Newsletter: February 24, 2016

Hi there,

Hope all is well with everyone?  Things very good here.  Been out in the mountains and desert and having a great time.  Taking a day out for laundry, dishes and shopping.  So thought I should do a newsletter too as the info builds up!

I updated a number of articles lately, including this odd one, and even a few new ones, like this one about connecting to a View desktop that is white or this one about an issue with Support Assistant (see all the Support Assistant articles with this).

But I do have a fair bit to share, so lets get started, and have a Great Week!


Alert: After upgrading from vSphere 5.0 / 5.1 to vSphere 5.5 U3 or vSphere 6.0 U1b vMotion may fail with a memory error
This issue can be very irritating – vMotion is not always something that humans do, but rather, for example, DRS does.  So you may not easily know that this has happened.  It may present on a variety of different symptoms.  You can avoid it by being very current on your vSphere 5.5 patches.  It has been solved very recently.  Thanks to Anton for this.

Alert: Storage PDL responses may not trigger path fail-over in vSphere 6.0
Again, thanks to Anton, I learned about another serious issue if you upgrade from vSphere 5.0 / 5.5 to vSphere 5.5 U3 or vSphere 6.0 U1b you may experience this issue. vSphere may not fail over to an alternate, available path if the original fails.  There is no solution currently for this issue but the KB article will be updated when there is.  I would like to add that I have heard of a few issues like this – meaning after the upgrade – and it makes me think we should in fact do a destructive upgrade that is not an upgrade but a new install.  That is a little more work, and you lose some performance history, but it would avoid a number of issues.

The 10% rule for VSAN caching, calculate it on VM basis not disk capacity!
Prior to 6.2 I always looked at the total amount of consumable disk space I had, and used 10% of that to calculate my SSD requirements.  Simple, and workable.  But in 6.2 things need to change to be more accurate.  Find out more here.  You have heard elsewhere that VMware is pushing the All-Flash version by adding features to it not available in the non – All-Flash one.  The fact is I believe that All-Flash is the way to go now.  You still need to figure out the cache % but now it will just be more performant (just learned it is not really a word) higher performing SSD compared to your capacity SSD.

VSAN 6.2 – RAID-5 and RAID-6 configurations
Another great article by Cormac, this time talking about what RAID-5 and RAID-6 actually means to customers in VSAN 6.2.  Some good info!  BTW, I missed his part one on this subject which you can find here. Both these articles will impact your VSAN designs.  Worth reading.

Check your VSAN disk controllers against the HCL using PowerCLI
This is pretty cool – you can use PowerCLI to see if your current disk controllers are compatible with the HCL for VSAN.  Very easy and very nice thanks Duncan and Alan.

New TWP – What’s New with VMware Virtual SAN v6.2
Here is the technical white paper you need if you want to learn more about VSAN 6.2.  Very nice job Jeff and Jase!  BTW, here is a very nice article on the same subject!

vSphere HA deep-dive 6.x available for free!
Duncan has shared here that he will provide the HA deep-dive update for v6 for free.  As someone who owns at least one or two copies (hard copy and electronic) of his previous versions I thought it was nice that he was doing this – so thanks very much Duncan.  However, now, I am more impressed and appreciative of how he has shared it.  You can find the online version here, and it is very cool.  I have the ePub version on my iPad (and Mac) and it looks great. And I love how it (the web site) is dynamic, that as Duncan writes, and someone reviews, it can just show up on the web page.  If there was a click to donate Duncan, I would be very happy to! I would love to see more technical books done this way – and certainly let them charge for it, but this would mean that the books would be more accurate, and in fact could be more easily updated too – for new releases or fixing errors!

vCenter Server Appliance Backups
I knew for a long time that you can do a image backup of a VCSA (back when it was called vCSA I actually tested it) with no problem – including of course the restore too.  And it worked, but was not sure why, I expected little issues but got none.  But here is the reason why – check out this article.

Unable to add Active Directory users to roles in VCSA
This issue can occur in the VCSA when trying to add permissions for an AD user, but also in vRealize Automation as well.  This happened to me but the article did not help me solve my issue – as documented here.

vSphere 6.0 snapshot consolidation improvement update
Last week, or actually I should say in my last newsletter I mentioned about the new snapshot consolidation was pretty fast, and even mentioned some numbers I got elsewhere, but now here is an article that has more detailed info and specific numbers on the improvement.  Pretty darn good!

vSphere version via the CLI
Someone watched me do this recently and was a little impressed.  Not sure if it is commonly not known, or commonly known, but you can get the version / build info of a vSphere host when working at the command line with the command – vmware -vl . Shows build, and version info – so when I did this on my own host to confirm it worked I got build 3380124 and Update 1.

Network Troubleshooting with VMware Native Tools
A simple, but interesting troubleshooting article using native VMware CLI tools.

Improving log-in time for floating desktops in DaaS and Horizon View
Here is some good info on improving the log in time for floating desktops. Not too much config change, but quite a log in change.

SRM 6 Upgrade: Not Connected to SRM server
Here is a nice problem / solution kind of article, and one where I used the solution in it for a different problem – one I had after an upgrade of my VCSA!  Thanks very much Chris!

Blueprint Samples for vRealize Automation
Here is an article about the sample blueprints you can download.  This is pretty cool and I hope it becomes a popular way to share things.

