Newsletter: November 12, 2016

Hello all,

I had an interesting week, lots of stuff in the lab, and with building videos and presentations.  Some of that will be continued next week.  Next week I also head out to the vForum in Houston.  Quite looking forward to it - I will be talking about tips and tricks with Veeam.  Hope to see any of you there!

I did this week an article on what is in my laptop bag. I love seeing what is in other peoples bags so I shared mine. I hope it encourages others to share.  BTW, here is a nice one by Jon.

I started writing this on the 11th.  Which is a big day for me.  My thanks to all who served.  It is important that you served and not always so important where or what you did.  And I know, when someone says thank you to me, it means a lot, so say thanks when you can.

BTW, here is the vSphere 6.5 roundtable I did with some very interesting folks, and here is a very good VCSA migration interview thing I did. Both of these I did at VMworld EMEA.

I am now wearing my new Series 2 Apple Watch - and have been for a while.  I don’t know if it is the new watch, or the watchOS 3.1, or both together, bu I get more than 50% more battery life now.  Amazing, and much appreciated.  I have seen traffic about other people getting extra battery life so I am not the only one.  Here is my article about upgrading to my new watch.

If you follow Ron Oglesby you may notice he does a .MIL picture a day most days.  On the 11th, he did a picture for each conflict of the US, and some extra.  It was quite moving and I appreciated it a lot.

But lots to share, so lets move on.


vSphere 6.5 and security
There is a lot of talk around about vSphere 6.5 security like Secure Boot and VM encryption and FUD is really developing too.  So here is an article to follow that will be updated as more info comes out from VMware and it will help you understand and know what is going on which is important - both so that you can more easily take advantage of new features but also avoid falling into FUD.

The difference between VM encryption in vSphere 6.5 and VSAN encryption
Duncan does a nice article talking about how these are two different options.  Which, it is good he did that as I heard some of the questions.

vSphere Replication Target Storage Consumption
Jeff describes and educates around this typical question - how much disk space will my replication take? Nice job Jeff!

Things You Should Know (TYSK) - Content Library Permissions
When I saw this I thought it sounded familiar.  As I read it through I realized I have experienced that exact issue.  So very good to share this article as likely others will run into it!  Good stuff!

Will I get Photon OS when I upgrade my VCSA 5.5 / 6.0 to VCSA to 6.5?
I quite understand people asking this question.  If you upgrade to VCSA 6.5 you want Photon OS as that gives VMware a single stack to patch and manage and that is a very good thing indeed.  But I did not wonder, I knew that I would get it.  You can find out why from William in this article.

Super easy way of getting ESXi install date in vSphere 6.5
This is very handy - I had asked for this a long time ago! Check out how you can find the install date info in 6.5.  Nice there is a PowerCLI function too.

Building an customized ESXi image for PXE installation
Some good info on how to create a customer image - in the article for PXE but you also end up with an ISO to burn if you like. Quite handy to have your own image.

vSAN licensing / packaging
There are some changes around vSAN packaging and licensing that are in fact good for customers, so you should check out this article to learn more about them.

VMware vSphere Physical and Virtual RDM
There is not many use cases left for using RDM.  It is still safe and good to say you should not use RDM unless you have a hard fact use case that you cannot avoid. You should , in fact, try hard to avoid using RDM.  But, if you need to use them here is some info. The main use case remaining is when you have software - like array management software that needs to touch the array to be functional.

vSphere 6.5 Feature Preview: vCenter High Available
Nice breakdown of this important new feature - including videos.  What I did not see is that approximately 5 minutes is what VMware is targeting for failover.

Storage and Availability Documents
This is a great site to be aware of - anything for storage and available from VMware.  Lots of materials.  I wish we could subscribe or use RSS to track what changes.

vRealize Operations Manager 6.3
Just in case you want to learn more about the communications of VROps you have this very interesting diagram.

Understanding the impact of a noisy neighbor using vRealize Operations
An interesting article that shows the process of seeing an issue and the impact of an issue, and the resolution using vROps.

