Newsletter: July 20, 2014

Hello all,

I hope everyone had a better week then I did.  It was a whirlwind, and I did not get done any of the very important things I committed too.  So working all weekend and no end in sight.  So I am taking a break to get this newsletter out to everyone.  There is a couple of things to mention first.  I did test again, and tweaked a little (added in something cool called defprot) the Windows 2012 template article – which you can find here.  As well, DataGravity will be at VMworld – and so will I, so I hope many of you will come by for a visit and more importantly, a demo.  Do you remember the silliness at PEX – we cannot tell you anything without an NDA?  It will be the opposite this time!

BTW, this is bigger then normal as I had a bit of a backlog.  Sorry about that and it should be smaller next week.

So everyone have a great week, and enjoy life!


Large Packet loss at Guest OS Level in ESXi when using VMXNET3
Michael wrote about this recently in this.  If you have a busy server and there are drops in the network you may need to make a change in the buffers.  This is not hard to do and Michael provides the full details.

VSAN Software Defined Self-Healing
A nice article – with nice graphics too on how VSAN repairs itself.  Good info and I quite agree with it that 4 should be the minimum number of hosts, but, I also like the idea of two SSD per host.  When I was at VMware, and working with VSAN I did that by accident and yet I realized over time that two disk groups per host was better – so the author of this article has done a good job!  Not sure who it is but he lives in New Hampshire which is where I spend a lot of time – including right now!

Managing VSAN with RVC: Part 1 – introduction to Ruby vSphere Console
I have shared out other getting started with RVC and VSAN articles before but this one is a little more detailed about RVC so I thought it good to share.  Here it is.

Understanding Data Locality in VSAN technical white paper
Rawlinson has done a great job talking about a very complex issue.  Good info about VSAN and proof that some very smart people really thought hard on VSAN during the design of it.  Check out the TWP.

No users seen in my AD in vC 5.5 U1b
This really frustrated me.  I am building out a very nice new cluster behind a firewall (4x R720’s).  So greenfield and that makes it pretty different.  So I had gotten vC and ESXi all sort of working and then built a Win2K12R2 template and deployed from it a VM that turned out to be my AD DC.  Then added it to vC to handle the users.  I was able to connect just fine to my domain without error.  But I did not get any users.  Not seen when working with SSO or when adding permissions.  Turns out it was a firewall issue on the DC.  I have not figured out what ports it needed and I was in a hurry so I turned off the firewall and of course it all worked fine.  If we were doing AD via LDAP the ports are well known.  I will need to figure out the ports and I will let you know.  Or, if you like, maybe you could let me know!

TCP Delayed ACK and vSphere IP Storage
Michael has an interesting article about how TCP Delayed ACK is a good thing under normal circumstances but that IP Storage is not normal and disabling TCP Delayed ACK is a good thing in that it helps performance.  In fact, it is so good that Nutanix (his employer) does it automatically in their software.

Back to basics – MOTD and Terminating Sessions
Mike has a good review of two useful things to know how to do and he shows you both for the vSphere Web Client as well as the old C# client.

Observations with the Active Memory metric in vSphere
This very long article looks at something that often befuddles customers and SE’s alike. It is the metric called Active Memory and you can find out more about it here.

Reminder that VSAN supports less controllers then previously
Here is the KB article about the controllers that have been removed from the HCL for VSAN.

NFS disconnects in vSphere 5.5 Update 1
This is good info for NetApp and vSphere customers who are using NFS.  It has a good timeline on the issue and was updated only a few days ago.

ESXi hosts disconnected in vCenter
This was a scary upgrade.  After upgrading to vSphere 5.5 U1b there were some problems!  I am so happy my upgrade was much smoother.  But the process of figuring things out is good.  Nicely done.

Slow vCenter 5.5 logins for domain users administrator@vsphere.local logs in fast
A short good article about troubleshooting this sort of issue.  So you learn where to look and what to look for.  Just in case you need to do that in the future!

Heads up! VMware virtual disk IOPS limit bad behavior in vSphere 5.5
This is quite the interesting issue. Using disk limits works as expected in vSphere 5.0 but NOT in vSphere 5.5.  This is explained and show in this article including a workaround.  If you use disk limits you need to check out this article!

Failed to start the virtual machine (error-18)
This is an interesting detective story.  A VM would not start after an outage and the work that someone had to go through to get it working was interesting, and I think good to know.  This is something we might run into ourselves one day!

Memory tuning on vCenter – vCSA
If you are working in your home lab or maybe even one at work and you need to have a smaller footprint in the vCSA it is possible.  Check out this article for more info on how you can reduce the resource footprint of the vCSA.

VVols landing page
Here is a third party VVols landing page that currently has quite a few links on it – primarily to VMworld sessions.  BTW, here is the announcement of VVols beta.

How to troubleshoot vSphere performance issues using vC Ops
This is a slightly dated technical whitepaper but if you want to learn a little more about using vC Ops to troubleshoot performance issues it will help.

VMware How-To Guide – vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon
Eric points out a pretty good guide that will help you install vC Ops, and vC Ops for View, and get it all working.  This is a number of different components and different install process so one guide to help you through it is good.  And I do love this product, as once it is working, you can pick a user / desktop VM and understood performance from that point of view.  Very powerful.

vC Ops NSX Management Pack v1.0 GA
I believe that this is a very big deal.  From what I can tell sometimes NSX troubleshooting can be complex, and so having vC Ops to help you will be very nice indeed!

vC Ops Building a Custom dashboard using NetApp vC Ops adapter
If you have NetApp storage gear, and you also use vC Ops, or your customer does, then this can help you produce a very useful custom dashboard.

