Newsletter: December 12, 2015

Hello all,

A week in HQ is always powerful.  I sit among the support organization and it is exciting and fun.  I even get to help sometimes.  Plus working with engineering architects is fun too!  But in the last bit of the week I am working on testing migration tools and that has been a lot of fun.  Doing this for internal reasons but lessons learned will of course be shared.

Today is the first time that women get to vote in Saudi Arabia.  Very happy to hear that is finally happening.  In Canada, we are very lucky, on so many levels, and it is important to remember that.

As always lots to share!  Have a great week too.


After update of ESXi hosts to 5.5 U3b or later, vCenter cannot manage them
If you do things ‘right’ you upgrade vCenter first.  And you don’t you see this issue.  But, if you simply update your hosts when VUM has outstanding patches you will see this issue.  The solution, if you have this issue, is to update vCenter.  Which if you are using the VCSA like I am is pretty easy.  See more info here.  Here is the updated release notes for 5.5 U3b.  In my lab I updated my vC which is a VCSA, and then I used VUM to update my hosts.  Easy and smooth.

SSL v3 Protocol Disabled by Default in vSphere 5.5 Update 3b
Update 3b disables SSL v3 by default to support changes in what is considered more secure.  This is in fact, I believe, why we have the problem above when hosts are upgraded before vCenter.  More info here.

SDDC Security Operations class from VMware Education
This sounds like an interesting and useful class.  I hope to take it one day.  Great job Mike!

What is the VMware Client Integration Plug-in (CIP)?
I have explained this to various people over the years, but leave it to William to explain it better! I was very excited when VMware updated the CIP to work even with the drop of the API they used to use for it.  I was also not aware of how many components there was to the CIP.  Thanks for sharing William!

VMware Remote Console v8.0.0 is now GA
This updated Standalone Remote Console now supports the vRealize Automation console proxy.  See the release notes, docs, and bits.  BTW, this is what supports the VMRC console option you see in the Web Client.

How to restrict access to both the Standalone VMRC & HTML5 consoles?
William explains how to block access to the console.  I can see that being useful in a couple of situations so good to know it is possible.

Using esxtop to identify storage performance issues for ESX / ESXi (multiple versions)
Here is an article and video on using esxtop for storage performance troubleshooting.  It is quite a good tool for that sort of thing but it is hard to get started with it.  This article will help.

Installing vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 6.0 U1 on Ravello
I too like very much VCSA and Ravello.  And making the two work together has been difficult.  But Emad tells you how here.  And you need his info if you want to do this.

VSAN Healthcheck plug-in doesn’t need DRS
Duncan clears this up here.  It was a bug and it has been fixed.

Loosing the VASA Provider and / or vCenter in VVols
This is an important article from Cormac. It clears up some confusion and educates.  The Veeam forum link he has is quite interesting too.  There are more storage vendors providing VVols currently then I realized.

Virtualizing Performance-Critical Database Applications in VMware vSphere 6.0
A new paper that looks at native vs. 6.0 / 5.1 in terms of performance and monster VMs and it is very interesting.  This talks of the biggest database type apps working very well virtualized and it is really no surprise as we have been moving in this direction ever since Workstation first shipped.

VMware vCenter Distributed Power Management (DPM) - overview and configuration
I do like DPM - quite a lot.  I have often used it.  Unfortunately, I have found that very few people use it.  It is particularly useful in home labs!  Here is a nice article on enabling and configuring.  He also covers customizing it too which is a good idea in a home lab.   He does not really emphasize something I would - make sure to test the ability to have your servers go into standby, and out, successfully before you do the DPM stuff.

Network Port diagram for vSphere 6.x
I did not see this come out so I was happy when I saw William share it out.  Thanks William I quite appreciate this article.  If you want to learn about ports necessary in vSphere 6.x this is the doc.

Error Cloning HP Custom 6.0 U1 VMware Image
Chris has some good info on making a custom ISO and a problem that is not that hard to run into and how to get around it.

PowerShell Fridays: Snapshots
Some great PowerCLI tidbits on dealing with snapshots and great examples.

Mastering vSphere 6 book for the holidays
I agree with this article. A very nice book to have.  Quite like it. In fact it is in the category where I have both electronic and physical copies.

vRealize Automation v7 series
Jad has a series ongoing of articles on vRA v7.  The root link is here.  I think vRA v7 looks pretty interesting.  He has five article so far but more are on the way.

vROps 6.1 - Installation, configuration, and licensing tips - updated
I have shared this out before, but it has been updated recently.  It has a good collection of tips around vROps.