New Health Monitor Tool for vRealize Suite: vRealize Production Test
Kim has an article about how there is a tool that you can use to check out your vRealize environment to see if it is ready for end users.  Pretty cool actually.

Log Insight 3.6: User Impersonation
A very handy feature in Log Insight 3.6 is user impersonation.  Check out this article to learn more.  Quite useful - especially when you really need it.

Log Insight Agent: Excluding events with Blacklist
This is very powerful functionality - using blacklist and whitelist to tune what your LI agents forwards on to your LI server.  It can really help you tune your traffic flow.  Be careful you don’t do that too much!

Horizon View 7.0 series
You can find the excellent series on View 7.0 here. Sean is smart and knows what he is talking about and this is a very good series. It will get you started most quickly and before you know it you will have it running and helping you out!

Slow Exporting OVA / OVF from any vSphere Client or ovftool? A quick tip can help
And you can find it here.  Good to know. Plus a reminder we should be proactive about VMs with outstanding snapshots!

Automating Employee termination tasks with PowerShell
A nice idea from Matt about how to use PowerShell scripting to deal with an employee leaving.  This is good since it means it is less likely mistakes will be made, and less needs to be remembered.  See the article for more info.

An update on how to retrieve useful information from a vCenter login
William updates our information on this topic in this article. I must admit I do not like this method as it involves changing log level and that can be an issueI hope that this gets easier in the future. I see the new method is quite improved over the past.

Updates to VMDK partitions & disk resizing in VCSA 6.5
Interesting info from William on how the VMDK changes in the VCSA.  I have been curious about this since the VCSA now hosts the VUM files.  I was not sure if they would do that local or remote but you can see it all in Williams article.

Learn what VMworld attendees told CloudPhysics about their vSphere Experience
This was quite interesting information - and it was good to see what people were thinking about.  You can watch it recorded here.

Fun with the vNIC Shuffle with Cisco UCS
I am so not impressed with the not fun that goes on in this article.  I should hope that there is some automation goodness that helps.  In one of my old jobs we had - I think - 200 blades and I wonder how we dealt with this issue there?

Veeam 9.5 - RTM build available for VCPS
Anthony talks about how Veeam Cloud Providers have the RTM build of 9.5 and should be testing and updating their infrastructure using it so that when the customers get 9,5 - soon now - maybe in the next week - their Cloud Connect jobs will in fact work.  This is particular important for 9.5 as there is a number of specific features in 9.5 that are very important to people - like the VMware broker service and ReFS support so I expect lots of early updaters!

Understanding I/O - What about IOPS, throughput, latency, and I/O Size
This is basic info that is not as common as it should be.  Good reminder of some basic and useful info.

Microsoft Active Directory Documentation script Update Version 2.11
I had not seen this before but it is an updated version of a script you can use to document your AD config.  Looks very cool and I will need to try it out.

Active Directory Security Hardening: Domain Admin HoneyPot
I was surprised to see this.  Many years ago I did this and I knew it was not that useful.  Most actual malware - back then  - did not go after the admin account by name, but rather by SID or UUID and so regardless of what it was called they could find it.  So I thought things would be different by now and yet maybe not.  If anyone knows anything around this space if you could fill me in that would be great.

Setting up external access to a Veeam SureBackup Virtual Lab
Veeam has a wonderful feature that allows you to do a pretty good test of every backup job.  I wrote about it.  An important feature that not enough Veeam customers use.  Here is a great article on how to get external access into that Virtual Lab which allows you to do amazingly good tests!

How you can test 1000 VMs with Veeam SureBackup
This is a very cool article about how you can in fact do SureBackup jobs for 1000’s of VMs.  I love SureBackup jobs and I think they are important and everyone should do them.  Once you have backups of 1000’s of VMs it gets a little hard to do though.  So I am glad Luca has shared how to make it work.

Five mistakes Everyone makes with Cloud Backup
Some very good points in this article. If you think iCloud / Dropbox is all you need for backup you are the person that article was written for.  Definitely some good points.

