Newsletter: March 28, 2015

Hello all,

I hope that this finds everyone well.  I missed doing the last newsletter due to traveling and a complete lack of time.  Sorry about that.  I had a very good time at home for two weeks and I am back at DG HQ again.  I always enjoy working with engineering!

I am a big fan of the idea that the vSphere Content Library is and I was disappointed when I got it going and found it significantly lacking.  You can read about it here if you like.  Of more interest to more of you is the article on my vSphere 6 upgrade experience.  Pretty smooth and like everyone else on the Internet I quite like the improvements in the speed of the vSphere Web Client.

Next week I will, if I am successful in time management, get VSAN working in my lab so I can check out version 6, as well as show it off to co-workers, and after that hopefully soon I will get PernixData FVP working.  Quite looking forward to the lab work this week!

Lots to share this week, and as always I hope something really good for each of you!  I appreciate the comments and questions you all share.

A short reminder that many of the articles I write I continue to update as I learn more.  My Windows 2012 template one is a good example of that but both the vSphere 6 upgrade and the Content Library are two examples of ones that will likely get updated.  So keep an eye on them!

BTW, VMworld call for sessions is open.  Here is hoping that we get lots of technical content this year.  I hope to get a session or two in as well!

Have a great week!


Backup products and vSphere 6.0
This is an important article in that it talks about what products can do backups in vSphere 6 and which ones cannot.  And in point of fact most cannot.  This is why my production lab is not upgraded yet.  I need to wait until my backup product – and in fact my array too supports vSphere 6.  I use Veeam and it should be compatible by the end of April.  Check out this article to see what the status is for your backup tool.  This delay in many of the backup software is not a surprise to me as there were changes in vSphere after beta and I believe after RC as well.  So that means potentially redoing things for the vendors and that takes time.

How to use VM Resource & Availability Service
This is pretty cool, as it can let you simulate issues and see how HA will deal with it.  In particular it will let you know what VMs will be started as well as how the VMs that can be started do in terms of resource usage.  So very handy!  So whether you are a partner testing out a design for a customer, or a customer with your own environment this should be useful.

Virtual Volumes – A new way of doing snapshots
Another great article from Cormac.  This one is particularly informative – I like how he explains and diagrams the old way, and then with VVols the new way of doing snapshots.  Great info.

When you implement VVols you better be on time!
With so many people using Active Directory, or vSphere, you would think that everyone knows that consistent time is most important – since both of those will provide you with opportunity to learn about what happens when you don’t manage time.   It looks like VVols needs consistent time too!  So vCenter, ESXi and VVols components (storage array and related components) all need to have the same consistent time.  And correct time too once it is consistent would be nice!  Find out more – and a very nice diagram – in this article.

VSAN 6.0 Part 5 – new vsanSparse snapshots
Cormac has an article about this new type of snapshot – that sounds pretty cool – but he also mentions a very nice technical white paper on the subject too.  Pretty good read – so very well done Cormac!  VMware has certainly done well with the purchase of Virsto.

VSAN 6.0: Data Encryption with HyTrust DataControl
I have not played myself with HyTrust but I have seen them around over the years and seen some very interesting demo’s but Rawlinson has an article on his site about using them with VSAN that is pretty cool.  Certainly would make VSAN a great part of a secure solution in the environments with strong security requirements.

VSAN Certification and Compatibility Guide update
There is more certified components and ready nodes on the compatibility guide now, and it looks like there will be a lot more soon.  Check out the info here.

Error 1009 in vSphere Web Client
I have not seen this error in my labs, but I have seen it elsewhere and I was not sure how to fix it!  But the info is here so if you see Error 1009 when working in the Web Client you can solve the issue without a call to support!  It is interesting how many applications there are that have cache issues at times!

VMware vSphere: A great place to run Enterprise Databases
Michael does a very nice job explaining how this is very true.  He is a doing it on a Nutanix but do not let that distract you, it would be true on other tier 1 hardware as well.  Plus I should add that it would be true on tier 2 and tier 3 hardware too but there may be other issues such as poor support, or no support to worry about.

vCenter 6.0 Installation: Detecting Client Integration Plugin Timed Out error
If you hit this error when you are upgrading your vCSA from 5.x to 6.0 the answer is here.  Or, if you carefully read the release notes you can avoid it.  Of course, what fun is reading the docs?

vSphere 6: Using VCMA as a subordinate CA
This is something I would like to do.  Use either a public CA, or the Win2K12 R2 one, and then have the VCMA as a subordinate CA.  And here is the info to do just that but note that you need to do this before vC is installed.  So a little tricky now for me.

