Newsletter: May 7, 2016

Hi all,

I am starting this at a bar counter in the Chicago airport (early so no booze).  On the way home after my first two exciting weeks with Veeam.  I have met a lot of smart and interesting people and that is a very good thing indeed.  Plus I have a great product to work on, and even better, it is not 1.0 yet so I have a chance to make it the very best DR tool on the market. But as always I am excited to head home.  And next Friday is my big holiday in Africa again and that too is something I am looking forward to.

I did an article this week on protecting your Veeam backups from abuse – either Malware related or insider scumbag abuse.  I also did an article on backing up your virtual environment – using Veeam – to the cloud.  I had heard from several customers that they thought it might be a hard thing to do since it was cloud.  My article proves it is not.  And off site backups are very good – more secure, and more available.

I updated my article on using the VMware Software Download manager, particularly important for us vExperts who don’t get good access to download files.

The vote is open now for the Top vBlogs of 2016 (and VMworld sessions).  So please vote – most important is to vote, and the vBlogs category if I produced enough useful content for you, then please think about voting for my blog!

BTW, VMworld 2016 US is open for registration, and I will be there so I do hope to meet with any and all of you.  I fully hope to demo my cool new product for you!

But as you can imagine, I have lots to share.  As per usual.  So lets get it started.

Have a great week!


Upgrading to ESXi 5.5 Update 3a and upgrading hardware version, VM fails to power on with error: Could not open/create change tracking file
Wow.  This is a bad one.  Not sure how common it will be, but if you have this problem, you really have a serious issue.  This might be enough to scare me into not upgrading to 5.5 U3a, but rather install the update – so a destructive upgrade which is not that big of a deal.  Definitely test this upgrade before you do it for real!

Reconfiguring and Repointing Deployment Models in vCenter 6.0 Update 1
This is a newly updated article about how you can move from an embedded model with vC to an external model which is sort of a best practice and a good idea – as it provides more flexibility. Nice to see both VCSA and VC commands shown.

My (self-inflicted) VSAN nightmare
A great read of someone’s pain and suffering.  But some good learning along the way though.  Check it out.  It doesn’t seem to be over yet either!

Generating vCenter Server & Platform Services Controller deployment topology diagrams
William once again produces something cool and interesting. Many of us will remember the vCenter Maps ability in the vCenter Client, and it was very useful indeed.  It doesn’t exist in the vSphere Web Client, but hopefully it might come back one day.  William has figured out how to do something similar to help with the vC and PSC deployments.  Find the info here.

Required VSAN and ESXi config for controllers based on the LSI 3108 chipset
This interesting KB article suggests that some controllers will show – once VSAN is running as Unhealthy for status in the disk info area, and yet this is avoidable with proper config.  Worth checking out if you use anything based on the LSI 3108 chipset – which incidentally is a fair number of controllers and they are detailed in the KB article.

 If you moved from embedded to external PSC …
You will be able to clean out a lot of logs from /vmware/storage/sso, in fact likely GB worth.  As well, check out this KB article. Thanks to Mike for this.

Load Balancing vSphere Clusters with DRS
Many people do not realize that balancing the cluster doesn’t mean putting the same numbers of VM on each host.  It means to make sure that each VM gets the necessary resources and if a VM doesn’t do something about it.  However, not all customers want that and want the balance to mean something else.  Matthew helps with that here. Good article!

Several issues with VMXNET3 virtual adapter
Some good points about the VMXNET3 virtual network adapter in this article.  This has been the adapter of choice for me for a while, but with the KB articles, and this article it does make me wonder a bit.  I wish the KB article could give a bit more info on the likelihood of this, or these issues.  I still have VMXNET3 in use everywhere.

Creating a Centos 7.2 VMware Gold Template
If you are not a true Linux person – such as me, then you can find some good help in making a Centos template in this article.  Looks pretty good actually.

VDI + Windows Pagefile Done Right!
Andre has a very interesting article that certainly has good info.  I have heard some of the myths and good to see Andre attack them.

vRA 7 Software Components for Linux Gotcha
This is one of those things that can be really hard, and frustrating to solve.  So glad someone else did the heavy lifting!  Check out the article if you work with vRA 7 and Linux.

Home Automation with vRealize Orchestrator and Wink
The author of this article is really actually the automation dude.  Had a class with him once and he is pretty darn smart.  So it was pretty cool to read about what he can automate in his house. Some great ideas in his article.

Getting More Out of vRealize Operations 6.x: Optimizing your Existing Capacity
A nice article that talks about a somewhat complex area.  Certainly one that frustrates me a little.  He mentions a number of Webex’s that can help too.  Another way to learn in this area is with an excellent book.

Getting started with PowerCLI for vRealize Operations (vR Ops)
I have had a number of people make the request that they want PowerCLI access of vR Ops and I knew it was provided recently but here is the info on making it work.

Log Insight 3.3: Importer
Steve has a nice article on a Log Insight utility – called Importer.  I can see this tool as being very handy for developers and support people.  If the dev people or support people did a dashboard that highlights what is important to them and then use the CLI based importer they could work with their logs WAY better then working at the command line!  Steve has an article about examples of using the importer.

Proactive Monitoring Virtual SAN 6.2 Infrastructure with New Content Pack for vRealize Log Insight
Rawlinson has an article about the newly updated CP for LI, but what is also very good news is some changes in VSAN that make the CP much more powerful.  Very good news in fact.

Using PowerShell with the VMware Log Insight REST API
Very cool example of using PowerShell and the LI REST API to get things into LI.  In this case it is cool in that instead of logging to a text file what is done in PowerShell, you could use LI for that instead.

