Newsletter: March 26, 2016

Hello all,

I hope everyone is like me – enjoying the four day weekend – which is pretty nice.  A good week I hope?  I spent a fair bit of time this week in interviews and that is going well.  Still working on find a job but it has been great talking to interesting people.  I have a very odd problem in my lab that has confounded me rather severely.  It has taken a lot of my time.  I have a whiteboard of facts around it that is awesome, and I think it will be a very interesting article when I figure it out.  That is why I don’t have a View v7 upgrade article yet.

I suspect you saw the Apple stuff – watchOS 2.2, OSX 10.11.4, and iOS 9.3?  The Apple TV upgrade went very well too and I like that I get all my Photos on it now, plus spelling out things by voice is handy, and keyboard support finally too! See more about tvOS 9.2.  Here is an article about the new Apple hardware.  BTW, don’t forget I have an adventure page where I track cools things I do (and recommend), and a restaurant page for great eating places. These pages have strong recommendations! ABTW, I recently updated a number of my vR Ops article due to vROps 6.2 and doing the upgrade in the lab.  They are all anchored to this article.

As always, I have quite a range of things to share.  Something for everyone I hope.

Have a great week,


VMware ESXi 5.5 and 6.0 host fails with a PSOD with multiple Correctable Machine Check Interrupt messages
Purple Screen of Death (PSOD) is not a good thing. That is like the blue screen on a Windows machine but really much less common.  FYI, take a picture of them as there is often things seen that are not in the logs.  A PSOD in an ESXi host can impact a lot of people so good to avoid them.  This article describes a specific PSOD and the solution.  But before you do the workaround based on your PSOD make sure it is the same PSOD as in the article.  If not call VMware support!

VSAN 6.2 Part 11 – Support for higher FTT with larger VMDKs
Cormac talks about a change in VSAN 6.2 that impacts VMDK’s larger then 16 TB.  I have only seen one VM that big.  I guess I should get out more.

Recent ESXi 6 Storage Bugs and the FlashArray
Cody has done another one of his amazing articles.  Easy to read and understand, on something important, that he worked really hard on!  Some good info and explanation on a storage related issue and info that suggests upgrade to 6.0 U2 but then info on a bug there!  Good stuff and thanks Cody!

VMware Virtual SAN Automated Deployments with PowerCLI
A nice article by Rawlinson on how you can deployed VSAN using PowerCLI.  Pretty cool, and very handy in the lab and QA but not sure how often it will be used with Customers.  Wait, it will be very good for Service Providers too.

Can the Host Client replace the Fat Client? Full ESXi configuration Walkthrough
A nice article on the ESXi Host Client.  I extensively use the Host Client and really like it.  Very happy it is part of the GA ESXi as of U2.  I should mention that it works for everything I need but for ESXi User Management.  Which I don’t often use!

VSAN 6.2, checksumming where you should
Duncan has a nice article about something I did not know much about – checksumming.

Automating the configuration of new logon banner for the vSphere Web Client feature in 6.0 U2
I talked about the Logon Banner in this article, but William talks about how to automate the configuration of it.  Very useful for when you have a automated deploy of vSphere.

VMware vSphere 6.x HA Deepdive
Duncan has updated the 6.x Deepdive online document.  I think that the way he is publishing this is pretty cool.  I wish I could pay for it.  Find it here.  BTW, in the intro Duncan mentions you can leave comments in the text.  It only seems to work – and I guess that makes sense – if you are doing it on the web, and not in the documents – nice there is PDF and ePub.

vMSC and Disk.AutoremoveOnPDL on vSphere 6.x and higher
If you have done vMSC you need to check out Duncan’s article.  Something that was suggested to be one way before 6.x is now recommended to be different.

Migrating from Hybrid to All-Flash VSAN
I have heard this question as well so it is great that Duncan went into the lab and figured out how to do this!  See his article for the answer.

Quick Fix: VCSA MAC address conflict migration + fix
Here is a nice article from Anthony Spiteri about an interesting issue – and the fix too.  I don’t like dealing with MAC address issues in VMs, and in VCSA it would be really interesting!  Very good to have this article just in case!

