Newsletter: December 29, 2014

Hello everyone,
I hope that everyone is enjoying a quiet weekend?  I am, and while I write I am looking out the window at the Three Sisters which is a great view.  Nice to be in the mountains.  We spent a very nice Christmas with family at the Banff Spring hotel – which is really a great castle in the Rockies.  Angela and I are alone now at a timeshare in the mountains – so much more quiet!

So a quiet week ahead, and a short week last week, but still time to find interesting things to share.  I had hoped to do an interesting article today as well on a problem I have had for a while.  In my work lab Windows 7 VMs cannot deploy successfully from a template.  I have been able to put a good bit of time on this problem with no solution.  Today I asked VMware for help.  We will see how this goes, and I have been taking note of what I have done so it will be a good article I think when it has a decent ending.

As always, comments are welcome, and I hope everyone finds something interesting in today’s newsletter.

PS: very sorry about the tweet about the newsletter which had invisible content.  Working with a new tool and jumped up to help my wife and hit Publish – which is right beside Save in this new tool.  It was before I had much – anything – done.  Again, sorry about that!  Thanks to all of you who noticed and let me know.  Appreciate it.  Particularly impressed with two of you that found the 2013 newsletter of the same date and shared it out!

PSS: I did not finish and get this out on the 28th, so continued with it today.  Which also means I have tried to catch up.  So a bit bigger this time!

Have a wonderful New Year!


Horizon Toolbox (used to be View Toolbox)
This interesting tool was recently updated, and while I have not used it I would love to try it out.  It gives you historical info on your View, but also provide remote assistance to admins or help-desk people.  This is pretty handy!  Find the toolbox and more info here.

Create & Configure SSL Certificate for VMware View Server
This is something that a lot of View projects need to do, and it is on some of the VMware tests as well.  Plus I need to do it in my lab too.  So nice to find something this clear and easy.  Here is some additional info if you are using MS Certificates.

Need some help calculating what you need for vSphere Replication?
I think I shared this out via my non-blog version of newsletter some time ago but it is worth sharing again.  The vSphere Replication calculator can help you answer a number of different questions.  How much bandwidth do I need for X number of VMs with Y change rate?  It can also answer the one about how many VMs can I replicate if I only have this much bandwidth.  Check out this handy calculator here.

Comparing the vSphere Web Client and vSphere Client capabilities
I am a very big fan of the vSphere Web Client and I try to use it all of the time. But I was talking to someone who had used it for the first time and they were curious about the differences between it and the vSphere Client (called C# client by many of us).  I found this to help.

Update sequence for vSphere 5.5 and its compatible VMware products
This important KB article was update recently so that means if you are doing any 5.5 upgrades you should check it out again.  A useful resource to help decide order of operations.

vCenter Inventory Service fails to start in vCenter Appliance 5.x
I know someone that was impacted recently by this.  Quite irritating I can assure you. One way you can know you have this issue is with an error seen in the Web Client of Client is not authenticated to VMware Inventory Service.  You can find more info, and the solution here.

Cannot open the disk Reason: The parent disk has been modified since the child was created
This is something I saw a while back and it was painful and frustrating.  In this article it seems like an easy and quick fix!  Without that article it was painful.  So not something common but it has been seen in the wild.

Log Insight upgrade: errors and upgrades
The Log Insight v2.5 upgrade is easy, and quick.  I have done a lot of LI upgrades and that is in fact what they are normally.  But, that is not to say they will always be easy and so Steve has some suggestions here to help.

Part 7: Recommendation Intelligence in vRealize Operations Manager 6.0
This is a great new feature that is very handy indeed.  In the past you had to let your vC Ops ‘normalize’ for a period before you enabled alerting so that vC Ops could understand what normal was so it could properly report or alert on what was outside normal.  Plus, if you did this ‘normalize’ period when your infrastructure was anything but normal it could be an issue.  In vROps 6 they are trying to improve this quite seriously.  Check out the full story here.

vRealize Operations 6 redirect to syslog
This was possible with 5.x but it was a bit tricky and you did not get everything so I am very happy – and not surprised at all – that in vROps 6 that it is not tricky or incomplete.  It needs to be set in a number of places but you can find the full info right here.

Create a vROps Cluster
It is pretty nice that vROps now works in just one VM, but it is likely in a number of customers – even some that I have visited in the past, will actually need not only a high availability cluster of vROps but would like very much to have a load balancer in front of it so that it will always work.  If you are using this tool to help manage your tier 1 production applications it only makes sense to have it truly High Available.  While this is not necessarily hard it is different since vROps is essentially a new app.  So good we can find some help with this here.  You can find part 2 here.

Set vCenter Server Annotations via vCloud Automatic Center deployment
In the past I used Notes and Annotations in vCenter to keep track of things like owners and support contacts (now I use tags).  So pretty handy.  I wondered how I could do that when deploying virtual machines from vCAC.  So it is good that it is possible and you can find out here.

vSphere Data Protection Replication Target White Paper
If you use VDPA to replicate to a remote site, and at that remote side you do not do backups, you still need to have VDPA at that remote site, but you do not need to license it.  So it is a zero cost replication target.  Handy.  To learn more about this subject check out this article.

NSX Technical Videos
I know it is hard to get NSX, but also that it is popular.  Here are a couple of videos on NSX that are technical.  I hope over time there will be more.

