Newsletter: June 1, 2014

Hello everyone,

A week at home is always a nice thing!  I had a good week and got a lot of things done.  Working on a design for an executive briefing type lab is a lot of fun plus working on a preso for VMworld - that will not be accepted by VMworld, but which I will get to share with a bunch of VMUGs and events so that is a lot of fun too.  I have a range of things today to share including some odd things too.

I have just started working with a new email package called Postbox and we will see how it goes - you can watch here  as I comment on the process. I have high hopes for it.  It seems that others are interested so I will be sure to share how that goes.

BTW, I really do suggest everyone has the Support Assistant installed.  It has a small footprint, and it automates much of the SR process, and it even provides reports on things it find in your logs.  See this and this for more info.

Have  great week!


Intermittent NFS APDs on VMware ESXi 5.5 U1
Still no updates on this serious issue.  I do see something changed in the KB article on the 28th but not sure what - whatever it was did not fire on RSS either.  I do not understand how VMware can leave this issue without updates for so long.  If you are still on U1 like I am you best have this alarm configured.

How to finally inject OVF properties into vCSA when deploying directly onto ESXi?
This is excellent info that William has figured out.  Now you can inject your own data into an OVA that will be used when you deploy it on an ESXi host.  Things that normally you would have to type into the UI - and that UI doesn’t exist when installing an OVA to an ESXi host.  So this is pretty handy.

Virtual SAN - updated list of articles
I saw that Duncan has updated his list of VSAN articles - a great collection indeed!

Does Storage DRS work with Adaptive Queuing?
This is good to know, not just that SDRS does work with Adaptive Queuing but that the Performance Best practices for vSphere 5.5 has been updated as well.  See what Cormac has to say on this.

Enabling enhanced LACP to existing distributed switch fails with the error: could not retrieve data required to validate this prerequisite
This KB article explains an issue I have seen before, and my workaround at that time is in fact what is in the article.  Somehow I am disappointed, as that was a while back and I thought there would be a real solution now.

Check ESXi Driver Versions
This is a very nice little PowerCLI code snippet.  It is very short and will get you the versions of a particular driver in use in your ESXi cluster.

Working with Customization Specifications in PowerCLI - Part 1
I do not work with Customization Specifications that often - I consume them much more often that create or update but it is very good to see what you can do with PowerCLI!

Do not forget NTP
Here is something on this subject from Andrew.  He is quite correct - you need to have consistent time.  Among your ESXi hosts, domain controllers, workstations, appliances, network gear, storage arrays, and anything else.  Consistent across the stack, and then work on right.

Specifying Default Domains for vSphere Web Client at Login
I saw some people who did not know about this recently.  You really do not have to type the domain when you log into vSphere Web Client.  See how in this old article by William Lam.  Once thing to realize is that the UI is slightly different in vSphere 5.5.  But still look for a globe to set the default domain.

VMware vCenter server displays the error:vSphere HA agent cannot be correctly installed or configured
I have seen a similar error message a few times, but not quite this one.  It is an odd error and the resolution is to remove an installed VIB and I worry about that.  But find the article here.

Does corespersocket Affect performance?
This came up recently and the debate was settled with this article.  Thanks Mark!

vSphere Web Client Short Cuts
This is not the first time I shared these but they are handy and good to know.  Find them here.  BTW, they do in fact work on a Mac too!

Temperature sensors are missing in Hardware Status tab after upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5
Not sure if you noticed but between 5.5 and prior they made some housekeeping organization changes in Hardware Status.  I use the Hardware Status page but I know many that don’t.

VMware Virtual SAN & vSphere HA Recommendations
Another post by Rawlinson about VSAN and as always it is interesting.  This might have been one of the first things I asked the VSAN dev team about. It is good for this to be explained - thanks Rawlinson!

Reporting on SRM Failover via PowerCLI
Another sample script that Ken shows off and this is another good one.  I mean would you not always want to know how that script executed test failover went?

Configuring SRM protection for virtual machines fails with error: unable to protect virtual machine due to unresolved devices
This is one that most of us should have seen when working with SRM - we forgot to complete all of the resource mappings.  So a good reminder.

Installing SRM 5.x fails with the error: can’t open perl script “E:\program”: no such file or directory exists
I think that I had this covered off with my old best practices for SRM.  SRM needs short names enabled and has trouble if they aren’t.  More info here.

