Newsletter: February 25, 2017

Hello all,

I had most of the week at home and is that ever nice.  Plus I have made some good progress on the work lab.  I hope to finish it next week and then work on my own pod in it.  Very excited to get more work done on things I have actual commitments on.  And my commitments impact all of you too!

One odd thing to share, I am – as you know, a Mac user.  I know that there is some odd issues with Preview and PDF files but I have ignored what I heard as most things work for me.  Until recently.  I received from my employer one of my tax documents and when I looked at it all of the Yes, and all of the No boxes were selected.  So instead of using preview to view it, I used Acrobat Reader on the Mac to read it and it showed the proper Yes or No selections.  So if you are just reading a text book or looking up technical stuff in PDF files I suspect you are fine.  But forms, might be different and make sure to use Reader for that.

CloudFlare had some issues recently and somehow the press dragged 1Password into it and that is just not right.  See here for the 1Password explanation. The comments are pretty good too. I recommend, unreservedly, 1Password and I suggest that each of you should be using it, and have very complex and different passwords for every single service.

In the Ask Gostev series on educating people about Veeam we had number 2 recently about vSphere 6.5 backup gotchas that was quite interesting.  You can find both of the episodes in this link. If you are a customer using Veeam, or a partner supporting Veeam you will learn something.

I should mention, that you may see some change your password emails from vendors due to the CloudFlare thing, but make sure you and your friends and families do not use those email links to change your passwords.  You go to the web site yourself and change the password.  These email may not be what you think, and I bet you have some of those already – I have one already myself.

Incidentally, my wife and I are watching some shows that are pretty good that I learned about from you folks.   The first is Santa Clarity Diet, which is amazing funny, and the other is Colony – which is a good drama that is original.  Both are good for me, and also for Angela. One show that I have liked through 3 or 4 seasons that only I watch is The BlackList. When we catch up the zombie and science fiction, we will continue with the Game of Thrones.

But, I have much to share, and if I get this newsletter done nicely, and in a good amount of time – so less then the normal day, I get to play with a very secret and exciting project – so I am very much looking forward to that!

Have a great week!


vSphere 6.0 U3 now GA
You can find vC release notes, and bits, and it looks like there is a fair bit of resolved issues in this release. Here is the bits for ESXi 6.0 U3, and the release notes. I see some important fixes in ESXi too.  Looks like this is an point release you need sooner rather then later.  BTW, I have heard from several people, including vSAN dev that this is a very important upgrade.  There are important vSAN related fixes in this release. Upgrade sooner, rather then later if you are vSAN users.

vSphere 6.5 Host Deep Dive Update
Definitely looking forward to this book! It is one of the ones that I will own both paper and electronic versions. I really like the stuff that Frank writes and while often it takes a few re-reads to understand that is just fine!

vSphere 6.5 PSOD: GP Exception 13
A PSOD is something most of you have not seen.  Pretty rare so when pops up it is pretty exciting, and I suggest you take a picture.  Not just to show your friends, but there is often in that picture info that is not in any of the logs.  But we learn about the problems and a solution of a PSOD in this article.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client – v3.5
Another new update of this very nice client. Not so many new features but some fixes and improvements.  Find out more in the changelog.

Setting the record straight on DRS, pDRS and Workload Placement
A really good breakdown of DRS, pDRS, and Workload Placement and of course some very good learning. Good stuff.

Predictive DRS
This – pDRS – is a new feature of 6.5 and is pretty interesting.  For more info check out this article on it.

Load Balancing vSphere Clusters with DRS
I have chatted with customers on this vary subject – DRS is not a load balancing system but rather a system that tries to make sure each VM has the resources it needs.  Matt has a very good article on this, including how you can tweak things a little to make it more load balancer like.

vCenter Service Appliance 6.5 Tips and Tricks
You can find a list of tips in this article.  The best one, and likely the only one you will normally need, is the last one.

Understanding VMware ESXi Queuing and the Flash array
Very good article – thanks Cody – about understanding queueing and how it can impact your apps. Even if you are not a Pure array user, this is a good article to learn more about queues and how they impact things.  Very well done Cody!

vSphere 6.5 – What to be aware of before upgrade?
This article has some good things to think about before you upgrade.  Always good to be informed before you do something as important as upgrade your virtualization environment.

Virtual SAN series of articles
Jeff has a great series of vSAN articles that start with this one.  Lots of good info.

vBrownBag – What’s New in PowerCLI with Kyle Ruddy
A very nice show with Kyle that will help you learn a lot.  It even includes demo’s! I had the pleasure to work with Kyle in a Hackathon and he is pretty darn smart!  So good info to if you want to learn more about PowerCLI or check out the new 6.5 stuff.

Backup or Recover SPBM Profiles with PowerCLI
If you screw up or delete a policy do you really want to restore vC to get it back?  Might be better to use PowerCLI to backup and or restore your SPBM, and guess what?  You can find out how easy that is right here.  A very nice script in fact.

