If you want to run the Fiber Viewer from a remote location, and don’t want to use a VPN, this post is for you.
You’re probably thinking, “OK. This post is going to teach me how to configure Terminal Services for the Fiber Viewer. Right?” Wrong. The Fiber Viewer is not compatible with any Windows Server operating system. Or is it?
Well, its not directly compatible. But indirectly, you can run the Fiber Viewer on a Windows Server machine. Indirectly? What does that mean?
Perhaps you’ve heard of this company called VMWare. They make a product called VMWare Server. This program allows you to create virtual machines on a computer. What’s a virtual machine? Its basically a computer within a computer. Its an operating system running within another operating system. Why would you want to do this? For one thing, compatibility. If your computer has Windows 2010 Server on it, and you want to run a product that only runs on Windows XP, you can create a XP virtual machine on your Windows 2010 Server box, and run the program on the XP virtual machine. Also, you might want to run multiple operating systems on one machine. This could be useful if you have several users who want to access your network remotely. Instead of having one computer for each user, you could have one computer running multiple virtual machines. Each user can log into one virtual machine. VMWare Server lets you do all this, and more.
And do you know what the really cool part of VMWare Server is? It’s free! Yipee! VMWare also makes a commercial version of the software called ESX Server. However, you can’t use that version with our products. Our products need USB support and ESX Server doesn’t support USB. Only VMWare Server supports USB. Strange, huh? The free version has a feature the commercial version lacks.
Before we proceed any further, here’s a few notes on VMWare terminology. The operating system installed on your computer is called the host operating system. The virtual machine operating system(s) are called the guest operating system(s). Got it? Good.
So what do you need to do to make a Fiber Viewer Server? Here’s the procedure!
Go to www.VMWare.com. Download and install VMWare Sever. Be sure to write down the serial number before you download the product. You will need it to activate the product.
Alright! Here’s where the fun begins. You get to run the software. To do that, double click on the VMWare Server Console icon. In the startup dialog, leave Local host selected, and click OK.
The main window of VMWare Server is broken up into two parts. On the left side, you have the Inventory pane. This contains a list of all the virtual machines you have on your computer. Since you haven’t created any virtual machines yet, this pane should be empty.
The right hand side of the window contains information about the currently selected virtual machine. Since you don’t have any virtual machines to select, this section should contain commands to set up a new virtual machine. Let’s run one of these commands right now. In particular, the command we want is New Virtual Machine. You should click on that button.
The program will ask you for information about the new virtual machine. For the most part, you should accept the defaults. The only thing you need to change is the operating system version. In my testing, I have used XP Pro for the guest operating system. I suggest you do the same. After you have completed the setup for the virtual machine, a new entry for this machine should appear in the Inventory pane. Please select that entry now.
You should now be looking at the details of your virtual machine. Look at the Devices section. Using this section, you can change your virtual machine’s hardware. You should see several properties listed (e.g. Memory, Hard Disk, CD-ROM, etc.). To change one of these values, you need to double click on the item. By default, your virtual machine should have 256 MB of memory. That’s a little low. The Fiber Viewer would definitely benefit from having more memory available. I’d suggest changing the memory to 512 MB. Done? Good.
Now you need to load an operating system. To load the operating system, double click on CD-ROM in the Devices section. If you have an ISO image of the operating system installation CD, I suggest using that. To do this, make sure Use ISO image: is selected. Next, click on Browse to find the iso image. If you don’t have an iso image, you need to put the operating system installation CD into your computer’s CD-Rom drive and select Use physical drive:.
After you have “loaded” the CD in the CD-ROM drive, select Start this virtual machine. You will now be guided through the installation of the guest operating system. The installation should proceed like all a normal Windows installation (except it occurs inside a window, instead of being full-screen).
Here’s one thing you need to know about. Obviously, you have access to two machines now. How does the computer know which machine should receive the keyboard and mouse input? For now, you need to explicitly set the input focus to either the guest machine or the host machine. Here’s how you do that.
If you want to change the input focus from the host machine to the guest machine, simply click somewhere inside the guest machine’s window. On the other hand if you want to change the input focus from the guest machine to the host machine, press Ctrl-Alt.
Here’s another thing you need to know. To do a Ctrl-Alt-Delete on the guest operating system, select Send Ctrl+Alt+Del from the VM menu.
