Newsletter: September 7, 2014

Hello all,

I hope everyone is doing well today?  Had my first tornado warning yesterday – interesting sound it made on my iPhone.  I looked but did not see any tornadoes though.  This was another fun week working with developers and QA on making sure our product is delivered in the best quality, and on time too.  Also got to spend a bunch of time in the lab too and that is always good – it also often means more technical articles!   Should be a normal size of newsletter today as I am only reporting for one week.  Not two like last newsletter!

So as always, I wish everyone an interesting week, and today I hope everyone finds something interesting to read.

BTW, I have started a DataGravity page to collect things on DG to make it easier for you find things.  You can find it on the main page in the masthead. Also, I have had people already asking me about new features and I thought I would share this old article I wrote so you understand how I do things.  I also did a couple of articles this weekend on the Dell OpenManage plug-in for vCenter which is a cool tool.

Michael

Fusion 7.0 now GA
This is a big release.  It is too bad that VMware partners do no have the license yet, or vExperts, and I would have told you how the upgrade went.  But from the release notes this looks pretty good!  I particularly like the ability to upload a VM from Fusion to ESX!  Here is the product page.

vSphere Flash Read Cache
A nice writeup on vFRC by someone who is studying for a test.  This is one of the features that is not frequently used by customers and I think that is something that should change.  It is a nice feature and it can help in a variety of situations.  Such as for Linked Clones in View when using VSAN.

Log Insight and the Windows Agent
I really like the Windows agent that Log Insight has as it is very useful.  I like having my Windows events in Log Insight.  The agent is very easy to install, and a little less easy to configure for things like log files.  But Steve has some great info on this subject.  Here is a link to an article about specific products.  Again, great info.

The importance of logging
Steve does a great job talking about the importance of monitoring log files.  Good info and a theme that I often talk about too – your whole stack should be reporting its logs to a central point.  He talks about some myths that are very good to know as myths.

vC Ops Content Pack for Log Insight
This better come with pretty good instructions on how to get info out of vC Ops to Log Insight.  As I know – in the past anyway – it was very hard indeed!  But if you can get your vC Ops into to Log Insight this Content Pack will certainly be useful.

vC Ops Management Packs
Would you like to know what management packs are available?  Check this out.  Management packs are what connect vC Ops to other devices.  Such as storage so that vC Ops can monitor and provide metrics on the storage that it doesn’t know natively.  Quite useful.

View port diagram
If you want to use View through a firewall it has gotten a little complicated.  If you want to have a lot of users, and all of the View features available through the firewall it is a lot complex.  But here is a link to a port diagram that will help a bit.

Install vSphere Replication as part of SRM
Here is an article that will talk you through getting VR working when it is part of SRM.  This is a multi – part article that is covering off getting SRM working.

VMware product feature walkthroughs
This is sort of interesting.  You can ‘walkthrough’ a product and get an idea on what it can do.  Check out this blog for more info on this.

SDDC Fundamentals: NTP Infrastructure Design
This is a nice article about time and some things to think about it in terms of your infrastructure.  I would add a few things to it.  Between 5 and 10 minutes skew will stop you from being able to log into things like SSO or AD.  Even when you have the Windows AD domain managing time for Windows – which is good – you will still get the ESXi time from when the VM boots by reading its ‘BIOS’.  The Windows AD domain should be sync’ed with wherever the ESXi hosts sync with.  And don’t forget consistent is game 1, and correct is secondary.  Here is some info on vSphere and NTP.

Learn PowerShell – from Basics to Coding Star
This is a free program from Veeam that looks and sounds pretty good.  If you want to learn PowerShell, and are not quite sure how to start this is something for you.

Stats Toolbox – A vSphere Performance Counter tool
I was in the session with LucD and Alan when they showed off this tool.  It was a pretty good session too, and this tool is quite something.  This tool is not for everyone, if you are a basic scripter like me you will not need it, but if you want to some advanced scripting and need to work with the performance counters this will likely help you.

NetApp Simulator Cluster Mode setup
You can find information on setting up the NetApp simulator in cluster mode here.  It is the start of a series.

SyncBackPro v6.5.48 now GA
I am using SyncBackPro as a file migration tool and it seems to be working quite well – with one issue that I am working with the vendor on.  If they can fix this one issue we may have a winner!  But they recently rev’ed their product and you can find the changes here.

VCAP-DCA – Experience
This is a good read on one guys exam experience and it has some good ideas and suggestions as well.  If you wish to do this test – and in fact I probably should – this is some good info.

Akamai and VMware
I saw a tweet by Ryan Johnson that mentioned something important.  VMware uses Akamai for its update repositories.  So in any firewall rules you should not use IP addresses as they can change but rather DNS names – for example *.vmware.com on ports 80 and 443.  You can find more info on this in the KB (1030797).  Thanks for the good reminder!

VMworld 2014 VSAN Deep Dive – STO1279
You can find a review of this excellent session here, or here, plus here is the session itself.  This is one of the sessions I went to and thoroughly enjoyed.  I had to leave a little early to get back to work but I did learn things.  Great session.  The two session reviews are very similar and missing some of the troubleshooting info.  Suggest you go for the session itself.

VMware Hand-on Labs VMworld 2014 US online
This is a short article about HOL at VMworld and also the announcement that they have started to move some of the HOL VMworld labs to the public HOL instance.

VMworld 2014 Recap – SolarWinds style
This is a different kind of recap and it has some interesting links.  I had an opportunity to chat with SolarWinds myself and it was quite interesting.  I was not able to attend some of their morning technical sessions and that is too bad as I think they would have been pretty good.