VAMI error displayed for vCenter Operations Manager with IP Pool configured
This error will occur when IP Pools are not configured, but the error occurred anyway in this lab and the story can be found here.  This is something I think others might be impacted by.

vCenter Operations Manager 5 - UI Time-out Settings
This is something handy to know about, as when you are working in the UI a lot and take a break and than you have to log in again.  Sort of a hassle.  Check out how here.

Handy vSphere queries in Log Insight
Excellent article by Steve.  He is talking about if you don’t use vC alarms how you can use LI to alert on the same things.  He even provides a bunch of examples you should alert for.  LI comes with a number of these alerts configured already and only needing to be enabled.  That is one of the powerful parts of Content Packs.

VMAX Content Pack 2.0 for VMware Log Insight 2.0
This is the first updated content pack I know of for LI 2.0.  Drew does a nice job talking about and showing it off in his blog.  I like how he has the old and new content packs, and a whitepaper in the zip for the 2.0 content pack.  The whitepaper is important to help configure the VMAX for syslog.

Microsoft Lync 2013 with VMware View 5.3 virtual desktops
Lync is quite popular and so I was quite happy to see that VMware supported it with View 5.2.  But this is the first article I have seen posted about making it work.  Check it out here. Nice intro article and some very good links too.

Horizon View 5.3 Appendix F: Monitoring the View Event Database
This is an article about using a third party tool to monitor the events database that View can use.  This is a very good idea and a very useful tool.  I believe that this may be a best practice type thing for View environments.  Another option would be to forward all View logs to syslog - like Log Insight and have a rule there.  Be aware that not all logs are sent currently with syslog when you configure View to do that very thing.  So you will need still do configuration outside of View to send logs.  Let me know if you need more info and I will write it up.

Horizon View 5.3 Appendix E: Converting the View Group Policy Templates to ADMX
This is good to know since VMware still delivers the GPO templates in the old format that doesn’t work.  This article will help you to convert them to a format that does.

Cannot connect to the VMware Horizon View Connection Server / Security Server
This is a frustrating issue.  I have seen it before when teams / people are not working together well.  It looks like this issue can impact either the broker or security server if someone is using port 80 or 443 other than View after the initial install.  Find the KB article here.

vCAC System Exception Error
This should not - I hope - be a common issue but it is quite hard sometimes to troubleshoot vCAC and so I share this here in the hope that it is not an issue that you will see but you have the info just in case!

Updating vCAC 6.x Machine Properties at Approval Time
I have worked with Zack before and it was a lot of fun.   So it was great to find this article he has done.  It is definitely handy to be able to update more machine properties at approval time.

Step by Step Guide to vCAC 6 Manager Service Failover
It is important to understand if you have a well designed and implemented vCAC you will have a powerful tool that will become quite important and well used.  This of course means you need to make it highly redundant and this can help.

Memory Overhead in vCloud Director
This is interesting and something I had not heard about before.  So good to know.

ThinApp 5.01: Minor release number but with notable features!
It has been some time since I played with ThinApp and it has come far.  Here is a link to a blog article about 5.0.1.  Some interesting updates in 5.0.1.

Kicking VMware Fusion Networking in the Teeth
I have seen others complain about networking in Fusion.  Especially when compared I think with Workstation.  For some of us basic networking is all that is required in Fusion, but others have done some amazing work in Fusion and as a result have specific and advanced requirements and sometimes that gets complicated.  Interesting to see what this fellow had to go through.  I am also sharing this so if you need to uninstall you will know a little more!

Email Filtering Strategies
I thought there were some good ideas in here to help cut down on what you have to look at or process.  These are specific to a particular email package but still work.  Or maybe you need to tweak a little and instead of creating a Todo, you flag the emails in a particular color.

New book - Disaster Recovery using VMware vSphere Replication and vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.5
I saw this on Eric’s site and I was a bit surprised as I had not heard about it.  I bought it of course as I love SRM and I will have to review this book soon.  My first look at it is that it is missing things.  Meaning things like scripting, troubleshooting and recommendations for success.  But I will take a closer look and let you know.

When On-board Administrators go bad … - an important heads-up for HP Blade Enclosure users
This is quite the story and a very sad state of affairs the author had to go through.  But better them rather than you!  If you have HP Blade Enclosure in your life you must read this!

