Newsletter: July 4, 2015

Hi all,

Happy Fourth of July to all the US readers, and a belated Happy Canada day to the Canadian readers.  I hope that everyone enjoyed themselves.  We both have amazing countries and our freedom is the best part of that and definitely worth celebrating.

I got an interesting comment from Rob Nelson (@rnelson0) after the last newsletter how he is about to do the vC 5.5 to vCSA 5.5 via the lab fling, and then an upgrade to vCSA 6.  This is what I should have done in my home lab!  I think that this is a good path to end up with the vCSA which is where I think more of us should be.

I have an Apple watch now.  A bit surprised actually, but it has turned out well.  I wrote about it here.

So a bunch of things to share today, and as always I hope to surprise each of you with something that you particularly enjoy.

Have a great week,

Michael

Performance Best Practices for vSphere 6.0
We now have a TWP (or they call it a book) on performance for vSphere 6.  Definitely good info if you are planing for a vSphere implementation.

Using HyTrust to encrypt VMDKs on VSAN
Cormac does an interesting article on using HyTrust with VSAN.  HyTrust is an interesting and useful security tool to encrypt VMs and so it is good to see Cormac working with it.

Accessing All Users view through vSphere Web Client fails with error
This was a deliberate change in the Sphere 6 Web Client to help performance.  Find out more about this including how to enable it here.

Creating a Microsoft Certificate Authority Template for SSL certificate creation in vSphere 6.0
Mike has got a most useful article about helping out with Cert work in vSphere 6.  He helps you create a cert authority template for SSL cert creation.  So pretty handy actually.  Thanks Mike!  I hope that this turns into a series to help people protect their VMware infrastructure – implement and update self – signed certs – hint – hint!

Standalone VMRC now available for Mac OS X
This is pretty cool – the ability to install the standalone VMRC on Mac OS X.  This is important due to the Netscape NPAPI being depreciated so the Client Integration Plug-in won’t be supported or functional in the near future.  I must admit I am having trouble with this app.  I need to keep working with it but currently it doesn’t work for me but we will see – restarting the browser did not help.  It does try and open a browser window that should start the app but no luck – wait – figured it out thanks to comments on Williams article.  When you see the cert warning, view it and accept it.  Then you are good.  I will definitely add the Windows version to my templates.

VMware Tool Upgrade using vSphere Update Manager
A nice breakdown of how you can use VUM to update your VMware Tools which is most certainly an important job of virtualization admins.  Why is it important?  VMware Tools enable new features, or even speeds Site Recovery Manager failovers.  Two reasons but important ones, so it is nice to see another way to update VMware Tools.

vSphere Content Libraries
In looking for articles for the newsletter I found one about installing and using vSphere Content Libraries.  The author made it sound like you should install it and start using it.  He did not mention any of the shortcomings.  When I worked with Content Libraries and wrote about it I tried to show both the positive and negative.  Even the dev people I know who work on it realize there are a number of things that must be improved before general use.  I think we will see those two things in the near future – not sure what that means in point of time – but it is safe to say they are working hard on it.

How to upgrade vSphere Replication 5.8 to version 6.0
Here is an article about upgrading VR from 5.8 to 6.0 that I have used before myself.  You can also use VUM but I have not used that myself but will try next upgrade that way.

vSphere 6 ESXTOP quick overview for Troubleshooting
A nice poster for ESXTOP – nicely done!  See it here.

New VMware Fling: Horizon View Auto-Connection Utility
If you want to have you View session auto-start there is a new fling that can help with you.  This would be handy for thin clients or fat clients you want to treat like thin clients.  Find more out here.

Horizon Workspace and SAML 2.0 with External Applications
In 6.11 you can see how the HTML5 UI is ready for applications.  So helping people to see the value and the idea of what Horizon is.  Here is an article about making this happen.

VMware Horizon 6.11 Application Remoting over HTML5
This is very cool.  If you want desktops, and applications easily shared out via a View client you can learn more about how here.

Everything you need to get up and running with Mirage
A new technical white paper that will help you get going with Mirage – which is handy as it is a different sort of product but is quite useful and powerful.

Log Insight System Architecture
I am most impressed with Log Insight and I consider it critical in my labs.  I use it to understand issues better but it is often – more when I was at VMware – also used by engineers to understand issues I report more easily. But if you want to learn more Log Insight Steve has done a great series on architecture (One, Two, Three and Four).  Thanks for this Steve!

A VMware Log Insight 2.5 design and deployment project
Someone who did a LI project has written it up.  Quite interesting reading. However I need to correct something – Log Insight was not bought, it was developed at VMware but it was developed by a very solid group of developers that came from a different company.  So people were purchased but not a product.

Part 1: Installing VMware NSX Appliance and configuration
This is the first outline to installing NSX I have seen and I think it might be able to help get you started.  If you can get the bits that is. I think that the only way to do that right now (other then buying them) is take the course, then ask for the bits but I am not sure.

ISESteroids for PowerShell
I saw a tweet from Chris Wahl about this cool little add-in that provides extra functionality for the PowerShell ISE tool.  Very handy if you work in the ISE.  Find this tool here.

