Newsletter: October 28, 2017

Hi all,

A very busy week for me, again working with stuff that is not out yet but getting close.  I also did some lab maintenance and that was interesting.  Turns out my VCSA is working well enough so I don’t notice anything wrong but the upgrade cannot be applied.  When I figure this out it will be an article!  I also did some Supermicro firmware updates so I updated those articles (IPMI, BIOS) and it all worked pretty good - in fact better due to changes in the firmware I suspect.

I know that some of you who are Mac users don’t like Safari, but I have to say that now it has that reading mode thing that the iOS has had for a while it is pretty darn cool.  It makes reading a very much nicer experience, which I also use Instapaper for too.  In particular I use Instapaper for collecting Internet stuff I can read on the couch or airplane in a very nice clean UI and it does a great job of cleaning up web pages.

BTW, the Adobe fix (.183) is out, and it was automatically downloaded in my browsers the same day and so View and vSphere Web Client where happy again.  Thank goodness!  All of you should already have it. I spent the day in HTML5 client and got a lot done.  It is not perfect but what it does, it does well!

Last week I talked about a cool PowerShell script that that is pretty useful for Veeam customers but this week it was added to the PowerShell gallery so that makes it really much easier to install and get updated too. Thanks Markus for this!

I updated my Primer on Content Library article for some things I learned recently.  How to use the external option inside the firewall rather than outside of it, and how different versions are supported.

BTW, vExpert Cloud is out and you can see the list of people in this article.  Congrats everyone!

I have some cool stuff to share, so it is best I get to it!

Have wonderful week!


vSphere vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1b now GA
You can find the release notes, and it looks like some good things were fixed.  I tried to do the update and I could not do it - no access to the VAMI.  Of course I thought that was bad creds until I found some issues in System Config and Node.  So I have an SR now and we will see how it goes. Important Note: this update will enable the expiring password for the admin account so remember to disable that if appropriate for you.  That will be fixed in the future - not in a patch but a real release.  At least that is what I hear.

vSphere 6.5 Encryption FAQ now available
Mike talks in this article about how there is now an FAQ on encryption (both VM and vSAN) which I think is very useful for people that want to learn more quickly about encryption.  BTW, in the FAQ was a link to a very good video which you should look at before you do encryption.  BTW, Mike has another article on concepts and topology basics that is quite useful.

VMware API Explorer is a free built-in utility
You can learn more about this very cool functionality in this article.

Configuring Hybrid Linked Mode (HLM) for VMware Cloud on AWS
Emad has a great article that will help you get your HLM setup working good and quick.  Really good info, and quite handy if you are doing VMWonAWS and on-prem stuff.

VMware Cloud on AWS Operations Blog Series - Part 1
Frank has an interesting article on VMWonAWS and even better it is the start of a series!  This is about the operational side and that is important. I know when I spent time in my SDDC the operations side was impacted the most!

Getting Started with PowerCLI for VMware Cloud on AWS - PowerCLI Edition
Kyle has a very nice article about using PowerCLI in VMWonAWS and that is pretty handy.  You can do a lot in that environment with PowerCLI and that is pretty good.  Things are a little different due to the different permissions model in the cloud so it is nice to have something to help you get started.

How to: Creating VM Storage Policies in vSAN
This article teaches you about how to create a specific storage policy but the info is quite useful.  This info is how you could create a storage policy as he shows you, AND add to it something else such as VM Encryption.  VMware has default storage policy for VM Encryption, and VSAN but not for both.  So the info in the article can help you to combine storage policy.

VMware Validated Design 4.1 - Upgrade
You can now find the upgrade part of VVD 4.1. Useful doc if you are planning a big upgrade.  You can find all of the useful docs for the VVD 4.1 here.  I say these are interesting, not due to me wanting to make an SDDC, but in looking at these you can find useful info on how things are done, which can help you in your world, plus, if you do want to build a new SDDC and use all of the different pieces the docs will be very useful - not only do they show you that something works, but how to work to that state.

vRealize Log Insight alert integrate with vRealize Operations Manager
In this article you will learn how to create an alert so that when your Veeam backup fails,  it pushes an alert to the server object in vROps.  This is quite handy actually if you have a NOC like environment with a vROps screen up and a good way to see the impact of things.

vRealize Operations and PowerCLI - want to learn more?
A very smart guy has done three articles to help you learn how to use PowerShell to interact with vRealize Operations.  Here is part 1, part 2, and part 3.  I know that for a number of years people asked for API access to vROps data and I am glad that these articles will help you do that!