Amazon pokes a hole in VMware with this new plugin
I saw this article recently and thought it was interesting.  Just like vCHS has a plugin to move workloads to the cloud now Amazon does.  Competition is a good thing.  Some new related info.

Exchange 2013 CU5 Released
Why am I sharing this?  I don’t normally do Exchange related stuff or not much of it anyway.  But I am going to be putting Exchange into one of my labs and so I thought I would start watching for this sort of thing.  Check out the info here.

Enable Nested Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V on VMware vSphere 5.5
Not sure how I found this but it made me smile.  It seems pretty easy and yet I see it as handy too for some of you.

Zimbra Desktop 7.2.5
It may seem odd to you I am sharing this blog that talks about a new version of the Zimbra Client.  It is however, not odd.  You see, there was supposed to be no more desktop clients from Zimbra.  Not required I was told.  Some of the tales I could tell - shocking!  So when I saw this article I was quite happy.  I currently use Zimbra in my lab and quite like it.  I have heard that that they will not do the appliance any longer and that is too bad as it sure makes it quick and easy to create a full featured mail server.  Maybe they will change their mind on that too?

What is the buzz around backup from storage snapshots anyway?
This is a good read.  It is something that is not talked about much and so it was good to see this.  It shows why backup from storage snapshots is pretty darn good!

EMC VNXe 5100 and Checkpoint folders on VMFS volumes
This is an interesting issue.  Some old folders - Checkpoint folders in place and so much more disk in use than expected.  I suspect that this is a support issue.  But this article will not solve the issue but it will alert you to the issue I guess.  Good info to know I suspect if you are using EMC gear.

TrueCrypt - WTF?
If you used to use TrueCrypt to secure files you need to move away from it and quick.  BitLocker in Windows or FileVault2 in Mac are both good choices for full disk encryption.  Here is some background info - and more here.  Not sure what is going on, and I do not think anyone speaking publicly knows what is the real story.

Top 10 Incredibly Useful Windows Programs to Have on Hand
This is quite the list of Windows utilities that someone might need.  I recognize a number of things on this list and they are great choices.

What might happen at the Apple WorldWide Developers Conference tomorrow?
I am hopeful for iPads with TouchID but not sure if any new announcements will happen.  But here is what someone else thinks and another look here.

Want to see a little more of the past EMC World?
You can see a lot more through here.

This is an interesting app.  You install it and than when you are in an app you press and hold on the Command key and you see all the keyboard shortcuts that are active.

19 Hidden Chrome Features that will make your life easier
This is an interesting list of things you can do in the Chrome browser.

Microsoft shows off real-time universal speech translator for Skype, coming in 2014
This is sort of cool - and while it has been demo’ed before this is about bringing it to Skype so a real consumer experience.  I must admit while I admire this as R&D it is not something I need or will pay for at this time.  But it is cool.

The Tools for Learning Puppet: CLI, VIM, GIT (OMG, WTF, BBQ)
I am a big fan of Puppet, in fact one of the few classes (non VMware I mean) I got at VMware was a Puppet class!  I get to talk about Puppet sometimes unexpectedly as I wear a number of their tee-shirts in public.  If you want to learn more - on your own - you can use this.  There is nothing on PluralSight which is too bad.

First Glance: Synology’s Sleek New DS414slim
This sounds like a nice NAS for a home lab!  The price is pretty good too!  I have two different manufactures in my NAS at home and neither are in the Synoglogy league but I need to wait until one breaks and that I think it will be time to upgrade!

33 Activities under $10 that will keep your kids busy all summer
This is not something I would normally share but I know several of you will be able make use of this soon so I hope it helps!  It looks pretty good.

NSA-Proof email service brings privacy back to the internet
Here is a new service that many will decry will be used by bad guys - which is true.  But, it will also be used by normal people that believe they have a right to private communications.  And they do.  Check it out.

Soapbox - why is measles growing so fast?
Calgary has lost several kids to measles.  I do not understand why but I see it explained here. Get your kids vaccinated - there is no reason to not do it, and there certainly are reasons to do it!  If you don’t believe me, ask a doctor.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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2 comments on “Newsletter: June 1, 2014
  1. Thanks for the linkage to my vCAC error blog posting Michael =0)

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