Newsletter: March 19, 2016

Hello all,

I hope that everyone is good today, and have had a good week? I did, had some fun in the lab and also goofed off with my Dad so things are good. Yes, I am still looking for work, but I have a couple of great choices that I am working through. I just realized that call for papers is out for VMworld now so I guess I better hurry up and get a job!

I had a number of article this week - including my vSphere Update 2 experience, and how to update Dell hosts when there is no OpenManage. I am a big fan of the ESXi Host Client so I did an article on getting it to all your hosts with VUM - got it out a couple of days before U2 where it is included in the GA bits. I had an odd issue with vMotion and wrote it up too.

Some good stuff on Storage Field Day 9 and you can find the info to catch up on it here. Some really good stuff.  I particularly liked the Coming Clean one, and I did not like the Predicting the Future one - it had no predicting the future stuff.  I have not caught up on all of it but I hear the VSAN stuff was very good and the Intel stuff is pretty good too.  However, neither of those are out yet it seems.  They should be soon I hope.  BTW, I have been hard at work in the lab trying to get things going, and so I did not have the real estate to watch this stuff live.  So I used Vimeo on my Apple TV and watched it there.  It works pretty darn good.

FBI vs. Apple - if you have not been looking at this much, or if you are not sure what the fuss is about, you should watch this video.  It is very well done and accurate and honest.  Here is something that is interesting too.  I try to not share too much around this but this is factual so it is good to share.  If you know the video and the article you will be more informed then most, and can correct knowledge as necessary.

But, as always, I have lots to share so I should get right to it.

Have a great week,


vSphere 6.0 Update 2 now GA
We have been listening to people chat about VSAN 6.2 for a while now.  It is now GA.  Thank goodness!  Anthony has a good article on it. Here is vC release notes / bits, and ESXi release notes / bits. I had a good update which you can read about here. The ESXi Host Client is now both a fling, and a part of the ESXi GA bits.  Here is it’s release notes.  BTW, note how the ESXi and vC release notes have been updated since the original release?

Issue with deploying OVF templates in Mac Chrome in vSphere 6.0 Update 2
I have tried a number of times using Chrome on my Mac to deploy an OVF Template via the vSphere Web Client and it failed.  Yes, the CIP is installed. This doesn’t happen on the PC in Windows (using Chrome).  This issue did not occur in Update 1 - it only started with Update 2.

Scanning an ESXi host using vCenter Update Manager causes some virtual machines to fail
This is quite interesting.  It is also very specific and I suspect very few customers will experience it.  But it is interesting - if virtual machines have a certain character string in the VM name it could be impacted by a VUM scan?

Quick Tip - iPerf now available on ESXi
A nice quick performance testing tool is on ESXi.  Pretty handy actually for quick performance testing.  Find out more here.

Component Metadata Health - Locating Problematic Disk
Cormac has an interesting article that is an issue that a couple of customers are running into. You can get a Component metadata health indicator failure can show sometimes for a temporary issue, but sometimes not.  For a real issue, his article also shows how you can find the disk that is causing or contributing to the issue.

VSAN Health checks disabled after upgrade to vCenter 6.0 U2
Something a few might see - VSAN Health checks showing as Failed.  It will only be seen during the upgrade until your hosts are upgraded.  You will see this issue if you took a while between your upgrade of vCenter and hosts. Duncan talks of this here.

Apple Mac Pro 6,1 PCIe SSD isue resolved w/ESXi Update 2
Another solution in Update 2 in that it will support the newer Mac Pro computers. William mentions it here.

VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 Design and Sizing Guide
A very useful reference for anyone designing or building VSAN 6.2. Find it here.

VSAN TCO and Sizing Calculator
This tool has been updated for VSAN 6.2 but I am not sure how frequently it is used.  I think it quite useful.

Updated: Microsoft SQL Server on vSphere Best Practices Guide
You can find the best practices guide for SQL on vSphere in this article.  There is some good info that can help with SQL and vSphere.

Monitoring vCenter Health Remotely with vRealize Operations - Part 1
A nice article by Blue Medora about how you could monitor vCenter more effectively using vR Ops.

VMware Tools 10.0.6 Release Notes
This maintenance update is now generally available.  You can find out more in the release notes and here is the bits.

