Horizon View – Why Automated Desktop Pools with Full Clones are still a thing

We have to deal with COVID19 for a year now and from the IT perspective, 2020 was a pretty strange year. Many project were not cancelled, but were placed on-hold. But two kinds of projects went through the roof:

  • Microsoft 365, and
  • Horizon View

As you might noticed I blogged a lot about Exchange, Exchange Online and Horizon this year. The reason for this is pretty simple: That was driving my business this year.

In early 2020, when we decided to move into our home offices, we deployed Horizon View on physical PCs at ML Network (my employer). This was a simple solution and it works for us until today.

Some of my customers also deployed Horizon View for the same reason: A secure and easy way to get a desktop.… Read more

Adobe Flash will die and how does this affects VMware

December 31, 2020 will not only be the end of the miserable year 2020, it will also be the end of an era – the era of Adobe Flash! Adobe has announced that they will stop supporting Adobe Flash after December 31, 2020. Furthermore, Adobe will block Flash from running in Flash Player on January 12, 2021. Adobe strongly recommends that all users immediately uninstall Flash Player. I got a popup a couple of times, asking me if I want to uninstall Adobe Flash. It’s still installed… :/

Adobe Flash isn’t a big thing in web development anymore, but there is a reason why I still have Adobe Flash installed – Admin Interfaces!… Read more

Exchange HCW8078 – Migration Endpoint could not be created

While migrating a customer from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016, I had to create an Exchange Hybrid Deployment, because the customer wants to use Microsoft Teams. Nothing fancy and I’ve did this a couple of times.

Unfortunantely the Hybrid Connection Wizard failed to create the migration endpoint. A quick check of the logs showed this error:

Microsoft.Exchange.MailboxReplicationService.MRSRemotePermanentException: The Mailbox Replication Service could not connect to the remote server because the certificate is invalid. The call to 'https://mail.contoso.com/EWS/mrsproxy.svc' failed.
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VMware ESXi 6.7 memory health warnings after ProLiant SPP

During the deployment of a vSAN cluster consisting of multiple HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10 hosts, I noticed a memory health warning after updating the firmware using the Support Pack for ProLiant. The error was definitely not shown before the update, so it was clear, that this was not a real issue with the hardware. Furthermore: All hosts showed this error.

Memory health status after SPP

The same day, a customer called me and asked me about a strange memory health error after he has updated all of his hosts with the latest SPP…

My first guess, that this was not caused by a HW malfunction was correct. HPE published a advisory about this issue:

The Memory Sensor Status Reported in the vSphere Web Client Is Not Accurate For HPE ProLiant Gen10 and Gen10 Plus Servers Running VMware ESXi 6.5/6.7/7.0 With HPE Integrated Lights-Out 5 (iLO 5) Firmware Version 2.30

To fix this issue, you have to update the ILO5 firmware to version 2.31.… Read more

Moving a small on-prem environment to Azure/ O365 – Part 2

A couple of days ago, I wrote about our first steps to move our on-prem stuff to Azure. This post will cover how we adopted Office 365 and how we have started with our Azure deployment.

Our first step into Office 365 was Microsoft Teams. We needed a solution for calls (audio/ video) and chat. We skipped Skype 4 Business and started with Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft 2020 (c)

Our Microsoft Teams deployment was pretty simple: We used our Microsoft IUR Office 365 E3 plans. Microsoft Azure AD Connect was quickly deployed and the Microsoft Exchange Hybrid Connection Wizard did the rest. Some weeks later we deployed ADFS/ ADFS Proxy.… Read more

Exchange Control Panel /ecp broken after certificate replacement

As part of an ongoing Exchange 2010 to 2016 migration, I had to replace the self-signed certificate with a certificate from the customers PKI. Everything went fine, the customer had a suitable template, we’ve added the necessary hostnames and bound IIS and SMTP to the certificate. The mess started with an iisreset /noforce

Bild von Oskars Zvejs auf Pixabay 

The iisreset took longer than expected. After that, I tried to login into the ECP, entered username and password and got an error.

<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event"<System<Provider Name="MSExchange Front End HTTP Proxy" /<EventID Qualifiers="49152"1003</EventID<Level2</Level<Task1</Task<Keywords0x80000000000000</Keywords<TimeCreated SystemTime="2020-10-22T12:16:38.934123400Z" /<EventRecordID368718</EventRecordID<ChannelApplication</Channel<Computerserver.domain.tld</Computer
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Moving a small on-prem environment to Azure/ O365 – Part 1

It was a bit quiet here due to the current COVID 19 pandemic. But now I’m back with a pretty interesting story on how my colleagues and I moved most of our on-prem server stuff to Microsoft Azure and Office 365.

Microsoft 2020 (c)

It all started with the COVID19 lockdown in Germany in March 2020. We moved into our home offices after setting up a small VMware Horizon View deployment to access our PCs using physical View Agents and manual desktop pools. Most projects were stopped, and we did most of our work remote. No lay-offs or short-time work.

We were running a small VMware vSphere cluster for a couple of years.… Read more

Setup the View Agent Direct-Connection (VADC) Plug-In

The View Agent Direct-Connection (VADC) Plug-In was designed as an extension to the Horizon Agent, which allows a Horizon Client to directly connect to a VM or physical machine withtout using a Horizon Connection Server.

The VADC is nothing new, it is part of the Horizon View eco system for a couple of years now. Meanwhile, the VADC supports the Blast Exteme protocol, which makes it pretty interesting for remote access to lab environment or home office equipment.

There are a couple of requirements which I want to highlight:

VADC Plug-In has the following additional requirements:

  • The VM or or physical machine must have a minimum of 128 MB of video RAM
  • For a virtual machine, you must install VMware Tools before you install Horizon Agent
  • A physical machine supports Windows 10 Enterprise version 1803 or version 1809, newer releases tend to work flawless
  • A VM supports Blast and PCoIP protocols
  • A physical machine supports Blast only

The installation of the VADC is divieded into two steps:

  • Installation of the View Agent
  • Installation of the VADC

The View Agent has to be installed silently, because you are unable to add it to a Connection Server.… Read more

Installation von Horizon View Agent fails continuously with “The System must be rebooted before installation can continue”

This issue was a bit annoying. I faced this issue not in a customer environment, rather then on my second Lenovo laptop, an X250 with Windows 10 20H2. My intention was to use it headless in a docking station. So how should I access it? RDP? TeamViewer? Why not use the Horizon Direct Connection Plug-in?

The Horizon Direct Connection Plug-in is not a new feature and you can think of it as a View Agent without a Connection Server. You can access it using the View Client, but you don’t have to run the connection through a Connection Server. For pretty small environments or direct access a perfect fit!

Error message View Agent setup

In order to use the Horizon Direct Connection Plug-in, you have to install the View Agent.… Read more

Virtually reseated: Reset blade in a HPE C7000 enclosure

After a reboot, a VMware ESXi 6.7 U3 told me that he has no compatible NICs. Fun fact: Right before the reboot everything was fine.

The ILO also showed no NICs. Unfortunately, I wasn’t onsite to pull the blade server and put it back in. But there is a way to do this “virtually”.

You have to connect to the IP address of the Onboard Administrator via SSH. Then issue the reset server command with the bay of the server you want to reset and an argument.

OA1-C7000reset server 13

WARNING: Resetting the server trips its E-Fuse. This causes all power to be momentarily removed from the server. This command should only be used when physical access to the server is unavailable, and the server must be removed and
reinserted.
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