Cisco UCS Generation 3 First Look.

Worth a read…

UCSguru.com

I noticed last week that Cisco have just released the eagerly awaited Cisco UCS 3.1 code “Granada” on CCO.

Whenever a major or a minor code drop appears the first thing I always do is read the  Release Notes , to see what new features the code supports or which bugs it addresses. Well in reading the 3.1 release notes it was like reading a Christmas list. There are far too many new features and enhancements to delve into in this post, so I will just be calling out the ones that most caught my eye

Cisco UCS Gen 3 Hardware

At the top of the release notes is the announcement that 3.1 code supports the soon to be released Cisco UCS Generation 3 Hardware.

With the new Gen 3 products the UCS infrastructure now supports full end to end native 40GbE.

The Generation 3 Fabric Interconnects come in 2 models the…

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Expanding Blog topics

microsofts-logo-gets-a-makeoverI started my career supporting a huge enterprise environment for all Microsoft products; however, I have not created any posts on this topic here in my blog.

I have seen a lot of need for knowledge on Microsoft products, specially in regards to interoperability with other Microsoft products and also with other software within an Enterprise environment. This year, I am planning on adding a new “Microsoft” tab on my blog to help others understand more in depth what goes on in your environment.

Some of the topics will include, Exchange, SharePoint, O365, ADFS, DFS, AD Upgrades, DR scenarios, MSSQL, etc.

Stay tuned…

Troubleshooting vSphere PSOD

VMware_PSOD The Screen of Death, as most of us know it as, is the result of a system crash. Windows has his famous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), and VMware has a purple screen of death (PSOD). Of course there is also a Black Screen of Death, which is usually when Windows systems are missing a boot file or one or more of those files have become corrupted. Although there is a range of colors, the problem for many is How do I fix this? How do I know what caused this?

Many admins start with the obvious and simply reboot the machine hoping it was a hiccup, but chances are, there is a bigger problem going on that needs addressed. In VMware, just like other systems, a core dump file is created when the stop error is generated. This is where you start digging…

Where is my DUMP…file?!?

So, during the purple screen, the host is writing the dump file to a previously created partition called VMKcore. There is a chance that the core dump file won’t be written due to internal problems, so it is always a good idea to take a screen shot of the PSOD. Exporting the core dump file can be done via CLI, manually from vCenter path for both Windows and/or appliance, as well as vSphere Client and WebClient; which is the preferred method from most admin since it is so simple to do.

To export the logs from vSphere Web Client, use the following steps:

  • Open vSphere Web Client > Hosts & Clusters > Right click on vCenter > Export System Logs…

Sys_Logs

  • Choose the host that had the PSOD > Next

Sys_Logs_ESXi

  • Make sure you select CrashDumps, all others are optional

Sys_Logs_CrashDump

 

Once you have the dump file (vmkernel-zdump….), its time to look for the needle in the haystack. There are a lot of entries, and this file can be overwhelming to many people, but don’t stress, it is quite simple to find it. The first logical step is to find the crash entry point You can use the time when you noticed the PSOD or you can simply search within the log file for “@bluescreen”.

Find_@Bluescreen

Once you find this, you will see the exact cause for the PSOD. In the screenshot below, you can see that the error generated is in relation to E1000. You should automatically think vNIC/Drivers, as well as looking online for any VMware KB articles regarding the errors generated. In this case, there is a known issue for different versions of vSphere that have already been patched; so keeping up to date on patches is very important.

E1000_PSOD

 

The issue that triggered the PSOD in this environment was related to updates (fix) not being applied. The work around was to not use E1000e NIC on the VM but rather VMXNET3. Also, you HAVE to install the VMTools on your VMs. The VMTools have drivers needed for your VM to work properly. In this particular instance, VMTools were not installed on the VM. Once the tools were installed and the vNIC was switch to VMXNET3, the issue was resolved.

 

Refer to VMware’s KB2059053 for more info.

New Beginnings

new-beginningThroughout the career of an IT professional, there are many changes that come up during his/her career. People follow a certain path to move up the ladder, and others create their own path as they grow. Today marks a new beginning for me, as I leave the customer realm and join the partner side of IT.

Various opportunities were presented to me lately without really looking too hard, and I am glad they did. While I was content with my job, the issue was just that; I was content. I am the kind of person that loves to learn and be challenged in order to grow personally and professionally, and I hate to just coast.

As of now, I will be joining a great company, H.A. Storage, as a Senior Solutions Architect. I started my career as a consultant for a huge enterprise and worked my way down to smaller companies, which people would consider it backwards, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way. The experience I acquired throughout my career has allowed me to acquire over 20 IT certifications and a Masters degree, on top of a great deal of hands on experience in many areas.

I believe my education and experience has prepared me for this new role. I am ready and excited to help other companies with their projects and need of solutions within their environments.

I received many offers lately, but one company was an obvious choice, and that was H.A. Storage. I am proud to join a team of high level technical engineers, architects, and technologist that make IT happen. People are amazing, and I already feel part of the family. I am really looking forward to what the future holds at H.A. Storage.

Definitely check out H.A. Storage www.hastorage.com

ha-storage-logo

 

Cisco Live 2015: Day 2

CiscoLive_day2Day 2 was a very busy day. Lots of great sessions. First full day of the Solutions floor, which has a lot of many great exhibitors.

I’ve noticed a big interest in ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure), so there is a lot of research to be done on this subject. Aside from that, I spent a lot of time at DevNet as well as the exhibition floor.

Being a customer, I was able to sync up with our UC SE, and spent a lot of time doing a deep dive at the Technical Solutions Clinic at the HUB. If you are at Cisco Live this year, make sure you stop by the Tech Solutions and talk to the TAC guys, for a technical dive on the Cisco product of your choice.

Had lunch at Stone Brewery, which was a nice treat. Hoping I can make it to Ballast Point today before the Cisco Live Party with Aerosmith tonight.

So far, it has been a great conference and I’m hoping I can be a recurring attendee.