07-02-14

VCAP-DTA – Objective 1.5 – Upgrade View Infrastructure Components

The purpose of this objective is to take all the major pieces of View, so think Connection Server, Security Server, Transfer Server, View Agent, View Client and View Composer and upgrade them to version 5.2, as this is the version the exam blueprint focuses on. In the skills and abilities section, there is basically a breakout for all the pieces as listed above.

I find it interesting that they call out specifically re-pairing Security Servers and enabling IPsec during the upgrade. This to me suggests that you can pretty much guarantee you’re going to see this during the exam, as to be honest, all the other pieces we just listed are pretty much “Next, Next, Finish” file copy jobs. You can actually upgrade the Connection Server without having to reboot at the end, but I always think it good practice to give it one last reboot afterwards to ensure you have all the right file versions loaded into memory.

  • Upgrade View Connection Server – As I just said, this is a very straight forward task, so maybe there’s an unforeseen curveball  in here somewhere. The only one I can really think of is to check 5.2 pre-requisites have been met, so Windows 2008 R2 64 bit, 4 vCPU, 1Gbps NIC, minimum 4GB RAM (you won’t be servicing 50 concurrent connections in an exam!). Also make sure you license the thing – coming from an older version (4.x series), the license key will be different. Also remember that self signed certificates are a big no no now, so you may have to make changes there (see earlier sections for details). If this Connection Server will be paired with a Security Server, check Windows Firewall is set to on as IPsec requires this. Potential test scenario right there! Know how to accept the self signed certificate if you’re asked that on the exam. View Administrator, click Verify on the alert.
  • Upgrade View Security Server – Check the Connection Server you pair with has already been upgraded first. Configure the pairing password in View Administrator before running the installer. The installation guide suggests checking the Security Server shows the correct version after the upgrade in View Administrator and remove any duplicate entries which can sometimes occur. With regard to IPsec, select the Security Server in View Administrator and select More Commands, Prepare For Upgrade or Reinstallation. If the old IPsec rules have not been removed, the  pairing will fail. Sounds like another potential exam pitfall!
  • Upgrade View Transfer Server – As a pre-requisite, ensure that Connection and Composer servers have been upgraded to 5.2. Backup your CA signed certificate first if you’re using one, it’s stored in install_directory\VMware\VMware View\Server\httpd\conf.
    • Put the Transfer Server into maintenance mode, go to the Transfer Servers tab, select the Transfer Server you plan to upgrade and select Enter Maintenance Mode. Wait until the status changes before continuing!
    • Run the installer as administrator and once completed successfully, go back into the Transfer Servers tab, select the server you just upgraded and select Exit Maintenance Mode.
  • You may be asked to install a net new Transfer Server – this is pretty straightforward. Go to the VM on which you want to install the Transfer Server and run through the short installer. Once complete, go to View Administrator and the Transfer Servers tab. Configure the new Transfer Server to use the file repository if that is what the scenario demands. You can then remove the old Transfer Server instance and uninstall the software from the original VM. I like the sound of this for an exam scenario!
  • Upgrade View Agent – Again meet the pre-reqs which state at least one Connection Server in the replicated group is at version 5.2. If local mode desktops are also in the mix, check View Composer and View Transfer Servers are also at 5.2. The installer also needs local admin rights on the VM.
    • Run the short installer to upgrade the View Agent piece on the desktop VM
    • If you have a linked clone pool, you will need to upgrade the master image agent, take a snapshot of this and then recompose the pool. Sounds like something you’d find in the exam to me!
    • Full clone desktops will need to be upgraded one by one by hand (doubt there will be SCCM in the exam!)
    • Once complete, verify connectivity by logging into the desktop. You can quickly check the version of agent in the View Administrator, Desktops dialog. Ensure the VDI status reads “available”
  • Upgrade View Client – Again another very straightforward task. Remember you can get the latest client by hitting the Connection Server with a web browser which gives you the View Portal. Select the appropriate client version (32/64 bit, with/without local mode) and follow the bouncing ball. Once complete, verify connectivity.
  • Upgrade View Composer – There’s no mention of migrating View Composer to another server, but that’s been covered previously. You may need to configure a CA signed SSL certificate before you run the installer, again see previous steps on how to do this. You can then let the installer upgrade the Composer database or you can do it manually. I don’t see how the exam can ask you to do it by hand, but in case they do, remember to use the SviConfig after the installer has completed.
    • Remember the View Composer port number is 18443, in case you need it for View Administrator and hooking up to a vCenter.
    • For details on migrating View Composer to a stand alone instance, see notes for Objective 1.2. I consider it likely you’ll be asked to stand up a standalone Composer server and then upgrade it in place.

