December 29, 2015

Wolf Line Item Veto's PA Budget

Today, Gov. Wolf line item vetoed the PA budget and blamed the Republicans in the house for the problem. Here is an email a sent to Wolf.

I just watched your line item veto of the 15-16 budget and wanted to let you know that the legislature is doing their job. The people of Pennsylvania do not want your tax increases.

Furthermore, it was very nice of you to release the Federal Funds for school districts, which you had no right to hold anyway.

My next emails and phone calls will be going to Dave Reed and Don White to tell them to stay strong and fight for the future of Pennsylvania.

Looking forward to the next gubernatorial election.

December 24, 2015

No Mouse Server 2012 R2 running on XenServer

There is an issue with Windows Server 2012R2 running on a XenServer platform where the Mouse is not recognized after logging into the server.

As most of us are aware it is rather challenging to use Windows without a mouse, so here is a quick way to solve the issue.

Press the windows button on the keyboard.

Press the Tab and arrow keys to move to the control panel and press enter to open it.

Press the Tab and arrow keys to move to the device manager and press enter to open it.

Press the Tab and arrow keys to move to the USB Universal Host Controller (it should be in a warning state with a yellow icon).

Press delete key on the keyboard and follow prompts to delete the device.

Press Alt-A on the keyboard to open the Action option and select Scan for Hardware changes using the arrow keys.

The system should reinstall the USB device and the mouse should work.

Simple, but annoying.

If anyone has a script to do this automatically or a permanent fix to the problem , please leave a comment below.


December 23, 2015

Expanding a RAID 5 Volume on a XenServer 5.6 Server: Part 2 of 2

An additional drive was added to the RAID 5 configuration, see Part 1 for more information. The next step was to enable the XenServer to see the additional storage capabilities.

This is comprised of 4 steps using the XenServer console and command lines. Warning: you should be familiar with basic commands before proceeding and as always have appropriate backups.

1. Increase the Partition using fdisk
2. Update the LVM to include the resized physical volume
3. Resize the Logical Volume
4. Resize the File System

Increase the Partition using fdisk
The last partition needs to be deleted and then recreated to allocate the new available disk space.

Here are the commands to enter at the prompt #
Fdisk /dev/sda3        (or whatever your naming scheme is)
p (to display the original partitions)
d (to delete the last partition)
3 (this is the last partition in my server, yours may be different)
n (creates a new partition)
p (primary partition)
3 (recreate partition #3)
 (press enter for default first cylinder)
 (press enter for default last cylinder)
t (sets the partition type)
3 (partition #3)
8e (changes the partition type to Linux LVM)
p (to display the new partitions)
w (to write the partition table)
reboot (to reboot the system)

Update the LVM about the resized physical volume
Upon completion of the fdisk commands above, the LVM needs to be able to see the new blocks

Here are the commands to enter at the prompt #
pvdisplay (to display the original physical volume information)
pvresize /dev/sda3     (to resize the physical volume, your /dev/sda3 path will be different)
pvdisplay (to display the new physical volume information)

Resize the Logical Volume
Once the LVM is resized the logical volume needs to be resized.

Here are the commands to enter at the prompt #
vgdisplay (to display the original volume group information
make a note of the Free PE)
lvdisplay (to display the logical volume information
make a note of the LV Name)
lvresize –l +20480 /dev/files (increases the size of logical volume using the Free PE, your LV                                                             name will be different)
vfdisplay (to display the new volume group information)

Resize the File System 
Finally, the file system needs to be resized. Note this process will take some time to complete.

Here are the commands to enter at the prompt #
resize2fs /dev/files (to resize the file system, your LV name will be different)

The expansion should now be completed and the new space should be available to XenServer.

Much of this process is documented a following this link.

Hopefully this brief guide has helped you. Please leave a comment if so.

Expanding a RAID 5 Volume on a XenServer 5.6 Server: Part 1 of 2

This post briefly describes my recent experience of expanding a RAID 5 array on a server running XenServer 5.6.

The server originally had  3, 500 GB drives set up in RAID 5 and was about 90% full. The server had room for one more drive so another 500 GB drive was added.

The RAID controller is an Intel RAID Controller SROMBSASMR running firmware version 1.41.372-2527.

After the new drive was installed the RAID BIOS Console recognized it as an unconfigured drive.

To add the drive to the existing drive group and expand the array, use the Migration with addition option.

After you confirm you want to perform this operation, the reconstruction process starts. This took about 10 hours to complete.

When the reconstruction was complete, the new drive was successfully added to the RAID 5 array.

The server was rebooted and the next step was to enable XenServer to see the additional storage space. See part 2 for more information.

December 03, 2015

PA State Budget

As most Pennsylvania's know, the state budget is way overdue. It looks like the Republicans are going to give into the Governor and raise sales or income taxes without addressing property taxes.

Please contact your local representatives now and tell them we need property tax reform now!

Here is the letter I sent to my reps.

Please do not increase taxes (income or sales) for school districts WITHOUT capping or eliminating property taxes!

Don't cave to the Governor's tax and spend liberal demands. He is wrong and bad for Pennsylvania.

Thank you