Virtual SAN 6.2 Ops Guide
Here is an article about the release of an Operation Guide for VSAN.  Some nice info on install / config of VSAN.

Virtual SAN 6.2 and PowerCLI – Sparse Virtual Swap files
One of the new VSAN 6.2 features is the ability to not reserve space for your VM swap files.  It is a manual thing to enable using the esxcfg command at the command line.  Or PowerCLI.  Very nice Jase as this is definitely something I would do – so thanks!

Getting comfortable with vPostgres and the VCSA – Part 1
This article talks about why the vPostgres database is a better choice for vCenter, and how in the VCSA you get a better vCenter then when it is running on Windows.  In Windows they control only one layer, and in the VCSA they control all of the layers.  So it only makes sense they can tune and control things for the best experience for the end users on the VCSA when they have control of all layers.  Good info.

In Guest VMware Tools CLI Commands
I do not often use VMware Tools CLI but if I do this article will be very helpful.

Horizon 7 is now GA
We heard a lot about this before it actually arrived.  Got a little tedious in fact so I am very happy it is here now.  See this article for a good breakdown of what’s new. You can find the main root of HTML docs here, and pubs, release notes, readme, Client docs, Horizon Client bits, and Horizon bits.  View is not a separate download any longer so don’t look there.  It is in the Horizon download area.  I have not done the upgrade yet, and I think it may be a little more difficult this time – especially if you want to use the UEM to get SSO!

VMware User Environment Manager 9.0 – What’s New
A nice breakdown of whats new in the VMware User Environment Manager (UEM) 9.0.

Deep Dive Architecture Comparison of DaaS and VDI, Part 1
An interesting article by Ray that I think is useful for people looking at DaaS / VDI.  Some really good info on the architecture of these solutions.

Introducing True SSO (Single Sign-On) in VMware Horizon 7
This is something that people have asked for a lot – SSO in more applications / services.  I think that this is going to make it pretty darn nice in View.  Here is an article on it.  But, I suspect there is going to be more for setup then one might expect.  We will see.

Network Ports Diagram Updated for Horizon 7
This is a nice utility to help with your Horizon design work – a network ports diagram.  Very handy.

Latest Fling from VMware Labs – Horizon Toolbox 2
This is a very handy utility that, among other things, provides remote assistance.  See more in this article.

VMware AirWatch Supports iOS 9.3
I love it when products support something day 1.  Like AirWatch supporting iOS 9.3. Nice.  See more about it here.

Operational vROPs part 4: Tuning Alerts with Symptoms
This is a web site that is dedicated to vRealize Operations and in this article they talk about tuning alerts which is pretty interesting and useful too.

vRealize Orchestrator Coding Design Guide
If you use vRO you should check this Guide out.  I think it can help.

Getting Started with the Free Log Insight for vCenter
Recently VMware announced you get a free 25 OSI pack of Log Insight if you have vCenter and it is currently covered by support.  A very good deal indeed!  See an article that tells you more.

Automate vRealize Automation with PowerShell: Introducing PowervRA
This is pretty cool and I see it could be pretty useful – vRA and PowerShell are a great combination I think.  Check out the article.

VMware NSX. What are we solving?
I do not normally reference articles on LinkedIn.  I don’t like how LinkedIn has grown, so I stay away from it – other then it being the holder of my online CV.  But this is an interesting article about NSX and I think it is a good way to get an idea of what NSX really is.

Deploying VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 6 on Clustered Data ONTAP
SRM is a wonderful product, and while it is mostly easy to work with, the fact is the storage side of it can sometimes be a little difficult – or maybe just different than what you are used too.  So it is nice indeed that you can find help from NetApp if you need it.  Here is the guide.

VMware Converter 6.1.1 Maintenance Release
Nice to see this nice tool is still being updated.  I quite like it! Does anyone remember the P2V Assistant?  It worked, and I used it a lot in those days, but so glad we have Converter now!

