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Bye Bye VMware and Hello Dell EMC here I come!

16 Aug

Dell EMC

On 9th Aug 2018, I took the most difficult decisions of my life to leave my country India and one of the best companies in information technology VMware after working for 4.5 years. Our search for a better standard of living in a developed country and secured future for my kids ended up in Australia. We did evaluate Canada & Germany as well, but looking at all the factors, Australia was the place which we locked down to migrate and settle.

Back in early June, I started looking for an internal transfer within VMware. However, after talking to multiple bosses and divisions, nothing was materializing for an internal move. I had to make a hard choice to leave VMware and move ahead with my decision of moving countries. I began my job hunt during my notice period within VMware and 15 days later I came across a wonderful opportunity in Dell EMC @ Sydney, Australia. I am pleased that I got an opportunity in the parent and consortium of companies

Although I am going to miss working with a lot of colleagues @ VMware. But I am looking forward to working with new colleagues, projects and challenges in Dell EMC. It would be fun learning new things and solving problems from the real world and get an outside perspective. Will keep in touch on Twitter and LinkedIn

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal Horizon Desktop Deployments – VMworld 2017

22 Feb

This year at VMworld, myself and my colleague Simon Long had the opportunity to talk about a project we’ve been working on for the past few years. We’ve been re-redesigning and deploying VMware’s internal Horizon Desktop environments.

Session Summary

“How does VMware architect its own global VMware Horizon desktop environment?” “Has it encountered the same obstacles we are facing?” Over the past two years, VMware has been re-architecting and deploying its virtual desktop infrastructure with VMware Horizon, VMware App Volumes, and VMware User Environment Manager running on top of the full VMware software-defined data center stack (VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, VMware NSX) and integrating with VMware vRealize Operations Manager and VMware vRealize Log Insight. In this session, the lead architects will reveal all.

Our session (ADV1255BU – The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal VMware Horizon Desktop) includes the following sections:

  • Where we we? – Why did we need to kick off this project (from the beginning)
  • What do we need? – Revisiting the business and technical requirements (from 3:05)
  • How do we do this better? – How do we design this new infrastructure making sure we don’t hit the same issues again (from 5:13)
  • Where we are today? – A look at what we architected and deployed  (from 9:12)
  • What did we learn? – What challenges did we face along the way (from 30:45)
  • Where do we go from here? – How can we improve upon what we have built (from 41:51)

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. Please contact myself or Simon if you have any questions around our session.

Thanks,
Aresh

VMware CIO Innovation Award – OneDesk

7 Feb

I thought I would share some pretty exciting news with you guys, I’ve recently received an award internally within VMware for a cool project that myself and my colleague Simon Long have been working on for the past 6-8 months. The project in question is called OneDesk. I’ll explain more about OneDesk shortly.

CIO Innovation Award

The award we won is called the VMware CIO Innovation award. Here is the description of the Innovation category:

“The team which best accomplished the goal of creating and developing new products and/or services.”


Aresh Sarkari – VMware CIO 2017 Innovation AwardCIOAward-Aresh

I wasn’t very lucky to receive the award in-person as the award arrived in India a couple of days late and by then Bask Iyer had to leave back for PA, CA.

OneDesk

The project myself and Simon Long have been working on is called OneDesk. For those of you who attended our VMworld session: The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal Horizon Desktop Deployments you’d have heard us talking about it during our session. For those of you who were unfortunate enough to miss it, I’ll explain all about it now.

What is OneDesk?

OneDesk is many things to many people. Here are some of its main functions:

EUC Dogfooding environment
OneDesk is an End User Computing (EUC) environment created from un-used production hardware where we deploy pre-release versions of our EUC software (Horizon, App Volumes and User Environment Manager). This allows us to test our products before we make them publicly available to our customers and providing feedback to the product teams of any issues that we encounter throughout or testing.

Pre-Production Horizon Environment
OneDesk also acts a Pre-Production environment for VMware’s internal Production Horizon desktop environments in the US, EMEA and India. The availability of our production Horizon deployments is extremely important to the business and often updating software can lead to service outages. By deploying the newly released EUC software into OneDesk as early as possible, we can use our experiences to make decisions on when we will upgrade the production environments.

Next-Generation EUC Environment
OneDesk also acts a ‘Next-Generation’ environment for our production Horizon desktop environments in the US, EMEA and India. The availability of our production Horizon deployments is extremely important to the business and often introducing new products or configuration changes can lead to service outages. We will be deploying all new products and configurations into OneDesk first, allowing us to iron out any creases and monitor stability before we consider deploying these changes into the production environments.