Announcement: GitHub repo for common vCenter roles
This is a great idea that Rob Nelson has – PowerCLI scripts to create roles in vCenter that are exactly what is needed – so much better then using Admin for everything!  Thanks Rob.  I hope that everyone can support Rob in this!

Want to learn how to use Git?
Check out this learning, it is pretty well done!

Learn more about Workspace ONE?
You can start here if you want to learn more about this interesting product.

Insights Into ….
Frank has been playing with Big Data.  The PernixData Cloud has really a lot of data on vSphere systems – literally thousands of hosts.  Look what he has found in CPU & Memory, and in VM Density.  Fascinating stuff.  It also reminds me about his Memory Series too.  More great stuff.

Real Single Sign On with VRA v7
I love SSO, and if you are using VRA v7 and don’t have SSO for it then check this out!

VMware GSS KB article new article site
You can find here the most current list of new KB articles for the most recent week.  Good thing to check every now and again to see what is going on.

Veeam v9 – Scale-out Repositories
An excellent article on a new feature of Veeam v9 that I think will be very good for customers – Scale-out Repositories.  Very nice improvement.  Veeam v9 is really a powerhouse release, which is interesting as v8 was already pretty cool!

Practice Exam: Veeam Certified Engineer v9
Would you like to test your v9 knowledge?  Or maybe become certified?  Find out how in this article.

VxRail – I like it!
My work lab at VMware, and at DataGravity was built on Dell R710, R720 hardware and that was my choice.  Really good hardware and in the form of OpenManage for vCenter really good management software.  However, if I need to do a new work lab, I will be looking hard at the VxRail hardware.  I like very much the look and sound of it.  The feature set is rich, and the price seems reasonable too – 60k US for one unit of four nodes.  I do not know – and can’t seem to find out – if that includes VMware licensing as well.  But it has RecoverPoint for 15 VMs included, and 10 TB of cloud space so it sounds pretty good to me.  If I was still at VMware, I would be pushing hard to get one!  See Duncan’s comments here, and Chad’s here.  Both very good reads.  Be assured that I am interested enough in this hardware / software I will watch for an opportunity to play with it and let you know how it goes!

VSAN POC – Customer reactions
I love this article and I am not surprised at all.  I love VSAN and am not surprised at all with its success.  If it was not so overpriced, it would be even more successful.  I should mention though I do understand if you compare it to the storage system it is replacing it is not expensive.  Christian did a great job on the parts too – I quite like the NVMe cards.   No surprise that more hosts are going in!

WordPress Top 12 Plug-ins
Many of us technical type bloggers use WordPress.  A very few of us pay someone to provide WP to host and administer and that makes it easy but costs.  Some of you will get a hosting server and do your own WP.  Some of you in fact have a server at home and do your own server OS and WP.  In most cases, except for the expensive and easy one, plug-ins are very important.  So that is why I say this list Eric did is pretty cool and I thought it would be good to share.

Discussion tied to something in the logs?
I saw – I think via twitter – an interesting product.  The company is DataDog.  They are doing what others have, capture all of the logs from everywhere, and providing some very useful tools for working with that info.  One thing that caught my attention was that it had the ability to have a discussion connected with something in the info.  Very handy, and if it is keyword searchable it would be pretty useful.  Think about it, if you see something in the info, you highlight it and ask one of your coworkers, then annotate with the answer, and if it happens again, the info would be still there!  Looks interesting.

How to write A Good Status Update
I use a number of different services that have status updates, and I would like all of them to read this article. If you write status updates it is a very good read.

KMS Server Activation
Some good background info around KMS activation.  I only once or twice did KMS stuff for customers – and that was long ago. So good info.

WLAN Planning, Part 1 – The WLAN Cart
A nice article about the very important WLAN cart for when you are doing  WLAN planning.  This is the start of an article series that should be pretty good for those of you that might need to know more about this sort of thing.

Troubleshooting Multicast
Here is a video podcast about troubleshooting multicast.  Quite interesting. Brought to you by vBrownbag (you can find their channel here.)

VCAP-CID Objectives – resources
A very nice list of resources to work on your VCAP-CID.  It is slowly being built out but very useful info I think!

Ravello free service for 2015 / 2016 vExperts
This is really a big deal – 1000 CPU hours per month at no cost in the Ravello infrastructure.  Want to learn more about SRM – one of the stickiest VMware products – but don’t have what you need in terms of computers in your basement?  You can do it in Ravello – in fact I think it may have been done already.  So you can get a head start doing it for yourself.    Most excellent service – thanks Shruti!

Don’t Panic: the Admin’s guide to the rapidly changing IT landscape
This article has some very good points.  Good things to think about if you are an IT person and are wondering about the changes in your industry and how it will impact you.  Good writing and very good points.

How to replace SSD in Dell XPS 13
I am not sure how many of you will need to replace the SSD in an XPS, but I think the info is useful even for other disk replacement projects.  He uses a nice copy tool.

VCP6-DCV Study Guide
I mentioned – in my VCP6-DCV comments article – about how there is a good study guide here, but now it is a downloadable PDF.  Very nice!

vExpert 2016 benefits
I saw this third party list of the vExpert benefits and that reminded me to check the VMware list (login required).

The Apple – FBI fight isn’t about Privacy vs. Security – do not be misled!
This Apple / FBI thing really worries me.  It is important that everyone really understands it as too many people I have talked with think it is no big deal.  Check this out for more info, and here is another good take on it all.

Thanks for reading, or skimming this far!


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One comment on “Newsletter: February 24, 2016
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