Newsletter: February 24, 2018

Hello,

A short week, but it feels like it was a long one anyway.  I have submitted a nice whitepaper I am looking forward to sharing it with you.  A small one, but a huge amount of work went into it.

I like having the Veeam vSphere Web Client plug-in installed as it means I can get a nice overview of my backups when I am in the Web Client.  Recently I was surprised on something I saw in it, so I clicked on a link to get more info and it did not work.  So here is the article on how to fix the issue if you need it.

I missed last weeks newsletter as I was in the mountains with my wife and took the time off.  Very nice.  But it does mean I have lots to share today! This winter has been amazing, back-country skiing like my wife and I do has great conditions, but so does downhill skiing, or snowshoeing, or whatever – so much snow!  In case you are curious, we stayed here.  A very nice place.

Lets get started, and have a great weekend,

Michael

vCenter 6.5 U1f now GA
I have done this update, but I have not found good release notes.  In this article it talk about how do do the upgrade and it mentions no RN as well. I found these release notes that have the right date but are not that helpful.  This update is all about security, specifically in the underlying OS of the VCSA.

Is 2018 the year of VVols?
Eric has a very interesting article about VVols and is this the year they take off?  I really like VVols as they solve an issue I got a lot of work, and hassle over, in the early days of virtualization.  All around LUN management.  But, not all vendors are ready, and even vendors that are ready may not have the full implementation.  I know that VVols hurt Veeam in that while we can easily do backup and restores of VMs on VVols, our storage integration doesn’t work with it, and our Direct SAN mode doesn’t work with it.  And for some customers, especially enterprise customers that is a big deal. I have not put my hands on a Pure Storage array for a long time, and so don’t know hands on about their VVols, but from reading it sounds like the very first really deep and well done implementation which I think pretty impressive and I think it will help other vendors move along. But we will see how VVols progress this year.

End of General Support for vSphere 5.5
September 19, 2018 is the End of Life (EOL) for vSphere 5.5 (or end of support according to VMware as you can see in this article).  Which means no more patches and not so much support. You can purchase additional support but it will be via a portal for the most part.  You really need to upgrade.  I know that is sometimes hard, and sometimes it is due to hardware you are using that is no longer supported on newer versions of vSphere.  But you still need to upgrade – and it is in fact good for you.  Maybe you will get better consolidation rations, or better up-time, or maybe some things are easier to do.  But, you need to upgrade.  You can get help from VMware, or your partner, and it will likely go much easier then you expect.

Functionality Updates for the vSphere Client
This document shows you the vSphere Client info as of 6.5 U1d.  I have not found a later one but at least it gives some detail on unsupported or missing features in the HTML5 client (aka vSphere Client).

Firefox does not trust vCenter Signed CA certificates
In this article you will learn about a Firefox behavior change, as well as a workaround. Good to know as this sort of thing could be frustrating to figure out.

Tango Eagle Bravo
John has an excellent article that talks about vSAN Support Insight and how useful for VMware, and yet how well it protects you too.  Very nice job John!

How to test Network Connectivity with a vmkping command
I think many of us will know that vmkping is used to do ping tests on vmkernal adapters.  So you can ping a host on a Storage network, or the vMotion IPs.  Very handy.  But, there is some additional info on this command that I think less people know.  Check out this article to learn more – like how to choose which adapter is used. This is an important command so we all should be quite familiar with it.

VMware Storage Capacity Reporting part 2: VMFS and Thick virtual disks
Here is part 2 of a multi-part series of good info. Great info and as always much appreciated.

vRealize Network Insight 3.7 Now GA
You can find the release notes to determine just what in this new release is going to be most exciting for you. This RN were updated recently so bear that in mind. There really is a lot of cool new stuff – like central updates, and Health Events.

VM CPU Counters in vSphere
Iwan has a very interesting article about understanding VM CPU counters.  Great info and certainly educational.

DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) ESXi VIB
This security guide (STIG) has been updated recently.  Plus, I met several people recently who did not know VMware had this.

VMware vCloud Availability for vCloud Director 2.0.1 now available
You can see what is new in these release notes. Not sure how many people using this product.

VMware Cloud on AWS and Veeam Support
Update 3 of Veeam Backup & Replication works in VMWonAWS just fine.  But there is about to be an update in VMWonAWS, or it has already dropped, that will impact VBR.  Here is an article that will explain more, and in fact will also provide a patch.

vRealize Orchestrator Client with 4K Screen
Not sure how many of you have 4K screens – I don’t, but just in case if you want to make it work good with vRO, here is the info.

v3.10 of RVTools is now available
This very useful tool has a new version that is now available.  You can see what is new in this link. I like very much having this software in my admin desktop.

