Newsletter: October 17, 2015

Hello all,

I hope everyone reading this is doing well?  An interesting week for you I trust.  I worked in the lab a big chunk of the week on something out of the future that resisted me with all its might.  Next week is in DG’s HQ so I will school the technology - hopefully - to work with me better.  A week ago our kitchen lights stopped working.  Turns out that a power cable in the wall is likely the fault.  With me leaving soon we don’t have time to fix this.  Will take a couple of days and some holes in the walls.  Lovely.  And tonight we have a dinner party - we will be handing out headlamps.  Wow!

I did an article on my View 6.2 upgrade.  Nice I do not have to use the Access Point until I am ready.  I don’t have the Touch ID working yet but I am looking forward to it!

I am implementing encryption and digital signing for my email and the article should be out soon on that.  Pretty cool.  Also working on Persona in the lab and will document that too.  Especially the frustrating parts.

BTW, was in the mountains last weekend - it was Canadian Thanksgiving so it was three days long and wonderful.  Some amazing hikes.  Internet was poor, and three days of hiking was bliss.  So that is why no newsletter last weekend.

Lots to share this week, and as always I hope something for everyone.

Have a great week,


Heads up! Backing up a virtual machine with Changed Block Tracking enabled fails in ESXi 6.0
I agree with Michael that there is a little more of this sort of thing happening.  Meaning people are starting to upgrade to 6.0 and discovering this issue.  If you do upgrade to 6.0 you should make sure to update it to include the latest patches.  But a better idea in my experience is to upgrade to 6.0 U1.  If you cannot do that maybe you could think of doing VUM updates right after the upgrade, or maybe create an image that includes the patches?

vSphere 5.5 Update 3a now GA
Here is the the bits and release notes.  This is an important update, no one should be using Update 3 but rather Update 3a.  New in this release is a variety of thing but interesting is that the PVSCSI adapter is now certified for use with MSCS.  Remember a number of folks in the wilds of the Internet - including me - think that you should be using the PSVSCSI adapter whenever you can.  Some info on it can be found here, here, and an KB article here.  The resolved items in this update is significant.

Building a Stretched Cluster with Virtual SAN
Duncan’s and Rawlinson’s excellent presentation on building a Stretched Cluster is now online and I understand it has been updated as well.  Definitely an excellent resource.

Logging in to the vSphere Web Client using admin@system-domain fails with error password expired
This is something that a few of us have experienced.  But normally you can fix it by using a different account to change the password on the admin account.  I consider it a best practice to have a second account that has those sort of rights (admin) in the SSO area.  However here is another way to deal with this issue.  This is a 5.x solution although my suggested BP is both 5.x and 6.x.

vCenter 6 upgrade: Source vCenter Server schema validation found an issue
During an upgrade from 5.1 U3 to 6.0 U1 an error was found while trying to update vCenter.  I should say that no one should update to vCenter 6.0 but rather - as this fellow did - to vCenter 6.0 U1.  It sounds like there is a chance that others might run into this problems so his info on how he got through these issues is useful.  Plus it is interesting too!

Dedupe and Check-summing in VSAN beta, what about Compression? Yup!
This is pretty cool.  I was excited about this beta already so adding in compression is pretty cool.  VSAN is growing fast indeed!

Email alert is not received when alarm is trigger in vCenter 6.0
This is tricky and frustrating.  If you used a semi-colon to separate your email destinations in an alert there will be no alerts sent - you must use a comma.  See this for more info.

Bug Life:vSphere 6 Network I/O Control & Custom Network Resource Pools
A good article about a current issue in using NIOC in vSphere 6.  Incidentally, I agree that NIOC didn’t need any changes, and I prefer using shares too!

VM startup and shutdown configuration settings are different between vSphere Web Client and vSphere Client
This article explains how settings in this area may not be reflected properly in the other client and as a best practice do any changes in this area only in one client or the other.  This is mostly irrelevant for most users since as soon as you have a cluster the startup order doesn’t count.

UEFI PXE boot is possible in ESXi 6.0
I like UEFI as I know that my Mac uses it and it boots fast and has some fascinating capabilities during boot if I need them - I can reinstall my OS over the network during boot if I want for example.  But normally my boot is VERY fast.  I knew that VMware supports this for VMs but did not know it was supported for ESXi.  So a great article by William explains a lot.

vRealize Automation 7 - vRA7 - Announced - Get a look at what’s to come!
This is a huge release of vRA.  I have long had a hate / love kind of relationship with vRA.  I loved what I could do with it when I finished installing but I did not like the setup at all. It has come a long way indeed.  Quite exciting in fact.

What’s New with VMware Horizon 6.2
This is the start of a series on what is new in Horizon 6.2.  You can find part 1 and part 2 so far.  There is really a lot of stuff in fact in this release.

Horizon Collector for Mac - new fling
This looks like a very nice fling that will help a lot with getting all the different logs from a Mac View client perspective.  It can even upload the logs to GSS!

VMware User Environment Manager
This is something that fascinates me, but I do not know much about it yet.  But there is a video series that will definitely help you learn more about this.  It is possible that it will replace Persona but I am not sure.  I need to watch the videos myself!

Log Insight: Bootstrapped Nodes + Cloning
I have seen this sort of behavior, and while I did not know what Steve does, nor what he wrote about on this subject in this, I still said not good and do the install - its not hard or complex.  BTW, while we are talking about Log Insight, Steve has a great collection of resources on it you can find here.

