Newsletter: November 28, 2015

Hello all,

I hope everyone had a wonderful week and in particular I hope that those who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful time celebrating family and being thankful for the richness of life.

I am usually very productive during the US Thanksgiving as it is so quiet.  That was sure true at VMware but also DataGravity too.  What slowed me down was inefficient Lab infrastructure and a badly cut finger.  I cannot do a whole sentence without spelling issues.  So this will take me a while and it may be shorter then normal.

I did some simple articles this week on redirected folders, Home / Shared folders and a cool trick in the the DataGravity search UI - how you can search for metadata - like in my case looking for the author of a Word document where the author was according to document metadata.  All three of these are results of visiting customers.  I recently had two weeks visiting customers and learned a lot.  It was great visiting so many wonderful DataGravity customers.  I really like showing customers how much functionality our array has that is truly useful and definitely not what people expect out of storage.

At the request of our technical marketing guys at work, I now have a DGTech tag that you can find all of my DataGravity technical articles with.  Also, as part of that, I updated all of the articles so they are current with our shipping GA - 2.1.  Also, one of my cool co-workers - Gabe Maentz who does some very interesting DataGravity articles has done the same - so he has a DGTech tag too.

But lots to share so I should get started - have a great week!


CBT bug in vSphere 6 is now fixed however …
Unpatched vSphere ESXi 6.0.0 has issues with CBT backup which means you will get inconsistent backups and this is widely known at this time.  There is a fix now and you can learn about it here.  I would suggest that if this has held you off upgrading to vSphere 6 and you are now going to upgrade you need to upgrade to vSphere 6.0 U1a and patch before doing backups.  However, that is not enough and you also need to do a CBT reset as well.  This will make sure any of the effects of the bug that still exists is gone, and it will mean your next BU is full scan.  Use this to do a CBT reset (BTW, don’t think that since I use the Veeam web site to show you how to do the CBT reset that this is a Veeam only thing.  It is a CBT thing, so everyone needs to do it).  Note that there is a PowerCLI method which you will likely need if you have more then about 5 VMs. And, BTW, in our DataGravity appliance due to our interesting and unique architecture we do not use CBT to do our backups so this issue would not impact you on vSphere 6 if you used us for your storage and backups.

vCenter 6 Permissions Model changes
This is likely an important wrinkle for some of you after you move to vSphere 6.  If you are providing access to vCenter for non - admin groups / users, you will experience this issue that Rob has found.  For the full info check out his article.  Thanks Rob! (Update: this is due to and related to the upgrade.  Installed from new won’t have this issue - thanks Steve).

If your VMs are running on ESXi 5.5 and there is heavy memory allocation and deallocation in the Windows guest you might be seeing this issue.  You will need to upgrade VMware Tools, or ESXi to get away from this issue.  This has definitely been seen in the wild.

The VMware vCenter Server service 6.0 fails when deploying VM with Panic error
This sounds like an odd error but I do not know much about it.  Not sure how common in the wild.  Not much info in the KB article either but there is a workaround.  Not sure if we should do it by default or wait and see if we get the issue first.

Doing a stretched VSAN design?
Duncan has some very good advice here if you are.  I like how there is a formula to figure out what bandwidth is needed.

Management Clusters - with VSAN
The team I was a part of at VMware was doing management clusters before anyone else - that I was aware of.  But they were not perfect, as they used either the same storage as the production and beta workloads, or their own storage array.  We still had to manage that storage array and the idea of a management cluster is less management of it and more management of everything else.  Of course, VSAN changed that.  Find out more about VSAN and management clusters here.

Auditing Enhanced ESXi 6.0 Host Logs with PowerCLI
I quite agree with the author of this article that it is impressive in vSphere 6.0 the enhanced log auditing.  I normally use Log Insight to check out log files but not everyone uses that tool, so it is cool to see how you can check out this enhanced log auditing using SSH and grep or PowerCLI.  Nice job.

Basic Troubleshooting Guide for View Composer
Here is an excellent resource for dealing with Composer issues, which we all know can sometimes be a little problematic to solve.

Introducing App Volumes 2.10
A video intro to App Volumes 2.10.  App Volumes is application delivery just in time.  And the destination can be VMware, XenApp, Citrix.   I have not used this tool but it seems to be very powerful.  Here is a tech overview.

Which VDI User needs more CPU or RAM - Part 2
You saw last week part 1, and we now have part 2.  Good info to know.  This knowledge of how to understand what you see in vROps is what will help you became proactive.  Would that be most excellent for your users or not?

VMware Identity Manager Technical Overview
A good technical intro - with a odd voice overview - of Identity Manager.  Which is powerful and flexible software.

vCenter / vRealize Operations Manager Dashboard Repository
This is a nice collection of different vROps dashboards and it is very nice to have them in the same place.

vROps: Introduction to super metrics
A nice introduction to one of the super powerful tools in vROps that allows you to create what you need for your environment specifically.  Find out more here.

