Newsletter: April 2, 2016

Hello all,

I trust this finds you after a good week, and perhaps in a good weekend?  Things are good here, and I have two solid possibilities for a job so that makes me pretty happy.  I cannot believe this Friday afternoon as I start to write this that it is 17 degrees C (62 degrees F).  Pretty early in Spring for this!

I did a number of articles this week including one on a vMotion failure, what a technical product manager is, and one on how how I finally got my DS1813+ working with hosts.

But there is a variety of interesting things to share.  I hope as always, something for everyone.

Have a great week!

Michael

Two Factor Authentication for vSphere – RSA SecurID – Part 1
This is a great article and very useful if you are going to enable RSA SecurID with your vSphere 6.0 U2 environment.  I remember the first SecurID project I did, and it was a lot of fun.  I certainly did not have anything like Mikes article to help!  I have visited a fair number of customers (when I was at VMware and even when at DataGravity) that used SecurID and I think that improvement in vSphere is just what they need.

vCenter 6.0 U1b to 6.0 U2 Upgrade error: VMware Syslog Component
This is the 1603 error that can occur during an upgrade.  Some good info on this particular error and how to get around it.  Thanks Chris.  Here is another article that is about the same upgrade.

VMware Tools – Part 1 and Part 2
You can learn more about VMware Tools in this article.  In part 2 article you can learn more about the versions, particularly the current version or the version you are using.

VSAN 6.2 Upgrade – Failed to realign objects
This article by Cormac not only talks about a potential issue and how to get around it if you find it.  But it also mentions something good to know about doing the upgrade.  Don’t evacuate disk groups and redo as that is not going to do the full upgrade.

Functional USB 3.0 Ethernet Adapter (NIC) driver for ESXi 5.5 & 6.0
This is a big deal – it means that if you have servers that don’t have enough network in your home lab you have an option.  You can use USB 3.0 ports to connect network to that is supported by ESXi.  Nice work by William and company!

Cannot execute upgrade script on host
If you try and do an upgrade (6.0 in the article) and it fails, and you see in Recent Tasks something about upgrade script this article will help you. It will help to confirm your issue, as well as a workaround.

Third-party Plug-ins and VCSA
I am quite surprised that people would be concerned that third-party plug-ins would not work with the VCSA.  These plug-ins work via API and the API in the Windows vC or appliance vC is the same. You can get more info on this here.

VSAN Error Handling – APD vs. PDL Failures Explained
A nice article that breaks down APD and PDL errors with samples in VSAN.  So good info.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling – getting started
You can find an article that will help you get the very nice HTML5 Web Client going.  It is not yet full featured but it is interesting and useful, and a great example of what we might have one day.  It will not hurt or change your environment.  I had some trouble getting it to work.  Using Firefox and Chrome on Mac and PC when deploying the OVA never finished – it was on Validating for a long time. So use the C# client if you have this issue and it will work fine. I heard some twitter comments about how this is a Single Point of Failure (SPOF) and that is not correct.  If you turn this feature off – by turning off it’s appliance nothing will stop working but itself.  Find the fling here, and Duncan’s announcement on it.

Repointing vCenter Server 5.5: A Survival Guide to KB2033620
An interesting article that will be very helpful if you want to repoint, and it will help VMware KB article 2033620 be a little more useful.

vMotion TCP stack vs. vMotion check-box
I was wondering about the difference between the vMotion check-box when doing VMkernal ports and the TCP stack choice for vMotion.  Turns out, the vMotion TCP stack is what you would use when you need to route vMotion traffic but in all the other situations you use the vMotion check-box.  Thanks to Grant for this.

Remove View Desktops Pools and VMs stuck in delete state
I have seen this issue a few times, but I have not seen a solution before, until I saw Magnus‘s article.  Good info just in case!

VMware Horizon View space reclamation fails due to activated CBT
This article talks about a situation that can cause a View space reclamation to fail.  Plus it references another article that talks of the same thing but a different cause.

Considerations when using Microsoft NLB with VMware Horizon View
An interesting article about using NLB as the load balancer for View.  I suspect that this is likely a good use-case for NLB in View labs at home.

Released – VMware Performance and Capacity Management
Nice to see this useful guide being updated.  Definitely useful if you work with vR Ops.  I think that vR Ops is one of those tools that looks good, and can help with your management, but it is easy to get confused if you go too deep into it.  So this book can help – nice job Iwan!  I have already bought mine, but they are out of stock at Amazon!

vRealize Operations Management Pack for Storage Devices
This management pack has been updated.  It supports 6.2 of vROps and now fully supports VSAN.  Find it here.  Read the info on it, as if you don’t do NFS or VSAN it has some hardware requirements.