Building minimal vSphere demo lab using VMware Fusion / Workstation with only 8 GB memory?
This is really amazing.  I had seen Williams demo from VMworld when it was all in his Mac Book Air.  So very glad to see the info here on how.

The Right Tools to take Advantage of the Hybrid Cloud Gold Rush
This article talks about some of the new stuff in the Cloud space - vCD 8, but also some interesting functionality for Air such as Air Monitoring Insight.  BTW, if you want to see the version history of vCD check this out.

What are the VDI options for Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor?
This was interesting to see as I did wonder about this recently.  I had a wonderful chat (and dinner too in fact) about Nutanix before VMworld USA with a very smart guy - Lane, and I am looking forward to working with Nutanix gear one day - hopefully.  I was talking with a customer recently about Nutanix and I realized there is really a lot of people I know that work there.  And everyone is very smart indeed.  Nutanix has done a wonderful job of attracting the smartest people.

RDP 8.0 (UDP) vs PCoIP
Very interesting stuff by Chris in this article comparing the two protocols.  Good general info but also some good info on RDP 8 I did not know.  Chris has another very interesting article about the worlds largest (maybe) ESXi logs.

Getting Over Taxis
Thanks to Kit, I found this most interesting article about taxis and Uber.  Very well done article and it certainly brings some clarity into this space.  And to think in my City the Mayor is saying Uber is “illegal” and people will get in trouble if they use it.  Actually what I hear is they get very friendly drivers in nice cars and love the service.

Install SolidFire PowerShell module with Group Policy
This works great for installing the SolidFire PowerShell module but it is a very good reminder of how to do GPO delivered software installs.

VMworld TV
You can find all of the VMworld TV stuff right here.

How-To: Make your Mac run silent, cool and fast under OS X El Capitan
Some good info in this article if you want to learn a little about your Mac and making it quieter if you have fans running a lot for example. But some other good info too.

Review: Sony’s MP-CL1 updates a proven HD pico project with a thin, Apple - friendly shell
I know that a number of my readers are in front of customers.  This is a very small and very portable projector that I could see being very handy on SE customer visits.  A great price too - 350 US$.

Windows Insider Preview: Nested Virtualization
An interesting article about nested virtualization in Windows virutalization.  This is great stuff for people learning about virtualization, or said another way this is enabling technology since it lets people do things in their labs that maybe they don’t have the gear to support!

Network Connect Hangs on “Establishing secure connection …”
I do not use a VPN too often as I can View into my labs, but sometimes I do.  And I know that it can be frustrating.  The best VPN experiences I have are when I use the Mac Cisco client to connect to either Cisco or Palo Alto Networks VPN.  Zero issues in that case.  But when I use something else I often have issues.  Just like Steve does in this article.  He has an interesting issue to talk about.

Modernizing Laptop Management
An interesting but relatively vanilla article about managing laptops and mobile devices but it does have some interesting info.  I like how Windows 10 can be managed the same way as as Windows smart devices.  That is big indeed.  On the Apple side OS X 10.11 can now be managed the same way as iOS devices.    This too is big.

Time to get rid of Flash
There is a serious vulnerability in all the different current flash versions and platforms.  So get rid of it!  Here is how for a Mac, and here for a PC.  I am sure that it will be fixed shortly but this has been happening too often!  Here is a little more on this vulnerability.

PuppetConf 2015 Wrap-Up
A nice wrap-up of the PuppetConf.  Rob presented there as well and I look forward to seeing his session.

Correct Misaligned VMDK
A great article on correcting the issue with misaligned VMDK.  This is less common if you are using mostly modern OS like Win2K12 and Win7 you will not have this issue.   In the article it is an NetApp array so they have a tool.  But there are other tools available.

Enterprise hotfix rollup for Win 7 SP1 and Win Server 2008
This is a little odd but I have heard from several people that this hotfix rollup speeds login to a domain noticeably.  I have not tested but I think it worth trying!

I got the new Phillips Hue HomeKit lights, and I love them!
If you have the Phillips Hue lights, you can purchase a new controller, which is HomeKit  compatible, and than you can have Siri control your lights if you like.  Check this out, lots of info.

Apple adds Bluetooth 4.2 to iPhone 6, 6 Plus and iPad Air 2
This was recently done and it provides a serious speed increase - see more here.  Not sure who needs that speed increase - other then my car as when I pair the first time it takes quite some time - as it downloads all my contacts.

Converged Data Management Unwrapped - API - Drive Architecture
I absolutely love API driven architecture.  Cisco did it for UCS.  I always found UCS confusing and sometimes frustrating to work with.  I remember visiting a customer with EMC who thought the same thing.  So they made a new UI for it.  Not a major work and it did not take long.  And did it ever make things better!  So when I saw Chris Wahl’s article on API drive architecture I was already in agreement with him!

Designing with intent
A very important article by EC Banks.  I believe I met him recently as he was in our office for a briefing but I am not sure.  But this article he did in designing with intent is very important and I know many people who need to read it, but they may not learn from it though but they should.

The Inside Story Behind MS08-067
Here is an interesting story behind an MS patch.  Fascinating actually.

How to see what’s using battery life on your iPhone or iPad
Someone was asking me about this recently so it was cool to find this article with some good info around this.  Apple has made some good improvements in this area lately.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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