Newsletter: June 13, 2015

Hello all,

I hope that this finds everyone enjoying the weekend?  I had a nice week at home and I head out tomorrow back to the DG HQ.  Lots of interesting stuff this week!  I was able to get Linux templates working with VMware and that was tough but you can find it here. As you might know I have been working with BitDefender in the lab and I figured out how to make the Linux version work, and that is here.  I am working on a Log Insight Content Pack for DataGravity and of course needed to learn a little bit of RegEx.  Scary stuff but I heard from some co-workers that know rather a lot about RegEx that there are some good resources on the Internet which means you can find out here about that.

Some of you were a little disappointed with me last weekend for not doing my newsletter - I do apologize for that but I took the weekend off with my wife in the mountains.  I certainly needed that.  Life at a startup means it is very hard to do newsletters like this one and when you lose your chance on a weekend you don’t get it back.

But lots to share this weekend, and as always I really hope something for everyone!


VMworld - notifications are going out!
I put in two sessions, best practice on our storage was one that I put in but did not expect to get. Which I did not. But then I put in one that was me talking about VSAN and Rawlinson Riveria talking about DataGravity. The subject was how these two products are the most disruptive storage products in the market today and why, and what you can do with them. I sort of expected to get that one so I was surprised when I did not. There was a panel that I was asked to help with - MFT5471 How VMware and our Partners are Bringing Actions to Enterprise Administrators with vRealize Operations. We are doing it with some VMware Dev resources. Should be interesting, and yes, did get this one!  I should point out that there was more then 1500 submissions, and room for only approximately 350 of them.  So it was difficult for any of us to get sessions accepted.  I am excited that friends of mine like William Lam, Duncan Epping, Ken Werenburg and Jad El-Zein did get sessions approved so that is pretty good indeed and so watch out for their sessions!

Powering on a virtual machine on an ESXi 6 host fails with the error: The specified device is not a valid physical disk device
This is something that most people should not run into.  In other words almost no one should ever see the error message above.  But if you do, then not only have you made some odd decisions, it will be hard to figure out or fix, unless you read this KB article.  Then not so hard hopefully.  But definitely no one should see this!

Capturing Virtual Machine Screenshots in vSphere
This comes from a while back, but is still pretty cool info!  Check it out here.

EVO:Rail Virtual SAN (VSAN) VLAN Troubleshooting
This can be quite useful if you are having VSAN issues in your EVO:Rail.  But with the nature of EVO:Rail, being hyper-converged and all that hopefully you do not get into this particular issue.

VM Component Protection
Matthew has done a most excellent job writing about this amazing new capability.  I believe this is major new capability for HA and I think it is something not many of us really knew much about.  So darn good thing Matthew has written about it.  If you have not worked with this functionality and have vSphere 6, you need to check it out!

Decommission old vCenter 6.0 Appliance from PSC
An interesting article about someone testing cross vCenter vMotion and after all is done - and yes, I bet it worked good - he has an extra vC.  Once it is gone it there are messages about where is it.

vSphere Datacenter Design: vCenter Architecture Changes in vSphere 6.0 Part 1 and Part 2
Some great info on vCenter design in part 1 and part 2. vSphere 6 is sufficiently different that we need to revisit some of our thinking on vCenter.  For example, in my home lab I have vCenter with everything installed in one VM.  This is not what I would do for a customer - instead I would have an external PSC so that there was more flexibility for the future.  But at the time I did not know.  I have shared part 1 before but don’t think I have shared part 2 and this subject came up recently - so here it is again!

fsck of vCenter Server Appliance 6.0
Cormac had a network outage in his lab.  He was using NFS to host his VCSA and when it came back it had an error.  His story on this, and how he fixed it is here.  Good to know since I use a lot of NFS too!

VSAN resource - Duncan’s list of links
Duncan keeps his list of VSAN links update regularly and he has not long ago done it again.  A great collection of VSAN articles.

Backing up VMware vSphere 5.x and 6.0 products
A KB article that has links to the articles about backing up the different applications but also the different configuration of those applications too.  Some interesting and unexpected info in this.  For example it has a link to how to backup a View environment.  It was for View 5 but it was not what I expected.  Certainly not how I am backing up my View 6 environment!

vCenter Settings and Alarm Configurations with PowerCLI
This looks like a great script to do some useful config in vC.  It can be used together with scripts that do install, or it can help with standardization.  Or it can just be useful examples of PowerCLI.