5 Must Knows of Automated Workload Balancing with vRealize Operations
Here is an article that talks about Automated Workload Balancing which is very cool functionality that many are not yet using!  This article will give you some info that should convince you to learn more about this cool functionality.

SovLabs Ansible Tower Module for vRA - Provisioning
You can catch a video on how you can connect Ansible to vRA by using a module that SovLabs have developed.  Pretty interesting stuff and I don’t even know Ansible!  I really like what SovLabs does, and you can expect to see stuff from me in the future using their software that is pretty cool!

vRA and The Problem of the vCenter Folder
An interesting article about a problem that I think most people that use vRA will run into.  So vRA will be in my lab, and I do use folders so this is good for me too!

vRA and NSX - Application Services and Design
Jad has an interesting article about vRA and NSX and design info.  Quite good detail and lots to learn.

NSX Small and Medium Business (SMB) Data Center Design Guide
I was surprised to see this as I sort of thought there was not much SMB activity with NSX.  But it is an interesting doc and it does look like there is some fit for NSX and SMB in some circumstances.  But it is also an interesting read.

NSX Reference Poster
I heard from a guy that this NSX poster is pretty good.  So print it out big if you are working with NSX and I suspect it will help.  I wish I had more wall space!

NSX-T 2.0 Lab Build: Transport Zones and Transport Nodes
This is article number six in a series about getting NSX-T working in the lab.  It looks pretty good and so if you want to learn about NSX-T with your hands in your lab this article series might be a good idea.

300+ Reasons to use VMware User Environment Manager
In this article you can learn about the templates you can use with UEM - which I did not know was possible.  So this is very cool functionality.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client
I used to run this fling in my lab, and I loved how it was updated so frequently.  But now I don’t since some of the HTML5 client functionality is in 6.5.  But if you are running this fling there is a new version - see what is new here.

Blockchain on vSphere
This new fling is quite interesting as it will allow you to produce or develop, Blockchain apps that can run on vSphere.

Removing faulty Horizon desktops using PowerCLI
In a past team we had a big View infrastructure and a small one, and in the big one there was on occasion faulty desktops and a script would have been handy to deal with that.  Now there is a script.

Veeam & Backblaze B2 - The Series
You can find the first of this series in this article.  It is very interesting actually.  I am a big fan of Backblaze B2 - I use the Backblaze backup service that uses those storage pods of and I am quite impressed how Backblaze invented them.  Which is how they get such good prices for their services!  I think that this is a great use-case - both of Backblaze, but also for Veeam customers.

Veeam backup report script
Here is a script that was suggested to me as a very good way to produce a nice report via script on your backup status.

Unmasking the ransomware kingpins
You can learn more about the ransomware economics in this article.  Good background info.

Home Lab Fundamentals: DNS Reverse Lookup Zones
I saw some activity lately that all occurred due to no reverse lookup entries.  I saw this at work a while back and had to argue a bit.  But Frank talks about it in this article.  Good reminder!

Virtualizing a MacPro and creating MacOS virtual machines
Interesting article that can help you virtualize your Mac.

What is hybrid cloud computing?
A good breakdown of cloud computing and what is hybrid.  I think some of us sort of instinctively know what it is but this breakdown is pretty good.  I first read this article on my iPad with reading mode so it was quite different to when I was checking links and confirming things while doing this newsletter.

Datrium Audited as the Highest IOmark Benchmark Result in History - Mind-blowing 10X!
This is most amazing - Datrium is very fast, and in fact one of the fastest storage solutions it seems.  I don’t know much about Datrium, but this is something that suggests maybe I should learn more.  Sounds like interesting stuff.

New BadRabbit ransomware spreads through Eastern Europe
You can read about a new malware that is rampaging around eastern Europe.  Another reminder that you need to have good defenses which means defense in depth and well trained users!

Kaspersky Lab Collected, Then Deleted NSA file from a home computer
Exciting title to this article but certainly not the whole story. I think the important thing in this article is that an NSA employee used a keygen and had inappropriate stuff on his home computer.  I thought that by now the NSA would have some pretty good training for its people.  BTW here is another article that I think a little better.  Here is one that is a lot better!

Move away from passwords, deploy Windows Hello.  Today!
In this article it talks about a new capability that sounds pretty good.  It allows you to do things like pair your phone with your computer so that when you phone moves away your computer locks.  The article talks about functionality available recently in Windows that allows you to get rid of passwords and have other ways to authenticate securely.

