Newsletter: January 28, 2017

Hello all,

I hope everyone had a good week, and are enjoying a very good weekend? I had an interesting week and that is always good, plus at home too so that is ever better.

One of the things I did this week was play with the beta Agents for Windows v2 that are out in public now, and it was really quite cool.  I did an article on the Rescue Media which is quite useful, but I really like how you can use the repository for the backup as either Veeam B&R or a Cloud Connect instance.  This is very powerful and useful.

I have also been preparing for a new work lab.  That is going to be quite exciting as it will let me do a better job at work.  And that means you will see more interesting stuff from me too at times.

I hope this weekend to finally get my home lab up to 6.5.  Veeam is now ready, but I am still waiting for VMware Infrastructure Navigator but no idea when it will show up.  I will miss having it!

Lots to share, so guess what? Time to start!


Smaller vCenter Log Bundles through DMP file cleanup
This is an interesting article as I have seen the issues with uploading log files for support.    Next time that happens I will know where to look!

How-to create a security banner for ESXi
I used to have to do this.  It is very important in a number of different types of customers. And then I had to do the logging of said event too.  I think it worth now doing these sort of things by default – especially if you are a partner that works on VMware stuff for customers.

Functional USB-C Ethernet Adapter for ESXi 5.5, 6.0 & 6.5
This is very cool stuff – it is now possible if you have USB-C, to have much closer to 1 GB throughput in some of our small home servers like the NUC in my lab.  Not sure when they will have USB Type C though.

VMs not getting killed after vMSC partition has lifted
Some very good info if you are working with vMSC.  But, also some other good things to know – don’t do testing with empty VMs as it can sometimes impact your test!  Plus, always have a heartbeat datastore.

How to find out which storage vendors support VVol replication in vSphere 6.5
I have actually been asked in the past how to tell which storage vendors support VVols.  And now with replication in VVols it is likely going to be a common question again.  See this article for learning how to answer this yourself.  BTW, it appears only Nimble supports VVol replication.

XenDesktop / XenApp 7.12 MCS works with vSAN
Duncan talks about this in this article.  I know there is a lot of XenDesktop out there so very good it can now work on vSAN.

vSphere Replication Synchronization Types
I heard some comments about the different sync types and I knew Jeff has blogged about it so here it is in case someone else wants to learn about about them.

Don’t cripple your NSX installation with Host Profiles (and the C# Client)
Wow.  This was a bad circumstance, and I think for many customers it could have gone way worse.  Find the story and things to be aware of here. Glad things got figured out!

vCenter 6.5: Import License Keys from my.vmware
This is most amazing and I can see it being very helpful.  I had no idea, and I did in fact read through the What’s New doc – at least the first version of it. This will not help everyone, but for those of you who can and need this – you will save a lot on typing and potential mistakes!

vCenter Server 6.0: vmware-dataservice-sca and vsphere-client status change from green to yellow
I have certainly seen some of these issues, and I increased the physical memory of the VCSA and it helped minimize the issues but I did not do anything inside the VCSA and I probably should.

Why Nested ESXi is an essential part of your home lab
A nice article on why you should be using nested ESXi in your home lab.  I think nested ESXi is a valuable tool in a variety of situations.  My own home lab is for learning, but in a customer like way so I don’t have any nested at home.  I hope to have a mix of physical and nested at work one day.

Updated What’s New in vSphere 6.5 paper
You can find the updated what’s new in vSphere 6.5 paper.  Looks like it changed 1/3/17. However, not sure what changed.

vCenter 6.5 Image Builder Stops working after changing certificates
If you are going to change the certs in vCenter you need to be aware of the ripple effect of changing certs.  In this article there is an example where after the vC cert is updated Image Builder stops working.  Good thing the article also talks about the workaround.

vSphere 6.5 Component Password Recovery (vCenter, SSO, and ESXi)
It has likely happened to us all – forgotten or misplaced a password.  And sometimes it is hard to deal with that. Here is an article that can help when you have forgotten your important vSphere passwords. I have used some of  these processes before and they work.  So good info to have handy.

Copying files from a USB (FAT32 or NTFS) device to ESXi
This is very useful info that you will not use often, but when you do it will be a big help.  How to use USB with ESXi to move little or a lot of data.

Managing in-guest UNMAP and automatic VMFS-6 UNMAP with PowerCLI
Cody once again writes on something quite interesting and useful. Some good info on UNMAP and how the different ESXi versions impact it, and how to do some config too with PowerCLI.

vSphere 6.5 iSCSI binding Bug …. Dude, where’s my unused adapter?
Another problem and workaround kind of article.  In this one a problem in iSCSI binding.

Agent Auto Update in Log Insight 4.0
This very handy feature is in tech preview so not much info around on it. I found out – thanks to Steve – that if you add auto_update=yes to the [update] section in the liagent.ini you will get an auto update when your LI server has an updated agent. Very handy. And no reboots necessary from what I have seen so far.  And yes, you need to enable in the UI too and restart the agent to reload the agent config.

Integrate Anything with Log Insight Using Syslog
In this article there is a bunch of examples of how you can programmatically get data into Log Insight via Syslog.  Very cool.

What are the ESXi hosts that a VM has ever run on?
This is the kind of thing it is good to know how to do if you have a need to deal with very odd license rules, and you have Log Insight.

