Newsletter: January 23, 2016

Hello everyone,

A full week at home has been wonderful.  We were even able to fit a Wine Dinner in and that was pretty fun.  I have been working a lot in the lab on migration related stuff.  What a pain.  Working with some powerful new software - new to me that is - called PeerSync.  Pretty nice stuff.

No spare time to upgrade my vSphere upgrade saga so this article is still frustrating for me.  Sorry about that.  It makes me wish I was still at VMware as I would be able to get some great help, and people would learn too!

I did a few articles this week but one that was important is the one about configuring the ESXi Dump Collector.  I know many of you boot your hosts from SD or USB so it is key to deal with this subject!

For those of you who are DataGravity customers or partners you might like this article about why some file content is not indexed.  BTW, you can use this tag to find all my technical DataGravity articles or this tag to find all my articles on searching in DataGravity. I did an article recently on file fingerprints and how useful they are for security, and one of my co-workers did a different article on the subject where his is on duplicate files.  File fingerprints are pretty useful and I think this is just the start for them.  We have a CISO at DataGravity now and that is pretty exciting and useful I think.

I found something recently that I purchased and I am very happy with.  A flashlight - yes, a flashlight.  This one is made for the Military and Law Enforcement market - so a size to fit onto web gear or in body armor.  I am very impressed with it - it is very tough, waterproof to 30 feet, and throws great light.  It cost me less then 70 CAD, and a six pack of the batteries cost me 18 CAD.  They have three models and I bought the middle one - SX21R.  Find out more here.  I know a number of you out there will really like this light!

As a stock holder of VMware, and a big believer in VMware, I am concerned that there will be some big layoffs soon - maybe Monday.  This is not good for VMware at all nor its customers.  I hope that the people impacted are well treated (they were in the past when this happened) and find interesting work quickly.  I wonder if this is an example of how Michael Dell saying he will not impact VMware is not quite right?  Another example for how bad this is - I have done two serious vSphere 6 upgrades - in very realistic labs - and both had issues.  VMware really doesn’t need less people.

I have lots to share, yes - that’s a surprise - right?  So I should get started!

Have a great day, and a wonderful week!


How to download and install vCenter root cert to avoid cert warnings
This is pretty handy indeed!  I do not like doing the extra clicks to get into vCenter Web Client.  See the article on how to avoid this for you, and for all your users.  If necessary, more help for all your users situation can be found here.

How to bootstrap the VCSA using the ESXi Embedded Host Client
A very useful thing to know - how to use the Host Client to deploy VCSA when there is no infrastructure yet.  Very cool, and no surprise it is William who shows us how.  Have I mentioned lately how much I like that Host Client?

BIOS Power Polices Affect Performance
Mark reminded me about this article this week.  And it is a good reminder about how you configure your BIOS for the best performance.

Frequently Asked Questions for vStorage APIs for Array Integration
This is something I heard people wondering about recently.  What is VAAI and this FAQ can help with that.

Virtual SAN and NSX Compatibility
Rawlinson answers this question, which he is correct in saying there is more to it then the obvious yes.  So good info as it is not quite what I expected.

Technical Overview - Virtual Volumes with Andy Banta
VVols is an important subject as it is something that customers have needed for a long time.  Plus it is a big change too in some ways.  So great to have this session by Andy.  I used to work with Andy and he is very smart and this is one of the topics that is near and dear for him.  BTW, here is an article about the state of the market for VVols.

vSphere-6: Part 9 - Installing vSphere Update Manager
In this article you can see how to install VUM, the VUM Download Service and the plug-in.  It should be noted that you don’t normally need to install the VUM Download Service as it is only needed if VUM cannot talk to the Internet.  I am very fond of VUM and even in my home lab I use it for updates and upgrades to minimize downtime and maximize quality.  I also use it for updating VMware Tools and Virtual Hardware.

What is missing from the vSphere Client in vSphere 6?
Here is a list of the features that are not available in the vSphere Client - often called the C# client.  If you are not sure about using the vSphere Web Client, and you should be quite comfortable with it by now, you can check out my article which tells you why I like the Web Client.  And in vSphere 6 it is faster too!

