Newsletter: October 2, 2016

Hello all,

I hope you are all well and have had a very good week?  I am in St-Petersberg (yes Randy – in Russia, not Florida) to meet with Veeam R&D this week.  For any of you that know me that is a very important activity for me and I look forward to it.  I have been busy lately, and traveling a lot, so I am very behind in reporting the news.  I spent time at an event in Cape Town and worked with some cool Veeam people there, and met some interesting Veeam customers too!

I wrote about the new Mac OS Sierra and after using it for a while I am quite attached to using my Watch to unlock the screen.  Very cool. I have updated that article with a warning that applies to you if you work on, and log into, two Macs. If you are unsure about using Apple Pay on web sites you can learn how in this article and more in this one too. I also bought a new host for my lab, and I am very happy with it indeed. I wrote about it here. I also thought a bit about home labs and wrote about in this article.

Yes, I am very happy with my new iPhone 7.  I have not hiked with it in the rain yet, but I look forward to doing that and not worrying about the rain. But so far I am very happy with longer battery life, and I like the lack of the home button.  The haptic effect is good. BTW, if you are just upgraded to the the new iPhone 7 and are having battery life issues – you can fix them with this.

BTW, I interviewed Dave Siles of DataGravity recently, and got a demo too – I really like what DataGravity is doing.  You can find it here.  I really had fun doing it, and will do more.  I have one lined up at next VMworld.

But, I have much to share, so I best get started! And, have a great week!


RT:Anyone want to join me in the VMware Hackathon?
You can see what I am doing – and everyone else – in this doc. Sign up to have some fun. And for sure, sign up on my team as I really need some help! If you want to learn more about what this is check out this article. I have heard a bunch of people say this was the best event at VMworld US. Here is a great article to learn more about PowerCLI, and here a link to the getting started articles on PowerCLI I did.

VMXNET3 driver now included in Mac OS X 10.11 on-wards
This is pretty interesting – Mac OS from 10.11 on-wards ships with a VMXNET3 driver.  Very cool, and find out more info here.

Preparing for a vCenter Server Migration using the vSphere 6.0 Update 2m Migration Tool
Emad has a nice article to start you on your migration to the VCSA.  And make no mistake, that is a very good thing to do!  It is not just easier management, or a freed up license, but the appliance scales better too.

Virtual SAN 6.2 Proof of Concept Guide
I heard someone saying they didn’t need a PofC guide for VSAN.  I beg to differ.  In the PofC guide you get suggestions on how to test VSAN to show customers how it handles outages.  So I think that alone makes it a pretty good guide!  Some very useful background info too is in that guide.

Virtual SAN Availability – Part 6
Jeff has another great article on VSAN, this one is Part 6 and about Maintenance Mode in the VSAN environment.  I do need to mention that VSAN is something that is not that hard to install, and very easy to enable and consume.  And it will work great.  That could be the end of it.  But if you want to learn more about it, then Jeff’s articles can help.  The number of articles you see about VSAN, from Jeff and others, is not indicative of the complexity of VSAN but rather education on what makes VSAN work.

How to make a host win the HA Master Election
Like Duncan suggests, this is not a good thing to do normally, but I think it is a good bit of knowledge to have – maybe for very odd circumstances or maybe in the lab.  But here is the info.

Separating Directory from Policy Management:Accelerating Office 365 Deployments with Workspace ONE
I do not know much about ONE but I certainly have heard a bit about it.  And it does sound interesting.  Here is an article with good info, and even useful links and videos to learn even more. Here is a little more on ONE from a non VMware source.

The story of VMware Blast
I noticed at VMworld US that quite a number of thin or zero clients supported Blast or Blast Extreme.  I heard that Blast Extreme is as powerful as PCoIP and needs no special ports.  I have not confirmed yet, but I did find this article on Blast. Here is an article on the latest release of Blast.

Trialing Windows 10 Linked Clones with Horizon View 7
Interesting article about a problem and a solution in Microsoft licensing when working with Linked Clones.  Good info.  It reminds me I have not had success with Win10 as a vSphere template.  I need to get back to that!

How to integrate Windows DNS with vRA v7.x
This is a great article that can really help with integrating Windows DNS with vRA.  Definitely useful!!

Email Customization in vRA
Another very useful thing to do in vRA – customize emails!  Find out how here.

