Newsletter: March 14, 2015

Hello all,

An exciting week for us all, and lots of time in the lab for me makes it pretty good.  Plus being at home is mighty nice indeed.  We had a Apple Watch event, iOS 8.2, vSphere 6, View 6.1, VIN 5.8.4 all during this week.  Something particularly handy was the VMware Software Manager that was GA’ed.  I wrote about it here but it is quite handy.  I also figured out – finally – how to deal with not being able to see certain dashboards – such as the VIN ones and shared that out here.  I have a big range of things this week and I hope – as always – that everyone finds something of interest.

BTW, I have the date on every article.  I have noticed more and more people are not doing that.  Not sure why.  If you hover over the date you will see the time I published in Mountain Time.

Have a great week!


vSphere 6.0 now available
This was fun to get yesterday.  I pulled it down for my home lab manually and then I pulled it down with the new Software Manager tool for my work lab and was that every nice.  I am not ready to upgrade as I have no time but early next week I shall.  Here is the Release Notes, and a third party review of the release notes here,  and if you have not downloaded the files yet please read this.  This KB article about Important info before upgrading to vSphere 6 has been sent around the twitterverse rather frequently but for completeness I include it.

Ruby vSphere Console Command Reference for Virtual SAN 6
I remember the first time I saw the RVC, I think it was in alpha times and one of the dev staff was checking out my lab.  I thought it was a little complicated, and very handy.  So I am glad that we have a TWP about the commands for RVC.  Makes it a little easier I think for people getting started with it.

A Brief overview of new Virtual SAN 6.0 features and functionality
Cormac has a very nice article here about the new features of VSAN 6. Of interest to me is a new feature that is the result of me fighting for it quite some time ago.  The Administrator can now specify a default VM storage policy rather then use the VMware supplied one.  Very handy!  This is really quite the list!  BTW, here is a link to the most excellent Diagnostics and Troubleshooting reference that Cormac has done.  So thanks Cormac.

VMware vCSA has a new Direct Console User Interface, and the web UI through port 5480 is gone
Some good info in this article about the admin side of the vCSA.  Good info.  I love how the DCUI is in the appliance!

Failover Time for vCenter Server 6.0 Protected by vSphere HA
Interesting article that talks about if a virtual vC has its host fail, how long does it to bring it back up.  The idea is to prove that it is very easy to virtualize your vC and have it protected by HA.  This article was published in March of 2015.  I did tests like this for a customer quite a few years ago.  Glad things have not changed much!

Set Lockdown Mode in vSphere 6 via PowerCLI
Rockstar coder Brian has got another cool script – how to enable Lockdown Mode via PowerCLI.  Check it out here for not just the functionality but also how he did it.

vSphere 6 vCenter Server Appliance: Upgrading from 5.x
A good article about upgrading the vCSA from 5.x to 6.0.  Not quite what you might expect so it is good to read and be aware.  Too bad we cannot do the ‘normal’ upgrade – I suspect it is due to the significant changes – normal meaning via port 5480 UI.

Certificate Error when upgrading vCSA 5.5 to 6
This is an interesting story and one that might impact others.  It has been a best practice of mine for a long time that when I do a IP change on the vCSA I regen the cert.  That would have avoided this issue I believe.

Virtual Volumes primer
A good intro to VVols and as always Duncan does it very well.  This is a big deal and something that most customers have heard of and like the sound of.

Installing ESXi 6 with BlackListed Drivers – Net55-r8168
vSphere 5.5 had some drivers not in it, but if you upgraded you didn’t notice (as they would still be there), but if you installed fresh you did as they would not be present.  With vSphere 6 they are in fact blacklisting some drivers so they will not be there after the upgrade.    So a little different and of course frustrating too!  Find out more here, and here.  Home lab guys really should read and understand this!

vSphere 6.0
Nice list of vSphere 6 links here.

VMware releases bugfix for CBT data corruption issue
For the full story check this out.  This is an important fix that should be applied for anyone using CBT backup which I think is most everyone.

How to configure SMP-FT using Nested ESXi in vSphere 6?
This is a great idea that William has, what a great way to test out SMP-FT – in a nested environment.  Not good for performance testing but certainly for functional test.

View 6.1 now GA
I first saw this on what was new.  vSphere 6 support was biggest thing on that list for me, along with Linux Desktop as a Tech Preview.  That will make a lot of people happy!  But when I saw the release notes I was excited to see you could set TPS level in the View Admin UI.  So an exciting release.  I will share my comments and observations of the upgrade for an article you will see very soon.  Here is the announcement of the GA.