Log Insight 3.3: Agent Improvements
There is some powerful new features in the LI 3.3 agents, particularly the copytruncate Support and Windows 10 support. For more info see Steve’s article.

vRealize Automation 7 – Custom Property Relationships using Actions
The use case this article author has is a good one.  Something installed in two different locations with a slight different between them.  Nice detail.

vRealize Automation 7 Management Pack for vRealize Operations
Very handy to have the ability to see in vR Ops vRealize Automation not as a bunch of VM’s but as your SDDC infrastructure.  See this article for more info.

VMware App Volumes Deployment Guide
This guide can help you get started with App Volumes.  It provides an overview, how it works, architecture and an overview of the deployment.

NSX Bytes: Controller Deployment Gone Bad?
If you are doing NSX, particularly in a nested lab in a home lab, you might may have a storage latency issue that impacts NSX.  In this article you can learn more about this and the fix.

PowerCLI Repo
Here is a repo of some interesting PowerCLI scripts.  One is to determine the date of the install for ESXi hosts.  Another useful one is copying the VM notes to the AD Computer Account Description.

VMware Machines – Size matters!
I remember early in the PC virtualization revolution one of the things that took a lot of my time was trying to help sysadmin’s build VMs of the appropriate size rather then much larger ones that become the norm for some time. It was sometimes due to a software vendor not too familiar with virtualization, or often a DBA that wanted to follow a vendor’s suggestions.  I spent a lot of time on this but as vendors and customers became more familiar with virtualization it got better, in fact a lot better.  I saw an article on the subject recently which makes me think that people are still having issues around this.

Veeam v9 Update 1 now GA
You can find more about Backup & Replication 9.0 Update 1 in the release notes, and here is the release notes for ONE v9 Update 1 too. For B&R there is over 300 enhancements and bug fixes.  That is a pretty big list! I like how they have doubled the VSS snapshot timer.  I use Veeam in my lab for my backups.  I do like it a lot. BTW, as always my upgrade went smooth!

Zentyal Server 4.0 – full AD and MS Exchange Integration
In this review I learned there is a third-party implementation of AD and Microsoft Exchange in the form of Zentyal.  Amazing.  I think that this might be quite useful in the home lab.  I currently use hMailserver for a mail server.  And Outlook works great with it. But being able to have a DC, and maybe Exchange, in a lean mean type VM could be very handy in a home lab.

DVD Store, the perfect homelab workload tool
Frank has done an incredible job with this article on how to get DVD Store working in his lab.  He is right this is a great way to realistically stress your lab so you can learn about performance troubleshooting.

My new mobile lab
This is quite the mobile lab – pretty big, but interesting article for sure.  I like the idea of mobile labs and have seen several from various vendors like HP, IBM, and VMware.  Those were all big and handy for pretty fancy demos or even for classes.

Bundling up for the cloud
Some great thinking and writing from Alastair on something that is becoming more and more popular.  Bundling of products / licenses has been around quite a while, but Alastair has some interesting thoughts around this.  Check out his article.

Veeam Cloud Connect on World Availability Day
Anthony Spiteri has an interesting article about a session he delivered on customers being able to use Veeam to protect in the cloud with a Veeam Cloud SP. I have more experience then most on dealing with availability of computer assets and it is not in any way good enough to have backups only onsite.  They need to be somewhere else too and that today means in the cloud. The video from the article is pretty interesting – I have not see the Zettagrid before nor the Veeam Cloud Connect stuff so that was cool.

Monitoring your Exchange Servers to Prevent and Troubleshoot Common Issues
I have actually heard the line from customers that is mentioned in this article – its just email.  One time I got a little irritated and drew the actual path of the email and all the touch points.  The customer end user stopped hassling me and let me get back to fix the issue!  This article has some great info and it is specific as well.  Nice job!

10 social engineering exploits your users should be aware of
This is one of the key security things to be aware of – social engineering – and this article talks about the different possibilities in that area.  Thanks to Mike for reminding me of this and as a result it encouraged me to find this article to share to remind people.

How to Build VMware Home Lab in Ravello
I am a very big fan of Ravello, and it is very good to see this article as it helps to get you started on creating a home lab that is in the cloud.  Very nice.  Don’t forget that all vExperts get access to it for free (see this for more info)!  As I was checking things out before adding this article to the newsletter I noticed that a couple of weeks ago Oracle bought Ravello.  I must admit that worries me greatly. I hope things turn out well for the Ravello people, and us vExperts too.

Getting Started with PernixData FVP Freedom
One of the ways to get better performance in your home lab, is caching.  And one of the best options is PernixData FVP and the free version FVP Freedom is the way to do it.  And here is an article on how to make it work.  Very handy. I am increasing the memory in all my servers so that I can take advantage of it with this tool.