VMware on VMware
Last but not least, this is a VMware on VMware initiative. Where there is a business need, we look to utilize as many of VMware’s products as possible. By utilizing our own products early in the development cycle we are able to identify bugs and offer feedback to our product teams to help improve our customer’s experience once the products are released.

How is OneDesk different from the VMware production Horizon desktop environments?

The table below gives you an idea of how the services differ:OneDeskVSProduction

The table below gives you an idea of how the product version differs between OneDesk and Production: (Version may have changed since publication)
Products-OneDeskVSProduction

Here is a list of features that we’ve used OneDesk to test before we deploy the features into our production environments:

  • Instant Clones
  • Blast Extreme
  • Unified Access Gateway
  • Enrollment Server / True SSO
  • Skype For Business Plugin
  • Horizon Smart Policies (UEM)
  • NSX Edge Load-Balancer
  • NSX Distributed Firewall (Micro-Segmentation)
  • Sparse Swap Files
  • Client Cache

Product Improvement

Not only does deploying early releases of software allow us to test some really cool new features that we’ve been able to implement into Production, this also allows us to capture many bugs before we release the products to our customers. Hopefully, this means that you, our customers, have a must most stable product that you can rely on.

I’ve really enjoyed designing and deploying OneDesk and watching its value to VMware grow as we utilize it more and more. I’m looking forward to seeing where we can take OneDesk in the future. Watch this space.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Vulnerability Scanner for WannaCry and NoPetya – VDI environments

31 Jul

With a lot of enterprises in the middle of the WannaCry and NoPetya vulnerability. If you are running a enterprise VDI environment the fix is pretty simple. Just target your Master VM or Golden Master images and run the Windows Update. Once you have updated the image simply Recompose or Push-Image the desktops pools with the latest updates. Your environment is quickly secured! These vulnerability reiterate the importance of regular patching within the production environments for your Core infrastructure + Master Images.

WannaCry Patch for All Windows versionshttps://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms17-010.aspx

Vulnerability Scanner

A quick and easy way to scan your environment is using a free EternalBlue vulnerability scanner. – http://omerez.com/eternalblues/

image

Simply download the scanner and launch it on a Windows VM of your choice on Windows 7/8.1/10.

IP Range:
The tool by default tends to select the /24 subnet. However, if you have a bigger subnet like a /19 to scan simply enter the Start and End of the entire subnet range. In this example its a 192.168.0.0/19. It will scan for 8190 IP addresses.

image

I hope you scan your environment ASAP! Get rid of the vulnerability ASAP!

Thanks,
Aresh

EUC Session for VMworld 2017

3 Apr

Folks, I have submitted a session for the VMworld 2017. If you would like to see them go on stage then please vote!

My Session:
The secret sauce behind VMware’s internal Horizon desktop deployments [1255]
Ever asked yourself “How does VMware architect their own global Horizon desktop environment?”, “Have they encountered the same obstacles we are facing?” Over the past two years VMware has been re-architecting and re-deploying their virtual desktop infrastructure with Horizon, App Volumes and User Environment Manager (UEM) running on top of the full VMware SDDC stack (vSphere, VSAN, NSX) and integrating with vRealize Operations Manager and Log Insight. In this session the lead architects will reveal all.

Direct Link to my session VOTE HERE: https://my.vmworld.com/scripts/catalog/uscatalog.jsp?search=1255

How to Vote?
Create a new account if you don’t have a existing one –
https://www.vmworld.com/myvmworld.jspa and click on “Create Account”

VMworld 2017 Catalogue
Search in VMworld 2017 Catalogue –
https://my.vmworld.com/scripts/catalog/uscatalog.jsp. Search here for other interesting sessions.

I highly recommend voting on other great sessions submitted by my colleagues.

Please Vote!
Aresh Sarkari

How to collect logs from Horizon View 6.x/7.x Instant Clones – Desktop VM’s

7 Feb

If you have desktops deployed via Horizon View 6.x/7.x Instant Clones technology it can get very difficult to collect the Horizon View Agent logs from the desktop VM for troubleshooting/analysis purposes. The moment the end-user logs-off from the desktop it gets into the Status = Disconnected –> Deleting.

vCenter Task for log-in and log-off of the desktopvCenter Task Log-in/Log-Off

vCenter Task for Deleting –> Customizing –> AvailablevCenter Task Delete - Customizing - Available

The above operations happen very quickly. Suppose in our scenario the desktop was failing on the Status=Customizing (View Administrator). The desktops status would change into the Error state and after couple of seconds get into delete will remain in a loop until the desktop becomes available. This is by design as the Instant Clone is trying to re-create the desktop There was no way to capture the logs for analysis or troubleshooting.

