Change Management IP Addresses of XenServer 6.5 in a Pool

Working for an IT consultancy, you get do do IP address migrations pretty often.  One recent migration I simply couldn’t find a good resource to guide me on how to change  XenServer 6.5 Servers management address when in a pool.

Here’s what worked for me:

  1. SSH to all servers.  Open xsconsole and navigate to Network and Management Interfaces.  Change the management IP address.  Be sure to select the correct management interface. Note, this will cause XenCenter to lock up and drop connections to each of the servers.  All VM’s “should” remaining operational during this time.
  2. SSH to new management IP’s of all of the slave servers.  Update the file /etc/xensource/pool.conf to reflect the new IP address of the master.  The format should just be a single line that says slave:NEWIPADDRESSOFMASTER. Save the conf file.
  3. Run xe-toolstack-restart on all slave servers.
  4. Inside XenCenter, remove the old Pool and add the Pool back in using the new master server IP address.  All servers should be available again.

Hope this helps.

Cisco Microsoft Windows

Windows 10 USB-to-Serial adapter Woes…

About 2 months ago, I had to go to a new customer site that was down and diagnose a problem.  Easy, I’ve done this a thousand times over the past 15 years…  Device not recognized. My USB-to-Serial adapter (no name brand off of Amazon) wasn’t working.  Code 10 Error.

I’m documenting this because, as infrequently as I actually use a console cable anymore, I tend to forget how to fix the issue when it arises.  2018 has been a funny year for Microsoft patching.  Seems to be a crap shoot of what will break once you apply new patches.  Windows 10 patches haven’t been immune to this.

Here’s how I fixed it.

  1. Download the PL2303_64bit_Installer.exe
  2. Unplug the USB-to-Serial Adapter
  3. Open up the previously downloaded exe.
  4. When prompted, plug in the USB-to-Serial Adapter
  5. Reboot

Now magically, you’ll have an adapter that provides a console port.

Some additional troubleshooting:  Apparently there is more than one version of the adapter on my computer but the one that works is from 9/24/2008.

Hope this helps.

Microsoft VMWare Windows

Server 2016 VM losing network connectivity on VMWare ESXi 6.5

I ran into an issue recently where servers that have been running for 6+ months with normal patching/rebooting, but without issue, all of a sudden started losing network connectivity.  The icon would pop up in the tray and the server was no longer reachable.  I still don’t know the underlying cause of the issue, but here’s what I figured out.

Thanks to this blog post, I was able to throw some commands at the box (network tuning stuff) and determine which specific command fixed the network access.

Here are the commands:
netsh int tcp set global chimney=Disabled
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal
netsh int tcp set supplemental custom congestionprovider=none
netsh int tcp set global ecncapability=Disabled
netsh int ip set global taskoffload=disabled
netsh int tcp set global timestamps=Disabled
netsh int tcp set global RSS=Enable
netsh int tcp set global rsc=disabled

The supplemental custom command didn’t work for some reason, but the winner here was to enable RSS on the network interface.

Hope this helps.


Quick Fix: Exchange 2010 Back Pressure workaround

We are now in the year 2017 and any exchange admin will know this by the back of their hand but as little as I touch Exchange now (either because it’s rock solid or we’ve moved to Office 365), I always have to Google it.  So this is just a reminder for me in the future.

A customer had a backup issue over the past weekend due to an unfortunate set of circumstances.  As a result, their D: was getting full.  They had 15 Gb left of 600 Gb total but the probably well known feature of Exchange called Backpressure prevents your hard drives from filling up due to email transport and their mail stopped flowing. I needed to get their email working ASAP while a backup completed in the background. An easy and temporary fix for this is to disable transport resource monitoring.  This can be done by modifying the edgetransport.exe.config file.

Modify this line: EnableResourceMonitoring from true to false.
Restart the Microsoft Exchange Transport Service.

Just be sure to re-enable Resource Monitoring after you’ve solved the problem that got you here or someday soon you’ll be in a world of hurt.  Also, get some disk space utilization alerting going and stop waiting for things to break.

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2017 Goals

You are under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.

This quote hit a cord with me late in the year.  I knew something had to change. Politics, Facebook, job, hobbies, kids, wife, family, were all fighting each other for a time slot.  My sleep schedule oddly wasn’t very picky and for quite some time my wife considered me to be on the the sleepless elite but from around November to now, I’m just tired. My body needs to rest and reset.

Like most people, I suppose, I set some goals for myself this year.  Some of them I had and failed in 2016 but want to dedicate some time to them nonetheless.

Here they are (in no particular order):

  • Read 1 book a month for entertainment, not specifically work related.
  • Learn to code in python.
  • Become an AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional.
  • Ditch Facebook.
  • Lose 50 pounds.
  • Implement retirement savings plan.
  • Learn to be patient with my kids.

Laying these out in such a pubic fashion will hopefully keep me honest about them, however, I’ll take it one step further and lay out my current plan of attack for each of them.


This should be easier than it ends up being.  In 2016 I read a total of 5 books.  My favorite was Elon Musk’s biography by Ashlee Vance which I read on the beach in Mexico while on vacation with my wife and parents.  I have a pretty broad range of interests from science and engineering to philosophy and even economics.  As long as it isn’t a romance novel, I’m probably OK but I’ll likely read books that will still benefit me in some way.  Feel free to comment below on recommendations.  My first book will be: Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders


I’ve enrolled in an Introduction to Computer Science course through EDX which is presented by MIT as well as picked up the Udemy class for Automate the Boring stuff.  I begin the EDX course today and will follow it for the next 12 weeks.  Shortly following and depending on where my next goal is, I’ll start the Udemy course.

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

The first time I learned about “cloud”, I think I was hooked.  Not having to worry about specific underlying hardware and other resources and just focusing on the “thing” that you want to do was really intriguing to me.  I’ve been a longtime fanboy of Google Apps (G Suite) as a cloud based email and document handling service as well as Microsoft Office 365 but the real 800 pound gorilla in the cloud computing space is Amazon.  Amazon Web Services has a true vision for how “cloud” should be accomplished and have laid out certification courses for various aspects of these services.  My end goal is AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional, I’ll be taking a few stepping stones along the way and using A Cloud Guru’s courses on the associate level certifications to get started.  This is actually a carry over from 2016 and am more than 75% through the initial learning process.

Facebook and other Distractions

Between Facebook and Reddit, my time in front of a screen was getting a little out of control.  I am reducing the time I’m on Reddit for “bathroom” breaks but Facebook is going away from my daily habit completely.  I figured I could use this time more wisely with the rest of my 2017 goals.  Over the past few years my mailing lists and email subscriptions got a little out of control as well.  As a result, I’ve unsubscribed from around 45 publications and will only seek out the information I desire on an adhoc basis.

Weight Loss

Keto is my plan and my plan tastes like bacon 🙂  Super low carb, high fat, adequate protein.  I’m going through some sweet tooth cravings right now but able to quince those with some sugar free options and lots of water (no room for other stuff).  In addition to diet, I’ll be breaking out the bikes this year and have a goal of 2000 total miles.  This will be tracked with Strava and my progress will be available on this site after a while.


I read an article last month about retirement savings and how much I need to be putting away into investment accounts every month and determined that if I don’t do this now, I simply won’t be able to afford to retire when the time comes.  I’ve read enough personal finance books to have a fairly well rounded foundation but will be leaning towards simplifying rather than being overly aggressive which is loosely based off of I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi.


I have no idea what I’m doing here just that I  know I lose my patience too quickly.  My daughters both stubborn and I need to do better to remember this.  I’ll start off by counting to 5 instead of just 3.