Newsletter: Febuary 13, 2014

Hello all,

I have had a good week at PEX.  Lots of interesting people, and old friends were good to see again.  There were several people that were properly NDA’ed and it was fun to be able to talk about what I am working on.  I am very excited about our technology and what it will mean for both our partners, and our customers.  Very exciting indeed!  I was able to attend a number of sessions – including TEX3090 which was VCO Best Practices and I quite enjoyed it.  I also attended one about 3rd party Management Packs for vC Ops,  and of course I saw a marketing guy at the front chatting with us about it.  His blog articles are bland, and he was bland in this session.  Fortunately I did not expect it to be too technical as it certainly wasn’t.  There was a vC Ops Technical Essentials session that I knew the guys presenting and it would have been good to watch as it would be good info from them but it was an intro and I was working the booth.  I really enjoyed the show in SDDC3128 which was a What’s New in BCDR.  Always good to see lots of people interested in SRM.  Overall it was a good event for us, and the partners I talked to had lots of good things to say about it.  So quite happy with it – both for me to learn, but also for a chance to talk with customers (who are partners) at our booth!

I should mention that Saturday I have a month of PTO.  A big holiday into the back-country of India to look for tigers.  Yes, really.  I have not heard what happens if we find them!  So this blog will be quiet for a bit.  If I get a chance, I will blog from India, especially if I can actually find any tigers and get pictures.

I have lots of things today, and as always something for each of you I hope.  Have a great week!

BTW, I heard that sessions PDF of the slides will be in Partner Central next week.  Or the week after.


Important: Update on vCSA and NTP Issues
This is an important issue.  If you are using the vCSA AND using NTP this impacts you.  You have a security issue.  If you are using the vCSA AND using AD integration – which I expect most of you who use it will be doing, than this does NOT impact you.  It all has to do with the NTP that is in the vCSA which has a security vulnerability (CVE-2013-5211).  VMware does have some fine print that can mitigate this issue in this KB article – at the bottom of the article in red.  But they have not issued a security alert which bothers me, and surprises me too.  But see the full info here.

Important: ESXi 5.x host PSOD mentioning E1000
This can occur on a variety of ESXi versions, and of course a PSOD is a very bad thing.  You can find more info, including solutions and workarounds here.  I have mentioned in previous newsletters about using other network drivers and that will help in this issue.

Installing the vCSA 5.5b
This is a good article that walks you through the install of the vCSA.  It is detailed and pretty good but I would add something to it.  In fact it is a best practice (for me) for when you install vApps that are single or more virtual machines.  So this includes vC Ops, Log Insight, and the vCSA.  It is to install it using a FQDN as a name.  This will save issues with networking later.

VSAN Update
Chuck Hollis does a good job on sharing what was talked about onstage at PEX about VSAN.  I have been a fan of VSAN for a long time.  I like telling people I used it before it had a GUI, and it worked.  So I have been using it for a long time and am very happy with it, and quite proud too of how I helped it.  Between it, and Log Insight, that is when I realized how much I like helping software grow.  Check out Chucks article here.

Enabling EVC when vC is a virtual machine
This is a good example of a chicken and egg problem.  Sort of like Williams about getting VSAN working when everything was a greenfield.  But this is one of those things that is harder to think through to the right answer than remembering that someone else had it and you can find it online.  Find it here.

Password Complexity Issue in vCAC 6.0
This is a good to know if you are going to be doing vCAC work.  It appears that the ‘ may not be a legal character for passwords.  But see the story here.  Note: for now also do not use ! as a password.

New Playlist with 26 vCAC videos
This is pretty handy.  There is a bunch of videos that can help you do more things in vCAC.  Considering the complexity of this powerful tool I think that this is very handy.  Find out more here.  These videos start with what is vCAC and go from there.

vCAC, vCNS and datastore clusters gotcha
This is something to be aware of.  Quite interesting and frustrating!  Check it out here.  I thought vCNS with vCAC would be interesting to learn more of but this is not quite that!

VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist
This looks quite interesting.  A way to monitor important virtual machines on your iPhone.  I do mean iPhone and not iPad.  Which is quite surprising and a little disappointing.  But this seems like a great tool that lets you do power operations, see alerts, and see the screen.  So pretty good.  I also like if your virtual machines have alerts it will suggest KB articles that will help you.  Not sure if I will have time to play with this before I head out on PTO.  But check it out here.

VMware VSX – One plug-in download site to rule them all?
William has a nice blog that reminds you, or more likely, informs you, where to find things like Log Insight Content Packs, or vC Ops Management Packs.  The VMware Solution Exchange (VSX) is a little complicated to find things so this is nice what William has done.  I recently shared with you about how something I downloaded from it came down as a file name that was too long (had to rename it to shorter) before use.  So watch out for that when you pull things down.  This is where VMware is concentrating quite a number of resources so it is handy for that.  Incidentally while William produced this blog today he also updated his list of vCenter Web Client plug-ins which has really gotten to be quite a list.

VMware NSX Design Guide on Cisco UCS and Nexus 7000
Here is one of the first design guides I have seen for NSX.  NSX is quite different and so this will be a big help I think.

VMware Horizon View 5.3 – SSL Certificates and private keys
I think we can all agree that certs are a pain – for all of the VMware products – except for Log Insight that is.  So when I saw this for View I was interested.  It is a little different but it is certainly something people will run into.  Check it out here.  I look forward to when the command line cert tool from VMware will handle more products.  Or, products become easier to change / add / update the certs.

Running a Recovery Plan for planned migration fails with error: Unable to find a placeholder datastore
A recovery plan fails, and you see errors similar to above.  You can find more about the problem, and the solution in this KB article.  This particular issue is for SRM 5.0.x but I have seen it in a variety of versions so a good one to be familiar with.

vC Ops Capacity Management Tips – 1 through 4
Monica has written four articles on helping to tune capacity planning in vC Ops.  You can find part 1 here.  From another author who looks at tuning not just capacity management but rather vC Ops you can find additional good info (this is a particular interesting series).

Log Insight Content Pack for VMware Snapshots
This is quite interesting.  And a cool thing you can do with Log Insight.  Someone has done a content pack for helping you understand how snapshots are used and abused in your environment.  This is the first example of a third party content pack for LI that doesn’t come from a company but rather someone.  So very cool – check it out here.

How to pronounce some of VMware’s Acronyms
Have you wondered how to say some of the acronyms that VMware has?  Did you see a certain CTO on stage at PEX mis – pronounce one of their acronyms?  Not sure the reason, but William as a blog on how to say most of our acronyms.  I do disagree on several – vCAC is not vcake but v-C-A-C, and vC Ops is never vcops.  But both are debatable, and it is a very good list William has.

iSCSI Storage and vMotion VLAN best practices
This is something simple and I think almost all professional services people would understand not combing iSCSI network traffic and vMotion network traffic on the same VLAN – under normal circumstances anyway.  But there is additional background info such as links for the best practice setup guides for both vMotion and iSCSI in this article.  See the info here.

Operating simplicity through Flash
This is an interesting article by Duncan on Yellow Bricks.  I think he makes a very good point – most people talk about performance when they talk about flash, but operational simplicity is important as well.  I quite agree, but find the full article here.

Veeam 7.0 Patch 3 now available
I saw this pass by recently and I know many of your use Veeam and so in case you missed it here are the release notes to Patch 3.  Looks like a small but important patch that you should think about applying soon.

My VCAP5-DCA exam experience
This is a quick and short blog on the authors DCA experience.  I think it is a good read as it talks a bit about something quite important – time management.  Check it out here.

VCAP5-DTA study notes
You can find a useful set of study notes to help with the DTA here.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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2 thoughts on “Newsletter: Febuary 13, 2014

  1. Hi Mike, Hope you are visiting Gir National Park of Gujarat, India. As this is the only place you would see Tigers. I’m sure you would love this place as it is quite well organized and pleasant experience. Other places I’m unsure. For any other traveling tips while in India, you can reach me via linkedin.Wish you a wonderful holidays. Lastly another rich information through this update and without doubt you should get vExpert 2014.

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