vToolbelt – June 2020

Hello – I hope this finds you well and your summer off to a positive start.   There are a lot of VMware events coming up!  They are all on-line and free – make sure you review the list to see what might be interesting to you!

We will start off with two very important pieces of good news

The End of General Support date for vCenter Server & ESXi 6.7 has been extended to October 15, 2022.   Previously, 6.7 shared the same end date as version 6.5 (November 15, 2021).

VMware is offering a complimentary 6-month Digital Learning subscription to the Premium edition of the VMware Learning zone.  You must register for this prior to November 6, 2020.  You can learn more about this free offering and register here.

Upcoming Events

Cleveland Virtual VMUG – Unlock the Power of vSAN Storage Policies
Date: June 18th
Time: 4:30PM Eastern

The Cleveland VMUG will host a discussion on vSAN policy options and their implications with regard to performance and operations. Latency, throughput, rebuild times for failed drives- all these things are subject to the decisions made about policies applied to objects through SPBM. Learn how to optimize your vSAN policies to make the most of your software-defined storage.

Guest Speaker:
Josh Fidel – Principal Solutions Architect – Advizex

Register

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vToolbelt – May 2020

I hope finds you well!   If you get a minute, remind me what season it is. My house experienced killing vToolbelt - May 2020 - VMware Virtualization news you can use!frost and 70+ degree weather within a few days of each other. I am sure many of you felt it as well.   I can’t tell if we are in Ohio or Florida…

Upcoming Events

vSAN 7.0 and the Software Defined Data Center
Date: June 2nd
Time: 9am Eastern

This virtual event will review vSAN 7.0 – the cornerstone of the Software Defined Data Center. In this session we will do an overview of vSAN for those who need a refresher, delve into the new features that were released then dive into a live demo of vSAN where we will show the power of Hyper Converged Infrastructure and how it is transforming the modern data center. We look forward to seeing you in this interactive session!

Guest Speaker:
Max Abelardo  – VMware Systems Engineer

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vToolbelt – February 2020

Welcome to (hopefully) the tail end of winter! A few brief glimpses of sun has me hopeful that the dreary days are behind us!

There is a lot of VMware Virtualization news to cover this month.  Some important changes are noted in the Highlights section

Highlights for the Month

vSphere 6.0 & vCenter Server 6.0 will be at End of General Support on March 12th, 2020. Note:  Even if your hosts won’t support a later version of vSphere, if they are on at least 6.0, you can still update vCenter Server to 6.5 or 6.7

Microsoft changes to LDAP Binding Requirements may impact vCenter Server and App Volumes
Apparently Microsoft will be changing how AD handles LDAP requests in their March 2020 updates.  Any LDAP requests that are not using TLS could be negatively impacted. The tech marketing team for vCenter has written an article on how these changes to MS LDAP Channel Binding & Signing could affect vCenter.

There are 3 protocols that will bind vCenter to Active Directory for authentication:

  • Unencrypted LDAP (LDAP:\\)
  • LDAP encrypted with TLS (LDAPS:\\)
  • Integrated Windows Authentication (IWA)

According to VMware testing, TLS\LDAPS and Integrated Windows Authentication binding methods are not impacted by this change.    I have received customer feedback that the MS tool that helps report on unencrypted LDAP requests is including applications that are using IWA bindings.

It appears App Volumes could be impacted as well.  There is a KB article (KB 77093) that discusses what VMware is working on for this and what you can do about it.

Upcoming changes to VMware CPU-based licensing
Beginning April 2nd, 2020, Any VMware software that is licensed on a per-CPU basis will require 1 CPU license for up to 32 physical cores.  If a CPU has more than 32 physical cores than an additional CPU license will be required.  You can read the full VMware CPU Licensing Change Announcement, as well as check out KB 77098, which describes how you can count the CPU cores in your environment (either using the vCenter Client or a PowerShell script).

