Newsletter: April 29, 2017

Hello everyone,
I have been quite quiet lately.  Normally that means a long Africa type holiday with no internet, or that I am most amazing busy.  And it is that I have been very busy. I did have some time on PTO as well, but I am juggling a multiple of sessions for VeeamON, and several technical white papers.  And I had to rebuild a lab form scratch recently – it is too bad that I could not upgrade 6.0 U3 to 6.5d but I expect soon that to work.  I am most impressed with 6.5d which is vSAN 6.6 BTW.  Very nice indeed. I am doing some cool stuff next week that will turn into an pretty interesting technical whitepaper when it is done.  But, it will also likely have an interesting blog article too.  We will see.

I did some time ago two Nexenta articles – upgrading the array and updating the management platform.  I did have some issues with the upgrade but atypical stuff that most will not see, and it ended well.  I do like the platform a lot and it has worked very well for me. So a very nice home lab storage array. I did make a small update to my vSphere Best Practices and don’t forget you can see at the bottom of that article what has changed.

So lets get started – lots to get done!


Getting Started with VMware Cloud Foundation – A video intro to VMware’s New Unified SDDC Platform
Kyle has an article that has links to some very good videos on VMware’s Cloud Foundation stuff.  I found it very interesting and the Cloud Foundation sounds pretty darn info.  The videos say some very good stuff I have been hoping for a long time.  I have done many projects in the past setting up racks of computers for customers and this really seems like a better choice!  This is, if it turns out to be completely true – which I suspect it is – and mostly easy to use, as a very real example of how hyper-converged can help in other ways. If I did not have all the outstanding stuff I owe, I would absolutely love to play with this. Thanks for this article and Videos Kyle, I had no idea really about Cloud Foundation.

VMware vSAN 6.6 Now GA
I am a little late on this, but I see the release notes were updated recently.  My VCSA update was as simple and easy as you might expect. When I updated my hosts – via VUM – two hosts updated as quick and easy as you would expect.  One did not.  I restarted it and it updated fine. Here is some help for the upgrade.  Bear in mind I recommend if possible to use the online method to update. So not downloading offline bundles or ISO and using them to update.

Where’s the HA enforce VM-Host and Affinity rules option in vSphere 6.5?
I was wondering about this myself.  So I am glad it is explained.

Photon OS vs. Photon Platform – Stop the Insanity
I did not know there was any insanity in this area, but I am not part of many Photon conversations.  But I can see the confusion.  Actually, I love how fast the 6.5 VCSA starts and that is thanks to the Photon OS.  So that is my exposure actually to Photon.

Understanding How Host Profiles Handles Host-Specific Configuration Settings Through Customization
I am very happy with Host Profiles.  They are NOT perfect.  But I used them to help manage several hundreds servers.  What make me successful and very happy with them, was all of my hosts were identical – not the IP addressed or FQDN but everything else so it was much easier – and that is what earlier versions of Host Profiles were designed for.  Where I am not happy with Host Profiles is when the hosts are not identical.  And guess what? That area has improved a lot – and here is a very good article on the subject!  I will be revisiting host profiles soon!

How to Join the vCSA 6.5 to an Active Directory Domain
Here is a very good article to help you connect your VCSA to Active Directory.  It does in fact miss out on how after that you do this you need to create an Identity Source, and make it default, and then add in permissions for people. I also like to add to my admin account to the SSO admin group. Just in case.

VCSA alarm for VCDB space utilization in vSphere 6.5
William has an article about how in 6.5 you can see a lot more about the status of your VC DB, but also he has info on alarms you can use in conjunction with your db.  I think that might be a suggestion for a new potential best practice.

vSAN Health Check fails on vMotion check
Duncan has an interesting article about how if you use the vMotion TCP stack on your vMotion network that the vSAN 6.6 Heath Check will fail.  I have not often used the other TCP stacks. So if you have a failed vMotion test, and are using vSAN 6.6 you can change the TCP stack or use the info in Duncan’s article. Duncan shows you one way to silence Health checks, but William has an article with more info and a different way to skip checks.

vSAN 6.6 Online Health Check and Performance Service Improvements
John has an article that shows some of the nice changes in vSAN 6.6.  These are very nice changes in the Health Check area and pretty cool  I have vSAN 6.6 in my work lab and I am very impressed and happy with it. In fact it updated the drivers in several of my hosts just after I configured it.

Native VCSA bootstrap installer in vSAN 6.6
One of the many things that showed up in vSAN 6.6 was the ability to bootstrap vSAN during host install.  William provides the full details.  This is a very cool functionality and quite useful.

VSAN 6.6 – What’s in it for Service Providers
Anthony writes about what is in vSAN 6.6 for service providers. Some good info!

vGhetto Automated vSphere Lab Deployment for vSphere 6.0 U2 & vSphere 6.5
I was talking with a co-worker about nested environments, and it made me think of the script that William released a while back that helps with building nested environment. Amazing script, actually.

