Newsletter: September 13, 2015

Hello everyone,

I hope everyone had a great week?  Maybe some fun this weekend?  My wife and I did a long hard hike yesterday.  Very nice, but hard which means long, and a lot of elevation gain, and loss. But a wonderful day.  I am working on upgrading my lab to make sure that all is good with our DataGravity stuff and the new versions from vSphere - and what a release - vSphere 6.0 U1, View 6.2, vR Ops 6.1 and Log Insight 3 for the lab that I need to deal with, but there was other stuff too.  And of course 6.0 Update 1 is pretty exciting.  My next article, early in the week will be about me upgrading my lab to vSphere 6.0 U1.

I recently updated my Basic vSphere 6 Lab Setup with AD connection and VUM articles.  As well I wanted to use Apples Family Sharing option to save us some money when we have to start paying for Apple Music.  It was easy but had an unexpected cost.  So I wrote it all down.

BTW, next week, Saturday we head out for a week of PTO.  I will be in Sedona, AZ (where, what) for hiking and exploring - we have been there before and it is amazing.  If anyone who reads this is out there and is interested in lunch or coffee let me know.  It would be good to meet and catch up.

I have quite a range this week to share.  A very wide range I think.  As always I hope something for everyone.  And yes, I think that this may be a big issue - updates from VMware, and Apple, and a busy world. So I did find a lot of interesting things to share.  I will try to be efficient about it!

PS: sorry about how long this is.  A lot to share.  Hope to be back at a smaller more normal size next week - wait, on PTO next weekend so we will see how it all goes.


Alert: Using Dell Perc H730 with VSAN?
You may have an issue when under load.  Check out the details here.  You now have some work to do.

IT Professionals Day - September 15 2015
SolarWinds is pushing - and good thing too - an IT Professionals Day.  Which for all of us in IT that is pretty nice.  They have a music video on this (which makes me think they know Fred Nix), Thank You cards, and even a contest.  This is very nice of SolarWinds and I think there is likely some fun to be had here.  There is something to be said that it is worth celebrating the unsung heroes of the IT business everywhere.

HOL-CHG-1695 vSphere 6 Challenge Lab
I don’t often talk about VMware HOL labs - even though it is amazing resource for people but this lab I heard about from Paul Gifford - one of content architects - is amazing.  The folks that worked on the lab - Rebecca Grider and Clement Wong researched the top 10 issues that VMware Support deals with in vSphere 6, and built a lab around them - called the vSphere 6 Challenge lab.  This lab is not yet in the public HOL but it might be by the end of the month.  I think that everyone who works with vSphere 6, or is going to, should absolutely work through this lab.  You will learn about troubleshooting, and you will learn more about vSphere 6.  Most excellent work! I hope one day for a lab like this for each VMware product.

vSphere 6.0 U1 CIP saves Admins everywhere
Thanks to William for sharing this solution.  I had not seen any notice of this anywhere.  I am sure you have hit the issue where the Client Integration Plug-in does not work when you hit version 45 in Chrome.  I had run into it earlier then 45 and shared with many of you workarounds.  But I had nothing for a workaround when recently I hit Chrome version 45.  So it means uploading ISO or pass through authentication did not work.  So I am very glad we have an actual solution now. Check it out here.  William talks about it here.

Planning the upgrade to vSphere 6
Here is a very nice article that is worth reading through before you do your upgrade to vSphere 6.  Nice job on it!

vSphere 6.0 Update 1 now GA
Release notes, bits and docs for vC and release notes, bits and docs for ESXi. Some of the exciting stuff in ESXi is stretched clusters, and I/O filter support.  I/O filters will allow partners to access the IO stream from a VM, for replication or caching for example.  Very exciting potential in fact.  In vCenter there is new a Customer Experience Program, lots of fixes, VAMI returned, VUM client support in Web Client and a lot more.  BTW, here is an article on unsupported hardware.  If you want to know how to do a command-line deployment or upgrade of the VCSA in 6.0 U1 check this out. Important Note: check out this KB article before you upgrade as you may be hit with this issue.  This really is a big release so much sure to check out the release notes.  BTW, my favorite fling works fine with vSphere 6.0 U1.

