• NVIDIA Community Advisors (NCA)

    A day late, but yesterday I received some exciting news. NVIDIA announced the founding class of their new program, NVIDIA Community Advisors (or NCA for short).

    What is the NCA Program you ask? I am glad you asked…

    The program brings together the talents of individuals who have invested significant time and resources to become experts in NVIDIA products and solutions. Together, they give the entire NVIDIA GRID ecosystem access to product management, architects and support managers to help ensure we build the right products.

    I am very excited about this program as I think the GPU is a critical component of a virtual workspace, be it published applications or virtual desktops. I believe these are becoming a crucial part and one day even a full requirement for enhancing and ensuring a solid end user experience and customer success. NVIDIA Grid has been a key part of my success with several recent projects for my customers. I am super proud and humbled to be including in the founding twenty members.

    Please read the official release on the NVIDIA blog (follow it as well for GRID information)

    Congratulations to the rest of the founding NCAs, give them a follow on twitter and their blogs, and a hearty congratulations.

    • Durukan Artik – Dell, Turkey
    • Barry Coombs – ComputerWorld, UK
    • Tony Foster – EMC, USA, @wonder_nerd
    • Ronald Grass – Citrix, Germany
    • Richard Hoffman – Entisys, USA, @Rich_T_Hoffman
    • Magnar Johnson – Independent Consultant, Norway, @magnarjohnsen
    • Ben Jones – Ebb3, UK, @_BenWJones
    • Philip Jones – Independent Consultant, USA, @P2Vme
    • Arash Keissami – dRaster, USA, @akeissami
    • Tobias Kreidl – Northern Arizona University, USA, @tkreidl
    • Sean Massey – AHEAD, USA, @seanpmassey
    • Andrew Morgan – Zinopy/ControlUp, Ireland, @andyjmorgan
    • Rasmus Raun-Nielsen – Conecto A/S, Denmark, @RBRConecto
    • Soeren Reinertsen – Siemens Wind Power, Denmark
    • Marius Sandbu – BigTec / Exclusive Networks, Norway, @msandbu
    • Barry Schiffer – SLTN Inter Access, Netherlands, @barryschiffer
    • Kanishk Sethi – Koenig Solutions, India, @kanishksethi
    • Ruben Spruijt – Atlantis Computing, Netherlands, @rspruijt
    • Roy Textor – Textor IT, Germany, @RoyTextor
    • Bernhard (Benny) Tritsch – Independent Consultant, Germany, @drtritsch

    Twitter List of the founding NCA class

    Benefits of the NVIDIA Grid Program

    Those selected for the program will be key technologists in the broader GRID customer and partner community. They’ll have the opportunity to work closely with and influence key engineering and business teams.

    Other program benefits include:

    • In-person meetings and private webinars with NVIDIA product teams for detailed discussions on current technologies and product roadmaps
    • Special incentives to attend or speak at NVIDIA GTC and other events
    • Access to a private forum for discussions with NVIDIA product teams about technologies, product updates, and priority technical support
    • Monthly member conference calls with key product and development staff
    • Access to demo licenses of current products and to early releases of future products
    • Technical support contacts

    A big thank you to NVIDIA and everyone that worked hard to make this program happen. I am a big proponent of community and these community based programs as they can be important to the feedback and development of the solution to meet customer’s needs in the future. I am also a member of the following community programs for Citrix (CTA), VMware (vExpert) and Cisco (Cisco Datacenter Champion) and I have seen these programs do great things for the greater community.


    Last but not least Applications for the 2017 NVIDIA GRID Community Advisor program will open in January so watch the NVIDIA blog and watch the NCAs and twitter for more announcements around that time.


    Just one more thing…

    And a special thank you to Thomas Poppelgaard, you may not be in the first round of NVIDA NCA’s but i wouldn’t have half the knowledge of NVIDIA GRID and vGPU without your substantial work and contributions to the community. Thank you sir. Follow his blog, follow him on twitter. I cannot thank you enough for the work that you do for this community. My hat’s off to you sir.


