Newsletter: July 16, 2016

Hi all,

I hope everyone had a good week?  Enjoying the weekend? I had a good week, and we will see how the weekend goes.

I had a very interesting webex with DataGravity.  Thier product is a little different now, and it is pretty darn cool.  Once I have GA running in my lab I will talk about it more but be aware you will be impressed.  BTW, I asked them about the DataGravity articles I did on search and did they still apply?  And the answer was yes for the hardware based customers, but not the software based customers.  So I will decommission them, somehow.

I updated my Veeam Content Pack, and it is mostly updates / fixes behind the scenes.  I have got some great improvements for it coming out soon. As well, I had some snags doing PowerShell with Veeam when I was doing it remotely. And that was a new feature of the Veeam Remote Console.  But I got it working and shared it here.

I should mention that at VMworld I will be doing some interviews.  Video’s about cool stuff that will end up on Veeam’s YouTube Community All-Stars channel.  If anyone is interested to be interviewed let me know.  Will be fun – and they don’t have to be about Veeam but rather cool stuff.

I have done, but not published, an article about vSphere templates and Windows 10.  It has not worked out well.  As I have time to troubleshoot it I will, and figure it out and publish it.  Quite irritating.  Nice that I get licenses from my lab from VMware as part of vExpert, but some support would be cool too.

I mentioned recently there was some confusion around PowerActions and what was going on.  Turns out it was a metadata update for the bits and not any changes in the bits.  So it is the same version and no need to update.  They also mentioned they know that support for PowerCLI 6.3 is important. If you don’t know, PowerActions lets you execute PowerCLI from within the vSphere Web Client.  In my case I normally work in the vSphere Web Client on my Mac.  Yet, with PowerActions I can in fact execute easily PowerCLI as needed.  If you are interested check this article out.

VMworld will have Veeam hosting a VIP Veeam user Group meeting.  I will be there along with other Veeam Evangelists and it should be pretty good to meet and chat.  There is lots we can talk about, and there will be food and drink.  To sign up, use this URL.  and scroll down to where you find VMworld.  The event will be at the Ri Ra Irish bar.

But I have lots to share so lets get that started!

Have a great week!


Introducing the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 Reference Poster
This poster is pretty cool. I do like the VMware posters. When I figure out the printing info for printing it out life size, I will let you know. Printing it out landscape on letter size was not ideal, actually not usable without a very good magnifying glass actually.

How to add ESXi Hosts to vCenter using PowerShell
A nice script to help you add ESXi hosts to vC using a script.  Would be cool to add an NTP / syslog config script as a chain to this one.  Then take them out of maintenance mode as they would be ready to go.  Or use host profiles I guess.

Quick Tip – Minor changes on how to customize vSphere 6.0 Update 2 Web Client login UI
What caught my eye on this was in fact Cormac staring out at me!  If you have had troubles changing the Web Client UI in U2 William explains the new way to do it.

Deploying the VCSA 6.0 Appliance directly into vCenter
While this may not be supported, I think it is very good to know! Very handy!

How-to Restore vCenter Server VM with Veeam Instant Recovery
The process for a restore of vC is a little different since when you do it vCenter is not running so Veeam cannot talk to it.  But it is nicely detailed here on how to do this.  This would be the same process if you have vC or the VCSA.  And VCSA is what we all should be using!

Why ESXi DCUI is Black & White
Not sure if anyone has found this before – I certainly have not!  If you ever see the DCUI as black and white check this article out.

How CPU related metrics in vSphere may be misinterpreted
An interesting article about understanding better CPU metrics, and by a very smart author.  Quite right that sometimes spikes are not a big deal, and sometimes they are!  The knowledge that provides context is important!

Wednesday Tidbit: Make sure your Certificate Authority signature algorithm is valid for vCenter certificates
An interesting article that talks us through a good idea, and a problem, and a pretty good story.  Some good info to remember!

How to create custom vROps groups based on vCenter folder
I remember when a customer asked for this long ago.  Very handy but also not used as often as it should, and I think a little difficult to find!  So good to see an article on how!

How to create custom vROPs group based on tags
This is quite handy – if you want to learn how to create custom vROps groups based on tag this article is for you.  Most people use vROps to monitor VMs but you can use it to monitor an application that is made up of VMs and that is pretty handy, and tags can help with this nicely.  For example, in my lab all of the View related VMs have a tag for View.  So that could be the monitored object in vR Ops.  Which means if anything in the various objects and VMs tied to go yellow than the parent is yellow.

Log Insight Interoperability
I heard some questions on this that I think this article will explain.

Deploying EUC Access Point via the Deployment Utility (fling) fails
I do like the idea of using EUC access point appliance instead of a Windows based security serve.  But it is a little tricky to deploy as it is CLI based.  There is a utility to help with the deploy but if it doesn’t work how do you deal with it?  Here is an article on this very subject.

NetApp NFS volumes and Veeam – configuration best practices to get you started
If you have NetApp, Veeam, and using NFS – and often you should be using NFS – then this article might have some useful info for you.  Plus, it links to the more detailed best practices document.

Veeam Backup and Replication 9.5 with Azure and Windows Server 2016 Support!
While Veeam BR 9.5 is still in beta, I saw an article here about the Azure support which is pretty cool.  And more impressive to me – as I am a vSphere Cloud kind of guy is the full Windows 2016 support.  Here is the announcement about full Win2K16 support.  Don’t forget we aren’t just first, we are first with what works!

