OS X 10.9 Epson Printer – Enable Duplex Printing

Epson recently released a driver update for OS X 10.9 Mavericks which automatically shows up within the Apps/Software update menu. Like most users my wife dutifully added the update which then removed her duplex printing settings.  Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 1.50.30 PM
Notice the “Two-Sided” printing option is off and grayed out.
While I’m sure this was unintended it did pose a real problem. After reinstalling drivers and the printer itself several times I found the following fix.

1. Select “Printer Features” from the pull down menu (Hint: Click Layout)
2. From the “Feature Set” pull down menu select “General 6”

Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 1.53.13 PM

You’ll notice that buried within this sub menu is the option we’re looking for.

3. Select 2-Sided Printing ON
4. In order to ensure you never have to set this option again save your new settings.
Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 1.58.41 PM

You can see in this screen capture I’ve already saved mine as “Duplex!”

Fix OS X Mavericks Continuously Prompting for KeyChain Password

Symptom: Upon login OS X Mavericks continuously prompts you for a Key chain password which does not match either your iCloud/iTunes credentials or your local login credentials.

Fix:

* Go to Finder.
* On the Finder menu, click on “Go”, then on “Go to Folder”. A box should come up.
* On the box, type in “~/Library/Keychains/” and click on “Go”. It should lead you to the Keychains folder where you will find three items: (1) a folder with a name mixed with letters and numbers, (2) login.keychain, and (3) metadata.keychain.

* Delete the folder with a name mixed with letters and numbers.
* Restart your computer. Check to see if the problem has been solved.

Solution Source: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1652089

Fix: Youtube buffering issue

Over the past two weeks I’ve noticed a continuous issue with loading youtube videos and having them endlessly buffer. Tonight I did some digging and found a quick fix!
The solution is pretty simple, and involves blocking a specific IP range associated with Verizon FIOS servers which are buffering Youtube traffic.  Since the IP may be different depending on your location I’ll go through the simple steps to identify the IP to block and the associated OS X command to run to block it.

1. Open a terminal window and type “traceroute youtube.com”
2. Note the first IP address which shows up outside of your network.  It should be the one which doesn’t start with 192.x.x.x
On my network the offending IP is:
l100.<your area>-vfttp-<some number>.verizon-gni.net (1.1.1.1)  19.260 ms  20.116 ms  18.862 ms
Also, note any entries which end in “alter.net” as these are Verizon FIOS servers.
3. Test loading a highdef youtube video.  Make sure to switch its resolution up to 1080p, and watch it buffer.
4. From the terminal window block the offending IP by running the following command
sudo ipfw add reject src-ip 1.1.0.0/16 in
5. Confirm the IP is now blocked by running sudo ipfw list
Example output:
00100 reject ip from 1.1.0.0/16 to any in
6. Refresh your browser by hitting F5 and reload the high def YouTube video.
Note, if this doesn’t work the blocked IP subnet can be removed using the following command:
sudo delete 00100 reject ip from 1.1.0.0/16 to any in
If this doesn’t work you can also try blocking the IPs found within this post.

Citrix VDI – Configure Dynamic Home Directory Paths

Home directories are a necessary and very important evil when deploying VDI with Citrix. What is often overlooked is the impact of moving a users home directories and the associated hard coded updates which need to remediated post migration.

Post data migration all users require the following file to be updated: appsrv.ini

The appsrv.ini file has a static pointer for two file paths. The Cache location and the Citrix log file. In place of the default home directory path used by Citrix administrators should use the built in Environment Variable %HomePath% which ties the file locations to the users AD home directory value. This ensures that admins can perform updates either through scripts or GPO policies and not have to modify each users appsrv.ini file each time they perform a data migration.

VDI Home Directory Sizing

To focus on IOPs or not to focus on IOPs that is the question?  As I sort out a new sizing dilemma I’ve run into a potential problem with SATA drives and IOPs contention.

