Newsletter: June 28, 2015

Hello everyone,

I am writing this from home and of course that is always wonderful.  However I came home late yesterday to a heat wave.  It was 32 degrees C (89 degrees F) outside when I landed.  For us that is quite a heat wave.  And I got home to a house that had been closed up for two weeks.  This sort of weather doesn’t hit us often so we don’t have AC.

I had the pleasure to work with Stephen Foskett and his crew on Virtualization Field Day 5 recently.  It was great to have all those amazing bloggers in the house to learn about our very cool product.  You can find the DataGravity video, plus all of the videos if you are interested. There are some very interesting products – like Ravello, Rubrik and PernixData, so make sure to check out the videos!

I was talking to a customer last week and the VMware Support Assistant came up.  I am a very big fan of this free product.  It is what I use to ask VMware for help, and I use it for weekly uploads of my logs to VMware to have them checked for issues.  So I think everyone should use it – you can learn more about it here, and how to upgrade to newer versions here.

BTW, while working on this I was distracted somehow and ended up buying a new Kickstarter.  Very cool and what looks like a great way to learn about drones – and build them too.

As always it seems, I have lots to share, and I hope something cool is found by each of you!


Generating Log Insight Agent Configurations with liagentify
This is a cool script that can help you produce configuration sections for LI agents.  Pretty cool actually and great that Steve is help us out with this.  I know I heavily use the samples I find in the LI pubs but this should help a lot.

VMware Virtual SAN Assessment Tool – Beta
You can find a review of a upcoming new tool that will help people pick what VMs would be suitable for running on VSAN.  I am not sure at all if this is required or in fact relevant.  I was able to run VSAN for a long time and it accepted every app I threw at it.  But I guess that there may be apps that are not good for VSAN.  So it will be good to know about them.

VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 Proof of Concept Guide
If anyone wants some help on designing a VSAN PofC there is an excellent guide here.  This is one document that covers off a lot of things so it is a very good resource if you are going to work with a VSAN PofC.  It even covers off things that anyone that has already has VSAN running should know.

Upgrade vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 to 6.0
This is not the typical upgrade so if you need help you can find it here.  I would consider this an awkward upgrade and I hope they get better.  Appliances have normally a very easy and simple upgrade – right from the :5480 VAMI UI and sometimes from a .pak file you upload.  So I really hope the the VCSA 6 gets easier to upgrade. And anyone who has done the 6.00a update at the command line would agree I think?  Not really hard but certainly not easy.  BTW, here is a video intro to the differences of the Management UI for the vSphere 6 VCSA as compared to vSphere 5.5.

Architectural comparison: VVols vs. traditional storage
I saw this today – a great article by Andy Banta about an architectural comparison between VVOls and tradition storage.  I talk with a lot of people and VVols is misunderstood by many but certainly many want it but don’t always understand fully why.  Andy has a lot of experience in this area and it was great working with him when he was at DataGravity.  In fact I miss having him on our team.

Implementing VMware Virtual Volumes on HP 3PAR StoreServ
An interesting article about implementing VVols on an HP array.

Can’t connect to vCenter Server – connection timeout
An interesting article on a problem and the process that was done to solve the issue.

Routed vMotion: Why?
A very interesting read on this subject and with some good ideas too.

Automating vSphere Replication and SRM with vRealize Orchestrator
Ben has a useful article to help with some cool stuff.  I helped a lot of customers with SRM and automation is very important in that space so nice to see what Ben had done.

Using latest PowerActions 1.5.0 to issue VMFS UNMAP API in vSphere 6.0 Web Client
William has an interesting and useful script that he executes via PowerActions.  The script is about executing a VMFS UNMAP script – which is pretty handy – but via PowerActions.  Which I think most of us should have! Check out his article on this here.

Oracle On Virtual SAN 6
Another performance report on running Oracle on vSphere – and in this case it is on a all – flash VSAN.  Find it here.

VMware Horizon with View Optimization Guide for Win7 and Win8
If you need some help or ideas on customization of Win7 and Win8 for use as virtual desktops here is a guide to help.  It refers to View 5.3 which is in fact pretty old considering that I just upgraded my View environment to 6.1.1 but the info on customization for Win7 and Win8 is still pretty useful.  For example it has a good list of things to turn off in the images.

My view 6.1.1 Upgrade
This was a typical Connection Server, Security Server, Agents and Clients upgrade order.  The CS bits said Install rather then Upgrade and really don’t like that.  Makes me nervous actually.  Don’t forget to enable the SS for upgrade (in the admin UI) – which I did and I got a rude message.  Also don’t forget to do the HTML upgrade – turns out install of CS has an older version of HTML inside as part of it so we need to do the separate update after the upgrade.  I was not successful doing this upgrade outside of my View environment.  After I updated my SS server I was not able to continue and had to move inside the data center to continue.  Good thing I was not back at home in Calgary!  But it all ended well.  In fact the HTML access looks much better and it does remind that I need to publish some apps.  Here is the release notes,   bits, clients, upgrade doc and pubs.  BTW, if you want to learn more about Linux Desktops here is a video.  Some good tips actually in fact maybe critical I think.

