Newsletter: April 1, 2017

Hi all,

Thanks to Michael last week I quickly found out I had the wrong year in my title.  I check the body of this article very carefully for spelling, grammar, and technical mistakes but sometimes I forget to do the same on the title! I had a week at home, and working on several things I cannot share yet – so I had some fun.  I look forward to sharing when I can.  But cool things.

I did a few articles this week – macOS 10.12.4, iOS 10.3, and an odd issue about updating issues for a host.  Make sure to check out the comments on that one.

BTW, VMworld voting is open to get involved.  It is tedious and I am furious they have removed the speaker history as that was very useful for me in the past.  That may not be something you have seen if you have only done public voting. But while tedious, it does mean there is more chance of stuff you and I want rather then what the marketing guys think you want!

Also, a while back I did a cool interview with Paul Gifford to talk about VMware on AWS and it has just popped up.  If you want to learn more check this out. If you would like to see any of the other videos we have done you can see them here.

But I have some interesting stuff to share, and so lets get started!

Have a great week,


Urgent – Urgent Proactive Customer Notification to Prevent ASA Outages
I know a fair number of people that use Cisco ASA and so this alert is important. It looks like that after 213 days of uptime they stop working.  So reboot your ASA before you do anything.  Fixes and workarounds are forthcoming.

Urgent – RUSH POST – VMware Tools and RSS incompatibility issues
An important post about some issues with certain versions of VMware Tools and the use of RSS functionality.  By default no one should be using RSS unless you need to for specific reasons.  So most of us should not see this issue. But read it carefully especially the note at the end.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client v3.1
It was recently the one year birthday of this splendid client, and they have a new version to celebrate.  Find it and more info here. My home lab is 6.5 and so I am not using the fling any longer, but when I had a 6.x lab I used every version of the fling and really liked it.  The one in 6.5 is not being updated as fast but is still quite useful.

Cross vCenter VM Mobility Fling – macOS?
This article mentions how the VM mobility fling works on Mac but also it is a pretty cool utility.  It may be useful at work now that I think about it.

Best practices when using vSAN and non-vSAN disks with the same storage controller
I suggest you should not do this, but if you have to, make sure to read this KB article.

Upgrade the vSAN Witness Appliance
Here is an article about upgrading the vSAN witness.  BTW, Jase has an excellent script to automate the upgrade of a witness. But do the upgrade once manually so you can automate a little better.

Deploying a 2-node ROBO vSAN Cluster
Jason has a nice article on getting a 2-node vSAN cluster working.

vSAN needs 3 fault domains
Duncan has a good article about fault domains and stretched cluster – words to heed in fact.  In my work lab, at some point in the future I will be redoing it from a 4 – node vSAN cluster to two 2 – node clusters each hosting the other’s witness.  This not ideal for a production environment of course, but for me trying to simulate two production data centers for my BCDR product it is in fact ideal.

vSphere VM Encryption Performance
This paper was mentioned recently and I thought it worth sharing it again as it is interesting and the results are not quite what you would expect.  VM encryption is way less costly in performance then one might expect.

How to make a vSAN storage only node? (and not buy a mainframe!)
John has a great article about doing a storage only node in vSAN and maybe some better ideas.  In fact, for sure, better ideas.

What is VMware Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC)?
I smiled when I saw this article.  In the past this was of critical importance.  I remember when we did not have it and when it came out.  We used to have to build clusters with hardware that had the same processor config and it was not always as easy or simple as that.  So when EVC came out, and allowed dissimilar processors in servers to be supported in the same cluster it was a big deal.  But we do not worry as much any more.  But still a useful tool.

VMware Kills off third-party vSwitches
There has been a lot of talk about this lately, but this article I think is the best.  I quite agree with his points.  And in the graphic it talks about migration tool.  I had not heard that elsewhere so I think that is pretty good to know.  BTW, here is the official announcement of this change.

vCenter Server High Availability
A very nice video by Adam on vCenter HA.  Which is a very cool feature in vSphere 6.5. that I think more people people should be using.

HOWTO: Replace a VMCA certificate via the GUI in vSphere 6.5 with PSC & VCSA
This is normally command line stuff so it surprised me when I saw this article but certain good info to know about!