PowerCLI 6.3 Release 1 now GA
Here is the Release Notes, and bits.  A big release - see more info here.

Patching VMware ESXi Hosts via PowerCLI
While I much prefer to use VUM to do my host patching it is good to have options.  For example, I once put some ESXi hosts into a DMZ and they had no vC to support VUM.  So PowerCLI might help there.  Find out how to use PowerCLI to patch ESXi hosts in this article.

vSphere Replication Error: the VM has failed validation and cannot be configure for replication: host is not connected
Wow.  Chris had quite the issue, and lots of fun making things work.  Check out the full story here as it is good to know in case it happens to you! You can learn what likely caused the issue to avoid it, but, if you have the issue you do get the solution too.

vSphere 6.0 Update 2 hints at Nested ESXi support for PVSCSI in the future
William has an interesting article about nested ESXi and the future.  I too am impressed how far things have come.  I remember the early days of nested - when almost no one was doing it.  I remember one single developer who helped us get it going.  She was a godsend.  We have come so far which is most excellent.  It looks like in the future nested will in fact be quite the choice!

vSphere Data Protection 6.1.2 GA
This update for VDP is now GA, and you can find more about it in the release notes. Bits are here.  It looks like there is not much new in this version and that it is just a maintenance update.

VDP 6.1.2 has a cert issue
I have not been able to confirm this myself, but I have heard that if you try and deploy the VDP 6.1.2 via the Web Client it will fail with a certificate issue.  Until it is fixed you can deploy using the C# client with no issue.

Log Insight 3.3.1 Now GA
You can see the announcement of this from Steve in this. A small release but with an important fix.

Log Insight 3.3: Multi-VIP + tags
Steve talks of several improvements in LI 3.3.  I suspect that this means now even in a one node LI environment you should use a VIP.

Configuring vRealize Log Insight Agent on MS SQL Server 2012
This is a nice detailed article on how to get your Log Insight agent configured to properly forward the appropriate info from the SQL log files.

A Primer in VMware Virtual SAN and NSX Compatibility
You can learn more about using NSX and VSAN together in this online event.  They do in fact work together!

VMware NSX 6.2 for vSphere Essentials pre-order now available
There is in fact a good course to learn more about NSX, but if you want to have a book handy with lots of good info on how to do things with NSX this might be the one to have.

NSX vSphere Troubleshooting
Thanks to Anthony, I saw this last week.  Pretty handy I think.

VMware Horizon Blast Extreme Acceleration with NVIDIA GRID
You can learn more about Blast Extreme and how it can empower graphical workloads in Horizon v7 in this article.

iOS View Client v4 now GA
This updated client supports iPad Pro more, adds in Blast Extreme, Split View, Pencil and more.  Find it here. If you have not used it yet, it is way better then you might expect.  For example, I used the Veeam Client to check my backups this morning from the iOS iPad View Client.  Pretty cool.  I use 1Password to generate and protect my passwords so that makes it easy to copy and paste to log into View on the iPad.  But you can also turn on TouchID support.  I have not done that but it could be quite helpful!

VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.2 node status stuck at Waiting for Analytics
An interesting issue in vR Ops 6.2 cluster operations.  Nice to see that there is a solution with this issue.

vRealize Automation v7 - Easily prepare Windows Server 2012 R2 templates
This is in fact a big deal.  Preparing templates in vRA is a bit painful so this article provides a lot of help and that is most excellent.

vRealize Automation  7.0.1 is now GA
Some basic info can be found here. Release notes and bits.

vRealize Automation 6.2.4 is now GA
Here is release notes, and bits.

vRA 7 Custom Hostname with Event Broker Subscription
I shared out this article recently but it has been updated and it is important enough to share again!

How to Package Microsoft Internet Explorer with VMware ThinApp and Enable the ThinDirect Feature
I have not talked a lot about ThinApp lately but it is in fact a very powerful and useful tool.  So I am glad I can share this article. ThinApp’ed IE is pretty handy.  You could have several different versions on your desktop and they all work without stepping on each other. Note the comments about a clean PC?  Very important.

How to convert a physical server to a Hyper-V VM
An interesting article I saw earlier today.  This will help you get a physical server into a Hyper-V VM. I agree with the point about not importing a DC.