28-01-14

VCAP-DTA Objective 1.4 – Deploy and Configure View Transfer Server

So we’ve deployed Connection Servers, Security Servers and now it’s the turn of the Transfer Server. Remember this is kind of a Connection Server that has the responsibility of checking local mode desktops in and out. Thinking out loud about how this might turn up the exam, I’m thinking that you’ll probably have to run through the installation of one, but I’m struggling to think that you’ll be asked to check a desktop out simply because of the time it takes. I could be wrong, but three hours is not long to get all of this stuff done!

So again a Transfer Server is stood up by running the Connection Server installation executable. No seperate installer for this component. There are a number of things to bear in mind, which hopefully will be covered below in the skills and abilities section of the exam blueprint.

  • Configure storage for View Transfer Server and the repository – OK, so this strictly doesn’t say you’ll be installing a Transfer Server, so do we assume it’s already stood up? Remember from the install and architecture guides :-

    • Must be a virtual machine, for the exam I think that’s a given!
    • Requires Windows 2008 R2 64 Bit, 4Gb RAM, 2 vCPU, 20GB disk space, LSI Logic Parallel or SAS adapter (sounds like something that might come out of a troubleshooting scenario – “Why won’t Transfer Server install?”), 1GB E1000 vNIC (you need bandwidth to check desktops in and out, of course)
    • Must be managed by same vCenter as the desktops you want to check out
    • Must have static IP address and does not need to be domain joined
    • Can’t co-exist with any other View component such as Connection Server, View Client etc
    • The installation of a Transfer Server is essentially a two step process – installing the beast and then configuring it in View Administrator. Don’t forget the second part or your Transfer Server is useless!
    • Run the Connection Server installer, select View Transfer Server and fill in details for Network Domain (somewhere.com), Server Name (FQDN) and Administrator’s e-mail address (a.bloke@acme.com, for example)
    •  Install and off we go.
    • Click Finish when the file copy and installation is complete, then we have to make the necessary changes to View Administrator
    • In View Administrator, go to View Configuration | Servers, Transfer Servers tab. Click Add and select the vCenter server your Transfer Server is managed by. Click Next and select your Transfer Server, click Finish.
    • To complete the install, you also need to create and specify a transfer repository. This can be either a local folder on the Transfer Server, or better yet, a UNC path that can be shared among multiple Transfer Servers.
    • Before you specify a repository path, you need to place your Transfer Server into maintenance mode. To do that, highlight your Transfer Server in View Administrator and click Enter Maintenance Mode.
    • In the Transfer Server Repository section at the bottom of the page, click Edit on the General Tab and select network share path or local path and select OK. Don’t forget to take your Transfer Server out of maintenance mode to complete the task!
  • Configure the View Transfer Server firewall – chances are you won’t have to do much here. If Windows Firewall is already enabled, verify that the Connection Server is allowed out over HTTP and HTTPS, paying special attention to the domain, home/work and public scopes, they might try and trip you up on this step. The good news is Transfer Server works over good old ports 80 and 443, so no wacky port numbers to remember here.
  • Configure security policies for Local Mode – Again a relatively straightforward step if you know where to look. In View Administrator, open the Policies branch in the left pane and click Global Policies. There is a specific section for Local Mode Policies, so click on Edit Policies and select the appropriate policies for the exam scenario. For example, you may be asked to change the max time without server contact from the default 7 days to say 3 days (be surprised if they ask you to go unlimited). Disks Replicated also strikes me as something you may be asked to change, for example from the default Persistent Disks to OS and Persistent Disks.