Once the operating system is installed and running, go to the VM menu and select Install VMWare Tools…. You can accept the defaults for this installation. VMWare Tools does a number of things. For one, it dramatically speeds up the graphics performance. Also, it eliminates the need to explicitly set the input focus to or from the guest machine. The input focus will now be determined by the location of the cursor. If the cursor is inside the virtual machine window, the input focus is set to the guest operating system, if the cursor is outside the virtual machine window, the input focus is set to the host operating system.
I assume your Oracle database is loaded on a separate machine. If that’s the case, you will need to make sure the virtual machine is connected to your Windows domain. Assuming you installed Windows XP for your guest operating system, here the procedure.
First, you need to input the WINS server IP address on your virtual machine. Here’s how to do that. On the guest operating system, right click on My Network Places, and select Properties. Right click on the virtual network adapter and select Properties. Select Internet Protocal (TCP/IP) and click on Properties. Click on the Advanced button. Go to the WINS tab. Click on the Add button. Enter the IP address of the WINS Server and click on the Add button.
Now you need to add the virtual machine to your domain. On the guest operating system, right click on My Computer and select Properties. Go to the Computer Name tab. Click on the Change button. Select domain, and enter the name of the domain. You will need to restart the virtual machine.
You should now install the Fiber Viewer, the key drivers, and the Oracle client on the virtual machine. After that’s complete, you need to add a USB controller to your virtual machine. Here’s how you add a USB controller to a virtual machine.
By default, the guest operating system cannot see any USB device connected to the host operating system. You need to explicitly assign access to the device. Here’s how to do that.
Make sure the guest operating system is selected in the Inventory Pane. Also, make sure its up and running. From the VM menu, select Removable Devices -> USB Devices -> the devices you want to use.
And…you’re done! At least with one virtual machine.
You need to set up one virtual machine for each user who wants remote access. Obviously, you could repeat the steps I have outlined for each user, but there is a quicker way.
In VMWare, virtual machines are stored as files on your hard drive. By default, they’re located in C:\Virtual Machines. To copy a virtual machine, all you need to do is copy the virtual machine’s files to a new directory. Here’s an example.
Let’s say you have a virtual machine at C:\Virtual Machines\Test1. To create a copy of this virtual machine, here’s what you need to do.
Congratulations! You’ve now have two virtual machines instead of one. You will need to change some of the guest operating system’s settings (e.g. you will need to change the computer name, etc.).
Now you need to setup remote access. There are many ways to do this. I suggest using www.logmein.com. They have a free version of the service that should provide all the functionality you need. If you’re going to use www.logmein.com, you probably should do this part after you’ve created all your virtual machines. I think it will be easier this way. To set this up, start your Internet browser from the guest operating system. Go to www.logmein.com. Click on Create an account. Now, follow the directions to setup remote access. It’s pretty straight forward. I won’t repeat the instructions here.
And, you’re finished! This time, I’m serious. Really.
Oh, there is one, last thing. Be sure and stop by our booth at the SCTE show. Let me know how the installation went!
What would make anyone go out and buy a router without researching first? It doesn’t make any sense. There are so many routers on the market today and very few places where you can get help and intuitive advice about such complicated things.
My local box store is run by minimum wage disinterested people who seem to know little about the products they have in the store – and who can blame them? There is a chance you may have a specialist store that deals with complicated computer stuff, but you know they are going to charge you full MSRP and tax.
I don’t know about you, but I would never go out with the idea of buying a router without at least looking at a review first, I have too many wireless devices in my house to buy something that doesn’t work properly.
There is one place online that I buy all my devices from and I know that I can read intelligent reviews and get the best possible price, and whatever I order is delivered right to my door, sometimes within 24 hours if I am in a real hurry for it. With working full time who wants to waste time wandering around crowded shops anyway, especially in the winter, I don’t want to jeopardize my health and my car sliding around on icy roads.
The ZyXEL VMG8924-B10A VDSL/ADSL Wireless AC Router gets plenty of great reviews on Amazon.com. There are quite a few people that said they didn’t like the E3000 but it would appear that they didn’t read any of the tips contained in the reviews, or they simply didn’t read the instructions!
I got my VMG8924 two days after I ordered it from Amazon.com and I didn’t pay an arm and a leg for shipping and handling and I got the best possible price. I wouldn’t shop anywhere else.
Within about an hour of receiving the VMG8924 I followed the easy setup instructions and I had all my wireless devices set up, including a Blu-ray player, DVRs, Xbox and PS3 gaming consoles. The whole family was enjoying video streaming and blazing fast gaming performance which they had ever experienced before with the old router I had.