Nutanix Community Edition - the Prestige
An interesting article about the Nutanix Community Edition.  Another thing it would be fun to play with in the lab.

New ‘Acropolis File Services’ with Native Support for VMware Horizon UEM and Citrix Profile Manager
This is very impressive indeed.  This is exactly what the Nutanix customers need, and it looks like it is very well done.  I love how they even have access based enumeration (ABE) too.  Check out this great article for more info.

Symantec warns of serious security holes - in Symantec security kit
Another reason to keep your tools current!  But there is some vulnerabilities in Symantec security tools.  Find out more here.

PernixData Architect For Microsoft SQL Server
An interesting article on how Architect can provide information on understanding the performance of your SQL environment.  A good example of what is possible with Architect.

FVP Freedom - A poor man’s thoughts on free high performance storage acceleration solution
A nice article about using the free version of FVP - Freedom - and how powerful it is.  I have it and need to get it going in my lab - I think it will be very nice!  I used to have FVP in my lab at my previous employer and it is very good indeed.  Freedom is the same, other then it cannot use server side SSD - only server memory, only does write through caching and is missing another feature which escapes me right now and Google doesn’t remember either.

Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE 1.5 is here!
I am most impressed with the free stuff that Veeam does.  And a new version of the Endpoint Backup tool is GA.  Full details can be found here.  If I had to use a Windows product I would use Endpoint to protect myself.

Veeam Backup and Replication v9 and Built-in Bitlooker Saves Storage Space - did you know?
This was my introduction to Bitlooker and I thought it was pretty cool.  Good to know how well it works, and that it is off by default for jobs created before v9, and on by default for new jobs.  Here is an article that goes more into the testing of this new feature. Here is another article on it, but it has a PowerShell snippet to enable bitlooker on jobs which might be handy.

Making the Most of Your VMware Support Experience
You can find an article here about how you can improve your VMware support experience.  Good ideas, but the best idea is not there.  Use the VMware Support Assistant regularly to move your logs to VMware for proactive checking, and start your support request using it as well.  It gets all the logs up easily and quickly, and you end up with a very good audit trail.  Find out more about Support Assistant here.

Six Problems Solved with VM-aware Storage
An interesting article about some storage issues and solutions.  A good breakdown of VMware and Nimble storage related technology.

VMware Product Lifecycle Calendar
This is very handy - a nicely done set of charts to help understand the lifecycle of VMware products.

Locky Encrypts Data On Local Drives and Unmapped Network Shares
Another threat for us to worry about and of course, knowledge is part of our security posture.  A good breakdown of the malware Locky.

4 reasons not to pay up in a ransomware attack
So true.  Do not pay in an ransomware attack as you will likely pay more the second time!  Check out the article for more info.

Remove the Get Windows 10 Icon
I was recently forcefully upgraded to Windows 10 without any acknowledgment on my point.  I have heard of a few people that this has happened to and I think most of us would like to have a choice - if only to be able to schedule it so it doesn’t negatively impact us.  You can get help here on this issue.

Use Microsoft Excel for your text manipulation needs
Bob has a good point - Excel is way more powerful for a wider variety of things then people expect.  My wife is an engineer, so I get to see first hand how many things are possible.  Text manipulation that Bob talks about is something I have done to help me with PowerCLI scripts, and even batch files in the past.  Check out his article.

Microsoft Learning
Thanks to Todd I learned about this Microsoft training stuff.

Performance Testing with Microsoft DiskSpd
Thanks to Michael for his article.  Someone asked me about DiskSpd recently and I had no idea what it was.

Veeam Vanguard nominations are now Open
The Vanguard nomination process is now open.  If you know someone who has really helped you out with Veeam it might be time to nominate them.  BTW, check out the list of the current Vanguard.  A very distinguished group of people!

GunVault GVB1000
I saw this in Anton‘s forum newsletter last week - this gun vault is not secure at all!

Stingray Phone Tracker
I was watching Homeland last week with my wife and she asked about a gadget we saw in it. It is in fact real, and is called Stingray.  As I think it is interesting I am sharing this info on it.  It allows you to track cell phones or jam them too.  Find out more about it in this article.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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