Virtual SAN 6.1 is now GA
I was confused how they were talking about VSAN 6.1.  Considering it is part of ESXi and vCenter and yet they have release notes for VSAN specifically.  I am excited about this release - stretched clusters, integrated health check, and the vR Ops management pack but a little confused.  However, I heard that they have unbundled VSAN from the vSphere train.  Meaning they could release it separately.  I think that may be a little complicated but interesting.  Here is a third party breakdown of this release.

Logging into vC(VCSA) using vSphere Client using pass through fails
If you use your vSphere Client to connect to your vSphere 6 vCenter and you use the check-box to use authentication passthrough it will fail.  This surprised me recently.  You can learn more about this, and a workaround here.  I don’t like editing files like that on the vCSA.  I heard a comment that this may be fixed in Update 1.  I will soon see.

vSphere Update Manager - Fully Integrated UI with the vSphere Web Client
In Update 1, in case you missed it, you have the VAMI back, you have the CIP fixed, and you have VUM completely in the UI.  This is actually pretty exciting for me, and while there is lots else new, these three things are pretty key!  BTW, very nice article Brian.

Supported network topologies for VSAN stretched cluster
VMware has made the stretched cluster very easy, and so it can be forgotten how important the network / topologiy is.  So very important that Cormac has written on this.  So great job Cormac.  In addition, here is a related article - HA / DRS configuration with Virtual SAN Stretched Cluster environment by Duncan.

How VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) will impact your backups
A very interesting article that talks about something that will impact more and more people as VVols become more common.  It will change how backups are done and that is no surprise since VVols is so different.

vSphere Replication 6.1
A big release in that they now support 5 minute RPO, NFS 4.1, and some UI enhancements.  Find the release notes, bits, and docs.  It really impresses me that VMware includes this great tool in most of their editions.  Very powerful utility that many customers don’t even know of.  If you need some help with compatibility since you have a variety of ESXi versions for example you can find it here.

PowerCLI 6.0 Release 1 is now GA
Another great release of PowerCLI.  Here is the release notes, bits, and docs.

vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.3 is now GA
You can find bits, docs and release notes.  This is a patch release.

vRealize Operations manager 6.1 now GA
You can find the release notes, bits, and docs.  Hyperic is now integrated with this version of vROps.  That is why there is agents in the download.  You would install them on the appropriate endpoint and it would provide additional info to vROps.   There is a lot of new things, including Alert annotations.  It also checks Management Packs for cert signatures, and none of them will have the signature at first but it won’t block use.  As people get their management packs rev’ed and certified by VMware, VMware will sign them.  this will help make sure - over time, you do not get a corrupted management pack.

vRealize Operations 6.1
I like how easy it is to upgrade vR Ops.  Pretty easy but some good things to think about before you do your upgrade.  Find all the details here.  This is not the typical vROps upgrade.  There is both OS and application upgrades, plus some things to check.  So make sure to check out Iwan‘s article.

(Rolling) Upgrade to Log Insight 3.0
Steve talks about new features in 3.0 and about the upgrade.  I have upgraded my environment and it was very easy.  I wish everyone had an actual requirement to have easy upgrades.  It is sure nice for us uses.  BTW, here is the 3.0 release notes, bits, and docs.

VMware Data Protection 6.1
Here is the VDP 6.1 release notes, bits, and docs.  It has happened before, and has happened again, but there is nothing new mentioned in the release notes.  I suspect that Update 1 is supported as part of this release at minimum.  This is a very nice tool.  And it includes the agents (SQL, SharePoint, and Exchange) that VDPA used to make you pay for.  So pretty nice.

Horizon View 6.2 is now GA
I shared a bunch of articles on 6.2 in my last newsletter but it is now actually available. So bits, readme, release notes and docs are now available.  I like the Access Server - even if I have not figured out how to upgrade to it yet, but there is really a lot new with this release.  The obvious like VSAN 6.1 support, vSphere 6.0 U1 support, but also things like Win10 and one-Way AD trusts.