Fun end of the year stats on virtuallyGhetto
I share this out as it is an interesting set of stats.  I would love to have this capability for my own site but I use a hosted WordPress – which makes things very easy – but I do not get to decide what plugin is available.  The most important thing in this article that William has done is the amazing amount of work he has put into it.  I know William and have worked a bit with him, and he does work very hard, but he also works smart and that is what helps him to do so well on his web site.  The next thing that strikes me on looking at his stats is how much he has actually helped people.  The articles are extremely topical for a lot of people.  I think any of us who have been helped out by William owe him a drink or two, maybe in fact a very nice meal.   Thanks William!

NetApp Data Center – Infographic
I do like Infographics and I have another to share with you today.  This one is about NetApp Data Centers.  It is not the best example of an infographic, but it does have some interesting details.

Containers Explained
Someone asked me about this, and I found this to help with the explanation.  I think it is quite well done, and of course it does highlight the reason why containers are here to stay.

Bloggers, link to your RSS feed (and how to make one)
This is something I quite agree with. RSS feeds are very handy way to keep track of what is happening on a lot of web sites.  It also can provide a local history too if you need to revisit something when you are not online.  It is also how I read stuff when on airplanes.  So nice article!

Exploring VMware’s New OnDemand Private Cloud
This is an excellent review of VMware vCloud Air OnDemand cloud offering.  Very nicely done.  You can find it here on Blue Shift.  While I was checking out his web site, I stumbled across this article about the author and his family’s experience with Make-a-Wish. It was enough to bring a tear or two to my eyes and why now I support a Canadian version of Make-a-Wish (Dreams Take Flight).

PSA: Software GPU can reduce your virtual desktop scalability
This interesting article talks about the potential issue of Software GPU and its impact on the scalability of your virtual desktop environment but also how to solve it, as well as how to mitigate it.  This is import stuff in particular for bigger desktop environments.

Data Domain Replication Issues
I used to know quite a number of Data Domain users in Western Canada.  So when I saw this I thought of them.  Hope it helps if you find yourself with replication issues.

Veeam and CBT related data corruptions
This is an important issue and impacts Veeam 7 and is already fixed with Veeam 8.  If you are still using Veeam 7 and are not sure what I am talking about you should check this out, or maybe upgrade to 8.  Which is smooth and easy.

Reclaiming in-guest capacity with VMware and Pure Storage
This is a good primer on the subject of UNMAP in VMware, and how it can be used, and what the issues around its use are.  Particularly important on All Flash Arrays (AFA).  Even if you are not a Pure user this is a good article to learn from.  The fact is UNMAP is important to understand and know how to use!

Behind the Scenes with a Hybrid Application – the VMworld Mobile App
I quite like, and use, the VMworld mobile app as it is very handy way to find things, and track where I need to be.  So it was quite interesting to learn more about the app.  Usage peaked at one point with 2100 requests per second.  They were told by other application vendors that a good planning number was 400.

Scaled up VM-Level Protection now GA
This is very cool indeed.  If I was still at VMware I would be playing with it and telling you how best it works, or maybe how cool it really is!  I am talking about how RecoverPoint as an appliance has GA’ed   I worked with RecoverPoint at 5 or 6 customers when I was the DR specialist at VMware for the Americas.    It could replicate between most anything I tried, and it had a better UI then I expected (the first time I saw it was after working with a customer and SRDF).  While currently I don’t have access to it, I expect and hope one day too and that means a pretty handy tool will be added to my toolbox.  I look forward to it.

Building Application Centric Storage Platform
Great introduction to PernixData technology by Frank Denneman who is also the Chief Evangelist at Pernix.  Quite interesting and a great intro.  Great software that solves a real issue, and is – on the surface – easy to install and manage.  Find the video here.  You do have to identify yourself to access this video – sorry about that.  Great job Frank – thanks.

Estimating Bandwidth requirements for Zerto
Here is a nice article on how to estimate the bandwidth requirements you would need to support your replicated environment.  Very good to know before or during implementation so you have no surprises!

Using the Right Tool for the Job
This is a nice article on several tools that most IT Admins in the virtualization space should be able to use.  And it talks about how and were they fit.  Good info.

Want to see an infographic on my 2014 flights?
Thanks to Michael Webster for sharing this out.  This is a sort of cool.  You can find mine here.  You can make your own from a link on mine.  It does need TripIt data.  I should mention that I like TripIt so much, and it does so much for me, I pay for it.  It has twice let me know my flight is canceled before the airline did.  Which is handy!  It puts all my travel info (hotel, cars, flights and more) into one place.

A Brief History of Failure
This is actually very interesting.  A list of things that almost made it.  Check it out here   You may recognize a few things.

The years best – iPads, iPhone’s, and Macs – plus their software
This is a pretty good collection of info done by some smart guys at  They break it down in logical groups and it is definitely worth a browse. But be aware there is a lot of reviews!

The complete guide to Apple Pay
As a Canadian I do not have access to Apple Pay yet, but of course I am quite looking forward to it.  Several of my co-workers are using it and are big fans of it.  Easy, simple, and secure – what more would you like?  But if you want to learn more about it you can find info here. Here is a very interesting read on why some vendors are actually blocking Apple Pay and how poor things might end up if they succeed.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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