Newsletter: May 24, 2015

Hello all,

I traveled to the DataGravity HQ yesterday.  I forgot about the Memorial Day weekend and of course travel was busy.  And of course I could not arrive on the day I wanted but when I finally got here Hertz upgraded me to a very nice Forerunner which is way nicer then I thought.  It is fun when I travel through Calgary (YYC) and Chicago (ORD) which are both – in different scales – very big and busy, but when I finally land in Manchester (MHT) it is not.  If you see 20 people milling about it becomes busy.  So quite different and nice too.  Certainly easy to move through compared to the others.

I did a lab install article about Exchange and WordPress had a bit of an issue with it.  Not exactly sure what happened but the article is up, and I do apologize if you were frustrated by not finding it.  I believe I know what happened and it was quite an odd edge case so I do not think it will happen again.

Another article that I did, and did not quite end up as I thought is the one about upgrading H710 firmware when the card is in an R720.

I have much to share this week and as always I hope something for everyone!

After upgrading vSphere 5.5 to patch ESXi550-201504002 VMs using Cisco Nexus or VMware NSX are unable to communicate between hosts
This was a bad patch (ESXi550-201504002) and it didn’t last long.  When you upgraded to it, if you were using NSX or Nexus you had networking issues!  Find out more here – but short form is patch is gone, and if you applied it – crap.  If you did not upgrade to this patch, check this out for the redone patch.

Backing UP VMs with CBT enabled fails after upgrading or installing vSphere 6
This problem (KB Article) was frustrating for those who upgraded quickly to vSphere 6.  CBT enabled backup jobs did not work after upgrading to vSphere 6.  Which means when you do get the backup going without CBT it is pretty slow in comparison.  Fortunately, there is an update (KB Article) now that fixes this issue – just use VUM to update.

Ballooning, Queue Depths and other back pressure features revisited
Another great article by Frank.  This is an area that I have heard people completely mangle when they try to explain.  It can impact design decisions too so it is good to understand.  Good thing Franks explains it so well.

vCenter Server 6.0 Log Locations
Looks like log locations have changed in vC 6.0 and you can learn about that here, but what I like is learning about what each log file is good for.  Very handy!

Reset the VMware SSO password in vSphere 6.0
This is good info to have since it does happen – meaning locking the SSO admin account and not knowing the password.  I always create a second account – or use my Domain admin account, and make it a member of the SSO admin group.  That will always help if you forget the SSO admin password.  But if not the info in the article above will help.

Logging into vCenter Server Appliance as vSphere Client users using Windows session credentials option fails with error
This error can occur in both 5.x and 6.x and has no solution yet but does have a workaround.  More info and workaround can be found here.

SSO error: Unable to create a managed connection ….
This is an interesting read about an SSO error.  I did not know that all of the defined identity sources had to be up for a successful log in.  If one down no login and error.

vSphere Replication Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A nice collection of questions and answers about vSphere Replication.  Find it here.

VAAI Licensing now aligned with Virtual Volumes (VVol)
This is a sign that VMware is truly behind Virtual Volumes and a good thing too as it is really what customers need.  But the fact that VAAI is now part of all VMware product editions means they are really trying to support VVol in all environments and that is a good thing.  It will also mean better VAAI supported backups too in the meantime!

Client Integration Plug-in not working in Chrome?
You can fix that issue for now, in this article.  After a few more upgrades of Chrome it will stop working again and so I hope VMware fixes the issue before that occurs – wonder if it is fixed in vSphere 6?.  The issue is simple – Chrome has disabled an API it thinks is insecure and should not be used any longer, and in Chrome 45 it will be removed.  VMware uses that API for the Client Integration Plug-in.

Using NSX, Log Insight, and vCO to improve security
Would you like to be able to see a video of a particularly interesting demo?  Think about wanting to be able to implement a firewall rule to stop the usage of putty?  So this needs NSX, Log Insight and vCO.  This may be a simple example – stopping the use of putty – but it is a great example of what is possible. Check out the demo.

3 Additional Log Insight Clustering Use Cases
Some very good use cases for using LI Clustering.  I suspect that production users of Log Insight in many enterprises should be using LI Clustering.  It is not that hard to do.  But see this from Steve.

Log filtering capability in ESXi 6.0
William has an interesting article how how you can filter ESXi log entries when necessary.  This is something that can be very handy!

DRS keeps VMs Happy
Matt has done a really good article about DRS and what it means for VMs.  Really good detail.  Check it out.  Matt used to be Professional Services when I worked with him in the past and I am very happy to see him in his new job!