User Environment Manager: Persona Management and Profile Unity to UEM
I would love to learn more about UEM.  I am hopeful I can find some stuff in the VMworld library.  But if you are using Persona it may be time to think about moving to UEM.  I do not know enough to say why you should do this other then Persona is going away.  Here is a doc on the how.  Here is a little more on UEM.  Here is more info - where you can learn how to install.

Technical Introduction to Access Point for Secure Remote Access
I know that there is a replacement for the View Security Server in 6.2 and it is called Access Point.  I think that it is a good idea and worth using since it is much more secure and likely needs less maintenance too.  But I am not sure yet about how I upgrade from a 6.1 Security Server to the new 6.2 Access Server.  But here is an introduction to Access Point by a pretty smart guy.

SRM 6.1 is now GA
You can find the bits here, docs, and release notes.  This is a pretty nice release.  There is limited support for NSX, and policy based protection of VMs.  It also supports Update 1 of vSphere 6.  Very nice, and impressive that these releases all came out at the same time.

Virtual SAN beta coming up with dedupe and erasure coding
Duncan writes about the VSAN beta that is happening soon.

Tech Preview of Windows VC to VCSA Migration at VMworld
I was lucky enough to have the time at VMworld to attend Williams tips and tricks session for the VCSA and in it he demo’ed the new Windows VC to VCSA utility.  Looks like a pretty big deal and very handy.  Find an article about this here.

Essential Linux Skills with CentOS 7 - Managing Services with systemd
The author of this article is pretty darn smart.  So when he shares info it is always worth checking out.  And I default to using CentOS and version 7 and I know it is different then I am used to.  So good to find this article.  However, of a bigger deal, is I earned that he did a Horizon View Linux Desktop technical deep dive at VMworld (EUC4825). It is harder then it sounds to do Linux Desktops - in fact it is even odd to find the bits to download!  But I have several developers who would really appreciate Linux Desktops when they come into my lab and I really want to deliver on that.

Quick Tip: Cannot delete ISO on VMware datastore
Interesting article about an issue I suspect a few of us have experienced.  Cannot delete an ISO on a datastore.  BTW I keep my ISO collection on an NFS share.  No issues.

Rapid Provisioning of SQL Server Test Environments with Nutanix
Michael has an interesting article about doing SQL testing.  Plus has an interesting script too.

Smashing traditional storage limitations with SolidFire VVols
My good friend Andy is educating you in this video about VVols and how SolidFire is doing them.  He is in fact one of the developers at SolidFire doing the work on VVols.

Guest Space Saver
With all the stuff I had to download recently from VMware, my virtual desktop disk space almost filled up.  I got an email about it from CloudPhysics.  It let me know that my desktop is likely be filled in a week.  So it was good to know.  I like very much CloudPhysics and I love having them in my lab.  I am using the Free Edition for a while to see what it is like.  It is a little frustrating.  There is a really nice card about Guest Space Saver.  The free edition doesn’t have it.  I used to use CloudPhysics each morning to check on the health of my environment.  It was quick to catch mistakes, miss - configurations, and problems.  Really nice actually.

Open-VM-Tools (OVT): The Future of VMware Tools for Linux
Brian has a good article here on Linux VMware Tools and changes in that space.  Good info actually.  I think good stuff.

VMware Tools 10.0.0 Released
This caught me by surprise but several people explained  how useful this was - thanks Brian.  This means that VMware Tools releases are out of band, and we will know more about them when they are released and that is good.  But here is the full story.  I am hopeful there will be another article soon about how to use these - not just things like VUM support or not (yes), but also when we should use them.  Should we monitor the release notes and only install when we see something important that applies to us, and otherwise just use the built-in VMware tools?

Use RVTools to create an audit trail for your vSphere Environment
A very interesting use of RVTools - which are pretty useful but this is a different kind of use that I had not thought of.  Audit trails.

