Photo by Sonja Langford

Just a quick post about something I experienced at a client, with ESXi 6.0 hosts, today:

If you have trouble performing VMware snapshots, and see a  msg.snapshot.error-QUIESCINGERROR error, check the host time settings and NTP.

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Welcome to the sixth edition of In The Bag! It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these, but here’s giving it a a go in 2017 as well.

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Considering it’s mid-january 2017 already, it’s time to do my annual goal list for the new year.

My goals for 2017:

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Evaluating 2016

2016 Review

Back in February 2016 I published my goals for 2016, and it’s time to review that list:

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Welcome to the fifth edition of In The Bag!

Photo by Joshua Earle Photo by Joshua Earle

In The Bag #5 - Week 48

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Welcome to the fourth edition of In The Bag!

Photo by Sonny Abesamis

In The Bag #4 - Week 47

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Working with the keyboard to move resize, focus and arrange your applications is a great productivity tip. When I changed from Windows to macOS a few years ago, I had a pretty convoluted setup based on Slate for managing keyboard shortcuts, especially for moving applications around, but this has since been simplified by using Spectacle instead of Slate.

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I have given the site a small facelift, replacing the old theme with a new and cleaner version. For some reason, I get this «theme itch» a couple of times a year, but usually I manage to let it pass without doing many changes.

This time it stuck with me though, and ended up with replacing the old theme with a new one. In fact, the old theme had been active for close to two years now, so it was time to shake things up a bit any way. The new theme gives the site a fresh and in my opinion better look. The double menus in the header makes it look more organised, and less cluttered and the static navigation header is something I’ve wanted to have for a long time now.

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Recent conversations with existing and potential clients made me realize that many are not aware that they most likely are entitled to use VMware vRealize Log Insight in their environment. For free.

Back in March 2016 VMware announced that everyone with a valid VMware vCenter license are also entitled to  25-OSI pack of vRealize Log Insight for vCenter Server. This means that you can gather logs for up to 25 ESXi hosts, VMs or other devices, in your environment.

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Both in 2014 and in 2015 I wrote pieces on the current status of VMware vSAN, and it’s time to revisit it for 2016.

My previous posts:

2014: VSAN: The Unspoken Future 2015: VMware VSAN: More than meets the eye.

vSAN 6.5 was released with vSphere 6.5, and brings a few new features to the table:

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cohesity-logo

A few weeks back Cohesity gave me access to a lab environment, where I could play around with their HyperConverged Secondary Data solution. For those unaware of their offering entails, it’s simply put a solution for managing secondary storage. In this case, secondary storage is really everything that isn’t mission critical. It can be your backups, test/dev workloads, file shares and so on . The idea to place these unstructured data sets on a secondary storage platform, to ease management and analytics but at the same time keep it integrated with the rest of the existing environment. It’s a Distributed scale-out platform, with a pay-as-you-grow model.

Currently Cohesity supports both SMB and NFS as data entry points, and it also supports acting as a front-end for Google Cloud Storage Nearline, Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3 and Glacier.

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The 2016 Nordic VMUG UserCon in Copenhagen, Denmark, is just 11 days away, and if you haven’t registered already now is the time to do so.

As usual the speaker lineup for the event is awesome, with a lot of the usual suspects like Duncan Epping (VMware), Cormac Hogan (VMware), Lee Dilworth (VMware), and Frank Denneman (VMware), but VMware is also showing it’s commitment to VMUG by sending some non-europeans as well, like Grant Orchard and_ Mike Foley_. This, coupled with «local» speakers like Michael RyomNicolai Sandager and Marteinn Sigurdsson this promises to be every bit as awesome as the event was last year.

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Welcome to the third edition of In The Bag!

Photo by Sonny Abesamis

In The Bag #3 - Week 46

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Now that the seasons have changed, it’s time to look at 2017 and start planning the year. First up, when is VMworld 2017, and  perhaps most importantly where? There has been a lot of speculation about this, and the perhaps strongest rumour was that it was moving to Berlin.

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I’ve been fleshing out a proper Veeam Backup & Replication Demo lab at work, but doing demos on static VMs isn’t all that much fun and doesn’t really give us much. Doing scheduled backups of non-changing data is really boring.

So, in order to get some changes done on the file system on a few Linux VMs running in the environment, I came up with the following solution:

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Welcome to the second edition of In The Bag!

