L1TF

VMware has published new security advisories, knowledge base articles, updates and tools in response to newly disclosed speculative-execution vulnerabilities on Intel CPUs — collectively as “L1 Terminal Fault” — that can occur on Intel processors made from 2009 to 2018. I’m going to outline our response to this issue, and make an attempt to summarize […]

Just enough Windows

I’ve not been a true “Windows user” on a daily basis since the glorious afternoon my first MacBook Pro arrived in 2011. That didn’t exactly mean I quit using Windows on that day, but over time I’ve continued to slim down my actual needs of the Windows desktop operating system to the point where now […]

Migrate to VCSA

Last night I did my first customer migration from a Windows based vCenter to the VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) using the new 6.0 U2M utility. The customer was previously running vCenter 5.1 GA on a Windows Server 2008 R2 based physical HP host. In order to migrate to the VCSA, we first had to […]

RPA ‘Factory Reset’

I ran into a situation recently where the need arose to effectively “factory reset” an Generation 5 EMC RecoverPoint Appliance (Gen 5 RPA). In my case, I had one RPA where the local copy of the password database had become corrupted, but the other three systems in the environment were fine. There was nothing physically […]

Clone VM from snapshot

Have you ever wanted to easily clone a virtual machine from a snapshot, and have the clone reflect the source as it existed at that point in time, as opposed to the current status of the source? Jonathan Medd (@jonathanmedd) has a great PowerCLI script that I found yesterday, to do exactly this. Copy the […]

iCloud Photo Library, continued

My second day transferring my iPhoto library to iCloud Photo Library seems to be going very well. The “optimize storage” feature on the iOS devices is going to save users a ton of space. Yesterday when I posted my last entry I had a 16GB iPad completely full (which was roughly 7GB of photos.) When […]

From iPhoto to iCloud Photo

When I saw the new iCloud Photo Sync demo at WWDC, I was in love. Photo storage and syncing has been a struggle of mine for a while. I’ve bounced between external drives (which makes accessibility when I’m not at home difficult) and using local storage (which wastes expensive MacBook SSD space) … but never been […]

View guide, ASLR, no more

A few months ago I wrote about the VMware View optimization script breaking Internet Explorer and Adobe Acrobat through the addition of a registry entry that disabled Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR): ASLR was a feature added to Windows starting with Vista. It’s present in Linux and Mac OS X as well. For reasons unknown, […]

Cisco Jabber & Persona Management

I just got finished with a customer issue who had deployed Cisco Jabber along with VMware View, using Persona Management and floating desktops set to refresh at logoff. Much to their annoyance, users would have to reconfigure their Cisco Jabber client with the server connection settings and any client customizations made were lost after logging […]

Simple guide to datacenter power

Power… it is the only thing that you will find more prevalent in a datacenter than racks, yet many times when discussing upgrades and new installations it’s the part that no one ever mentions. the IT team isn’t in charge of the power design (leased building, union, or separate electrical department) have always just used […]

VMware guidance breaks Windows security

I’ve been using the Windows Optimization Guide for View Desktops guide on the VMware website for a long time. Hidden inside the PDF are some text file attachments that when converted to .bat, run though and disable most of the functions that bloat virtual desktop linked clones or are totally uncessary when accessed from a thin […]

Great worst successful error

There is a bug in Windows Server 2012 R2 in the volume license activation wizard, that if you don’t change the Key Management Service port setting when applying the configuration (from “0” to whatever you want it to be, such as the default of 1688) you get this absolutelty most unhelpful success/error message. The following […]

Being a VMware NIC isn’t easy these days

Life is rough for a ESXi network card these days, both pNIC and vNIC. It’s especially bad if you’re using E1000/E1000e adapters in your VMs, or using Broadcom network cards, or a combination of both. And considering Broadcom cards are the built in pNIC adapters for nearly every piece of server hardware, and the E1000 […]

Use FQDNs when doing SMB on Isilon

I ran across this little interesting tidbit in an EMC Support article that I wasn’t aware of previously. Using the fully qualified domain name of the EMC Isilon SMB server for file sharing on is necessary for proper load balancing and access: Always use the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of a SmartConnect zone when […]

Using CDP with vSphere hosts

The other day I was tasked with adding a new VLAN to a customer’s vSphere cluster. The existing network configuration had just the default VM Network setup, with no trunks or tagged port groups setup. In this case the customer is in the process of adding a few virtual desktops (Citrix, blah) and wanted a […]

Determining the layout of vSphere host memory

Memory utilization is important in VMware, most of the time it’s the most limiting factor in the virtual to physical consolidation ratio. Often times I’m tasked with assessing how upgradable a physical host’s current memory configuration is. It’s easy to see from the vSphere Client how much memory you have installed in a host, but […]

vCOPS for View download is borked

I’ve been on a View 5.1 deployment with a customer all week, and part of the project involved deploying VMware vCenter Operations Manager (vCOPS) for View, version 1.01. I’ve done this a couple times before, and had no issues getting the Linux OVA base vApp configured. Then when I went to install the View adapter […]

Faking an SSD drive in vSphere

Notes on tricking VMware into thinking a datastore is actually an SSD drive. Very useful if you’re in a lab environment and want to just test some of the features in vSphere 5 that center around flash storage (but don’t have the funds to dedicate to actually having it.) However it’s also useful if you […]