Connect-srmserver and loginsites issues with SRM sites in the same SSO domain
Chris has an article about an interesting issue with PowerCLI and SRM, but also the solution.  Nice.

vRealize Automation 7.2 Detailed Implementation Video Guide
Jad has an article that collects the full set of videos that can help you install vRA 7.2.  Very handy stuff if you are starting out. It has gotten much easier to install vRA but there is still lots to think about so this guide is pretty handy.

Setup AD Integration in vRA 7
A nice article that steps you through the config of AD for a tenant in vRA 7.

vRA 7.2 DIG – 01, Introduction
Very good info to get you started on vRA and multiple episodes too.  Great stuff Jad!

vRealize Operations Troubleshooting webcast
In a few days a 1 hour webinar on troubleshooting in or using vR Ops.  Very handy I think.  See more here.

Extracting VIN (vSphere Infrastructure Navigator) information using PowerCLI & vROps REST API
William has a nice article on how to get the most excellent and useful info out of VIN.  I miss VIN in my lab, and I cannot wait for VMware to release a version that works with vSphere 6.5.  I am quite worried they will drop it but I really hope not. I have used it with many customers to help them with SRM and understanding they need to protect their app but also what talks to it and what it talks too.  We will see what happens to it though.

VMware Horizon View 7: Deployment and Installation [Part 1]
You can find both part 1 and an index of the different articles in this series.  Most handy.

In detail – VMware’s Blast Extreme protocol
This is a good read if you want to learn more about the Blast Extreme protocol.  I am a fan, and have been for a long time, of PCoIP as the simple fact is it worked and worked well, regardless of where I connected from.  But, I like how Blast Extreme could work as good and over standard ports.  So no more firewall tweaks.

Deploying NSX Manager 6.3
You used to purchase and use NSX if you needed it.  Now, you have to use it with vCD, and I suspect it is almost required with vRA.  So here is some info to get the manager install started and of course that is the component you start with.

VCP6-NV (240-642) Exam Experience
A good article that talks about what the author oused to pass the VCP6-NV test.  Even if you don’t want to take the test some good resources to learn more about NSX.

VMware vCenter Support Assistant 6.5 now GA
I really love this tool – it not only automatically gathers my vC and ESXi logs and bundles and submits them each week, it lets me know when issues are found.  It also helps me submit SR’s a bit easier too.  So happy there is a 6.5 version now. Here is the bits, release notes, and docs.  One thing to note is there is no update so you have to uninstall the old and install the new.

Under the hood: How does ReFS block cloning works
A very interesting article about how ReFS actually works, and with code snipits to prove and learn from.  One thing important I learned is files need to be properly aligned to be block cloned.  And that is why the backup needs to be done by Veeam on ReFS before any of the fancy stuff happens.

HPE 3PAR StoreServe now supports VVol Replication
It was only recently that VMware supported replication for VVols (VASA 3.0 in vSphere 6.5) and so I think that 3PAR is the first to support it.  See the info here.

VVols design and procurement considerations
Duncan has a good article with lots to think about around VVols, and particularly around helping you make an informed decision around VVols.

Use let’s Encrypt free certificates in Windows for Veeam Cloud Connect
A very nice article by Luca on using Let’s Encrypt certs with vCC. As always lots to learn.

Veeam, Novell and SUSE: new things you need to know
I was very big on Novell in the past.  Made really a lot of happy customers with it, and so it is nice to see the name every now and again.  Imagine my surprise when I see the name Novell on some Veeam stuff!  Great info and definitely good to know in case you have the need!

Cisco HyperFlex 2.0
Michael has an article that talks about HyperFlex 2.0 from Cisco.  Some nice things in this release and not the least is an HTML5 UI.  Good stuff.

OpenVPN Access Server
I should mention that is many traditional VPN situations you should no longer use a VPN but rather virtual desktops or virtual apps.  However, if you do need a VPN, particularly for emergency access to a home lab, here is what appears to be an excellent choice.

How to use Sonos as wireless speakers for a Mac
I did not know this was possible, or necessary, but once I heard about it from my co-worker Anthony I realized it was very handy and useful. Yes, you can use your Sonos to be your Mac’s speakers.  Very cool.

Tech Tip: Testing & Troubleshooting Internet Speed with Your iOS devices
An interesting article that talks about testing your iOS device download speed but there is good incidental info in the article like what download rate you will need for video or whatever.  I did not know that 1.5 Mbps will allow Apple Music to produce excellent audio.

Review of Synology’s Surveillance Station – a free IP camera tool for Synology devices
I have thought often about using the Synology Surveillance Station software as it comes with a couple of licenses so it would be easy to get started.  Of course, the problem is time! Who has enough of it?  Here is a review of this software.

Synology 6.1 now GA
This looks like a big release.  A friend of mine has already updated to it with no issues.  My upgrade went smooth and no issues.  I have an 1813+.  This really is quite the issue, for example, you can have your Synology act as a Domain Controller, and do patches to your windows users that are part of that domain.  Amazing.

Why Touch ID makes the MacBook Pro the best Mac ever
This article does make some good points, but I am pretty happy with USB-C, and the fact there is four of them, and the fast processor, and the amazing screen too. But, I do like the Touch ID!

Thanks for reading, or skimming this far,


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