Photo by Sonny Abesamis

In The Bag #2 - Week 45

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I’ve been a big proponent of the VMware vCenter Appliance for a long time, I even did a talk called VCS to VCSA Converter or How a Fling Can Be Good for You! on migrating to the VCSA at the Nordic VMUG last year.

The VCSA has gone through a few iterations and versions by now, coinciding with the vSphere releases.

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A while ago I decided to try and gather a bunch of non-public information in an easy to write and consume fashion. After a bit of fiddling, and testing different potential solutions, GitBook emerged as the best option. By using MarkDown as the markup language, it’s both cross-platform and easy to manage, as the content is nothing but raw text files.

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William Lam has a repository of vCenter Web Client customizations hosted over on GitHub, and I decided to add one of my own.

BotladyBotlady

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Since I «launched» my In the Bag series of weekly links yesterday, I figured I should really show what is indeed in the bag. Lifehacker runs a series called Featured Bag and the voyeur in me finds it interesting what other people carry around, and how they organize it.

This is my attempt at doing the same. This is my everyday carry, most of these items are always in the bag when I leave the house in the morning. I’ve been using backpacks for years, but noticed I always just carry it around on righ shoulder, so I decided to go for a shoulder bag instead. For the most part this works our fine, if I’m travelling for more than a day, I tend to re-pack in one of the backpacks I have instead.

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Inspired by Scott Lowe’s Technology Short Takes, Duncan Eppings Recommended Reads and Michael White’s Newsletter here is my attempt at a weekly roundup of things I found interesting the last week or so.

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As mentioned before, I’ve kinda turned my home lab into some sort of Slack-Ops deal, where various services in my home lab notify me of events in a private Slack channel. The latest rendition of that, is adding Slack notifications from phpipam. Once phpipam detects a new device picking up an IP in my network, it notifies me like this: In order to get this working, I had to edit the /var/www/phpipam/functions/scripts/discoveryCheck.

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Robert Graham of erratasec has created a small honeypot tool called telnetlogger.

This is a simple program to log login attempts on Telnet (port 23). It's designed to track the Mirai botnet. Right now (Oct 23, 2016) infected Mirai machines from around the world are trying to connect to Telnet on every IP address about once per minute. This program logs both which IP addresses are doing the attempts, and which passwords they are using.

For those still unaware of what the Mirai botnet is, it’s basically malware that scans for vulnerable devices with port 23 (telnet) open to the outside world, and tries to log on with known hardcoded credentials.

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VMworld Europe 2016 VMworld Europe 2016 in Barcelona is a couple of weeks old now, and most of the dust has settled. Besides the general announcements around vSphere 6.5 and surrounding products, the next big thing might just be Cross-Cloud Architecture and of course VMware Cloud on AWS. The announcements around vSAN 6.5 (yes, it is now vSAN and not Virtual SAN/VSAN anymore), are also very interesting. Perhaps it’s time I revisit my earlier VMware VSAN; More than meets the eye post and update it for vSAN 6.5?

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After yesterdays announcement of VMware Cloud™ on AWS everyone and their distant relatives have published their opinion pieces on the relevance of the deal, and what who got the short end of the stick in this deal.  I guess this is my attempt, or me too post if you will.

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Since I set up a public jumphost for my homelab/network, I’ve been looking for an easy way to manage my SSH tunnels. After trying a couple of different managers, I’ve chosen to use Secure Pipes.

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screenshot-2016-10-10-15-13-59Did you know that Dell has a bootable linux ISO with firmware upgrades for their servers available? Neither did I, but luckily I found it today when needing it at a customer site.

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I’m using Slack to alert and log a few things in my environment, and one of the things I use it for is to alert me if someone logs on via SSH to my public facing Jumphost.

For a good walkthrough on how to set up such a host, check out Tunnel all your remote connections through ssh with a linux jumpbox by Luca Dell’Oca.

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Just like Lior Kamrat I’ve set up my own private Slack for messaging and alerting from various services running both in my lab and some external facing services.  It’s only been running a few days, but so far it works brilliantly and helps me keep track.

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VMworld Europe is just a couple of weeks away now, and I can’t wait to spend a week in sunny Barcelona. Last year my trip got cancelled in the last minute, but that will not be the case this year.

As usual I’m looking forward to a bunch of sessions, and general announcements, but for me the value of attending VMworld is in the networking with other people. Sessions and keynotes can be reviewed later, interacting with others can not.

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