Month: January 2016

vCenter tip: housekeeping tips for your vCenter Server Database

If using a small/medium vCenter setup may well be using a Postgres database to get you by. Good to run a check on it from time to time. Standard operations include:

  • Performing regular backups
  • Monitoring log growth and compact when needed

Although as part of its own day-to-day operations space is automatically reclaimed sometimes you may run into situations where you need to manually reclaim space. To do:

Step 1. Log in to the VMware vCenter Server Appliance as root using SSH (putty) or directly at the console.

Step 2. To stop the vCenter service: service vmware-vpxd stop

Step 3. To find out the database password:

cat /etc/vmware-vpx/embedded_db.cfg | grep PASSWORD

Step 4. To get an idea of storage availability run # df -h

Step 5. In the results of the previous command, locate the /storage/db row to determine the amount of space used by the database.

Step 6. Enter this command to run the Vaccum command:

sudo -u postgres /opt/vmware/vpostgres/1.0/bin/vacuumdb -a -e -v -f -U postgres > /tmp/vacuumdb.log

Step 7 The Vaccuum command will prompt you to enter a database password for each of the 5 associated databases, postgres, template0, template1, VCDB and ssodb. At each prompt, provide the password obtained in Step 3.

Step 8. Use this command again to verify that the space used by the database has decreased: df -h


The status of your VMware Postgres database at Home > Administration > System Configuration > Services. Select the VMware Postgres service in the list of services and use the information in the center pane to verify the Health is Good and the State is Running.

From here you can also, you can use the Actions dropdown to stop and restart the service.



Citrix Desktop Director – how to hide visibility of running apps in the Activity Manager

A common enough query in any large scale deployment of Desktop Director will be to inhibit the applications tab from listing running applications which by default the activity manager in Director displays. This feature is available by default to Full administrator, Help Desk Administrator and Delivery Group administrator.

To inhibit do the following, as ever with anything you do regards the registry please back up otherwise will be at your own risk.

  1. On the VDA system, go regedit.exe and go to key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Citrix\Director\TaskManagerDataDisplayed which should be set to by default – change to 0 (meaning it will inhibit the applications tab)
  2. On the Director server, modify the setting that controls the whether running applications are visible or not which by default will be set to true, need to change to false. This option only affects Activity Manager on the Director server itself, not on the VDA. The setting to modify is ui.TaskManager.EnableApplications = false and your done

XenApp Servers and Maintenance Mode behaviour

This is a bit of a “gotchya” but more of a “RTFM” on my part. On some test XenApp 7.6 systems i’d setup when i’d put their delivery group into maintenance mode –> shut them down and do maintenance work noticed what i thought was rather peculiar behaviour when taking the delivery group out of maintenance mode as none of the systems would start by themselves. Trying Powershell wouldn’t help either.

Turns out it’s not supposed to be done for Server VDA’s only Desktop VDA’s.

More details

So that explained that 🙂

Citrix Xenapp tip: how to find what disabled applications you have via PS

Although Citrix AppCenter is a fine and well established management console for XenApp do find it can be a little unwieldy from a “search” point of view. One such example is looking for what published applications you may have disabled in your farm. As such there is no way to find this out in one go directly at the console. However our friendly powershell cmdlets can come to the rescue in this regard.

Example below: – if for instance you want to find out all adobe applications that are disabled in your farm:

Get-XAApplication -BrowserName Adobe* | where-object {$_.Enabled -match “False”} | Format-Table DisplayName

Try this ‘ping’ replacement before?

One really cool and definitely useful cmdlet available in Windows Server 2012 R2 is Test-NetConnection.
 If you run Test-NetConnection without any additional parameters, it will look to resolve to an external Microsoft address ( and will return information such as the IP, Internet alias, and RTT in milliseconds. This can save time when you need to check if a particular system has Internet connectivity.
2 Examples below, first one is without any parameters (resolving to and the second invoking the -ComputerName parameter which gives you output similar to below:

Citrix tip: No more LogOffCheckSysModules madness

When running a health check report(more details see: on my test Citrix XenApp 6.5 farm (I know, sad :)) noticed this little trinket come up as an “alert action”.

“New Citrix Group policy setting “Graceful session logoff: ignore process” was added to easily manage and configure the list of processes that can be ignored for graceful logoff of XA session instead of setting registry base configuration “LogOffCheckSysModules”.
To leverage and configure the settings; please install both XA650R05W2K8R2X64028 (or its replacement) and Group Policy Management Console Hotfix GPMx170WX86010 or GPMx170WX64010, (or their replacements);New Citrix Group policy setting “Graceful session logoff: ignore process” was added to easily manage and configure the list of processes that can be ignored for graceful logoff of XA session instead of setting registry base configuration “LogOffCheckSysModules”.”

Definitely a cleaner approach in an enterprise environment to do above and integrate into your citrix group policy set rather than the messing about with group policy preferences etc that needs to be done using the logoffsyscheckmodules key.




Want to get a health check on your 2012 (incl r2) servers? try SPA

Server Performance Advisor Tool

If looking for a free tool to do a health check on your systems, then you should take a look at the Microsoft Server Performance Advisor (SPA) tool; download version 3.0 from (you’ll need a Windows Live ID first). The goal of this tool is to help admins assess and troubleshoot any server-performance issues they may have.

Server Performance Advisor tool provides data reports and recommendations to system administrators about common configuration and performance issues, and it gathers performance-related data from various sources on servers, such as perfmon counters, WMI queries,registry entries, config files, and Windows ETW entries. Based on the server performance data that it collects, SPA can provide an in-depth look at the current server performance situation and issue recommendations about what can be improved.

SPA 3.x is designed to run on Windows Server 2012 (r2) and is suitable for SME setups, best run with environments containing < 100 servers – if you have more systems considering using an enterprise monitoring tool such as systems center operations manager (SCOM).