Newsletter: May 4, 2014

Hello everyone,

I was three weeks at HQ this trip and it was very busy indeed.  So a lot of things to deal with when I get home.  First was to check out the new hardwood floor I had arranged to be done – accidentally – while I was gone.  Very cool it was! But today was also things like anchoring bookcases to walls, reading a lot of personal email, and of course the big thing – making breakfast for us.  So getting back into being part of a family – which is always fun!  I have a range of things for you today – hopefully as always that everyone finds something interesting.

Michael

John Mark Troyer – leaving VMware
This was quite interesting to hear about.  I was surprised but than I realized maybe it was not so surprising. He accomplished a lot at VMware and now he is going to start something very interesting.  I already signed up!  You can read more about John leaving in this article he wrote.  Many of us have a lot to thank John for.  He has started a community that has helped and assisted many in the IT world.  Both directly for people like me who like being seen as a vExpert, but also for many customers who are helped by partners who learn through podcasts, or people in this industry who are helped by the VMware twitter traffic.  He has helped in all of these different ways.  I have talked with John on a number of occasions, even did a show with him once, and I like him a lot.  John, I wish you great success and I hope to have a chance to help you with that success!!

Voting on sessions for VMworld is NOW OPEN
I just went through the whole list of sessions you can vote on.  I was making sure the two I submitted that are secret are not displayed yet, and they weren’t so that is good.  But I saw a number of sessions that are worth looking at.  You can find them all here.  Some things to look at include: 2119 Troubleshooting vCAC with Log Insight, 2174 Monitoring and Troubleshooting View with Log Insight, 2754 New Kids on the Storage Block, File and Share: Lessons in Storage and Virtualization,  2326 Snowden, Target, and Mt. Gox Changed the World, 1335 Essential Virtual SAN, and 1729 47 Things to know about Database Virtualization.  There was a lot of less than ideal seen too.  One SE I had not heard of had three or four submissions around different parts of VSAN.  He has one session but is making it look like three or four – to increase his odds I guess.  Plus lots of AirWatch stuff with TBD for speakers.  I may be different but a lot of what I voted was for speakers that I know who deliver quality technical information that I can use.  When you are an official reviewer you get to see the history on the speakers, and their ratings so very useful intel when you are reviewing hundreds of sessions.  Another one that looks good for home lab people is 1195 Ask the Experts: A Deep Dive into Nested Virtualization.  But everyone should vote!

Odd issue – deleting datastore doesn’t work and then it gets complicated
I wanted to delete a datastore in my lab and it error’ed out.  Said it was busy.  I had already moved virtual machines off of it, but there was still four folders – HA, vDS, vsantraces, and vmkdump present.  I removed HA and still no luck.  VMware said it was the vsantraces and to use the info in this KB 2069171 article but to add in a services.sh restart as step 1.5 in the not using VSAN section.  I had run VSAN in this lab before so I was hopeful.  After those steps I still could not unmount the datastore.  So I manually deleted all the folders and confirmed I still could not delete the darn datastore. I restarted the host that I was SSH’ed in on doing the KB article suggestions.  Now the datastore was shown as inactive and I could not do anything with it.  And it looked silly.  So now I thought of drastic action and I restarted the vC and that cleared it up.  So very odd.

Learn about SDRS? 
I needed to introduce someone to Storage DRS (SDRS) this week and while I did the whiteboard thing and it worked out good I was nicely surprised when I found this on YouTube quite by accident.  A nice into to SDRS and SIOC.

VMware NSX: need some resources? A webinar perhaps?
I have heard from a number of partners in my travels – and even customers too – they need more information on NSX.  I found this which is a webinar schedule where you can learn more.

More learning on NSX?
You can learn more about NSX by going through the series that Scott Lowe has done that starts here.  I think he is up to part 13 – you can find the series listed here but it is not current.

Working with NSX – Deploying NSX Manager
This is the first article that has been done in a series called Working with NSX that Chris Wahl has done.  He does a great job on these things so hopefully he will keep this series going.