Making NSX for Horizon 6 More Approachable
This is a nice article about using NSX with View – which I think is a pretty good idea in many cases, but it can also be seen as complex.  This article should help you get past that and thinking about what is possible.

A Stronger Case for Virtualizing Exchange Server 2013 – Think “Performance”
Here is an article about virtualizing Exchange and it is quite interesting.  It sounds like if you follow Microsoft calculators and bet practices you end up with less then ideal configuration in a virtualized environment.  It is suggested that this is due to the suggestions being slanted for physical installation.  From the comments there is some strong feelings that VMware overstepped their boundary with this article.  I know the author and he is a professional services type and he would be technically very confident about what he wrote.

Virtual SAN 6.0 Performance with VMware VMmark
Good info on how VMware tested performance for a couple of apps running on VSAN.

Odd Veeam issue backing up vSphere Template
I worked through with Veeam support an odd and frustrating issue.  I could backup every day my vSphere templates in Backup Jobs and it worked fine.  This was my local backup so I could recover files or VMs very fast.  But when I used Backup Copy jobs to move my VMs to a different array for better protection all my jobs work fine except when they have vSphere templates in them.  They will be copied once successfully but all the other backup copy job status will be a problem for the templates.  You will see errors like “initial copy did not complete” or maybe “error”.  This is not seen as a bug and you need to just get used to it.  Frustrating, but in particular as I use email notification and I am reminded about this issue all of the time.

PernixData announcements at #VFD5
During the VFD5 PernixData session recently Satyam made some great announcements.  Duncan covers them off here.  I use FVP in my lab and I love the product.  So it was very cool to watch and hear about the changes.  A community edition is a pretty big deal! I like the new UI and I am quite impressed with Architect too.  Great stuff to look forward too!  In particular, vSphere 6 support as I will move my lab to vSphere 6 soon – although not before FVP supports it! Eric Shanks has a report on the announcements here.

X10SDV-TLN4F Review
This is the motherboard I would use if I was building any new servers.  It looks amazing – dual 10 GB, dual 1 GB, 128 GB max RAM and included IPMI / KVM so that is pretty good.  It also seems like a small footprint as well.  See a review here. Thanks to Frank for this.

(IaaS) Cloud Outages: Get Over It
Massimo has a great article about our attitudes to the public cloud.  A very good comment!

Virtualization Manager  v6.3 is now GA
This is a big release in that it adds actions.  Some of these Actions can do Storage vMotion, vMotion, create / delete snapshots, start / stop / pause virtual machines, add / remove CPU or RAM from a VM and much more.  This is an app that I quite like and normally run in my lab.  Find out more about this new version here.

Remote Execution Enabler for Powershell
Here is a free tool that can enable remote execution for PowerShell for all your machines.  Very handy.

VMware SDDC Architecture: sample for 500 and 2000 VM
Iwan has a nice breakdown of sample architecture and some of the things to think about.  Check it out here.

Peak Performance vs. Real World Performance
A very good article by Josh Odgers about how absolute performance is not the only design consideration and in fact if you do plan only for that you might have some issues.

Command line to restart Windows
This was harder to find then it should be – shutdown -r -t 0 -f – and it works.

NFS volume mounting error following a network change
Here is an excellent article on a problem and solution. Nice description.

Photography – Learning about HDR
Someone asked me if I knew a site for learning about HDR photography.  Here is one I learned about from professional photogs.

Sonos and Apple Music
I am very much looking forward to Apple Music but I was a little worried about how that would work with Sonos.  Especially when Sonos said it would not work!  I was concerned as I think if Apple does a good job with Music I may not ever buy music again so that would be a problem for Sonos.  So I am very glad when I saw this!  Great news for many of us that really like our Sonos gear.

iCloud Photo Library FAQ
You can learn more about this subject in this and this. I like this functionality but I ran into several people lately who wanted to know more about this area.

OS X El Capitan
You can find a collection of info on this subject here.  I am looking forward to it.

Apple Music
You can expect to see a new iOS – 8.04 at 0800 PT Tuesday (6/30/15), and Apple Music at 0900 PT. Learn more about Apple Music here.

Thank you for reading or skimming this far!


=== END ===

2 thoughts on “Newsletter: June 28, 2015

  1. Thanks, Michael. I run into the same problem of people not understanding what VVols has to offer, or what’s in it for them.

    I thoroughly enjoyed working with you, as well. Maybe we’ll get a chance to do so again in the future.

Leave a Reply