Windows Server 2016: End of one era, start of another
An interesting article about Win2K16 and how it is the end of Server OS like we are used to, and the start too of something different.  I think the author has a good point but not sure about the timing!

Windows Server 2016 ISO now available for download, Microsoft offering free DataCenter licenses to VMware users
Paul has an interesting article about how you can get Win2K16 now, but also there is an interesting offer too.

PowerCLI Core Coming to a fling near you!
I am quite looking forward to this – PowerShell, and Power CLI on my Mac.  Find out more – and a cool video – here. I hope it is released at VMworld EMEA! Find out more on this from William in this article.

New PowerCLI function: Get-Deployed-Product returns a list of products, versions, and import URLs
Brian has a very cool function to share in this article and it will be quite useful sometimes.  A very nice example to of what is possible with PowerCLI and nice code!

VMware vROps – vROps Self-Monitoring Alerts and Notifications
This article has some good info.  I have seen customers that depend on vROps for monitoring but are in fact not monitoring vROps!

Log Insight 3.6: vSphere Content Pack
Good info in what has changed in the LI 3.6 vSphere Content Pack.  Some very good improvements.  And a reminder of something I did not do when I upgraded – redo agent groups.

Bringing Pokemon GO to life on Google Cloud
An interesting article about how Pokemon came to life in a cloud.  Pretty interesting engineering!

First looks – Hands on with Veeam’s Office 365 beta
Matt has a review of this interesting new product from Veeam that is currently in beta.

Nice to know you: Goodby Pernixdata FVP and Architect
I suspect this article is correct.  The products are gone and the IP will show up in Nutanix somewhere.  But, I was very impressed with FVP and Architect, and I think they solved some real problems, and I will miss them.

I’m Bringing Flexy back – NetApp FlexGroup
Michael has an article about an interesting new feature from the recent NetApp announcements. BTW, health artifact is like x-rays, or other medical files that need to be retained for a long time and likely not accessed, or if accessed then infrequently and generally not changed.

Thinking about Nimble Storage as  your Veeam backup Repository?
This article is a good intro to Nimble Storage – which I don’t know much about.

Get to know the reference design for replication services with Veeam Cloud Connect v9
You got from me Luca’s reference architecture on Cloud Connect a very log time ago. But, finally, here is the official announcement from Veeam on it!

VMworld 2016 EMEA Party Info
If you need any help picking parties at VMworld in Barcelona here is the list!

Enterprise datacenter Availability with NetApp cascaded SnapMirror and Veeam
An interesting article that really highlights the integration between Veeam and NetApp and how it really provides value.  I like how we get an overview and then the details.  This is a powerful design for customers.

The Anatomy of a vBlog – part 1 and part 2
Anthony has two articles on doing a blog – part 1 and part 2.  Great reading.  I had started my blog a while back, and I checked with guys I knew – like William and Duncan and learned what they did and how much time it took. I talked with others too, and I realized I wanted something that meant I had to do nothing but write the blog articles and deal with the comments.  That is what I have and am quite happy with it, however, it is more expensive (approx 350 CAD per year) but also I have very few plug-ins to use and I cannot install any on my own. It never goes down, and I really only deal with writing articles and dealing with comments.

What? No log files?
Saw some sadness on Twitter recently about someone looking for support and it turns out they had no ESXi log files to help support.  I would suggest that those people should have looked at my vSphere Best Practices.  If you have state-less hosts, or if you boot to SD or USB you need to do some things proactively.  That is covered in my BP article.

New Book: Troubleshooting with the Windows Sysinternals Tools (2nd Edition)
This is the update of an older book that is most excellent.  How to use the Sysinternals tools in troubleshooting is very handy. And yes, already ordered.

EMC Unity
Recently I tweeted out a compliment. How easy it was to install an EMC Unity virtual array. I even emailed someone I know over at EMC. I think, from some of the comments, and from certain missing comments, people may have taken my comment wrong. I was not insinuating anything. It was an honest compliment. I was quite impressed with how good it was to setup the array. It is running much better on the exact same dedicated hardware than another vendors virtual array so I am overall very impressed.

My Apple Watch does unlock my Mac!
This is a great feature.  But I did have trouble making it work.  I had prepared for it I thought by using Two Step authentication which is of course, not the same as Two Factor authentication.  Once I had 2FA working I was good. You can use this article for help on making it all work, which will not take long.  In addition, if you want to know why some older Macs are not supported you can find that out in this article.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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