Cool tool update: RVTools 3.8
I missed this tool update but Duncan reminded the world – which is good as this is quite a good tool.  Most desktop templates I put together – admin desktops that is – include this tool.

Welcome New Nutanix App for Splunk!
You can see Andre’s article about the new Nutanix App for Splunk.  Looks quite useful.

Building a Dashboard with Grafana, InfluxDB, and PowerCLI
I saw this article recently and it is pretty impressive.  If you want an amazing dashboard on the health of your lab, this article will help you do it.

Jenkins Installation
In my last job I was introduced to Jenkins and I quite like it.  I think the combination of Puppet and Jenkins could be pretty powerful,  but I have not tested that theory yet.  See this article for how to install Jenkins.

VSI 6.8 – VMAX AFA and eNAS
You can find a nice article here about a new version of VSI – the EMC plug-in for the vSphere Web Client to help manage EMC storage.  You may remember last week when I mentioned this was one of those things that every VMware / EMC customer should have running and often don’t.

How to Recover Linked Clone Desktops in a DR Site
This is quite amazing functionality that Nutanix provides for protecting View desktops – including Linked Clones. I am continuously surprised at the Nutanix Engineering team.  Thanks Andre for this article – great stuff.

Bash for Windows: Why it’s awesome and what it means for Powershell
Some great info on just what Bash means for Windows in this article.  When I heard about this I was not sure what it means or how it would look.  This article explains it well and I now realize it makes good sense. Here is some additional info on this from a third party.

Veeam “Direct restore to Azure” walk-through
I heard about the restore option to Azure that Veeam announced recently that sounded pretty interesting.  But we can see what it looks like in this article. Interesting.

QNAP and Network Recycle – and history
I found out today that Network Recycle on the QNAP platform is not on by default, and that it can protect against an admin deleting an share.  I didn’t turn it on as I thought it protected against a file deletion inside of a share only.  So when I accidentally deleted my library share today there was no way to recover it.  But if I had enabled the Network Recycle I could have easily recovered it.  So turn it on.  You can even set how long things will sit before being really gone.  Now why did I mention history up above?  This was the share that I stored every version of VMware products I played with.  Since I started long ago with VMware.  Why did I do that?  Often I did a test of a patch before it was released.  I did that sometimes for the vCenter team.  They knew I would install a realistic lab that was 2 or 3 versions old.  And let it run a few days in-between each version, and do vMotions, new VMs, restarts of things and more in-between each upgrade.  So when I tested the vC patch it was a realistic and interesting environment.  I always thought that was a better way to test.  I feel bad I lost all of that but I don’t really need it any longer.  I wonder if anyone does that sort of testing now?  I have done three vSphere 6 upgrades.  Two that were realistic and long running labs which did not upgrade well and I needed VMware help.  One was so bad off they said to reinstall vCenter.  The third one, upgrade a very young lab that was only a day or two old, and it upgraded fine.  Plus, I did an upgrade to 6.0 U2 which I think helped a lot.

NSA Hacker Chief Explains How to Keep him out of your system
An interesting article.  The NSA lead hacker talking to a computer security professional audience.  Mostly he talks of the ‘normal’ good stuff that can keep the bad guys out.

ScaleIO 2.0 – the march towards a software-defined future continues
Chad has an interesting article about the next version of ScaleIO 2.0 and various other things.  His articles are always interesting this one is no different.  ScaleIO is an interesting product.

Putting the Pieces Together: A look at Data Protector and VM Explorer
An HP article on the detail of the the two backup tools they have.

Panic StatusBoard
Right beside me I have an old iPad on a stand running the Panic Inc StatusBoard app.  It shows a clock, temperature for now and the next few days, my next few appointments, email, upcoming birthdays, twitter, and an RSS feed of authors I like.  This is with doing no dev work at all.  So pretty darn useful and also very powerful.  If you can do some Python coding, you can create something called the SysAdmin Board which runs on StatusBoard.  And this app does HD TV out for the big screen!

Why I love my Apple TV
I update a lot of my article as things change over time.  One example is my article about Why I love my Apple TV.  The improvements in the recent tvOS 9.2 were significant in my house.  In fact my complaints are now gone and I really think more people should now end up with a 4th generation Apple TV.

40 years of Apple History with Walt Mossberg
I actually had an Apple II+ long ago, so it was interesting for me to see this article / video on 40 years of Apple.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!

Michael

=== END ===

7 thoughts on “Newsletter: April 2, 2016

    1. Thanks very much Iwan, much appreciated. And thanks for the link to the very interesting family tradition. I thought it was very interesting to read through.

      Michael

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