    NVIDIA Grid

  • Nvidia Grid M10 Released: All about the density

    I have long thought that GPUs and VDI/SBC workloads should and will become ubiquitous, you can read more on my thoughts on that here.  One of the key challenges has been getting the density and number of users per server to acceptable levels. NVIDIA has made strong progress on that front with the release of the M10 GRID cards which are capable of supporting up to 64 vGPUs or users per card with two cards per box pushing up to 128 vGPUs/users. I think target usage will be around 100 users per server with two (2) NVIDIA Tesla M10 cards installed.

    Below are the specs for the NVIDIA Grid TESLA M10

    NVIDIA GRID M10 Specs

    I think this is going to go a long way to helping making GPU’s more ubiquitous in EUC scenarios such as VDI or SBC. For more details check out the official announcement on the NVIDIA website.

    Cannot wait to get my hands on my one.

  • Updating Synology DSM

    I have two Synology boxes, an older DS212 and a DS1815+ that I use for my lab and other purposes. They were in need of an update andI thought I would put together a simple post about upgrading Synology to the latest DSM. This process covers updating from Synology DSM 5.2-5592 Update 2 to Synology DSM 6.0-7321 Update 6

    Synology Update 6 release brought a ton of new features and fixes, you can read more about that here.

    Some highlights

    • MailPlus / MailPlus Server – all new private cloud mail server
    • New Collaboration Tools – SpreadSheets and Note station
    • SSD Cache – Greater support for SSD cache
    • Data Protection – snapshot replication
    • Virtual DSM & Docker – Containers (This is probably the feature I am looking forward to the most)
    • Cloud & File Syncing – more
    • 64 Bit Architecture
    • Modularization
    • New Accessibility Features

    Now onto the upgrade process..

    Continue reading  Post ID 387

  • VM Display Resolution Issue

    A common issue on higher resolution desktops when running a virtual machine is that the display inside the virtual machine icons/text appears way too small.  For example when running a Windows 10 VM in Fusion on my Retina MacBook Pro.

    This is what i see, no matter what I change the resolution too, it doesn’t look right. Changing icon size also doesn’t solve the issue. So how did I solve this issue

    Continue reading  Post ID 387

  • Citrix Synergy 2016 – Join me at Tech Talk Tables & E2EVC

    It is now less than 30 days until Citrix Synergy 2016. This year Synergy is in Vegas from May 24-26 at the Sands Expo in the Venetian/Palazzo.

    Whether this is your first, or one of many journey’s to Citrix Synergy, you should check out Neil Spelling’s Survival guide post on Citrix Synergy 2016, always filled with good tips, information, parties and more. A must read if you ask me and make sure to follow Neil on twitter.

    I will be at Synergy and E2EVC (conference in Vegas immediately following Synergy) and will be sitting and hosting the Virtualization Tech Talk Tables this year. Last year I hosted the Mobility table and had many great conversations from people all over the world. It was one of the highlights of my trip.

    So what are the tech talk tables..

    Every day during lunch: Lunch Table Tech Chats (Sands Expo, Level 2, Sands Hall C, Solutions Expo)

    Every day, lunch is served—with a tech twist—in the Solutions Expo. Lunch Table Tech Chats are grouped by technology solution, such as cloud, security or mobility management, and no reservations are required—just use your lunch break to join these informal discussions led by volunteer Citrix User Group Community (CUGC) members and Citrix Technology Professionals (CTPs), and take away new insights, not to mention a few new contacts.


    Continue reading  Post ID 387

  • Back in the Saddle

    It has been over a year since I became an independent consultant (more on that is coming soon). It has also been more than a year since I have blogged content on a regular basis. It is time for me to get back in the saddle.

    I have a lot of half written blog posts that i have started and stopped. It is time to get back on the horse and finish some of this work. I find the blogging process quite enjoyable and when I am blogging it keeps me engaged and learning which is one of my personal drivers in life. ABL – Always be learning.  It is time to get that back.

    I also just moved my blog to a new hosting site and platform so I am working to resolve most of these issues with the website migration such as some pictures not importing and 404 issues with a few articles.

    Some highlights and articles coming:

    • Citrix
      • NetScaler
      • XenApp/XenDesktop
    • VMware
      • Horizon
      • NSX
      • AppVolumes
      • UEM
    • Conferences
      • Citrix Synergy Vegas
      • E2EVC Vegas
      • VMworld (???) TBD

    What are you working on? Let me know in the comments.