Log Insight and Time
Steve has done two articles on time and they are quite good.  Time in today’s data center is key.  Steve says five minutes is what your time should be for Log Insight.  It is 2 or 3 minutes for vCAC and its SSO component.  Plus what if bad guys attack, and you need to figure out what they did?  You should work hard to have consistent time, and than worry about it being correct.  So everything should be within 1 or 2 minutes at worst.  Here is Steve’s first, and second article.  Very good reading for LI users. BTW, you can find everything you need about Log Insight on Steve’s LI page.

Get VMTools with PowerCLI 5.5 R2
This is a quick article about how you had to jump through hoops in PowerCLI 5.5 to get the VMware Tools info, and yet in R2 it is so much easier!

vCloud Automation Center and vSphere Data Protection Interopt
This is a nice article that Cormac has done in which he shows that you can use VDP to backup a realistic vCAC implementation and then restore it.  Nice!  It is good to know that this is possible and that someone has tried it out.

Good list of vCAC articles
You can find a good list of useful vCAC articles – thanks to

Set current system time on vCAC appliance
I have said elsewhere in this newsletter that roughly 2 minutes is the outage that will block you from logging into vCAC.  And here is an example of that.  It is best to avoid issues like this and make sure your time strategy is defined, and understood by everyone, and implemented as it was designed!

Updated View Clients
I noticed recently several readers using older View clients.  There has been some significant updates to the View clients and so you should upgrade.  More info here.

VMware Horizon View 6.0 Configuration Maximums
Thanks to Ray you have the max config info for View 6.0 which there is no single source for – until now that is!

How to mount Veeam B&R’s vPower NFS Share
This is a component that Veeam requires to support the Instant Recovery feature – which is a very cool feature.  The NFS share that powers it can be used for other things and the full story on it is found here.

5 posts I didn’t write #1: Veeam Tips
A nice collection of things if you sell or use Veeam software.  Check it out here.

Requirements Terminology – defining Must, Should and May
Some good thoughts in this.  Something to think about and be careful of!  Check it out.

A brief review of Synology DS213j
A good review of the Synology DSM operating system, as well also about the DS213j but the features are fairly common in the Synology line so this review is still good to check out if you are going to buy the DS1813+ like I did.

Why SSD over HDDs for Home Lab: the Ocelot Edition
This is an interesting article and with a very good point.  If you have built a home lab as long as I have or as often, you would realize at one point it was about capacity, and the point of the article is that it should be performance and what that means.  Very good point in the article!

Book Review – vSphere Design Best Practices
This is a book I have purchased but have not read yet.  It was good to see this review to remind me that I have this book and should check it out.

1Password is a very safe basket
As you might know I am very much a fan and supporter of 1Password.  You may have seen recently how some web based password managers had some security issues, 1Password was not listed with them for a very good reason.  See what Agile Bits had to say about this.  It is another remember why I recommend 1Password!

Need a home firewall that is full featured?
If you need a home firewall that is full featured, including things like Web Filtering, anti – malware and combining Internet connections, then Sophos has something for you.  Check this out.

An explanation of IOPS and latency
Very well done.  Everyone who uses these words should check out this article!

Aspiring VCDX Study Guide Link-O-Rama
This is the best collection of links on the subject of becoming a VCDX.  Links to books, sites, articles, and more.  A great collection!

Testing Disk Performance on your Mac
Someone was testing performance of a network attached drive that their Mac had access to and using a testing tool I had not seen before.  I tried it out and I quite like it.  Check it out here.

vSphere 5.5 Toolkit v1.58 now available
This is an amazing toolkit that will help you with certificate management.  Very impressive what has been done.  If you need help with your certificates this can do that.

Free Tools
Michael on longwhiteclouds has a great list of free tools that people like us can really appreciate.  A great list.

Reminder: list of VMware default accounts and passwords
I have shared this before but I think it could use a reminder.  If you need to know the default password, or account for a VMware solution you can find that info in this list.

Zero Trust Network Architecture and Micro-Segmentation
This is an interesting article that suggests network and security people should not trust packets like people and in fact treat all packet with suspicion.  I think that this is a natural progression and we will continue to see more in this area.

Update on Delectable
Last week I mentioned I had found a nice IOS app that can recognize wine bottle labels.  Very handy for me in that I love to try new wines but I want to track what I try.  So I tried it out last weekend and it worked as it was suppose too.  What was not explained was how much this app is about social media.  I said I was drinking with my wife.  So when I went to show her this cool app, she said I was spamming her and good thing she loved me.  She got three notices for each of the two wines we tried.  How did the app know her SMS and email info?  It asked to use my contacts and I selected her so I did not have to type out her name.  So the app had all the info it needed.  I learned then this app is more about telling people what you are drinking rather then helping you with your cellar.  So now I do not say who I am drinking with and so I get the list of wines I have tried and like or not, and a little bit about them, but no one gets spammed.

VMworld party info
This is a nice table if you want to keep track of the parties.  Or maybe to see when you might be able to sleep.

In the category of this is quite amazing….
I am an ex-soldier and while I keep that mostly out of this blog, I saw this recently and thought it was amazing and worth sharing.  A Gurkha who thought he was going to die, so he thought to kill as many as he could before his death.  He survived, and the enemy did not.  Character is what you show when there is no one watching. He has got Character, and more too.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


=== END ===

Leave a Reply