Newsletter: April 26, 2014

Hello all,

My second week on the road and working in HQ.  Pretty good week, and lots of working with engineers which I really like.  But also some fun work building out a realistic lab for demos.  Should be fun in the future – it may be the one I use for videos in the future that you will find on this site – when we are out of stealth mode that is!  I have a range of things today – and so as always I hope something for everyone.  Have a great week!

BTW, I have been using PluralSight this week to learn more about Win2K12.  They have a short series on install / configure, one on Admin, and one on Advanced Services.  Each of those has three parts and while I am still in the install / configure one it is pretty good.  The instructor is a little goofy, but is effective.  Lots of demos too.  So first rate and a wonderful part of the vExpert program.  Thanks very much to PluralSight!

Alert: Broadcom NICs and HP Proliant servers – danger!
This impacts servers and blades – G2 through G6 that have Broadcom NICs and we know that is a lot of them!  This goodness arrived in HP Service Pack for Proliant 2014.02.  Applying this, and if you have the right hardware, you could have a network adapter that no longer works, and may require replacement to make function.  See more info here, and here.

Heartbleed and reminders about post patch changes on vC
After you apply the Heartbleed patch (such as 5.5 U1a) for vC on Windows you need to do some changes – regen a new cert and change the passwords on each and every local SSO user.  You can find info on that here.  They do not cover off what you do with the vCSA but it is good to know it is easier.  You can find out how to regen the cert for it here.  It is much easier than in Windows.  But in both cases don’t forget to change your SSO local account passwords!  I will be moving to the vCSA as soon as I can.  It is so much easier to update, and it is so much easier to patch, and the cert regen is so much easier too!

Patching vSphere 5.5 for Heartbleed without installing Update 1
This is a good read on how to patch vSphere 5.5 without U1.  It also talks about how patches are named which is very good info to understand.  Find it all here.

Notes from the field: VSAN design
This fellow has written about his planning for a VSAN job.  In fact he has done, or is about to do, two different VSAN implementations for customers.  So definitely good to hear from him.  I hope to hear more.

vSphere 5.5 Troubleshooting Training
This is always good stuff to learn more about!  But it starts tomorrow online at 9 AM PDT.  Sorry for the short notice, but this webinar looks good and it is free!  Find it here.

System Logs on host are stored on non-persistent storage
You will see this error when you do not have a VMFS partition on your host(s).  Often you get rid of it by creating a datastore.  But I think there is a better way – and you can find out how in this.   As well, you should forward logs to a new location – especially if you boot from SD or USB – which I like to do, and you should forward them off host as well.

Generation ID – Microsoft and VMware
Once upon a time we did not replicate virtual Active Directory domain controllers.  If they were off for any time and were turned back on, there could be time related issues.  Plus we did not need to replicate often since we could just have a DC running at the remote site.  But there was more to this potential issue than what I mention.  VMware snapshots or hot clones could be an issue as well.  Microsoft eventually worked out a system to mitigate this potential issue and give the DC the awareness if it had been cloned to avoid problems.   VMware had to build in support for the system and that was done in the past.  But this is something that is not familiar to many.  You can find out more about VMware supporting this feature in here and here.  You can find a paper on this subject from Microsoft here and you can find the attribute on this here.  There is a MS lesson / TWP on virtualizing DC’s that also has information on this feature.  Even with all these improvements, I would suggest you still do not hot clone, snap, or replicate DCs.  Generally you do not need to!  Of course, if you do need to, you now have the information to think about it and do it safely.

vSphere Distributed Switch – Network Monitoring
This is a link to a very short blog article that is in fact three links to videos on You Tube.  They cover off Health Check, NetFlow, and Port Mirroring which are three monitoring options that a vDS has that a vSS does not.

iSCSI Implementation Setup series
This is an excellent series where the author is taking us through the implementation of an iSCSI solution.  So he starts with making sure the network is good – and some great info there, and he follows it in part 2 with host stuff – meaning firmware updates everywhere, and in part 3 he talks about connections.  So a very good series so far.

PowerCLI – Add existing hosts to existing virtual distributed switches
This is a nice example of a script that asks for the vC name, and than adds existing hosts to an existing vDS.  So a handy script and I like the look of it.  Check it out here.

New book – VMware Horizon View 5.3 Design Patterns and Best Practices
A review of this newish book can be found here.  I do like View and use it often but I don’ t build out View very often any longer so it is good to have good references like this.

Cannot log into vCAC
This is a problem and solution kind of blog but it doesn’t just show the problem and the fix but it talks about how the author got to the solution.  And since vCAC is a little complex this is good info to know.  Find the story here.