ESXi 5.1 U1 Purple Screen of Death
This is an interesting article that talks about a customer issue – and how to deal with it including avoiding it.  What I find interesting is I warned everyone about this a while back ( in February I think).  One of the reasons I started my newsletter a long time ago was to warn partners about potential issues.  The idea was once warned, they would think of who in their customer base might be impacted and reach out to them.  VMware does that today itself using twitter and yet it isn’t enough.  So I share things out too.  But in any-case here is a good article about what happens if you are using the Intel E1000 with servers using various versions of vSphere.

Adding virtual disks and “Operating System not found”
This is an interesting problem which I have experienced and found quite frustrating.  This article has a good explanation of how this occurs and how to fix it.  This is something you should know about if you work with VMware as it will happen to all of us I think at one point or another.

Considerations when migrating VMs between vCenter Servers
This is a good reminder.  I think most of us – at least those of us who are PS or ex – PS will know that MAC addresses are generated by vC for virtual machines.  They are only going to be unique (mostly) in the vC environment they were created.  so when you move virtual machines between vCenters you can have issues.  William has a nice blog article on this subject with good info and a good best practice too (customize vCenter ID’s during install)!

VMware VSAN – Cisco UCS C240 M3 – Networking Part #1 Direct Connect
I once tried to get VSAN into UCS and it was tough as we had the blades that allowed only two drives.  But I wanted to see if it would work.  This was many months before GA.  It was a lot more complex than the rack mounted gear I had been using previously.  So when I saw this article about doing VSAN in UCS I knew it could help people out.

VMware Virtual SAN Hardware Guide now available
If you want to build your own hosts for VSAN which is what I always did during the dev process, you can find all the help you need with that here.  Good info.

VMware VSAN Benchmarks: Under the Hood
This was a good read about breaking down the big benchmark that VMware did on VSAN.  I know Wade Holmes who did the benchmark and he is not technical marketing – even though that is his job.  He is an ex Professional Services guy and very technically competent.  So the benchmark is accurate but also, I agree with Howard Marks in his article about how customers should not expect to get exactly what Wade got unless they do exactly what Wade did – which is not really realistic for most people.

How to make your unsupported SATA AHCI Controller work with ESXi 5.5
This is the info one of my co-workers needs – I think – to help out with a customer issue.  But the info will help you to have ESXi 5.5 recognize SATA controllers it doesn’t current recognize.  So handy – especially at customers who do not upgrade often or in home labs!

Migrating a vCenter Server Installation?  Don’t forget your SSL certificates
I have seen several impacted by this.  It impacted me a while back too.  I do learn the hard way sometimes!  But in case you have not learned the hard way here is a reminder about the vCenter server SSL certificates.

NFS fails to mount after reboot for ESXI 5.5 U1
This is interesting.  It appears to not be the famous bug that VMware has currently but an issue with the networking configuration.

Struck by the NFS bug? Here is how to uninstall ESXi 5.5 Update 1
This is an interesting article.  I did not really need to uninstall 5.5 U1 but I was curious how he would do the downgrade and it is pretty interesting.  Very good to know.  I am impressed it is so short, and doesn’t impact identity or installed 3rd party VIBs.  Very nice.

How many workflows and actions are included with vCO 5.5.1 GA?
This is interesting article in that you can see the incredible richness of the library that ships with vCO.  394 workflows is amazing!  See the list here.

To The Point – Removing stranded vCenter Orchestrator servers from vCenter
Some of you might guess how to do this, but if not this is very handy.  It is something you should know as this works for other plug-ins.  Find out how here.

Introduction to Automation via vCenter Orchestrator
Here is the start of a series on getting started with vCO and it looks good.  I know that many of us can use some help getting started with vCO.

