Newsletter: December 20, 2014

Hi all,

This will not be my last article this year.  I am almost done on a number of technical how to articles that I want out before the end of the year.  I had my first week home in a while, and I have two more weeks home before I head back to Nashua.  Nice! I will also spend a week out with a sales team in January of next year and that will be fun!

I will be spending Christmas in a very nice historical hotel called the Banff Springs.  My wife and I are very fond of it.  However, I wish I could arrive there like this guy.

BTW, the PEX web site is ready for booking sessions.  It was fun looking for things to learn and book.  I am in the vR Ops boot camp as well which should be fun.  DG will be at PEX and this year we will be saying more then No Comment.  And yes, we will demo too!

I hope everyone finds something interesting or useful.  Have a great week!


Recommended restart cycle for VMware Horizon View
This is a good reminder of the restart cycle for View servers.  Basically what to be started or stopped in which order.  Good info.

Horizon View 6.0 Load Balancing Part 1
This is something I have not seen as much of so I think it is a good resource.   For a View pod of most any size, if it has any importance then you will need load balancing.

November #vSMBChat Recap – Avoid Logging Chaos in your Data Center:Log Management Best Practices
This is a collection of twitter comments about logging.  Some great tips.  And from some very smart people.  I think that they could have written a blog article with more specific tips and would have been better since not limited to 140 characters.  Definitely some good ideas mentioned though.

Log Insight: Remote Syslog Architectures
This is a good reminder by Steve about syslog architectures.  Some of the Log Insight specifics are not correct any longer with the release of 2.5 but it is still good info!

Log Insight 2.5: Log Browsing and Infinite Scroll
This is a very cool new feature in LI 2.5 but it is one that you might miss if you don’t know it is there.  See  the full info on this great feature here.  This is a great example of a technical article that you should read in front of the product it is about.

Log Insight 2.5: Other UI enhancements
Steve has a number of new things in 2.5 to show you.  None of it is the big things but still very interesting and good to know.

Upgrading vCAC 6.0 to vRA 6.2
This article is critical for you if you are going to be doing an upgrade like this – vCAC 6.0 to vRA 6.2.  This is a complex upgrade that has a number of dependencies and a specific order that will help ensure your success.  Check it out here.

Install the vCAC and AppD agents on Linux
This is something I have personally had troubles doing.  Quite irritating in point of fact and I was lucky to have some great help handy and still had some issues.  So it is good that we have this article to help.

The Power of Orchestration – combining Automated Tasks in Software to Speed Delivery
An interesting article that starts with automation and leads into orchestration.  It talks about a specific case that the author was able to empower a customer to move from a 10 day process to one that was a great deal shorter – and I bet with better customer satisfaction too.

Active Directory credentials fails when integrating vRealize Log Insight with vRealize Operations Manager
This is by design.  Literally.  You need to use a vRealize Ops local account to do this.  See this for more info.

Management Pack for NSX for vSphere 2.0
If you have, and in particular, if you support NSX then you really should have this Management Pack for vC Ops – I mean vRealize Operations.  It will really help you find issues hopefully before your end users!  Check it out here.

What migrates from vC Ops 5.x to vR Ops 6.0?
If you are curious, and it is a good idea to be curious, you should now.  It is not just that most things move but some things – custom dashboards for example, are migrated but may look incomplete.  So check out the info here.

vRealize Operations Tech Tips #5 – the New and Improved UI
Here is a link to an article and a nice video on the new UI of crops 6.0 and it is pretty good.  As well, if you see this not in the browser but in YouTube you will see a long list of other vR Ops videos on the right margin.

ESXi Time Configuration: Don’t  point it towards the Windows Domain name
This title is very much correct!  I have in the past pointed ESXi hosts to the AD DC that is the PDC emulator with no problem.  The real answer I use though is to point my ESXi hosts to the same source as my AD domain is pointed at.  After all, what is critical is consistent time and after that correct time.  I also suggest always using three NTP sources and have at least one of them – if reasonable – in the same time zone as you.  BTW, here is the article that got me started on this subject.  I did not know that VMware had its own NTP pools.  I often will use (in Canada) through, or in the US through

Performance Best Practices vSphere – ESXi and VMs in General
Some good tidbits in this article, and reference to a good tool as well.

Change to Paravirtual (PVSCSI) for a Windows Guest
We have seen some good test results on this subject, most notably from Michael on Long White Virtual Clouds in this article.  So it is good we can find out more on switching to that adapter here.

VMware Update Manager – Fixing vCenter Plugin Issues
Some good info in this article to fix VUM database issues.  I think many of us have seen issues that this article can help with.

Thoughts on vSphere DRS and Data Center Load Balancing
This is an important read as it reminds us all about what DRS is, and what a balanced cluster is – it may not always be balanced in a way we might think normal but that doesn’t change the fact it is balanced.  I agree that DRS needs some small tweaks too.

vSphere Data Protection (VDP) – Removing an External Proxy
To learn about what an External Proxy is, and how to get rid of it, and in fact how to use it too, you should check out what Jeff has done here.

How to successfully Virtualize MS Exchange
Here is the start of a series of how to virtualize Exchange on vSphere.  There is four parts done so far and more to be done.  Looks very good indeed.