How to deploy Windows Nano Server (TP5) in vSphere
A very interesting article that will get Nano running in vSphere.  There is a few hoops to get through, not the least being Nano is not installed from ISO.  But the article takes you right through it nicely. I like the resource footprint of Nano and hope to have it in my lab replacing any Windows servers it can!

Backblaze and Synology
I use BackBlaze to backup my Macs to the cloud.  I like it a lot as it is simple and efficient and a very good price.  Plus, I can seed the encryption with my own passphrase.  They had to invent new storage to do the job they wanted and now that storage is available as its own product.  And, for example you can hook your Synology to it for offiste backup!  Here is a very cool thought for Mac or PC users – back your Mac or PC up to a Synology.  You could use Time Machine on the Mac, and Synology has an option for the PC too.  Once your files are on the Synology you could back up your files to BackBlaze.  So you get easy to restore (from local), but also offsite copies too.  And this would be very cost competitive.

Storage Resource Monitor – Upgraded and supports Pure and EMC ExtremIO
This is quite a cool product.  I used to have it in my lab and liked it a lot even though I had none of the supported hardware.  The support list is now huge and they have added Pure and ExtremIO to it. This storage management product supports a lot of different storage and that means you can get some very useful visibility into your storage regardless of the vendor!  Definitely recommended!

Deploying vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) on Ravello
Ravello provides an amazing product, as it is designed to be a lab destination for QA or even for home lab use actually.  But it is a different type of environment so it has some things to deal with before you are working in a lab as you expect.  Previously we were not able to get the VCSA into it as it was an .OVA.  However, find out how to deploy the VCSA in Ravello in this article.

Exchange (DAG) VMware Backups: Updated list of tips and tricks for Veeam Backup and Replication
This article was shared with me recently and it does have a lot of information around Exchange, Veeam and vSphere / Hyper-V.  Some of the info I can agree with and other info I am not sure about.  I think this article is only good for someone who knows a lot already!

Windows Server 2016 new Current Branch for Business servicing option
This is an interesting read on how things are changing in Win2K16.  It will be released I believe at the Ignite conference in the fall, but what really caught my eye in this is how Nano will only be part of Software Availability (SA).  I thought that Nano would be used by so many due to its small resource footprint and ease of management.  In particular home labs with limited resources, and the cloud.  But it seems like maybe it will be more complex for those situations.  We will see.

Our search warrant case: An important decision for people everywhere
A nice write-up on a legal case that Microsoft had to deal with.  There idea was that the United States should not be able to force Microsoft to produce – email I think – held outside the US in Microsoft datacenters.  Not sure if you heard about this or not, but it was an important case, and it ended right too – IMHO.

Swift Playgrounds
In the next release of iOS you will see something called Swift Playgrounds that will in fact teach kids how to code.  As well as how to think, and problem solve at the same time.  I know of people that already have provided it to their kids.  You can learn more about it in this article and here too.  It is really something.

VeeamON 2017 preregistration is now open
If you enjoyed the last VeeamON I think you will really like next one.  I am quite looking forward to it.  Find out more here.

Nest Cameras
These are pretty amazing cameras.  The image quality is literally first rate.  But, they use up a lot of bandwidth.  You can see more here but it is anywhere from 200 to 500 Kbps but that is only 720p and at 1080p it is from 450 Kbps to 1.2 Mbps.  So if you have a few of them it can really add up.  I would have more then one if I could capture video locally!  It would be great to have 2 weeks history at home, and only 1 week – of selected cameras in the cloud.

VMworld 2015 Slide decks in Slideshare
You can find most or all of the VMworld 2015 slide decks in Slideshare.  Not sure entirely if all are there or what.  But the 3 or 4 I looked for were all there.  So good info, and a nice reminder of why I like to go to VMworld.

RCA Revisited: the Valid reasons for root cause analysis
I quite agree that RCA is important but a little different when in a microservices world. A nice article on the subject is here.

Nemix RAM
I use Nemix RAM in my home servers.  I bought recently 12 GB for three servers each, and had to do it again this week for 16 GB more for each server.  The 8 GB modules were 59 US$ each.  I test this all carefully using memtest86 and only once did I have an issue and they replaced it fast and easy.  I normally buy from but they didn’t have the 8 GB modules so I bought from the US web site of Nemix and I got it overnight.  Really like the service and the great price on very good RAM.  Buying memory for a customer, or your production environment it is normally best to use the server vendor to provide the RAM.  It is more expensive but comes with easy support however in the home lab you need something that is a better price and yet is still quality.  Nemix is that.

Improved Calendar and Contacts on the Mac
I put back on my Mac recently BusyCal and BusyContacts.  These two products are first rate.  They are both more powerful and flexible then the Apple versions.  You can buy them cheaper if you buy both together from their web page.  While they cost, they are in fact recommended!

macOS Sierra Public Beta
I have installed this on my home Mac, and it has worked pretty well.  A very simple upgrade process that worked fine for me.  I do like using Siri and that works in the beta pretty good.  No Auto unlock yet but looking forward to that.  Office, 1Password, Evernote, View Client, SecureCRT all work fine as does Slack.  It comes with a Feedback Assistant that is pretty handy in fact. No need to put this on your production Mac, but it is good enough for your play or personal Mac.  Here is a review of Sierra and the Apple Info.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far,


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