Horizon 6.0 – Cloud Pod Architecture Details
I am interested in the Cloud Pod architecture that is possible with Horizon 6 as it was something I have been asked for a number of times around the world as I visited customers in my past job at VMware.  So I am happy to see it.  In all of the hoopla they had a while back I don’t remember when they said they would deliver.  That neutralizes for me much of what they said as it suggests to me it is potentially vaporware.  However this is a nice write up on this functionality and I like the sound of it so I hope it eventually shows up as described.

Reference Architecture: Building your Hybrid Cloud with vCAC, vCHS, and NSX
Hany is a very smart PS guy at VMware, and often has some wonderful diagrams to share, along with very smart articles.  He has a new one on the architecture you would use in building your own Hybrid cloud.  Check it out here.

vCAC 6.0.1.1 now GA
This update for 6.0.1 has a number of fixes and it is suggested that you use it.  Along with other fixes it contains the Heartbleed fix too.  Check out the release notes.  Make sure you read the RN as there is some different ways to do updates and don’t forget to restart when you are done!

vCAC video overview?
Here is a link to a video overview to vCAC that is good for manager types – unless they are technical but at least it is not long.  It talks about faster, but it should also mention consistency, and audit trails!

vCAC 6.0.1 Plugin for vCO
This is important and useful for those vCAC customers using vCAC and is an important update.  Find out more here.  You can find out about more plugins for vCO here.

PowerCLI – Automating your VMware Environment Reporting – PowerPoint
This is a preso that someone did at the PowerShell Summit.  The subject is about reporting on your VMware environment using PowerCLI.  Nice deck.  Find it here.

Log Insight 2.0 Beta: Load Balancing
Another nice article by Steve Flanders and in this one all you need to know about how to do load balancing with the beta of Log Insight v2.0.  Here is one to scale-out that is related.

VMware and AirWatch
Kit has an interesting article about how these two product families – VMware and AirWatch – will end up being one product offering.  The article on this can be found here, and the video here.  This should reassure users of these two products, and it should excite people that are only using one or the other.

Debunking Myths About vSphere Data Protection
I was disappointed to see this.  But than again people reached out to me to minimize what I say about Veeam – like I use it in my lab and liked it when I worked at VMware, and VMware actually stopped Veeam from being on the floor of Partner Exchange.  So a blog like this should not be a surprise to me.    I think the blog was not about debunking myths but used that as an excuse to blog and try to confuse things.  I think they have forgotten the best way to do things is to build a better product and don’t slam the competitors – especially when the competitors do a good job of protecting your own customers!  So very disappointing.  If you read the article make sure to read the comments to get it a bit more balanced.

Noisy Neighborhood where art thou? – Performance Culprit and Victim Analysis Using Cloudphysics Storage Analytics
Krishna has written a great blog article on storage troubleshooting.  He starts with what it is and why it is hard to detect and what CloudPhysics has done to help in this area.  They have done some great work to help in this very complex area that directly, and sometime quickly impacts end users!  Another great article on CloudPhysics and datastore contention can be found here.

ESX/ESXi Hosts connected to Dell MD3xxx series may lose access under heavy IO
This is an interesting issue with workaround and solution.  I do not know how prevalent the MD is but if you have one or if you have customers that have one you should be aware of this issue.

 vExpert: What I did with my HP VSA
Hugo has done a nice job chatting about what he has done with his VSA.  HP is very generous about providing vExperts a license for the VSA.  I should mention it was the first storage software I used that I thought was mostly easy and something people could figure out.  We used it a lot at VMware during the creation of Site Recovery Manager and so I am very much a big fan of it.  I look forward to having time to get it going myself!

PernixData revisited – a chat with Frank Denneman
Cormac does a great job of writing up a chat he had recently with Frank Denneman about PernixData.  So he talks about current and future for the FVP product.  This is a very interesting product and it is getting more interesting too.  Check it out here.  As I think about it, I realize that this product is more than enough interesting to pass my originality and interest test, and if I had more time I would love to check it out!  That means I think many customers I know should check it out as it might help!