PowerCLI 6.0 – Introducing PowerCLI Modules
Brian has an interesting article about how PowerCLI 6.0 has changed to using modules rather then snap-ins and it sounds like a very good change.  He also has some suggestions how this will require a change in our PowerCLI scripts.

New VMware NSX Licensing Scheme is released
VMware recently changed the license model for NSX (see here for more info).  I did wonder in the past if they were going to do this, as the previous license model was very expensive, and I suspect there was customers who were put off it. I hope that this make things easier for people. And it looks like many customers I know might like Advanced which hopefully is not as expensive as in the past.  BTW, here is an article that talks abut the features missing in Standard and Advanced.  Here is the KB article that talks of the feature breakdown.

Manage NSX 6 with Active Directory Users
It sounds like NSX doesn’t add vCenter type permissions but rather something different.  And you need to use them to enable your users.  See how here.

Integrate VMware NSX in Log Insight
Some good info to help connect NSX and LI and what you will find!

vSphere Replication Testing / Upgrading
A small tale of an issue related to IP addressing changes.  The ripple affect of decision is seen pretty well in this article, but I wonder what the morale of the story was? Maybe uninstall SRM and VR before the IP change?

With 2 or more monitors connected to Horizon Client for Windows 4.0.0+, View desktop on ESX 6.0 Update 2 crashes with BSOD
Interesting error mentioned.  Not sure how common but the workaround is simple.

ESXi Embedded Host Client – updated
This most excellent tool has been upgraded again. It is now at Fling 8.1 which is at least two builds later then what is in the GA of ESXi.  I am very happy with this version and have updated my lab with it. It has a lot of improvements!

vSphere HTML5 Web Client updated
Another most excellent tool, and it too has been updated to 1.4.  I have done the update and once again very happy with it.  It is coming along very nicely!  BTW, the update is to 1.4 but looks like 6.5.0 build 3838615 in Help About.

Developing Native Apps on Nano Server
I am already a big fan of the Nano Server, and while I have not played with it yet, when I saw this article about developing apps for Nano I thought that was pretty cool.  What a great way to get the maximum resources to an application.  No one could log in and use resources, and no GUI need for resources so very nice.  I plan to use Nano servers for my AD services, and if things like Exchange or SQL could run on Nano that would really allow better resource usage in my lab!  BTW, to get Nano going and learn more check this article out.  One of my co-workers has done a paper on Nano as well which you can find here.  He is in fact updating it – maybe even finished, for TP5, but not sure when it will surface.

VeeamON 2015 top 5 Sessions
I found this URL recently, and there was a number of sessions from the 2015 VeeamOn event that were quite informative.  In particular I liked the Backup BP one by Anton, and the Repository BP one, also by Anton.

Did you hear?  The DOS prompt is no longer the DOS prompt
Yes, really, not called the DOS prompt but rather Windows Command Processor.  Check this out if you don’t believe me.

Synology Updates
We have had several Synology updates lately, one today in fact, and when you read the release notes, you see lately they are all security updates.  So please, update – especially if your Synology is on the Internet.

Focus on the User
A very nice article from the lead for UX at PernixData – a company that I think has done a very good job on UX as well as on the product overall. The UX guy has some very important points that I think many software vendors could think about a little more.  Thanks for sharing Frank.

Tracking down noisy neighbors
A good article on this subject, and I think the start of a series that will be quite good to follow.  Noisy neighbors is a serious issue that quite a number of tools try to monitor for and report on.  And quite frankly most of them do not do it in away that is easy to work with for customers.

Windows Server 2016 – How to deploy Windows Server 2016 (Part 1)
Clint has an article about deploy the TP of Win2K16 which should be out later this year.  It is not that hard to install but Clint shares some info on the different deployment options but also how to do a PowerShell deployment of Hyper-V VM which is cool.

Backing up Domain Controller – Best Practices for AD protection (part 1)
For a long time Microsoft said to not backup DC’s and then changes in Microsoft and VMware made it possible to backup AD safely.  I still said to not backup DC’s but have more DC’s then you need – such as on the DR site, so there was no need to backup the DC.  But, with what you can do with Veeam, it has become a good idea to backup your DC.  When you can recover a corrupted password, or a deleted user easily it is handy.  See this article to learn more about backing up DC’s.

Veeam v9: Create and Enable Scale-out Backup Repository
This is a very cool new feature and you can get help making it work in this article.  Definitely work exploring!

A bomb just dropped in Endpoint Security … and I am not sure anyone noticed
Not sure how many of you know VirtusTotal but it is a major player in the anti – malware space but a little different.  But they are changing the way they do things – a very good change in fact, and it will touch and impact many anti – malware players which will improve things for us customers.  Find the whole story here.

Custom LEGO Star Destroyer is So Huge It Has A Three-Level Interior
William shared this out via a tweet and it is very cool.

Apple Music and iTunes Match 
I use iTunes Match for several reasons – first in that it upgraded all of my own ripped from CD tracks to Apple Music Library versions, which means quality to me but also I don’t need to maintain the CD’s any longer (but still need good backups), but also it means that all my music is available – as I choose it – on all my devices. It costs 24 CAD per year. Why do I still pay for it?  I do not have any CD’s to rip any longer but any music I buy, will be synced everywhere and I like that.  I do expect that likely Apple Music will grow – or my use of it – to the point where I will not need Match.  I also like Apple Music. It streams my music as well as Apple’s music to all my devices. I have the family plan which saves a little money and we are big fans. It costs 15 CAD per month for my wife and I. Learn more about Match / Apple Music here. And in case you saw the blog that suggested Apple Music deleted the blog author’s music – which is not true – you can learn more about this subject here.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far,


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