Newsletter: November 16, 2014

Hello all,

I am a little behind on my newsletters – that old excuse of life interrupts is true.  I have been able to do some smaller articles recently so that has been good.  But I have a lot of stuff to share today and as always I hope everyone finds something of interest.  And I even have something today to make you smile.

You might find interesting an article on what you can find in the Enron email, and why VMware customers would like DataGravity arrays.  Another one I did was on Virtualization Manager from SolarWinds which I found quite fun.

BTW, I had confirmed the other day we will be at Partner Exchange.  And this time we will do better then last time – we will answer questions, demo, and socialize.  I hope to meet many of you at the event!

ABTW, sorry about how long this issue is.  Trying to catch up.  And I did delete anything I hesitated over the worth of.  I have updated the Win2K12 template page and DataGravity page too.

Have a great week!


Tips for a successful Virtual SAN Proof of Concept
This is a most excellent article that Cormac has done on an important subject.  PofC is often the way complex or different things are sold, and sometimes they are tricky and while VSAN is not tricky sometimes it can be a little more then you expect.  So this is great info that Cormac is sharing.

Slow backup of VM on VSAN Datastore
Duncan has an interesting blog about why backups of a VM on VSAN might be slower.  A long time ago, when I was playing with VSAN long before it was a product the first app I put on it was a backup app.  I wanted to push VSAN hard, and I thought doing a lot of backups would be just the thing. But in Duncan’s article you can learn why sometimes you might have a longer backup of a VM as compared to a VM not on VSAN.  This is something that not everyone will notice, but that you can also plan for too.

vsan.resync_dashboard only reports VM resyncing, not templates
Another great article from Cormac.  Amazing amount of command line work to work this out.  For something like this particular issue that will impact a log of customers it is too bad there isn’t something in the UI to help.  But it is very good to know!

Troubleshooting NTP on ESX / ESXi
I heard someone had troubles recently with ESXi and NTP.  Here is some good help for that.  One thing to watch out is if you put in illegal data, it can sometimes be accepted and as a result NTP doesn’t run.  I did that my using a period between two NTP hosts rather then a comma.

vMotion operation fails with the error, “The VM failed to resume on the destination during early power on”
This is a very well done article in that it not only talks of a problem and a solution but also shows the steps the author went through to figure things out.  So very well done!  I quite agree with the author that likely this was caused by a problem with a backup tool.  If you have a vMotion fail at 63% you now know what to look for first!

Network TX and RX transfer rate performance statistics for VMs are reversed in ESXi 5.5
This is a little frustrating, and it is not just a UI thing but also an API thing so this issue will be seen in applications like vC Ops that consume information from ESXi / vCenter API.  For more info check this out.  There is no known solution or workaround at this time.

What is a linked clone – Part 1 and Part 2
Here is some good background info on what a linked clone is and what can be done with it.  Here is Part 1 and Part 2.

Increase vCenter Server Appliance database disk
This is quite interesting.  I used to carry GPartEd in my tool kit.  I still put it into every ISO library I work with.  But using it to change the database disk size on the vCSA is quite cool.  Great info.  I wonder how the issue with the DB disk filling became apparent?

ProTip: How to remind yourself of Advanced Settings changes in ESXi
This is handy because who remembers the advanced settings?  See this handy reminder here.

Setting VM Advanced Settings in PowerCLI with New-AdvancedSetting
Normally doing advanced settings changes require quite a few steps and can take a while.  Even for only a couple of virtual machines.  So it is handy to know how easy it is with PowerCLI.

vSphere Cluster Sizing Calculator
Here is a very nice online calculator to help you design your vSphere Cluster more consistently, and perhaps a little more empirically.  I have been a big fan of the VDI calculator that Andre has done so it is very nice to see this vSphere Cluster Calculator.

Horizon View 6.0 Part 11 – Creating a Desktop Pool
This is a very good article about creating a View desktop pool.  I know one of you were having an issue around this area this past week so this is for you!  Find Part 1 here, but I cannot find a tag or something for the series.  Too bad.

Understanding View Disposable Disks
Many think that disposable disks are pretty simple.  Certain temp files redirected, and the disposable disk is deleted on logoff or some schedule.  Turns out that is not the whole story at all.  See this to get the full and correct details.

10 Ways storage can make your VDI project fail
Some very good points in this article.  Especially the part about focusing on average IOPS or thinking you cannot support persistent.

vCenter Support Assistant PhoneHome Query Catalog
As you may recall I am a big fan of vCenter Support Assistant.  It provides a very nice way to generate support requests and interact with them.  I also really like how the logs are uploaded and checked for common issues.  I believe they check for 26 or 29 common issues.  Here is a link to a KB article that explains some of the things you might hear back in a proactive alert.

vCenter Support Assistant and names
Currently when you get your email from VMware about your logs – thanks to vCenter Support Assistant the title is a UUID.  Long and not very useful.  I am told that that is now considered a bug and will be improved.  Since I have two labs, and two copies of vCenter Support Assistant it would be nice to have the title that maybe I can use for location?  Or maybe the virtual appliance name?

