapshot Report - Message (HTML)

The syntax for the report is pretty much the same as the last script.

.\NetApp-SnapshotReport.ps1 -Controller controller1,controller2 -Username <user> -Password <pass> -SMTPServer <server> -MailFrom <Email From> -MailTo <Email To>

Download the script here. I currently have it configured as a scheduled task running every morning so we have a daily report of current volume snapshots, and it works well.

Enjoy!

 

NetApp & Powershell – Report on running dedupe tasks

2015-02-24 16_54_23-Remote Desktop Manager Free [APUTIL02]

Hi all,

Recently ran across a misbehaving NetApp where it’s deduplication process would be triggered on a Saturday morning, and still be running come the Monday. It wouldn’t happen on every scheduled run, but when it did, it hurt storage performance significantly. We’re working on the usual tasks, there’s a lot of misaligned data on the volume. But in the meantime, I used the NetApp Data ONTAP PowerShell Module to create a little script that will shoot an email if it detects a running SIS process.

Configure it as a scheduled task on a system that has the DataONTAP powershell module installed. Here’s an example of the command line parameters:

.\NetApp-ActiveDedupeAlert.ps1 -Controller controller1,controller2 -Username <user> -Password <"pass"> -SMTPServer <server> -MailFrom <Email From> -MailTo <Email To>

If the script detects any running SIS processes, it’ll shoot off an email that looks like this:

Dedup Alert Email

You can grab the code here, or click the ‘Read More’ button to see the code.

Continue reading

SCVMM Error 2912 when creating a new VM

2015-01-30 16_53_30-10.20.98.22 - Remote Desktop Connection

Hey all!

Had this error occur in my Hyper-V lab after playing with WinRM GPOs. After removing the GPO because SCVMM is a finicky pain – I was still receiving this error when attempting to create a new VM:

Error (2912)
An internal error has occurred trying to contact the lab-hyperv1.lab.int server: : .
WinRM: URL: [http://lab-hyperv1.lab.int:5985], Verb: [INVOKE], Method: [CreateDirectory], Resource: [http://schemas.microsoft.com/wbem/wsman/1/wmi/root/scvmm/FileInformation]
Invalid Signature (0x80090006)
Recommended Action
Check that WS-Management service is installed and running on server lab-hyperv1.lab.int. For more information use the command "winrm helpmsg hresult". If lab-hyperv1.lab.int is a host/library/update server or a PXE server role then ensure that VMM agent is installed and running. Refer to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2742275 for more details.

Here’s how to fix this:

  1. Remove the affected Hyper-V hosts from SCVMM
  2. Open Certificate Management (Computer) and make sure you don’t see certificates for the Hyper-V hosts in the ‘Trusted People’ store
  3. Re-add the Hyper-V hosts

You should now be able to create new VMs.

Tintri 3.1.1.4 and SCVMM integration – Access Denied

2015-01-22 19_14_28-192.168.0.104 - Remote Desktop Connection

With the release of Tintri OS 3.1.1.4, Tintri introduced their support for SCVMM and Hyper-V integration.

After upgrading to the new release, you’ll be able to add Hyper-V hosts into the Tintri UI settings screen – allowing the Tintri to grab details of running VMs. A SMI-S interface is also available after the upgrade, that you can use with SCVMM to create and manage SMB3 file shares, including setting quotas and applying a storage classification.

As with all new feature releases in the history of everything, there’s some problems. You might find – after configuring your SCVMM install and Hyper-V hosts according to the documentation (available on the support site) – that your hosts don’t have access to the share. You’ll be unable to create new VMs on the new share, or even remove the share through SCVMM.

Here’s how to avoid these problems and get those file shares working.

  1. In the Tintri UI, open ‘Settings’, and open the ‘Management Access’ panel
  2. Remove the entry for your SMI-S Run-As Account group (the one you created while following through the documentation)
  3. Save the settings, and then re-open the ‘Settings’ window
  4. Go back to the ‘Management Access’ panel, and re-add the SMI-S Run-As Account group with Super admin access
  5. Save settings
  6. On a host that has access to your Tintri’s data IP, while logged in as a domain user that has Super admin privileges on the Tintri, open a command prompt or powershell window
  7. Enter the following command, substituting for your share path and Hyper-V host group name:
    2015-01-22 18_26_28-192.168.0.10 - Remote Desktop Connection
  8. Go ahead and try to create a new VM, it should work

Tintri are aware of this and there’s apparently an internal bug ticket for it – hopefully it’s resolved in the next code release.

