Newsletter: August 15, 2015

Hello there,

I hope everyone is well today.  We have had a week of very hot weather and late afternoon yesterday it finally broke and started to cool, and then rain.  Still raining now and a very nice 10 degrees C.  A tough week, with lots of indecision, and plans changing, and pushing the envelope.  I did spend a fair bit of time in the lab but it was not all good times!

I recently did a webinar, and it was a blast.  I really appreciate how many people showed up and asked questions.  I have not finished getting the unanswered questions answered, so I have not shared out the preso yet.  The video is with all of the people who registered but I will get the preso out as fast as I can.  I had two deliverables as part of two cert activities with VMware - on top of everything else so it was hard to get things done.  As soon as I  finish off the preso - I am trying to add all the Q&A to it so you have one thing with a lot of info in it - I will share it out with everyone.

I missed the newsletter last weekend.  But I had a great reason.  My wife and I with two friends spent a long weekend in a helicopter in / out back-country lodge.  It was really fun!  I did add it to the Great Adventures page!

BTW, I am really liking Apple Music.  They suggested a playlist for me today - No Rain at this BBQ and it is really something.   It is not only great for BBQ but also for writing blogs!

I had an Apple 10.10.5 upgrade adventure, and had to teach some friends how to do Medical ID on an iPhone, but also I had to figure out how to do an AD distribution of a subset of an MSI - all recently.

As always, I have lots to share, and something for everyone I hope.

Have a great weekend!


vSphere 6 Web Client UI Deepdive - vMotion
This is a very interesting article on the changes in vSphere 6 and vMotion as seen via the Web Client.  So quite interesting in fact.

New HTML5 Embedded Host Client for ESXi
William talks about a very new fling that is HTML5 management for an ESXi 6 host.  As soon as I heard I tried it out and it was very nice.  Fast and easy.  I sure hope that this gets into the real product stream soon!  Plus of course it also shows how the vSphere Web Client might be like under HTML5!  If you have more then a handful of hosts to add this too check out Brian’s script.  Well done everyone!

vSphere 6 Foundations: Configure vSphere Storage
Another new class from PluralSight - this one about vSphere 6 Foundations: Configure vSphere Storage.  This is number 4 in the Foundations series.  But I know several people lately that needed this course so here it is!

VSAN Health Check Plug-in 6.0.1 now GA
See the release notes, and see here where Cormac talks about this useful tool.  One of the advantages of this tool is that it lets you know when some of your gear falls out of HCL.  So pretty handy I think for a wide variety of reasons.

UNMAP behavior in ESXi 5.5 P3 / ESXi 6.0
I wrote about this before but here is a little more from Drew at EMC this time.  I default to use NFS and only use iSCSI when there is a reason.  And UNMAP is part of what helped me make that decision.

How to audit VM reconfigurations and see what exactly changed?
William has an interesting article on this topic.  I was surprised in a nice way to hear about the vRealize Air Compliance option.  A great addition to vRealize Air.  But see all of the options here.

Troubleshooting VM network performance using vsish
A different way to troubleshoot VM network performance using a tool that not many people use called vsish is seen in this article.

Restoring and copying vCenter Server alarms
This is something handy if you need to move an alarm config to a new vCenter.

RHEL 7, open-vm-tools, and guest customization
I recently did an article on a Linux vSphere template that was Centos based.  It was harder then it should have been!  But here is an article about doing the same thing with RHEL 7 and of course he has the same problems doing it and shares the solutions too - very useful if you are Red Hat rather then Centos.

VMworld Preview: Just Because you COULD, doesn’t mean you SHOULD - VMware vSphere 6.0 Architecture
This is a bit of an advert for a VMworld session but it might just be a good one.  The author is pretty good, and of course there is a lot of you could, but shouldn’t that you can talk about!

vROps in Practice: Review after a Month
The first part of this series, second part and now we see the third.  I share the third as I think it has some good points about the shortcomings.

vROps API consumed with PowerShell
I did not even know that this was possible!  It is definitely cool!  So if you want to learn how to use PowerShell to consume vROps info this is it!

The Benefits of Blue Medora’s MS SQL Server Management Pack
This is a very short and simple blurb about the newly released SQL Management Pack for vROps.  Very handy actually if you use SQL - and who doesn’t?  The screenshot is pretty interesting.  If you have any SQL that is in production use this might be just what you need.  You can get a 30 day eval from the Blue Medora site.  BTW, here is another article on this subject which has much more detail.

How to restore a SQL Server Database - Easily!
Rick Vanover has a nice article on how to restore just a SQL database - if you backed it up with Veeam that is.  Pretty useful article and it certainly shows you the power of Veeam.  I must admit I could use a nice article like this to backup my SQL server.  I mean I am backing it up but am I doing it in a way that would allow this article to work for me?  I suspect not.

Configuring VDP 6.0 replication fails with error Replication destination failed to validate replication destination
This can be a confusing error message.  It actually means port 28001 is not open.  So a little confusing really, and I think that this port is new for VDP 6.x.  More info here.

Configuring the NTP server in vSphere Replication 6.0 fails with error: Error: Cannot update the dynamic config
As many of us know many errors are caused by misconfiguration in DNS and NTP.  So I always try and make sure that DNS and NTP are configured right.  But you can hit issues doing NTP in vSphere Replication 6.0.  If you have errors doing it you can find how to get it done in this.

Serial Port Redirection for Virtual Desktops in Horizon 6
Do you remember all the hoops in the past we went through to get serial connections from a VM to some device so as to share modem connections for example?  There was a few different ways to do it.  It as a hassle to make any of them work!  So it is sort of cool to see serial port redirection built into View.  Find out more here.

