Newsletter: January 25, 2014

Hello all,
I am back in Nashua after a week in Pittsburgh.  Did you know that they have – in Pittsburgh – 468 bridges?  That one of them – Fort Pitt produces the most amazing traffic jam every weekday morning?  What is serious about that is that my most excellent Garmin GPS had no suggestions on avoiding the traffic jam.  But otherwise I really like Pittsburgh, and met some great customers and potential customers.  I also got to spend time with the vBrisket guys and that was cool too.  They even let me speak!  I also purchased a new storage away – which I did not really expect so quick but I think my new boss Dave likes to surprise people.  Installing a NetApp array is sure not like installing ours.  So you can expect a blog soon that will help you get your new NetApp (FAS2520) array working.  I wish I had one to help me!

BTW, Friday I am heading out to PEX and I hope to see many of you there!

ABTW, Some people I have talked to lately did not fully understand about VMware sharing 365 day NFR licenses with people via VMUG.  You must be a member of VMUG Advantage to be able to get access to the program and licenses.

As always, I have a range of things, and something for everyone I hope!  Also, as always, I do appreciate comments.

Have a great week!


You cannot use Open-VM-Tools to customize VMs – NOT (Correction)
Thanks to to ChipZ, I learned that you can in fact use open-vm-tools to customize a VM but you need to add something to them first.  You can find out what is missing and how to add it in this KB.  I reported last week – incorrectly – that you could not easily customize a VM with the open-vm-tools were in use.

Silently update VMware Tools with Guest Introspection drivers
Even if you do not want to install the Guest Introspection drivers (AKA Endpoint drivers) you should still check out this article as it shows a good method of silent update for VMware Tools.

vMotion and 10 GB
A nice reminder of how much bandwidth vMotion will take.  We all know – or should – either from class or the hard knocks of life that vMotion will take all the bandwidth it can!

Windows Repository for Offline Appliance Updates
This is a nice article on something important and useful.  It will help you setup a Windows based repository that you can update VMware appliances with.  Better then having ISO files scattered about, but it also makes it easier to update things behind a firewall.

Connecting a vNic to a vDS fails with the error: Invalid configuration for device ‘0’
This is a nasty one.  I have seen it in the semi-wild, and it was a bitch.  Stone cold in fact.  I got angry and neutralized everything with extreme prejudice.  Too bad I did not see this.

How to replace an SD card in Dell PowerEdge server
Nice to see this article since I use SD cards in my Dell servers.  In my R710’s I had to put the SD reader in myself, so I know where it is but in my R720’s I have no idea.  I expect to need to replace a card so I am glad the someone has it all figured out.

Why use SD cards for VMware ESXi?
I would like to mention first that I first started using USB for my ESX / ESXi hosts a long time ago.  Just because it was cheaper for me and it worked.  A customer copied me for 40 of his hosts and saved an amazing amount of money (he pulled out three spinning drives per host).  I was sold.  Move forward a few years and I was putting Dell R710’s into my personal lab and I saw for a small cost I could have SD, instead of USB, and inside the host.  I thought that was safer and so I did it.  Definitely was nice and I could have no spinning disk if I wanted in the host and that is really nice.  So my home lab is all SD, and few USB for non Dell hosts and has been like that for about 6 or 7 years.  My work lab at VMware used SD for years (more R710s), and my new lab at my new work is R720’s and it is all SD too.  But now with the Dell R720’s you get a duplicate and mirrored SD card.  Very nice.  You can get better reasons then mine for using SD in this article.  But the fact is it is a damn good idea and has been working great for a long time!

The need to reboot your hosts after you upgrade vCenter
This is a very good reminder – I learned about it the hard way.  Michael will show you what you need to know to avoid this issue!  In some labs I have worked I would do a restart of each host before I did the upgrade just in case!  Too bad I didn’t have Michael’s script!

E1000 VMware Issues
Duncan has a good reminder on an old issues.  I have seen a few of the issues that E1000 driver has had, but like Duncan I try and keep on the latest and greatest so have not seen this sort of issue for a while.

OVF Deployment failed in vSphere Web Client
An interesting problem with a good workaround.  I work most often in the vSphere Web Client and I don’t like needing to start up the C# client.  I saw this same problem once when the issue was DNS.  Not sure as it was a while back but i think it was my workstation DNS that had an issue.

APC vSphere Integration
When I saw this it was a holy crap moment.  I have been a fan of APC for many years and have always had issues integrating it with vSphere.  So it was nice to see there was a way to do it now and it looks like it might be good.  When I have some time at home I will test it out!  I was very surprised to see this but I suspect the amazing integration that the other guys have (Eaton I think) must have got APC moving.

VM snapshots: migration vs. clone
This is a good reminder   If you migrate a VM with snapshots the end result will still have the outstanding snapshots, but if you clone that is not true – it will be consolidated.

Updated SRA for Nimble, HP MSA, EMC VNX block, and EMC SRDF – now available
All off these updated SRA’s and even the ones not updated can be found here.  I have not said this for a while but the only SRAs that VMware will support are the ones downloaded from their site.  That is for the customers protection most of all!

Free elearning course for vRealize Operations Manager v6 – What’s New
You can find more about this free course here.  In short, everything is new, but some you will recognize but not other stuff!