    Cheers and Signing off


  • Dell DRAC Java Console SSL Socket Connection Error

    Issue: Error message “Error when reading from SSL socket connection” when launching Remote console on a Dell DRAC server using the Java Plug-in Type.

    I have always had a love/hate relationship with Java (You got me, its actually just hate, no love). There are a lot of Java configurations required for various applications but let’s get on to the actual issue.

    I have a Dell PowerEdge 2950 in my lab with DRAC that I sometimes use for remote console and management especially if I am working remotely trying to resolve something in my lab. I tried to use the Java Console and I get the following error message.

    Error Message:  “Error when reading from SSL socket connection” 

    Some lab details:

    • Server: Dell PowerEdge 2950
    • Bios: 2.7.0
    • RAC version: DRAC 5 v1.65 
    • Java Version 1.8.0_31 (latest installed)
    • OS: Windows 10 Enterprise
    • Browser: Any – tested with IE, Chrome and Firefox

    In doing some digging I found that it was using SSLv3 which is disabled by default in JAVA.


    1. Open java.security file located in 
      1. C:Program FilesJava%java_version%libsecurity
        1. Note %java_version% will actually be the version of Java you have installed on your machine. Such as if you have installed JRE 1.8 Update 31 you would see the following path “C:Program FilesJavajre1.8.0_31libsecurity” 
    2. Comment out the following line by adding a #
      1. “jdk.tls.disabledAlgorithms=SSLv3”

    Voila!! Issue resolved. I can now launch the remote console using the Java Plugin.

    I could have switched to Native and used ActiveX plug-in type but I also don’t always use Internet Explorer and broken things and work-arounds bother me…

    Thanks for listening, and let me know if this does not work for you.

    See you on the flip side!!

  • ESXi Customizer and Windows 10 Fix

    ESXi-Customizer is a great tool to add vibs and custom drivers to a VMware ESXi installation. I had to do this for my lab for the Network interface drivers which I blogged about with instructions here.

    From the product page:

    ESXi-Customizer is a user-friendly script that automates the process of customizing the ESXi install-ISO with drivers that are not originally included. Unlike other scripts and manuals that are available for this purpose ESXi-Customizer runs entirely on Windows and does not require any knowledge of or access to Linux

    I recently went to use the ESXi Customizer as I am doing updates and refreshes of my lab (more on that later) and like many folks out there I have already taken the plunge into Windows 10 (actually have been running Win 10 Enterprise since Jan 2015).

    I got the following error message.

    Error: “!– FATAL ERROR: Unsupported Windows Version: 10.0. At least Windows XP is required!”

    Luckily there is an easy fix.  The ESXi-Customizer is a .cmd file which is easily editable so I did a search in Notepad++ (Great tool, go get it.)

    Resolution: Add a REM at the beginning of line 260 as follows. This will eliminate the Operating System check as it fails on Windows 10

    REM if “!WinVer!” LSS “5.1” call :earlyFatal Unsupported Windows Version: !WinVer!. At least Windows XP is required & exit /b 1

    Voila!! That’s it. It worked great in my lab (and according to folks from twitter)

  • Load Balancing AD FS 2012 R2 3.0 and Web Application Proxy With Netscaler

    Recently I had to set up load balancing for Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) 3.0 environment. There is not a whole lot of information out there on load balancing of ADFS 3.0. Most of the guides and documentation that are out there today are based on ADFS 2.0

    The diagram below illustrates a typical ADFS deployment scenario utilizing hardware load balancers such as Netscaler or F5 appliances.


    Why you need to do this.
    Server Name Indication (SNI) is a feature of SSL TLS and both Web Application Proxy and AD FS 2012 R2 use it to enable simpler deployment and remove networking prerequisites. Some client applications don’t support SNI but there is an easy way to workaround this using a fallback certificate. In this blog we will explain what SNI is, how it works and what to do if you have non-SNI capable clients.

    In this case the client (i.e. the Netscaler) does not support SNI for back end services. hence the requirements below. The proxy servers will only reply if the host header is present and will not respond directly via IP address. One of the main issues with the load balancing of the latest ADFS is that it doesn’t bind the certificate or service to the IP address.