Renamed Cmdlets in PowerCLI 6
This came up recently – renamed cmdlets but I was impressed how the old names still worked!  See more here.

Exchange 2013 & VMware – The latest round
Josh Odgers has done a good job here on talking about how elements around virtualizing Exchange have changed.  I shared out an article on this last week but I must admit I thought hard about it – it was negative in ways that VMware did not used to do.  I prefer how Josh Odgers has presented things.

Nutanix vs. VSAN Price and Performance – Part 4 (or why Chuck and EMC are Deathly afraid of us)
I am tired of the VMware vs. Nutanix stuff.  I am starting to try and filter it out of my newsletter but I really like this one.  He has some very good points.  So I would say it was professionally done, and I love how they offered to change the EULA! Nice!!  BTW, here is a video from their recent event that is pretty darn interesting.  Should worry a number of traditional storage vendors!

The Nutanix Bible
This wonderful resource has been updated recently and I saw a tweet that said it was available for .ePub, .Mobi, and .PDF but while I can find the updated resource, I cannot find the exported document types.  But I think they will be available in the future via a new service called Atlas.  You can find the Nutanix PowerShell CMDLETS reference poster here.

Upgrade to vSphere ESXi 6.0 via Nutanix PRISM
This is very cool indeed – you can use the Nutanix PRISM management tool to not only manage Nutanix but also upgrade ESXi servers to 6.0.  Wow.  See how this works here.

How to import OVA / OVF into Ravello
I am very impressed that Ravello is supporting vExpert access to this great product.  I had this same issue when I was last working with it and it looks like someone figured it out.  See more here how to import an OVA.  You should check out Ravello, I quite like them and think they have a great service.  I still ‘owe’ them a few articles and I look forward to doing the articles.  If you want to learn more abut this cool service check this out.

Integrating Trendnet IP Cameras with my home lab
This is interesting in that it is true when SE’s have a little spare time there can be interesting things occuring in the home lab.  A good example here where a number of camera’s are now setup and being monitored.  My Synology comes with a camera management app and so I have been wondering about adding some cameras to my lab too.  But no time.

Skype for Business client – what’s new!
This was important to me when I saw it.  I was told I was going to soon get this Skype for Business client.  I knew Mac users at my previous employer that are using Lync and not happy with it so I thought I was lucky to get Skype as it works good with Macs.  But that is not to be.  The story is here.

Using virtual Synology in a scale out distributed storage architecture
This is pretty interesting – a very nice home lab with VSAN that has a virtual version of Synology on top of it.  Check it out here as it is a pretty well done story.

First Impressions – Intel Compute Stick
This is something one of my co-workers really likes and travels with.  I accidentally bought two of the Chinese copies.  So they work, and are cheaper, but my iPad is a pretty good small form factor I can use rather then the Intel Compute Stick.  Here is a review.  I will be passing one of mine to my other co-worker – who co-incidentally also got my spare Canary.

Rubrik unboxing and hardware details
There is a very nice article about Rubrik, that will give you a good look at this very interesting new technology.  You can learn more about this product here.  This is a very interesting application I would love to work with!

SDS – The Missing Link – Storage Automation for Application Service Catalogs
I should have shared this sooner but I only read it through recently.  Rawlinson has some very good points.  Be sure to check out the videos!  This is a real example of SDS – so that is pretty darn good!

Implementing a new Wireless Access Point
So I have a new Apple Airport Extreme Wireless router. It is behind a firewall, and I don’t use the guest network functionality but I did want the new faster functionality – 802.11ac. Plus my current one is pretty old. I got it going in test first, and configured it and tested it out and was very happy. I had a very complex password I shared with my wife so that when she comes home with only the new wireless she can easily get it going with copy and paste. In the test phase I got my MBP, MBA, and a couple of iPads and iPhones going so all good. When I changed over to the new router I was reminded of all of the things I forgot. Three Nest Protects, a Nest Thermostat (which is a bitch to change networks on), and a Nest Dropcam plus Piper and Canary security devices so it was a pain. And yes, I did remember the Apple TV before my wife sat down. Absolutely do not think a router replacement is quick. And remember all the devices in advance and make sure you have time enough set aside!  Just to make you smile – maybe – a little more – I did a firewall change at the same time.  Good Grief.

My Veeam B&R 8.0 Patch 2b experience
I am using build 8.0.0.2021 and so needed to update to Patch 2b.  I did the restart and turned off services. But had trouble stopping Veeam Backup Service. Restarting didn’t help. So I restarted, and waited a few minutes and turned off the Veeam Backup Service first and let it finish. Then when it did stopp, continued on stopping the other services. After the upgrade finished, which was easy I got some emails about failed backup jobs. Looking in the UI it was “error product components installed on this server have older version then the current product version”. So I did a restart and  triggered a backup job, then a backup copy job and it all worked. So the trick here, is to restart the Veeam server after you do the update – must admit not sure if I did that last update or not.

Quick Fix: PernixData FVP Management Server Service Doesn’t Start
I have not seen this issue but I have only installed FVP two or three times.  But if you install PernixData and the vCenter Web Client FVP plugin isn’t there and it appears to be that FVP started has not started on the management server then you can find out the solution here.

