Newsletter: April 9, 2016

Hello there,

I hope that everyone had a great week, and are enjoying their weekend? I am, but I did have a pretty good week and I am looking forward to next week.  I should have a new job soon and I am quite excited about that!

I was able to get my View 7 upgrade done and an article about it.  I was reminded about PowerActions and realized what a great tool to have in my lab.  After all, being able to execute a PowerCLI script when I am in Chrome, and on my Mac is quite useful. For example, the script I use to enable or disable SSH access in my hosts.  However, it did not work quite as I hoped.  I had one issue (and solution) in this article, but it is still not working.  We will see how that goes, and of course I will share what I do to make it work – update – I have not heard from anyone about this, and I think it may be due to the new PowerCLI 6.3 perhaps.

I updated my Content Library article for vSphere 6.0 U2.  I heard discretely some of my comments in the article may be addressed in the not so distant future.  I don’t know which ones, or when but I can for sure hope that it goes right.

But, as always, lots to share so let’s get right to it!

Have a great week!


Two Factor Authentication for vSphere – RSA SecurID
Mike walks us through how to do this – in part 1 and part 2.  Plus, he has a video of what it looks like once it is working.  Great info!

vSphere Design Pocketbook 3.0 Social Media Edition is now available
I just lost 30 minutes reading through this book.  Some great stuff.  Frank has always done well with this most useful guide and it is very good to see it out again! Lots of smart people have authored stuff in this guide.  For example here is one.

Change ESXi password complexity policy
I don’t hear often about people changing the policy on ESXi hosts but you can learn more about it here from Magnus. Good info and something handy to know.  What he was working on was something I have done a few times myself.  Usually it is started by someone coming home from a management meeting, or after reading an article, and becoming a bit panicky and shouting at the contractor or SE to get things done.

VMworld 2015 Session INF4529 – Certificate Management for mere mortals
At this location you can watch the session, or videos, obtains scripts, or check out the presentation.  Very handy.  I would love to have a copy of the presentation but that is not any of the options.  I watch the session the other day, as I was thinking about doing the certs in my lab.  It is a great session and full of info – quite worthwhile.  Thanks to Mike for reminding me of this.

ESXi Embedded Host Client v7 now available
We now have v7 of the most excellent Host Client. I believe if you install it on Update 2 it will cleanly upgrade or overwrite what is there.  And I think if you update the OS and if it has a newer one it will update this v7.  In other words the versioning is good and will protect us.  I notice that v7, once installed shows same build but v1.1.  So a little confusing.  But will update this when I can find out.

Possible virtual machine and data deletion when restoring the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 from backup
At first read this looks like user error.  VMs created during or after the backup are no longer in the restored vCenter inventory.  However, there is a workaround, and this is fixed in Update 2.

Authorized Keys and ESXi 6.0 Update 2 – Changes to OpenSSH
Mike has a good to read article about a change in U2 I was not aware of.  If you are using DSA generated SSH keys you need to read this article immediately. You should follow Mike as he is the vSphere Security guy.

How to update VMware vSphere Update Manager 6
Iwan has a nice article about updating VUM.  And thanks Iwan for the kind mention!

Horizon View 7 on VSAN – Policies Revisited
There are changes in View and VSAN that Cormac talks about in this article.  Interesting stuff.  View and VSAN is a pretty good fit!

vCenter Server 6 Appliance fsck failed
A nice article to help with a fairly rare situation, but certainly one I have seen.  This is the kind of thing that may happen after a restart, and for me the first time I scrambled a bit to get things working – nowadays a lot of things need vCenter running.  So very good we have a nice article to help if this ever happens to us.

VSAN 6.2 Part 12 – VSAN 6.1 to 6.2
Cormac takes you through the VSAN 6.1 to 6.2 upgrade – which is really the vSphere 6.0 u2 upgrade.  Great info, although even for a few hosts I would use VUM to upgrade my hosts, and I would suggest you should NOT do the CLI method as it is more prone to issues – if only human finger related. The most important part of this article is the VSAN related on-disk format upgrade.  Great article!

Backup Solutions for Free ESXi
I heard someone wondering about this recently and I saw this article on the subject.

Quick Tip – silent installation of the VMware Client Integration Plugin (CIP)
This is pretty handy if you build your desktops in the just in time method as you can push out the CIP – which is pretty handy.  I do that, and the VMRC, on my admin pool to try and make things easier.

