The Case of the Disappearing Printer

Earlier this year I bought a new printer for our house - the Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CM205 FW.  I have two Macbook Pro (MBP) laptops and I also have a Windows laptop which I use for work.  Installing the drivers for both OSes was the usual click next, next, finish routine. After a period of time, one of the MBPs would fail to find the printer, typically after coming out of sleep - the other MBP and Windows laptop worked fine after waking from sleep. One of the symptoms was that queued print jobs wouldn't print right away (as it couldn't find the printer) but would print after some (usually lengthy) period of time had passed.  Reinstalling the printer driver didn't help either. The only difference between the two MBPs was that the one with printing problems came with Mountain Lion installed whilst the other was upgraded to Mountain Lion from Snow Leopard.  The upgraded MBP wasn't exhibiting any problems with printing.  That was, until it did start having the exact same … [Read more...]

Windows Server 2012 R2 Virtualisation Rights

Microsoft licensing can be a grey area - not just for us IT professionals but rumour has it that even Microsoft's own licensing department can find it confusing!  So when one of my clients asked me the other day "which version of Windows Server 2012 should I use in my virtual machines", my answer was "I'll get back to you on that!". Thankfully the answer to this particular question is easy.  Well, actually it depends, but technically speaking, there is no difference feature-wise between standard and datacenter versions of Windows Server 2012 R2 (and non-R2).  The only difference is how many instances you can legally run on your physical host.  Thus you only really need to install Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard (irrespective of whether or not you use standard or datacenter licensing).  At least this way gone are the days where you may have had to maintain multiple virtual machine templates each with a different Windows flavour! More information can be found here.  Note also that … [Read more...]

The Case of the Slow P2Vs

Over the past few weeks I've been working with a new client and building their new VMware vSphere 5 platform.  As part of the scope it was our responsibility to work with their IT team to migrate all their existing servers onto the new platform. My go-to tool for doing migrations of any flavour is the free VMware Converter product.  They were currently running Citrix XenServer.  Unfortunately the Citrix XenServer virtual machine format isn't natively supported with VMware Converter - this ruled out doing a standard V2V conversion.  The only solution was to treat the XenServer VMs as physical machines and do a P2V instead. As with most environments the client had a mix of small and large (disk capacity-wise) VMs.  Whilst the smaller VMs converted within a few hours, it never occurred to me to check the throughput as they all completed within the given outage window. Then came the big VMs - multi-terabyte Enterprise Vault (EV), Exchange and file servers. The first server was … [Read more...]