PowerCLI, REST API and A sample module for tag management
In Luc’s article you can learn more about REST and vSphere tags. By the time you read this you may see part 2 as well.

VMware.Vim.Automation.Custom 0.0.2
This is quite cool, if you need additional PowerCLI functionality, check this article out.  The author has added functions that you can pull down to your PowerShell and get additional PowerCLI functionality.  Like host uptime.  Cool stuff.

VMware API Explorer Is a Free Built-in Utility in vCenter
Vladan has an article that introduces the API Explorer in vCenter and that is sort of cool.  It is very nicely done API tool.

One-armed versus inline load balancer with vRA and NSX
Some good learning in this article on load balancing and vRA / NSX.

VMware Cloud on AWS – Adding Elastic File System to your VMware Virtual Machines
This very important article shows you how to add EFS to your VMWonAWS environment.  This might be a very good way to get your backups off your vSAN.

Getting Started with the VMware Cloud on AWS Powershell Module
Kyle has an interesting article that can help you get started nicely with PowerCLI when you are working in your SDDC.

VMware Cloud on AWS and vRealize Operations = Better Together!
You can learn about vROps and how it works in AWS but also how it can help you in other ways.

FAQ: Horizon 7, App Volumes, UEM Extended Service Branches
Some interesting reading in this FAQ.  I did not think that VMware would do the ESB stuff but I hope that that it helps the customers.

Horizon 7.4 Session Collaboration feature walk-through
If you have View clients  4.7, and View 7.4, you have some very interesting collaboration features.  Like sharing a desktop as if Webex is in use and it isn’t.  You can see all this in this video.

Introducing VMware NSX-T Reference Design
If you are working with NSX-T this may be useful for you!

Understanding the impact of Spectre and Meltdown patches for end users and consumers
In this article you can see an outline and steps of looking at the impact of the Spectre and Meltdown patches. If you have the Log Insight or vRealize Ops they mention or not, I think you can learn a little more about how you can understand the impact of these patches.

The Effects of the Spectre and Meltdown Vulnerabilities
You can see in this newsletter some very good info by a very knowledgeable and senior security resource.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Plugin for VMware
Blue Medora has an interesting article here for a plugin for Oracle Enterprise Manager.  I really like the work that Blue Medora does very much. So this is likely a useful plugin!

Adding Windows 10 Version, BIOS Mode, and Secure Boot State to BGInfo
This is a very interesting and useful article.  I use BGInfo in my templates for all my VMs – Windows anyway, and I find it quite useful.  So it was very cool to see this article and be able to learn how to do some interesting custom parameters.

Runecast v1.7 now GA
Last week, in the space of a day, I saw Duncan, Vladan, and Anthony all blog about a new version of Runecast. It has been on my list to get it into my lab, and I figured maybe I better do that sooner rather than later based on those three guys – all who I know and respect – talking about it at the same time.  So it looks like this weekend maybe.

Going beyond Wireshark: experiments in visualizing network traffic
In this interesting article the author is showing different ways of visualizing Wireshark data.  And it is pretty useful in a way. I am glad they are going to keep working on this.

How to use 1Password to manage crytocurrency
This is a very instructional article about how to better protect yourself when you are doing cryptocurrency transactions.  Very good info and strongly recommended.

Olympic Destroyer Takes Aim at Winter Olympics
You can learn a little about a computer attack at the Olympics.  Interesting it was only destructive, and not about stealing info or finding out stuff, but instead destroying things.

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition now available on Windows 10 PCs worldwide
This was one of the first games – in the second generation of games (according to my history) and it was big.  A lot of people I know played it very seriously.  So very cool to bring it back and so nicely improve it.

Get Crafty with Career Progression
An interesting article from Nick on some good thoughts for most of us to think about our career.  I think many people I know do not think much about the career – and I am one of those. I think I need to.

Postman – Access token
If you want to learn about REST, tokens, and the Veeam Availability Console check out this article.

GDPR: Lessons 4 & 5, Document – Comply – Improve
Danny has the next article in his GDPR series, this one about documentation and compliance.

Is Veeam replication compatible with VMware NSX?
Luca nicely answers this question in this article. Thanks Luca!

