Newsletter: July 27, 2014

Hello all,

I hope everyone is good today?  Things have been very busy indeed for me, but I have had a few successes and that is always good.  Plus I am working hard in the lab to build out a real Customer[0] environment for our product.  I have a number of things today that I think will be interesting.  Not all of them interesting to all of the readers, but something for everyone.  Plus I updated my Win2K12 template article with a great tip by a reader, and I did the second article in my File Migration series.  This coming week I am heading home to have a small but exciting adventure with my wife in the mountains.  I suspect I will have some pictures to share like the last adventure.

Everyone have a great week!


vCenter 5.5 U1c now GA
This upgrade is of particular importance to people that have vCAC that connects to vC – which I expect is everyone who does vCAC!  The release notes are here , and bits.  BTW, it is not just one or two issues that are resolved for vCAC in this vC upgrade but more.  So likely an important upgrade.

vCenter 5.5 U1c – my upgrade experience
Only did this update in my work lab which uses a vC appliance (vCSA). After the upgrade – man was it easy – and a restart, the Server did not start on its own. So I could connect to SSO, and the vSphere Web Client but not log in successfully. Error was not able to connect to vCenter. So logged in on vCSA console port 5480 and saw vCenter Server not running. So started it and I was surprised to see no change. So restarted the browser and still no change. Logged into a windows box to make sure my AD account was OK. Stopped and started the inventory service and still no change. Next was a restart of the vCSA. Still no change.  This is not normal, and certainly unexpected as this is normally very easy and smooth.The second restart also had the Server service not running, and I waited a bit for it. But when I started it manually in all was good again.  Even with all this, it was a faster then doing a successful upgrade in Windows.

vCenter 5.5 Upgrade with Windows 2012 R2 series
This is a well thought out series that helps you upgrade from 5.1 to 5.5 and includes an upgrade of the vC host.  Find the first article here.  The blog author thinks of process as well and makes sure you understand things too.

Quick Tip – how to blue screen / panic a VM on ESXi
William has the answer to this.  I was asked this once many years ago, and I found several answers but what William hasone  here that is better.

PowerCLI script to report Guest disk usage of virtual machines
This PowerCLI script could be quite useful if you want to know much over-provisioned your virtual machines disks are!

ESXi 5.5 Kickstart script for setting up VSAN
Even if you don’t need a kickstart script to setup VSAN this is a good intro to a kickstart script.  This is a very nice way to deploy hosts.  William breaks down the script and explains it nicely.

Drive-through Automation with PowerGUI
This is a nice simple article about how you can use PowerGUI to find the VMS with attachments that might impact VUM, but also it shares that you can use RVTtools.  So you learn a number of things in a short blog article!

Upgrade ESXi 5.5 to 5.5 U1 using HP Image fails
This is an interesting example of troubleshooting but also problem / solution.  Good info if you use HP gear as you may run into this problem, or something similar.

Disable – completely – VMware Tools Timesync
This is an article that is a little bit tricky.  You may not know that even when VMware Tools is configured to not sync time with the host that it will still do it at boot of the VM.  And that is OK since it is sort of like a physical machine getting it from BIOS.  But if you want to not even do that this article can help with that but I would suggest it is NOT necessary under normal circumstances.

vSwitch Traffic Shaping – what is that?
I do not think that vSwitch traffic shaping is often used, so this is a good reminder of what it is.  Plus, it is a very good example of an issue that you might see some version of one day.

VMware NSX Uncovered – Part 1 Introduction
Jad has a great article that will is the start of an interesting series on NSX.  He is a network guy in a past life, and a very smart virtualization guy in this life, so the series should be pretty good.

VMware Horizon View 5.1.1 Security Server shows LDAP errors
This came up recently.  I have not been running this version for quite some time.  Anyone who is using View 5.1.1 should really upgrade to 5.3.  But if not watch out for this issue.

VDI Calculator 6.0 is now GA
Andre has upgraded his VDI Calculator again and it sounds like for good improvements.  This is a great tool if you are planning VDI work so check it out.

Horizon View: RDS PCoIP design tips
My usage of View 6 is just like it was for View 5.  I am not using any of the increased functionality available to me.  When I check out this article I find it interesting to think about how far View has come.  It is a very good example how complex that View 6 has become and a good reminder of things to think about in the area of RDS and PCoIP.

Horizon View and Virtual SAN Reference Architecture
Wade has another technical white paper that should help you design a nice View and VSAN environment and even understand how it can scale.  Check out the TWP here.

Troubleshooting SSL certificate issues in View 5.1 and later
This looks like 5.x to 6.0 currently and SSL stuff can be confusing in View so a nice article to be familiar with.

