Newsletter: November 11, 2017

Hello all,

Another week gone. Time travels fast doesn’t it?  A week at home is always good, but odd this time for me as my wife is out on PTO.  Home from Japan on Sunday – and I hear it is an very interesting trip she has had.  The pictures have been interesting for sure!  She has had some very nice robots say hello and chat with her. Speaking (writing) of robots, mine will be here this week.  Unlike the ones that Angela has seen and chatted with the one I am getting is stationary.  It is called Jibo.  I will let you know how it goes.

I heard some chatter lately about people finally doing 6.5 upgrades.  An article was shared that I thought limited – if you are doing a 6.5 upgrade check out my article on the subject.  I am at 6.5 U1 and it is very solid for me.

I upgraded my Nextenta storage array to the latest release and as a result updated my article (a little only) on doing updates.  Very nice software and what a great home lab array.

I would like to thanks soldiers everywhere for what they do. They keep back the darkness and they do that at great risk to themselves.  There were Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian soldiers that helped me be a good Canadian soldier and I appreciate it.  I worked with soldiers in a range of countries and situations.  I will remember those gone, and I will toast to Absent Companions this evening.

Guess what?  Lots to share – have a great week!


vCenter 6.0 Update 3c now GA
This looks like a big release in terms of what it fixes. Check out the Release Note. If you are still on the 6.0 track be sure to check this out as it has a lot of fixes.

vSphere 6.5 Update 1b – updated release notes
This release was out on 10/26/17 but I saw the release notes were updated 11/9/17 but this time there is no indication in the RN about what was changed.

How to Resize The VCSA 6.0
Some good info on the resource resize of the VCSA which has gotten a little easier in 6.0 – which is nice to see.

VMware vSphere 6.5 Host Resources Deep Dive – A Book Review
Here is an article with a nice review of an amazing technical book for VMware people.  I bought a copy of this book as soon as I could as I think it a great resource. I also have a Kindle copy of it for my iPad when I am in the lab and need to look something up.  Very handy.  BTW, the article mentions you can download a free copy of the book from here.

vSAN Stretched Clusters & VM Swap Files
In this article you will learn what you need to know when you are working in a vMSC environment and swap files. In particular it explains when sometimes you may have noticed no policy for swap files in your environment.

Workarounds for deploying Photon OS 2.0 on vSphere, Fusion, and Workstation
Good to see this by William as I hope to get Photon into my lab today.

What about vSphere 6.5 Core Storage?
Duncan has an article that references a bunch of very good storage papers that he and Cormac have updated recently.  This is most excellent and appreciated.

vCenter High Availability Deployment and Testing in my Home lab
A nice article about a feature I do not hear much about from customers – VCSA HA.  A nice way to provide a way to increase reliability so that you don’t have a single point of failure with vCenter.  I think one reason we don’t hear of many people using this feature is due to the need for a load balancer once you enable the functionality.  Maybe one day the VCSA team will do the same thing as Log Insight – build in a load balancer.

Configure VMware Tools Update from Shared ProductLocker Location
This article shows you how ESXi hosts can find the VMware Tools from a central location. What is most important here is to use this for the normal VMware Tools that ships with vSphere and in particular if you are using AutoDeploy you can start provisioning with the smaller ESXi image.  This will makes things a little faster indeed.

VMware Virtual Hardware Performance Optimization Tips
Some good suggestions about disabling unnecessary ports and what storage adapters to think about using.  I cover off much of that in my template articles – like Win10 and Win7.

Moving ESXi hosts with LACP / LAG between vCenter Servers?
This is something that is not common, nor something I would want to do too often.  But it is very good to know that William has figured it out and has the info in case you or I need to do it.  We will most certainly appreciate the help!

Do think VVols preform better than thin VMDKs?
Cody knows the answer to this, but he also is very polite so he proves it out too!

Oracle RAC on VMware Cloud on Amazon AWS
It strikes me as funny, but also a little worrisome we still need to talk about how important stuff like Oracle can work on vSphere.  Oracle has worked on vSphere for a very long time.  But I also realize there are still Oracle people that say it cannot work.  I even saw an Oracle account manager say that with Oracle support on the phone – and who corrected him.  Here is an article about how good Oracle RAC works on VMWonAWS.

Download URLs for VMware vSphere Client
Just in case you need the vSphere Client but cannot find it you can look here.  I suggest you don’t, and get used the vSphere Web Client.

PowerShell Functions for tags
An interesting article methodology for showing you the PowerShell tag info.

How to digitally sign PowerShell Scripts
If you are sharing your scripts with customers, it might be nice to sign those scripts.  Learn how in this article.