Management Pack Compatibility between vC Ops and vR Ops
You can get your questions answered on this subject in this KB article.  Some surprises in the list unfortunately!

vRrealize Orchestrator (vRO) Puppet Plugin
This is pretty interesting   You can have an external vRO instance that can with with Puppet Enterprise or Open Source.  This opens up quite a few interesting possibilities!  It is something that is limited by your imagination.  You can use Puppet to do so many things, but when you can have it talk to vRO it boggles my mind!  However, it seems that this is about simple stuff like installing Puppet agents.  Seems a little odd to think so small but maybe I am missing something.

12 Reasons Why You Should Use the Log Insight Agent
Steve does an amazing job of making it very clear why you need to use the Log Insight Agent on Windows or Linux.  It is a better choice then the alternatives.  Nicely done Steve!

Log Insight Agent: Detecting files and folders
This is an important article that Steve has done.  It covers off some important details around monitoring files and folders with the agent.  Very good info!  I learned about a flag that will help with log rotations and I did not even know it existed.  Very handy!

vSphere Data Protection – SharePoint VSS writer registration failed
Sounds like something others might see so it is good that Jeff shared this out.  Not sure how the issue developed but the solution is there!

How much journal space with RecoverPoint use?
This is a very detailed article on this particular subject.  The short answer is that it will use all of it.  Every time.  And that is normal.  But the long answer is more detailed and quite well done.

Systernals updates
There are updates for the utilities – AccessChk, Sysmon, and RU.  Useful tools and you can find out more here.

VMware Launches Pay as you Go Cloud Service
I think that this is indeed a significant milestone for VMware.  You pay for what you use at a per minute rate.  Very fair I believe and something that I think more people will be willing to check out.  Especially with the nice introduction special!

Part 3: Testing PernixData FVP 2.0
This is an interesting article about testing PernixData to see how much of an improvement – or not it makes.  Pretty amazing really.  I have asked for some SSD in my lab to see how PernixData works for me.  Should be fun!

Update: Restore Single files on Nimble – Nimble snapshots is there anything they can’t do – vSphere Web Client Plugin
Someone was wondering how to restore a single file from a Nimble snapshot.  Full detail – using a vSphere Web Client too is here.  Not bad!

Expensify iOS app – photo stream issue
The recent update of this app seemed to change a default behavior.  Before the update any expense pictures I took did not end up in my Photo Stream.  After the update they did.  Easy to change that in the App settings.

Full list of Skype emoticons
Ever wonder what is the full list of emoticons that Skype can use.  I must use a max of – maybe 2.  But this list is going to convince me to use a few more!  Check it out here.

What is the best hard drive?
I use BackBlaze for my offsite backup – and I quite like it.  It works well in that both backups, and restores work, and it works without much in front of me.  But I also like their blog.  They did one recently to determine what there best drives were.  Very good to know in case you want to buy one!  Check it out. Interesting!

Monster Performance with SQL Server VMs on vSphere 5.5
A nice article on this subject.  It has some good info and some handy links.  If you need to learn a little more about this topic it is a good place to start.  If you want to learn lots – you should check this out!

How to point Synology Backups to Amazon Glacier using IAM
I was talking with someone about this recently and they thought it was a cool idea – as do I – and I shared this article with them to get them going.  Nice article!  I was asked why I don’ t do that – I use BackBlaze to protect my pictures and other important files offsite, and Time Machine onsite.  If I didn’t do that, and I had a central resource on my beautiful Synology I would use Glacier!

IOPS Matter: VMware Native Multipathing Rule Attribute Affects Store Failover
I do like learning from other peoples suffering.  I like to share it so others can learn from it too.  I certainly share my own suffering too!  But we have an interesting one here in that the solution is not fully understood but it is good to know.  Check out the story here.

IO Analyzer – VMware fling
This is an interesting fling that can help you to analyzer storage performance in a consistent and repeatable way.  Definitely handy before you deploy new storage for a customer – learn what the real performance is.  Or maybe when you are told an upgrade will be twice as fast and maybe you want to confirm that it is!  But check this out if you want to learn more.

This man’s simple system could transform American medicine
This is an interesting read that makes a lot of sense to me.  This Number Needed to Treat (NNT) is pretty darn interesting and I bet it could save a lot of money in the short term with direct savings, and in the long term with indirect and I think we would get better care out of it.  I love the term evidence based medicine.

Soapbox – Snipers
It is no secret to anyone that knows me I am an ex Canadian Soldier.  Not an IT guy, but a rifleman in an Airborne platoon.  I know snipers.  They do not shoot at Muslims, or Christians.  They shoot at people with rifle in their hands, or a machine guy, or a radio, and who are clear and obvious targets.  I did not see the American Sniper movie, but I read the book and enjoyed it.  Snipers are an important and useful part of war.  As is rifles, and radios, and many other things.  It is best to not have a war.  But when you do, you need all of the ‘tools’ to get things done fast, and get all your people you can home.  This is the goal after all – to get all your people home as quickly as possible.

Soapbox (not mine though) – Dr. StrangeCloud – Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the (hybrid) cloud
An interesting article that has some important points I think. I do agree with the general them but think things will take longer and have more splintering involved I think.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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