Newsletter: January 21, 2017

Hello all,

I am very happy to be writing you all again.  It has been quite a whirlwind of a few weeks.  Sales Kick-off and R&D visits and a lot of travel.  I look forward to getting things moving on this blog again.  First, with this newsletter, but also with some new articles.

I have been busy with some interesting lab projects.  I got Nexenta storage working in my lab.  I am using unsupported hardware but it works and seems to work quite well.  You can see the install article, but in fact you can see all my Nexenta articles using this tag. As well, I worked out an interesting way to update firmware / IPMI on SuperMicro hosts.  Quite handy for me as I have two, but it would be particularly good for when you have a fair number of hosts. I also updated my Linux vSphere template article for newer vSphere and Linux.  Quite useful actually for me as I do not know much about Linux but was able to make this work and so a great reference.

I heard on 1/18/17 that the VMware HOL hit 1 million labs provisioned. That is most impressive. They deserve a big congrats on that. I worked on shared labs at VMware and I know how hard it is, and also, how important it is.  So very impressed. BTW here is the start on an interesting article series by the lab architect.

I have some small home automation toys in-route to my home, and these will be my first exposure to Home Automation using the Apple HomeKit architecture and so will be sure to share that – good or bad!

Also, if you are a Veeam customer, you can get some free licenses for our new products.  Check out the details here.

But as always, I have a lot so share and so must get started! Yes, really a lot.

Have a great week!


DataGravity for Virtualization
DataGravity has released its new product – DataGravity for Virtualization – which I am very excited to test and work with in my lab.  You can see more about it here and the announcement here.  This is the stuff that allows you to be data-aware. Does that make sense? So you know when credit cards, or your most important code words are written to your storage, or when some sort of odd behavior – like a lot of deletes, can trigger a snapshot and an email alert. And it works with a variety of different storage platforms.

New Product Walkthrough – Hybrid vSphere SSL Certificate Replacement
Adam has a nice article talking about the cert replacement in vSphere as well as a link to a walkthrough that should really help you prepare to do your own cert replacement.

Understanding Storage Policy-Based Management
A very good article that talks more about SPBM and is very good background on the subject.  I think that SPBM is very useful, and more people should in fact be exploiting it.

Quickly See the Major Enhancements to Host Profiles in vSphere 6.5
Someone was wondering about this recently – and more generally about using host profiles or not.  But here is the info on the changes in host profiles in vSphere 6.5.

VCSA 6.5 Installer Gotcha’s
As it turns out I will likely be doing my 6.5 upgrade this weekend, and as a result this article by Steve might be very handy!

vSphere 6.5 Auto Deploy
You can learn more about how to use Auto Deploy in 6.5 in this article and this article.  It is in fact a little different – most in the vSphere UI now – and that alone makes it a bit different.

Gathering core dump files when encryption is enabled
Cormac has a great article that explains how to get support logs when VM Encryption is in use.  Good to know!  I did wonder about this.

vSphere 6.5 – Upload File to Service Request via Web Client
You can upload a file to a Service Request in the 6.5 Web Client.  Quite handy actually.

NSX for vSphere 6.2.5
This new release still has no 6.5 support, but it does seem to have some good fixes too.  Here are the release notes.  I expect the 6.5 support for NSX in the next few weeks I think.

Designing vSAN Disk Groups – All Flash Cache Ratio Update
John has an article that talks on the 10% cache ratio that vSAN has expected in the past.  Good info actually. The 10% still works but it may be more economical to follow the new thinking.

Using vROps Management Pack for vSAN to assist with workload migrations
An article that talks about the vSAN Management Pack for vROps but with a very useful use-case as part of it.  Great info actually.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client v3
I do like this client a lot – I wish that the vSphere 6.5 version was updated as frequently as the HTML5 Web Client is. You can see the latest version – v3 and more info about it in this article.  I upgraded to this new version with no issues.

vRealize Automation 7.x – Beware of Certificates
An interesting read about a couple of issues around certificates during a vRA PofC.