Deep Security: Best Practice Guide
This is a very interesting product, and quite useful, but like any security related products you should make sure you know everything you need to know to install and configure it for best practices to help make sure your install goes well, but also ends well!  You can find Trend’s DS best practice guide here.

The Case for Sparse SE
I saw this recently and it caught my eye.  I was not sure what the state of SPARSE SE was, and I had been talking about it with someone so I thought it interesting I saw it.  The Case for SPARSE_SE is a good one!  Here is hoping that VMware catches up!  Here is some background information on this subject.

Enabling a more predictable Windows Update experience for Win8 and Win2K12
I am starting to work more with Win2K12 and Win 8.1, and using PluralSight to learn more too but found some confusion around how Automatic Updates worked and I found this that helped.

Upgrading my Win2K8 R2 DC’s to Win2K12 R2
I have been playing with Win2K12 R2 lately, and learning about it.  So I am at the point where I would like to upgrade my lab and so I checked out what I could find on the Internet.  I did not find a lot of info abut people who have done this and that is likely a good thing.  But not sure of course!  I did find this that was interesting.  I will be doing this work soon and I will share that experience with you.

Architecture Overview: Microsoft Lync with VMware Horizon View
Lync is pretty common in customers I visit and even in some places where they did not have it, they were in fact working on implementing it.  Here is some info that will help if you are thinking on integrating View and Lync.

How Not to Publish Documentation
I shared this internally with our documentation people as an example of what we should not do.  Someone said it was a good example of what happens when a committee is involved.  But I thought it worth sharing so everyone knows it is really poorly done and to avoid doing something like that themselves.

IT Architecture Review: The Basics, The Approach, The Outcome
This is a nice review about architecture.  A customer I talked to recently was not really sure how architect’s fit into IT.  He knew they were useful, and in fact important, but it was hard for him to verbalize what they really do.  I think that this article helps.

Juniper and Heartbleed – FAQ
This is an interesting read – in particular if you have Juniper gear.  Check it out here.  It is very cool their IDP gear can watch for Heartbleed activity.

BuiltWith: what powers that site?
This is sort of cool. You can learn what powers a web site, and what some of the tools are they use.  Find out more here.

Atlantis ILIO – 100,000 Times Faster!!
I first saw the Atlantis product in Japan when I visited a very interesting VMware customer.  But since then I have seen it in a variety of places.  When you talk to VDI PS guys they know a lot about it.  But I wanted to learn a little more and I found this.

Want to analyze your twitter traffic?
William Lam shared this out recently and I thought it was cool too.  Your activity on Twitter is analyzed in quite a number of ways.  Quite interesting!  Find the info here.

4 Steps to Respond when Social Media Goes Negative
This is good and useful information in this day of Social Media.  If you want to know about how to deal with negative social media in a professional way check this out.

The Care and Feeding of External Hard Drives
This is a good article about external hard drives.  Some good info and advice.  This article is mostly about external hard drives for Mac’s but it is still good info for non Apple users.

Free Giveaway from Coho Data!
You can get a variety of nice prizes – t-shirts and backpacks in return for answering a survey.  Check it out here.

Backups – exclusions that should be done in a Windows Environment
I found this quite by mistake but it is good info.  If you are responsible for doing Windows backups here is a good list of things that should not be backed up.

RSS Feeds and readers
I mentioned in my newsletter sometime ago how unhappy I was with Google in that they had stopped the RSS reader service. I used to use it with NetNewsWire on my iPad and Mac and Google synced everything quite nicely.  So I could read my RSS on the Mac or iPad and it all worked but without the sync of Google I could only read on my Mac.  But I have something better now.  I use Feedly for the sync, and the Feedly app on my iPad, and ReadKit on my Mac – ReadKit is pretty darn good BTW.  So again I have the sync and I can read anywhere.  So this works pretty good and I am happy again.

Thanks for reading (or skimming) this far!

Michael

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