Some other TimeMachine exclusions

In my other post on the topic I excluded my local Mail app files from my TimeMachine backups because they were tripping over McAfee AntiVirus. I thought that it might be sensible to add a few other exclusions to trim down the total amount backed up and reduce the impact of frequent TM backups on my laptop. As you can see, my total backup size is about 380Gb. Included in that are a fair few transient / temporary files that aren't needed as well as some files that are backed up elsewhere anyway plus a handful of things that maybe I don't need or want to back up. Caches Really, you want to keep them? I thought not. They include the browser caches for Safari and Firefox amongst other things. Click the "+" button. In the finder window … [Read more...]

Infected email breaking OSX TimeMachine backups

Having been away from home a lot recently, it had been a while since my laptop had been backed up by TimeMachine. After a few attempts though it got a bit annoying as McAfee kept interrupting the process. The problem seemed to be that the backups contained infected emails: McAfee was blocking TM from writing infected emails to the backup drive. As it turns out, I recalled fixing this once before (although I never blogged about it). So how could it have come unpicked? Looking at my TM backup exclusions, the exclusion that I added was still in place: But my whole mail folder should be more than 8KB!... Then it clicked. I hadn't done a TM backup since updating to OSX El Capitan. After clicking the "+" button to add a new rule, I navigated … [Read more...]

Changing vRA ExternalWfStubs Timeouts

I saw a question on Twitter this morning that I thought warranted a quick post: The default timeout for the various workflow stubs is 30 minutes, but they can be changed. As always, take backup copies and be careful! The six stubs that can be changed are: Expired RegisterMachine Disposing UnprovisionMachine BuildingMachine MachineProvisioned The timeout settings for External Workflow stubs are configured on the Windows server (vRA 6.x) that hosts the Manager role. The file and path required (assuming a default installation) is: C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\vCAC\Server\ExternalWorkflows\xmldb\ExternalWFStubs.xml Using your favourite text editor, simply adjust the timeout value for each workflow. Most people tend to require a longer … [Read more...]

UKVMUG 2015 – Loved it, but…

That's the fifth UKVMUG done with, and the first one that I've ever presented at. I loved it, it was a great day. The highlights for me (or what I did): Joe Baguley's opening keynote - great as ever (even though I saw some of it in TechSummit a couple of weeks ago).  Joe is a very inspiring speaker, and I'm not just saying that because he's my boss (a few times removed). Listening without a hangover this time, there were some interesting things that I took away from it. Eric Wright's session on OpenStack and VMware. Great to meet a fellow vBrownBag guy and good content too. An idea Josh Atwell gave me for some future blog postings over lunch. Picking the brains of Andy Jenkins and Robbie Jerom about Docker and Cloud Native Apps Ricky … [Read more...]

Don’t miss the UK VMUG!

In just over a week, on Thursday 19th November, a few hundred virtualisation professionals from the UK (and further afield too) will be descending on the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham once again for the UKVMUG. Although I've been a regular attendee of the UKVMUG in the past, this will be the first time that I'll be presenting. Along with my former Xtravirt colleagues, Jonathan Medd and Sam McGeown, we'll be talking about our collective experiences working on a number of major cloud automation projects. Aside from presenting and networking, I'm also looking forward to the other sessions. Some of highlights of the agenda are: Joe Baguley's opening keynote - I think I had a preview of it at VMware's TechSummit last week, I … [Read more...]

…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...]