Newsletter: December 4, 2016

Hi all,

I am sitting in the lobby in my hotel in Vegas to start this.  Room not ready.  And due to various things I am starting very late on this newsletter.  I am in town for the Gartner DC show as well as a team meeting.  Half our team is new, and I am not sure how holding a team meeting at the same time as an event will go, but we have great people on our team and it will turn out well I suspect / hope.

I have almost finished my Windows 2016 VMware template article and that is pretty cool.  Took a bit of time for sure.  I had an odd issue working on it that I wrote about here.  BTW, I updated my article about making BGinfo work in 2012 to cover off 2016.

I suggest that anyone interested in learning a lot more about Veeam should attend our event – VeeamON – and you can find out a lot more about it – and register – here. I am looking forward to it myself.  I will be there speaking about Veeam Availability Orchestrator and I look forward to sharing.  BTW, if anyone has sat in my SRM labs or sessions, and is in one of my VAO sessions, and you convince me you were actually in the SRM labs or sessions, you will win a very nice dinner – as my guest. Also, it is a great way to get a discount on getting your VMCE – which is a very good education to have if you work with Veeam.

I have lots to share – as always, and so lets get started.


KMIP Server Docker Container for evaluating VM Encryption in vSphere 6.5
This is very nice indeed – you can get a Docker container that has a KMIP server inside of it, so easy to make it work and test out VM Encryption.  Soon there will be an appliance version.  This is very cool in that it allows you to test out VM Encryption and I think that is very good indeed.  Those who need encryption need it bad.  Thanks very much for this William!  Remember everyone that this is for eval purposes ONLY.  Keys are lost if the KMIP server restarts.

vSphere 6.5 – UNMAP on VMAX
There have been a few articles – two or three maybe – on UNMAP in vSphere 6.5.  Here is one about how it works on VMAX by the very smart Drew Tonnesen.  BTW, here is the other one – this one more general and a little on Pure by the also very smart Cody Hosterman. Here is a related article that one of my co-worker’s has done.  All good stuff!

Getting Started with the new Image  Builder in vSphere 6.5
I do quite like the image builder.  Very handy and it was not too hard once you started with it to do your own custom ISO of ESXi.  It was all done via PowerCLI but now, it is in the UI.  See this article to learn more.

What’s new in vSphere 6.5: vCenter Management Clients
Here is a good explanation about the management clients – both the vSphere Client and the vSphere Web Client, and what is going on in the future too.  I have heard several people lately chatting about them.  Important thing is that HTML5 is the future.  And the Lab Fling called vSphere Client is HTML5 and it will continued to be updated roughly weekly.  But, the HTML5 vSphere Client that is part of vCenter v6.5 will be updated only quarterly at best.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client
This fling has been updated again!  And of course some great stuff in it!  See the change log here.

Announcing vSphere 6.5 Core Storage white paper
You can see the announcement of this new TWP in this short article. The TWP is here.  This paper is not your typical paper, I suspect it is in fact produced with the StorageHub software sort of like GitBook.  But it is full of some good info that covers off the new core storage info in vSphere 6.5.  Some great info.

Using syslog log markers from the ESXi command line
This is quite interesting, you can add comments – log markers – to ESXi log files.  It can be sort of a problem starts here, and problem finished here and they will be seen in the log files, or in syslog too. Not something I think I would do often but could be quite useful for troubleshooting situations maybe. Even if I never use this, it is still sort of interesting and cool.

vSphere (and some other products) Upgrade Notes
Some good things to think about in this this upgrade article.

Send a tweet from an ESXi console
This may sound a little silly, but I know customers – as does the author – who use twitter to share things among a team.  Sort of like an email distribution group in the ‘old’ days.  So sending a tweet from an ESXi host to that twitter group that it just started is sort of handy.  You would not expect to see it often.

Pay Attention! vRealize Automation 7.2 Deployment Highlights
A nice article on what’s new with vRA 7.2 but also some deployment ideas and suggestions too. I very much look forward to getting this working in my work lab – not sure when that will be – and one of the first people I will call when it is in the lab is Kim!

Log Insight 4.0: Agent Enhancements
I saw this article that Steve did about the new LI 4.0.  I quite like the new UI and I was hopeful to hear / read that automatic agent updates would be more than a tech preview.  And it isn’t, but I am happy to say there are some other cool things – like SSL on by default, and additional Linux support.

vRO: Securing Your PowerShell Execution and Password in vRO
This is a most excellent article on how to secure your password in PowerShell scripts called from vRO.  Good habit actually. Good info and details.

