Newsletter: February 18, 2017

Hello all,

I had hoped by this time, with all the time in the datacenter I recently spent that I would have a new work lab.  It is not to be however, as the work is not done, and there is a new plan.  I look forward to it being done as I have made commitments to a variety of you about articles to expect.  They are delayed, not forgotten.

I did get one article done this week about a SQL issue I experienced. I am still working on others and do hope to get them out as soon as I can – particularly my VM Encryption and Veeam one.

BTW, if you are any sort of IT Pro – such as vExperts or MVP, you can get a Veeam NFR key. Find out the details here. This has been updated with our new Backup for MS Office 365 product.

I had an issue with my new Dell R730 hosts recently and the problem was there was no local disk seen by vSphere 6.5 to do a local disk.  And this problem of course meant on other hosts no vSAN.  The solution was simple – I needed to change the array controller to HBA mode, and make each disk a non-RAID disk. Both of these were done after booting to Setup and selecting Devices. The config I had ordered was for vSAN so I think things got confused at Dell and this was not a typical thing to have happen.

I am a little behind on sharing so have quite a few things to get out to you all.  So lets get started!

Have a great week!


Homelab: Downsizing vCenter Server Appliance 6.5
While this is not good for production, it is very good to know if you are doing home lab stuff, particularly nested environments. For production environments, I do the opposite and that is provide 2 GB more of memory and that seems to minimize some of the odd little issues like things alerting in the UI.

Want to learn more about enabling vCenter HA?
You can see the basic methodology here, and the advanced here.  Be aware that advanced actually means advanced. Thanks for this Adam, cool and useful. And, what is with the penguin suit?

What is VMware Orchestrated Restart?
Some folks I was working with were not familiar with this feature and it is pretty handy. Think about it – you have a host PSOD, and Orchestrated Restart will make sure the appropriate VMs are started first – like a firewall or Domain Controller for example. I remember talking with the PM about this a very long time ago.  You may not know, but I love working with product managers, and when I was one, while I did not talk with myself, it was a great time.

Update on Intel NUC 7th Gen (Kaby Lake) & ESXi 6.x
If you are thinking about buying a NUC for your home lab you need to check this article out.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling – 3.4
This tool is progressing rapidly.  I quite like it.  It is now 3.4 and adds in a new color theme, and some policy improvements and additions.  Change log is here. It is really too bad that they are not on some reasonable schedule releasing updates for the version of this in vSphere 6.5.

Impact of Removing ESXi Host from vCenter – Must know Info
This is a good list to be aware of – more things are lost when you remove a host from vC then I realized.  You should always think carefully about removing a host.

What are the different ways to patch VCSA 6.5
An article that talks about the different ways to update the VCSA.  I prefer and most often use method number 3.

Using vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for vSAN for better visibility
A nice article that introduces the vSAN content pack for Log Insight and how useful it is. I have vSAN and I will be playing with this Content Pack next week.  I suspect it will be quite useful.  BTW, if you are more into vR Ops, you can get a Management Pack for vSAN.  See this for more info.

vRealize Orchestrator and vRealize Automation 7.01 have built – in Log Insight agents
I found out recently that both of these tools have LI agents installed and it is legit to update them.  But, if you want auto update to work in the future, you will need to enable it in the LI admin UI, AND you will need to add an auto_update=yes to a [update] section of the liagent.ini. After you restart the agent you will get an automatic update of the agent – when there is an update. Thanks to Kim for confirming this.

VMWare NSX-T Technical White Paper
Not sure why this TWP is out of the communities but if you want to learn more about NSX-T this is the doc for it.

VMware NSX Micro-segmentation – Day 1
Wade has a new ebook out about NSX micro-segmentation and is pretty darn interesting. I know Wade and he is a very nice guy and wicked smart.  So no surprise I like the book!

Potential ESXi Host Preparation issues with NSX 6.3
William talks about some issues he ran into with NSX that he thinks others will be impacted with so very good to be able to share it out.

Learn basics of PowerShell and PowerCLI under 1.5 hours
I have not checked out this lesson, but I suspect I will soon.  Curious to see what it is like.  I have heard very good things about it and so if you need a little help getting started with PowerShell you should check it out. Once you go through that, and want to learn about some useful stuff around PowerCLI check out this list of articles I have on the subject.

Getting Started with the vSphere Automation SDK for REST
Kyle has an interesting article on getting started with the REST SDK.  I expect to use it one day when my product has it’s API enabled.  Looking forward to it. Interesting stuff!

vSAN and SRM RPO and RTO
Jeff has an interesting article about an interesting situation.  RTO and RPO are very tricky beasts and so this is a good article.

SRM 5.8.1 and VR Protection Advanced Settings Riddle
An interesting issue and details from an SRM user that had to live through a painful experience. What is that saying – forewarned is forearmed?  Sort of applies here.

Security for your virtual machines: backup of vSphere encrypted VMs
Luca has once again released an article on something important before I do!  He has good info to help you get your VMs encrypted.  When I get my article or white paper out it will contain additional information to help you secure your backups and protect your restores too.

Veeam ONE database calculator
I recently saw this article pass by that allows you to estimate the database size that you might need for Veeam ONE. If you are installing ONE, or have someone asking you how much database footprint it might have this tool is for you.

Ransomware as a Service: Air gapped backups became more important then ever
Anton has an interesting article that all Veeam customers and partners should read. I agree that this Ransomware issues is going to do nothing but grow.  I also have an article that can help you protect your Veeam environment better.

Windows Server 2016 Data Deduplication users: please install KB3216755!
Important for Win2K16 users that are using data dedupe.  A patch to avoid issues that is quite important. There have been some updates to this article as well.

Enable F8 key & Safe Mode in Windows 10/8
I saw someone who had enabled this and saw it as handy. So if you need Safe Mode  (that you can access) this article will help.

Rubrik update >> 3.1
Looks like there is a lot to look forward to in 3.1 of the Rubrik OS.  Duncan writes about it here.

If the Answer is NVMe, then what were and are the questions?
Want to learn a little more about NVMe? If you do this article will certainly help.

Semi-critical Intel Atom C2000 SoC Flaw Discovered, Hardware fix required
This is not good news for many customers.  A chip that dies that bricks your device.  And so the services of that device then die.  And you have to physically replace the device.  To make this worse, it will not just happen to you, but also your neighbors too.  This is true for many products including some from Juniper and Cisco. The story is here.

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: Automating your home
I need to get more into exploiting HomeKit and the possibilities of home automation. Here is an interesting article on this very subject. Here is the series that the article is part of.

Keeping your data safe when crossing borders
This is an interesting article.  Disable your Touch ID as you go through the border to keep your data safe.  It turns out that fingerprint access and password access is different in the courts sometimes.

Release notes for Office 2016 for Mac
In this release (release notes) you get Touch Bar support in Word, PowerPoint and Excel.  Pretty cool actually.

How to use your AirPods when you’re offline
I love my AirPods but have not used them when I am completely offline.  I don’t use Siri much to control them – actually not at all, but my wife does.  If you are completely offline, there is no Siri.  So this article will help.

How to remove duplicate songs in iTunes with MacOS and third-party apps
I used to worry about this – duplicates in iTunes but I decided it was better (read safer) to not worry about it.  But if you do, then this article can help.

How to Back up your iCloud Photo Library
If you need help with this on your Mac this article can help.

Thanks for reading, or skimming this far,


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