Newsletter: January 10, 2015

Hello all,

I hope all is well with everyone that reads this.  There is much to worry about in the world recently, and I know many of you that read my blog are in places that are in the thick of things.  I hope that everyone and their families are doing well.

I recently updated my vC Ops to vR Ops migration article, as well as the Management Packs article.  For a upgrade situation, or later use they are both useful.  BTW, I often update my articles as I learn more.  I only do that if it is important, and directly related.

A mix of things, including a very cool time-wasting app today.  So I hope something for everyone.

Have a great week,


Log Insight 2.5: Switching to the Integrated Load Balancer
Steve talked about the Log Insight load balancer in this, but now he has the info to switch to using in here.

Use the Log Insight agents to monitor vCenter?
Someone was asking about this recently – how to get the vCenter logs on a Windows vCenter to Log Insight.  The best way is to use the Log Insight agent and configure it specifically to watch the vC log files.  You can find out the agent config info for a variety of different Windows or Windows related apps – like vC in this article. Here is a good article to configure appliances in the vCloud Suite.

PCI Scan indicates TCP Port 4172 PCoIP Secure Gateway is vulnerable to POODLE (CVE-2014-3566)
If you security scan your View Security Server you may see a positive for POODLE but that is in fact a false positive.  See more here.

Horizon View 6 – Single Sign On with Published Applications
This is a pretty good example of what you can do with the Application support in View 6.  It can be a little tricky I think and this should help.  Some additional info on the applications can be found here.

How to Generate SSL Certificates for vRealize Operations
It seems this info is not in the docs, so it is good if you want to use a different cert in vROps you have the info here to do so.

vRealize Operations – Sizing – Concurrent Users
Thanks to William Lam I learned something a little surprising.  You can support up to 4 concurrent users per node in vR Ops.  So 8 nodes would give you 32 concurrent users.  Here is the full sizing guide.  Note the Excel spreadsheet with the details at the bottom of the article.

Part 8: Exploring Policies in vRealize Operations 6.0
This is something I would suggest most people starting out with vROps should not change.  But once you have had vROps running for a while you may want to make some changes.  Policy is what governs how vROps monitors and alerts and so it is important and can be something you can create some mischief with if you are not careful.  Here is an article on configuring policies and another on exploring them.

vRealize Automation 6.2 Reference Architecture now available
This is useful when you are learning about vRA and need some guidance on your design.  Good info.  Whether you are building in a PofC, or playing in a lab, this is a good guide and has some very important info.  If you are building something that others are going to depend on this guide is essential.

3DES Password base Encryption with vRealize Orchestrator (vRO / vCO)
This is actually pretty cool.  Not sure how often you might need to do this – meaning use triple DES encryption via vRO but if you do then you have some great info right here.  I suspect this was a little bit hard to work out!

Presenting a Password Confirmation Form in vCO / vRO
This is something that I think many will need over time – as they more fully exploit vRO they will get to a point where they need a Password Confirmation Form.

SRM 5.8 Alarms
I wrote an article a number of years ago  – still on the web here – about some suggested alarms for you to think about using in SRM.  But now that SRM is part of the vSphere Web Client we need some new info – which you can find here.  The author of this article has a good resource page for SRM – check it out here.

Automating SSL Certificate Expiry Validation for vCenter Server + ESX(i) hosts
A nice article that will help you figure out if you have expiring SSL certificates.  It has links too if you need help replacing them.

Updated Virtual SAN Configuration Guide
Find out what has changed and the guide here.

Want to learn more about App Volumes – get it going in your lab?
Start with this where you learn about installing the Manager, and then follow that with this where you learn about working with the agent and making an Application Stack.

VMware PowerCLI 5.8r1 Reference poster now available
This PowerCLI poster has been updated (some time ago), and can be found here.  BTW, the way to print this properly is with the dimensions of 42″ by 20″ and the PDF should be scaled to the same.  I had the old version of this poster and it was pretty handy!  Was not expensive to have printed at Staples either.

How to migrate vSphere machines to vCloud Air
Good info if you are thinking about moving to vCloud Air.

Moving Dormant Data to the Cloud with DataGravity and SyncBack Pro
One of my smart co-workers did a really cool article in this.  He used our storage appliance to identify dormant data and then used SyncBack Pro to move it to the cloud.  The array shows you quite easily dormant data and that is what enables this process Gabe has worked out.  BTW, dormant data is data that has not been used in some amount of time.  Zombie data is something different – data that has no owner.  Both of these are referred together as dark data.