Publishing Applications with VMware Horizon 7 Quick-Start Guide
Publishing a desktop with View is pretty handy, and easy, and many of us can do that nicely.  But, I think that publishing an app is less common.  Here is some info to help with that.

Saying farewell to Snapins!
Kyle has article about how in 6.5 R1 there is no more snapins.  But he also talks about some things that will help you out in your scripts if you need it – and you will!

Greater visibility through PowerShell logging
This is a very interesting article.  If someone has a compromise and it is exploited via PowerShell it will not leave much traces and so you have less info to back track through.  The article talks about how you can get logging about what happens in PowerShell.  Very cool. I see a lot of possibilities with this info – such as only jumpboxes for example have the extra logging.

Neat Project to Install PowerShell Modules from GitHub Projects
Something that I think some of you would like – how to pull from GitHub modules that would be useful in your code.  Very cool actually.  See more here.

NetApp Volume Encryption – the Nitty Gritty
With the current version of ONTAP you can get volume level encryption.  It sounds good and in fact sounds a little easy to do.  But this article will give you the full details.  I learned about this from Keith Assen, who is a technical rockstar in a variety of areas, and a cool guy too.

Veeam and HPE Partnership Delivers Data Protection Innovation
In this article – by one of my co-workers – there is good info on using HPE gear with Veeam. Some quite interesting numbers too about how a version upgrade make a big difference.

Setting up the ability to use Restore to Azure in Veeam
This new feature is quite useful for things like an executive losing his laptop and doing a quick restore to Azure and give the exec a Chromebook to access it while you wait for the new laptop. Here is part 1, and part 2, of setting this up.

Diskspd Utility: A Robust Storage Testing Tool
Thanks to SwiftOnSecurity, I saw this article about a disk speed testing tool, and I heard it works very well.  An useful tool it seems.

Microsoft Researchers Release Anti-Reconnaissance Tool Named SAMRi10
I remember using some exploits long ago that this tool SAMRi10 would make impossible.  Interesting stuff actually.  Definitely something to think about if you design or implement security in Windows 10 or Windows 2016.

Enterprise IT Calendar
You can find a calendar of technical events here.  It is done by Stephen Foskett and is useful if you are curious what is going on out there.  Thanks for this Stephen!

Veeam VMCE Study Tips & Resources
Matt has some good info for anyone thinking of sitting for the Veeam CE exam – which I do suggest if you work with Veeam you should do it!

Veeam Backup for Office365
You can get more info on this cool new product at this page. Both NFR and info are available – and a very good deal.  This tool will allow you to backup Office365 and then use Veeam Backup & Replication to backup the Office365 machines(s) that hold the backup of your Office365.  This makes very good backup but it also gives you some interesting compliance ideas.

The most effective weapon on the modern battlefield is … concrete
This is a very interesting article about a different dimension to war.  And how concrete made such a huge difference. Quite interesting.

Internet Archive Successfully Fends off Secret FBI Order
An interesting story about a very disreputable affair. Many of you have likely heard bits and pieces about it, but the whole story is pretty interesting.

Using Ubiquiti in the home and lab
If I had not bought eero for my Wifi I would have bought Ubiquiti.  I have heard great things about it – like in this article.  A very nicely done review.

How to stop iCloud Calendar Spam
I have not seen this in the wild, but it is good to know if I do I can stop it – using this.  Now, if only I had a way to stop spam in Skype.

How to customize the Touch Bar Control Strip on MacBook Pro
Not sure if there is much customization of the Touch bar that I need.  I need more apps to support it!  But if you want to at least see what options are available check out this article.

Workflows of a Casual Apple Pencil User
I have an Apple Pencil, but have only used it a couple of times.  It works very well, but using it to take notes is not as good as my typing.  But I am not really surprised.  All the use of it I have seen is mostly by artists or graphic artists, and in this story a photographer.

Everything you need to know about Apple Pay
I suggest that if you have the necessary hardware – like a new MacBook Pro, or relatively new iPad, or iPhone, you should absolutely be using Apple Pay whenever you can.  It is more secure then pulling out and using credit cards, and that is important.  Plus, it is easy and quick normally. I have met several people lately who could be using and aren’t so here is an article that can help people learn more.

NetFlix finally lets download shows and movies to watch offline
This was a long time coming, but it is nice you can download to Android and iOS devices movies and TV shows.  Turns out it is not the entire catalog but a select of stuff.  And it seems to vary between regions.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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