Resolution:Now you can disable the recovery of the Instant Clone desktop VM if they are in the Status=Error (Strictly for troubleshooting purposes). This setting can be enabled at Desktop Pool Level

Desktop Pool Setting (disable autorecovery):

  • Open the Horizon View ADAM – (DC=vdi,dc=vmware,dc=int)
  • Go to OU=Server Groups – on you right select OU=DesktopPoolName (this is the name of your desktop pool)
  • Search for pae-RecoveryDisabled and click Edit
  • Enter Value =1 and click Add – OK
  • ADAM

Now whenever your desktop within the Pool will be in Status=Error it will not delete the VM and keep it in the Error state for you to capture the logs and perform troubleshooting. Please revert the changes of this settings once you have finished analysis. I hope these steps would be helpful leave a comment down below

Additional KB:
Connecting to the View ADAM Database (2012377)

Thanks,
Aresh

EUC Sessions for VMworld 2016

11 May

Folks, I have submitted couple of sessions for the VMworld 2016. If you would like to see them go on stage then please vote! I highly recommend voting on other sessions which you might be interested in

How to Vote?
Create a Account on the VMworld 2016 website – https://www.vmworld.com/registration-create!input.jspa

Search in VMworld 2016 Cataloguehttp://www.vmworld.com/uscatalog.jspa

Direct Links to my session
http://www.vmworld.com/uscatalog.jspa?search=8244
http://www.vmworld.com/uscatalog.jspa?search=8265

How VMware IT Implemented App Volumes and Said Goodbye to Traditional Application Delivery [8244]

The traditional approach to application delivery and lifecycle management within the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) can be cumbersome and time consuming. The biggest challenge with this approach, is that it impedes the organization’s ability to be agile in times of change. In this session we will discuss how to size and architect Apps Volumes to deliver applications in real-time. We will explore the various application delivery methods such as App Stacks and Writable Volumes and best practices on integrating App Volumes with Horizon View for effective virtual desktops and application delivery with VMware.

Using EVO Software Defined Data Center for Managing VMware’s Horizon’s Automated Deployment and Lifecycle [8265]

VMware Horizon is leading the way for end-user computing. The latest version of Horizon introduced cutting-edge technologies in order to reduce the customers’ total cost of ownership (TCO). Combining Horizon with EVO Software Defined Data Center (EVO SDDC) allows the customer to easily deploy the desired right-sized Horizon View domain in an hour and enables further expansion as needed. In this session we will review the Horizon View architecture, the automation process, lifecycle management and EVO SDDC compute details.

Please Vote!

Thanks in advance,
Aresh Sarkari

Installing Horizon View Composer Server 6.2.2

16 Feb

In this blog post I will be capturing the steps involved in the installation of Composer Servers. The post is mainly for people who want to have a glance at the installation steps for Horizon 6 View Composer Server 6.2.2 – Build Number: 3505505

View experts please skip this post, if you are already familiar with the steps

Installation of Horizon View Composer Server

Step 1: Click on ‘Start’ search for the ‘ODBC Data Sources (64 bit)’

View-Composer

Step 2: Click ‘System DSN’ and select “Add’

View-Composer

Step 3: Select ‘SQL Server’ and click ‘Finish’

View-Composer

Step 4: Enter the ‘Name’, ‘Description’ and SQL Server ‘FQDN’ for the Composer Database. Note: Make sure you have pre-created the Composer DB on the SQL Server.

View-Composer

Step 5: Select the ‘SQL Server authentication’ and enter the local SQL Server account ‘Login ID’ and ‘Password’

View-Composer

Step 6: Select ‘Change the default DB’ and select the Composer Database from the drop-down list

View-Composer

Step 7: Leave the default and click on ‘Finish’

View-Composer

Step 8: Click on ‘Test Data Source’ and select ‘OK’ Make sure you see ‘Tested Successfully’

View-Composer

Step 9: Click ‘Ok’

View-Composer

Step 10: Right click on the Composer Server package and select ‘Run as Administrator’

View-Composer

Step 11: Click on ‘Next’.

