vArchitect Newsletter 033

Hello, all, and welcome to our April newsletter! Got the usual slew of releases plus some other interesting things that have come up since last month. Let’s get started.

Fling Updates

As usual, we bring you the VMware Flings which saw some updates in January. For those not familiar, these are “pet projects” from staffers at VMware which very often make their way into or as supported projects. Although they’re unsupported, they can be a good way to see some of the new stuff and even plug some holes. Here is the rundown of new or updated Flings since last time:

New Releases

As customary, here are all the new releases since last time. Some big ones this time around but also lots of patches that shouldn’t be overlooked. As with all new releases and updates, be absolutely sure you read the release notes carefully.

 

 

 

  • VMware AppDefense Plugin 2.1.1 for Platinum Edition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VMware Security Advisory

VMware Workstation update addresses elevation of privilege issues.  Detailed information here.

 

Product Version Running on Patched version
Workstation 15.x Windows 15.0.3
Workstation 14.x Windows 14.1.6

VMware Horizon update addresses Connection Server information disclosure vulnerability.  Detailed information here.

 

Product Version Running on Patched version
Horizon 7 (CR) 7.x Windows 7.8 + KB67424
Horizon 7 (ESB) 7.5.x Windows 7.5.2 + KB67401
Horizon 6 1.2.x Any 6.2.8 + KB67401

VMware EMPOWER

For all the VMware technical partners out there, remember to sign up for EMPOWER 2019 taking place in Atlanta April 15–18.  Lots of reasons to attend like a free certification exam, great technical tracks, focus on team building, and great technical content. Feel free to contact us for a $100 discount code on the 4-day technical pass.

vRealize Automation 7.4/7.5 Hot Fixes

For those running vRA 7.4 or 7.5, the hot fixes keep getting rolled out, which is good(!), but stay on top of what’s fixed with the KB here for 7.5 and here for 7.4. Very important to read the article thoroughly and, if you decide to pursue the hot fix, ensure you take all the precautions. If you want help with the process and some things to avoid, give us a holler.

vRealize Automation Support for Google Cloud

Staying on the vRA topic for a second, a plugin which supports Google Cloud has just been released. If you’re a vRA + Google Cloud customer who wants to deploy infrastructure to GCE, you may want to take a look at this vRO-based plugin detailed in a blog post.

Microsoft SQL Cluster Support on vSAN

This one is a long time coming and has been a big blocker for folks to adopt vSAN. We’re talking about SCSI-3 persistent reservations, which are required when doing Windows Failover Clusters with SQL. Well, that has now been removed in the latest vSAN. Check the details here. Important to point out that this is only on VMware on AWS at this point but hopefully trickles down to on-premises vSphere.

Guidance Running MS SQL on vSAN

While we’re on the topic of vSAN and SQL, a new blog was published which provides some really good guidance on running vSAN on SQL. This is specifically tuned for vSAN, so if you are indeed running SQL on vSAN and are having performance issues (or even if you aren’t), have a read to understand the implications of SPBM and how to configure for your application needs.

Sizing vRealize Operations Manager Correctly

John has done a good write-up detailing a new sizing guide for vROps. This is something we seen customers struggle with because, let’s be honest, it’s not a very simple answer to get based on all the myriad objects vROps is capable of monitoring. In the past, there have been spreadsheets, but this tool takes it to the next level.

vCloud Suite 2018 Platinum

Although this is a little more salesy (and we generally don’t cover this), one thing we spotted in this article, which basically says that vCloud Suite Platinum combines the new vSphere Platinum offering, is that there is vRA integration with AppDefense via a plugin. So if you are a vRA customer today and did some looking into the AppDefense, it looks like there’s some play between the two that may be worth investigating. We’ll try and keep you updated with more after we beat this up in the lab.

Creating Custom vROps Objects via vRO

One of the things Chip gets asked frequently is how one can add custom objects or metrics into vROps. This is possible with the API only and does work, however takes some doing as well as having some caveats. But this blog post goes into some good detail on how you can actually do it through vRO which may be a good option if you’re using vRO already. Save you some time and go to the link here for the vRO samples referenced.

vSphere Upgrades and Back-In-Time Restrictions

Folks, this is a major point of confusion we deal with frequently. It has to do with what are the supported paths of vCenter and ESXi upgrades. By that we mean source version to target version, but it’s not a simple as you may think. Depending on what patch you have applied in, say, vCenter 6.5, you may not be able to then turn around and upgrade to 6.7. VMware have issued this KB which breaks this down in very easy tables, so it’s highly recommended you check this out before making big upgrade plans. And, actually, you probably should read it before patching if you know you have an upgrade on the horizon.

Justification For Not Using Mixed-Case Hostnames

Mixed-case hostnames are bad. They’ve been bad since the beginning of time. Case in point, if you’ve named your vCenter Server with one, you may be facing upgrade failures due to it as outlined in this KB.

Installing vRealize Automation Software Components as a Specific User

Chip has written a new blog detailing one interesting case (with a custom solution) on how to run vRA software components as a specific credential by forcing the Windows service to use that account. It’s not something you probably want to run out and implement, but for certain applications that don’t work with any other methods it can be a real time (and code) saver.

vROast

A cool little project that has come from the folks at ITQ is entitled vROast and is pretty neat in that it allows you to write vRO code in VS Code (the crowd favorite editor, certainly ours) and integrate it with version control. For those not familiar, vRO is a JavaScript based, visual object orchestration tool that does not (today) have these features, so vROast is looking to plug that gap. We haven’t really spent any time with it, but we intend to since it’s right up our alley!

Veeam 9.5 Update 4a Released

Last thing this month is the Update 4a patch for Veeam 9.5. If you didn’t catch it, Update 4 is a humongous update for Veeam 9.5 and the largest one they’ve ever put out. Although it was reported to be very solid, they have seen a few minor issues here and there. This U4a patch, which is cumulative, was put out to address them. So if you were holding off on punching up to Update 4, this 4a patch looks good to go for you.