vSphere 8 introduced the new vSphere Datasets feature. In short, Datasets provides a way to exchange information (metadata) between vCenter and a VM, read/writeable through VMware Tools.

I thought this might be a nice way to pass information from vCenter, or a VM, to Salt in order to use this metadata information on a Salt minion. Thankfully, this was fairly easy to accomplish.

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VMUG Denmark put on the (northern European?) VMUG event of the year on the 20th and 21st of September; Tech X 300. It was held at the beautiful Nordisk Film Biografer Palads cinema in Copenhagen, which offers great rooms for the presentations, along with huge screens. I think the largest one was over 12 meters wide!

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There is nothing really big and revolutionary in the core vSAN 8 U2 announcement, besides vSAN Max that is. It is nice to see that native file services in vSAN ESA are now in feature parity with vSAN OSA, and that the configuration of 2-Node and Stretched Clusters as been simplified. Other than that, everything else seems to be performance improvements, simplified management and scalability improvements but no stand-out new features in the core offering iself.

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The clear stand-out new offering in vSAN 8 U2 is the new Disaggregated Storage offering called vSAN Max. Broken down to its core, this is vSAN HCI Mesh on steroids, with some new and very shiny sprinkles on top. vSAN Max, with its new license model, is a dedicated storage cluster, built on vSAN ESA. A vSAN Max cluster only provides storage resources, and does not run traditional VM workloads. This storage cluster can be consumed by other vSphere clusters, either as a primary storage option or in addition to the storage those cluster already consume from other sources.

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Like with vSAN 8 U2, there are really no new stand-out features in the vSphere 8 U2 announcement. It is an evolutionary release, with a number of welcome improvements both to hardware support and sane defaults for security and hardening, but no eyepopping new features.

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I have probably been living under a rock for quite some time, but it turns out iOS Shortcuts (and MacOS) are pretty awesome, once you identify a proper use case for them. For me, the use case was simplifying connecting to my home, or work lab, network, via VPN. Now, I am pretty sure I have looked into how to do this years ago, without finding a solution, but in case someone else might benefit from it, here is a walkthrough of creating a simple VPN toggle button on your iOS homescreen, i.e no more diving into settings to connect.

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This september, VMUG Denmark is hosting TechX 300: The ultimate technical summit for enthusiasts seeking a deep dive into VMware solutions, and I am lucky enough to have been selected as a speaker! My talk is called Down the Rabbit Hole with VMware Aria Automation Config (SaltStack), which should be a lot of fun. Expect live demos!

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Another book in IT Architect series has finally been released: IT Architect Series: Stories from the Field, Volume 2. This is the follow up to Volume 1 which was released back in 2020.

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vCenter 8.0 Update 1 was released on April 18th, and I quickly jumped to upgrading my existing home lab vCenter, but ran into an issue that prevented the upgrade from completing, namely the error message Invalid Type, expected String, instead got NoneType.

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Back in February 2021, I published a post named Is Your VMware vCenter Publicly Available?
It is now February 2023, and here we are again. A new widespread ransomware attack dubbed ESXiArgs is targeting publicly available ESXi hosts, using a vulnerability that was patched two years ago (CVE-2021-21947).

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vNinja.net is the digital home of Christian Mohn and Stine Elise Larsen.

The primary focus is on IT architecture and data center technologies like virtualization and related topics, but other content also pops up from time to time.

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