Protecting the Active Directory Domain Services - Best Practices for AD administration - Part 1,2,3
Here is an interesting series on protecting and recovery of AD.  Part 1, part 2, and part 3.

PernixData FVP Freedom: Setup and First Look
A nice install outline of FVP 3.0 - Freedom edition.  Meaning no cost and with some limitations.  It is very powerful nevertheless.  Thanks for this Anthony Spiteri.  BTW, Todd has the announcement here. If you want to get FVP Freedom for yourself you can here.

Complete Guide to Windows 10
Here is a lot of info on Win10.  I am starting to hear more and more about the privacy issues around Win10.  Heard some folks comparing using third party hacks to disable some of the “spying’ with using Group Policy.  BTW here is the new info on MDOP 2015.

Virtual Machine Storage Resiliency in Windows Server 2016
Some interesting changes in Win2K16 that will help Hyper-V.  I think these are very good changes.

Your AFA is not a hot dog
This is an interesting and entertaining article about how All Flash Arrays are not quite hot dogs.  Pretty interesting.

Administrator Experience Matters!
An interesting article about how Administrator Experience Matters is something I quite agree with.  Experience matters.  In this case it is as it relates to VDI.

DataGravity Visio shapes
You can find them here, or here.  Just in case you want to include DataGravity appliances in your network diagram!

How to install Sysinternals using PowerShell package management
This article is sort of different but interesting.  Install Sysinternal tools using PowerShell.  The fact is I love the Sysinternal tools so it is interesting that you can use PowerShell to install these tools.  They don’t have install programs so this is useful and I had no idea PowerShell could do this sort of thing

Using Exchange Server Features to Prevent ‘Reply All’ Email Storms
I saw this recently, and I think we all have experienced those inappropriate reply all email storms.  Right?

VMworld 2015 Keynotes and Sessions
They say 50 sessions are available from VMworld but there is more added all the time.  See the list. Actually a bit confusing as there is only 29.  Ops.

Creating a Microsoft Certificate Authority Template for SSL certificate in vSphere 6.0
Mike - the vSphere Security dude - has an useful article here on doing the setup for getting an SSL certificate.  This helps you execute safer using a KB article.

Custom certificate on the outside, VMware CA (VMCA) on the inside - replacing vCenter 6.0’s SSL Certificate
I think I know a customer or two that would use this sort of thing - not many I guess but some and so it is good that Mike tells us how.  I think it is WAY more common and will continue that way to replace all the certs with a customer signed cert to make it easier for their end users and a little more secure.

Apple Announcements - Apple TV, iPhone 6s, iPad Pro
I am very excited about the changes for Apple TV.  I will be ordering one for our living room as soon as I can.  The integrated search (in Canada only iTunes and NetFlix), and “what did she say” are the two key reasons.  Find out more on the new Apple TV (and here), even more hereHere you can learn iPhone 6s. More on iPad Pro here. Overview of the event here, here.  Yes, I have purchased already the iPhone 6s.

Apple Dates to remember
Early morning on the 12 you can order a new iPhone.  Wednesday the 16th you will see iOS 9 and watchOS2 updates, and on the 30th you will get El Capitan. Sometime in October we can order the new Apple TV.

Update: fixed the title - now shows correct year!

Thanks for readying or skimming this far!


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2 comments on “Newsletter: September 13, 2015
  1. Chip says:

    Hi Michael,

    Just a quick note readers (and perhaps you) might find interesting regarding vSphere 6 U1 and the CIP issue. After Chrome 45/Firefox 40, to re-enable the CIP on those browsers, one *must* download the updated CIP from either the links provided in the KB, or from the same provided in William’s article. The native download provided by vCenter 6 U1 (via the link at the bottom of the web client login screen), will not work. So grab the bits from either place to make this work again. Note that even after installing the Mac ones, you’ll still get the nagging link at the bottom to “Download Client Integration Plugin”, however all functionality seems to work, and I suspect this is a bug of some sort. Also of note that this updated package (for both platforms) seems to hang while installing certificates and starting services. Openssl is the culprit, but after waiting a few minutes, all is well and the install should complete successfully.

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