Viewing the impact of block sizes with PernixData Architect
A nice article about block size and how it can impact storage performance.  Really well done actually.  Thanks Pete.

Download Technical Whitepapers from VMware Site – PowerShell
This is quite interesting – want to download all of the TWP from the VMware web site?  Using PowerShell?  You can and here is the info how.

Deploying RecoverPoint – Part 1 – Intro & Gotcha’s
I have had some strong experiences with RecoverPoint.  Good and bad.  I would love to play with it again to see how it has grown and developed over time.  Find this article to learn more about implementing it.  Remember that the software version is included with VxRail. You can find part 2 and part 3.

How to find Nested Activity Directory Group memberships in Powershell
This is something I really needed a while back.  And didn’t have it.  So glad to find it and share it too.

Being called out on Exchange performance & scale – close but no cigar
Picking verbal or twitter fights by saying things are fact when they are not is risky business.  And when you do that by including a vendor it is more risky and here is a great example why.  Nice job Josh! When I used to be Technical Marketing, or supported sales SE’s, I always liked talking about my product, and how it can solve issues.  It was so much easier then bashing companies or products.

Use EMC? Use VMware? Two things you’d be crazy not to try
In one of my old positions at VMware I visited really a lot of customers.  And many of them were EMC customers.  I was astounded to see that most of them did not use the VSI tool.  It is very useful and free so every single VMware / EMC customer should be using it.  Nice to see Chad remind everyone about it and another very nice tool.

Create a least-privilege account to perform domain joins
This is an interesting article and a very good topic.  People need to do more accounts that are least privilege as I see often that people use administrator account way to often.  Good stuff Rob!

CloudPhysics Exploration Mode – New Host View
A nice article about a new feature / functionality in CloudPhysics. This powerful feature can be quite useful when you are checking out your infrastructure or trying to understand something.  If you don’t have CloudPhysics in your lab, you really should.

“No Deploy Friday” is a sign of IT Maturity
Another article from Rob that is quite interesting.  I subscribe to the idea of not deploying things Friday whenever possible.  As a professional services fellow I did in fact – at the request of customers, do deploys during the weekend, but I put a lot of extra effort in to minimize the impact so no one on Monday knew.  Without that extra effort, and without  professional services that do it all the time I would suggest not doing it!

Synology v6 is now GA
I upgraded my DS1813+ to version 6 and it was quick and easy. I love that.  Here is the release notes.  Quite a long list of new and updated stuff.  However, much sure you read the notes carefully as I see in the fine print that my array is not supported for some of the new features.

AWS – Certified Solutions Architect – Associate – Study Tips and Experience
Just in case you want to learn more about AWS check this out.

Understanding the WD Rainbow
Have you ever wondered about the colors associated with WD hard drives?  Turns out there is an actual system about the colors. Check this out.

Cryptolocker, The Cloud, and How to Protect your organization
A nice article about things to think about when considering your organization’s malware strategy and Cryptolocker type stuff.

Security How-To: Enable two-factor authentication on iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan
Here is an article about how you can enable two-factor authentication in iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan.  What this means, once enabled, the first time an authentication occurs on a new device, or newly wiped old device, you will need to have two pieces of you to authenticate.  Meaning a code on your iPhone and your Apple ID password on your iPad or Mac for example.  So pretty good idea and low impact.

How to use Touch ID for iPhone and iPad
I suspect that any of the people that read my blog, and use iOS already know how to use Touch ID.  But, I happen to know there are people that do not, and if anyone runs into them – this is the article that will help.

Room 641A
We all have heard about that room that exists in various telephone exchanges in the US that are supposedly used by the US Intelligence community.  One of those rooms actually exists for sure, and it is Room 614A.

Thoughts on Encryption
A nice article on the past and present of encryption, with a good question at the end that will help you understand what side of  encryption battle you are on.

On the Topic of Lock-In
Scott has an interesting article of vendor lock-in that I think is quite important.  I have not thought of lock-in quite like he has but I think he is right and it is good to think about as it can impact your designs or process if you don’t.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far,


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