Automated UPS Monitoring for vSphere with NUT and Raspberry Pi!
This is pretty interesting.  Using a Pi to monitor the UPS and manage your shutdowns for the ESXi hosts.  I wrote a while back about another way to do this.  Not nearly as fun as  Pi but it does work.  Find out how here.

vCloud Connector and Offline Data Transfer
This is important as my experience is that moving to the cloud can sometimes involve an overwhelming amount of data.  So being able to not replicate it all and do an offline data transfer is most excellent.  Find out more here.

Datastore Mount / Unmount Detach/Attach functions
I saw this recently, maybe for a second time but this is very handy for PowerCLI operations involving multiple hosts.

vRealize Operations 6.0.2 now GA
This was released recently and here are the release notes and bits.  Interesting to note that there is no new features but that it impacts all areas of the product.  Nice.  The upgrade was download a .pak file and upload it and it was smooth and easy.  I do wish I could upgrade it like the VCSA 5.5 or VIN as that is even easier.

Using vRealize Operations Manager to Monitor the Cluster Nodes
A short article that shows you how - if you have more then one vR Ops nodes how a problem in one will be handled. A reboot solves the issue, but I would have liked a little more info on the problem for better learning.

Using Smart Alerts in vRealize Operations 6 - David Davis Post #23
Solving problems faster.  That is what Smart Alerts is about.  Learn more about them, and how to work with them in this article.

Follow up on Duncan’s blog on IndonesianCloud
You can find a very good dashboard for understanding cluster performance and the breakdown of it too.  Find the info here - nice job Iwan!  And yes, this will be in my lab vR Ops real soon!

vRealize Automation 6.2 moving to Internal Replicated vPostgres
This is a most excellent change, and I agree with the author of this article that not everyone fully realizes this yet, and I think they should.  At 6.0.1 and later you can use internally replicated vPostgres rather then an external instance.  This is not just a can but rather a should.

vRealize Automation v6.2.2 now GA
This came out a few days ago, and here is the bits and release notes.  This release has a number of fixes as well as new things too.

Performance Testing of databases with Dell DVD Store 2.1 Benchmark
I heard someone was testing database performance recently and then I stumbled across Michael’s article on the subject.  I do in fact consider him to be a quite serious resource in the area so very good info.

Horizon View 6.0.2 and VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 Hybrid Reference Architecture
This is nice to see, I have heard that a lot of customers use VSAN and of course I think that is a good idea too.  So now that we have a Reference Architecture is handy.

Advanced Architecture Design for Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery
I have not had a chance to check out this TWP yet, but it does sound interesting.  If you are thinking about Cloud-Based DR this might be for you.

Why Coho’s users don’t need vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVols)
I saw this article a while back and thought it worth sharing.  Didn’t look too close but it caught my attention as I had just explained to someone that they did not need VVols in our (DataGravity ) storage as everything was already VM centric.  But when I looked today at this Coho article I noticed the byline right away - while I did not know her that well she was the VVols PM at VMware for a long time.  A good person to work with!  So the PM for VVols for so long, and now at Coho, so I was curious to see what she would say.

Thin VMDKs:SDELETE and VMKFStools to help zero out
Hugo has an interesting article that I think can help out many of you.  Plus it can help you avoid the frustration he had to deal with too.  The right command line parameter can make all the difference.

Upgrading from embedded SSO 5.5 to external SSO (PSC) 6.0
This should be the best practice for people upgrading to 6 at a minimum.  This has has extra steps but you will end up moving from a 5.5 vC to vC 6.0 but with an external PSC which I think is a very good idea.  Even if you don’t really need that right away it is a good thing because it means you can expand or change things really much easier when you have an external PSC.

When your Home Lab turns into a Home DC
This is a most excellent article by Frank.  Quite interesting what he has gone through to update his lab. And yes, I do know what a Home DC is like!

Creating your own 3rd Party Content Library for vSphere 6.0 & vCloud Director5.x
William has some good info on creating your own 3rd party CL that can be used for a variety of different purposes.  Very handy I think - especially for companies that provide things like OVA.

Why Firewalls won’t matter in a few years
This is an interesting article and I think the author has some very good points about why firewalls won’t matter in the future.  Not sure if it will be a few years or not.  I think that in my house my firewall will last a lot longer.

