Newsletter: March 4, 2017

Hello all,

I hope that everyone had a very nice week, or, if not, I hope you are enjoying the weekend?  I had a good week, another one at home, and got a lot of lab work done. I hope to finish my part of the work lab and I quite look forward to it!

With all the lab work, I updated a few things.  My vSphere Best practices, for example and I confirmed my Dump Collector article works fine with vSphere 6.5. My vSphere Best practices are in fact just recommendations, but they are very good ones.  I also released a new article about vSphere templates and Windows 10.

I have recently spent a bunch of time – and hopefully more this weekend – working with DataGravity gear.  Most excellent and a lot of fun.  I hope to be able to share things soon about that work.

Are you going to VeeamON?  Would you like to win a trip?  You could win your flight, full pass to VeeamON, VMCE training, and hotel.  If you are interested you need to take a test.  You have until March 20 to win!

Do you have any millennial kids?  If you do, you really need to read this article, and then send it to them.  Thanks to Christian for sharing this.

But really a lot to share it seems, so need to get started.


vCenter 6.0 U3 and ESXi 6.0 U3 released
I think they dropped the day of my last newsletter but Magnus breaks things down nicely of that and related releases in this article. Cormac has some thoughts to share on U3 and vSAN. Anthony has some thoughts on it as it relates to service providers.

New vCenter Server Appliance Deployment Walkthroughs
The deploy of the VCSA in 6.5 is a little different but if you have things lined up nicely – like the VCSA in DNS before you start, and read the screens carefully it is a nice install process – and I really appreciate I can do it with my Mac – and I have and it works good.  Here is some walkthroughs to familiarize you with this new process.

Using SD cards for embedded ESXi and vSAN?
John has an interesting article and more so since I do use SD cards in both my work and home labs. I agree with John and have added this to my vSphere Best Practices. John is one of the smartest Technical Marketing guys I know and it is always worth listening to him.  He is also a great dinner companion!

VMware vSAN, Cisco UCS,  and Cisco ACI information
If you are doing vSAN and Cisco UCS you should really check out this article.  Good info.

vSAN Deduplication and Compression
Jeff has a nice video that talks about dedupe and compression in vSAN. And it is all Jeff Hunter!  Nice job!!

VMware Validated Design for SDDC 4.0 now GA
You can find the release notes, docs, and bits. I have said before these are quite useful.  I do know that most customers do not need NSX at this time – although hopefully VMware will make changes to NSX over time to make it more useful for typical customers.  But the fact is this information on how to build things is very good indeed to look at and learn from.  Ignore the parts you don’t need and learn from the parts that empower you.

vSAN Witness appliance and updates
You can use VUM to update your vSAN Witness appliance, or you can can deploy a new one.  There is a nice script to automate your update using a new one.

PowerCLI Core docs moved into online collaboration service
Interesting.  Check out the docs here. Nice idea actually – well done Alan.

Learn Advanced PowerCLI in under 100 minutes
Have not checked this out, but if you have 100 minutes and some good PowerCLI knowledge and want to learn advanced stuff – check out this article.

Creating console screenshots with Get-ScreenshotFromVM.ps1
Would you like to have a PowerCLI script that can take a screenshot of remote VMs?  If so find it here.

Automating VVol DR with PowerCLI 6.5
An interesting article about different things you can do with PowerCLI and VVols and vSphere storage.  Very cool.

SRM Recovery Testing
You can find two articles on this subject that together are good info on testing with SRM. Part 1, and part 2 are worth checking out if you want to learn more.

vRealize Operations Manager 6.5 now GA
According to the release notes this appears to be a small update.  I do note the automatic update of endpoint agents which is handy, and the fact upgrade should be faster.  The removal of the limits on pDRS will only impact the largest customers but that is still a nice change. It seems like a scalability release too so likely lots of little changes to help performance.  You can find the bits too. I do see vROps 6.5 (including the update .pak) in the Software Manager.

Video: vROps is Easy – Creating Dashboards
You can find a short video on creating dashboards in vROps and I hope it is useful for you.

Log Insight 4.3 is now GA
I saw Steve had written about this release, and the release notes are available, and I am excited to try the agent auto update! I am happy to see that Win2K16 is supported (although it seemed to work pretty good for me previously). I like how entries in the host table expire after three months of idle. I do see 4.3 (including the update .pak) in the Software Manager.

Log Insight 4.0: Subscribing to Content Pack Alerts
Some good info on a somewhat changed behavior, and something we don’t often use.  So good info to know!

Use Log Insight as your VMware Security Dashboard
I have been playing with a very cool content pack from Edward Haletky that I quite like.  You can find RC3 of it here. I also saw an article that helps you get it going. Very nice CP that shows some very useful info.

Setting the record straight on DRS, pDRS, and Workload Placement
This very interesting article has been updated with information from the very recently released vROps 6.5.