Working with Certificates in vSphere 6?
If you are I have some info to help you.  First check out this article as it gives a good overview, and also helps you avoid the extra clicks accessing the vSphere Web Client.  You can use this article to help you create a Microsoft Cert Authority to assist you in learning about VMware certs. Here is an article about a somewhat common use case - where there is an external custom cert, but all VMware certs on the inside.  All of this is thanks to Mike Foley - the VMware Security super dude. As well, once you are a bit familiar with this stuff, you should check out this article. It provides a toolkit to help with certs in VMware and is thanks to Derek Seaman.  His toolkit has helped a lot of people!

Dealing with a revoked vCenter SSL cert
This is an interesting story in vSphere 5.5.  I have not had to replace revoked certs before.  Not too common I think so good to share the article.

VSAN Stretched Cluster - some possible warnings
Cormac always has interesting articles and in this one he talks about some potential warnings you might see in some stretched cluster situations.

The Road to All-Flash VMware Virtual SAN
I was surprised and disappointed when I heard that some of the new functionality in VSAN was going to be in the all-flash VSAN - meaning the license for all-flash would enable the functionality.  When I asked about it I was told they think that most VSAN was going to be all-flash sooner rather then later.  I countered with the management clusters that I know who use VSAN and why would they need all-flash, or the small offices that I know who do VSAN but it turns out with the price of flash changing so much it may mean that most everyone actually does VSAN with all-flash.  And then I saw this article.

SDDC Architectures: Workload Mobility & Recovery with NSX 6.2, vSphere 6.x and SRM 6.x
Hany Michael is a powerhouse PSO guy, and is famous for his diagrams.  He has a very interesting article - and diagram that is quite interesting as it covers off a teclo application continuity situation.

Virtual SAN 6.1 Stretched Cluster Guide
This was recently updated to enable searching in the PDF.  So if you already downloaded it you should do it again.  This is a handy doc!

VMware Virtual SAN 6.1 Proof of Concept Guide
A team of people worked on this guide.  But this PofC guide is a great tool to get you familiar technically with VSAN quickly.  And it is handy for doing a PofC too!  Well done Cormac!

Moving VM annotation and Notes to new vCenter
If you move your VMs from one vCenter to another you will lose your Annotation and Notes.  You can export and import using some cool scripts so you don’t lose anything.

Radical VMware EUC business ideas
Yes, radical but definitely thought provoking too.  And I think I agree as well.  Check out the article for some interesting suggestions for EUC.

HOW To: P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 6.1
An article about the new release of Converter.  This tool has been around a long time, and has been pretty useful.  Anyone remember P2V Assistant?  Glad that Converter is here now though.

Why is VMware NSX so cool?
I have hung around in the past with one of the NSX guru’s and so I knew a bunch of the cool things around NSX. But I have heard a few people wonder about it.  So it was nice to see this article on why it is cool.

VMware NSX book
A free book on this subject can be found here.  I know one of the authors so that means to me a pretty good book potentially.

Automating Actions in vRealize Operations Manager 
You can see a demo of an action in vROps.  Sort of cool and they are now actually useful!  Here is part 2, and part 3. BTW, for the DataGravity customers out there that read this, and use vROps, it turns out we have actions for you to use.  Let me know.

vROps Webinar 2016 : part 1 - Building Self-Healing Environments with vROps
I mentioned this in the last newsletter I believe but I watched part 1 today.  Quite interesting. See more in this article.  Good stuff and should be a good series!  Thanks for doing this Sunny!

Monitoring Physical Switches with vRealize Operations
Good reminder that more then just virtual machines and hosts can be monitored by vROps.  Background and install / configure info is in the article.

vRealize Operations Manager Tech tips: tip #2
This is quite a useful article.  I suspect many customers will be able to use it to improve alerting in vROps and it is a useful template for other modifications too.  If you are getting alerts about servers running out of disk space that is not quite what you want this article will help you address it.

How to install and configure vRealize Orchestrator 7
This is one of those things that not enough people are using.  So if you want to get VRO working this article can help.

vRealize Automation 7
Jad has a great collection of links and info on vRA v7.  Very handy if you are working with vRA.  Very nicely done.