Virtual Container Host as a Service [VCHAAS] with vRealize Automation – VRA 7.x
This fascinating article is about how you can use vRA with VIC and some very good learning.

PowerCLI 6.5.1 – Welcome PowerCLI to the PowerShell Gallery
Kyle has an article about the new version of PowerCLI. And it is pretty darn interesting and even a new way to install. Quite interesting.  No more MSI file!  BTW, here is a great article from William about the new vSAN cmdlets.

Chef and VMware
I am Puppet fan, mostly due to the fact I took a course in it and played with it.  But, several people I  know like to use Chef more and then today I noticed this article about using Chef with VMware.  Looks pretty interesting.

Weathervane, a benchmarking tool for virtualized infrastructure and the cloud – is now open source
This newly released tool will help you do application performance benchmarking.  You can use things like HCIbench to do performance testing of storage but Weathervane is to test from the point of view of apps. Which is quite important too!

3rd Party Content Library on Synology
Brian has a very cool article on the vSphere Content Library.  A very useful tool.  I hope to get into use for us in my work lab so that it is easier to share things between pods. This particular article will help you get your Content Library on the internet so other people can connect to it over the internet.  Quite handy for sharing things!

DRS Affinity Rules by Tag
Here is an interesting article about how you can create DRS affinity rules by tag.  Another very nice use of tags.  Good info to know as I suspect this info could be useful for other purposes. My browsers nicely makes sure this article is in English for me, but there is a widget on the side margin that can also convert if your browser cannot – good to know as the article is actually in German.

Microsoft Warns Users Not to Install Its Latest Windows Update, For Now
So this article suggests that we should not install the Creators Update for Windows 10.  For now.

Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2016
A nice collection of performance tuning info for Win2K16 – just in case you need it!

Diving into the Deep, Dark Waters of Information Security
If you are starting out in security, or need some additional learning, here is a most excellent article with lots of very good references. There is many very good suggestions in this article.

Remote access for MSPs in Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 U2
Anthony has a nice article on an interesting new feature in Update 2 for service providers.  I think this new feature – Remote Access – will be quite useful for SPs and as a result very good for customers. Clint has a similar article on this update and he includes upgrade info as well as some other new things too.  Update 2 will be GA for end users in the next week or two.

How much space am I saving thanks to ReFS Blockclone?
I too have been asked this a lot, and I have wondered a lot too. I use a local ReFS partition for the backups of my lab.  Then I do Backup Copy Jobs to move them to another device.  So I wonder what my savings are.  But it turns out a very smart dude has got a script to figure out your savings.  So very cool indeed – and you can learn about it here.  Very nice indeed. And smart getting Luca to share it out.

Managing NVMe Devices Using the vSphere Client
I had people talking on this subject and then I find this article.  This is nice tech and I think we will start seeing more NVMe devices soon.

vSphere Integrated Containers 1.1 Delivers New User Experience
You can see what is new in this article, and it looks like some nice changes.  I like very much how they have integrated with the HTML5 vSphere Client, and using the nice Project Clarity for the UI is cool too.  BTW, here is an article about installing VIC.

Intel’s Memory Drive Implementation for Optane Guarantees its Doom
This is a most interesting article, and in fact I think that Bob has it right.  Doom is correct, and also correct is that it is too darn bad.

A closer look at Cohesity 4.0
Cormac has a nice article on the latest version of Cohesity and it is pretty cool how far they have come.  Would be interesting to play with it one day.

Supermicro SuperServer E200-8D/E300-8D review
A review of some newish Supermicro servers for the home lab environment.  I do like the direction that Supermicro is moving in that helps the small office, and the home lab too!

Cisco UCS S-Series Storage Servers for vSAN – 96 TB per node
Duncan shared out this article about a very powerful vSAN Ready Node – with 96 TB per node.  In the early days of vSAN it was not possible to use all that disk. I know as I had that much (or more) but could only use a subset of it.  So I am quite impressed that it is possible now. I should mention that I think that this might be a very powerful ReFS server for a Veeam Repository server.

The Internet of Things – flawed hype!
Anthony has a good article about hype.  Some good examples and great points.  There is a lot of this sort of thing around.

How to fix inaccurate Xeon D Hardware Health Sensor readings on VMware ESXi 6.5
If you have the cool Supermicro servers I have – which are SuperServer SYS-5028D-TN4T – and have installed vSphere 6.5 to them your hardware health in the Host Client will be blank.  If you upgrade it will be full of info.  In this article you can find out how to fix this issue.

Comparing Five iOS Travel Management Apps
In my past work at VMware our whole team used TripIT Pro and it was very handy.  I am very fond of TripIT as it has warned me several times my flight was delayed or canceled before anyone else knew.  And it always keeps my wife informed when there are changes in my trip.  It is handy too when I wondered at VMware where a co-worker was at that point in time.  But it turns out that there are a variety of travel apps in iOS and you can find out more about them in this review.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far,


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