Learning vRealize Automation 7.2 [Video]
I know the two authors of this learning video and they are wicked smart – and great guys too.  In a few weeks when I need to make vRA work, I will in fact start with their video.  Highly recommended.

vRealize Network Insight 3.3 now GA
This interesting tool has been updated to 3.3 and the release notes suggest a lot of new stuff.  It supports a bunch of other new things like vSphere 6.5 and NSX 6.3. I do see in the Software Manager.

NSX 6.3.1 is now GA
In the release notes it appears that this release is a fix release but with only a few fixes. Here is the bits.

What’s New in VMware vCloud Director 8.20
If you would like to see what is new in vCD this TWP will help you do exactly that. Here is the announcement article on this release.

vRealize Operations Manager – PluralSight
It is funny to me that the day I saw that PluralSight had some nice video training on vROps, was the same day I saw that vROps 6.5 dropped.  But check out this training if you want to learn more about vROps.

Cisco HyperFlex snapshot integration coming soon – Veeam Update 2
Michael has an article that talks about the Cisco and Veeam integration and it sounds pretty good.

Best Practices for Microsoft Deduplicaton
This Veeam KB article was shared recently and I thought I would mention it in that if you are using Win2K12 and a deduped volume you should be aware of it. But, also, you should move to Win2K16 dedupe, or better still, use ReFS and not do dedupe.

Need a KMS to test out VM Encryption?
You can find one from HyTrust and there is no cost.  Of course, if you want to put it into production use you will need to pay for support – which seems reasonable at 5k US. Here is the product. You need to fill out a form but that doesn’t seem to onerous.

Runecast – Proactive performance for your VMware environment – Part 1 and Part 2
Runecast is a newish application that looks at your VMware environment and then analyzes it against a variety of things like best practices, KB articles and more and then reports what it finds. If you want to learn more you can check this article and this article out.  Good info.  This kind of tool is useful and can help with not only improving performance but also reliability and more. I believe they have an offering for vExperts.

Cool tool update: RVTools 3.9.2
I did not notice this update until Duncan shared it out.  A very nice tool has been updated.

Deploying Sysmon through Group Policy (GPO)
I do not know anyone at this time who needs this info but I thought it was interesting.  How to push out Sysmon via GPO to all of the domain endpoints. I suspect there are people out there that should need this!

Just how much mail do you have in Office 365?
Clint has a nice article that will help you understand exactly how much email you have in Office 365. This is very handy to know as part of your planning to implement Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365.

Veeam – Probably not well known features: Quick Backup, and VeeamZIP
You can learn about Quick Backup and VeeamZip and they are in fact both not well known tools – but they are useful. Both of these are also available under the Backup menu in the vSphere Web Client when you right + click on a VM.

Summary of the Amazon S3 Service Disruption in the Northern Virginia (US-East-1) Region
This is the way professionals do things.  There was a problem, and they own up to it.  Explain what it is, and how they will avoid it in the future.  Nice job.

The Reality of Cloud – Outages are like *holes…
Anthony has a really good article on cloud outages.  Cloud is just like what you have onsite, but a little different, and a lot bigger and we have outages in both the big and small.  You just have to plan for them so when they occur – and they will, your users can manage.

Automating Virtualization & Cloud Management: Realizing Upsides Can Mean Uncalculated Risk
You do need to know how to do something before you automate it, and when you automate there is often things that are unexpected that occur.  Which explains why people test.  But in this article it talk about other possible issues.

My favorite VMware fling tools
A nice list of flings.  Certainly some you should check out out.

OpBot Simple.Secure.Everywhere – version 3 goes enterprise
I have only seen demo’s of this tool, but I think it pretty darn cool.  I am thinking about making it work in my home lab.  They have a had recently a new update – version 3 and it looks good!

Cisco and Apple Now Support Better Wi-Fi, QoS for Apps
An interesting article about how Apple and Cisco have made changes that will empower enterprise environments.  But also help users.  Pretty interesting stuff.

Out of storage? Can’t take a photo? Use Optimize Storage to free up space on your iPhone
I watched someone deal with this recently who had no idea of Optimize Storage.  So if there is one, there might be 2. Thus I am sharing the info.

How to make Skype, FaceTime, or Hangouts video look great
I saw someone using this the other day and I thought it was sort of cool.  If you want to improve your Skype video look this tool will help you.

What to know about Smart TVs and Your Privacy
One of my co-workers said he would not share his credit card info with Expensify even if it made things more simple for him.  He has a point, but I think the value of making things easier and more reliable outweighs any potential security issues. Plus there are real issues to learn about.  For example, did you know your TV is recording what you say and sharing it back to the TV HQ?  Really – check this out.

This brilliant Plan could stop Drone terrorism.  Too bad it’s illegal!
A really good read on what does sound like a good plan to stop drone terrorism. Which I think is a realistic worry and something to in fact expect in the future.

SpaceX to send privately crewed Dragon Spacecraft beyond the moon next year
Wow.   Check this out.  Then engage in some wistful thinking.

Thanks for reading, or skimming this far!


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