Newsletter: May 30, 2015

Hello everyone,

I hope that everyone had a great week!  I had opportunity to work in the lab, and work with developers and product people and that is always a great thing.  So a good week.  I have a range of things to share this week and I hope as always something for everyone.

I have a number of articles almost ready to release and hopefully you will see them shortly!

I have been in our VMworld process and am quite impressed with our booth as not only will it look good but it also has a number of demo stations and each have a whiteboard too!  We will have a great new version that we are demoing at VMworld and so I hope everyone who is there shows up for a demo and to say hi!  I hope to hear early in June that I will be speaking at VMworld, and if so will be happy to share where and when.

Have a great week!

20+ Common VSAN Questions
Chuck Hollis has a good collection of questions and answers on VSAN.  Check them out here.

Getting vSphere 6 off the group and more from Global Support Services
With vSphere 6 out for a while now the Support team has some resources for vSphere 6 users. Mostly basic stuff but I like the collection of vSphere 6 KB articles.  I am guessing that vSphere 6 upgrades are not happening as much as VMware wants, or there is more troubles with upgrades then expected and that has driven this article.  However I think vSphere 6 is in pretty good shape as I quite like it.  Now that Veeam supports backups from and to vSphere 6, and Support Assistant is supported on it now I am pretty happy!

Let us Wow You with vSphere 6
Here is a link to a collection of Webinar links for different vSphere 6 topics.  Some smart people and interesting topics.  Good if you have not upgraded yet or if vSphere 6 is new to you.  BTW, this link – when I found it a few days ago had less sessions on it then it does now.  So maybe they will keep adding to it.

VCSA 6.0 and how should I do syslog?
Someone was asking me recently about syslog and the VCSA 6.0.  What might they have to do to get vC logs out to syslog.  So I shared this!  But I also shared this too.  The first is from William and talks about how syslog works in VCSA 6 which is very different and cool, and the second is from Steve and talks about a couple of small issues.  Hopefully fixed or fixed soon.

Bootbank cannot be found at path ‘/bootblank’
This is an interesting article. I read through it as the troubleshooting was interesting and the error message got my attention but the solution was very much unexpected.  Good info.

Database retention policy in VMware vCenter 6.0 is set to 30 days by default
For many of the customers I have worked with over the years they would be a little disappointed with a 30 day database retention policy.  Or maybe it would be the fact there was a retention policy enabled at all that might be the surprise.  But see a little more here.

Content Library blog series
The engineering folks have stepped up to do a Content Library blog series.  You can find the series here.  It is mostly an engineering type of blog right now – API interactions for example. If you need a different kind of introduction check out my primer.  I believe that Content Library is a big deal and will be very useful, just not now.  But the couple of key changes that are needed are known, and work is underway!

Receive Packet Errors with VDS Health Check and Jumbo Frames
Jumbo Frames are often a source of pain and suffering.  In the team I was a part of at VMware we turned them on and it was a little tough.  And we had a rock star network guy to help.  Eventually we got to it all done right.  For the most part, I did not see any performance improvements.  So generally I think it is not worth doing.  But, there are times it is worth doing (after investigation and confirmation it will help) and here is quite a story from one place that did Jumbo Frames.

Creating Microsoft CA Templates for certificates in vSphere 6
Another useful technical article from this new blog author.  If I understand things right – I am a neophyte in working with certificates even though I have done it a few times – this article will help you prepare your Microsoft CA for doing things for VMware products.  I hope I have this right!

Any VM abusing your IaaS by doing excessive workload?
This is a most excellent article.  Good background information and learning but also some good ideas for improving your environment with vR Ops.  Very powerful and another example of how useful vR Ops is! Nice job Iwan!  BTW, if you need help with vR Ops, Iwan has a nice book on Performance and Capacity, but there is a new Mastering vR Ops one too.

The return of the one click Cluster Capacity Dashboard in vRealize Operations 6
This is a very cool custom dashboard.  You select the cluster you are interested in and the dashboard will show you the remaining large, medium, and small VM capacity.  Check it out here.

12 reasons why you should use Log Insight
Steve has some good reasons why you should use Log Insight.  I am a fan of course already, as I saw its birth and contributed to it a lot over its formative time!  It is a very powerful tool and it is very easy to access the power.  I like the content packs a lot too!

VMware Horizon View 6.0 New Features
This is new PluralSight training on the new features of View 6.  The author has said he will keep it current and update as necessary so that is pretty good.  And I have not seen the whole thing but have checked out different parts of it and it is in fact well done.

Application Delivery with Horizon 6: Newly Updated White Paper
Notice how it is not called a technical white paper?  It is also the most odd WP I have seen.  But if you want to learn a little about application delivery with Horizon 6 check this out.  Maybe even check it out to see what an odd looking paper it is.

