Newsletter: July 1, 2017

Happy Canada Day!

Today Canada is 150 years old.  It has come a long way. But, to put it into perspective, I slept in a B&B in Holland where the building was more than 600 years old.  I visited a mud fort in Morocco that was 1400 years old.  So Canada is in fact 150 years young.

This week was spent in the lab but also working with VMware and AWS on VMC and that was quite interesting. I am very excited about the possibilities and the opportunities in this relationship. I am also in draft on two papers so that is good to be near finished.  One however, the one on VCSA and PSC backups is delayed in that I am finding a lot of inconsistencies in the VMware docs, and my knowledge and experience.  So it looks like a lot of lab-work is need to prove things out. More then I expected quite frankly. I am very excited to have help on it which happened on Friday and it is pretty cool when you know a lot of smart people!

I did get some articles done this week - an important one is about my patching and vSAN and some complications that are very good to know. I have had some questions on connecting Log Insight to vROps and so did one on that.  And the more I use vROps 6.6 - wow.  Love that HTML5 UI. Also, I moved to a new iPad and wrote that up.  I do still see people doing that the hard way rather then the easier way. That new iPad - the iPad Pro 10.5 is pretty amazing.  20% more screen actually makes a difference.  And fast and smooth anything is pretty darn good too! I have seen other people say it is the best iPad and I am starting to think that too.

BTW, I was testing the iPad out with the Host Client, and it works dandy.  The form factor is perfect.  I have been looking at more of the infrastructure things you can do on an iPad.  Why you ask?  I have talked with some iPad users on airplanes and in airports lately.  It turns out that even in heavy non Mac companies iPads are making inroads.  So more corporate usage is happening and I was curious about that.  So I checked some of the Veeam products, and the HTML5 and Flash vSphere Web Clients and a few others and it turns out that the DataGravity UI works great on the iPad as does the Host Client.  Everything else I tested was not ideal, or worse did not work.

Everyone have a great weekend, and enjoy the short week next week!


Automating Active Directory Identity Source & Default Domain in vSphere Web Client
An interesting article by William that will help you automate even further!  Now you can add to your VCSA automation the IDP and default domain.  Very cool.

Does enabling Encryption on vSAN require an on disk format change?
The short answer is maybe.  Could be yes, or no, depending on what you have done in the past.  See the full answer from Cormac here.

New Nested ESXi 6.x Content Library
Very cool what William has - a Content Library we can subscribe too.  Very handy actually - a new way to pull down his Nested ESXi appliances.  He has updated it and I do appreciate his work on this a lot.

PowerShell:Deploying vCenter High Availability in Advanced Mode
In vSphere 6.5 there was a lot of new functionality.  One of the ones that not many people have used is vCenter HA.  This means if you have your primary vC die, in approximately 5 minutes it will come back.  Actually the passive one will come back as the original.  And that is pretty darn good!  The API will come back a little faster in fact.  So cool stuff.  If you want to do an automated method of deployment - you can - check this great article out.

Secure By Default - VM.disable-unexposed-features
Mike has an interesting article about how the config of ESXi 6.0 in patch 5 is along the idea of VMware is working on “Secure by Default” and in fact in patch 5 they are delivering on that.

How VMware Cloud Foundation Makes it Easy to Deploy Infrastructure
I am quite interested in the Cloud Foundation. The ability to buy gear that is already configured, and has complex stuff like NSX in it is sort of interesting.  I really love the idea of the SDDC Manager that does - it is implied - doing settings even in BIOS but also NSX and vSAN config.  So it sounds very cool.  I will try and get a demo at VMworld.

Part 6 - Configuration & Compliance Dashboards in vROps v6.6
In this article you will learn about the serious capabilities that vROps has to help you in config management and compliance as well.

Automatically create custom dynamic groups in vROps as per vCenter Tags
I used to create an application group in vROps - such as SQL or Email that would allow me to monitor Email or SQL and if it was green I know all of the components that goes into Email for example was good.  As much as I cared about the infrastructure the fact is I cared about the services more. This article talks about you can do something similar but automatically use tags.  Very useful. There does seem to be a lot of steps,and both PowerCLI and Python in use.  So careful of the steps and maybe do it in a test environment first.

Part 5 - Performance Troubleshooting Dashboards in vRealize Operations 6.6
I have shared some of these sessions before but I like how this one is about performance troubleshooting!

What’s new in Horizon 7.2
This has been out for a while, in fact I am running it myself, but there is a new TWP on what is new in 7.2 and it is found here.

My Horizon View 7.2 upgrade
Smooth.  Simple.  Connection server, Security server, then agents.  Easy.  And I really like the Help Desk, very nicely done actually - (bits, release notes).

The Scoop - vRealize Automation 7.3
Jad writes about a new release of vRA and it is quite the release.  And so soon after the last release!  I am impressed the API now supports deploy / upgrade and migrate.  Very powerful - especially for SP’s that want or need to auto scale. Here is the release notes, and bits.

VMware Support Alert - Introducing
I really like the new docs site that this article is talking about.  How I can use My VMware account to customize it for my needs is pretty useful.

