Thursday, July 28, 2016

VMworld 2016: The End of an Era

I sadly report that I will not be attending VMworld 2016 this year.  This will be the first conference I've missed - "13" really is an unlucky number!  I was not selected per the criteria my organization used to determine who goes and who stays.  I respect their decision, but that doesn't change the fact that I will be watching the general sessions remotely on a computer screen.  Yeah, that won't quite be the same - no assisting customers, meeting friends, attending sessions or keeping up with what's going on with partners in the Solutions Exchange this year for me.

My passion for the conference won't change - I still believe it to be the best IT conference and highly recommend attending.

So the VMworld Alumni Elite group will be at least one less this year.  What a prestigious group!   I know from meeting with these guys year after year that they have a real passion for VMworld, VMware and its products.  Guys - I'll catch up with you next time!

Its ironic - during my interview I was told that the surest way to not attend VMworld was to become a VMware employee.  My first year VMware decided to send my entire organization!  My second year they decided to send most of the organization, yours truly included.  This is my third year and it appears as though my luck has run out.

I did try multiple alternative options but none of those panned-out.  So all good things must come to an end?  C'est la vie - its the end of an era... and the start of a new era - carpe diem!

For those that are going - have a great conference!  For the reset of us, make sure to tune in to the general sessions which will be live-streamed again this year.  And don't forget about the breakout sessions that will be made available shortly after the conference.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Enabling the Digital Enterprise: VMware Announcements

VMware made several major product announcements this week and I'm super-excite about some of the improvements and new features coming our way.

Our EUC team is really firing on all cylinders and continues to update and integrate products.  In this case AirWatch, Horizon and Identity Manager are brought together with Workspace One.  Did you know we coined the term "Workspace" (well okay, a company we acquired years ago did).  I used to be one of those guys that connected to my View desktop and worked from there.  Now, more often than not I browse our internal Workspace One portal and launch whatever app I need to get work done.  How did I work without this before?

Also worth noting are several SDDC product updates.  The big news here is VSAN 6.2 - what an awesome release!  VSAN was ready to host your tier 1 applications with the release of 6.0 - now with 6.2's dedupe, compression and RAID5/6 features, the nay-sayers won't be able say it's not ready for the enterprise (well, they can but they would be wrong).

Here is a "Did you know" PSA: 
Did you know that if you use vSphere Replication to replicate VMs hosted on VSAN storage, you can set the RPO as low as 5 minutes?
Now you know.

Finally. take a look at the vCloud Suite pricing and packaging changes.  We've really change the Suites to refocus on what customer's really want - the tools needed to run a true SDDC datacenter (wait, isn't that redundant?).
Replay’s of this week's events are available here:

vROps Alert: One or more ports on the Distributed Port Group are experiencing network contention due to dropped packets

Here is a vROps problem experienced by one of my customers:
Alert: One or more ports are experiencing network connection
(One or more ports on the Distributed Port Group are experiencing network contention due to dropped packets)

However, this seems to only apply to vROps 6.0.x and the customer is running the 6.2.x release.  An SR was opened and the support tech recommended the fix per KB2052917: vCenter Server 5.1/5.5/6.0 performance charts report dropped network packets

Okay great, so a patch needs to be applied to the ESXi 5.5 host.  The customer tried to applied the patch via VUM but it was marked obsoleted.  "Obsoleted" is an Update Manager compliance state.  As explained in the Installing and Administering VMware vSphere Update Manager documentation:

This compliance state applies mainly to patches. The target object has a newer version of the patch. For example, if a patch has multiple versions, after you apply the latest version to the host, the earlier versions of the patch are in Obsoleted By Host compliance state.


Hmmm.... so the host has a newer version of the patch, so now what?

After some discussion we landed on the fact that the vCenter instance managing this host was likely the culprit as it has a patch level several versions behind the host.  I always recommend customers keep their vCenter and ESXi hosts at the same Update patch level.  Installing patches on hosts in-between major Updates is okay.  In this case, they were on different Update versions.

The vCenter instance was patched to the latest update and voila, the error disappeared from vROps.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Horizon View Restart/Reboot Sequence

View admins - please make sure you restart View infrastructure servers in the proper order for fastest uptime!  I recently had a customer that rebooted vCenter and View servers in an effort to fix an apparent connection problem.  When they did not appear to be coming online fast enough, the admin rebooted them again.

Now normally rebooting these servers can cause ADLDS synchronization to take up to fifteen minutes or so, but rebooting them again, before the initial sync completes, can cause them to take thirty minutes or more - and then leave inconsistencies within the pools.

For more information on the proper boot sequence:
Restart order of the View environment to clear ADLDS (ADAM) synchronization in View 4.5, 4.6, 5.0, and 5.1

And to clear out any inconsistencies:
Manually deleting linked clones or stale virtual desktop entries from the View Composer database in VMware View Manager and VMware Horizon View