Adobe Flash is near End of Life
Adobe has announced that they will EOL Flash at the end of 2020.  This likely means that browser manufacturers will stop supporting Flash-based apps in their browsers at some point this year.  (The Adobe article has links to the major browser partners and their plans)

The vSphere Web Client included with vCenter Server 6.7 releases (beginning in April 2018) have full HTML5 feature parity and no longer require Flash.  If you haven’t upgraded yet, now is the time to start planning.    A few things to check before you upgrade:

  • Host Compatibility – The hosts don’t have to run the same version as vCenter.  There is a interoperability matrix to show compatible versions.  Hint: vSphere 6.0 & Later
  • Software Compatibility – make sure any solutions that integrate with vCenter are supported.  VMware has a searchable Product Interoperability Matrix for products like Horizon, vRealize, etc.   You should also check any third-party solutions (backup, reporting, etc)
  • vCenter Client Plugins – If you use a client plugin to manage your SAN, A/V, etc you should also check with that vendor to make sure it is supported.

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Where did the 1500 byte MTU come from anyway

I manage to stumble across a large number of bits of curiosity while researching technology topics.   Some of these make me scratch my head wondering how I never heard of it before.  I thought i would write some of them down.  Welcome to TechBITs!

These days, we just plug in a patch cable into our server and the machine gets on the network and off to work.  For the most part it isn’t a big deal.    I wish I could say I fondly recall the days of stripping the end of a coax cable to get a workstation on the Thinnet.  While I do remember it – fond is not a word I would use of that memory.

If you have worked in systems administration or networking for any length of time, you should at least be familiar with the standard 1500 byte MTU.  Do you know How the 1500 bytes became the MTU of the Internet?

vToolbelt – January 2020

I hope everyone had a Happy New Year!  2020 is off to a rapid start.  I continue to write 2019 as the date (per usual).

Product Support Highlight

  • A number of core vSphere products are nearing the end of General Support (particularly vSphere 6.0 & vCenter Server 6.0 in March).  You can find out the exact date in the Product Watch section.

Upcoming Events


Cleveland VMUG
Date: Tuesday, January 28th
Time: 9:30AM – 4:00PM

Learning Docker & Kubernetes on a boat!
Docker and Kubernetes have become household words in most IT shops during this session you will have the opportunity to learn about them hands-on.  We will discuss basic constructs then put that knowledge into action in provided lab environments.  You will have the opportunity to deploy, operate and troubleshoot container applications.  You should leave this session with a basic knowledge of how to operate Kubernetes in enterprise environments.  Lunch will be included during this six-hour event at the LeanDog HQ in Cleveland.

Requirements: Each attendee needs to bring a laptop with wireless connectivity that will allow them to operate the labs.  In order to access the labs everyone will need to have a free mylearn.vmware.com account.   Attendees need to verify their ability to login to mylearn.vmware.com in advance of the lab.

Register at VMUG.COM


Toledo VMUG
Date: Wednesday, January 29th
Time: 11:30AM – 1:30PM

The first 2020 meeting of the Toledo VMUG has been scheduled for January 29th!  It will be held at the Better Business Bureau of Northwest Ohio & Southeast Michigan (7668 Kings Pointe Road Toledo, OH 43617)

This meeting will focus on security and the requirements and challenges that faces companies every day. Centracomm is the sponsor.

Register at VMUG.COM


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Learn Docker and Kubernetes – Cleveland VMUG – January 2020

Interested in learning about Docker and Kubernetes?  Do you like getting your hands dirty and fingers on they keyboard while you learn about new technology?  Plan to attend the Learn Docker and Kubernetes on a Boat event by the Cleveland VMUG and LeanDog.

This 6 hour hands-on event on January 28th will introduce concepts that allow you to deploy, operate, and troubleshoot container applications.

Bring your laptop and VMware MyLearn account to the LeanDog HQ (1151 N Marginal Rd
Cleveland, OH 44114) ready to learn!

LeanDog is a leader in lean and agile consulting and training.  Their headquarters is located in a hub of innovative thinking in downtown Cleveland near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

You can register for this event at VMUG.COM

Toledo VMUG Meeting – January 2020

The first 2020 meeting of the Toledo VMUG has been scheduled for January 29th!  It will be held at the Better Business Bureau of Northwest Ohio & Southeast Michigan (7668 Kings Pointe Road Toledo, OH 43617)

This meeting will focus on security and the requirements and challenges that faces companies every day. Centracomm is the sponsor. 

