Newsletter: August 10, 2014

Hi all,

I know I missed last weekend and I do apologize for that.  I had a long weekend off and that doesn’t happen often – plus I made it home to be with my wife.  So I had to take advantage of it and then travel back to Nashua so not a lot of spare time.  I did have a lot of time in the lab this week, but also working with developers so that was pretty cool.  I am excited that we are getting closer to VMworld too – here is what DataGravity will be doing at VMworld – I hope you all come to our booth and say hi.  I have a range of things for you this week and as always I hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead.

Michael

VMworld 2014 Social Media and Community
Here is an article about VMworld 2014 Social Media that is good to know if you blog / tweet, or even shout from the housetops about virtualization!  I will not have much time to use the hang spaces, although I wish I could so I could meet more bloggers, but between sessions and working the booth I will likely be busy.

vSphere NFS and VAAI monitoring
I did not realize it was so hard to confirm that your NFS storage was in fact using VAAI.  I have used the simple method for block a number of times when checking that block devices were in fact using VAAI but I have not done the same with NFS.  Here is some good info on block and VAAI, and here is what you need for NFS.  Here is some additional first rate information on VAAI.

TCP and UDP ports to access vCenter, ESX / ESXi and other network components
This turned out to be handy recently when I had a small issue.

Deep Dive: vSphere Network Load Balancing
This is a nice collection of information around load balancing and it has some pros / cons with it too.  Nice reminder.

VMware vSphere 5.5 Virtual Network Adapter Performance
Michael has done a nice job proving what virtual network adapter we should use.  If you just want to know the answer it is VMXNET3 but if you want to learn why and how that was determined check out Michael’s article.

Windows 2003 and vSphere Refuse to handshake
This article is quite useful if you are doing ‘big’ upgrades since it is possible to have an upgrade be successful but yet appear to be not successful when you try to access the new vSphere infrastructure.  I did in fact see this issue once.  So it is good that we have this article.

SSH Keys when using Lockdown Mode – a 5.x Hardening Guide Update
There is a typo in the Hardening guide but it is one that means things are more secure then you thought.  Lockdown mode is really locked down!  Check out the info here.

How to add an ESXi connected USB to a VM
This article shows you two methods to accomplish this, but like the author I do suggest you do not use the second method.  Bear in mind that this will impact vMotion if you do not plan carefully.  It is for that reason if you need to do this often you should look for the ability to network your USB such as using this which I have used successfully in the past.

PowerCLI script to report and change host NTP settings
I shared a script to do this – long ago, but it was quite simple.  This script is much more useful – and certainly bigger and more powerful.  Quite useful as the export to .CSV can be quite used for auditing settings.

Zero to Domain Controller in 4 reboots
This is an interesting problem that Mike has.  He wants to deploy a VM and have it turn into a DC.  This is a great example of what can be done with the Run Once option in the image customization when you deploy a VM.  Some serious scripting!

Problem deploying vC Ops
I recently was deploying vC Ops 5.8.1 and after entering the Network info it stalled.  It said initializing and just hung.  I canceled out and did it using the vSphere Client (instead of the vSphere Web Client which I was using) and it worked as per normal.

vC Ops Management Pack for vCloud Hybrid Service – install and overview
This is sort of cool.  You can have vC Ops managing your private cloud as per normal, but also manage your off-site cloud that is hosted at vCHS.  Very handy.  See the article for more info.

Installing View 6 Series
I shared this part 1 of installing View 6 a while back, but there have been additional posts.  Here is part 2 with prerequisites, part 3 with design considerations, part 4 with AD configuration, part 5 with SSL certs, and part 6 – database and events.  This series should continue soon with the actual install parts.

VMware OS Optimization Tool
This caught me by surprise.  I had forgotten about this tool.  It is pretty cool.  Very powerful and quite useful as I suspect it can really improve your desktop for VDI.  But see this article for more info.  I now put this in the utils folder of my Win7 templates but it needs more time for me to be truly comfortable with it.

Oddity with View 6 agent, and the VMware OS Optimization Tool
I was updating a template for use with View 6, and I was playing with the VMware OS Optimization Tool which is pretty cool and I accidentally made an improvement that included turning off the firewall and Windows Update services.  I found this out when I went to install the View 6 agent and it said I could not install it without a firewall enabled.  I was not able to turn on the firewall either until I enabled the service and started it.  I had to do that with Windows Update too.  But once the firewall was running I could install the VMware View agent with no issues.  I do like the VMware OS Optimization Tool, and think it is worth using but you need to watch what it does carefully.  Probably best answer is to do your own template for it.  Also noticed there is no undo option either.