Changing the vCAC log on page logo
This is one of the things customers always like to do – see their logo on the front page of the new app.  And now you can do that for vCAC and you can find out how here.  vCAC has allowed this sort of thing for quite some time, but in the 6.x world the log on is done via SSO so a new page and a new place for a logo that vCAC does not control.

vCAC Training now available
Before I left VMware I worked with the vCAC people to try and help them with a variety of things.  That means improving the product both directly and indirectly.    It included building out the environment for onsite beta’s (OSB) which was something I was very happy to do and had fun with.   The OSB work that VMware did was truly the best way for beta activities to happen.  More bugs were found and more value was obtained – meaning development stuff got more than just bugs out of it.  But vCAC was very hard for me.  Especially when there were bugs and no documentation!  But when I got it working it was pretty darn cool.  When working as an End User it was pretty darn good.  It was simple, clear and easy.  But getting it to that point was not easy, especially if you wanted it realistic and integrated with other things.  So I am very happy to say there is training now available and it is worth it!!  This will really get you started and moving on this.

Remediation Information for Heartbleed and vCAC
Due to the nature of vCAC and the type of application it is the Heartbleed remediation is a little different.  To get the instructions and the patch file check this out.

Microsoft Windows Licensing Compliance in vCloud Hybrid Service
This was something I thought useful to share, but when I read it carefully to make sure it was good to share it surprised me.  I thought that customers would use their own MS licenses when they were in the cloud at vCHS but that is not true it seems!  Check out the info here.

PernixData New features announced at Storage Field Day
Duncan does a nice review of the new features that PernixData has talked about recently in a Storage Field day.  Pretty interesting stuff actually.  NFS, Network Compression, Distributed Fault Tolerant Memory, and Topology Awareness.  Very cool stuff and Duncan does well talking about it in this.

Scale-out storage architecture, SDN style
This is quite an interesting read on how Coho Data does things around the idea of SDN as used as part of their scale-out architecture.  So a good read.  Find it here.

PowerShell 4.0 cheat sheets
A good collection of PowerShell 4.0 cheat sheets can be found here.  And yes, it is PowerShell 4.0 – I missed the note that said PowerShell is at 4.0.  That happened with Win2K12.

Do you need a VDPA license for the replication target?
Jeff has a nice blog article on this subject – the short answer is no, but there is more info in the article.

Technology and Travel
Scott Lowe – a very cool dude I had fun presenting with in Singapore once – so if you get a chance to work with him, or listen to him, you should!  He has a blog article on what he travels with, and he linked to Cody’s here which is also interesting.  One thing I travel with that neither mentioned is a external rugged hard drive.  It is the 1 TB Lacie orange one.  I use it for Super Duper image copy once per week, and also Time Machine occasionally – maybe two or three times per week.  I think it is pretty helpful and when you are on the road for several weeks at a time, and away from your home TM drive it is pretty handy.  This drive of mine travels in my suitcase and normally only used in my hotel room.

VMware Compatibility Guide
I do not often use this guide.  But I was curious recently if I could run vC on Win2K12 Server Core.  It took quite a while to find that damn guide.  So here it is, and I will put it on my reminders page too!  BTW, I found out – not in the guide but from smart people that you can run vC in Server Core, but you must install in GUI.  So handy in Win2K12 R2 that you can easily switch between them.  SQL 2012 can install and run in Server Core I am told.  So this is pretty cool.

VMware NSX documentation now available
I heard about the docs here and you can find both docs and resources through the link.

Backup Interoperability Matrix
This was recently updated.  I find it useful and it is always interesting to what works together especially since all in one place!

Partly Cloud with a chance to fill up disk space
Krishna has done a great blog on the power of CloudPhysics predictive analysis around storage.  Very good info and one of the many reasons I like CloudPhyiscs so much and why I think everyone should be using them – either the simple community version or the paid enterprise version.

Veeam Best Practices for VMware on Nutanix
This is good information even if you do not have Nutanix but do have Veeam.  Some good ideas on design and also background info.  So worth checking out.  I did share this out before but they have seriously updated it and released the Technical white paper (TWP) as well.

Facebook is almost all IPv6
I worked with a guy at VMware – on the same time as me – who was an ex-Cisco guy and really pushed IPv6 at VMware.  He had lots of trouble and frustration.  He did not have many examples of people who had gone IPv6 already.  But than today I found this.  Interesting how Facebook is almost finished moving to IPv6 and how they have may have helped everyone out.

Retina, VMware and Windows Addicts
Clint has written up how he has adapted the amazing resolution of the Retina display for working in Windows.  I had to do the same thing.  It is interesting I work mostly in Mac, or when in Windows I use the Mac View client and I did not see this issue.  I only saw the issue when I ran Windows locally in Fusion.  So if you need this sort of help – and if you do you will know – than check out this article.

Want some interesting things to smile about? 
If you have been in IT and or Professional Services for a long time – like I have, you will really enjoy this, this and this.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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