Getting Auto Deploy working
Brian has a nice series of articles getting Auto Deploy working in vSphere 6.  Auto Deploy is a nice feature and quite useful but it does have some unexpected actions to make it work.  For several years the Hands-On Labs at VMworld – with hundreds of servers – used Auto Deploy and it was great.  So if you need a little help with Auto Deploy check out article 1, article 2, and article 3.  Thanks Brian!  BTW, if you have not worked with building your image before then article 3 is pretty handy.  I like having a custom image – even without Auto Deploy.

VCP6 Foundation Section 3 – vSphere Storage – vBrownbag Slide Deck
Here is a nice article with a lot of info on it.  Not just the preso from the vBrownbag show but also a lot of links for supplemental info – very handy if you are going for your VCP6 or want to learn more about vSphere 6 storage.

vCenter Server 6.0 Availability Guide
A technical white paper (TWP) about protecting vC 6.0.  Some good info – backup suggestions, and even info on Windows Server Failover Clustering.

Supported vCenter high availability options
An important KB article that breaks down the different options for vC HA for the different vSphere versions and it even includes links to TWP that provide more info.  Important info.

Are those large VMs using the Resources give to them?
Iwan has a great article talking about how you can show if the large VMs are using the assigned resources or not.  This is important as often it is true that the large VMs are not using the resources that have been assigned.  In the early days of virtualization – the consolidation phase – this was very common.  So Iwan’s article is quite useful to help you talk to the application owner about possible adjustments!

Find those PowerCLI Commands You Lost
This is a nice article about a feature I had not seen before in PowerCLI.  Thanks Brian!

Site Recovery Manager 6 and Storage DRS Tagging: Part 1 – the basics
Cody has a nice article about a new feature in SRM and how it works.  It is useful for environments that are using SDRS and I like how it uses tags!  You can see part 2 of this article that shows how this new functionality impacts Pure Storage.

vRealize Automation – What I Learned this week
Some good reminders about getting started with vRealize Automation in this article.  I personally have a love / hate thing with vRealize Automation.  It can do amazing things and do them over and over again, but the setup, and some of the customization is tricky.  So little tidbits to help things along is always appreciated.

VMware KBTV Webinars – Introduction to vRealize Orchestrator 6
A nice webinar on an interesting product.  vRO is something that more of us should be using I think and this is a good intro.

Top 10 VMware KB articles
If you are curious what are the top 10 articles in the VMware KB check this out.

Microsoft SQL 2014 licensing in a VMware environment
This is the best breakdown of SQL licensing in a VMware environment I have seen.  Lots of background info and suggestions.  Quite useful I think for many people.

Simple VDI Load Testing with View Planner
The View Planner is a useful tool to help in your VDI implementation in that you can understand the load on your storage and what your storage can support.  Very nice that it is out in the public!  Here is an article to help you get started.  I suspect that this will have other uses such as benchmarking your storage before and after a storage upgrade.

Horizon View Certificate Management
A nice article that is a good reminder of how to do cert replacement in View.  Something I really need to do myself as I am tired of looking at red.

NSX-v – Design Deep Dive
A very nice collection of NSX related information all in one place.  If you are looking to learn more about NSX, particularly design info this is for you!

Would you like to have a USB that can boot different OS’s?
You could have Win2K12 / Win2K8 / Win7 / Memtest and Centos all able to boot – only 1 at a time however.  But pretty handy I think.  Check out this tool to help.  I have not tried it but think it is pretty cool and I wish I had more time!  Another interesting use case would be to have Memtest and the ESXi installer on the same USB.  First do the memtest overnight, and then use the ESXi installer to install.  Cool I think.

Upgrades: In-place versus Migration
An interesting discussion by Steve that has a good point – it is a design decision.  And there is pro’s and con’s too for each choice.  I often did in-place when I was at VMware as that was the ‘worse’ case meaning more cruft would accumulate over time and make for a better upgrade test over time as compared to a new install that is being updated.

PAL tool now works with Exchange 2013
This is a performance and troubleshooting tool that can help out Exchange 2013 admins.  Find out more here.

Getting started with Docker
Are you interested in Docker?  There has been a lot of chat about it, and judging from the number of potential VMworld sessions there is a lot of people that are very interested in it.  If you want to learn a little about it, you can start with this article and follow it up with this article and you will be very much more informed!

How the Apple Watch can help battle your iPhone addiction
Interesting story about how a couple minimized their iPhone usage by each of them having an Apple Watch.  I think a good point!

How to use the Adjust tools in Photos for OS X
Photos is a simple and nice tool.  One area where it does more then you expect is in adjusting pictures.  Check this out for help in that area.  Also, check out my article on a variety of info on Photos.

iOS 9 and OS X 10.11
I saw this recently and it made me smile.  I remember when Apple did this before – a release of OS X with almost no new features, but smaller and faster.  It looks like they are saying this time it is a “Big focus on quality” and I think that is great.  I wish more vendors would do that.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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