vSphere upgrade saga: Fixing VMware View

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I recently had an issue where my VMware View instances ceased to talk to my active directory server. As such, I thought they needed to be recomposed, but I also had to upgrade the VMs with a bunch of patches. So being the smart guy I am, I deleted the View desktop VMs and started over.

That decision ended up being a disaster and it took me a week to find the root cause of all my problems. By then I had a solution for getting VMware View back. I was under the gun as I was going to be traveling and I use VMware View when I travel (thank you iPad View App).

Root Cause

The root cause of the problem was vShield App. The rules apparently did not work. The quick fix (if I did not delete my View instances) would have been to delete the vShield App Rules and leave everything open until I had a chance to lock things down, but alas my vShield App license had expired. It would be really very nice if VMware vCenter gave an alert email when licenses were about to expire, but alas I had to find out the hard way.

Solution

In rebuilding my View desktops I found a few things out that I did not really understand before. I use a customization script that has at the end three commands to run to setup networks, administrative access, and enable remote desktops. The problem with this is that only one of those commands actually runs, the first one. I am just not sure why the other two did not. So what I had to do was the following:

  • Patch my template for the View desktops

  • Set a permanent route into the template for the View desktops

  • Set up remote access for the active directory group in the template for my View desktops (without this only Domain Admins could log in).

  • Remove those two lines from my guest customization script

  • Remove my vShield App rules for now (I really want to automate these rules based on who has logged in)

In the end, I had a working View installation just in time for my travel.

Future Ideas for VMware

  • Provide a way to know when licenses are about to expire, perhaps an alert that pops up when you login for the day but minimally an email

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