…Hello VMware!

I've been a user of VMware's products since finding VMware Workstation in the early noughties but things really took off for me in 2007 with ESX3. I've long thought that I might work for VMware one day if the circumstances were right. As of yesterday, it became a reality. This has been mostly a sideways move for me as I have joined the Northern EMEA PSO team as an SDDC consultant. I'll probably be working on similar projects to the ones I have been working on already. However, I believe that the opportunities within VMware for me at this stage of my career are significant. I'm excited by the prospects and keen to get stuck in. One downside to this move is that I have had to step down as a co-leader of the South West UK VMUG chapter. It's … [Read more...]

Virtual MS Cluster Node “Invalid Network Format” Error


I came across an interesting scenario recently where a node that is part of a Windows Cluster (hosting a SQL Cluster) on Windows Server 2012 R2 suddenly started reporting errors. The node is part of a 2-node cluster with a 3rd VM acting as a file share witness for the cluster, and had just been moved between vApps in an IaaS / cloud environment to account for a DR provision (where DR is based on vApp membership, not at individual VM level). Once rebooted, the cluster was showing some strange errors, and the cluster name had changed in the Failover Cluster Manager from 'MSCLUSTER.DOMAIN.LOCAL' to 'MSCLUSTER.MSCLUSTER'. On renaming the cluster manually, the ever helpful Microsoft error message (seen in the image attached to this post) … [Read more...]

Last chance to register for South West UK VMUG


Next week (Tuesday) sees the second South West UK VMUG occurring in Bristol. We've got some interesting sessions lined up including: Julian Wood (WoodITWork) talking about some of the new features of vSphere 6 Tom Howarth (PlanetVM) will be talking EUC Feidhlim O'Leary (VMware GSS) will be on-hand to run through some troubleshooting scenarios and answer your questions We'll also have Nimble Storage and Simplivity in attendance to talk about what they offer to your datacenter and give you a little food for thought.      We've got a couple of copies of "Mastering VMware vSphere 6" to giveaway. Here they are on my desk (I haven't read them, honest): Plus some Pluralsight passes: Registration is open until Monday. … [Read more...]

Unitrends Free – Review: Part 2


In Part 1 of this review, I walked through the deployment and initial configuration of the Unitrends Free backup appliance. I'm now going to touch briefly on some of the other features of the product before summarising my thoughts. Recovery There's no point taking backups if they don't work, right? Well there are a few options available here. The first of them is a file level recovery. This mounts a VM's backed up disks as file shares on the backup appliance. To test it, I created a couple of test VMs to backup and selected to restore from one.   A file level recovery "job" is started and a share is created using the backup job number.     It's pretty easy to browse to the share and the … [Read more...]

Unitrends Free – Review: Part 1


I was asked to give a new, free backup tool a quick road-test recently. Unitrends have had an Enterprise version of their backup software for some time. And, as I've used it a bit in my lab with an NFR license in the past I was only too happy to give Unitrends Free a go. Features As a free edition, you expect a basic set of features. The goal of such offerings is normally to get you hooked, but wanting more. Unitrends Free offers the following features: Backup from VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V Unlimited VMs and host CPU sockets supported Instant VM recovery (allows you to run a VM directly from the backup files) - this feature also allows for recovery verification testing and use of backups for test and … [Read more...]

vCAC 6.1 Removes VM NICs when a description is changed


Maybe my google foo is broken, but I couldn't see any mention of this in VMware's KB library. I'm trying to find out if it's also an issue in vRA 6.2 too. Edit 14/05/2015: I'm reliably informed that this is fixed in 6.2. So, what's the problem? Well, I was demonstrating how it was possible to change the description of a VM in vCAC via the "Edit" resource action and how it would also result in the vCenter VM being updated. So, with the description added, I hit Submit. The description is added to the Virtual Machine in vCAC and also vCenter. I then went to to demonstrate a custom action that executes a vRO workflow and was surprised when it failed and complained about the identity of the network being used. A brief bit of … [Read more...]

Since You’ve Been Gone…

It's been some time since I posted anything on this site (over 4 months in fact). There could be any number of reasons I could come up with as to why that is. The truth though is that I've had my head down on a large cloud project (lots of vRO and vRA) for the last 6 months and a great many things have taken a back seat to it. Whilst the project isn't over yet, I did manage to have some much needed time off recently and have been catching up a bit since. Part of that catching up involves cherry-picking from the long list of articles that I wanted to / started to write and getting them out of the door. Stay tuned... (In case you were wondering about the title of this post, I heard this song on the way to work and the name sort of … [Read more...]

vRealize Automation 6.2 is GA


Ladies and gentlemen, start your downloads! vRealize Automation 6.2 (formerly known as vCloud Automation Center) has gone GA today. Beside the usual raft of fixes, the major focus for this release is the integration with vRealize Operations 6.0 (formerly known as vCenter Operations Manager). Download VMware vRealize Automation 6.2 Also updated to download are: vRealize Business (formerly ITBM) vRealize Operations Insight (a combination of vRealize Operations and vRealize Log Insight) vRealize Operations (formerly vCenter Operations Manager) And finally, all new and shiny is vRealize Code Stream. This, I am really looking forward to as it's aimed at providing continuous delivery of software releases. And that could … [Read more...]

Updating Crashplan on ARM based QNAP


Last month I wrote a quick overview of the process to install Crashplan on and ARM based QNAP NAS. Six weeks (ish) later and it's still going ok. Or, at least I thought it was... Periodically, the makers of Crashplan update their software. Nothing surprising about that except that as the ARM based QNAPs aren't an officially supported device (that I'm aware of), the automatic update doesn't work and the backup engine on my QNAP kept stopping. The upgrade itself is pretty straightforward however. On the QNAP NAS To get the software on the NAS updated, you first have to download the QPKG file from this thread on the QNAP forum. Once you've saved it onto your QNAP device (I put it in the "Public" share but the location isn't too … [Read more...]

VMworld 2014 – Day 3

It's also the the day after the night before for some, and hence often quieter first thing in the morning (as was the case again this year). For some reason, all of the sessions that I had originally planned to attend, and already had in my calendar, I had been unregistered from and several I couldn't get back into. I did manage to squeeze into a session about the inner workings of EVO:RAIL (SDDC1337 - Technical Deep Dive on EVO:RAIL) that provided some useful background for me. I like the idea of where VMware (and their hardware partners) are going with it (there are definite pluses), but the current 16 host limit per vCenter and allegedly higher cost per appliance compared to other converged hardware offerings might be off-putting to … [Read more...]