Newsletter: January 10, 2016

Hello all,

It has been quite some time since the last newsletter.  Christmas and New Years was at my in-laws and it was quite busy.  Plus I have been on the road really a lot.  Of course what that means is I have a lot to share today!

Incidentally, I had a tough issue recently and I share it here. It was a tough one but I think it likely you will not need the info.  I had some relatives experiment with rubbing fingers in their eyes after they run their hands through a pepper push.  Wow, hilarity ensued.  Story here.

BTW, I saw this that Irfan from CloudPhysics did on the Internet of Data Centers.  It was pretty interesting and I think he has some very good points.  I love the phrase, and what it stands for - that Irfan name Data Center Exhaust.  This is powerful data that can provide endless different views of information.

Someone asked me what I thought about the NetApp & SolidFire thing.  You can see what SolidFire thinks here.  What I think is I know a number of really good people in both companies, and I hope things are handled well. SolidFire is a class act and I don’t want that impacted either.  I do see the possibility that this goes very well for both employees and customers but we will see if that happens. I certainly hope success as that is best for customers and employees.

The most recent movie I saw was Sicario and it was pretty good. A little rough around the edges but interesting.  And yes, I have seen the Force Awakens twice.  The time on the IMAX 3D was pretty good!

Have a great week!


VMware vSphere 6.0 Update 1b Released
I saw this first about this update - which has a lot of things in it - a nice improvement for patching but also a lot of fixes too.

Heads Up: Do Not Upgrade VMware Tools on Hosts with 6.0 U1b
Michael learned this on his test gear before 6.0 U1b was in his production environment.  It is a good way to do things.  The issue is if you upgrade VMware Tools in the template that is Win2K8 you will not be able to deploy virtual machines from that template.  I would not be surprised if this happened on Win2K12 as well.

VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Update 1b
Iwan has a nice breakdown of updating to vCenter 6.0 U1b.  And I strongly agree that it is key to do the PSC before vC as I had not done that before and it did not work!  I notice that the release notes have been updated after the release.  That is good to know as if you have looked at the release notes on the day of release you should check them again!

Why upgrading ESXi 5.5 U3b to 6 fails
Interesting article about a bug that would have or maybe did in fact, impact a lot of people.  It is good to see the article updated to say 6.0 U1b solves the issue.

How to bootstrap the VCSA using the ESXi Embedded Host Client?
This is great info to have.  Very handy in point of fact.  Thanks William!

Is vSphere Performing Well?
Iwan has an excellent article looking at how to answer that question.  It is all about logs, and Log Insight.  Nice job!

Best Practices running VMware with NFS
Here is an article with all the necessary info on running NFS with VMware.  Good info and all in one place.

Windows Server 2012 fix is out for the VCS to VCSA Migration Utility
I do know one or two customers that are waiting for this so it is good to see! Thanks William.

Technical Paper: Installing VMware ESXi 6 Using PXE
I have done a lot of work in the past on Auto Deploy.  So that includes using PXE boot for my hosts.  It is a little tricky, but it is also sort of cool.  You can find more about using PXE here.

Completely Disable Time Sync for your VMs
A nice reminder about time and VMs.  While I already knew what is talked about in the article, I did not know there was a vRO workflow available to help fix this issue if you need help.  I would like to think that most of you reading know: 1) ESXi hosts NTP points to a source for time (or three of them actually) and 2) your PDC Emulator points to those three same sources.  I used to hate the projects to find time related issues, but I loved fixing them!

Using Template Host for Consistent Network Configuration in dvSwitch
I had heard about this feature, but I have not seen it yet so it was good to see it talked about in this article.  Sounds handy - it will really help with the configuration of hosts moving into a dvSwitch.  Which might help reduce human errors.

Where do I run my VASA Vendor Provider for VVols?
A really good article answer this question but also provides lots of good info.  And some good questions to talk with storage vendors about too.

VMware Tools upgrade using VMware Update Manager
A good reminder that you can in fact use VUM to update VMware Tools.  This only works, I believe, if you are not using VMware Tools versions that don’t ship with ESXi.  Which is most of you so this is useful for most of you.  What I mean is if you are using a Shared VMware Tools location, and it has the same Tools in it as your ESXi hosts do you are good to use the info in this article.  If you are not using Shared VMware Tools, and have not introduced VMware Tools from outside your hosts you can use this article. If you have downloaded VMware Tools from VMware, and have deployed it with whatever tool you like you cannot easily use VUM to update those VMware Tools but you can in fact use your tool that you originally deployed them with.

vSphere v6 - Series
Here is an introductory series on vSphere 6.  Mostly basic info but it will get you going.  It is missing the real world stuff - like the configuration of SMTP in the vCenter setup, or basic alarms that should be done.  But it still gets things working and steps you through it.  Here is part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, and part 7.  I sure wish he used tags so I could just reference one thing!

HA Simulator: What will happen to your VMs
This is interesting as I had forgotten that VMware had an HA Simulator that people could use to test their environment.  Do you have enough resources to restart all the VMs you need to?  Find out here how to determine if you do or not.  I hope that they build this into the product one day.

VMware Virtual SAN Security Zone Deployment
A great crew of folks have done an interesting document.  I quite agree that VSAN is a great idea in a DMZ - it helps keep thing simple, but also completely containerized.  Thanks Jeff - and Mike and Rawlinson too!

Performance Charts service returned an invalid response
If you cannot see the overview performance charts the solution is in this - at least for the Windows vCenter.  I think that this is as a result of an upgrade but I am not sure.

VMware OS Optimization Tool Updated
This is a most amazing tool - it will help you tune an OS to be in the ‘best’ state to be a virtual desktop.  I have used it on my View desktop templates.  The past version was a little tough - it took a fair bit of learning to be safe.  It looks like they have made some changes in this new release that will make it a little safer.