Has VMware effectively killed the VCDX program?
Tom has an interesting take on the VCDX program and the recent changes.  I think that VMware has not yet killed the program but has certainly complicated it and introduced a certain amount of doubt too.

Why the Recent Reported Intel HT Bug is Not in your Data Center
Frank has an article about the recently reported Intel HT bug and why we should not worry as much.  I am still waiting for his book to arrive.  I know many of you have already received it and it sounds pretty good.

New ransomware, old techniques: Petya adds worm capabilities
While Petya was under way I tracked three or four article about it that were good.  Then I saw this one and it is much better. Very good info actually. Also make sure to check out the article that it links too as it has good info as well.

VMworld 2017 - Session Breakdown and Analysis
Anthony has done some really interesting research into the sessions we got to vote on, and what has ended up as the  actual sessions.  Some of the numbers are a little surprising.

Getting the Most Value out of VMworld Technical Sessions
An article with some good suggestions about attending conferences.  Good ideas.

Keeping the user in User Groups
Matt has an interesting article about user groups that I think is pretty good.  And worth understanding and thinking about if you attend or present at user groups. I had the pleasure of presenting to Matt’s Veeam user group and it was a lot of fun.

Veeam ONE - Ransomware Monitoring
This is one of those features that most Veeam customers are not aware of.  There is an alarm in  ONE that can alert you to possible ransomware activity.  It does this by watching the writes and processor use of VMs.  Ransomware encrypting all your files has high processor activity and high number of writes.  Find out more in this article.

Good VeeamON technical sessions to check out
Thanks to my old co-worker Michael for sharing out these two links and reminding me how good the sessions are so I thought to share them out too. This one is the Repository Best Practices and this other one is a little different - Tools and Practices for Sizing, Planning, and Maintaining Veeam Deployments.  The first one is good for any Veeam customers and partners, and the second is good for partners or big complex customers.

How to benefit from VeeamONE: Monitoring, performance optimization, reporting and more!
Often people do not know all of what is in ONE - they may just use the reporting, or just the backup monitoring but there is really a lot in ONE.  Kirsten has an article that gives you a good overview of what ONE can do for you.

The Veeam & Cisco Overview
Michael has an article that talks all about Cisco and Veeam.  Interesting article.

Don’t stop believin’, Hold on to that feeling!
A good list of resources in this article on passing your VMCE. Even if VMCE is not your thing, but you want to learn more about Veeam this article can help.

SoldifFire stas collection w/Grafana and Graphite
An interesting article about visualizing SolidFire activities in a web page. Very cool actually.

Three simple ways to protect your data from ransomware
I am a fan of the Nexenta storage.  I use it my home lab and it is rock solid.  I think it has a great UI as well.  When I saw this article from their Field CTO - Michael - I smiled.  There SMB is not Windows so that means it cannot be exploited like Windows.  That is cool and in fact is what I like to talk about with respect to ransomware - have API barriers when you can.

Free Tiny GUI Tool to Deploy OVA or OVF to all Versions of VMware vSphere: VMDeployer 1.1 Release
Three people I know - including me - had troubles this week deploying the same OVA.  I wish I had remembered this tool which was just updated.

How to revoke a Let’s Encrypt certificate
Interesting article about how to revoke a Let’s Encrypt certificate. In this article about using Let’s Encrypt - which is free - it has an auto renew functionality too.  I wonder if we could use this for View, or for vCenter?  It sort of seems to be dedicated to web servers.

Windows Server 2016 Core Install step by step
You can see in this article the start of making a Win2K16 server to run Hyper-V workloads.  Good stuff - I have not installed Core before and this will help me to do that.

Shared thoughts after 6+ years in Pentesting
Interesting article on the experience of the guy who has done a lot of pentesting.  If you want to learn more about that space, or be better at pentesting this article is good.

A rare journey into the Cheyenne Mountain Complex
Nice article about a very interesting, and secure, underground bunker system that has been around for a long time. This is truly a rare look in fact - which is why I shared it.

We’ve been dragging and dropping the hell out of iOS 11
Interesting article about doing something pretty important - drag and drop - that is being added to iOS 11.  I have iOS 11 (public beta) and I quite like it. Easy upgrade, and the things I use on that iPad all work fine. Here is an article with everything you might want to know about iOS 11.

macOS High Sierra preview
I read this article about the next Mac OS.  It was pretty detailed and I think that this is going to be a big deal release but one that is not full of obvious things. The new file system alone is going to be pretty darn cool. So I installed the public beta on an old MacBook Air and of course part way through it crashed.  Said could not install on this computer and to log in and try again.  So I logged in, and did not have to try anything and it started up again, and finished fine. I thought since a file system change was happening, and in my case it is encrypted too, that a crash might be very bad but all went fine and smooth and no data loss or issues other then Trend antivirus not working on this build yet. This public beta works pretty fine for a beta - Evernote, 1Password, View client, and Office all work fine.  If you want to play with it on a spare Mac you can find more info on the beta in this article.

Thanks for reading, or skimming this far! And for the US readers, I am only a few days early when I say Happy Independence Day! I am very happy you are our neighbors - Canada and the US is a great combination!


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