Newsletter: October 13, 2014

Hello all,

This is in fact an unexpected newsletter.  I am out in Vegas with my wife on a short hiking holiday.  But yesterday I had wipe-out in the mountains that has me on the couch today.  So now I have time and I am going to try and catch up on my newsletters!

As always comments are welcome – in fact encouraged, and I hope everyone finds something interesting!

BTW, I am behind, as I have a lot of things to share.  I will likely do another newsletter this week to catch up.  Or maybe next week.


ESXi 5.5: IOPs Limit and mClock scheduler

This article is quite interesting as it shows that after an upgrade where a VM had VM disk limits implemented the storage profile of that VM changed after the host it runs on was upgraded to ESXi 5.5.  The total latency was significantly increased after the upgrade.  Not what you would expect normally after an upgrade.  Find the full info here.  I do not use VM limits in either of my labs so I did not see this.

vSphere 5.5 U2 now GA

This is most definitely an underwhelming release unless you are a vCAC user.  There are three resolved things and two of them are vCAC related (and the third is just notice of a future thing).  You can find the release notes here, but I am not rushing out to upgrade.  Although, in my work lab with a vCSA it would be easy.

Standalone VMRC re-introduced in vSphere 5.5 U2

William brings up a very good point.  There will be an API (NPAPI) dropped from all browsers in the future and that will mean access to the VM console will be impacted but of course VMware has understood that and has a solution.  Check out the details here.

Virtual Machine freeze intermittently under heavy I/O load

This is a scary one (KB 2088157) and it has no workaround or mitigation strategy yet.  It was out a few days ago on the 7th of October.  It impacts both 5.1x and 5.5x.  I have subscribed to it and hopefully will see an update soon.

Quiescing snapshots in an ESXi host fails with the error …… 5 …..

This article (KB 2090545) is not so good at first look – no solution but do no quiesced backup.  That sucks.  But it also connects to a bunch of other articles that might help.

Batch file to start VSAN Observer on Windows vCenter server

VSAN Observer is a very useful tool, but you do not want it running all of the time as it will use unnecessary resources up and that is not normally a good thing.  So a batch file to start it when you need it is handy.  Check it out here.

vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View Deployment Guide

When you are monitoring your View infrastructure with vC Ops and the View integration it is pretty darn handy.  I wanted to do that for my previous job since the support stuff could literally check performance for a complaining desktop user through the whole stack and easy to.  The install is not too hard but it is spread throughout a few places so a guide to help is nice.  Find it here.

Veeam Free Endpoint Backup for physical PC’s and Servers

This is pretty cool stuff.  You can backup a physical host to a remote location – even a Veeam repository or a UNC path, and yet you can recover it as an image.  Since it is free, and it seems to work easy, I suspect a bunch of IT people out there will try it out.  Including me if I can arrange an actual physical Windows host.

Pros and Cons of storage snapshots as a data protection solution

This is an interesting article that talks of the pros / cons of using storage level snapshots as part of a data protection solution.  He mentions at one point that a storage snapshot is in fact part of a data protection solution since it has a copy of the production data.  I do sort of agree, but a data protection solution that is designed needs to have an element of how easy is it to recover.  Traditional snapshots are missing that element of easy.  A good article though!

Running IOmeter on Nutanix

This was an interesting read.  Good info if you want to test your Nutanix but also good info if you want to know more about using IOmeter.

Free Tools – vSphere-Land!

There is an excellent list of free tools on vSphere-Land.  One of the best I have seen.  Not just Visio and PowerPoint shapes and icons but also real tools like Fast-SCP and VM Explorer.

CISCO NFR hardware and software

If you are a Cisco partner you can find a site here where you can order hardware and software as NFR – not for production use.  Handy I think!

Exchange: the gateway drug to the cloud

This is pretty interesting and I think it makes sense for Microsoft to do this.  MS has transformed itself into a cloud company.  That again is a good thing for Microsoft but also a good thing for a subset of it’s customers.  If they only release – in the future – Exchange for the cloud it will help people move there a little quicker.  Again I think for a subset and I think others will not upgrade, and a small portion will look elsewhere for a solution that will work with the Outlook Clients and run in-house.

There’s Nothing to see here – Backblaze 3.0

I thought this was cool.  I use Backblaze as my cloud backup for my personal and work machines.  Nice tool and a very fair price.  When I heard about this upgrade and realized there was nothing on the surface for me, I smiled as I thought that was cool.  The UI is fine, and restore works, so if they want to take one release to make everything better underneath that is fine for me.  It is to my benefit anyway – especially over time.

Thinking about upgrading to iOS8 new Family Sharing?

This is one of the many different new iOS 8 features I am impressed with.  If you have a family that uses iTunes and iOS 8 there is something new that can make it easier to manage.  You can find what you need to know in this.

Alert – iOS8 “Reset All Settings” bug erases iCloud Drive documents

This sounds like it will impact you if you use the Reset All Settings.  Not sure when this will be fixed.  Good thing that Reset All Settings is not a typical thing to do!

The best activity trackers for fitness

I used to have a Fitbit Force – which is a Flex with a altimeter I think – but they recalled it and have yet to replace it.  I thought it was the best of the lot!  I am looking for a new one, especially one that will integrate with Health on an iOS 8 device.  In the looking I found this which is a simple review of the main products.  Handy if you are not sure what you want to buy.

Thanks for reading – or skimming – this far!


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2 thoughts on “Newsletter: October 13, 2014

  1. One other advantage of vSphere 5.5U2 that isn’t in the release notes are various performance and scale improvements that customers will see when using SRM 5.8 with VC 5.5U2 and ESXi 5.5U2. This was not just a validation exercise, the various teams worked closely together to make various under the hood improvements in how SRM/VC/ESXi handle various storage operations such as mount, unmount, attach and detach operations at scale. In our large scale recovery testing these improvements contributed to reducing the time taken in those storage related operations by 3/4’s.

    The SRM scale improvements are documented in and the scale and performance improvements are discussed in the VMworld SRM technical what’s new session (about 15 minutes 20 seconds in)

    1. Thanks very much for this Ben, much appreciate it.

      I am glad to hear about the improvements in SRM as I think it is one of the most strategic of VMware’s products.


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