Useful for Devs: Three new Log Insight Content Packs
This was nice to see.  There is now new .NET, SQL Server, and Oracle JRE Content Packs.  Find out more and see some sample screens here.

Using NSX and Log Insight together
This was done recently but I had to read a bit between the lines.  You can use NSX and Log Insight together but it hints you should get a collector and content pack from a third party to help or make it better.  I am not sure why but perhaps NSX doesn’t put everything out to syslog and so the collector from the third party helps to get more info out?  But no matter, I believe that NSX is complex enough that you really want all of the logs possible in one place, on one timeline.

vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 – all you need!
You can find some great info on the this new, and still yet unavailable product, including architecture in this series.  Here is an installation of vROps 6 series that looks good.  Here is an article about the upgrade from vC Ops 5.8.1 or above to vROps 6 (more properly called migration I suspect).  I have never seen so much stuff available for a product that is not on the market!  But when it is this is all you will need!  BTW, here is the latest third party solutions guide – meaning all of the Management Packs available currently.

Comparing VDP and VDPA – and a bug
Here is a nice comparison of these ‘two’ products.  They are in fact the same but only have a license code to make them different.  BTW, I hit a snag recently when I wanted to use VDPA for backup and replication.  The license code assumes you are licensing all of the hosts in your cluster.  I wasn’t (had 1 more then the license) and so I could not get my cluster licensed.  So no VDPA for me.

Exploring the SRM vCO plugin and why you need it for vCAC DR
This is a good intro to the vCO operations that you can exploit via SRM.  And when you want to do vCAC portal type DR options that is where vCO can really help make it work!  Check this out.

Fight the FUD: Data Corruption, Torn IO, Write Ordering and More
Michael has written a nice article on NFS as a way to help people understand there really is a bit of FUD out there that is not true.  NFS and VMware is a great combination, fully supported, and one I personally use a lot of and in fact recommend in our own product.

Tintri blows the top off with 3 new models and a bucket of features
The title is not too far off.  Some very nice improvements and new products too.  I love the SRM support!  Check it out here.

Stories from the VMworld Solutions Exchange: PernixData FVP: The what and installation in the lab
Quite the title.  But some good info on what FVP is and what it does along with the install info.  So pretty handy.  You can use VUM to install the VIB if you like.  I prefer doing that.  I would love to get this into my lab one day!

The Easiest Way to Update a Dell Server’s Firmware
This is not the way I would suggest you do Dell firmware upgrades as I think better to do it using the Dell vSphere OpenManage Plugin but I think this method is very good to know and will always work if you need it.  Plus it would fit into a wider corporate strategy of managing Dell firmware.

The DS414slim NAS as vSphere Lab Storage – Protocols, Performance, and Thoughts
I suggested via Twitter to Chris Wahl about doing a blog about iSCSI vs, NFS in his lab and world.  I happen to know he is not fond of iSCSI in his lab.  I share his feelings and thought it was a good idea for a blog for him.  He shared this article with me.  I had forgotten all about it.  It is a very good article in that it is interesting and useful info, but it also teaches you – indirectly – about how to do some performance testing and performance comparison.  So pretty handy and well done.

Combining ioSafe and Synology DSM 5.1 for Versioned Network Backups
Another great Chris Wahl article.  If you need a fire and water proof NAS you will find this article quite interesting.  It also has good info on doing backup replication with Synology gear too.

Using Data to Find Answers to Practical Questions
One of my co-workers at DataGravity did this and it is a good example of some of the questions you can ask of your storage and get answered.  Without bots, crawlers, or whatever simply as a result of the storage you purchased.

Veeam Cloud Connect Reference Architecture
This is a very cool feature that Veeam has.  The ability to use your normal tools and process and yet have your backup up in the cloud.  There is now a reference architecture to help with this.  Find it here.

Veeam Backup & Replication – What’s New in v8?
Here is a nice collection of all that is new in Veeam B&R v8 and it is quite the list! Here is a third party review of v8.  Plus here is the Veeam video channel where you can learn about what’s new with videos or check features you have not used like the vSphere Web Plugin.

Did you miss the VeeamON conference?
I did and I bet it was pretty good too.  But there are some of the technical sessions from the event available here.

Announcing iLand Cloud for Veeam Cloud Connect
I had the pleasure to meet with iLand several times in the past and I was very impressed with them.  Very sharp people and wonderful to deal with.  So not surprised they are ready as a Veeam Cloud Connect destination.  I wish they had a Canadian data center.

Coolest drone ever?
Not sure where I found this, but I found a video on a new drone type from a drone manufacture, and it had an article linked to it.  This is in fact the coolest drone I have seen.  This is partly due to feature level in this reasonable priced drone but also how easy it is to fly.  Plus it looks cool.  Check out the article / video here.

