Category Archives: Virtualization

user virtualization – huh?

**subtitle**  do words in marketing matter anymore?

OK I had my laugh when the term ‘cloud’ (drawn in network diagrams to visualize the internet) became associated with the latest marketing blitz and especially when it became associated with things that have nothing to do with the internet aka ‘private cloud’.  Now I read from company AppSense that they are selling a product that provides (no joke) user virtualization.  Yes, that’s right you don’t even need users anymore for your network.  Human resources is going to be a lot more simplified and without even any off shore outsourcing?  …ha-ha well not exactly

I’m sure this is but clever marketing but maybe too clever to be understandable or of use beyond the shock of an irrational construct.  As I tried to discern why I had emails coming from this company, I opted to just go to their homepage and see if any memories of research or of a prior business conference encounter perhaps got triggered …none did.  Nevertheless the product offering of ‘user virtualization’ struck me right away – holding back to stay objective and explorative I couldn’t help wonder what this strange coined product offering could entail.  My marketing BS O-meter warning was going off.  Now after reading in their words and explanation I am not certain of anything beyond a vague conceptual management layer to allow an administrator to manage and importantly provide governance over every possibility a business user might broach from this single software interface.  Pie in the sky fluff?  Dunno – gut says likely not likely so simple -  in any case not really going to investigate further at this time to invest the time for a demo.  Perhaps this is but a mere formality to publish to the public some novel description as their sales are not intended to be driven via this venue and the target audience were investors.

As I expand my knowledge and skill into IT governance for the growing need for business compliance to PCI DSS, HIPPA, …etc., it is inevitable this road will get crossed again.  Hopeful by that time that the marketers have clearly ‘cut to the chase’ or are cut out and replaced with usable language from technical salesmen.

reference – http://www.appsense.com/user-virtualization

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SPLwow64.exe Terminal Server/Remote Desktop Service tweak needed

Now having had two clients with a related system process problem, I am documenting what I’ve discovered and the needed tweak to fix it.  Both of these small businesses are heavily using Remote Desktop Services aka Terminal Server.  One with SBS 2011 and Windows 2008 R2 on the member server (both virtualized on Hyper-V); the other uses SBS 2008 with Windows 2008 on its member server.  The first biz uses 98% of its connections as thin clients and has seen huge amounts of memory (commit size) set aside for instances of ‘splwow64.exe’.  The second client experienced an issue with Windows 2000 clients (yes they are still out there …yikes!) not automatically ending their session when they closed the Environment Tab specified application that their TS session is limited to running/displaying – just got the blue logoff screen in a hung stasis.

On the first I tried changing the configuration of the main shared printer.  The printer is which I determined was where all the SPLwow64.exe related print tasks were being sent.  First I disabled spooling and secondly I unchecked the box to render print jobs on client (in this case the RDS server).  Neither satisfied the desired memory release I wanted to see achieved.  I could confirm the correlation with the SPLwow64.exe process and actual memory consumed via the Hyper-V Manager console which showed the dynamic memory demand of this RDS machine.  When the topmost listed instances of the SPLwow64.exe process were ‘ended’ the overall memory dropped equally dramatically.  This server which typically needed roughly 4 GB of running memory was underperforming when maxing out at 10 GB that were dynamically being made available to it.

The link below states in the first post that you can adjust the time this process takes to release its memory and links to a dead KB article.

http://forums.techarena.in/windows-x64-edition/816779.htm

That applicable control registry key is:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\SplWOW64TimeOut

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The second client’s issue led me to find the following thread and and in the last post the solution.  It’s a simple technique that can be applied if you want to turn off the use of system processes, SYSwow64.exe in this case, for a Terminal Server.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\SysProcs
Add a REG_DWORD called "splwow64.exe" set the value to 0

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**Here’s another related conversation thread by an application developer found in the private Microsoft Forums

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/appvclients/thread/da0c76ea-5653-4439-a515-8246a2135cdc

SBS 2008 – More Virtual Labs …via TechNet

click picture to arrive at the below location and begin the free preconfigured and real running server labs

 

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Small Business Server and Other Technology: Windows SBS 2008 Hands-On-Labs available for download from MS Connect

This is a very handy way to get Hands-On without a lot of fuss.  Just download the VM and load it in your Hyper-V environment and start learning about SBS 2008.  Thanks again to Sean Daniel for another excellent tool reference.

Windows SBS 2008 Hands-On-Labs available for download from MS Connect

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Have you been wanting to get some hands-on experience with Windows Small Business Server 2008 but weren’t sure how to get started?  We have just the thing!  Four hands-on-labs for SBS 2008 are available for download from Microsoft Connect:  Administration, Managing Clients, Installation, and Migration from SBS 2003.  To take advantage of these labs, you will need a test server with at least 4GB of RAM running Microsoft Hyper-V Server or Windows Server 2008 with the Hyper-V role installed.

SeanDaniel.com – Small Business Server and Other Technology: Windows SBS 2008 Hands-On-Labs available for download from MS Connect

Like Snapshots in Hyper-V? – Please read this

This is such a great ‘heads-up’ article.  Save yourself the pain and read this now.

taken from:

Like Snapshots in Hyper-V? – Please read this – A blog for the Tech Heads…

Like Snapshots in Hyper-V? – Please read this

Snapshots is nice to have, in fact very nice to have when running a virtual platform. In Hyper-V it is easy to do snap-shots and there are no problems, or is there something you should be aware of…

Yes, there is a a issue, it is not a bug but there is something you absolutely need to know, otherwise you will be in serious trouble. So lets here the story…

***article clipped – best practices recommended are below***

  1. If you use snapshot, delete them after you have done your job and turn OFF the virtual machine as soon as possible.
  2. Only use Snapshots as a temporary protection to be able to rollback, not as a backup solution.
  3. Watch disk space BEFORE shutting down a virtual machine
  4. Use fixed size disk for performance
  5. Use dynamic disk for LAB/Demo/Play/low performance
  6. If you use dynamic disk, be sure to monitor the disk

MVP_FullColor_ForScreen
Mikael Nystrom – TrueSec
MCT, MVP Windows Server – Setup/Deployment