    ADFS Server & Proxy Server Configuration
    On each of the ADFS servers and Web Application Proxy Servers for the ADFS services you will need to do the following.

      1. Open PowerShell
      2. Run the following command in the PowerShell Window
        1. netsh http show sslcert
      3. Review the output of the command and notate the following field

      1. Certificate Hash
      2. Application ID – Copy including brackets
    1.  Run the following command in the PowerShell Window
      1. netsh http add sslcert ipport=<IPAddress:port> certhash=<certhash> appid=<appid> certstorename=MY
        1. Fields
          1. IPAddress:port such as for example
            1. note will bind to all IP addresses on server. Can use specific IP
          2. certhash – copied from netsh http show sslcert
          3. appid – copied from netsh http show sslcert
        2. Note: On several of the systems that I ran the powershell command on I had to put single quotes around the appid before and after the brackets Without the bracket the error was “The Parameter is incorrect”
          1. Example of this would be below
            1. netsh http add sslcert ipport=<IPAddress:port> certhash=<certhash> appid='<appid>’ certstorename=MY

    Netscaler Configuration.
    You will need to create attach the monitor to either the services or service groups for ADFS 3.0 Servers & Proxy Servers. In my case all services & service groups were configured for SSL Bridge

    ADFS Monitor Configuration

    add lb monitor mon-https-ADFS3 HTTP-ECV -send “GET /federationmetadata/2007-06/federationmetadata.xml” -recv “adfs3.website.com/adfs/services/trust” -LRTM ENABLED -secure YES

    ADFS Proxy Monitor Configuration – Note the addition of the custom header. This is required for the proxy server configuration

    add lb monitor mon-https-ADFS3-PROXY HTTP-ECV -customHeaders “host: adfs3.website.comrn” -send “GET /federationmetadata/2007-06/federationmetadata.xml” -recv “adfs3.website.com/adfs/services/trust” -LRTM ENABLED -secure YES

    Replace website adfs3.website.com with your particular company website.

    You can find more information below at the following links

    ADFS is used in a variety of services and I hope you found this helpful. Now signing off.

  • Log Insight: Content Pack for Synology DSM

    Logging is a critical component of a an IT infrastructure. Almost all products have logs that give you valuable data. I think logs and analytics of those logs are all too often an overlooked part of ongoing operations.  The logs themselves are full of data but only useful if they are looked at analyzed.

    Products like VMware Log Insight, Splunk and others can give you insight into this data and logs to isolate issues and find quick resolutions and consolidate information across multiple products.

    I am a big fan of Synology NAS units, I have a small 2 bay Synology in my lab and have been working with Log Insight for a while now. Using Log Insight, I can have my logs from Synology DSM sent directly to my VMware Log Insight Appliance.

    Let’s take a look at the setup. Its actually very easy to set up.

    First we will add the content pack to Log Insight.

      1. Navigate to the Log Insight Login page either via name or IP address. Log into Log Insight appliance.

      2. In the upper right corner, click the menu button as shown in the screenshot. -> Click Content Packs

      3. Click Marketplace on the Left Hand Menu Under Content Pack MarketPlace

      4. Find Synology DSM Content Pack – You may have to scroll down, take a look through all of the available content packs as you may have other products that have content packs available.
      Click Synology DSM – A Pop Up will open in page

      5. Click Install on the Synology DSM Content Pack as shown below.
      6. You will get a notification that Synology DSM Content Pack has been installed.
      Next you will need to set up your Synology to send logs to the VMware Log Insight Appliance.
      7. Log into your Synology Web Manager GUI
      8. Click the Synology Main Menu in the upper Right hand corner

       9. Click the Log Center Icon

      10. Click Log Sending on the left hand menu and enter the IP or name of your Log Insight appliance. I chose IP for my lab.

      11. Your Synology should now be sending logs to your Log Insight appliance. It may take a few minutes to start seeing data in the Dashboards.

      12. Log into Log Insight – Click on Dashboards. Using the drop down menu on the left as shown in the screenshot below, click Synology DSM under Content Pack Dashboards

      I decided in order to show some data to throw some bad logins into my Synology. You can see those represented by the light blue, dark blue logins were a success.

      I will dive more into this and other content packs as well as more advanced functions and features in a future post.