Replacing a Veeam Agent for Windows Host will preserving existing local or share mounted backups
This is an interesting article.  I had to think about it a bit at first.  You have a server that you are backing up using Veeam Agent for Windows. The server dies and you want to replace it, but don’t want to throw away your backups.  Need to keep them.  So I can see other people wanting to do this.  Replace the hardware, but keep the existing backups.

Veeam Restore Windows Agent to VM
It is correct using Veeam you cannot restore to a VMware Cloud the way you can with restoring to Azure. But here is an article that helps you with a workaround. Handy info.

Insider Protection: Tenant Storage Usage and Cost Calculator
Anthony has an article about how you can get some metrics for when you have your customers using the new Insider Protection feature (for service providers) that was part of Update 3.

vCoffee : Drink coffee and check your backup jobs from your smartphone
This is very cool stuff, but in fact, it is only for Android.  Too bad as I love the idea of this sort of app.

A First Look at AWS Greengrass on vSphere
Cormac has an article on this very new to me software and some good background info too.

SolarWinds free tools
Have you seen the list of free tools that SolarWinds has?  You can check them all out here. There is both free tools AND free trials.  Scroll down for the free stuff, but they do have some amazing tools.

US Border Patrol Hasn’t validated E-Passort data for years
This is quite a surprise – we all went through the fuss of new passports, and they have a fancy chip that will protect us and the passport better, but in the US they have never validated what is in the chip? Actually, I found another article somewhere where I saw the actual machines to read the chip were never bought.  So this is worse, this means the Border Patrol cannot read the US passport chips, but also, cannot read the Canadian ones either.

Here are some of the ways experts think AI might screw with us in the next five years
In this article they have some very good points on how AI might be used by the forces of evil in the near future.  I think they have some very good points, and I suspect it may be sooner than five years.  We have seen some indications of this, without AI, but with large botnets that have done malware related things.  It will just greatly improve with AI.

Canary and Amazon Alexa
You can now do the Alexa, show me my office kind of thing to see what is going on in your office. Integration between Canary and Alexa.  Cool.

Some Tools to Help Learn Kubernetes
Scott has an article that will help you get started with Kubernetes.  In fact it is an interesting article in itself. If I was still a PS guy, I would in fact use this article to get started.

Announcing Pivotal Container Service General Availability
You can read about this new release in this article.  This is one of products that is coming out of the team that Chad Sakac is moving to run. This is a very cool change BTW as he will really drive things!

HomeLab: Supermicro 5028D-TN4T One Year Review
In this article the author talks about his Supermicro after one year.  He has one of the very same servers I do, and I agree with his points, particularly how little electricity they use, how little heat they generate, and how well the work.

Bitdefender – Product of the Year
You can see the chart of the evaluated anti-virus product in this article. The article has a link to the full details. I have not used Bitdefender before but I have met people who have and like it.  I am mostly a Trend guy but it would be nice to see this software work one day.

HomePod First Impressions: Let the (Apple) Music Play
An article that talks about how the first interaction with a HomePod went.  Some good info actually – such as power usage. I am looking forward to my next US trip to get a HomePod.  It will fit with me quite nicely. I love my SONOs gear, but being able to listen to music that sounds very good, and be able to say love that song Siri, means they will start improving my suggested music even more.

Slides from the “Managing Filevault2 on macOS High Sierra” session at MacAD UK 2018 conference
I took a look at the slides (from this article) and they are most excellent.  And each one has very good notes.  A great way to learn stuff!  Must have been a great session to attend.

Apple Updates – Telugu bug
Apple has recently updated macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS to deal with the Telugu bug.  Which is a good thing as that bug could be a real issue.  You can see more about this update in this article. I can add I updated my watch, iPad, iPhone, and two Macs with no issues.  Small update and it went quick for the most part, except on my watch where it went good, but slow.

How to use Albums and Libraries in Photos for Mac
I used to use Aperature and quite liked it.  I use Photos now and it works OK, but it is not quite at the level of Aperature.  But here is an article to help a bit with Photos. Here is a very good guide to using Photos that may be useful for you.

Microsoft takes a shot at VMware with Windows Server 2016 licensing changes and enforcement push
A well done article on this new licensing model from Microsoft. Some big and also confusing changes and it is good to have an article to help.  I suspect that this will generate money for Microsoft and frustration for customers, and partners trying to help customers. I also expect this to help Linux adoption.

Thanks for reading or skimming this far,

Michael

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