Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

VM Portability

The article at virtualizationdaily.com is pretty cool, but I’d be much more interested if it were written the other way around—converting a Parallels VM to run under VMware. Of course, that’s not likely to happen until VMware Fusion hits public beta. If I had a copy of Parallels (or a Parallels VM), I’d try it myself. Anyone out there with a Parallels VM they want to donate? Hey, wait a minute…I could just try one of the prebuilt Parallels appliances also made available at virtualizationdaily.com! Stay tuned for more details….

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Unix Attributes Tab and nisprop.dll

A number of the readers of my article describing integration between Linux and Active Directory on Windows Server 2003 R2 have inquired about the need to install Server for NIS on a domain controller. Even though we don’t necessarily need NIS for this process (although we will need NIS if we are going to use NFS and automounts), installing the Server for NIS also makes available the “UNIX Attributes” tab in the Active Directory Users and Computers console. You’ll need some sort of access to the attributes in Active Directory (unixHomeDirectory, gidNumber, uid, uidNumber, gecos, loginShell) in order to set them so that Linux and UNIX systems can utilize the information in those attributes, so installing Server for NIS in order to get the “UNIX Attributes” tab makes sense.

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VirtualCenter Patch Released

(Thanks to virtualization.info for alerting us to this release.) VMware has posted an update to VirtualCenter that addresses a potential security problem with the Virtual Infrastructure clients and the VirtualCenter server. Apparently, the potential security flaw is that SSL server certificate validation was not being performed, allowing a potential man-in-the-middle attack. The update enables the validation of SSL certificates; the exact procedure for how this is done is documented in this VMware KB article.

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VMotion Compatibility

Richard Garsthagen of www.run-virtual.com has published an application (I believe he’s calling it VMotion Info) that clearly identifies the differences between CPUs across servers in a farm of ESX servers. This application talks to the VirtualCenter server and then gather information from all the ESX servers represented in VirtualCenter. After gathering all the information, it will then graphically present the differences and actually decode the raw bits to tell you exactly what the differences are (i.e., NX/XD supported/not supported, SSE2/SSE3, etc.).

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Greater AD Integration via NFS and Automounts

This solution builds upon the integration of Solaris 10 and Linux (again, CentOS specifically, but I’ll use Linux here instead of mentioning the specific distribution) into Active Directory for authentication and authorization as outlined in these related articles:

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Virtual Consoles Inside Virtual Machines

Using VMware Fusion (or I suppose that other Intel-based Mac virtualization application, Parallels Desktop), we can now run a Windows instance on our Mac (I’m running it on a Core 2 Duo-based MacBook Pro, for example). Like all other VMware hosted products (VMware Workstation or VMware Server, both on either Windows or Linux), the close-enough-to-native performance allows us to use this instance in order to host an installation of the Virtual Infrastructure (VI) client without an unacceptable performance impact.

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MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update

The Apple Support page that describes the firmware update states that after the update, the Boot ROM Version will be reported by System Profiler as MBP11.0055.B08 (for 15-inch MacBook Pros) or MBP12.0061.B03 (for the 17-inch MacBook Pros).

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My First Few Weeks with the MacBook Pro

There were two concerns I had about buying a MacBook Pro, neither of them huge concerns but sufficient enough nevertheless. The first was the heat; there were just so many reports of MBPs running hot. (Yes, I know that this was primarily early-run MBPs.) The second was the performance of non-Universal applications.

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Report of Logons from Security Logs

As a system administrator, no doubt you’ve had the occasion where you’ve needed to review the security event log on a server or a domain controller to retrieve information about when a particular user logged in or logged out. It’s a time consuming and laborious process. Or it was, until now.

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Security Fixes for ESX

The Secunia advisories (ESX 2.x here and ESX 3.0.0 here) are dated today and were brought to my attention via Thincomputing.net. Updates are available for both ESX 2.x (2.0.2, 2.1.3, 2.5.3, and 2.5.4 all have updates available) as well as for ESX 3.0.0 (please note that ESX 3.0.1 is not affected by the same vulnerability).

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