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Showing posts from June, 2014

Forcing VMs to use the Flexible Network Adapter

One of my customers uses the Sophos UTM virtual appliance as a firewall/router.  It was originally set up as an Astaro version 8 virtual appliance and has been upgraded in place since then.  When that appliance was first made available, it used the Flexible network adapter by default, although the recommendation now is to use vmxnet3 for better performance.  Unfortunately, during the upgrade process, this change never went into place.
We’re trying to help this customer to resolve some performance problems and have identified that network adapter type as a potential bottleneck in their environment.  Before changing such a vital piece of a live environment, I decided to prototype it in the lab.  It turns out that Sophos no longer provides the virtual appliance, instead providing an ISO to install the software onto a VMware virtual machine.  No problem, I thought, and so I created the VM in my lab, aiming to match the appliance’s configuration settings.
As with so many other virtual app…

Planning and Designing VDI Use Cases

When planning a VDI deployment, we all know that it’s important to define your use cases.  VMware’s methodology defines three main categories for these use cases: Task Worker, Knowledge Worker and Power User.  I see a lot of confusion in the field though – these are not use cases themselves.  I have yet to find an organization that can neatly divide their workforce into three use cases.  Instead, those categories are really just shorthand to allow us to roughly describe the resources that are required by the use case.
Most environments will have several Task Worker use cases.  There might be a Call Center Task Worker use case, a Data Entry Clerk Task Worker use case and a Secretary Task Worker use case, all within the same organization.  This is perfectly normal, as “Task Worker” really means that the use case employs a very limited set of applications and does not require many resources.  So, how do you actually define a use case then?
A use case is defined by job function, not by r…

Installing SSL Certificates on View Connection Brokers

When working with VMware View (or any VDI solution for that matter), you’ll eventually have to deal with certificates.  Hopefully your organization has a skilled web or security team who can help you install the certificate onto the Connection Servers and Security Servers… but I find that that’s not usually the case.  Usually, someone either just downloads the certificate from GoDaddy (or whatever authority they use) or gives me the credentials so that I can download it myself.

The problem is, what you download from GoDaddy isn’t going to work, at least not by itself.  There basically two parts of a certificate: the public key and the private key.  When you go to GoDaddy and launch their interface and download your certificate, you’re downloading the public key (and any intermediate certificates that are required to establish a chain of trust).  In order to install and use that certificate, you’ll need to provide the corresponding private key (which was used in the initial certificate…