Manage Hostnames with vRA - Part 1: Understand your Options
This was one of the things I had a real issue with vRA over.  I wanted vRA to use my hostnames and that was very hard indeed.  It was easy to do a simple hostname that no one but vRA could love.  But glad to see there is more options now.

Some good info on VCP6-CMA which is all about vRA and VRO so it is a big one.  You can find some help on learning about this subject area so you can pass the test.

Look out, Batman!  More Dashboards! (PernixData Architect)
An article of some of the things you can expect from Architect.  And pretty useful stuff in fact.

VMware Proposes Securing Data Center Operations at the Virtualization Layer
This PR article is talking about how VMware will one day improve data center security.  And I think it is true but only a piece of the puzzle - important piece certainly.  NSX and micro-segmentation is pretty darn cool.

SolarWinds Free Trials and Tools
This is really quite a big list of useful things that SolarWinds has to share.  The Free Tools are pretty cool - I really like the Server Health Monitor.

IT is your Destiny
This is quite cool of SolarWinds.  Install their software - if you haven’t already, and share a screenshot.  Get a cool T-Shirt.  Info here.

Image-level backups are still the way to go
Luca Dell’Oca has a very interesting article about using CBT, or not, with Veeam.  This also helps puts things in perspective if there is another bug with CBT and what you can do about it.

WordPress gets a Mac app alongside completely rebuilt, open-source
This is good news as I sometimes want to write a blog article when not on Internet.  But I am using the old way to write this article and I forgot I had the new app!  My next article I will write using the new app - if I remember and will let you know how it goes.  It does look good.

Dell SonicWALL TZ500 Firewall Review
This review is about a pretty good firewall that is ideal in a ROBO environment.  Pretty good hardware spec’s I think too.

VMware Samples Exchange goes into beta
This is a pretty cool thing that VMware is doing - a place where scripts (PowerCLI, Perl, etc.) can be shared.  Find out more here.

Setting up an Openstack cloud environment in less than 30 minutes
If you need a little help getting Openstack working you can find it here.  Pretty good info to help you get things working fast and a good way to get an overview of things.

Visualizing RVTools
Gabe has an excellent article here on using info exported from RVTools in an interesting new tool  (new to him and me that is).  Very cool indeed.

Nano Server Microsoft Virtual Academy Training course
I think that Nano servers may be quite useful for us in virtualization and if you want to learn more check this out.  You can learn more here too.

Splunk on the Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor
Dwayne has an article about a new TWP on Splunk and Nutanix.  Splunk is a nice tool for working with logs.

What an Old Dog can teach us
A very nice story, and with a good point too.

Response to Concerns Regarding eDellroot Certificate
If you heard recently about a certificate issue on new Dell laptops it was not really a huge deal but you can learn more about it here.

Synology: Configuring Time Machine and Quotas
Steve has explained how to do something - Time Machine - backups on a Synology for more than one user and also integrated quotas with it.  So pretty handy.

Synology: Encrypting folders
Steve has the info you need if you want to encrypt folders on your Synology device.  Find out how here and here.  BTW, here is a little more info on Steve’s Synology affair.

Introducing vRealize Air Compliance
This is quite an interesting offering that VMware Air has for compliance in the cloud.  See the announcement here.

Tech Field Day - #VFD4 - Dell FX Architecture
Our IT has purchased a number of these FX2 servers and so when I saw this I thought it might be some good learning to share.

What to do when mobile Time Machine backups linger and fill storage space
I know several of you who read my stuff need this help.  Problems with Time Machine using up more space then it should.  I do not like linking to this site as often they start up audio but it is good info.

The iPad Pro Experiment: Traveling with a Pro and Pencil is pretty much the best
It is interesting to see how iPad Pro’s are going.  This is a review by someone who went traveling with it.

The security laws, regulations and guidelines directory
Here is a great resource if you want to learn more about specific regulations or guidelines.  It is very US-centric but it still impacts Canadian companies that are traded on US Exchanges for example.  So very useful info if you are curious what you need to do to protect your infrastructure and users.

Add an IP Address and OS Version Display to the OS X Login page
I hope that this doesn’t work for any of the readers using Macs.  It doesn’t work for me either.  This cool trick doesn’t work if you have encrypted your hard drive.  But if you don’t encrypt your hard drive you can add some useful info to your login screen.

One of my favorite ski places in Canada brags about how they don’t need to make snow (Sunshine) but I am curious how snow is made.  So it is nice to see this.  Thanks Jake.

How to poop like an astronaut
This is a very odd article but it is interesting.  If you wonder how going for a dump changes when there is little or no gravity this article is for you.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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