vToolbelt – January 2019

Welcome to Janaury!  It is pretty chilly here in Ohio; but fortunately my hands are warm enough to type and bring you some VMware news!  Light a fire, pull up a chair and read on for some virtualization news!

Upcoming Events

VMware 2019 Technology Outlook webcast
Join VMware vSphere Experts and fellow VMware TAM customers in a roundtable discussion around upgrading to vSphere 6.7 at Join VMware VP & CTO, Chris Wolf as he explores VMware’s Strategic Priorites for 2019 and beyond.  This will include cloud and security trends and how customers can stay at the forefront of these technological advancements
January 31 @ 2pm EST – Register

VMware on VMware Webinar
In this webinar, VMware IT will review VMware’s internal deployment of Workspace ONE and how it enables employee self-service, single sign-on to multiple applications (internal as well as SAAS), and simplifies management of mobile devices.
February 12 – 12pm EST – Register 

The 5 Core principles of Cyber Hygiene webinar
How VMware applies the five core principles of cyber hygiene will highlight how a multinational technology company enables and secures a highly diverse workforce. From micro-segmentation, to cloud and encryption, learn from actual practitioners on what has worked for VMware.
January 23 -12pm – Register

Product Watch

The following products are nearing the End of General Support.  You can find the full list on the VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix.

Horizon View 6.x
6/19/19
AirWatch Console 9.2
3/21/19
User Environment Manager 9.2
5/16/19
Identity Manager 3.0 &  3.1
3/21/19
vRealize Automation 7.0, 7.1, 7.2
12/17/18
Fusion 10
3/26/18
vRealize Network Insight 3.7 & 3.8
2/22/19
Workstation 14
3/26/19
vRealize Orchestrator 7.0, 7.1, 7.2
2/17/18
vRealize Operations Manager for Horizon 6.5
3/21/19
vRealize Business for Cloud
7.3 – 3/15/19
7.4, 7.5 – 4/12/19

 

Notes from the Field

vSphere

VMware has released a tool to help you plan a new vSphere deployment or an upgrade of an existing environment.  Check out vSphere Central for the Topology and Upgrade Path finder Planning Tool to learn more.

For those of you still running vCenter on a Windows server upgrading to vSphere 6.7 is an opportunity to migrate vcenter to the vCenter Server Appliance (or VCSA).  In the very near future vCenter will no longer be offered on the Windows platform.  Here is a walkthrough of upgrading to vSphere 6.7 and from Windows to the VCSA at the same time.

Another tool you may want to bookmark is the VMware Configuration Maximums tool.  These used to be in plain PDF format.  This new web application allows you to choose the product (vSphere, NSX, vROPs, or SRM), the version and which maxiumum type to review.  You can even export everything to PDF to keep locally for reference.

VMware has been adding the same level of customization to docs.vmware.com.    Did you know you can create custom collections of documentation that match up to the environment(s) you support?  Check out this blog to learn more.

If your environment uses a lot of rules in the Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) in your clusters, you way want to look into the Cluster Rules Manager fling in VMware Labs.  This can help you audit and report on the rules that are in place, as well as export/import functionality.

Most vSphere admins use vSphere High-Availability (HA) in their environments.  Have you ever seen a message about not being able to ping the Isolation Address?    This post discusses what the Isolation Address is and how to configure one if necessary.

Did you know there was a vSphere Health Check plugin in vSphere 6.7?  I didn’t.  Evidently one little known feature in the new HTML5 vSphere client available in vCenter Server 6.7 is the ability to deliver plug-ins  that can run in the UI without requiring a server upgrade.    When 6.7 initially shipped, it only had 5 Health Checks included.  A short time later, 22 additional health checks were made available.

Bookmark worthy – While this isn’t just for vSphere, someone released a VMware Product Release Tracker. It even has an RSS feed you can subscribe to.  I can’t be the only one who still uses an RSS Reader – right?!

vSAN

The latest version of vSAN provides some helpful tools on how to understand Capacity Management in your vSAN cluster.   There are also some considerations around Cluster size and impacts on capacity.

Are you already running vSAN or thinking about how it could fit into your day-to-day activities?  You may be interested in a free e-book called Operationalizing VMware vSAN.  Instead of a deep-dive into the bits and bytes of how it was built, this book is more about people and process.

There aren’t many times we completely shutdown our datacenters; but in the event this becomes a necessity – do you know how to properly shutdown/startup a vSAN cluster which also runs your vCenter server?

Two other concepts to have a good grasp on are how vSAN is how it handles failure, two important scenarios – Stretched Clusters and Erasure Coding.

vRealize Log Insight can be very helpful in monitoring and troubleshooting your vSphere environment.  A new vRLI content pack for VSAN was released recently which makes some changes to dashboards and alerts which should provide better information.

NSX

I found a site which lists 10 Free NSX books that might be useful.  They cover everything from learning micro segmentation, operational considerations, automation, and design guides.

If you haven’t upgraded NSX-V yet, here is an walkthrough of the NSX upgrade process.   One of many considerations in the upgrade process is driver compatiblity.  If you have a Cisco UCS environment, you should check out your nenic driver version before you upgrade.

Take an in-depth look at the VXLAN network stack and VTEP communication testing.

vRealize Operations

With vRealize 7.0 and the latest NSX Management pack for vROPS you can use an NSX Load Balance dashboard.

If you use vRealize Operations, you can use vROPS to create alerts for failed vRO workflows.

Have you ever wanted to run a continual export of a report in vROPs?  It may be easier to accomplish in PowerCLI

Automation

If you haven’t looked at what can be down with Powershell, you owe it to yourself to take the plunge.  I promise it will be worth it!  PowerCLI is a set of Powershell commands (called cmdlets) that can be used to manipulate VMware infrastructure.  Even if you are not a “scripter”, you can still learn enough to fumble your way through PowerCLI.  You can even run PowerCLI on a Mac now!

If you already have the automation bug, you may be interested in how you can Automate Update Manager using PowerCLI, or take your automation to the next level by using PowerCLI to call SOAP & RESTful APIs.

I hope you stay warm!  Until next month…

Looking for an older copy of vToolbelt?  Check out the archive.