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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Blackberry Express Server Web Console will not load after Maintenance Update 5.02

If you are intending to deploy the BES Express Server Maintenance Update 5.02 to your BES Server 5.01 then make sure you do so as the BESADMIN user. If you install the update as any other user the update will install correctly but you will find that the Blackberry Administration Service Console will not load and Internet Explorer will display "Page cannot be displayed".

I suffered this myself preferring to make installations with a specific Domain Administrator account and found that my console was no longer functioning. After much searching on Blackberry Support and finding others in the same situation via Google a colleague suggested he had found that Blackberry updates should always be installed as the BESADMIN user.

It is not really how the idea of security groups should work but it will save you no end of head scratching if you make sure you use the BESADMIN account, if you have already installed as another user just re apply as BESADMIN and the issue will be resolved.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

High Host CPU on Windows 2000 Virtual Machine in vSphere

I had a Windows 2000 Server that I had used a Physical to Virtual migration with the VM Converter tool, the original physical server had two CPUs and when I mgrated I dropped this to one vCPU as the server needed very little resource.

The problem arose that the Windows 2000 Server was consuming a high percentage of the host CPU usage while the VM Guest itself as idling at 0% CPU usage. The problem I found by researching the VMWare KB articles is that the Windows 2000 Server will try to set itself into idle mode when not in use, in a physical server this results in low power consumption, in a virtual server this results in low CPU usage on the host.

However my server was not able to enter idle mode and so was stuck trying to do so and was consuming a high percentage of the host CPU. The issue was that I had not changed the ACPI HAL for the server in Windows 2000 to tell it it was no longer a dual CPU server, I changed this by entering the Device Manager and then expanding the Computer object, below this is the ACPI Multi Processor object.

If you enter the properties of this object you can from the Advanced Tab choose to update the driver, here you choose to select the driver from a list and show all hardware that is compatible. The list will then show the Uni Processor HAL object that can be used.

I added this object and then restarted the server and the CPU use on the host has now reduced to a normal idle level.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Reset Alarms in vSphere 4.1

I had an alarm trigger recently on a Windows 2000 VM I have in a vSphere 4.1 Cluster, the CPU spike was only temporary and I could see that the actual cpu usage had returned to normal but the alarm was still showing in Vcenter and I could not clear the alarm.

This can be done simply by finding the parent for the alarm and then disabling and re enabling the alarm, it looks like a possible bug in vSphere so this is a quick work around that does not have any effect on the live service.

Thanks to for the information.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

HP MSA 2324i SAN Array Controller Unavailable

We had deployed a new HP MSA 2324i SAN Array recently and after about 2 months we found Controller A to be unavailable, the storage network was still functioning but we could not access the Controller A.

We connected to Controller B and could see that Controller A was offline but we could not restart or shutdown the controller, the event log showed that the Controller had been taken offline and could not be restarted.

I had the Controller replaced under our support with HP and when we installed the replacement we checked the firmware and could see that the latest firmware had a critical status that explained that the controller would actually become degraded by the firmware unless we upgraded.

This is explained in this HP article.

If you have any MSA 2000 array series SAN then you must upgrade the firmware or risk the loss of both Controllers in the future.