Hope this helps.

Repurposing old dumb PCs as thin clients

2013-10-19 15.59.01

If you work at a metal refinery, or anywhere that utilises H2S (Hydrogen Sulphide), you might be familiar with this sight.

These computers are old, and dead, owing to their HDDs being corroded by the rotten-egg smelling gas that floats around the refinery they’re located at.

Our goal at this site is to move everyone around the refinery onto Teradici zero clients, and utilize our VMware View instance. Desktops (including apps and data) will be safe and sound in the datacenter, and the users won’t be subjected to losing their desktops and waiting for a replacement.

We purchased 100 Teradici based Zero Clients, and we were left with a lot of old PCs without a working HDD. What were we to do with them? eBay? Donating them somewhere?

The kill-two-birds-with-one-stone solution was Stratodesk’s “NoTouch” suite, something that caught my eye at VMworld last month. NoTouch OS is a relatively small linux distro that provides clients for most of the major hosted-desktop systems (like VMware View, Citrix, Microsoft RDSH, etc) and gives you the ability to repurpose dated PCs as thin clients.

NoTouch OS is managed through their NoTouch Center software, which they supply as a standalone install, or a virtual appliance. Through it you can group your endpoints and apply settings at any level. You could have a group of endpoints that connect to your VDI system for your employees, and a group of endpoints that provide nothing but a web browser pointing to your timesheet system for contractors to use. It’s very flexible and packed with functionality.

The Stratodesk Virtual Appliance also gives you a PXE boot server, and this is what we’re using for our PC-sans-HDDs. Just import the NoTouch OS image through the virtual appliance’s web interface, configure some boot options, pop some options into your DHCP servers, and away you go.

We’ve got 25 of these endpoints running throughout the plant, and user feedback is good. We had a couple of issues with managing multimonitor modes and auto-assigning endpoints to groups, and their support was both quick and extremely helpful. I had a response within the first couple hours, and they had solved the issues within 6 hours. On a Saturday. At night. And before we even purchased a license!

The PCoIP client built into NoTouch desktop is the official Linux VMware Horizon View client, and NoTouch lets you configure it however you want. Note that with Horizon View 5.3 you’ll be able to do RTAV through the Linux client, allowing you to use your USB webcams through a NoTouch endpoint. This gives it an advantage over the Teradici Zero Clients, as they’re yet to support RTAV (though sources tell me they are working on it).

They offer a free trial that allows you to manage 2 endpoints, I highly recommend giving it a try before you go and purchase any more zero clients. Licensing works out to around $46 per endpoint (retail) including a year of maintenance, and you can purchase licenses either through a vendor or direct.

Here’s a quick video demonstrating PXE booting a PC with no HDD into the NoTouch OS.

I’m finding it hard to justify purchasing more Zero Clients. Feel free to comment below with arguments for/against PC repurposing software like this! I’d love to hear your opinion.

Migrating a View VM between hosts fails at 63%

I had a strange issue come up when trying to vMotion some VMs in our View cluster.

When attempting a vMotion of our Windows 7 VMs, the vMotion would stop at around 63% and spit out the error “Source detected that destination failed to resume”

In the target VM’s vmware.log file I saw the following:

2013-05-16T03:58:16.591Z| vmx| MsgQuestion: msg.svga.checkpoint.gpufeaturecheck.fail3 reply=0
2013-05-16T03:58:16.591Z| vmx| Progress 101% (none)
2013-05-16T03:58:16.591Z| vmx| MigrateSetStateFinished: type=2 new state=11
2013-05-16T03:58:16.591Z| vmx| MigrateSetState: Transitioning from state 10 to 11.
2013-05-16T03:58:16.591Z| vmx| Migrate_SetFailure: Failed to resume on destination.

In this case, the problem occurred due to 3D support being enabled directly on the VM through vSphere, rather than using the pool options on the View Connection Server. Note that while the VM is powered on, VM settings will not show that 3D is enabled – you can only test that this is the case by viewing the VMX or viewing the VM settings when it is powered off.

I solved this problem by changing the pool options to enable 3D and I then waited for View Composer to update the VMs, I didn’t even have to power down the VMs. After View Composer does it’s thing, the VMs will vMotion without a hitch.

Environment:

  • ESXi 5.0
  • View Agent 5.1
  • View Connection Server 5.2
  • VM Hardware Version 8
  • Windows 7 guest OS

Hope this helps!