Avocent UMG 4000 problems

ok so we we just bought a new KVM, a Avocent UMG 4000. I am very unhappy to report that we have multiple problems with this device.

I have opened multiple tickets to get these issues resolved with Avocent’s tech support. The good thing is that the tech support is responsive and helpful. However, I feel that these are basic things which should work right out of the box for any KVM. The old Avocents we had worked fine, for over a decade! These basic KVM features work fine even in $50 KVM switches. This UMG 4000 is a $10,000 dollar product!

Needless to say, I am VERY disappointed with our purchase of UMG 4000!

The tech support says that most of these issues will be addressed via firmware updates. I will post a review of our Avocent UMG 4000 as and when that happens.

For now, here are some of the issues:

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Fix “missing” VM status in VMM

OK so here is a tricky problem with an easy fix.

Sometimes, in SC VMM 2012 some of my VMs are shown as “missing”. I cannot do anything to them using VMM. An easy fix is to fire up FCM (Failover Cluster Manager) and live migrate or quick migrate the VM (depending upon whether the VM is running or not). After that VMM will immediately refresh the VMs state to the correct one….stopped or running.

Problem:

image

Solution:

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VM Additions not detected?

From time to time, I run into this issue with our Hyper-V environment. No matter how many times I upgrade the VM additions, SCVMM still is not able to detect it. It always ends up saying “not detected”.

VM additions problem

Eventually I noticed that one of the the 6 Hyper-V related services which are usually running on the VM was having some trouble – the heartbeat service. Hmmm…that makes sense!

HV services

If I tried to start this service, I got the following error:

Error 1083: The executable program that this service is configured to run in does not implement the service.

 

VM additions1

While doing some searching on the net, I found out the solution here !!THANK YOU!!

As mentioned by that guy, the two things I need to know are shown below:

VM additions2

So I open the registry and add vmicheartbeat to the bottom of this Multi-String entry, like this:

VM additions3

After I click OK and restart the VM, the heartbeat service starts without any problem (automatically). Just do a refresh in VMM and now I see the VM additions version number. Yeah baby!

Thanks a lot to Jeremy!

What is Driver Locked memory?

I noticed that one of my VMs (on Hyper-V 2012) was using a lot of RAM. Strangely, there was no application which was using that much RAM. It was using 14.2/16 GB RAM. At that time task manager showed this:

image

And this in the details tab:

image

Notice that Oracle was using only 1.8GB and that was the highest user. Even if I total everything, it still was nowhere near 14 GB used. What was using all that RAM?

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Easy, free VBScript debugging

As sys-admins we have to write scripts. Although the new thing is PowerShell, we still have a lot of old legacy scripts in VBScript.

I was searching for an easy way to debug a VBScript, the way software developers do it using an IDE… but I do not want to install the whole Visual Studio package. Sure there are non Microsoft tools to do it, but I could not find a good, free one.

After a lot of trials and tribulations, I found the easy way to debug a VBScript:

  1. Install MS debugger. (download it from here). Yes it is super old, but still works, I tested it on Windows 8.1
  2. On a command prompt, start debugging by invoking debugging like this:

c:\windows\syswow64\cscript.exe (script_path_and_name) //X

 

Note that a simple “cscript.exe (script_path_and_name) //X” does not work (for me at least). I need to invoke the 64bit cscript.