Newsletter: June 29, 2014

Hello all,

Time for another newsletter!  I am at home once again and quite happy to be here!  I was gone for quite a while, and while it is very important to be close to developers when you are a start-up, it is very good to be home too.  I have some interesting lab work to do this week which will provide for a few blog articles and hopefully be good for everyone – plus help out some of the wonderful DataGravity dev staff too!

I have started a new series about moving from old to new storage.  You can find the series here, but it has only one article so far but I think it will be quite handy for anyone who moves to new storage.  As well, if you follow my articles on Piper I have another one but you can also find that it via this tag – Piper.

As well, I had a bad disk on one of my storage units, and it has been a hassle.  Not only did it force me to buy some new storage, but I actually lost a number of important VMs.  I do have backups but of course my Veeam VM was on that array.  And one disk has really hurt that array which of course I thought RAID5 would have meant less damage!

I have good collection of things to share today, and as always I hope something useful for everyone.

Have a great week!


Alert: HP HPSA drive 5.x.0.58-1 can cause ESXi 5.x PSOD
This issue, and solution makes a good story.  A reminder that proactive maintenance that includes patching is a good idea.  I like how it includes the info on doing the hot patching too.  Good job.

Recommended syslog configurations for ESXi
This should be a reminder as I shared out a different blog on this subject but I believe it is worth sharing again – you need to get your ESXi hosts to the current GA level to solve log issues, and than use TCP if you can to talk to your syslog server.

vCenter performance suffering due to feature usage
This is a quite interesting read.  Some very difficult troubleshooting but yet done very well.  I am most impressed with what the author went through and figured out.  I think that there may be a new best practice or Strong Guidance out of this article too!

PowerCLI – Update vSwitch with additional uplinks, LB Policy and active/standby
Here is some help for doing some interesting PowerCLI config for a vSwitch.

VMware vCenter Infrastructure Navigator 5.8.2 now GA
You may have seen this already but this very nice tool which has been updated.  Find the release notes here.  I have not done this update yet, but should soon.  If I have issues I will let you know.

VMware vCenter Operations Manager 5.8.2 now GA
You can find the release notes here.  I like how a vDS is now a managed object!  This is mostly a maintenance update in that it has OpenSSL and Apache Struts updates.  I have not done this update yet, but should soon.  If I have issues I will let you know.

Customizing vC Ops Login Page
I know that customers like doing this sort of thing and it is quite common.  And, I know I have had to tell customers that it is not supported or not possible or whatever.  So glad now I can pass this URL to them so they can modify the vC Ops login page to look the way the customer wants!

vCloud Automation Center 6.0 POC and Detailed Implementation Guide
Here is a link to the wonderful vCAC POC guide that Jad does a great job with.  If you are going to start playing with vCAC than you need this guide.

How to enable notifications for all users in vCAC as a default?
Not sure how we missed this.  I spent a lot of time in vCAC but never noticed the the default is off for users notifications and that is done at the user level – so a little frustrating to turn on.  Find out more and a workaround in this.

vCAC 6.0 build-out to distributed model – Part 3.1: Configure Load Balancing with vCNS
I heard about someone who was doing this sort of thing recently so I thought it was good to share out this info that might help. Once you have vCAC working and implemented for a customer, it becomes very important and you need to keep it up which is where load balancers can help so a good article.

vCAC 6 Edit VM Failing
This is an interesting article that includes a not published URL that is handy for troubleshooting.  Find the story here.

SLES for VMware EOA Announcement
This is most disappointing.  It was something that I thought was great and very helpful for customers.  I met customers who liked it too.  It was a good way for customers to get free Linux that worked well, and where support could be found if you required it.

vSphere 5.5 – Best Practices Summary
This blog has done a 22 part series about the best practices around vSphere.  This article is the summary of those best practices.  Very nice.

Trouble finding View 6.0 bits?
I could not find View 6.0 last week to download.  All I could find was View 5.3.  However, if I went to Horizon with View, than I could find View 6.0.  Here is a link to the downloads, docs, and release notes.  BTW, here is a link to the first article in a series on View 6 that I think will be quite good.