Log Insight 4.5.1 is now GA
In fact it was GA’ed a while back, as you can seen in the Release Notes, but it took a little to be able to find the bits – which are here. I did the update recently and it was a smooth and easy as always.  This is a small release so the RN is an easy read to confirm what you need to know.

Log Insight 4.5: Preinstalled Content Packs
Steve has an article that talks about updated CP in 4.5 and some newly included ones too.

Free NSX Books: 580 pages of awesomeness
In this article you can find links to a variety of different NSX books.  Quite good.

Announcing DoubleCloud REST APIs for VMware vSphere: Complete API to Many vCenter / ESXi
This is quite different.  Someone has produced a set of REST API to put in front of VMware SOAP API.  And added Swagger to it.

Hackers Poisoning the Google Search Results to Spread Highly Sophisticated Banking Malware
An interesting article about how bad guys are using Google to spread malware.  I had no idea this was possible.

Announcing automatic OS upgrades for Azure VM scale sets
This sounds like very cool stuff – no more managing upgrades.  From the sounds of it it sounds like they are doing View composer type stuff.  The OS disk is replaced with a newer one and persistent disks are not impacted.

Active Directory Cached Credentials Overview
I thought that this was an interesting article as I did not know we could use GPO to manage cached credentials.  I love the idea of disable that inside a company, but yet enabled and with a limit of 1 (default is 10) cached credential for laptops and tablets that get used outside of the company.

Mophie PowerStation USB-C XXL
This is a small battery – a little bigger then the one it is replacing.  It has both USB-C and USB-A.  It is 19,500 mAh.  It came with cables and has a nice display for battery strength.  I have heard very good things from a couple of other people about it.  The box says 14 hours for my laptop, or 20 hours for my iPad, or 100 hours for my iPhone.  That is pretty amazing even though I am skeptical about the numbers.  You can find more about it here. It is replacing a much smaller Goal Zero Venture30 with only 7800 mAh.  The important thing about the Venture is that it would turn itself off when not in use so it could last a long time – and it was waterproof and worked good with solar panels.  So I will keep it around.

Chasing Adversaries with Autoruns – evading techniques and countermeasures
I really like Autoruns, and every template I build has it in, and it is pretty useful.  But in this article it shows off how you can improve your Autoruns security profile.  Cool info.

What’s New in Windows Server version 1709
I mentioned last week that this new version of Win2K16 has added dedupe to ReFS and that Veeam has not been updated yet to handle that so beware and maybe not use 1709 on your Veeam servers.  But if you want to learn what is in 1709 you can find that here.

Veeam PRTG Sensor Reloaded
Markus has an article about using Veeam with PRTG for monitoring.  Cool stuff.

Should I be backing up Containers?
An interesting article that looks at that question and what it means.  I agree that block storage is not the answer, and that generally containers do not need backup, but I wonder if their configuration does, and I know the data does, but where is the data? While looking at this article I found another by the same author that was very interesting – LTO-8 tape announced – you cannot say tape is finished.

Apple software updates creating APFS snapshots on macOS High Sierra
An interesting article that teaches about APFS snapshots and how Apple uses them before doing upgrades – which makes surviving failed upgrades much easier.  Cool stuff.  A good example of why I was excited about the High Sierra upgrade – with a modern file system much is possible!

What was it like to sit in the nose on United’s final 747 Flight
No more 747 flights with United.  I have spent a lot of time in 747s with either Cathay or Singapore Airlines in my past.  I really liked flying in it.  Once I was able to fly on the upper deck. Someone flew on the last United 747 flight and wrote this article. Sort of looks like fun.

He perfected a password-hacking tool – then the Russians came calling
An interesting read about an odd circumstance that could be a movie but isn’t.

eero Plus gets even better with VPN, 1Password, Malwarebytes, and Ad blocking
I use eero and like them – they are sort of like Wifi as a service, and the fact they are adding functionality like 1Password and VPN is pretty darn cool.  Check out the full info in this article. I have enabled this Plus service and I am not sure yet about it.  Nothing to say about it yet – it just works. Once we get access to some of the new benefits, and I have time to work on them, I will let you know how it goes.  I pay now for three Macs to have Trend antivirus on them – and it does its job very well.  Low resource usage for example.  But also, I have to pay.  So if I could use Malwarebytes and get good protection, and low resource usage, I could save a few bucks.  I do like eero though for sure.

I typed in my name and the results had me speechless
In this article it talks about a website that is quite amazing. I can say it doesn’t work with Canadians, which I think might be good, but it is amazing the range of different sources – weapon permits, mug shots, criminal activities, social media, and a lot more. If you are in the US, and are a US person, it might be interesting to check yourself out.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far!


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