Microsoft DiskSpd – freeware to test speed of your storage system
This looks like a very handy tool for people to test out their storage.  So long as you have a Windows platform you will be able to test the performance of the disk – whether it be inside of a VM on a SAN or NAS or even an old fashioned physical machine!  Very nice.  See this for more info.

8 gems in Veeam Availability Suite v8 – Part 4: support for vSphere tags
This is pretty cool stuff – you can use vSphere tags to decide what VMs are backed up.  This is a pretty cool feature but it turns out that there is more to this – you can use Veeam to actually vSphere tag things according to business policy.  Check out the detailed story here.

 8 gems in Veeam Availability Suite v8 – Part 3: Quick Backup
This has an important point.  When you need a quick backup some of us will use a VMware Snapshot.  Quick and easy but not always exactly what is needed.  Veeam has a new feature that is a better idea much of the time!

Guest OS disk usage script revisited
This is a very nice PowerCLI script that shows you the disk in use inside a VM along with other info.  Definitely a script in my toolbox.

Before you Start PowerShell
Here is an article about some basic terms in PowerShell that are good to know about and understand before you start with PowerShell.

NetApp UTA2 Config
I heard someone talking about this recently and when I saw this it made me smile.  So in case it helps, here is an article about working with UTA2 ports in an NetApp.

It’s the space age: NASA ’emailed’ a wrench to its astronauts
I have not played with a 3D printer myself, but I have seen others play with them, and I know you can do some interesting things with them.  But this is the best yet – NASA printed out a socket wrench on the space station when they realized they needed one but did not have one!

Want to buy some 6 TB drives?
BackBlaze did and they investigated quite carefully.  Find out here what they discovered.

The SSD Endurance Experiment: Two freaking petabytes
I thought that this was interesting read about pushing SSD limits to destruction – in the interest of science of course.  I was impressed how long different SSD lasted.  The full story is here.

Using Data Retrieval Policies to Control AWS Glacier Restore Costs
I recently shared this with you which shows you how to connect your Synology with Amazon Glacier and now we have this that will help you understand the restore costs.  Very handy!

Synology Upgrades
I saw there was a 5.1-5021 upgrade and I have applied it to several different Synology arrays with no problem.  With the security issues of the past I do suggest you do these upgrades when you are prompted.  Here is the release notes from my DS1813+ which should be quite similar to the other arrays.

FreeNAS 9.3 and VAAI Ehhancements
I know several of you that use FreeNAS in home labs.  I saw this where it mentions that in 9.3 they have full VAAI support.  That is pretty good for a home lab!  Synology has had block VAAI since 2012 and even has file level now.  But with FreeNAS supporting VAAI and having a free option that is pretty nice.

Pass VMware Certified Associate – DCV in 7 Days
I saw this and it looks like a good outline.  Will take strong focus and hard work but I think it could be doable.  I will need to get back into test mode when vSphere 6 is finally out!  Looking forward to it.

2014: The Year of the Data Breech
Curious to see a list of the data breeches this year?  Quite a list can be found here.

Antivirus Companies Should be More Open about their Government Malware Discoveries
Bruce Schneier often has good things to read that you can always believe.  He fact checks better then most I believe. But an interesting read on a potential government piece of malware that no one talked about for quite some time.

Shellshock: One Month On
This is an interesting update on the Shellshock security issue.

Operation Efficiency (You’re not Facebook / Google / Netflix)
This is a particularly good article from Duncan.  I think he has a great point.  The really big companies like Facebook, that are not only really big, but they mostly do – sort of – one thing.  So that allows them a lot of opportunities that will not occur at normal companies.

The Non-obvious Guide to Evernote Awesomeness
Here is a collection of good ideas for working with Evernote.  I do like Evernote a lot and I have been using it for a long time but I still learned some good stuff from this article.

How To: Upgrade Cisco UCS Manager, Fabric Interconnects, I/O Modules and B-Series blade server firmware
I know some of my readers look after UCS gear and so this article is for you.  I love how it does a backup first!  I did not know it could do that.

Hands On With a Cisco SG300-52 Switch
I have one of these in my lab, but in the 24 port version.  Plus some of the SG100 and SG200 as well as a firewall in the same line.  I quite like these and I find them easy and quiet.  Here is a review of the SG300-52.

Improving Yosemite VM performance in VMware Fusion
This is very good to know if you have OS X Yosemite inside a VM in Fusion.  Sort of cool you can even do that!

Holy Crap – check out this amazing 1Password trick
I am a very big fan of 1Password, and I have been using it for years.  In researching things for this newsletter I found this article that shows off a very cool trick with 1Password.  If you use 1Password, you should check it out.

Trick and Treat: The New 1Password Emergency Kit
This is actually quite handy.  Perhaps a little odd too.  But this guy has done a nice form for you to leave in a safe somewhere so that when you die, the person who cleans up after you has all the necessary info.  This is pretty important as I have once talked to someone who had to clean things up after someone died.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!  I wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season!!


=== END ===




2 thoughts on “Newsletter: December 20, 2014

    1. Welcome Mark, and thanks for the interesting article too. First time on your site and there was a bunch of good stuff. Thanks for the info and knowledge.


Leave a Reply