VMware PMs on twitter
William has gotten some of the VMware PMs on twitter and shared out their addresses.  Saw this recently and it surprises me. It is a good thing but the problem is that people will ask for features. PMs should never ever implement features that people ask for. Or rather, almost never since there are exceptions. If you want to be successful in working with PMs you should share problems. Let them know who else has a problem. If you share a problem with me, and mention you know two other customers who has the same problem that will make it more likely that problem will be solved. The problem when you add a feature that someone asked for is that it frequently – in my experience – doesn’t solve their problem so they don’t use it. But if they share the problem with you, and you know it occurs with other people, you can then talk about what type of feature may solve things. Normally that makes it a feature that will be used. So my suggestion is for you to share problems with the PMs and you will likely get a better feature out of it!

Software Defined Storage – Reading
Chuck Hollis has an article that he shares two documents out where both are on the subject of SDS but one is a short and easy read and the other is much longer and detailed.  Both are interesting.

When is 85% full actually 100% full (in VDP or VDPA)
According to this KB article if you have a store that is 85% full you will not be able to do any further backups as 85% is considered full by the appliance.  You should clean up some old jobs, or maybe add more storage.

A famous Steve Jobs speech is hidden in your Mac
This was interesting and of course I found the speech and it is marvelous, and I think very true.

Veeam provides a whole lot of free (and useful) goodies
I have mentioned these goodies before but here is an article that details them.  Some very nice stuff!  I like the look of ONE.

Introducing the Tintri PowerShell Toolkit
This is good news for those very happy customers that are Tintri customers.  I know that people that PowerShell often prefer it to any conventional UI!

VMworld Videos
The number of VMworld videos available is growing.  Check this out for the updated list.

The network nightmare that ate my week
This is an interesting read.  Networks are hard and sometimes really hard to troubleshoot.  And adding IPv6 to that is very exciting as well as really much harder.

vMotion Enhancements for vSphere 6 announced
Chris Wahl has a great article on the new vMotion features that have been talked about for vSphere 6.0.  Pretty exciting list.  I know many who are excited about the long distance vMotion but the vMotion across switches and vC is one that I am excited for.

SQL on VMware
I just install SQL on VMware and treat it like other VMs.  I make sure it has enough disk, memory, and process and that is it.  The fact is I do not have a lot of users to worry about but I do not have time for dealing with it not working so I keep an eye on it but no more then other apps.  But someone asked for a bit of info on SQL on vSphere.  Aside for this great book I have at home, I found this and this.  But really, the book – hard-copy or Kindle is the way to go.

VCP-NV is ready
VCP – Network Virtualization can now be registered for and start down the path.  This is a big area and a complex one so it is good things are ready.  This also describes the different paths that you might follow depending on your experience.  Find the info here.

Learning more about the Windows 2012 Dedupe capabilities
This was a great article I found when I was looking to learn more about dedupe in Windows 2012.  It is very interesting technology and the article is very well done.  There is even an eval tool to see what you might experience if you used the Win2K12 dedupe.  So a great article.

DecryptCryptoLocker – A success story
This is an interesting article about a company that has helped a lot of people recover their data after being impacted by the CryptoLocker malware.  More info on CryptoLocker can be found at Wikipedia and Symantec.  I expect to see a lot more of this sort of malware in the future.

Security Tools & Downloads for IT Pros – Microsoft
Here is a nice group of tools for Microsoft environments.  I remember when the MBSA came out a very long time ago and it was a surprise to see it again!

CrashPlan – a full review
I have used off-site storage for my backups for quite some time.  I started with Carbonite, followed by with Mozy, and I have been with CrashPlan for a number of years.  I believe they are the best value and for me that means a great price, but also great features.  See a review of their product here.  I have the CrashPlan Family Unlimited and yes, I do use their additional encryption so they cannot read my files.  I do think CrashPlan is the best choice for many of us to have off-site backups.

My Synology DSM Blue LED issue was actually a bad drive!
This is interesting as it sort of looks like a SynoLocker type issue but actually is a bad disk.  I don’t like how he had to pull his drives out and test them in a PC.  I wonder why he could not do that in the Synology device?

Cannot see any iSCSI devices on Synology from vSphere host
This is a pretty specific issue but I think other people might be able to run into it.  In other words it may not be as rare as it seems.  But see the problem, and solution here.

Twitter 101:Preparing for your next conference
This is good info from a smart guy – MJ Brender.  Some simple suggestions for Twitter at your next conference.

Getting your music off your phone when you don’t have access to original PC?
An interesting article about getting music and other data off your phone when you don’t have access to the original PC is pretty interesting.  The tool they used is handy I think. Something for many of us to remember.

New Lacie Thunderbolt rugged external hard drive
I have told many of you that I am a fan of the Lacie orange rugged hard drives that are USB 3.0.  I have the 1 TB version and quite like it.  I use it for image backup on the road.  But I saw something cool in the same product category recently.  It is a Thunderbolt version that is even water resistant.  It also has its own cable integrated with it which is handy.  I think I need one.  BTW, USB 3.0 maxes out around 5 Gb/s, and Thunderbolt is 10 Gb/s but with two channels so that means 20 Gb/s I think.  So I am glad it has the Thunderbolt cable integrated.

The Apple Customer Support Site build for you
This was interesting to see and read.  I did not quite realize I had my own site portal, but when I looked I was surprised at the detail.  Plus I love VoicePass.  If you have registered any Apple devices you should check this out.  I did have a little issue with saving VoicePass and nickname info but I hope it will improve as this is pretty handy.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!

Michael

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