Newsletter: March 1, 2015

Hello all,

I am back in Nashua after a week with customers in Southern California.  Was it ever nice to be in summer instead of winter!  It is always wonderful to chat with customers and especially to share what our product can do for them!  I was not able to finish any of the outstanding blog articles I have, especially the PernixData, Opvizor ones that I am having fun with.  You should see those soon I hope.  Quite a range of things for you today, and as always I hope something for everyone!

Have a great week!

Michael

Updated Availability Guide for vCenter 5.5 with Microsoft Cluster support now available
Since Heartbeat has been discontinued, it is important to have a way to protect vCenter – especially since there is so many things that rely on it.  So this guide can help as it will show you how MSCS can help.  Yes, I did mention this in one of my previous newsletters but this is the updated guide.

How does VM and Application Monitoring work?
The author of this blog has it right.  Almost everyone uses HA, and almost no one uses VM Monitoring.  For more info – check this out.  He has the right idea.

Migrations and Virtual Volumes – Deep Dive
This is a most interesting article – great job Cormac.  And it is really a deep dive too.  I suspect it will lead into several other articles too.  This is great education on migrations in the world of VVOLs and it is a world we all need to know a lot better!  Thanks Cormac!

Virtual Volumes and queueing
A nice article that talks about IO queuing in VVOLs and that is important to think about.  On the surface it does sound like there are questions around this subject since if there is one Protocol Endpoint(PE) and all of the VVOL hosted VMs get their IO through it can that be an issue?  Duncan does a great job breaking this down and explaining it well – as he always does!

vMotion issues when using NFS storage with vSphere 5.5 Update 2
An interesting issue is reported here – where you might get failed vMotions when VMDK is held on NFS storage.  I am using the same version, and lots of NFS and I am not seeing this issue.  And lately I have done really a lot of vMotions – updates for existing hosts, updates for new hosts, and PernixData FVP host extension installation means a lot of maintenance modes and lots of vMotion.  While it has not happened with me, make sure you understand it in case it happens to you!

vR Operations – v6.0.1 now GA
This release has a number of new things as well as a bunch of updates.  I do suggest you apply this update.  I have not tested it yet – lab difficulties – but I do know people that have and no issues have been seen.  Notes that the scalability info has been been updated too, but it still says four users per node max concurrent.  See release notes and scalability info for more info.

VMware Support Summit – Cork Feb 24 – 25
Not sure how many of you have ever visited a Support Summit.  I actually spoke at one once in – maybe – Copenhagen.  It was wonderful.  But here is a report on a recent one. I definitely suggest anyone that gets a chance to attend.  Very worthwhile!

Planning for vSphere 6: VMCA considerations
A clear and well done article that talks about something new in vSphere 6 – VMware Certification Authority (VMCA) and how you should design things in vSphere 6 in this space.  Check it out here.

Working with vCenter and ESXi Log Files
I like using Log Insight for this sort of thing but this is an interesting article as it details log files of interest and different methods to access them.

Detecting duplicate VM MAC address using vCenter Server alarm
This is most excellent.  I had no idea.  You can enable a vCenter alarm for if duplicate VM MAC addresses are detected.  I suggest you may want to enable this in your environments!

VMware pushes the envelope with vSphere 6.0 vMotion
This is true.  VMware has pushed the envelope with vMotion in vSphere 6.  But to be honest, I do not care about many of the improvements.  I will not often do cross continent vMotion or even cross vCenter – although it is more likely I will use cross vCenter vMotion before cross continent.  But, they made it faster too.  And that I care about a lot – and I think that is good for all users.  For more info including some test info see this article.  Here is another article on one of the hidden new features of vMotion and a great script to play with it.

Easily Manage ESXi & VCSA SSH login banner & MOTD in vSphere 6
This is very handy info.  In many environments I worked in this was something I had to do and it was sometimes a little painful.  So it is good to see that it is pretty easy now.  Thanks William.

Who powered on / off virtual machines and when in vSphere
Iwan has a great article here that shows you very nicely how to see who and when a power state change occurred using Log Insight.  Very cool.

EOA of vSphere Data Protection Advanced standalone
This sounds a little odd.  What is happening is all of the functionality in VDPA is moving to VDP.  So VDPA is not longer required.  This is really just a marketing thing, and not a technical thing.  See the KB article for more info.