How to make a Super Useful Dashboard in vRealize Operations
This is an article that teaches you how to make a dashboard in vROps. One of the sources is Blue Medora Management Packs.  Don’t let that worry you as it is still an interesting article if you don’t have any of their MPs.  However, I would like to point out in the first screenshot how SQL databases are at the top of the picture.  What users care about is the services that come out of those DB’s so they should be at the top.  But look at all of the things below them that determine if they work or not.  That is exactly as it should be.  You monitor the application stack.  And I do like the Blue Medora stuff!

vRealize Orchestrator Cookbook: Review
It is a little bit hard to get started with VRO, and it is hard to do certain things with it, but once you get into it, it becomes much easier.  It sounds like, in this review, that this book can help.

Veeam Package for vRealize Orchestrator
This is very cool.  You could do a workflow that provisions new VMs automatically, and depending on some variable they could also be added to a Veeam job.  Because with this your Veeam and VRO get along.  Very cool.  Here is another announcement of this - from Eric’s boss I think.

Veeam VMware Best Practices
In Anton’s weekly forum note I heard that there was a VMware BP document for Veeam and here it is.  Very handy so thanks Anton.  And I do love those weekly notes you do.

Top Questions from recent View 6.2 troubleshooting webinar
You can find questions from the webinar and even the recorded webinar here. Some good info if you are working on View and would like to learn more about troubleshooting.

Horizon View 6.2.1 is GA
This is a small release that doesn’t have much in it.  Here is the release notes. It mostly disables incoming TLS 1.0 and SSL v3.  There does appear to be one fix in it, that applies to Persona.

VoIP, and Videoconferencing on View Desktops in View 6
This is out of the past, but I heard someone talking about making MS Lync working in View the other day and I found this article about it.

Log Insight: Retention System Notifications
Steve explains how retention system notifications work and what they mean.  I have seen them before, and I definitely listen to them.  But I did not know how the cluster changes them.

Log Insight: Reference Architectures
A great set of articles to learn more about Log Insight.  It starts with the basics and moves on from there.  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.  If you read each of them you will learn a lot!  Great stuff Steve!

VCIX6 Certification announcement - Part 1, 2 of 3
So new advanced certification is on the way, and some things are not going to change.  Find out more here and here.  Good news I think.

Discovering private keys and certificates in unsecured file shares and VMs
My co-worker Gabe has a most excellent example in this article of how different, and how useful, data-aware storage is.  Very handy to know where insecure keys and certs are!

My Experience at the Boston VMUG USERCON Dec 8 2015, amazing speakers and 12 home lab giveaways
If you missed this event - like I did - you can definitely catch up on it here.  It sounds like quite event and I am sorry I missed it - so many people that I know and like. I was in the neighborhood too.

Deploying Windows Images with KMS keys
I have only once worked with KMS stuff and it was a little painful.  That is why I like Rob‘s article so much,  it would have helped.

Free SolarWinds VM Monitor works nicely on Win10 to monitor VMware
I talked recently about some of the free SolarWinds tools, but here is an article about someone using one.

New book available: Designing a storage performance platform
Frank is announcing his new book here.  Todd was involved and mentions it here.  I am pretty impressed with it.  I have not completed reading it yet but it certainly is interesting. Recommended.

How to upgrade Veeam Backup & Replication v9
You can get a quick look at the upgrade process for B&R v9 here.  It will be out soon I think.  Looks like a quick easy upgrade too.

A portal into the Planets virtualized datacenters
A very interesting article by the CTO and co-founder of PernixData Satyam Vaghani . But the info is quite interesting, and I think as soon as I have time I need to contribute to it too.  Meaning getting Architect into my lab.

PernixData Architect v1.0 is now GA
Here is an announcement of that and here is an interesting review.  Like I said, I really need to get this into my lab.

Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD Monitor
Here is a review of this most amazing monitor. And it has had several prices drops too so it is actually almost affordable.  I really do not need this monitor, but if I see it I will likely desire it.

Announcing Open Live Writer - An Open Source Fork of Windows Live Writer
I used to know of several people that use Windows Live Writer to prepare their blogs.  It looks like it will not be updated any longer, and so it is good that it is now available as open source.  See this for more info.

So you want to call a meeting?
You better check this out - some good info!

Apple names the iTunes Store’s best music, movies, and more of 2015
This is a pretty good list.  I have gotten good ideas from it, and it agrees with some of my thoughts too.

How to replace your router with an Airport Express, Extreme, or Time Capsule
This is quite a bit easier then I realized.  I have done this before, but manually without the knowledge that it could have been much easier.

Apple Updates
There was a number of Apple updates recently.  Except for the Apple TV one, I have had no issues and that is because I have not been home to test it out yet.  Here is OS X, iOS and watchOS.

Thanks for reading, or even skimming this far!


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