6 Words to Kill Your IT Career With: “That’s How We’ve Always Done It!”
Wow.  This is something I had to deal with in my career way too many times.  In particular in my professional services time, especially when I was introducing my customers to virtualization.  Fortunately I did not hear it often but that phrase always has bothered me!  Nice article around this here.

New needs need new techniques: the promise of adaptive security
This is an interesting blog from the VP of product management at Illumio and it talks about stepping outside the box and looking at a work environment from a different angle.  You do learn about him, but also Illumio too in this article.

Obama Backs Backblaze – Throttling is Bad
This is an unusual article on Net Neutrality.  I use Backblaze and quite like their blog articles and they have some good points in this one.

Synology DiskStation Manager 5.1
This is quite a big update for Synology.  I have upgraded both my personal and work NAS and both have gone very smooth and no issues. Here is a nice visual overview of 5.1, and here is a little more detailed view.

Deep Security and vC Ops – some use cases
This is pretty cool, as I think Hugo is right that Trend is the the first security company to have a Management Pack for vC Ops.  Think about using vC Ops and the integration with Trend to see what the impact on a VMs performance is from anti-malware.  I love the example of the heat map that shows which VMs have security events associated with them.  Very nice job Hugo!  BTW, if you are using Deep Security here is a article from Hugo on getting the Trend cert into vC Ops.

Secure your data with HP StoreOnce
This sounds interesting.  Some of the things that catch my eye is both data-at-rest and data-in-flight encryption, and virtually no performance impact.  This HP StoreOnce Security pack is available for all HP Storage Once Backup products.  It covers off encryption but also secure erase and data integrity as well.  See more info here.

SecureCRT for iPad
I am a big fan of the VanDyke software – SecureCRT and SecureFX and have been using them for years.  For some time they have provided both Mac and PC versions and that is pretty handy for me.  But they just released an iPad version of SecureCRT.  It works pretty good in fact and I think it is handy indeed.

Nest 4.3 Software Update
This was mentioned on the 4th of November and today on the 16th it still has not hit my Nest.  I do like Nest (and Protect), and I like how I can connect my Protect to my Dropcam so that incidents in Protect will be marked on the timeline in Dropcam.  Cool.  I like some of the improvements so I am looking forward to seeing this update drop.

50 Must-Read IT Blogs 2014
Here is an interesting list of the top 50 IT blogs of the year.  You will recognize some of the them like Duncan Epping, William Lam, Michael Webster and Chris Wahl.  Congrats to everyone in the list – I know it takes a lot of time and effort to end up on a list like that.

VMware / ecosystem / industry news flash … part 4
Here is another round-up of news from Duncan on Yellow-Bricks.  Always something interesting to read.

Zerto Uninstall is pretty well done
I am trying to reconfigure my lab so I pulled out the VMware and Zerto replication I have been playing with.  I was pretty impressed with Zerto uninstall.  I used the Uninstall tool in the Windows Program group and it not only uninstalled all the Windows stuff, but also removed the four Zerto appliances, as well as a folder on one of my datastores that Zerto uses.  So a very clean uninstall and that is unusual enough for me to publicly say thanks very much!

Mac anti – virus – Sophos
I suggest that even Mac users have anti-malware on their Macs.  Sometimes to protect against things like this, but also to make sure things that they forward to PC users isn’t something that might hurt the PC users (and generally not hurt the Mac user).  There is a very good free option in Sophos.  I use the more full featured product from Trend like this.  Either of these products will do the job and you should have something like this running on your Mac.

iPad Air 2 adventure
I have an iPad 2 and my wife an iPad Air and we are very happy with them.  But I wanted the touch ID and the new connector (minimize the number of cables to carry).  So I bought an iPad Air 2.  And while I love the product, especially the weight of it, and of course the Touch ID I am intensely disappointed with Apple.  I used an encrypted backup so that I would not have to type all of my passwords again.  And yet, I had to retype almost all of them.  Very irritating and time consuming.  I thought the idea of encrypted backups was to avoid this painful drama.  I should mention that I try to use complex passwords everywhere.  So a painful and time consuming migration from my old to my new iPad but everything is good now.  Make sure if you are going to go through this you set aside some time, and make sure you have all your passwords handy!  Still good to do the encrypted backup as I think there was a couple of passwords I did not have to type again.

iCloud Drive is Not a Dropbox Replacement
This is quite informative and the author has a good point.  However, for me, I have gotten rid of Dropbox and have switched completely to iCloud. I can do this as I don’t share out much but rather accept shares from others.

Authy Protects your Two-Factor Authentication Tokens
This is an informative article on two-factor security and on an option that may be quite useful to some users.

Actual Exchanges between pilots and Control Towers
This is a very funny collection of conversations between pilots and the control tower.  Very funny.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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