 

Agenda
  • Welcome, Announcements, and introductions
  • Security – CentraComm

Lunch for attendees will be provided by Shorty’s Barbecue

You can register for this event at VMUG.COM

vToolbelt – November 2019

Hello everyone!  I can’t believe it is the end of November already.  Thanksgiving is nearly upon us so I’ll keep the virtualization news light.  A few key things this month:

  • A number of core vSphere products are nearing the end of General Support (particularly vSphere 6.0 & vCenter Server 6.0).  You can find out the exact date in the Product Watch section.
  • The last Ohio SLED VMUG for 2019 is on 12/3.  We will be talking about VMware Skyline and a recap of VMworld.  Arctic Networks is sponsoring and will be presenting on the Security Operations offering. We hope to see you there!  You can register at VMUG.COM.
  • Earlier this month I sent out a message about a new Speculative Execution bug (VMSA-2019-0020).  The full remediation for this issue has 2 parts (patch the code and make a config change to enable the full fix).  The required config change is noted in the advisory but unfortunately is a bit buried.  You can find the details in KB 59139.  This is linked in the overall advisory but isn’t called out as well as it could be.  Please read the full document.  There are performance impacts – particularly for anyone running Nested Virtualization.

Upcoming Events

Ohio SLED VMUG
Date: Tuesday, December 3rd
Time: 8:30AM – 11:30AM

Topics:

  • VMware Skyline – This is a free tool available to anyone with valid support contract.  It can help make the support experience better.  If you hate uploading log bundles you need to check this out!
  • VMworld 2019 recap
  • Arctic Wolf – they are sponsoring the event and will discuss their Cyber Security Operations offering

Register at VMUG.COM

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Central Ohio VMUG – December 2019

The last SLED VMUG of 2019 will be held on the morning of December 3rd at Tree of Life (5000 Arlington Centre Blvd Columbus, OH 43220)

Agenda:

8:30 AM – Networking and Morning Refreshments – Sponsored by Artic Wolf Networks
9:00 AM – Welcome & Introductions – VMUG Leaders & Steve Gruetter, Expedient
9:10 AM – Sponsor Presentation, Artic Wolf Networks
9:55 AM – Break
10:00 AM – VMworld Recap, VMware TAM Team
10:20 AM – Break
10:30 AM – VMware Skyline, VMware TAM Team
11:30 AM – Q & A, Wrap Up

Background on Arctic Wolf:

Arctic Wolf provides a Cyber Security Operations Center for companies that do not want to invest the time and money to build a solution.  The AWN CyberSOC differs from traditional managed security services. It is a dynamic combination of world-class Concierge Security Team (CSTs), advanced machine learning, and comprehensive, up-to-the-minute threat intelligence. Your CST conducts both routine and non-routine tasks to protect you from known and emerging threats.

We want to see you there!  Register at VMUG.COM today!

Home Lab Update – Adding a NAS

It has been a while since I have written about my home lab.   While the initial purpose was to help me learn, I have been using it more and more to allow me to assist customers.  It has been really useful when talking on the phone or researching topics for them.  So when I had to reconfigure it earlier this summer to brush up on the new release of Site Recovery Manager for booth duty at VMworld, I began to miss it quickly.

My lab is comprised of 3 white-box ESX hosts in a cluster with vSAN.  While each host has a local disk, the only shared storage I have is vSAN.  Normally this works just fine for my needs; but SRM requires 2 separate vSphere environments and in my 3 host scenario it meant that vSAN had to temporarily come down.  I’ve reconfigured the environment back to a single cluster with vSAN; but the exercise has made me wish I had some type of shared storage capability outside of my vSphere environment.  I know SAN/NAS for home labs isn’t a new topic these days; but I learned a few things along the way and I thought I would share in case there are others who are still doing this for the first time.

I had resisted the idea for a while mostly due to cost; but also because I wasn’t sure that I would fully utilize another piece of gear.  TL;DR  Now that I have have it – I love it and in the space of about 10 days have it setup and am getting far more out of it than I had anticipated.  Let’s break down what I am doing…

Use Cases

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