Newsletter: August 6, 2016

Hi all,

I hope everyone has had a great week?  Mine was pretty good – but we have some in-laws in the house so it made things a little different!

I did an interesting article about how you can use Virtual Labs as part of your backup regime.  I think it is most excellent and that seriously every customer should be using them.  As well I installed vCenter Support Assistant where it had been before and had some issues – and detailed the problem and solution in this article.  I apologize I have not updated my Content Pack (and associated article) as it turns out some of what I really wanted to do with it is not possible.  So more waiting for us both.

BTW, the dual port USB NICs I used with my NUC (in this article) died again.  So will replace them with single port NICs and update the article when I find they last longer or not.

BTW, on August 18th I will be at the Veeam User Group meeting in Southwest Ontario – I hope those of you in the neighborhood can join us.  It will be great to connect and chat.  Plus I will have some handy things to give out.

But like always, I have lots to share so lets get to it!

Have a great week!


VSAN Healthcheck: Read Cache Reservations test failed
This is an interesting one, and I think Duncan is right that it is not as easy to find out what is going on so very good that Duncan explains it.

Log Insight at VMworld
I am quite impressed with Log Insight and I certainly like to learn more about it!  When you get to know it you are more powerful in your operational work as an IT guy.  There are a number of sessions at VMworld which you can find out more in this article.

Log Insight: Importing Archives
On some schedule events in a Log Insight server will either be lost, or they will be archived.  If at some point you need to import those archived events you will need to follow the process.  Find it here.

INF8036 – Enforcing a vSphere Cluster Design with PowerCLI
I do not have access to VMworld sessions – although I will be there, but after VMworld, I will first look for the audio / video of this session.  Duncan Epping and Chris Wahl with PowerCLI will be pretty interesting I think.  The idea they will be talking about – enforcing design is pretty useful I think.

Recovering data from damaged VMFS partitions
A great story of pain, suffering, and happiness.  Recovering VMs from damaged VMFS partitions.  Scary work but in point of fact I am not surprised it worked, but I am surprised GSS said it would not.  A great story we should all be familiar with and remember.  Well done Mark Brookfield!

Automating the import of vCenter Server 6.x root certificate
Thanks to William we have a nice automated way to import the vCenter root certificate – so we can avoid these extra clicks.  I did the manual but it is very good to have the automated.

Updating the VMware PowerCLI Community Repository
I am still an amateur PowerShell / PowerCLI guy.  I use other peoples scripts, maybe tweak them a bit and use them.  But finding useful and cool scripts was sort of haphazard – unless it was a script from Alan, William, or Luc.  So it is very good we now have this community repository.

How to properly initialize PowerCLI 6.x in PowerShell ISE
I do know some of you that use the ISE for your PowerShell and PowerCLI work.  Not a bad idea.  With some changes in PowerCLI this gets a little more complex but this article helps out.

Visualizing Code Repositories with GitKraken’s Git Client
Using Git has become much more popular for many people.  I know some who do not know it well but use it anyway.  I wonder if this article might help? I really like how it visualizes things.

VSAN Management API Cookbook for Python
Other than a bunch of folks in R&D VMware, and a few dev guys at DataGravity, I don’t know many who do Python coding.  But, I hear it is becoming more popular, and for good reason too.  If you are learning it, or maybe already using it, you might be interested to know you can work with the new VSAN management API using it.  See this for details.

What is Storage Queue Depth (QD) and why is it so important?
If you would like to learn a little more about queue depth you can find it in this article.  Good info.

David Davis on vRealize Operations – Post #27 – Automated Remediation in vROps 6.x
It is true that vROps has had automated remediation built -in but it has not been used much.  Find out more about this cool functionality in this article.

vROps – An Introduction to Alert Tuning
Another area where not everyone is familiar with it.  By default vROps alerts are not enabled to send emails but they do fire in the UI.  Before you have them generate emails, you should tune the alerts!

Announcing the VMware Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition Reference Architecture
Goofy story that distracts from what the author is trying to say – I think.  But he is enjoying himself.  I would skip it and visit the Reference Architecture directly.

VMware vRealize Network Insight 3.0 – formerly known as Arkin
A new release of this very interesting visualization tool is now GA.  Find the release notes, bits, and pubs. Here is a nice article on this tool.

Enhancing Your VMware Horizon 7 Implementation with Smart Policies
This is an interesting feature that I don’t use.  Likely don’t need it but it seems quite handy.  Learn more about Smart Policies in this article.

vRealize Automation 7 Guide
I have shared this before but I have heard of people trying out – for the first time – vRA 7 and they have not heard about it.  So now they have and a good thing too.