Using the new Microsoft Azure Endpoint in vRealize Automation 7.2
This is quite an interesting use case where you can have the ability to connect to Azure in a vRA workflow.

vRealize Operations email template manager
I missed this when it came out but Yves reminded me.  Very nice fling!

vRealize Production Test 1.7.0 is now GA
This is an engineering created tool to check the health of a vRealize suite install – so apps like vRealize Automation and vRealize Operations. A good tool I think to check your install particularly if you are doing a complex install.

How to downgrade the buggy 1.0.10 Powershell plugin that’s part of vRO 7.2
This is quite useful to fix an issue, but also, there is a patch now to fix it now!

vSphere Optimization Assessment
I agree with the author that not many know of this useful tool.  Partners can use it to help a customer understand their virtual environment better and find things such as over-provisioned VMs.

Oracle on VMware vSphere & vSAN – dispelling the license myths
Another important article about dealing with Oracle and licensing.

What’s New with Developer and Automation Interfaces for vSphere 6.5?
Kyle has a good article about the new developer APIs and it is pretty interesting – particularly the API Explorer.

Mis-configured network for Red Hat Linux 6.8
This KB article is about 6.8 but I have heard of people in the wild experiencing it with RHEL 7.2 as well.

Log Insight 4.0: New User Alerts Administration
I never had an issue with malfunctioning User Alerts, but I certainly saw the possibility.  Very cool how this is managed in 4.0.  Find out more here.

Support Insider – KB Digest
William reminded us that this is a good URL to track.  It is the KB Digest and new articles appear there regularly. It is very good to browse.

A look at All Paths Down in vSphere
A good look at APD in vSphere in this article. Good learning info.

Horizon 7.0 Part 12 – Understanding Horizon Remote Access
Sean has a very good breakdown of the remote access options for Horizon 7.  Sean often has good Horizon stuff on his site.

Top 10 Tips for a Successful Horizon VDI
Some general tips about being more successful with View. Not too much detail but links to more information.

The VMware Specialist’s Guide to AWS certifications
A good breakdown in AWS certs that can help a VMware person get started, or maybe just understand things better.

Want to learn more about VMware Cloud on AWS?
I heard this request a few times recently so here is a good start.

Do and Don’t – VVol
You can find an article about some do’s and don’ts when doing VVol on Nimble storage.

Deploying VMware NSX Edge Services using the REST API
An interesting problem and solution article.  Good to know.  I think this will impact and help other users!

Automating the VSAN HCL with PowerCLI
Alan has a good script that can help with updating the HCL for vSAN when your vCenter has not Internet connectivity. Remember that the HCL is one of the things check in the vSAN health applet.

Greater visibility through PowerShell logging
An interesting article from some real security specialists.  I can see this as a good idea in fact for many customers I used to know.

Veeam product updates – Backup for O365 1.0 U1, VBR 9.5 U1, ONE 9.5 U1
All three are now GA, and you can find them via the KB as O365 U1, VBR 9.5 U1 and ONE 9.5 U1.  Quite excited about this as I have been looking forward to having vSphere 6.5 in my lab.

How to recover Group Policy Objects
In this article you can learn how to recover GPO objects using Veeam.  Very cool stuff – image backup your VM, and pull out a group policy object like a logon script, or an AD object like a password and paste either into the production environment.  Very cool stuff! Yes, this means you backup a DC, but it does not mean you should ever restore it! To much risk and it is too easy to deploy a new server and DCPromo it.

Powershell: Veeam Cloud Connect total virtual machines report
Some useful PowerShell to produce a report on how many virtual machines are in your Cloud Connect environment.  Also a good example of what can be done in PowerShell with VCC.

Worst backup practices of Veeam Backup and Replication
One of the superstar Veeam Solution Architects did a session on this subject for VeeamON last year.  And then recently a marketing person did an article based on that session. I hope you saw the original.

Moving files on scale out repository
Someone wanted to do this – move a Veeam SOBR’s files around.  They were not sure – but yes, it is supported.  More details can be found here.

Cluster size recommendations for ReFS and NTFS
You can learn a lot more about this subject in this article. However, it is important to still use 64k block size if you are going to do a Win2K16 ReFS hosted Veeam repository.

Backup and Change Rate, Part 1: Change Rate Explained
A very nice article on a somewhat complex area that is very important.  And, this is on the new Veeam Hub site that I have high hopes for.  And yes, I did ask for RSS support on this site.