Keep tabs on your tabs: Name your PowerCLI Sessions
This is pretty cool.  I know several of you out there that can use this great info on how to name your PowerCLI tabs.  Check it out here.  Thanks Brian!

Exploring the vRealize Automation 6.1+ Content Pack for Log Insight
Kim has done a great job showing off what the vRA content pack (CP) will do for anyone that uses Log Insight and vRA.  Definitely a must have if you are using vRA.  Some great examples are shown that can help you be proactive in your admin of the vRA environment.  In fact Kim has given me ideas for the CP I am working on.

Right-Sizing with vRealize Operations 6.0
This is an interesting article as it gives you an example of how to actually right-size a VM.  Plus how to confirm the actual usage of resources of the VM to make sure you are not reducing it too much.  So quite interesting.  I would suggest to be careful of shrinking the memory of vC.

Application Stack Management
This is something that was recently announced by Solarwinds and it is pretty important. I hope to have licenses soon and will get some articles done.  It is about four upgraded products – Server Application Manager, Virtualization Manager, Storage Resource Monitor, and Web Performance Monitor.  With their very recent upgrades they can share data even more then in the past.  Each of them has an App dashboard that is best when all four apps are installed.  It will allow you to see the health of the entire application stack – out of the box for SQL, Exchange, IIS and this will provide much better monitoring and troubleshooting.  Very cool. See more here.

10 GbE Core Aggregation Switch Technology for small / medium business Storage
This article – done by Synology is quite interesting.  It suggests that by getting a switch that has only two 10 GB ports, using them for the Synology NAS end users will get much better performance then when everyone is using 1 GB.  It even talks about the testing.  And this is much cheaper then getting a 10 GB switch that is all 10 GB.

How do I get to the next level?
Great post by Duncan. Well written about something important. I know Duncan, and I know that he got where he is by serious hard work. He works very hard and spends a lot of time working and learning. And he works smart too and so he learns key things that matter. There are not many short cuts. I think that what is most people are looking for but hard work and smart work will get you places that matter and count.  Smart work might be defined as knowing what to stay up at night and learn, or when to volunteer to do something.

Why Nutanix isn’t singing the VSPEX BLUEs
A nice article by Steve Kaplan on how EMC doing it’s hyperconverged thing isn’t bad for Nutanix but in fact good for Nutanix and as a result good for customers in one way or the other.  But lots more color in the article so definitely a good read.

Another Home Lab
An article that shows how to build a ‘big’ lab at home that has small power bills!

My VMware Horizon Enterprise Lab – Overview
This lab is interesting for several reasons – 192 GB of RAM, but also it is using App Volumes AppStacks so it sounds like it might get interesting if it is in fact a series.  Check out the overview here.

‘New’ Citrix Best Practices
A huge amount of Citrix runs on vSphere and for good reasons.  But I found this Citrix blog article that talks about best practices so it might help someone out.  BTW, I checked out other articles the author of that article did and he seems pretty smart.

What is SFTP?
Someone asked me about this recently.  Here is a short little blurb on it.

Releasing the Nutanix Documentation Script
This looks pretty cool.  A script that will document your Nutanix configuration.  No way to test it of course – but one day I would like very much to play with Nutanix. But I know some of my readers that have and support Nutanix and I suspect you know of this already but just in case here it is.

Reminder – Zerto is not supported by VMware
I am a fan of Zerto, and I have used in my lab a lot and I like it.  But, I was reminded about this recently and so I am reminding you it is not supported by VMware.  Check out the details here.  But don’t forget that Zerto has great support and will take care of you.

IOS 8 How-to:Set up and use Find My iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
It turns out I know several people now that have not turned this great functionality on.  So I thought it good to share.  But I learned something that is new in this feature that is a big deal.  And it is off by default.  You can, and should, enable the ability for your device to update its location right before it runs out of battery.  I think that this could enhance your chances of finding your iPhone if you lose it!

Net Neutrality Controversy Overshadows US Broadband woes
This is a bit different – it is about the facts behind what we have heard recently about Net Neutrality but also covers off something not heard often – how few people have broadband access.  See more here.

Gossip – Apple Pay in Canada soon?
I saw this recently – Apple Pay will not expand into Europe anytime soon, but will in fact expand to Canada soon.  I sure hope that turns out true!

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!

Michael

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