Veeam Backup & Replication 9.0 Update 2 is now GA
You can find the release notes (and a link to the bits) in this article. The what’s new and docs are available. I did the upgrade – from to with no issues.  And all my jobs were good afterwards.  There is a lot of good stuff in this release, but what caught my attention is how in Cloud Connect Replication you can do a planned failover now to avoid a known potential disaster. There are some availability improvements that are important and I think will help out many.

Veeam Backup & Replication Best Practices for VMware
You can find the recently updated best practices for Veeam B&R in this most excellent GitBook. I use the ePub version on my iPad and find it quite useful.

Veeam Cloud Connect v9: A Reference Architecture
One of my co-workers – Luca DellOca – now not an Evangelist but the EMEA Cloud Architect, has done a Reference Architecture for Veeam Cloud Connect.  A very useful document that if you want to do Cloud Connect you really owe it to yourself to know this guide!

My FreeNAS build
Stephen has a very good set of articles (part 1, and part 2) on building out a FreeNAS server that ends up being much more powerful, and with a lot more growth in it then a typical NAS. Really good info, and a great idea.  Thanks for the write-up Stephen!

Which Intel NUC to buy for running ESXi?
I do like the NUC’s especially as they have 32 GB memory now but with my VSAN coming up soon on 10 GB that will be an issue for them.  But they are still are pretty good machines.  I did not know how many of them there were until this article on how to buy the right one!

My Top Session Picks for VMworld 2016
Eric has a list of picks for sessions at VMWorld that is in fact very well done.  An excellent selection.

Sips and Stogies at VMworld 2016 US
Chris Wahl is doing a good thing at VMworld.  Next year I may do the same.  No cigars though!  If you want to have some drinks and cigars – not sponsored – with Chris and company at VMworld check this out. I bet it will be interesting and you can meet some interesting people.  BTW, here is another list of the parties at VMworld.

The Extreme Performance Series at VMworld 2016
It is very good to hear that at both VMworlds this year the Extreme Performance sessions will be there.  Find out the details as it is quite worth while.

A Brief History of VMworld
Since we are getting close to this – end of the month, I thought this might be interesting for people. I am not one of those people that have been to everyone, but I have been to most!  Here is the history of VMworld.

My VMworld 2016 session, all about Veeam and vCloud Director
Luca will be presenting at VMworld and if you are a vCD and a service provider you will be very interested! See the details here.

What’s the scoop on Hyper-V 2016 Resilient Change Tracking (RCT)
Clint explains what is RCT and how you can exploit it in Win2K16.

Introducing our new 1Password subscription service – get 6 months free
As you may remember if you read this newsletter often I have been a very happy user of 1Password for a long time.  I seriously believe it is better than all of the other options. I have purchased it and have it on my iPad, iPhone and both Macs.  But there is a new option that is pretty cool, and has free six months to start with.  Check this out to learn more about the 1Password subscription service.

Deploy your #Puppet Enterprise License key with Puppet
I have played a bit with Puppet, and quite like it, and I thought this article by Rob Nelson on deploying your Puppet license key with Puppet was pretty cool.

How to backup your Windows Server with B2 and CloudBerry
This is seriously a very good idea.  I am a big fan of BackBlaze and what they have done for storage in the cloud is amazing – and very cost effective – $.005/GB per month, with first 10 GB free.  You get a product that does backup, and get quite comfortable and used to its UI.  You will than use whatever back-end storage in the cloud that makes sense – and I think that is BackBlaze.

Wow – major bike riding stunt
This is a very interesting video, and not long, but this is the best bike rider I have seen!

Work Life Balance: My Impossible Reality
An interesting article that I think applies to many of us – particularly when we successful and driven people.  It is very difficult to maintain a healthy work life balance but it is also very important.  My wife and I have but we were sort of pushed into it, and then to survive we made changes.  And it works really good. But being able to turn off, and to concentrate on other things is key.

Use a firmware password on your Mac
I encrypt my Mac hard drive and I think that is a good thing to do.  But, I also have a firmware password on my Mac.  What that means if I ever start my Mac from other then the built in drive, it will ask for a password.  This is to protect your data better – especially if you don’t encrypt your Mac HD.  Find out how to do a firmware password in this article.

Thanks for reading, or skimming this far!


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4 thoughts on “Newsletter: August 6, 2016

    1. I quite appreciate David that you put the list together. It is hard to keep things straight as it is, so a list like this is most useful to many of us.


  1. Log Analysis is fundamental in software-defined world. Too many moving parts and too many layers. 99% of vSphere Admins don’t look at the logs. A great place to understand how vSphere really work in your environment. Also, if you are sleepy, seeing those scary entries will certainly wake you up! 😉

    1. I quite agree Iwan, that is my experience too. Critically important and almost not done. I remember in the early days of labs at VMworld, before it was called Log Insight, how much much fun, and how much learning occurred with the engineer staff when they played in the logs. It was quite exciting how much they could learn. Great lessons.


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