Upgrading to Horizon View 6.0
I found what appears to be a good upgrade series for View 6.  It starts here with the composer upgrade, follows with Connection server, Agent upgrade, and Client upgrade.

Create a VMware Horizon View self signed certificate with makecert
This is an interesting article.  It shows you how to make your own self signed cert that you can use with View so you don’t see the issues that you normally see if you don’t replace the cert that is supplied with View.  Most customer implementations will have a cert from Verisign or someone like that, this is something that those of us with home labs can use to finally see all green in the View Management UI!

PCoIP Log Viewer Update for View 6.0
This is an important tool for those of you that support View whether you be a customer or partner.  This tool helps you understand PCoIP logs.

Log Insight external load balancer configurations
Steve does a great job explaining how to use different LB configurations with LI.  This is important as it helps you more quickly take advantage of the new features in LI, and the new scalability too.

Using Active Directory?  Worried about Performance & Security?
This is the announcement for the Active Directory Content Pack for Log Insight.  This is wonderful if you happen to be sending Windows event logs to LI.  Which I am in fact.

How-To: vCloud Director and Log Insight
We have this blog article that helps you configure vCD to deliver the log events via syslog to Log Insight.  This is a little different as you need to do Log4j configuration.  I like how he also shows you a bit about using this info in LI.

CloudPhysics and Smart Alerts
I had to ask about Smart Alerts.  I could not find any controls or configuration for Smart Alerts in the UI.  It turns out they are turned on by default and currently report if any datastores are likely to run out of space in 1 week.  They will likely add more configuration, and more alerts in the future.  I think there is a lot of exciting possibilities here for CloudPhysics to exploit for its customers.

Stay vHealthy! An Audit a Day keeps operational hazards away!
Krishna has a very nice article here about doing daily / weekly kind of checks in your infrastructure and he suggests checks specifically that CloudPhysics has to help.  I have often pushed CloudPhysics as a company with a wonderful solution that can help out most VMware customers.  This blog highlights nicely how that is so true!

VSS Labs vCert Manager Part 1
This is a nice breakdown of VSS Labs vCert Manager installation and configuration.  This is a very handy tool that I have, but have not had time to install.  So good to see how it goes.  I cannot wait until I have this working!  I wonder if they will add in View to their product one day?

Sophos UTM Home Edition license expired
I have long been a believer in using a real firewall at home.  Here is an article that talks of one that I am not familiar with but it is interesting.  The author has a license problem with it and the article talks of how to solve it.  I share this so you know that Sophos has a free firewall for home use, but also I see that the free license includes both email and web protection which is very good in this day and age!  This does look pretty interesting.

Fluke Networks: More than Handheld Meters
I am most familiar with Fluke as a handheld meter company.  I have not used them, other than to play a little, but when I have serious networking issues and someone shows up to help, often than have a Fluke somewhere handy.  Even my ISP technician that showed up a while back ended up pulling out a Fluke to help him figure things out.  So it was interesting to read this where I learn about Fluke and not handheld meters.

Dear Clouderati: Enterprise IT Is Different
This is so true.  I quite agree.  Chuck has it right again.  Check it out here.

New White Paper – Storage Caching Solutions, and Storage 101: Flash Storage Myths and Facts
Thanks to John Troyer and his TechReckoning newsletter I found these two interesting articles about storage. The first is about storage caching solutions, and the second is a Storage 101 about Flash Storage Myths and Facts.

Understanding Tiered Storage
I was talking with several people recently who were talking about tiered storage but I think they only understood it in concept.  So when I saw this I thought it was worth sharing.

Could this be true?  Automate network diagramming…..
Even for my small home lab, or the small one I am building at work, I have a diagram.  In fact I have several and I quite appreciate them.  They are not pure quality like Frank does but they work.  They take a lot of time and yet I found this that suggests they can be at least partially automated.  Cool.