Replacing Certificates in vRealize Automation 7
While replacing certs in VRA 7 is easier then v6, you still need a little help.  You can find it here.

Introducing VMware Validated Designs
You can see where they announce this and there is a preso that will introduce it to you in more detail.  I am not sure about this.  I suspect it will turn out to be useful for the largest customers that use more of the VMware product but not so much for the rest of us.  But, I will keep an eye on it and if that is not true I will be sure to make sure you know.

Microsoft Exchange Server on VMware vSphere Best Practices Guide
This is just out recently, and covers off Exchange 2016 on vSphere.  I thought it was new but I see a 2014 Copy-write in it so not sure but it is vSphere 6 and Exchange 2016.  It has a lot of info that can help you with Exchange.  BTW, I heard on twitter that Josh Odgers thinks that there will be some debate on all flash and dedupe after you read page 22 - 24.  He is right I suspect!  BTW, just found the actual announcement of this guide.

vSphere 6 Training Course at PluralSight
I have checked out this training myself and quite like it.  It is along the lines of VCP6-DCV so useful if you like to study using video.  See the announcement here.

How to get a free Veeam NFR key
I am very fond of Veeam and I use it in my lab.  So NFR key is pretty important and you can get one - if you fit into a variety of different categories - which many of you do - so check this out.

Veeam 9 Released - what’s in it for Service Providers
Anthony Spiteri has done an article highlighting what is in v9 of Veeam for service provides and indirectly for their customers.  Good info.  He also did an article about what features he though cool in v9.

Ultimate Guide to Version 9
A nice article about what is in v9 that is not necessarily talked about enough in other docs.  Good info that is for sure!

Don’t Hide Accomplishments Behind a Humble Veneer
An important article.  And Chris Wahl is correct about the subject too.  Check out the full article and see if you agree - it is I think and worth remembering too.

Things to consider when choosing infrastructure
A nice article about making informed decisions, and doing the right thing.  Good things to think about!  I love the phrase about avoid tunnel vision - so true.

Cloning VMs - Why less (I/O & throughput) is better!
Another interesting and smart article, by Josh Odgers, this one about cloning and again I think some good points.

Updating Nano Server using Windows Update or Windows Server Update Service
This caught me by surprise.  I had not thought about patching Nano yet as it is not yet GA and I am not playing with it in beta.  Turns out it is a little tricky to update Nano at this time.  It sort of makes sense when you think about it.

SQL Server Perfmon Counters of Interest
This is pretty cool - and if you ever do anything with perfmon and SQL it will help a lot.

Windows Server 2016 Data Deduplication Scales and Performs Better
Some info on dedupe in Win2K16 and I am astounded at what the author gets currently in Win2k12 for dedupe and yet it is going to be improved.

The Nutanix Bible
This extraordinary resource was recently updated.  If you are a Nutanix partner or customer this is something you should be very close too!  Very well done Steven Poitras!

Puppet 4 lessons learned
This looks like a good article for anyone that is going to move from Puppet 3 to Puppet 4.  Lots of useful info.

When back doors go bad; Mind your Ps and Qs
This is an article from a very smart dude at 1Password.  One of the reasons I really like that company is how good they explain things.  Not saying I can follow the whole article, but I do get some of it!

Secret Siri commands: Cool questions you can ask right now!
I like this list - good reminders of the sort of things you can ask Siri.

I recently purchased this software so that while I am on the road I can use my iPad as a second monitor.  Particularly useful for when I do my newsletter, but also other writing.  It does require a reboot of my Mac when I installed it which is uncommon enough to make me nervous!  I will let you know how it goes.  The software is called Duet.

Comparison breaks down all the missing features in Office for Mac & iPad vs. Windows
I have heard people talk of this, and even my wife has complained of it - she after all is an Engineer, and of course they use Excel very seriously and with a PC at work and a Mac at home she lives the differences.  But you can find a breakdown of the differences in this article. It confirms that Excel 2016 on the Mac still doesn’t do PivotCharts or PowerPivot.  BTW, Microsoft just made the Office apps more powerful - some cool stuff actually.  Check out this article for more info.

Thanks for reading, or skimming this far!


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