PowerCLI 6.3 Release 1 Release Notes
Here is the release notes and this looks like a big release. Or rather, it is a a patch release on a big release.  You can find that in the release notes.  BTW, I am using this with PowerActions and it is not working yet.  Maybe this version of PowerCLI, or not.  You can find the bits here.

Building a Client Troubleshooting Tool in PowerShell
Here is a PluralSight course on using PowerShell to help with troubleshooting.  Seems like a pretty good idea.

Blogger Talk Show, Pilot Episode with Alan Renouf and PowerCLI
This is the start of a talk show, with popular bloggers getting interviewed.  It starts with Alan Renouf.  Very nice idea and I hope they keep doing this.

Introducing the vRealize Automation 7.0 Content Pack for Log Insight
It is very good to see this article.  As many of you know there is a lot of components to vRA and that means lots of different log files, and to get all of them into one place is very good.  And to have a Content Pack to help put things into context is wonderful.  So if you have vRA, and Log Insight, this CP is exactly what you need.

Removing stale hosts / cluster compute resource entries from vRA 7
This is something I don’t think you will need often, but just in case, here is the info.

Top 20 vRealize Operations Manager articles for March 2016
This is the list of the most often referenced by support people to solve vROps issues during the month of March.  Some interesting articles.

vCenter Self-Monitoring Solution for vRealize Operations Manager
Not sure what this is?  I think it might be dashboards or maybe some logic to allow you to monitor vCenter as an app in vROps rather then a VM.  If anyone has played with it let me know what you think of it?  I would appreciate it. Manny, are you looking at this?  I think I heard that somewhere.

Webinar: Getting More Out of vRealize Operations 6.x: Day 2 Operations
This looks pretty interesting and I suspect worth watching. Day 2 means the day after you install vR Ops.  So it means things like working with policies, adding users, sharing dashboards, all good things to learn about – especially policies as they can be exciting sometimes.

Custom vSphere tags are not displayed in vRealize Operations Manager 6.x
I have heard of this happening so I am happy to find this article and able to share it.  If one of your users does not see vSphere tags inside of vROps you can find the solution in the article.

Understand the Compute Layer in vRealize Operations
This article is about Blue Medora educating you about the management packs they have for sale.  However, I did not know they had these packs and they are pretty useful – and Blue Medora certainly do very good management packs.

Deploy VMware View Access Point the easy way
Here is an article about using a Lab Fling to help deploy the Access Point appliance a lot easier. Thank goodness!

VMware Horizon 7 True SSO: Setting Up in a lab
After reading this article, I think it might be a good suggestion to never setup True SSO at a customer before you do it in a lab.  And break it, and troubleshoot it. And really understand it.  If you check out the setup in the article, it is long, with many steps and a variety of components.  You don’t want to do all that the first time at a customer.  Definitely get it going in a lab first.  BTW, very glad I saw this article.  I was thinking of doing True SSO in my lab.  Not so sure now.

VCP6-DTM Study Guide
This looks like a very hard test – it really covers a lot – View, Mirage, Workspace.  So a lot of lab stuff, and lots of docs.  Here is an article that can help you study though.

View Clients recently update – again
There was recently 4.0 of the View clients – at the same time as View 7 I think but shortly after that they were updated again to 4.0.1.  Find them here.  In my View 7 lab upgrade article, I did all my testing with the 4.0.1 clients.

EUC Champion 2016
I did not know about this, but I recognize some of the names and they are certainly champions for EUC.  Glad to see these folks get the recognition they deserve.

VDI Calculator v7 Now Available w/major changes
Andre has updated his most excellent resource for helping to design VDI infrastructures.  Check it out here.

VMware Horizon View – Windows 10 Golden Image Creation
A very detailed article on creating a template – rather then a Golden Image.  I went through it and it is in fact pretty good.  I do disagree about leaving the VM on the domain, rather I think add it to the domain to pull down GPO type stuff, and then remove it from the domain before deployment.  I really need to get Win10 into my lab – in View that is. I would also suggest getting familiar with the VMware OS Optimization Tool before you use it in production.