Flashlight
I saw a review of this software that looks pretty cool.  It puts commands into Spotlight like checking the weather, moving files, adding appointments and that sounds petty handy.

Apple Music
I have listened to the Beats1 part of Apple Music and have enjoyed it a lot.  So that is successful.  But finding new music, or music that I have some of and want more of, is confusing.  Doing your own Station and finding it, is hard, and doing a Station with two artists is not possible I think.  I think that I will need a lot of the free three months to figure out how to get the value of this new service.  I don’t want to buy music any longer, I want to find more of what I already have, and I want to find things that are similar, and I want to find new stuff that is really new to me.  I think Apple Music can do this for me but I need to figure it out a bit more. Want to learn how to use “Likes” in Apple Music?  Here is how.  Here is a Mashable review of Apple Music.  Here is another review but this time from 9to5Mac. Here is five hidden shortcuts in the new Music iOS app you need to know!

1Password and the Apple Watch
I am a big supporter of 1Password – not only do I use it but I try and help friends and co-workers to learn that it is the best way to protect your passwords.  It will help you create strong complex passwords for each online service and help you easily submit them when necessary.  All with something that is not running in the cloud and is completely under your control. So a great product and I have been happy with it for a long time.  Now I have an Apple Watch I was curious to see how they integrate with it.  If you like you can learn more about this here and here.  Once I tested it out I turned it off.  I am not sure what I would need it for at this time but I do like how it works and I might need it one day.

Remember you can block numbers easily in iOS
One of my co-workers – one of our most excellent support team, reminded me about how you can easily block calls and how it is important in the current election time frame.  So if you get calls you don’t want to get again, then use Recent calls to find the call, and select it and scroll down you will find a Block option.  I use it often. So thanks for the reminder Mike!

OS X 10.10.4
This was a typical and easy upgrade.  It was approximately 1.09 GB download.  I updated a MBP and a MBA with no issues.  Same day or next I got the iTunes 12.2 that provided Apple Music.  You can see more of this release from Tidbits and Apple.  Because of the network updates I consider 10.10.4 important and you should update sooner rather then later.

iOS 8.4
My iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, iPhone 4s and two iPads of indeterminate age all updated fine.  I did all of these updates with iTunes connected and not over the air (OTA) – which I do recommend. Here is some info from Tidbits on this release. Here is a look at Music on the iPhone from 9to5Mac. I shared out the release notes on 8.4 myself.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!

Michael

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3 comments on “Newsletter: July 4, 2015
  1. Hi Michael! I’m Chris, and I work for AgileBits, makers of 1Password.

    I saw your section about 1Password for Apple Watch, and I just wanted to share my thoughts after using 1Password on my own Watch. When we designed 1Password for Apple Watch we approached it with the idea that you’d store only a few things on it that would be useful to look up on your wrist, instead of having to dig out your phone.

    For me, one of the biggest things for me on 1Password for Apple Watch is secure note containing the shut down and lockup procedures for a facility a group I belong to uses. It has what the thermostats need to be set at, which lights need to be left on, and how to arm the security system.

    While I could look it up on my phone, it is super convenient to just do a couple taps on my wrist and then be able to glance at it as I make my rounds through the building.

    Also, since I am an infrequent traveller, it’s handy to have my combination for my suitcase’s lock in there so I can quickly find it to jog my memory.

    Those are just a couple ways I use 1Password for Apple Watch, one conventional and one a little more elaborate.

    Is there anything that you think would be a great fit for 1Password on Apple Watch? If so, we’d love to hear about it. Email support+social@agilebits.com, and we’ll talk.

  2. Hi Michael! I’m Chris, and I work for AgileBits, makers of 1Password.

    I saw your section about 1Password for Apple Watch, and I just wanted to share my thoughts after using 1Password on my own Watch. When we designed 1Password for Apple Watch we approached it with the idea that you’d store only a few things on it that would be useful to look up on your wrist, instead of having to dig out your phone.

    For me, one of the biggest things for me on 1Password for Apple Watch is secure note containing the shut down and lockup procedures for a facility a group I belong to uses. It has what the thermostats need to be set at, which lights need to be left on, and how to arm the security system.

    While I could look it up on my phone, it is super convenient to just do a couple taps on my wrist and then be able to glance at it as I make my rounds through the building.

    Also, since I am an infrequent traveller, it’s handy to have my combination for my suitcase’s lock in there so I can quickly find it to jog my memory.

    Those are just a couple ways I use 1Password for Apple Watch, one conventional and one a little more elaborate.

    Is there anything that you think would be a great fit for 1Password on Apple Watch? If so, we’d love to hear about it. Email support+social@agilebits.com, and we’ll talk.

    • Thanks for the comment Chris. I think your ideas on how you use the 1Password for the Apple Watch makes sense. Another one is the locker combo at the gym. Or the PIN for an HQ door I don’t use often. I am still a very new user to Apple Watch, and 1Password on the Apple Watch, but I am a very old user of 1Password and I like it a lot. I have shared with many how I like and use it, and I do not know how many have bought it as a result of that but I hope many!

      Michael

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