Is your PowerShell Core up to date?
Mine isn’t, but Alan has a great way to keep you informed of updates.  Nice job Alan!

vRealize Operations Manager Gems
A great list of tidbits about vROps that not all of us may know.  Thanks for sharing!

Recovery Testing and SRM pt2 – Alternatives
GS has some good points I too have heard mentioned.  If you are an SRM user and are thinking about how else to do tests you need to read this.

Horizon 7.0 Part 13 – Deploying the Horizon Access Point
Sean has a great article on deploying the access point which is not a typical deployment.  Good info as it is very worthwhile to use this functionality for better security but also more flexibility.

Updated, Official SQL Server on vSphere best practices guide – March 2017
You can install SQL on vSphere and it works.  No problem.  But, if you build a very big one, or a small one that is very busy, it can sometimes work better if you know more and this guide will help.

Don’t rush to install the Windows 10 Creators Update
I thought this was interesting as I saw prompts abut the Creators Update, and a tweet about remembering to clean up after the upgrade. So I will wait a while yet.

Veeam ONE database calculator
You can find the KB article about a ONE db usage spreadsheet you could download, but there is a new one that is online. Find it here, and click on Advanced Deployment Mode.  I suspect that this will be updated more frequently and so you should use it rather then the download option.

Yes, Ransomware can delete your Veeam backups
Good lesson in this article. You do need disconnected or very well protected backups.  I use Cloud for that and it helps but you need carefully and well thought out layered security. Here is my suggestions on it. Here is a nice article on the subject. This is not all just about protecting your backups from malware but also against bad people.

Backup Copy Seeding and Mapping for Cloud Connect
An article that will help you seed a backup in the cloud to save time uploading it bit by bit. This is good info to have as it will really help get big VMs into the cloud faster and easier.

Send Veeam Agent for Windows backups to both a local repository and to Cloud Connect
Luca has a great idea for doing backups to two different destinations in the Agent for Windows which is not really possible normally so that is very good.  Why?  Because when in the office it is good to have a backup stored there, but when on the road handy to use a Cloud Connect instance.

Veeam 9.5: Broker service and Proxy Affinity
A good article to help you understand more about Veeam 9.5 and some of the features, especially ones that are not always seen or interacted with. A very informative article.

VMware & DataGravity Solution – Data Management for the Digital Enterprise
A nice review of the very nice DataGravity solution for having a data – aware infrastructure.

Basic Automated Windows 10 post-install
This is a very cool article that Cody has done.  Sort of like apt but in Windows.  Quite detailed and I so wish I had time to play with it and learn.

Remotely Administering Windows Server Core
One of my co-workers is using Server Core in his lab to lesson resource usage, which I think is a good idea, so I have been thinking about it, and then I saw this article that helps me out to manage my Server Core – which is a little different!

Install Windows Nano Server on VMware ESXi
I saw this article recently and was happy to see it as most of the other Nano server install things were for Hyper-V.  So I was happy to see this article.  But, I think that Nano is still lacking in what it can do.  I had such high hopes for it due to the resource footprint it has.  But for example, it cannot be a DC. I think the only reason to install it is to learn how to manage it or do Hyper-V stuff with it.

Activate Win2K16 VMs using PowerShell
If you have a bunch of virtual machines to activate then PowerShell might be a very good way to do it.  See how in this article.

Hyper-V 2016 Cool Feature: PowerShell Direct
This is an interesting feature that Clint talks about.  The ability to execute a script inside of a VM from the outside.  Something that has been around for a long time in VMware, it is new to Hyper-V but it is a useful and important feature so I am very happy it is available.

The TSA’s Selective Laptop Ban
Here is a very well written article on the TSA’s laptop ban. The author is a serious and very well recognized security expert.  I also find him a very smart and skilled communicator too.

tvOS 10.2
I updated two different Apple TV’s with no issue.  Not much to say about it other then it did not have issues during upgrade and did not cause issues afterwards.  Not sure anyone noticed.  Here is more about what should be there.

watchOS 10.2
This upgrade took longer then any of the other upgrades.  Even longer then one of my MBP upgrades!  But it worked fine, and I do like the new theater option.  My wife really likes it! I am very happy to say after a few days I can tell you the battery life has not changed. You can read more about the update here.

How to edit pictures in Photo’s for Mac
Someone was asking me about this recently.  Then I saw this article with lots of help!

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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