SRM 6.0 Simplified Certificates
This is nice to see – certs were a pain in older SRM versions.

vCNS 5.5.4 is compatible with vSphere 6, but new vSphere 6 features are test with it
This is amazing.  I am not sure with that lack of testing if I would implement vCNS with vSphere.  Certainly not without some serious testing.  See here for more info.

vCNS Content Pack for Log Insight Now Available
For those of you who use vCNS and Log Insight I think you will really appreciate this.

vSphere Storage Latency – View from the vmkernel
This is a very powerful example of how useful Log Insight can be.  Nice job Iwan!

Protecting a Distributed Switch with Ephemeral Binding
An interesting article about how you can use Ephemeral ports as a rescue service. Pretty good idea I think.

vRO, an External SQL Database, and the case of the Missing Plugins
This is something that I think others will be impacted with at some point in their adventures with vRO, and as such it is good to see the problem and the solution in this.

VMware NSX: Install, Configure, Manage [v6.1]
NSX is very powerful and capable and you know that is code for complex and difficult – right?  So check out this training as I think it will help and NSX is worth it.

vRealize Automation monitoring
This is a good article for understanding monitoring of vRA.  You can use this info with most any monitoring tools.  Nice!

Real life experience on performing a roll back from vRA 6.1 to 6.0.1
Even the title of this scares me.  An interesting story, but hopefully you will not need to use the info.  But if you do I guess you will be prepared!

Certificate troubleshooting, supportability, and trust requirements for vRealize Automation 6.2
Just in case you want to work with certs and vRA.  And if that isn’t enough, check this article out by Grant.

vRA 6.2 to vRA 6.2.1 – Upgrade How to
Just in case you need any help to upgrade here it is – and I heard that there is not much docs to help.

Protecting vCenter Server with vSphere Data Protection (VDP) 6.0
Jeff has a great article here about protecting and restoring a Windows vC.  So really good info, but I also like how he shows everything still works while vC is gone, including vSphere Replication to the cloud and VSAN.  All as you might expect but still good to hear.  I think that this is good info for many since a lot of people do not backup their vC or do not test the backup of vC.  So this is good info as it shows that it is possible.

Maximizing Use of vRealize Operations for Horizon 6.0: Newly Updated Deployment Guide
I am very fond of this tool, as I have seen it used to support pretty big View infrastructures and it does that pretty good!  See the new guide here.  BTW, not sure if I would call this a deployment guide as much as intro maybe?  Better then that I guess but no install info is my point.

Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) Architecture – Physical Layer
Christian has a most excellent article on the physical layer of the SDDC and what it needs and is made up of.  Christian is an ex – co-worker of mine and a very smart Networking guy.  He was the Networking part of the Integration Engineering team in VMware R&D that we were part of.  This was an extraordinary team that worked hard as Customer[0] to improve VMware products.  They made a huge difference and improved not just products but processes and other things around the products.  I am trying to copy that idea – and success – at my current employer as I am a believer that it helps produce great products.  Too bad that this group doesn’t exist at VMware any longer.

How to customize the login UI for vRealize {Operations Manager, Log Insight, Automation}?
Once again William really helps out!  I look forward to use this info to change my Log Insight, and vR Ops log in screens!  Thanks William!

Exam Routines make for Routine Exams
A nice article about study and process for doing a test – in Grant’s case the VCAP-CIA.

Understanding Windows File Attributes
Someone was talking about this and wondering more about it and I found this basic intro to the subject.

 Virtual Datacenter scaling problems with traditional shared storage
Another deep and interesting article by Frank.  And it starts with a really good question.

Why I think VSAN is So Disruptive
The author of this is right – VSAN is disruptive and in a positive way too!

The Good News about the CIA Targeting Apple
Some very good info in this article, and I agree with the writer too about his comments on how this is good.

Backblaze Vaults: Zettabyte-Scale Cloud Storage Architecture
I have written before how I use Backblaze as the cloud component of my home backup.  I really like their pricing, and attitude.  Here is an article about a new storage architecture they are using.

OS X Office 2016
I mentioned the OS X Office 2016 open beta recently, and I have it running now on one of my laptops and I quite like it.    Particularly like Outlook.  I did this on a brand new install of OS X but if you didn’t you might have an issue.  Duncan did and talks about it here.  I think that MS did a pretty darn good job.

Apple Watch
The event this week answered a few questions for me.  It can work on Wifi so I do not need to carry my phone around the house.  Water resistant, but not water proof, and 18 hours on a charge.  But here is some additional info – here, here, and here.  Find the Apple info here.  I do believe that they have a winner in this watch.  I suspect I will buy one – but not right away.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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