VMware vSphere redundancy

Always make sure you have proper redundancy in place. Below are your most impotant considerations.

  • Remove SPOF (Single Point Of Failure) – Make sure you have at least two of everything.
  • Use shared storage with proper RAID level redundancy.
  • Use HA and fault tolerance with multiple hosts in the cluster.
  • Use SRM (Site Recovery Manager) to replicate entire production site to DR site or a different branch.
  • Make sure your vCenter server is highly available.

Configuring VMware vSphere for best performance

Below are a couple of things to consider when configuring your VM’s for best performance.

  • Disconnect any devices that your VM’s don’t use – This removes any unnecessary kernel processing.
  • Always use Thick Provision Eager Zero disks.
  • Use multiple NIC’s and team them together.
  • Use Round Robin on NIC’s with IP Hash for your load balancing.
  • Use Software iSCSI with Jumbo Frames (Unless you HBA card support Jumbo Frames). If you don’t use Jumbo Frames then an HBA card could provide 150% better performance – This is due to the TOE (TCP Offload Engine) function on the cards. But if your HBA card does not support Jumbo Frames then use Software iSCSI with Jumbo Frames.
  • Set Jumbo Frames to 9000. You would need to set this on all interfaces (VM NIC’s on host, switches and SAN).
  • Put VM’s on different LUN’s (1 LUN = 1 I/O queue).
  • Set block sizes according to application requirements. Eg: for a MS SQL server you would set the block size on the SAN (RAID where SQL VM will reside) to 64k and also format the VM guest OS partitions with 64k block sizes.
  • Optimize VM’s according to NUMA.
  • Enable large memory pages on critical production servers (Inside guest OS). But don’t do this on all servers otherwise they can’t share memory pages.

Running SBS2003 to SBS2011 migration

  1. Do the following Pre-Checks to make sure you won’t have problems during the migration:


  • Make sure you are running a Class C subnet ( – Migration is not supported on other subnets.
  • It is recommended that you only have one NIC active during the migration – No external NIC active (I have done successful migrations with the External NIC active though).
  • Uninstall ISA before you do the migration. This could prevent certain issues that might arise. We had problems with ISA every time we ran the migration with it still on. ISA will definitely cause problems with the mailbox moves (Even if you try the MS workarounds).
  • Ensure event viewer clean – Especially replication and DNS issues.
  • Make sure you don’t have a single label domain name (The domain name has to have a suffix Eg. test.local).


  1. Install pre-requisites


  • Powershell 2.0
  • MS baseline config analyser


  1. Make a backup of system state. You will be able to start over again from this backup should things go wrong.
  2. Run migration preparation tool (From SBS2011 disk) – This will raise functional level and run the necessary steps to prepare the source server for migration.
  3. When done it will scan the source server for problems – Resolve these problems before you continue.
  4. Create the answer file.
  5. Make sure the answer file is on a disk (Flash drive or hard drive) that is connected to the new SBS2011 server (Destinations server) and run the migration from the SBS2011 disk.
  6. Run through all the steps (The migration process can take a couple of hours to complete).
  7. Log in with an admin account but not the built in administrator account (You can’t run the migration step with the built in administrator account).
  8. Run the migration steps (This includes moving the mailboxes, installing the certificate etc.)
  9. Move all data and re-create shares.
  10. Install 3rd party apps.
  11. Configure backups.
  12. Decommission the old server.

Running out of space during Mailbox Move Exchange 2010

A lot of times when you are busy doing a mailbox move you will see that the transaction logs can actually grow just as big as the size of the Database. So what can happen is you can run out of space on your database drive and the mailbox move will stop.

To work around this issue you can temporarily enable Circular Logging that will keep deleting the transaction logs while the mailbox move in progress.

To achieve this do the following:

1. Open Exchange Management Console – Go to Organisation – Mailbox

2. Select the Mailbox Database you are performing the move on. Right click – Properties

3. Enable Circular Logging

4. Restart the information Store Service for changes to take affect. (Please note this will temporarily disconnect your users)

After this please be sure to enable it as the Transaction logs assist in recovery situations.


Terminal Server – Users logging in with temp profiles

After you have migrated your terminal servers or configured Session Broker with roaming profiles you might find that some users are being logged in with temporary profiles. Below describes the steps to resolve this.

  1.  Request the user to log off from the TS session.
  1. Log in as the user and detect if the profile is problematic – It should give you a pop up telling you that you are logged in with a temp profile. To make sure, open command prompt and see if it shows the correct users profile in the first line or if it shows a temp profile.
  1. If you are using Session Broker (High availability terminal servers) – Go to command prompt, type hostname and see on what server you are experiencing the temp profile issue for the specific user (The problem might only be on the specific terminal server).
  1. Log off as the user and log on with an admin account.
  2. Go to regedit, locate the user and delete the users profile registry key.

HK_LOCAL_ MACHINE -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows NT -> CurrentVersion -> ProfileList.

Right-click on ‘ProfileList’, click on ‘find’, type the name of the user, you will be directed to the users registery key, delete it (if there’s a duplicate, delete both). It usually creates a .bak registry entry if the profile is problematic.

6.  Copy the users pofile to a backup location (Moving the users profile out of the roaming profile location).

6.  You can now log in as the user – It will create a new profile for the user.

7.  Copy the old profile’s data to the new profile.

The user should now be able to continue working without being logged in with a temp profile.

Terminal Server – printing redirection

For server 2008 Terminal Servers you can use Easy Print – You don’t need identical drivers on Server and client.

For server 2003 Terminal Server you would need identical drivers on Server and client.

For Easy Print to work on Windows XP machines you would need SP3 and .Net Framework 3.5 installed.

Make sure ‘printers’ are selected on local resources of clients DRP connection.