Locker: CryptoLocker Progeny Awakens
An interesting read on a new CryptoLocker type attack.  Certainly a less expensive one but good info.  His CEO was hit but not sure if he clicked or not!  The article is from BackBlaze who are a very good option for off site backups.  In fact I recommended them and use them! The best way to protect against CyrptoLocker type attacks is to educate your users.  After that, you need good anti - malware, both locally on people’s desktops, servers they store files on, and also in your firewall to help protect these devious attacks.

Recommended Teradici Zero Client Profile Settings
Some good info on setting up Teradici settings in Zero Clients.  Find it here.

Check Out Our New Podcast - Datanauts
This sounds like an interesting podcast - Ethan Banks and his extraordinary background of networking along with Chris Wahl who is the very smart professional services guy from Wahl Network. I particularly like his writing style - best seen in his Networking for vSphere Admins - a great book.  Update, I finished listening and I really liked this podcast.  Held to the subject and no wandering about in personal subjects that we get in a bunch of podcasts.  So great content, and extremely good audio quality too.  I think it will hit my regular listening list!

What value does Log Analysis Bring to Operations?
A short piece that covers the surface of what does the log analysis process bring to the operations process.  There is great intelligence in logs.

New Technical White Paper - The VMware NSX Network Virtualization Platform
Eric has the first mention of this new TWP and if you are interested in NSX this is a good look at it.

Exchange Best Practice: Increase the Application log size
This is an interesting best practice that was brought to my attention but I forward my Exchange Application log size to my Log Insight server so it is not as relevant for me.  There is a very nice Content Pack to help you with Exchange in Log Insight.

RPM Command: 15 Examples to Install, Uninstall, Upgrade, Query RPM jobs
This was a useful collection of examples that helped me out recently.

FVP Upgrades Using VUM
This is really good news since it means that PernixData FVP can now be updated by VUM which is something really good.  Thanks very much for this!

Nutanix and Acropolis: Should VMware be worried?
This is a very interesting article and I think the author has really got some good points.  I do think VMware needs to refocus, and remember simplify and easy are important.

Nutanix.Next Conference announcements summary and recap
Judging from the twitter traffic, and from some of the tidbits I heard, this was an interesting show!  Here is a good recap.  Here is another recap from a different point of view.

Nutanix Community Edition is now Available to All and it’s free!
Andre has the info on this free release of Nutanix CE and what you need to make it work.  This is very cool indeed!  I would love to play with it and I will try and get a chance too. More info on getting CE to work is here.

Intel 10 GB X540-AT2 Driver/firmware Issues
A very good article about a driver / firmware issue and how it was dealt with.  If you are using the X540-AT2 with vSphere you need to be aware of this.

Synchronet leverages Virtual SAN to provide scale, agility, and reduced costs to their customers
A nice article by Duncan on an interview he did with a VSAN customer.  Interesting and I think not unexpected for me.  I am a very big fan of VSAN.

Heads Up: The upcoming Leap Second adjustment may affect your IT Infrastructure!
This caught me by surprise - and sort of reminiscent of times past (W2K anyone?) but nevertheless it is good to know. It has some good links to vendors on this subject.

Need Visio Stencils for VMware?
You can find them here.

Don’t Pay the ransom, Get Trend Micro Anti-ransomware
This looks pretty exciting but it is not as full featured as you might need.  It is targeting a very specific type of ransomware that I think may be uncommon.

How can I connect two computers to exchange files?
Yes, this was asked recently and of course I was not able to suggest Air Drop as they were PC’s.  But this helped.

Two geeks and a Goddess - Solarwinds Lab #32
Some interesting stuff - I quite liked the Microsoft Exchange monitoring tool. Aside from the UI tour they talked about a variety of things to be aware of.

How can I take a screenshot of my Apple Watch?
Not that I have one (yet) but I did hear someone ask this question.  And with what I have seen there is a lot of different possible Watch faces so a screenshot might really be useful.  I had no idea, but I did find this.

Everything that Apple announced at WWDC 2015 in one handy list
I watched the Keynote from WWDC using my Apple TV and it was pretty interesting.  Here is a list of the things announced.  I am particularly interested in Apple Music, News, and some of the improvements in iOS and OS X around screens - full or shared.  I am disappointed that Apple Pay is not yet coming to Canada (Canadian banks did not work well with Apple) but the UK will be happy when it shows up there.  And the new version of the watchOS is enough I think to push me off the fence and buy an Apple watch!  BTW, just finished listening to the Jon Gruber WWDC chat.  Can’t seem to link to the audio I listened to but here is the video.  Pretty good.

Thanks for reading, or skimming this far!


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