Microsoft DNS Integration with vRA
The author of these articles has a good point - if you are going to provision non - Windows virtual machines with vRA and you are using Microsoft DNS - how do you get the A records into DNS appropriately?  So it is good you have a part 1 and part 2 on how to do this.

VMware App Volumes 2.9 Installation (with Horizon View Integration)
I have not see much, nor worked with, App Volumes.  So I was glad to see  that Iwan did this article series.  See part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and it seems the link for part 5 doesn’t work yet but will hopefully when you click on it.

Log Insight Best Practices: Agent and Server
Steve has some excellent best practices for the Log Insight Agent and Server.  Really good info to think about - particularly the server stuff.  I must admit that LI is so easy to make work, that I missed a number of things that Steve has in his list.  So thanks very much for these recommendations!

Site Recovery Manager, Subnet IP Customization
Here is a video on how this newish feature works.  I remember the first time a customer asked for this feature.  It was at VMworld and I knew right away it was a great idea.  It was also a long time ago, so it is very good it is an actual feature now.

How to Configure a PowerShell ISE Theme and User Profile
A very nice article by Chris Wahl on configuring a PowerShell ISE and User Profile.  Some handy tidbits I was not aware of.

ESXi Customizer and Windows 10 Fix
I recently - couple of days ago - went with Windows 10 on my work MacBook Pro for things that needs windows.  It is an improvement over 8 but not much over 7.  But if you use it, and also use ESXi Customizer you will find a little problem - and you can solve it here.

Three Thoughts on the Nutanix & StorageReview Situation
If you have been following some of the silliness around VMware and Nutanix you will likely quite appreciate what Bob is writing about here.

Deduplicated VM cloning and backup
An nice article on an interesting subject.  A number of storage vendors, including my own DataGravity dedupe virtual machines but they do not do it the same way in each case.  Alastair has a good description of it that covers the subject well.

Understanding PernixData FVP’s clustered read caching functionality
A very readable and understandable breakdown of the write through caching in FVP.  If you are using FVP or thinking about using it this is good info!

Time Scale: Latency References
Todd Mace has done a pretty deep article on latency that is pretty good.  Helps you understand more about how FVP is important.

Interesting Dell iDRAC Tricks
Bob has some great tricks with iDRAC in this article.  I am a fan of iDRAC and use it in my work lab quite a lot but I have not used the CLI access of iDRAC before so it was good for Bob to share!  BTW, congrats on Ezra - you are very lucky indeed!

Successfully Clean Install Windows 10
Many of us will get Windows 10 for free.  That means an upgrade.  But some people will actually not want an upgrade, but rather a clean install.  Some history suggests that is a pretty good idea!  Find out how here.  You can find additional Windows 10 useful info here.

It is here! Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE 1.1 with Windows 10 Support
A new version of the most excellent Veeam Endpoint Backup tool is now available.  It even has Windows 10 support.  Check out the info here.

24×7 IT Connection - Microsoft Introduces Windows Nano Server
I had missed this introduction but it does sound very interesting.  This is a very low footprint server that has no GUI option!  So pretty good for a variety of things I think - like maybe hosting virtualization for example.  Find out more here.

10 major Office 365 migration gotchas to avoid
Some good things to avoid if you are going to migrate to Office 365.  You might guess why I am looking at this!

vBrownBag TechTalks Schedule - VMworld USA 2015
Here is the schedule for this very interesting event.  I will be even speaking at it myself.  Not sure if it will be whiteboard, demo, or preso but I will be there!  I see lots of interesting people on the schedule - like Irfan Ahmad, Cody Hosterman, and Anthony Spiteri.

10 Years
This is an interesting article by Bob on his 10 years of blogging.  That is a pretty big deal.  I did 6 years of a weekly newsletter and that was tough indeed.  I think now I am at 1.5 years maybe for blogging?  And is that hard.  So great job Bob!

Ravello, VEEAM, and the chaos monkeys
Here is part 1, and part 2 of someone’s first adventure with Ravello.  Not quite what we usually see but still is interesting.  I really like Ravello, and I have a number of plans on how to use it - when I invent a bit more time.  Which should soon.

Puppet Fundamentals for System Administrators
This looks like a great course for learning more about Puppet. I quite like Puppet and have very much enjoyed playing with it.  But I really am an amateur with it.  But if I wanted to learn more I think this course would be a great start.

My HP 8600 Pro print-head died
Why share this with you?  Turns out that HP doesn’t make them anymore and if you find them they are a little pricy - almost 200$.  For not much more, or sometimes less, you can buy an 8610 (159 CAD) and it uses the same cartridges so you save.  For a little bit more you get an 8620 (274 CAD) which is much faster, and still uses same cartridges.  BTW, I talked to a guy who has sold hundreds of these printers across the country and he says the 8600 / 8610 are the best of their type available.  Too bad my print-head died otherwise it would have kept printing for a long time.

Apple OS X 10.10.5
As I already mentioned I had an issue with this upgrade on one MacBook Pro.  What I did not mention is that I had no trouble doing it on a MacBook Air.  When I talked with Apple they had no calls on troubles like I did.  This small update fixes security issues and improves compatibility with certain mail servers.  Not sure which ones though.  More info here.  Here is the very brief info from Apple.  Due to the number of, and specific info in the  security updates I do recommend this update much sooner rather then later.

Apple iOS 8.4.1
I had no issues updating three different types of iPads, and two different types of iPhones.  All done via wired connections which I always suggest and recommend.  This update mentions some issues fixed but there is a lot of security fixes too. More info here.  Here is the brief info on this from Apple. Due to the number of, and specific info in the  security updates I do recommend this update much sooner rather then later.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far,


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