Welcome to the blog of mechanised.com

This blog is mainly a technical repository of information on Virtualisation tools and management for our hosting service.

Also for HP's Bladesystem that we use at both our datacentres.

Other articles are also included on .Net development and MS SQL Server as well as other interesting things we come across.

Thursday 25 September 2008

Force WSUS update

Force WSUS client update

here is what you would put in a script to force immediate WSUS checkup by client:
net stop wuauserv

REG DELETE "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v LastWaitTimeout /f

REG DELETE "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v DetectionStartTime /f

Reg Delete "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v NextDetectionTime /f

net start wuauserv
A more lightweight command:
wuauclt /detectnow

Monday 22 September 2008

Moving VM's in VMware ESXi via SSH

VMware ESXi is a great product but it present's a number of challenges because of its highly streamlined feature set. Lets say for example you need to move a VM from one VMware server to another and don't have an NFS server or iSCSI target. And of course you don't have any of the licensed features like Backup or Vmotion either. Lets add another challenge that you only have SSH access to the system. Sounds like a fun challenge already.

Both machines need SSH enabling, then in the directory where the disk files are stored you can use SCP to copy to the other machines datastore.

scp * root@hostname:/vmfs/volumes/datastorename/vm-dir

Sunday 21 September 2008

Interesting binary diff tool, would help enormously for our daily backup's to SAN

Need to investigate tools such as these to save space on offsite daily backups especially databases.

Do a monthly full on first of each month then daily backups are diffed against the original. At any point a previous day backup can be regenerated from the 2 files.

I'll have to do some testing on the many terrabytes of storage to see just how much we could save! In theory savings of at least 50% size could be possible, especially with large mainly static databases and site files.


Tried this and found that especially databases are never exactly the same data in the same place so it doesn't quite work out, also takes a very long time and so not really usable for daily backups.

This is not really as critical as SQL Server 2005 now has differential backup and site files are backed up with a full monthly and then incremental daily changes. This is keeping our backup sizes down small enough to not run out of space on our backup NAS drives.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Event log error fix for RS errors after SQL 2005 installed

If you get errors in the event log saying this not long after a new install of SQL Server 2005 standard or enterprise:

.NET Runtime Optimization Service (clr_optimization_v2.0.50727_32) - Failed to compile: Microsoft.ReportingServices.QueryDesigners, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91 . Error code = 0x80070002

To Fix, drag
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies\Microsoft.ReportingServices.Design.dll

To install the offending library to the GAC.
Double check all is fine:

C:\WINDOWS\microsoft.net\Framework\v2.0.50727\ngen executeQueueditems

Most annoying...

New switch upgrade? Need fibre GBICs

HP ProCurve Switch 2824 - Switch - 24 ports - EN, Fast EN, Gigabit EN - 10Base-T, 100Base-TX, 1000Base-T + 4 x mini-GBIC (empty)

The HP 24-port ProCurve Switch 2824 with 20 10/100/1000 ports has 4 dual-personality ports for 10/100/1000 or mini-GBIC connectivity.

Ideal for medium to large networks, the Switch 2824 cost-effectively offer the maximum in bandwidth performance with 10 times the speed of 100 Mbit switches. Migrating to Gigabit switches will allow you to take full advantage of your existing high-performance, Gigabit-enabled PCs, laptops, and servers - and see noticeably improved application response and file transfer times. By implementing the Switch 2824, you will seamlessly protect your existing network investment while preparing for future growth.

Product : HP ProCurve Switch 2824 - Switch - 24 ports - EN, Fast EN, Gigabit EN - 10Base-T, 100Base-TX, 1000Base-T + 4 x mini-GBIC (empty)

Buy Price: £845.00

Mfr Code : J4903A

Alternatively 2810, still stackable and layer 2 as well, code is J9021A, cheaper at about £559

Or 2510 gigabit version, identical specifications as the 2810 but about £360, code is J9279A, not stackable though, but used as dual connectivity with MPIO iSCSI SAN it wouldn't matter!

Switching 64bit server to run 32bit IIS exclusively

To switch a 64 bit 2003 server to run IIS in 32 bit mode and .Net framework 2.0 in 32 bit you need to run:

cscript %SYSTEMDRIVE%\inetpub\adminscripts\adsutil.vbs SET W3SVC/AppPools/Enable32bitAppOnWin64 true

C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727>aspnet_regiis -ir -enable

Monday 15 September 2008

Nice runthrough of how to get Openfiler SAN working correctly with ESXi


Will report back on how this goes once we have our new SANs setup. Critically need to make sure NIC teaming is working fully.

Maximum single LUN size to ESXi and MS initiator (XP 32bit) is 2097120 MB

Handy list of MS KB articles to refer to

Network Load Balancing Connection to a Virtual IP Address Not Made Across a Switch

Thursday 11 September 2008

Objectdock stack

If you're a user of Objectdock on the PC, if like me you're in Windows 99% of the time but miss the interface of OS X there is a handy stack docklet that lets you have folder stacks like Leopard.


Wednesday 10 September 2008

ESXi backup to remote datastore by snapshots

This looks interesting as a free backup solution, once I get some time I shall be investigating this instead of our current backup of backing up the VM directly.


This idea has been progressed further and looks like a better method is here:


Tuesday 2 September 2008

Backing up ESXi at image level

This looks interesting as they are working on a ESXi version of their backup software. Also reasonably priced as well...

esXpress v3.1 The ONLY scalable and completely fault tolerant backup, restoration and disaster recovery solution for Virtual Infrastructure 3.x. Whether you have 1TB of data or 50TB, esXpress makes a 100% complete backup of your entire virtual farm every night.