Configuring Radius two factor authentication with View
This is not only something that is – I think – on the test, but also something that is quite useful as I think more customers should have this sort of thing in use.  Check out the article for more info.

Need some help with VDI – Login VSI tool?
I have not used this tool before although certainly I have heard about it.  But I know one of you needs some help with it so here is a couple of articles (one and two)  that I hope help.

vCNS 5.1 Edge SSL VPN
This is something that I know a number of people who use vCNS do not quite realize.  The vCNS product can do client, and SSL VPN and if this is something you need you can find out how to do the SSL VPN here.

Trouble Configuring vCAC appliance
I have seen some of these troubles myself, and they are very good to know.  Check out the article if you want to avoid some setup issues for vCAC.

Roles of vCAC
You can learn more about the roles of vCAC in this article.  This is in fact a slightly confusing area so this is helpful.

NSX TV
Here is the NSX video channel where you can see videos on a variety of NSX related things.

Log Insight Customer Satisfaction: Trust but verify
I would not normally share this sort of material as it is not what most people need or care about plus frequently it is only good due to statistical manipulation.  However, I know this one is true.  I have talked with a lot of people who have used Log Insight, and since I had a hand in producing Log Insight, and am very proud of that I thought I would share this out.

My Private Cloud Block diagram
This is interesting as it is short and clear but yet suggests some good points.  One I like and think correct is that public clouds use the same software as private clouds but operate it different.  Of course that is key and sometimes it is forgotten!  I like the diagram too.

VCAP – DTA Consolidated Study Guide
Here is an article that will connect you with a study guide that is one word doc with everything in it you need to study for the VCAP-DTA exam.

Disaster Recovery Planning is all about the application stack
Chris Collotti has an interesting article that is quite important about how application’s are actually application stacks.  In his email example he mentions database, web, anti – spam, and SMTP relays.  To that I would also add DNS, Domain Controller and likely DHCP.  All of that needs to be protected together so that it can be recovered together.  This was hard enough when it happened all on your property but Chris is a vCHS technical marketing guy, and so I think that this stuff is even harder when you are recovering in the cloud.  So it is good to see him thinking and blogging about this.

Stop wasting your Storage Controller CPU cycles
This is an interesting article by Frank about how PernixData FVP can make a difference in storage by reducing the Storage Controller activities.  While that is true, this is a good article to read where you can learn more about storage – so thanks Frank, great job as always.

Microsoft EMET 5.0 Released
This is a tool I have not used but I do see the value of it.  After all, it can be handy to have help to make your Windows more secure.  Find the article if you want to learn more.

Virtualizing Exchange and SQL
You can learn more about this in vBrownbags in the future.  Check out the info here.

HP charges for firmware
I was talking with someone recently about how HP firmware was not free and easily available any longer.  I was very surprised when I heard this as I was a long time partner of Compaq and HP and have installed their servers in a great number of places and very successfully too as it has been great hardware.  I know of people who have bough old Dell boxes off eBay and have gotten firmware upgrades off the Dell site and I think that is in fact what should be normal.  After all that means more people know how to look after and manage Dell servers.  In fact, I have 3 or 4 Dell R710 at home and 4 Dell R720 at work partially due to that comfort level.  But here is a smart dude on this issue of how HP has their firmware behind a paywall.

HP StoreVirtual Storage: LeftHand OS 11.5
LeftHand storage was the first storage I used that I could configure and understand completely (almost) on my own.  It was a key part of the success of SRM as it was easy to virtualize LH storage and be able to build a big lab that people could learn how to use SRM in.  It was a lot of fun.  Recently a new version of it was released and more info is here.  Here is some additional info from a third party.

Hands-on with VNXe 3200: Initial Setup
This is the start of a series about setting up and consuming the new VNXe 3200.  It looks interesting and well done.  Check it out here for the first article.

The ultimate IOPS cheat sheet!
This is a long article with a lot of references that will help you understand IOPS and related areas.

Pre-built Windows Virtual Machines
This is an interesting tale about needing a Windows virtual machine really badly but not having what it takes to make one.  Good info to remember.

VMworld sessions available without subscription
You can now access previous VMworld sessions that you were not able to in the past.  You only need a valid vmworld.com account and that is easy.  More info here.

Thanks as always for reading, or skimming, and have a wonderful day!

Michael

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