Concurrent Linux File Restores in Veeam Backup & Replication v9.5 vCloud Director Self-Service Portal
Luca has an article that talks about some important stuff if you wish to do self-service restores when using vCD and Veeam 9.5.  Some recommended suggestions are important so a very good article.

Veeam Backup & Copy jobs issues – pointing to SoBR
An interesting problem and solution article – with a solution that requires help from support.  Also, it appears that the solution is not in Update 1.

OpsBot v2
How would you like to put a codeword into a Slack channel, and have it execute a specific PowerShell or PowerCLI command?  With results seen in the Slack channel.  This is pretty amazing and pretty cool too. Codeword is embedded commands, or even entered PowerCLI. Find out more here.

Export a VM from AHV to ESXi
Not sure how many people will need this, but I saw it and thought interesting.

Github – Getting Started
An interesting preso on getting started with GiHub.  Certainly something I can use some help with. And incidentally, a very nicely done preso!

Home Lab v3.1 – Ubiquiti Networks UniFi AP AC Pro
Steve has an interesting article about him doing Wifi in his house.  If I had not done eero I would have done Ubiquiti I think.

How to Performance Test 101 in 5 Steps
Michael has an excellent article on performance testing.  And agreed Michael, not quite what I asked for, but nevertheless it is most excellent.

Disable Windows Disk Write Cache for Data Integrity and Better Performance
Michael has an interesting article about how to provide better performance by doing something unexpected.  And he has found it by empirical testing. Very cool stuff.

Can Puppet manage Windows servers?
Short answer is Yes.  But for more info – and even a TWP check out this article. Very cool stuff – I quite like what is possible with Puppet, and while I have only worked with it a little, I am fond of it.

Microsoft Azure in Plain English
Just in case you wonder, here is the break down of the names of various Azure services, and in fact what they are used for, and what services in AWS they are similar too.

Virtualization Blogs 2016 by the numbers
I had no idea I had written so many articles.  But you can see how many I did in this article, along with many other virtualization based bloggers. Also a good place to check out a blogger you are interested in.

What’s in your bag….
One of my co-workers has shared what is in his laptop bag – which always is interesting.  I did that a while back, but need to do a new version since I have a different laptop now.

Configuring DD-WRT on the Linksys WRT1900ACS for Multiple Wifi SSID and VPN Setup
Ray has an excellent article on the setup of a customized OS for his Wifi router, and good background on it too.  Very good help to make a very customized router.

NetApp Simulator 9 Free eBook
I shared a link recently to this ebook but it has been updated recently to cover off building the simulator in VMware Workstation.

Supercharge your WIFI network – Apple
In this article it steps you through some good stuff to think about when you configure your Apple AirPort Extreme.

Need to learn about HomeKit
I do and I found a number of articles on it that are helpful. Here is one on core concepts, and here is setting up accessories, and finally one on control. As well, here is a book that covers iOS 10 including HomeKit.

How to efficiently free up space and recover lost storage on your Mac
A short article with some suggestions on better understanding your disk utilization.  They suggest a good tool to help as well.

My TouchBar on my Mac
I quite like the TouchBar on my MBP.  I use it a lot for system authentication – confirming something or unlocking the screen.  I also use it for 1Password authentication too.  Evernote also uses it nicely and that is handy. I also prefer it over the old function keys too. I find it more functional.  Here is a couple of articles (article and article) on this subject.

What is the list of Siri commands?
You can get a potential total list of commands here, and here. There used to be a really good site for this – but it has stopped doing it.  It still has the list available but it is not being updated.

The End of Cloud Computing
This is quite an interesting article, and I think pretty well thought out and definitely a potential future.  In fact, I think I would bet on it.

GPartEd and versions – something to watch for
I recently had some issues with some disks in one of my servers.  I used GPartEd – with handwritten label of 1.4.1 which is not legit I think, and it said nothing present  – but I really wanted to erase the disk.  I used the current version of it – which I downloaded myself, and burned to disk, and it did show odd partitions on my disk – ZFS in fact.  So this new version which could see them, was also able to delete them. Now things worked.

Thanks for reading, or skimming this far!


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