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Tag: VMWare

VMware Horizon Mirage 4.4 Now Available

So earlier today I was in Reston, VA at VMware’s swanky new Executive Briefing Center with a customer talking about End User Computing.  When my buddy Chris mentioned that VMware Mirage 4.4 has gone GA.  I cannot tell you guys how much traction this product gets from customers when I perform a break fix demonstration right in front of their eyes.  It truly is a powerful piece of software for maintaining the integrity of either physical or virtual endpoints.  Below is the official announcement from VMware about the release.  Let me know if you have any questions!

 

VMware Horizon Mirage 4.4 Now Available!

Horizon Mirage 4.4 is now generally available! This latest release of Horizon Mirage introduces several exciting new features that benefit a variety of areas in IT. Horizon Mirage 4.4 now includes support for the latest Windows desktop operating systems – Windows 8 and 8.1. With this addition, Horizon Mirage can protect desktops and laptops with operating systems starting from Windows XP (if you still have it!) to Vista to 7 and now 8 and 8.1.  The next major feature, and one that benefits distributed enterprises, is a new Mirage Gateway. The gateway allows secure centralized management of remote endpoints without the need for VPN. Finally, enhancements to the Windows 7 migration process helps make migrations even faster with Horizon Mirage – as if they weren’t fast enough already! Here’s more information on some of the key new features in Horizon Mirage 4.4:

Windows 8 Support – Windows 8 and 8.1 devices can now be centralized and recovered using Horizon Mirage. IT can initiate a full system recovery in case of a lost, stolen, or broken beyond repair desktop, laptop or tablet. End users can initiate self-service file recovery in case they want to revert a deleted file or revert a file to a previous snapshot. And all of this can be done in minutes to hours, not days to weeks.

Mirage Gateway – The Mirage Gateway helps remote users connect their devices back to the corporate network, where Horizon Mirage is centrally located. End users do not need to set up a VPN connection to synchronize or back up their local files to the centrally-located Mirage Server(s). Saving this extra step across many remote users creates a non-disruptive experience for those remote users. And, the Mirage Gateway includes enterprise-grade scalability and security.

Fast Windows 7 Migration – A new policy can be applied to endpoints such that data does not get backed up or centralized during a migration workflow. This can lead to a tremendous amount of time saving as centralization is generally one of the biggest time consumers in a migration project.

Easy Upgrade for Horizon View Customers with Horizon Mirage – If IT needs to upgrade the Horizon View agent from 5.3 to future releases, they can do so with Horizon Mirage. Using a base or application layer is a two-step process that allows IT to perform this upgrade. The upgrade does not disrupt any applications that are managed outside of the base or app layer that contains the View upgrade.

Web Console and File Portal Enhancements – Using the web console and file portal just got better with Horizon Mirage 4.4. End users can now download multiple centralized files, and even folders, across devices. The web console has been further improved to allow IT to perform mass centralization and get deeper insight into the endpoints being managed with dashboard drilldowns. These enhancements automate management for IT, making troubleshooting easier and providing a scalable endpoint centralization option.

As noted above, Horizon Mirage 4.4 introduces several enhancements and new features that help IT work better, faster and smarter. This translates into fantastic support for end users, which helps maximize business efficiency.

ESXi & iSCSI

So the series I’ve been doing on ESXi has been getting nothing but great feedback, and I’m glad that I can share what I’ve learned over the course of the last couple years with everyone.
On episode 518 of Hak5, we show how truly easy it is to add iSCSI storage to a free deployment of ESXi.

So what is iSCSI?

In computing, iSCSI (pronounced /аɪsˈkʌzi/), is an abbreviation of Internet Small Computer System Interface, an Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities. By carrying SCSI commands over IP networks, iSCSI is used to facilitate data transfers over intranets and to manage storage over long distances. iSCSI can be used to transmit data over local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), or the Internet and can enable location-independent data storage and retrieval. The protocol allows clients (called initiators) to send SCSI commands (CDBs) to SCSI storage devices (targets) on remote servers. It is a popular storage area network (SAN) protocol, allowing organizations to consolidate storage into data center storage arrays while providing hosts (such as database and web servers) with the illusion of locally-attached disks. Unlike traditional Fibre Channel, which requires special-purpose cabling, iSCSI can be run over long distances using existing network infrastructure.

In simpler terms, using some free software, it’s stupid easy to create a large amount of storage which is not tied to the physical adapter of the host server (in this case, the server ESXi is running on).

So what do we need?

  • Functioning ESXi Installation
  • Server capable of running FreeNAS
  • Gigabit connectivity between ESXi server and FreeNAS

Now let’s get started. While it’s recommended to separate your iSCSI traffic from your other internet networking, for the purpose of this instruction, we’re just going to use the same IP subnet for all of our LAN and iSCSI traffic.
Our ESXi server sits at 10.10.1.55 and our newly installed FreeNAS server is located at 10.10.1.66

  1. Connect to your FreeNAS server through the WebGUI using your favorite browser. In the top menu select Disks, then click Management.
    iscsi-001
  2. Click on the plus sign in the lower right corner to add drives.
    iscsi-002
  3. Next to Disk, choose the drive you want to add from the drop down, and if you want enter a description for it next to Description.
    iscsi-003
  4. When you go back to the Disk Management screen you will be asked to confirm the addition by clicking on Apply changes, go ahead and do that now.
    iscsi-004
  5. From the top menu choose Services, then iSCSI Target.
    iscsi-005
  6. Click on the plus sign in the Extent area.
    iscsi-006
  7. The Bolded fields are required, so place a name in the Extent name field, leave the Type as Device, and then choose the Device you want in the dropdown.
    iscsi-007
  8. When you get back to the iSCSI Target page click on Apply changes.
    iscsi-008
  9. Click on the plus sign in the Target area.
    iscsi-009
  10. As before the Bolded fields are required. Here is a breakdown of the fields:

    Target name: Add your own or leave the default
    Flags: RW for Read/Write or RO for Read Only
    Storage: Will have the extents listed that were setup, choose the one you want to use
    Authorized Network: Enter the IP network that can access this drive. For us we’re going to enter 10.10.1.0 and we’ll leave the /24 as our subnet is 255.255.255.0

    Once you fill in all the info click on Add.
    iscsi-010

  11. Back at the iSCSI target page you need to click on Apply changes once again.
    iscsi-011
  12. Now place a check in the box next to Enable in the top right corner and then click Save and Restart in the bottom left.
    iscsi-012
  13. The iSCSI Target drive is now setup and ready for use.

Now we need to setup ESXi to connect to our newly created iSCSI target.
Start by logging into your your host by using the Vitrual Infrastructure Client.
Click on your host, and then click the configuration tab.
Click Storage adapters, and then select your VMHBA32 iSCSI storage adapter.
Click properties and configure, then check the enabled box.
Goto the dynamic discovery tab, and add your FreeNAS IP address (in this case, 10.10.1.66)
Click ok, then close, and then rescan the HBA.

At this point you should see your storage, now we need to format the new storage.
So click back to the storage option on the left.
Then click Add Storage.
Select Disk / Lun, and click next.
Select your new disk on the FreeNAS iSCSI target, and next, next, finish.

DONE!

Questions? Post em in the comments!

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