What’s New in Linux Desktops in VMware Horizon 6.21
Not sure how many people use Linux Desktops in View, but they have been improved in 6.21.  For example, single sign on is now supported!  But find out more here.  I have been short on time for a while, but I think I need to get one of these going.

GPU Should be Optional for VDI
It makes me smile that Sean had to do this article. I quite agree that GPU should be optional and not required in VDI implementations.  It is that old idea - what is the problem you are trying to solve?  Or how about “it depends” - as I have not investigated yet what is required to be successful?

VMware Access Point Deployment Utility
As you might remember recently VMware released an update to View that included a new form of the Security Server - called the Access Point.  So a much more secure option then a Windows base Security Server in the DMZ.  But as a result of the security it is a bit harder to install.  Now that is a VMware Labs Fling to help deploy it - find it here.

App Volumes Performance and Scalability Testing - Reference Architecture now available
It is good to have reference architecture available for this technology - it helps both people that know a lot and that know a little be more successful.  And I have been to St. Maarten, but did not see any big planes land.

New Health Monitor tool for vRealize Suite: vRealize Production Test
I had dinner with Kim last night and so I remembered about this tool.  This is a good way to make sure your vRA or vROps is installed and working appropriately.  It is very scary for me that it needs Java to work.  I have not had much luck with Java for this sort of thing.  I hope to test this tool this weekend but time is slipping away from me.

New Book - VMware vRealize Operations Essentials
This new book is about installing, configuring and getting started with vR Ops. So pretty good actually for people starting out. It even covers off management packs which are important and even VMware Infrastructure Navigator (VIN) which I quite like.  While I only have browsed this book, and read here and there, I like it. Amazon Canada, Amazon US.

SRM 6.1
I was talking with someone about SRM - and yes, how much I still like it - and how I need to get it into my lab.  I did not remember what the latest version new features where at the time - so here is a reminder on that.  It has really come a long way!

Updated NSX Design Guide
The NSX design guide has been updated and more can be found here.  Pretty important resource if you are working with NSX.

Windows Server 2016 - What is the difference between Standard and Enterprise Editions?
This is an interesting article.  It breaks things done nicely and it shows why people are a bit surprised, disappointed and worried about the cost changes.  But this is not official info yet, so it might change.

Virtualizing SQL
Thanks to James I saw this video and it is pretty informative on SQL on VMware. I suspect that many of us have installed SQL on VMware and it worked fine.  But if you want, there can be a lot more improvements that will allow you to do even more to make SQL on VMware better then on hardware.  Another good SQL video is here.

How to backup SQL Server transaction log
Here is the info on how to backup properly your SQL server.  Pretty interesting actually and also useful.

Veeam 9 - Important Cloud Connect Upgrade for VCSPS
It is nice to hear that Veeam is having the Cloud providers upgrade their Veeam v8 before the customers get it.  Very nice.  Some good info on the upgrade in this article.

Veeam Endpoint Backup Free - Overview and Installation
A very useful tool - which is free - and easy to use.  Nice.  Find out more here.

How to optimize replication traffic with Veeam
A nice article on getting started with understanding replication traffic when using Veeam VM replication.

How to add PowerShell Prompt Here to a folder
This is quite handy.  Remember the Open Command Prompt here available when right + click on a folder?  Now you can have Open Powershell prompt here.

The Datanauts Show
Here is mentioned about a PowerShell version of the Datanauts.  Which is in fact a pretty good episode on a pretty darn good podcast.

Want to learn about OpenBSD
You can, and you can start here.  Thanks to Scott Lowe for this tidbit.  This is right up his alley so confident it is interesting.  And it is.

Unlimited Replication for Instant Recovery Anywhere
Here is the brochure from Rubrik on disaster recovery.  Nice stuff.

Want to learn more about ZeroStack?
I saw a slide deck from an event where the deck was about ZeroStack.  I only knew a little about ZeroStack, and mostly because of a friend (Justin King) who went there, but the slide deck was pretty interesting. Here is the event which has video and demos. Definitely an interesting solution.

Getting Started with Nutanix Community Edition…
This is a very nice article on getting CE working. I like the video too!

LogMeIn now owns LastPass - how to migrate to 1Password
I do believe that 1Password is the best option for creating and managing your passwords - particular if you need to access them on multiple devices.  And I do agree that LogMeIn owning LastPass is likely not a good idea.  So a useful article.

CTO Advisor - CloudPhysics - 019
The CTO Advisor - Keith Townsend - talks to Irfan and company about CloudPhysics and its product. Find it here. Irfan always has great stuff to share. I had a great chat with him and Chris right before Christmas.  I hope to write about it soon.

A free tool for recovering Lost Product Keys for Win10 and Win2K12R2
This is a very handy little tool.  I have used an earlier version of it so I am glad it is still around and being upgraded.  Check it out.

2015 was VMware’s Year of Living Dangerously
Interesting roundup of 2015.  Some definitely interesting questions and points.

The 1 Habit of Successful People
I like this article - made me laugh.  I hope it doesn’t mean I am not successful.

Here’s why you should turn on two-factor authentication
If you are thinking about enabling two-factor authentication you can find info on that here.

Six ways to increase your iPhone and iPad security in 2016
A nice list of things to be aware of if you want to improve or maintain your iOS device security.

10 tips for Apple Watch users
Here is a list of 10 suggestions that you might find useful if you are an Apple Watch person.

Alternatives to Apple’s Wifi Base Stations
An interesting article to alternatives to the Apple Wifi stations.  Some good research.

Secret Siri commands; Cool questions you can ask right now
Some of these are actually useful and some are just entertaining.  But check out the list.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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