vArchitect Newsletter 016

vCloud Air on OVH

For all vCloud Air customers, here is some good news on your continued investment.  The OVH US team has finally completed their first US-based OVH data center and successfully assumed operations of vCloud® Air™ powered by OVH.

The OVH data center, with twenty-seven data centers already in operation, should not be confused with the vCloud Air powered by OVH Data Centers which has the following locations already available:

  • Santa Clara, CA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Dallas, TX
  • Jersey City, NJ
  • Sterling, VA

The first UCS datacenter now resides in Vint Hill, Virginia (WAS-1) with Hillsboro, Oregon to follow.

ITSM plug-in for vRA 3.0 Released

Version 3.0 of the ITSM (ServiceNow) plug-in for vRA has been released on the Solution Exchange. This version adds support for Azure catalog items, XaaS catalog items, and dynamic list properties. It’s now compatible with vRA 7.3 and supports the Istanbul and Jakarta releases of SNOW. However, it’s still only community supported, so keep that in mind.

Critical ESXi 6.5 patch available

If you’re running vSphere 6.5, a critical patch has been released in early October that fixes several issues with base ESXi and vSAN. The fixes are detailed here and include things like all-flash vSAN displaying “unrecoverable medium or checksum” errors and a PSOD fix. Be sure to roll this out as soon as possible.

vROps 6.6 Diagram

This is something we’ve heard requests for in the past, and now it looks like the vROps system diagram has been updated for 6.6. It shows all the pieces and parts, ports, protocols, and the interconnectivity. It’s a good way to understand how vROps communicates and instrumental when designing a highly available cluster. Diagram is here, although VMware have recently revamped their KB site, so it’s currently redirecting to a SalesForce login page. It’ll hopefully be corrected by the time you click the link.

PowerCLI 6.5.3

PowerCLI 6.5 was bumped up to the .3 release adding a few things including NSX-T functionality, new Create method, and resolved issues. See the blog post here for details. What’s super nice about the new PowerCLI is it being featured in the Gallery, so updates are literally as simple as “Update-Module VMware.PowerCLI” and you’re done.

vROps Federation Management Pack 1.0

A new management pack has been released which allows one to federate a number of vROps systems into one, unified view. It’s only the 1.0 release and so is view-only, but we expect this to change. It might be good to check this out especially if you’re a service provider and have a number of different vROps systems deployed for your internal customers. Check it out here.

NSX 6.3.4 released fixing Controller disconnects

VMware have punched up NSX to 6.3.4, which is mainly designed as a bug-fix release for disconnecting controllers as outlined in this KB article. Other issues are fixed as well, so check the release notes for more details.

Infamous Chrome and Flash Player Bug

Unless you were on vacation for the past several weeks, you either experienced this one for yourself or heard about it. We’ll spare you the details here, but William Lam has a good article covering it on his end. Adobe has fixed it with a new Flash player that should have already been downloaded on your end, but if not, in Chrome go to chrome://components and check for an update on Flash.

Version 183 is the one with the fix, and it should allow you to log back in to the vSphere Web Client. Also remember if you disabled auto-update for Chrome via a Windows registry tweak that you roll that back out.

PSOD in ESXi with 10GbE Adapters

Heads up on an issue that was recently published in a KB that affects users with 10GbE network adapters. Details are still sketchy (read the article), but a crash can occur under certain conditions if you have such network adapters (which is most people). Haven’t seen this in the wild, and the workaround to downgrade to 6.0 U2 isn’t helpful. This is one to bookmark and watch. When a patch is issued, we’ll be sure to tell you about it in the next newsletter.

Updated vSphere Metro Storage Cluster whitepaper published

This one is good to see. The vMSC whitepaper guiding users on best practices with stretched storage has been updated for vSphere 6.5. Duncan has a post with links to the new whitepaper. It’s definitely a must-read for anyone embarking on the complexities of stretching their storage.

vCloud Availability for vCD 2.0 released

For any service providers out there using vCD, you’ll be happy to know that vCloud Availability has reached the 2.0 release as detailed in this blog post. New things include 5-minute RPO and support for vSphere 6.5. Go check it out.

PSC 6.x FAQ Guide Available

A new blog from VMware advertises a FAQ for the PSC in 6.x environments. Definitely good to see and a recommended read for all of your vCenter architecture concerns surrounding the PSC.

Monitoring Windows Disk Space Usage with vROps Super Metrics

A new blog post from Chip shows you a valid use case for super metrics in vROps that’ll allow you to perform more granular monitoring of your guest OSs. While it’s a little involved, he does provide some scripts that cut the time down and gives a fairly detailed explanation of the process. Check it out if you’re using vROps today.

Automate vCSA file backup in vCenter 6.5

Brian Graf has done an excellent write-up on automating the file-based backup ability within the vCSA 6.5. If you’re using vCHA already, this would be something good to checkout. And if you’re a Veeam customer, Chip has produced a helper script which will allow you to back up only the active VM in a vCHA configuration through dynamic job updates. It’s been accepted into the VeeamHub repo and free to use.

vSphere Integrated Containers Fundamentals Course

For those interested in containers and exploring it in the context of VIC, there’s a new and free course available as outlined here which does an excellent job of bringing you up to speed. Definitely worth a watch if this is an initiative you have or are just curious about them.

Serious Flaw in WPA2 Protocol – KRAK Vulnerability

While not virtualization, this vulnerability impacts possibly everyone using WiFi and is a rather serious flaw which is being patched by vendors around the globe with feverous pace. Ars Technica has a good article on the situation. Check with your hardware vendor and get patched firmware for anything you have as soon as possible. Also check out a follow-up article for some point commentary here.

HTML5 Fling Updated to 3.26

The much-loved HTML5 vSphere Web Client fling has been updated to 3.26 as of this writing and brings support for vSphere licenses and contains a bunch of fixes. Two things are great about this fling: 1) It’s updated almost weekly; 2) Getting the latest version is a one-click process (login to the appliance on port 5490). Check the fling page here.

vCenter Server 6.5 U1b Released

Latest release of vCenter Server 6.5 is the U1b release and brings patches and security fixes. Check the release notes here and use the VAMI on port 5480 to update your appliance. This fixes the Apache Struts vulnerability, so you definitely want to have it if you’re running it in production.

Blockchain on vSphere Fling

A new fling has been published entitled Blockchain on vSphere. From the description:

Blockchain is an emerging technology which has been gaining traction globally throughout the past few years. Industries like finance, logistics, and IoT are actively working on research and pilot projects using blockchain.

Fabric is a sub project under Hyperledger (a LinuxFoundation project), it is probably the most mature blockchain solution available now for business use cases.

The mission of Blockchain on vSphere is to provide an end-to-end blockchain solution, from IaaS, to Blockchain platform and Blockchain applications. It allows organizations to quickly collaborate and evaluate the new business models and processes by using the decentralized blockchain technology.

By using BoV, blockchain developers can quickly set up an environment to build and test their blockchain applications.