#TopvBlog2017 : Place your vote and see my recommendations ! #vExpert

As every year Eric Siebert started the collection for votes regarding the best blogs within the virtualization field.

Caused by the great blogging-landscape I was quite surprised last year to have reached the Top 100. To be honest this was surely related to my engagement during Partner enablement and Trainings (where one or the other blog post of mine has been shown). Since I have been trapped in Projects for the last months I would be really surprised to reach this position again. Anyway I felt very honoured to be qualified again as a #vExpert and for the first time also as an #EUCchampion.

I tried to deliver content that is technically useful (from my hardly learned lessons) or gave you some insights in my thinking or conference experiences (VMworld videos). So if you took some fun or benefit out of my content I would really look forward to gain the one or another vote.

Here you can give your vote. Thanks Turbonomic (formerly VMturbo) and Eric Siebert to sponsor and execute this event once again.

I am listed with this blog this year: vLenzker (Fabian Lenz)

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#Horizon View: Cannot add Desktop Pools to a global entitlement

Introducing the Cloud Pod Architecture and Global entitlements within Horizon View was quite an important step. Suddenly the boundaries of having a Pool per Cluster was dealt with.

Since there is still a misunderstanding about the Cloud Pod Architecture and one feature Global Entitlement, please keep in mind:

A Global Entitlement does not create a Desktop Pool that spans multiple Clusters. It puts a logical layer for the Active Directory entitlement on top of existing independent Desktop pools.

There can be multiple use cases for that. Having multiple independent View environments in different locations  or just having a Single vCenter with multiple Clusters. Since we are dealing with independent pools (and just putting a logical entitlement layer on top of it) all the templates and Desktop pool operations must be done local on each pool.

 

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Why #VMworld (2017 US edition by @lenzker)

Once a year I am confronting myself with the question. Shall I go to this year’s VMworld? Following the discussion on Twitter and at Customer’s site a lot of people tend to say the good old words every culture of the mankind has been hearing:

“(#VMworld) is not the same any more…..When I was young, real knowledge and content was presented… . I was at #VMworld in the old days before it was cool….”

I think they are wrong and I will try to argument why this is my opinion.

During the beginning of the year I asked myself if they were right or not. What were the reason for those statements. After those technical (broken macbook) and non-technical (lack of dodgeball skills) disasters I was faced with during last years VMworld I needed to reevaluate for myself if my personal invest into going to VMworld is worth the money.

People knowing me better (and understanding what I am actually doing) know that I am very excited going to #VMworld. With the following post I try to give you some reasons why I love it & why VMworld is a great event and foundation to develop yourself a little further (it’s all about personal development, isn’t it?!)

If it’s your first time visiting VMware’s US event I think you will be able to extract some useful information to gain a maximum benefit out of it.

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VMware #vSAN 6.6 – Features and expectations based on field-experience

The release of vSAN 6.6 came with a tremendous ‘what’s new feature set’ brining VMware’s software-defined storage and hyper-converged solution to the next level. Many bloggers out there in the community did a great to job to explain the details of the following new features:

  • Removal of the Multicast requirement
  • Encryption using existing KMS solutions (KMIP 1.1 compatible)
  • Stretched Cluster enhancements (changing of witness hosts and secondary level of failure protections within a site)
  • Re-synchronization enhancements (including throttling)
  • Web Client independant vSAN monitoring User Interface
  • Performance enhancements
  • Maintenance Mode enhancements including more information and prechecks
  • New ESXCLI commands (that can be used with PowerCLI, e.g. to easily get smart data of the physical devies)
  • and many more…

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VMware #NSX 6.3 Controller – Failure / Data loss behaviour

It’s been a month since NSX 6.3 has been released. It just came to my attention that an unknown behaviour of the NSX-Controller has been changed with that release.

We have 3 NSX-Controller while 2 of them should at least be available to remain complete functional. As we all hopefully now the NSX-Controller manages tables (VTEP, MAC, ARP) for Layer-2 VXLAN Operations (if we have selected hybrid or unicast as a replication mode).

NSX-Controller Failure

The following tables tries to explain the impact of controller failures in case we are in Unicast or Hybrid-Mode in case of Layer-2 switching functionality:

NSX Controller Available Cluster-Status NSX-Controller Operations Mode Impact
3 healthy read/write No Impact
2 degraded read/write No Impact
1 degraded read only New VMs or vMotioned VMs will have networking issues
0 headless(-chicken) New VMs or vMotioned VMs will have networking issues

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Horizon View: Java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Invalid paramaters during Cluster selection

I observed this in my homelab while multiple nested ESXi were not available. If you create a Desktop Pool in Horizon 7 (and I guess earlier as well) the following meaningful error might show up during the select of a host or cluster resource:

java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Invalid paramaters during Cluster selection

Going through the Connection Server log files I figured out the java exception is called when the vCenter is crawled for all available Hosts and Clusters.

The routine is crashing when it hits an disconnected or not-responding ESXi host within the inventory.

Make sure every ESXi host is in a connected state.

ESXi hosts within some maintenance can really steal the show right here.

Make sure to get rid of this ESXi host by fixing the host or removing the host from the inventory. Please be aware of that a remove will also affect the your distributed switch.

vSphere 6.5: Virtual Disk / VMDK Hot-extend beyond or equal to 2TB is NOW supported

When vSphere 6.5 was announced I was quite impressed about the features. Gathering more and more hands-on experience so far I am more than happy with it.

One of the new features that can have a real operational benefit hasn’t been documented so far that often (or at least I haven’t seen it anywhere).

Before vSphere 6.5 it was impossible to increase the VMDK size of a DISK that was larger than 2TB when the Virtual Machine was powered on. That was a fact that not many organizations were aware of it until they stumbled upon it.

From an architectural point of view there shouldn’t be many use cases where such a large disk layout would be the best practice. But from an operational point of view for many of my customers this has been a bigger issue.

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VMware User Environment Manager #UEM: Predefined settings – Dynamic Placeholder

I created several blog posts about the Predefined settings so far that hopefully gave you some understanding about the basic and advanced concepts.

In the following I want to show you a little bit about a feature not all of us know:

The opportunity to create dynamic predefined settings with the help of Environment variables and placeholders.

Placeholders within UEM’s predefined settings.

Within the predefined settings you are able to define variables that will be dynamically set during the runtime.

How can we do that you ask? Just use the the following placeholder within your default/predefined settings (Case sensitive):

[Flex#%environment variables%]

The following example should show you how we can use this functionality to deliver a flexibel dynamic and context-based environment for the user (that almost sounds like marketing once again).

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VMware User Environment Manager #UEM: Predefined settings – Deep how-to (Internet Explorer)

In on of my last posts I have explained what the basic concept of VMware’s User Environment Manager (UEM) is and how we can use it to pre-configure or enforce specific settings of applications in our Desktop environment.

In the following I am going to dig a little bit deeper and show you how those concepts get configured and can be used in the world of UEM.

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Create Default Settings with the Application Profiler

Once we have installed the Application Profiler we are able to create config files for UEM that explain which portion of the filesystem/registry is a part of the application’s user data.

The process is quiet simple. Start the Application Profiler, start the application from within and configure the relevant settings you want to enforce or have as a default configuration.

application

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VMware User Environment Manager #UEM: Predefined settings (Basic concepts)

The power within User Environment Manager (UEM) aligns with its ability of being able to create a managed personalized environment for the end-user (even/especially in a floating environment where no one has a dedicated virtual desktop).

One great feature to increase the productivity of the user is been implemented by having multiple and different pre-defined settings applied to a Window setting or application based on certain conditions.

### Check my further readings ########################

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In the following I am going to document how what does different pre-defined settings mean.

I am assuming you already have the UEM infrastructure installed and configured. If that’s not the case, check out this post.

What are pre-defined settings

I remembering getting on-boarded at a financial provider somewhen in the 90’s (oh boy..I am getting old). Receiving AD-Accounts, Lotus Notes-Account, several other access data and a big document how to setup those applications. 5 hours later I was quiet ready to start doing my tasks.

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