Take a Closer look at VMware User Environment Manager v9.0
You can learn more about v9 of the VMware UEM tool in this article.  Good thing to learn about as it is included in some of the View 7 offerings, and you have both it and Persona to work with.  The Smackdown article below is a very good intro to this space and it talks about both of these tools (an others) and what they are good for.

UEM Smackdown, v1601
This is quite the document about the idea of user environment management and the different tools available in it.  A very good reference actually.  It does cover off Persona and UEM from VMware, but also the other tools in that market segment.  Good background info too.

Important – VCNS and NSX End of Availability and Support Notifications
A good article to be familiar with if you are using VCNS as it revisits the EOL for it, and some additional news.

App Volumes Backup Utility
Here is a new utility from the VMware Labs flings that will help you back up App Volumes.  I don’t know anything much about App Volumes, but it seems strange to me that a fling would need to be done so you could backup up App Volumes.  Did the product managers miss something?  You can find out more about this tool in this article.

VMware’s Largest Online Conference is Coming Up on April 19th
You can find out more about this online event in this article.  Seems to be about vCloud Air, and well, vCloud Air.

New KB articles published for week ending 3/26/16
Here is the weekly article about the new articles in the time period and there is quite a few – particularly around Horizon. Here is another one that is also with a lot of View related ones.

New Veeam Availability Orchestrator Enables Disaster Recovery Orchestration for the Always-On Enterprise
This popped the other day and I thought wow.  I do know many customers who could use easy DR tools, and it is very good to see a new product in that space.  I cannot wait to check it out.  Veeam has very strong dev and they have a regular schedule of updates so that plus this product makes for something very interesting.

Troubleshooting Microsoft Group Policy Site to Zone Mapping Using MS PowerShell
This is a troubleshooting article about long logon times, and long application launch times.  Very interesting in terms of what it turns out to be.

Meet HPE VM Explorer – Blog Series Part 1
You can find part 1 article of this series on getting the VM Explorer working and it looks interesting.

Automating Tintri with VRA and VRO workflow updates and webinar
You can find more about this here.  The webinar is over now I think, but hopefully you will be able to get access to it after it is done.  But info on the workflows, and download info, is in the article as well.

Advantages of ECC Memory
An interesting article that talks about the advantages, and in fact defines what is ECC Memory and talks about failure rates too.  Good to know.

SecondSite Disaster Recovery
This looks pretty interesting.  And I also like how they have lots of info all on the same long page.  Very nice, and it even has screenshots.

Nutanix Acropolis v4.6: A Technical Review from your Everyday Architect
A short read on this new release from someone who works with it and is not part of Nutanix.

Is this the Cheapest VCP Course available?
This is sanctioned, legit, distance learning VCP and it is cheap.  Interesting stuff.

EMC Releases Data Domain Virtual Edition
This looks pretty cool – a virtual edition of Data Domain.  See the announcement here.  If nothing else it is a good way to learn the tool.  But, I think it might make a good companion for VDP.

Big news in the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance battleground!
Chad has a good article on HCI / CI market and specifically on the VxRail.

Virtual Desktop 1.0 Trailer Released
This is cool beyond words. Check it out.

How to successfully work from home
Nice article, and one I quite agree with.  The first rule, make space, is particularly important.  When I started working at home, maybe 10 or 11 years ago, I actually bought a real nice cube and put a door on the room so I have an office.  Very handy and healthy I think.

10 guidelines for creating good looking diagrams
I stumbled across this recently, and it was a good reminder.  Especially since I did an update on my home lab diagram.  Frank does great diagrams and his suggestions are spot on.

The smart bots are coming and this one is brilliant
This article talks about a smart bot – who just got some great financing, that I would love have working for me.

Tesla Has The Right Approach to Self-Driving Cars
This is a very interesting article in that it talks about the two methods of ‘navigation’ for a self driven car.  It talks about the differences between Google and Telsa’s ideas and it is a good read.

Nuclear Power is Too Safe to Save the World from Climate Change
An interesting turn in this article about Nuclear power and how it can help us.  Very good point I think.  I do believe that Nuclear power is what we need to help with climate change and easy power, but we do need to figure a few things out.  For example, how can the US Navy do it so well, and so safe but civilians have some issues?  And what about the stuff that is left over and stashed in deep holes – what else could we do with it?

Essential tips for creating your own ebooks
An interesting article that can help if you want or need, to create ebooks.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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