View-Composer

Step 12: Click on ‘I accept the terms in the license agreement’ and select ‘Next’

View-Composer

Step 13: Leave the installation in the default directory and select ‘Next

View-Composer

Step 14: Enter the details of the DSN previously created and click on ‘Next’

View-Composer

Step 15: Leave the default port and click on ‘Next’

View-Composer

Step 16: Click on ‘Install’ to begin installing Composer Server

View-Composer

Step 17: Click on ‘Finish’

View-Composer

Step 18: It will prompt you to restart the Composer Server VM. Select ‘Yes’

View-Composer

Checkout the next blog post:
Installing Horizon View Connection Server 6.2.2 (Standard Server)
Installing Horizon View Connection Server 6.2.2 (Replica Server)

Thanks,
Aresh

“DATASWIPE” Application idea for the smartphones

5 Feb

Last month I submitted an idea @ Nokia Your Wish is my Command Contest. Unfortunately my idea was not selected due to poor responses of likes on Facebook since the user was required to allow Nokia application to access his or hers Facebook profiles and my dear techie friends refrained from doing that and did not caste votes for me.

On the lighter side I thought let me post this idea to my personal blog and see if there are any enthusiast to build an application which could be a solid Hit in the enterprise and consumer markets.

Challenges

There have been a lot of recent incidents in which group of data thieves spread across the country have been recovering data from old smartphones in which people think they have deleted all their data. But unfortunately these data robbers have been extracting people information and selling them to marketing\advertisement companies and adult websites with intimidating personal photos and videos.

In this modern era all smartphones have a lot of built-in storage of approx. 8-16-32 GB’s. The latest trend amongst the current generation is to change their smartphones every year. The 80% on the normal (technology challenged) end-user end up selling or exchanging phones by simply removing the SD card thinking they have all the personal data however, they forget that Smartphone has built-in 8-16-32 GB storage which might hold a lot of their other personal data. In the case of the remaining 20% extremely smart (technology champs) end-users they would perform a factory reset on the phone before selling or exchanging their phones in the market. The mindset is if you press the factory reset all the data is wiped and the phone behaves like new or out of the box.

With data privacy concerns this app will make sure the personal data is actually removed & irretrievable from the phone.

My App Idea: (AppName: DataSwipe)

My app would permanently wipe all data such as Files, Photos, Emails, Videos, Contacts, Music etc. from the phone flash storage/SD cards with a single click & even make it unrecoverable through any data recovery software. Ease of use & less complexity of the app will make it viable to consumers & enterprise markets.

Let me know, if you like this idea and point me to someone who would be interested in developing the same.

If you like this post please leave your comments down below.

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

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Newly launched Lumia 920/820 phones running Windows Phone 8 –My thoughts straight from the Nokia NYC event

5 Sep

I finished watching the Nokia Lumia/Windows Phone 8 launch event. Two new phones hitting the market Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. My guess is the Lumia 920 will be for US/Europe region like the previous Lumia 900 and the Lumia 820 would be launched for the Asia Pacific region. Let me highlight some of the super-duper new features that Nokia has introduced in the new Lumia phones:
Lumia 820-920 on AskAresh
Super Sensitive Touch: A nice demo on the super sensitive touch showcasing the phone works with your fingers as well as with skiing gloves. Haven’t seen other touch phones that understand anything other than the finger touch or stylus.
Wireless Charging: This the coolest thing I have seen in the last couple of years. Simply put your Lumia phone on a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors charging dock and the phone will start charging. Isn’t this super KOOL? The important question to be asked is how long does Wireless Charging take VS traditional charging.
In-built Near Field Communication (NFC): This technology has been in previous Nokia phones and finally it has landed in Lumia series too. This piece of technology will soon replace Bluetooth. The Nokia demo showcased wireless music streaming into a JBL audio speaker + Wireless charging simultaneously.
Nokia Music: This application was out from the Beta to mainstream 2-3 months back. Application provides access to free music without sign-up.
Pure View Camera: Brings the Image stabilization allowing the Lumia to absorb more light by keeping the aperture open for a longer time. The Nokia demo showcased pictures taken from a Galaxy S3 VS Lumia 920. Interesting comparison would have been against the iPhone 4S.  However,  I must say the Pure View camera quality was exceptional compared to its previous predecessors.
Lens Enhancements: Couple of new introductions as follows:

Object Remover – The Nokia demo showcased the following – Imagine taking a picture in the mall and you have people all around you while taking the picture. This feature allows you to remove all the unwanted people from the picture. It detects unwanted objects and allows you to remove them.

Image Cinematography – Suppose you are capturing a memorable moment and you want the capture to be more than an ordinary picture. This feature allows you to capture some dynamic moments such as a waving flag in the background or a special expression such as shake hand or a kiss you were giving by taking the picture. All you appear moving in the picture.

Steve Ballmer mentioned by next year same time there would be 400 million Windows 8 devices (Phones, Tablets and Laptop/Desktop) used and it will be the single most lucrative opportunity for the Windows 8 Developers.
If you like this post please leave your comments.
Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari