Newsletter: December 19, 2015

Hello everyone,

Another week and even closer to the end of the year and the wonderful Holiday Season.  But, this week has made me really want the wonderful Holiday Season!  You know those problems that confound you, and seem to change as you work on them?  I have one of those.  Much of the week has been spent on it.  Not happy about it.

Is everyone ready for Christmas – at least those of us who celebrate it?  I have one more thing to pick up, but otherwise I am good.  I am spending Christmas with the other side of the family this year and it will be big, with lots of people, food, and wine, and should be wonderful.

BTW, vRealize Automation v7 dropped this week, and I know that is a very big release so congrats everyone!

As another BTW, our company did take out customers to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – didn’t most virtualization and storage companies do that?  But, Friday they took out the staff and so I must say thanks to DataGravity for doing that, but also, say thanks to JJ Abrams and Disney.  Well done.

And yes, another BTW.  We are a big Apple Music and Sonos family.  And my wife, in my absence, has got Apple Music and Sonos working and no complaint at all.  It may be beta but it works for her great.  This is big – we have missed Sonos in our Apple Music world.

Lots to share as always and as always I hope everyone finds something interesting.

Michael

Deploying Nested ESXi is even easier now with the ESXi virtual appliance
Wow.  This is really something that William has done.  If you want nested ESXi can you ever do it easy now. I used to do nested ESXi at VMware for onsite beta labs and it was pretty damn cool.  Very handy.  But it was  bit tricky to get going the first time, and now it would be very easy.  Anyone can do nested now and that is damn handy!  Thanks very much William!

Enhanced Evaluation: vSphere Optimization Assessment
This looks like an interesting service.  It checks out your vSphere infrastructure and can deliver reports to you on the health of it.  It is suggested that it can find performance issues and their root cause, as well as reclaim under utilized resources, and identify misconfiguration too.   Interesting stuff.  I will try and check it out over the holiday break.

Storage IO Control for critical apps is a great idea
An interesting article on SIOC, with some links to learn even more.  I prefer, generally speaking to not use shares – if possible, and so it might be suggested that SIOC is not required.  But in the default mode SIOC will protect from noisy neighbors and that is in fact useful.  But it should still be a considered decision before you enable!

VCSA incorrectly reports SSO as not initialized in VAMI
This is seen if you have an external PSC and not if you have an embedded PSC.  Sort of frustrating.  See this for more info.

What does load balancing the PSC really give you?
William has some important info here on load balancing the PSC and it relates to an important theme in our industry.  We do not do things because it seems right, or because we did it before.  Does it solve the problem is the guide.  And William has some good info around that for PSC.  In the article William shows a hint of a cool script, and then in this later article he talks of that script and how you can use it.  Very cool William, I think that this is great.

Removing stretched VSAN configuration
If you need to do this, there is a few things to think about.  Catch Duncan’s suggestions here.

Virtual SAN 6.1 Licensing Guide
For radically simple software, that works so well, it is really too bad the licensing needs a guide.  And it does.  Here it is.  Can we imagine the impact to the VMware Storage market if VMware included VSAN license costs in Enterprise and Enterprise Plus?

Free elearning course – Site Recovery Manager 6.1 – Fundamentals
Free course is nice, and it is a good way to get started with SRM.

vRealize Operations 6.1 patch
I heard about this patch from Iwan in this article.  Considering the vROps 6.1 release notes were updated with info on this patch you can consider it important.

vRealize Operations Python Adapter – a Hidden Treasure
You likely have seen the Python adapter in the Admin area of vROps, and you likely know it is what supports some of the Actions that are possible in vROps.  But here is more info on the subject and what is possible.

VSAN vROps Management Pack 6.03 now GA
If you have VSAN, and use vROps, then you should use this management pack.  It really makes your experience with vROps more informed.  More info here.

HOL – SDC-160 Virtualization 101: vSphere with Operations Management 6
This HOL is a great way to learn more about vR Ops and vSphere.  An intro level HOL but quite worthwhile.

vRealize Automation v7 is now GA
I heard it here first from Jad. He has a lot of info including a spotlight series so lots of info to help you get started and get going with vRA 7. Release notes, docs, and bits. This is an amazing release and I agree with Jad that it is the biggest from the BU. Something else released that is cool is that you can find Converged Blueprints in the Solution Exchange.

vRealize Automation v7 Upgrade and Depreciated features
Some minor reminders in this KB article.  No surprises and it suggests to visit the upgrade center.

vRealize Automation Upgrade Center
You can use this upgrade center to get help on your VRA upgrade.  It is sort of a specialized access to support but it might be easier then support.  Particularly useful now since VRA 7 is out!  I do like the sound of an upgrade readiness check that is customized for your environment.

vRealize 6.0 and SRM
Thanks to Lee I heard about the fact there is info in the vRealize Suite docs on using SRM to protect vRA.  I did not know this and it is good to share as I expect not many other people knew either!

vRealize Automation and NSX Extensibility Kit
vRealize Automation has currently support for working with NSX, but you can improve and enhance that with a kit you can find here.  This is most excellent and will be quite helpful I think.  Thanks Ray!

vRealize Orchestrator v7 now GA
You can find the bits, docs and release notes. Lots of new in this release.

New Release: VMware Horizon 6 App-Delivery Decision Maker
You can hear about a new release of this tool.  Not sure what to think of it – if anyone uses it I would love to hear what you think.  Is it useful?

Horizon View Desktop Pool does not provision VMs
An excellent article about troubleshooting the View issue of not provisioning VMs.  Very good info on troubleshooting.  The outline that is shown is most excellent for troubleshooting View issues.

Announcing the Virtual Printing Solutions with View in Horizon 6 whitepaper
It is relatively easy to do virtual desktops in View, and a little harder to do apps the first time.  But one thing that I find hard is printing.  So here is an article about a whitepaper that will help.

SSO fails for RDP View sessions on El Capitan
Since I use PCoIP for my View sessions I have not noticed this issue (I do use the View Client on a Mac with El Capitan though).  Find out more in this KB article.

Using a Previously Connected vCenter Sessions with PowerCLI
A number of different methods of connecting, and re-connecting to vCenter are in this article.

VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference: Automating vSphere Administration, 2nd Edition
I have the first edition and it was one of the first PowerCLI references out there.  So it is good to see this new edition.  I have ordered it but have not seen it yet.  It is on Amazon US and Canada at least.

A Few vSphere Data Protection (VDP) Troubleshooting Tips
Jeff has some great suggestions on tips for troubleshooting VDP.  It is pretty well behaved software but as it was created with the involvement of humans it is not perfect.  So a little info on troubleshooting is pretty useful.  I like that almost every vSphere shop in the world gets this software, including even Exchange / SQL / SharePoint agents.

An early Christmas Gift from VMware: vCD UI Announcements
A nice article about changes and improvements in the vCD world – I must admit long ago when I sat in the meetings about vCD become an API managed produc and I was quite skeptical, and wondered how long it would last.  It lasted longer then I expected.

VMware vCloud Director SP 5.6.5 Released – key fixes
You can find all about this here.  Incidentally this is the Service Provider (SP) version of vCD.

Log Insight: Disaster Recovery
Someone asked me about this once – DR for the LI instance they had.  They were using LI for troubleshooting of storage and vSphere, but they were also using it to log events from AD and due to some rules they had the logging from AD could not go down, nor could anything be lost.  So while they could handle an outage in LI with respect to the vSphere world, they could not from the point of view of AD.  We dealt with it in an odd way (multiple syslog log instances) which is not very good but it was good enough.  Now Steve has a much better solution for DR.

What’s New in VMware Identity Manager, Cloud – November 2015 release
Some nice new features in Identity Manger but I notice in the not so fine print this is for the Cloud Edition, and there is no commitment to add these features to the other Identity Manger editions.  Such as vRA for example.  Too bad.

DevOps (for Dummies)
Well done article talking about DevOps.  DevOps really does mean something different for everyone, and in this article you can find what is common and what we can agree on for the idea of DevOps.

Data is corrupted after iSCSI sessions or paths recover in Win2K12
This is an odd KB article.  They say corruptions should occur before you install the hot fix.  But they also say corruption will occur if the outage occurs due to a ‘certain’ issue.  Wonder what the certain issue is?  I Wonder if I should risk it and install the hot fix without corruption occurring?

2015 Flings in Review
It is wonderful to see the Embedded Host Client downloaded so many times – in the Flings year in review.  But than when I think about it I realize it should have been downloaded more.  600k or 650k VMware customers, and everyone needs the Host Client so almost 10k downloads is not so many.  I am not surprised the VMware OS Optimizer Tool downloaded so many times.  Preparing templates for use in View takes time and thought.  And easy answers like the OS Optimizer tool is always appreciated.  Didn’t work out so well for me.  In fact it took more time then if I skipped it.  Do need to try it again though.

Contrasting a Declarative Policy Engine to Imperative Job Scheduling
This article is quite interesting for me as most of my life in IT has been Imperative, but for a course in, and some work with, Puppet, which is a declarative tool. It was one of the things you need to think about and understand when you start with Puppet – and it turns out Rubrik too.

AirSembly by AirVM, a great UI for vCD and vCenter for SPs
This is a big deal for me.  I have worked with vCD, both as a consumer but also as the guy installing.  I could see and use the power, but it was truly complex.  Even when you have some smart people all working as a team it can take a while to get to a state where you can do something compelling and useful.  I have seen a number of small tools that are front ends to help with the complexity, but nothing like what Duncan talks about.  So very nice!

Secret code found in Juniper Firewalls
An interesting article about how Juniper found hidden code in it’s own firewall software that would allow backdoor access.  Worrisome.  But not new I think as there are other examples like this – even if we have not heard of them yet!  Think phone switches, and routers.

Converting in-guest iSCSI volumes to native VMDK
I do quite agree that there should not be any in-guest iSCSI in use for most customers.  Although maybe for playing with clustering.  Find out here how to move from in-guest to VMDK.

Veeam – Windows 2012 dedupe best practices
If you are going to use Win2K12 and a dedup enabled volume for your repository, there is a number of things to think about.  Find a nice list, and a discussion on them here.

Nutanix Platform Expert (NPX): Why we built it and why it matters
This is a nice writeup of why Nutanix has the NPX certification.  And one day, when DataGravity has something like that (maybe a DGX for example) it will be for similar reasons.

Manage more of your Linux with Microsoft Operations Management Suite
This was interesting to see – managing Linux in MS.  MS is a really different place today – and I like the change.

Preserving VSAN + Dell Perc Critical Drivers after ESXi 6.0 CBT Update
A nice article on how a VMware update updates and breaks something in VSAN.  Good reminder.  One of the comments is about how to do the Dell driver update.  The way mentioned is via esxcli but I do it via the Dell OM Plugin for vCenter.

Release for CentOS Linux 7 (1511)
This is an updated CentOS to account for RHEL 7.2.  See more here.

Rene’s Best Tech buys of 2015
A pretty interesting list of tech.  I may have some of what is on that list!  Interesting collection, and from the same people here is a gift guide.

Trisect speeds relevant expert identification with DataGravity
Trisect is one of the customers of DataGravity, and they did, with some help from us, a video and blog about being our customer.  Very cool and a nice job on the video Trisect!  Another example of something you can expect from data-aware storage.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!

Michael

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