Introducing “PuppetInABox”: Bootstrap a lab setup with Puppet
I shared out a great learning Puppet set of lessons for vSphere Admins from this site last newsletter, and now he has a very interesting PuppetInABox idea for getting a lab going.  Great way to do some interesting learning!

First Present of ’15: Free to use Recoverpoint for VMs
Hear about it here, and you can get it here.  I love the pricing model – free to play, or use, but pay for support.  You might ask how that is different then open source and do I feel the same way about open source.  It is different since it is not open source software.  There is a place for open source but you need to have a different thought process with it, and with Recoverpoint you do not need to do that.  I am trying to download it now, and can’t wait to play with it. It even has a vSphere Web plug-in too!  Turns out that I cannot download it but I am hopeful I can get that worked out.

Running PernixData FVP in Monitor Mode
This sounds really cool actually.  Running FVP but not accelerating anything but rather just observing.  But check out the article here.

CentOS 7 Refusing VMware vSphere Guest OS Customizations
If you are deploying CentOS 7 VMs from template you likely have a problem with the customization.  The solution – and background info – can be found here.

RLSD – Retro Linux
Not sure how I found this.  But it is cool.  Definitely a little different.  All the apps run as nobody, and the user logs in as root – or rather as boss.  Check it out here.

28 Days Later, Physical to Cloud … Done
This is an interesting story about a company moving an app to the cloud.    Pretty aggressive timeline too and it does have some details to better appreciate what happened.

Windows Technical Preview Storage Replica
If you would like to learn a little more about Storage Replica which is – in Microsoft words – “Storage Replica is a new feature that enables storage-agnostic, block-level, synchronous replication between clusters or servers for DR, as well as stretching of a failover cluster for HA.”  Want to learn more check this out.

Perception vs. Reality in Storage Performance
This guy has it right.  Perception is reality but it is not necessarily the correct reality.  End users will often accept something as normal that is in fact not very good but they are used to it.  But check out the article here.

How to produce good documentation – Part 4 – Diagramming a network
Here is an interesting article about producing a good network diagram.  I do poor diagrams, as I have not had to provide them to customers for a long time.  They do work well for me however.  But I would like to improve.  You can find part 1, part 2 and part 3 as well.

Do you use a Fitbit?  Want it to talk to Apple Health?
I do and so was quite irritated by Fitbit and Apple not working together.  It was good I found this tool called Sync Solver for Fitbit (cost is $2.29 CAD) that will sync between Fitbit and Apple so that turns out pretty good.  It seems to work well for me and I have been using for a week or so.

Wi-Fi Calling with IOS 8 and T-Mobile
This is something I remember Apple talking about, but I did not know much about it – meaning routing phone calls on an iOS device from the normal cell network via Wi-Fi.  but you can learn more about this here.  And it is a little surprising actually.

Flightradar24 – Flight Tracker
My wife was playing with this app today while I made coffee and breakfast for us.  It is pretty cool.  You can see all the airplanes in the air and where they are flying from and to and what path they are using.  Plus things like how high they are and what the pilot sees (sort of).  Pretty cool.  After 20 minutes went by I decided I should buy it.  However, watch out for something.  My wife looked at England and some of the countries around it, and decided we would not fly over there again – amazing number of airplanes in the air, and in such close proximity.  I hope she forgets fast!

The TidBITS Wishlist for Apple in 2015
This is a pretty darn good list of things that Apple should really think about – if they aren’t already.  I particularly like the idea of Snow Leopard 2.0, new Apple TV, and Photos for Mac.

Need a good book to read?  How about four?  Black Tide Rising
These four books are a series by John Ringo about Zombies and the military fighting them.  Ringo is an ex-solider and so the action is pretty darn good.  But if you like a military book and Zombies you will really like these four books.  The first can be found on Amazon here. You cannot always read to learn, sometimes you need to read to be entertained!

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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2 thoughts on “Newsletter: January 10, 2015

  1. Hi Michael,

    I’m leaving this comment here for your latest newsletter (1/17/2015) because it looks like you haven’t yet opened that post up for comments.

    Regarding the sub-heading entitled “You cannot use Open-VM-Tools to customize VMs”, you actually *can*, however you have to manually install the package Open-VM-Tools-DeployPkg using either yum or apt-get. There is a VMware KB that details how to do this, and it does indeed work:

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