VSAN Observer Windows Server 2012 R2
An interesting problem where using rvc.bat to start the Observer would not work.  If this happens to you reading this article will be much faster to resolving this issue then trying to figure it out.

Migrating VMs across vCenter Server Instances
This is not something I have done, but I have met a number of customers that desperately wanted it.  So here is the info on how.

Unable to log into ESXi using AD credentials
Here is an article about a problem someone had with logging into ESXi using AD credentials.  A workaround, and good troubleshooting is in the article – along with the problem!

Exploring New vRealize Operations Capabilities – David Davis Post #21
This article is about vR Ops 6.0 and has a list of the author’s favorite features but also a good collection of links to learn more about vR Ops 6.

Troubleshooting vR Ops data import issues
When you migrate from vC Ops to vR Ops you end up importing a lot of data and while the several times I have done that it has worked flawlessly, I fully expect the next time, or maybe one later I will have an issue.  So glad I found this troubleshooting info.

vRealize Operations and Configuration Management
VMware has started on the journey to collapse VMware Configuration Management (VCM) into vR Ops.  That has gone as far as vR Ops 6.0 including configuration management of vSphere components.  You may not have noticed this directly but indirectly when you saw some of the dashboards.  But you can learn more about this here, and more about what you can manage here.

vRO Solution and Workflow Package for vRealize Operations
This is a little confusing but it is important.  You can download it from here, but make sure you get the readme too as it is very useful.   What this will do is add more vRO actions into vRealize Operations.  So very handy!  For example, this will add host or VM power operations, VMware Tools upgrade and other vRO actions to the existing set.  So like I said handy!  I know many people that prefer PowerCLI – and so do I actually – compared to vRO, but definitely I think it is time for many of us to start working more with vRO.

How to send ctrl+alt+del from Windows 7 embedded Thin Client to View desktop
This is interesting and useful I think for when thin clients are in use.

How to enable SSH Root Login for vSphere Data Protection
This is something that you will not likely need often but if you do you can find out how here.

Firewall Ports for vRealize Automation
A nice job on gathering all of the different firewall port information on a variety of vRA components.  And all in one place.  Find it all here.

What you need to know about SRM 6.0
Here is a great landing page for SRM 6.0 with the info and links you need.

 Introducing the vSphere Zephyr Benchmark
I saw this from Mark in a tweet and it caught my attention as it is a new performance benchmark.  Mark A is one of the best performance guys I know, and he used to be one of the better PS guys too, and so is a very well rounded performance guy.  This new benchmark seems to be very realistic and appropriate for today’s apps.  Find out more here.

Application Dependency Mapping with vCenter Infrastructure Navigator
A very interesting post that talks about something that was near and dear to me – when I was a VMware BC / DR expert I talked about application dependency a great deal.  So a nice interesting article to read with very good points.

New book – PowerCLI Cookbook
I saw this talking about this new book.  Sounds pretty good.  I took a quick look at it and it seems organized well, and it has screenshots in it too.  I think it is best for junior users of PowerCLI who want to learn more.  The organization around tasks is less handy for learning but more handy for getting things done.

vCloud Air meets PowerCLI – Part 1
With the current release of PowerCLI (6.0 R1) you can use PowerCLI to complete tasks against infrastructure local – as you always have or against infrastructure in the cloud so that is pretty cool I think.  Find out more here.

FVP Management Database Design Decisions
Here is an interesting read on database for FVP.  Nice job.

Puppet Enterprise 3.8 announced
I saw this about the new version of PE 3.8 that will be out in late April.  What struck me in this release – outside of Razor built in is the ability to provision and manage workloads in AWS.  That is pretty cool.

Kemp Virtual Load Balancer for Free
I have heard that Kemp makes a very good LB and so it was cool when I saw this saying they have a free version.  Most of what I have seen in LB is F5 as that was heavily used in my past work life.  Kemp looks a lot simpler which is good!

Moving ESXi from USB to USB?
I need to do this soon as I have several servers using USB that is 8 GB and I would like to change that to bigger.  I will be trying this next time I am at home and I will try it using this tool.  I will let you know how it goes.

Backblaze Online Backup 4.0 – it’s all about the pace
I use Backblaze as my offsite backup and am very happy with it.  I previously used CrashPlan and find Backblaze to be better.  Certainly cheaper, and easier to use.  Plus they innovate more, and I think they are a lot more ‘cool’ too – just check out their blog to confirm that.  But here is an article about their new version and I like how they let us impact performance of the backup.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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3 thoughts on “Newsletter: March 28, 2015

  1. Hey Michael, the hyperlink in your “Error 1009 in vSphere Web Client” section seems to be incorrect.

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