Making the Puppet vRealize Automation Plug-in work with vRealize Orchestrator
In this interesting article Rob Nelson will help you get vRO working with Puppet.  And that is very powerful.

VMware User Environment Manager, Part 1: Easier, Faster Windows Logins with Mandatory Profiles
I have not worked with UEM at all but am fascinated with it.  You can find Part 1 and Part 2 of using mandatory profiles with it as well as additional UEM info.  I really see UEM as a powerful tool.

New VMware fling: View Client Resizer
I missed this too but it seems pretty cool. A tool to help with View desktop resolution.

vRA and SCCM Timeout
In this interesting article you can learn about better connecting vRA and SCCM and an issue with that integration.

Remote Server Admin Tools for Win 10
In this article they talk about the RSAT for Win 10 tools and how they have changed.  No need to enable any longer, but you need to be on build 1607 of Win10.  To figure that out, BTW, use winver at the command line and you will see what the actual build is.  You do not see that info using ver at the command line.

VCSP Important Notice: Veeam 9.5 Update 1 is out – with vSphere 6.5 Support
Veeam 9.5 U1 has been out a bit, but Anthony talks about it a little different and specifically for SP so good stuff for them to know.

WARNING: Veeam Backup VDDK error 1 and 2 ESXi 6.6/6 Veeam B&R v8/9 Updated: 03/1/2017
An interesting issue, and solution in this article.  Depending what version of VMware and Veeam you have may determine if you are impacted or not.  If in 5.5 or 6.0 and you are current in VMware patches you are likely going to avoid this.

Veeam Extract Utility, quick restores without the Veeam server
This article highlights something important with Veeam.  You can easily restore even when the Veeam server is not available.  Very handy, and it turns out a surprising number of Veeam users do not know this.  Luca actually mentions a potential best practice of putting the Extract file in your repository so if you Veeam server is gone you are ready to restore.

vSphere 6.5 Veeam backup / replication jobs hang
I saw this KB article pop this week and it is interesting.  If you use a Win 7 or Win2K8 server as your Veeam backup server or proxy, you may have an issue where backup and or replication jobs hang.  Interesting since the solution is to install an updated package from MS on your Win2K8 server(s).

Veeam and ReFS
There has been a lot of talk and questions around ReFS and Veeam.  It is not that complex though.  You need to format a new partition as ReFS – with 64K block size.  Then migrate old, or create new backup files on it.  You will not see any evidence of ReFS stuff until a synthetic operation occurs in the new backups, and when an ReFS type thing happens it will be seen in the UI and logs as a [Fast Clone] kind of thing.   For the old backups it is best to schedule a compact on them and that will make it a backup file that can be impacted by ReFS.  Using ReFS for your repositories is a very worthy thing to do as it will absolutely impact in a positive way your backup operations.

Formatting disk for ReFS
You can format in Computer Management, and when you do, there is a place for allocation unit size and make sure to use 64k – and ReFS. If you leave Default as the value for allocation size you will get 4k which is MS default, but Veeam recommends 64k. Also, a useful command to see what your partition is capable of is is fsutil fsinfo volumeinfo g: where g: is your drive. Look to see support Block Cloning. I also like fsutil fsinfo refsinfo c: and it shows the allocation unit size.

I have been a fan and user of CloudPhysics for a long time.  They have a great product and some wonderful people too.  I did a brief demo for someone recently, but my access is pretty limited although I think I made my point.  I also saw a nice product overview recently that is pretty good. If you don’t know about CloudPhysics, or if it has been a long time since you checked them out – look at this overview.

Cohesity & Pure Storage Integration: All flash performance with Web-Scale Data Management
This is interesting integration between these two companies.  Pure provides the production storage but snapshots are migrated to the Cohesity platform for longer term management and retention.

Eyegasm: 13 awesome cable management moment of zen
I am very fond of good cabling with color codes in use, and labeling too.  My own lab at home is less than ideal, but my customer networks were pretty decent.  But, not up to the standard you see in this article.

Opvisor Health Analyzer Reporting Overview
Emad has a nice overview of the reporting that Opvisor can do. Pretty cool.  I had looked at Opvizor a while back but Emad has convinced me to look again!

What is the Fermi Paradox?
I saw this article recently and it doesn’t do a bad job of answering what the Fermi Paradox is.  It even mentions a Dyson Sphere but doesn’t really explain it and depends on your looking at the picture to figure it out. Here is a better article on this the paradox.

Updates for macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and iOS
These small updates went fine for me on all my devices (Watch, iPhone 7, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 15, and an iPad Pro.  You can find more about it but mostly it was small and bug and security issue fixing.  These updates were so small that is why I did not bother doing a separate article for them.

The best iPhone-compatbile gloves
Here is an article to help you find the best iPhone compatible gloves  Remember the iPhone screen is not just a touch screen but it requires the electrical signal that is in your finger.  So gloves need to pass that through.

SOAPBOX – Vaccines do not cause autism
I heard some people talking recently – and in Alberta where we have a very large amount of educated and smart people – about how vaccines for children cause autism.  I was shocked as I know that is technically not accurate. Then I saw – the same day – this article.  Not vaccinating kids put them, and other kids at risk.  There is no need for that!

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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