Storage Spaces Direct?
Curious what Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) is? I was. Know why? If you use ReFS for a Veeam repository you get many advantages like synthetic operations don’t move blocks any longer - so faster backups with less of a storage footprint. But, if the ReFS partition is on top of S2D you will have the ability for S2D to help ReFS fix bad bits. Without S2D it won’t be fixed but alerted on. Learn more about S2D in this article.

Windows 2016 and Storage Spaces as a Veeam Backup Repository
Windows 2016 and the clone block feature of ReFS 3.1 is a big deal for Veeam customers as it will make a very good file system for Veeam Repositories.  You can learn a lot more about it here.  I think now that Win2k16 should first be used in production for the Veeam server so that you can get a new repository going with ReFS. Yes, really, that big of a deal.

Nano Server - The future of Windows Server - just enough OS
Yes, I agree.  Not sure how long but we are on that path.  See this article for more on Nano servers. I don’t think Nano will help much in my lab for me to reduce resource usage, but I will have one just to play with!

New Supermicro BIOS 1.1c and IPMI 3.46 for Xeon D SuperServers features HTML5 iKVM
You can find out about this new BIOS / IPMI in this article.  It is the one I have been waiting for - so I can have iKVM using HTMl5 rather than Java supported.  But, I am not sure if I have time to do this now, and I may wait for the next release.  I can confirm it is for the Bundle 2 I purchased and have talked about before on my blog.  Make sure you follow the instructions that are in the article including the backups!  When I do the update, I will blog about it.

Guarded Fabric and shield VMs overview
I have mentioned a lot about VM Encryption from VMware, partially as I am impressed with how easy and powerful it is.  I heard from one of my MVP co-workers that VMware is already slamming it - either deliberately or accidentally with bad info.  But if you want to learn about the MS version here is a nice article about it that goes into good detail.

Where to put your server, in a private or public subnet
Some nice reminders about where to locate servers.

Jony Ive talks about putting the Apple ‘touch’ on the MacBook Pro
An interesting read on how the MBP ended up as it did.

Testing the limit of 16 GB of RAM in a MacBook Pro
This article is quite interesting as someone decided to see how many apps could be used at the same time in a 16 GB Mac.  Very surprising and quite cool.  Most impressively really.

The New MacBook Pro: Our complete overview
A nice and detailed review of the new MBP in case you want to learn more.  I hope to get mine soon!

The Top 25 Fictional Companies
We are thinking about using one of these fictional companies for our Technical Marketing lab AD.  I was thinking ACME but one of my co-workers wants Wayne Enterprises.  Which is sort of cool.  Of course he wants to use the Batman and Joker kind of names and I think we should use the Bruce Wayne type names (bwayne for example) but he found the info from here.  Interesting article but I wonder why they are missing that company from the Alien movies?

How forensics really work
This is something I have heard a bit about.  People signing up to be CSI types and discovering they need degrees and serious schooling and it is not like the TV show - and they are surprised.  So when I saw this article I smiled.  Whether it be military type stuff or CSI or police it is interesting how people have this impression from TV and movies that they think is real and are surprised when it isn’t.

More on USB - C
I have shared this article before on Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C and it is pretty darn good. But here is another which is pretty good for the new MacBook owners, and here is yet another that has good background info. I bought most of my new cable or dongles for my new MBP via Apple, and two I think from Monoprice.  We will see how it goes - I am quite excited to get my new computer - should be here in two weeks I think.  I will review it and my cables when I have it.  Have all the cables / dongles and a new external HD too.  So I am ready!

Refunds from Apple for USB - C stuff
I got a partial refund on a USB-C peripheral I bought from Apple. I called and got a partial refund on all of the stuff I bought and it was pretty smooth. I appreciate them doing this. The prices were a little steep so it is nice to get money back. So if you bought any of this USB-C stuff make sure to call.  You can get a lot of money back.  I like this move to USB-C. I think it makes sense. My worry is to get good dongles / cables. And I get cables over dongles when I can. This is sort of like when they dropped CD / DVD drives, or when they went to Lighting. I love Lightning - I have 2 or 3 iPads in our house, along with 3 iPhones and all can use the same cable to charge. I think one day USB-C will be the same.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far,


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