Go Go Gadget VCDX
Chris Wahl does a very nice job talking about his trip to Spain for his VCDX defense.  He has some good observations and suggestions.  See his story here.

Hard Disk Sentinel
I heard some folks talking about this recently and they said very nice things.  I looked at it myself and liked what I saw – good disk monitoring but no Mac version so I did not buy.  Check it out here.

IP Subnetting Part 1: What is a Subnet? and Part 2: Simple Subnetting Examples
Here are two interesting articles – What is a Subnet, and Simple Subnetting Examples.  Some good info especially for those of us who are not real network guys.

Encryption coming to Veeam Availability Suite v8!
I thought this was interesting as encryption is a good thing for backups.  I remember many years ago I retired a bunch of tapes and I had to have someone use a hammer to make sure when I threw them out that no one would be able to abuse them, or find any information on them!  When I did security audits I often stole tapes – it was not very hard and often it was easy to get good info off of them.  So when I saw that Veeam was adding in encryption that was a good thing but as I read the article I realized the way they are adding it is pretty interesting indeed.  Check it out here.

Are you excited about Veeam v8 yet?  If you are a Data Domain customer you should be!
Here is a nice intro to what Data Domain is and how it might work with Veeam.  It sounds pretty good too actually.

Veeam Extract Utility, quick restores without the Veeam server
This is useful info to be aware of as you will one day have to do a restore when the Veeam server is not handy.  Check it out.

Image Stock Spam Reemerges
I thought this article about the occurrence in spam of images interesting.  Wonder why the change?  It certainly has a big footprint and impact on people.

Dell and Nutanix
I see this as an interesting combination that should be good for customers and both Dell and Nutanix.  But I have no understanding of why they are pushing it as Web Scale.  I think it is doing a disservice to everyone.  The fact is that Nutanix makes great converged solutions, and that does very good things for customers.  Dell makes great server platforms and distributes very well too.  So a natural fit for both companies I think and that will make for good things for customers.  Customers that are businesses and have IT shops.  Nothing to do with Web Scale.  But I like both companies so I wish them well!  Update: I just found this as I was editing and it in fact explains it all better, and Web Scale actually makes more sense to me for normal enterprises now.

How-to check Queue Depth Storage Adapter
This is a good reminder on how to check Queue Depth of an adapter.  It also has links to learn more but it does show you how to check the queue depth for storage adapters and disk.  Good info!

Use a Synology NAS to Syslog All The Things
This is sort of cool.  I did not know that a Synology NAS could do this.  And it looks like it does it pretty well.  Chris Wahl does, as always, a very through job so you end up with good learning and related information too.

Setting up data protection on Tintri T540 – Replicate and Restore
I saw this that describes how to replicate a VM in Tintri.  While I knew that replication had been added I have not been able to see how that works.  So I was happy to find this article that talks about it.  Looks pretty easy.  BTW, you can checkout the first article this blogger wrote on the setup of Tintri.

EMC Storage Simulators for your lab – free!
Here is a nice note about the EMC storage simulators and good things to know around them.  Plus the links too.  If you are an EMC partner or customer this is a very good way to increase your skills.  Especially in your home lab!

Apple stops development of Aperture
This is advance notice for the demise of Aperture.  Next year when we have the new Photos app there will be no requirement for Aperture so they are not doing any future development of Aperture.  Both my wife and I count on Aperture so this is a little worrisome.  I hope it ends well!  I suspect that this will be true for iPhoto too.

Solve all your Apple Mail problems … with Airmail
I have had issues with Apple Mail and Google and so switched to Postbox and that has gone really well.  Here is an interesting alternative.  It is a few dollars cheaper than Postbox, and has some similar features so that is good.  But if you need an alternative to Apple Mail, I suggest Postbox and if you don’t like it then this Airmail may be for you.

Recruit your Robots with “Take Control of Automating your Mac”
I know several of you who will find this a useful book!  Check it out here.

Thanks for reading this far!


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