Enabling HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) for WordPress
When I saw this article, I checked my WordPress  and it was done already.  But my hosted WordPress has this sort of thing out of my control and they seem to make a lot of good decisions.  But if you host your own, best to double-check!

Wi-Fi Security Flaw not as bad as it’s KRACKed Up to be
Some good points, and good info in this article.  I am happy my most of my systems are updated, or not impacted!

The role, skills, and duties of a software architect
I knew a couple of software architects at VMware, and they were seriously amazing smart people. What they could do with a whiteboard and a roomful of people was truly magical.   But I tried to describe them once and it didn’t go well.  Then I saw this article.

What you need to know: Kubernetes and Swarm
An interesting article if you want to learn a little more about these two interesting topics. I am surprised and impressed at the penetration into mainline IT that Kubernetes has.

Living in Space changes your DNA, NASA finds,
I am not surprised.  No gravity, and no atmosphere to strain things out, so some little changes in DNA is not completely unexpected I would have thought.  But, here is the facts on this - such as they are.

The best Qi Wireless Charger for iPhone and Android phone
In this article you can learn what the best wireless charger is.  I am not a fan of wireless charging at this time due to the time it takes.  I use a 29 W USB-C power adapter to charge my iPad Pro, my old 0iPhone 7 and now my new iPhone 8.  So that works really well and quite fast.  So the wireless charger at very much slower is not yet my thing.  I guess when I can charge my Watch, Airpods, and iPhone that may be more attractive but not really.

No, Apple’s Machine Learning Engine can’t surface your iPhone’s secrets
I have heard people talking about it so I am glad we have this article to clear things up.

iOS 11 (11.1 I think) will dramatically improve batter life on all iPhones
This article suggests some serious battery improvements is coming to all iPhone’s in the next major release - 11.1.  They even did some good testing to confirm.  I must admit I am doing just fine on my iPhone 8 battery life.  But better is better!

Exploring your Mac’s Restarts via the Command line
In this article you can learn about things like uptime and your last reboots. Sort of interesting actually.

Cardhop Puts Contacts front and center
This interesting new software is pretty interesting but the metaphor it works under is a little odd for me.  But, it is ideal for a number of people I know!

How to use your iPhone as a ghost hunting tool this Halloween
This article is way more interesting then the title suggests.  There is in fact some interesting stuff - tools and gadgets - they mention.  There is one  - Ghost Hunter M2 - that seems almost Tricorder like.

How the iPhone 8 & iPhone X pave the way for a fully enclosed, single piece of glass design
I had not thought of this before, but it is very interesting.  I can see Apple one day, selling us a small block of glass and yet it does everything we need.  Find out more on this.

Veeam Vanguard Virtual Conference
You can find more about this conference in this article.  Looks pretty interesting.  I know a fair number of the Vanguard and some of the others and there is some very smart people involved and so this could be quite educational.

A letter to Jamie Dimon - good article about cryptocurrency
In this article you can learn a lot about cryptocurrency.  The article is written as a briefing note for someone  the author thinks doesn’t know much about cryptocurrency.

How to obtain real-time data from iCloud and Forget about 2FA with just an Old iTunesd Backup.  No passwords needed
This is quite an interesting read.  I am not a criminal but I do like to have a secure phone.  It has company secrets potentially on it, and it has personal info I don’t want to share - particularly with people that may abuse it - so malware authors and governments. Law Enforcement and spy’s are supposed to work hard to get into my phone - or anyone else too. That means it is hard for the malware and advertising people to get our data to really target us to an unpleasant degree!  So, make sure your passwords are complex everywhere, and different for every service, and your iTunes backups should have a different and complex password.  The best part is don’t be a bad guy so no nation states look at you! I share the article as I think it is interesting and a nice view into some hard work!

When it comes to controversial science, a little knowledge is a problem
There are diseases coming back to life - like Polio that once were gone.  And it is because of people that think vaccinations are bad.  There is no science to base that on - the flawed study that started that idea has long been proven as flawed - but yet people still believe.  This interesting article is about how a little knowledge is a bad thing.  Certainly they have a point.

Camp X: Canada and the Allies’ Clandestine War
This is something I learned about long ago, and learned again when I was in the army and hanging around Intel guys who liked history.  But I realized there are a few of you who check out my newsletter who will get a kick out of it.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far,


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