Upgrading SRM from 5.0 to 5.5
This upgrade did not go so well even though the instructions from VMware were followed.  The fix is a little odd as you need to jump into the database.  But here is the info – I really hope you don’t need it.

VDP – SSO server not found
Jeff writes an interesting article about a problem in his lab.  I once worked in the same environment and it was complex due to the two DNS environments that exist.  A good article about troubleshooting on VDP so good info.

Setting up a small lab Certificate Authority on Win2K8 R2 for vSphere Certificate work
This is a nice article that will help you get going fast to have a CA that can be used to do vSphere certificates.  Definitely handy!

VMware Heartbleed: 50% of vSphere 5.5 Servers remain unprotected
Irfan has a great article here.  The data that CloudPhysics has is amazing.  I got an email from CloudPhysics that said I was patched and had no issue with Heartbleed.  Very cool.  The service they provide is amazing, and I have often recommended it to people and I still do!  The article is a little worrisome since I think VMware customers should be upgrading quite a bit better then most of them are!

VM Bullies and other Performance Surprises
Krishna has an excellent article here that was started by running a Datastore Contention report across the Collective Intelligence that comes from all of the CloudPhysics customers.  The information (and infographic) is pretty amazing.  It should convince you to start using CloudPhysics I think!  But check it out to see what they found when looking at their customer base and I would not be surprised at all if it applies to you in some way.

Fun with ESXi, IPMI, and Dell BMC / iDRAC – Remote Power Cycle, Console and more!
I have older Dell R710s in my home lab, and new beautiful R720 in my work lab.  So I know a little bit about the iDRAC.  But this article has lots of details, especially around the different versions of iDRAC you might have.  But, you do not ever want to desperately access your ESXi host console and not have the enterprise version of iDRAC.  So make sure you get it!

Want to learn more about Pernixdata?
I had someone asking me about this recently.  Here is a great collection of articles that will help you learn.

The Jumbo Sized MTUs are coming!
Some good background on Jumbo frames both now and in the future.  Good thoughts.

Stop wasting your storage controller CPU cycles
This is a good read.  Frank does a good job explaining things.  This is good info, but it also shows the value of the Pernix data solution.

SQL 2012 SP2 ISO now fixed
I heard that the SQL 2012 SP2 ISO was flawed in MSDN / Technet and was recently fixed.  Good to know.

What VMware has to do to convert the vSphere Web Client haters
The author of this is way more negative, and much less positive then I am on this subject.  Unlike the author I work much of the time in the vSphere Web Client.  I know it needs to be improved, but it works well for me.  I do agree with him on his concern for the client and connecting to ESXi servers in 6.0.  I know more than I can say but I am definitely worried too.  I do hope the PM (Ameet is that you?) sees the article and can listen to the good points and avoid the rest.  BTW, you can learn more about the vSphere Web Client and why I like it here.

Must Attend VMworld Sessions
Duncan has once again picked some very good sessions you need to see at VMworld.  I am going to see as many of them as I can, but I will also keep track of them and check them out after VMworld.

VMworld SFO – 12 Takeaways
This article has some good ideas for VMworld in San Francisco.  One he missed is the Segway tours – the basic is very good and I took a bunch of co-workers on it last year but my favorite one is the Advanced Hills tour.

Cisco Nexus Updates with Ron Fuller
I have heard that this podcast is very well done and quite informative on the new software and hardware for the Nexus.

I want to learn a little more about the VMware Technical Support options
Check out this video for more info.

Preventing Windows 8 store applications from popping up all across the network
Windows 8 has a store to buy things, and that may not be what you want your users doing!  The GPO to block this is a little different but here is the info you need.

Tech101 – Home Internet Troubleshooting
I stumbled across this recently – an interesting document to share with less technical people to help them know how to troubleshoot their home wireless Internet connection.  Sort of interesting.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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4 thoughts on “Newsletter: July 27, 2014

  1. Hi Michael!
    You mentioned two of my scripts here and I’m really glad you find them useful!
    And you are right – my post about disabling vmware tools time synchronization can be a tricky one.
    My intention was to share a script that can change any of virtual machine advanced settings that you provide in .csv file and I only wanted to give disabling time synchronization as example.
    Now I think I should have written the whole post in completely different manner cause many people understood that I in fact recommend turning off time sync completely – well I don’t and I even updated the post to stress out that this is only a example that you can follow if you need to.
    Another lesson learned in my journey of rookie blogger 😉

    1. Hi there,
      Yes, blogging is a little trickier then most people realize. Much thanks for updating your post. I quite appreciate that.

      Keep blogging!


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