The Scenario:

Storage Array: NetApp 6280, Data ONTAP 8.1.1, 3TB SATA, DS4243 Shelves, 10% Aggr Snap Reserve (Why? Because wafl iron rebuilds take a fraction of the time with Aggr snapshots)

User Home Directories: 20GB allocated to each user with 20% snapshot overhead

Disks TB / Disk IOPs / Disk
72 1.86 75
TB / Aggr GB / Aggr IOPs / Aggr
134 123,494.40 5400
GB / User Users / Aggr IOPs / User
24 5145 1.05

This leaves me with 1.05 IOPs per user.  A couple things to make note off, this assumes 100% concurrency ie. all 5,145 users accessing this volume at the same time which is highly improbable.  If 75% concurrency is plugged in the IOPs per user grows to 1.4 which seems more reasonable.

Concurrency 75% Concurrency Users IOPs / User
75% 3858.75 1.40

The assumption is that 25% of the user accounts within any organization are for temporary users who are not logged in on a consistent basis.

Possible Solutions to the potential IOPs performance shortage: Since it’s a NetApp array write performance can only be improved by either adding flash pools, upgrading to a higher performance controller, or by adding spindles/disk.  For read performance addition of flashpools, flash cache (read only),  or additional spindles would add performance.

Concurrency 75% Concurrency Users IOPs / User
75% 3750 1.44

Making the numbers more “round” yields a slight difference in IOPs / User.  This issue will be exacerbated with 4TB SATA and future large capacity drives.

ECC – Discover Brocade Switches using SMI Agent

ECC leverages the SNIA SMI standard for discovery of fabric switches.  In order to add brocade switches to the ECC repository for monitoring and management several specific steps must be taken.

Switch Discovery Flow: ECC Repository (SMI Agent Server Credentials) -> SMI Agent (Brocade Credentials) -> Brocade Switch

  1. Download the SMI Agent from the Brocade web site. Note there is a specific SMI agent for ECC 6.1.
  2. Install the SMI agent on a server which has IP connectivity to both the ECC environment and the Brocade switches.  Accept all defaults and configure the SMI Agent to start as a service.
  3. Discover the switches previously added to the SMI Agent by using the Discover -&gt; Connectivity option within ECC. Within the connectivity options use port 8000 to connect to the SMI Agent.  For the credentials fields use an account either local or AD which has permissions to access the server where the SMI Agent is installed.  The account should be persistent and have a password which is set to not expire.
Notes:
The SMI Agent is where you setup connectivity to each Brocade fabric you would like to discover.
SMI Agent Details
SMI Agent Folder: C:\SMIAgent
SMI Agent Manual Configuration: C:\SMIAgent\Server\bin\Configurationtool.bat
SMI Agent Configuration File: C:\SMIAgent\Server\bin\provider.xml
After successfully importing the switches remember to configure collection policies to ensure ECC is updated with new information.

CLARiiON – RAID 5 Two Disk Fault Recovery

To those of us in the storage admin business losing two disks in a RAID 5 disk group falls into a special category.  That category would be associated what most like to call a resume generating event or RGE.  I ran into this specific issue today and survived due to a couple key pieces of information provided by the vendor and by coming through logs to ensure I executed the recovery process in the correct order.

But there is no recovery you say? Ah right, so you’ve lost two disks in a RAID group which has only one parity drive.  The LUN’s which fall within the RAID group are all off line, and the disks in question show up as “Removed”.  At this point you’re SOL.  Someone is leaning over your shoulder asking as simple question… WHEN WILL MY APPLICATION SERVER BE BACK UP?

On to the recovery steps… when a disk fails most times it is actively failed by the array itself and not by catestrophic hardware failure.  High CRC error rates found on the drive lead the array to kick the drive out.  With a two disk failure the array takes a different approach to disks which are “Removed” due to high CRC errors.  The recovery process is quite simple.  Re-insert the second disk which failed.  The array will attempt to copy all of the usable data off it onto a hot spare.  The reason why the second disk to fail is used is due to it having the last updated data.  Where as the first disk to mark failed would not have the updates included in the second failed disk.

You can check the status of the disk rebuild through Naviseccli.  Run naviseccli -h SP_IP_address -user username -scope 0 getdisk 3_4_3 -state -rb this will show you the rebuild status of each LUN found on the disk which is being rebuild.

Troubleshooting

Issue: In some instances LUNs found within pools associated with the failed drives can show up as in a “Faulted” state.
Resolution: A common way to resolve this issue is to reboot each of the CLARiiON storage processors (SP).  Reboot the first SP and wait 15 to 20 minutes before rebooting the second SP.