SRM 6 Evaluation Guide
This is a nice way to get going with SRM if you are going to evaluate it in a lab.  I prefer to have the actual product install info in the eval guide as I like the guide to be self – contained and contain everything to get a successful evaluation done and this guide doesn’t have install info.  But, this newly updated guide is still quite well done and it will definitely help you evaluate SRM 6.  SRM is still the best migration and DR tool around, but it is also great for patch testing with the real production copies but with no danger!

Configuring application database server for replication in vRealize Automation
The vRA documentation say if you are going to do an HA cluster – which is a good idea generally – you need to use an external database instance.  That external database is now EOL so that makes it hard to do!  VMware has a plan b in this.

Do you want a vRealize Orchestrator cluster?
This is again a good idea if you depend on vRO.  Find out how here, and for the LB see this for F5 and this for NSX.

New VMware EVO:Rail software
My old boss at VMware – Mornay van der Walt has a blog article about the new EVO:Rail software.  He was one of my best bosses at VMware, and I followed him through a few positions without hesitation.  I am glad to see what started as a tiny little one person skunkworks project has turned out so well for him – and of course that means so well for a lot of customers too.

The Top Troubleshooting Issues Exchange Admins face and how to tackle them
This webinar is about Exchange troubleshooting.  It was well done, but it could have had more technical stuff in it – maybe some actual troubleshooting examples.  But it was still interesting.

Free alternative for backing up VM’s for ESXi
More then 8 years ago William Lam did a cool script for backing up VMs.  In those days solutions were not that common so William’s script was pretty important.  He even updated that solution a few days ago!  See more here.  How many things last for 8 years and are still useful?  Pretty cool!

Getting started with PowerShell 3.0 Jump Start
One of our QA guys – in fact one of our QA rock stars is learning PowerShell and he is starting from no knowledge at all on it.  He is using this tool and pretty happy with it.

Microsoft Active Directory Topology Diagrammer
A number of years ago you could point Visio at your AD and get a diagram of it.  It also disappeared as a feature after a while.  But something better is here now.  It is the MS AD Topology Diagramer – it is a tool that will produce a Visio of the AD and it has a lot of configuration possible.  It is running right now in my lab.  It doesn’t produce a lot of eye – candy in a small lab but I could see it being much more useful in a bigger environment.

No one was ever fired for buying IBM / HP / Dell / EMC …
Duncan has a great article about this subject – the idea that people get fired for being lazy or incompetent but not because they bought product X or Y.  He has a number of thoughts about dealing with new technology companies and things to consider.  Quite agree.

vCenter “FLUP-grade” Part 1: Migrate vC5.5  to vCSA
So we have all likely heard about the fling that can migrate your vC config and information to the VCSA.  Here is a story about how that migration went.

Peak Performance vs. Real World Performance
A very good article that I think more customers and partners should read and understand.  I see customers often making mistake like what are discussed in this article and it is not necessary.  Great article!  It is part of a theme that I subscribe too about square holes should be filled with square pegs, and simple is king, where success is delivering what the customer needs instead of what he wants or asks for.

vExpert – source of info
A nice page with lots of the links and info on vExperts can be found here.

Pesky admin password unknown?
Recently I had a Windows admin account password I was not in possession of.  Bit of an issue and I used this to deal with it.  This is not as easy as it sounds but it does work.

Do you want to download your search history from Google?
Since Google will share – I hear – your search history without court orders I think it only fair that if you want to look at your search history you should be able to.  Here is the info how.

PernixData FVP on-demand demo?
Yes, there is one.  Check it out here.

Thanks SolidFire!
I realized today – as I washed my beautiful red SolidFire socks that I had not publicly said thank you.  SolidFire did a great webinar a while back and provided me with great info on their product and on automation possible with it.  It was very well done.  You can now find slides and video. Thanks Keith, and Josh – both for a great event but also for releasing the material to everyone.

TextExpender 5 for Mac Makes Snippets Suggestions
This is a new version for software that has been around for a while.  It is from Smile Software.  TextExpander lets you – on your Mac and iOS devices if you like – expand text.  Mean mwme might be expended to include my signature block for example.  So very powerful and the fact that it can use Dropbox or iCloud to sync your dictionary between all your devices is quite handy.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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2 thoughts on “Newsletter: May 30, 2015

  1. On the contrary to most of your customers, I am extremely GLAD that VCSA 6 includes a default retention policy. It might be short, but at least you won’t suddenly start seeing tasks failing because the DB is full like in previous versions.

    1. Very good point you have. I think you might be right. And likely even the customers who don’t like it will still experience better services as a result of this. But I think a best practice will need to update the retention.

      Thanks for the comment!


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