Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Free Webcast Series on NSX

Anyone interested in VMware NSX? Then why not sign up for the:

VMware NSX: Things You Need to Know webcast series 

These webcasts will be presented by VMware Education Services. Each 60-minute session is delivered by VMware Certified Instructors and offered at 3 different times so you can choose what works for your schedule.

  • Feb 1: Simplify Network Provisioning with Logical Routing and Switching using VMware NSX
  • Feb 22: Automate Your Network Services Deployments with VMware NSX and vRealize Automation
  • Mar 8: Design Multi-Layered Security in the Software-Defined Datacenter using VMware vSphere 6.5 and VMware NSX 6.4
  • Mar 29: Advanced VMware NSX: Demystifying the VTEP, MAC, and ARP Tables
  • Apr 19: That Firewall Did What? Advanced Troubleshooting for the VMware NSX Distributed Firewall

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Free ebook from VMware - Microsegmentation for Dummies

VMware have very kindly made available another free eBook, it's title is:

Micro-segmentation for Dummies v2 written by Matt De Vincentis and is 76 pages in length.

Introduction from the book itself.

"This book provides a broad overview of micro‐segmentation in the data center. After reading this book, you’ll have a good basic understanding of micro‐segmentation — like you’d get from a college‐level 101 class, but far more interesting than Microbiology 101 or Microeconomics 101 (and not as difficult either)!"

To download a copy visit the following link.

Micro-segmentation for Dummies

Friday, 12 January 2018

VMware Operating System Optimisation Tool - VMware Flings

This week I've been playing with the VMware Horizon product and also looking at the VMware Horizon 7: Install, Configure, and Manage [7.3] course.

In the course we look at desktop optimisation, and a tool we look at is the The VMware OS Optimization Tool

The VMware OS Optimization Tool helps optimize Windows 7/8/2008/2012/10 systems for use with VMware Horizon View. The optimization tool includes customisable templates to enable or disable Windows system services and features, per VMware recommendations and best practices, across multiple systems. Since most Windows system services are enabled by default, the optimization tool can be used to easily disable unnecessary services and features to improve performance.

You can perform the following actions using the VMware OS Optimization Tool:

  •     Local Analyze/Optimize
  •     Remote Analyze
  •     Optimization History and Rollback
  •     Managing Templates
The tool is available for download from the VMware Flings website 

VMware also have a useful PDF called the:

VMware Windows Operating System Optimisation Tool Guide

Thursday, 11 January 2018

VMware Horizon 7.4 What's New or Enhanced

This week I've been playing with VMware Horizon and looking at the VMware Horizon 7: Install, Configure, and Manage course.

The course is still based on Horizon 7.3, but now we have Horizon 7.4

What's New or Enhanced in 7.4

Horizon Connection Server:

Cloud Pod Architecture
  • The Cloud Pod Architecture feature now supports one-way Active Directory trust domains. Horizon administrators can implement one-way trust topologies in a Cloud Pod Architecture environment, and end-users can select and launch remote desktops and published applications across the trust.
  • Users can now launch remote desktops and applications on a later version pod when connected to an earlier version pod in a Cloud Pod Architecture environment.
  • You can enable the Session Collaboration feature for global desktop entitlements. 

Published Desktops and Application Pools
  • You can use NVIDIA GRID vGPU for 3-D rendering when you create an instant-clone farm.
  • The "Empty session timeout (applications only)" option provides a new “immediate” timeout value in the farm settings to log off the session when the last application window is closed.

Horizon Agent for Linux

  • Instant-Clone Floating Desktop Pool: You can create a Linux-based instant-clone floating desktop pool with Horizon 7 Agent for Linux. This feature is supported only on Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 systems.
  • Active Directory Integration with PBISO:Linux-based desktops are allowed to authenticate with Active Directory using PowerBroker Identity Services Open (PBISO): This feature is supported only on Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 systems.
  • 3Dconnexion Mouse:The 3Dconnexion mouse support is available in Horizon 7 Agent for Linux  using USB redirection.
  • Additional platform: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP3 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 12 SP3 are supported.

Horizon Agent

  • Session Collaboration: With the Session Collaboration feature, users can invite other users to join an existing remote desktop session.
  • Fingerprint Scanner Redirection by Using the Device Bridge BAS Plugin: You can redirect biometric devices, specifically fingerprint scanners, that are plugged into a serial port on a Windows client system to virtual desktops, published desktops, and published applications by using the device bridge feature. You can install the Device Bridge BAS Plugin by selecting the Device Bridge BAS Plugin custom setup option in the Horizon Agent installer.
  • Secure boot enabled machines supported with URL Content Redirection: URL content can now be redirected from machines that have secure boot enabled.
  • URL Content Redirection with Chrome: URL content can now be redirected in the Chrome browser. Both agent-to-client and client-to-agent redirection are supported. To use this feature, the VMware Horizon URL Content Redirection Helper extension must be installed and enabled in Chrome.

Horizon GPO Bundle 

  •  Configure Session Collaboration group policy setting: Use the Collaboration group policy setting in the VMware View Agent Configuration ADMX template file (vdm_agent.admx) to configure Session Collaboration on remote desktops.
  • Device Bridge BAS Plugin group policy setting: Use the Disable Device Bridge BAS Plugin group policy setting in the VMware View Agent Configuration ADMX template file (vdm_agent.admx) to disable the Device Bridge BAS Plugin.
  • Server clipboard memory size group policy settings for VMware Blast and PCoIP: Use the Clipboard memory size on server group policy setting for VMware Blast sessions, and the Configure clipboard memory size on server for PCoIP sessions, to specify the server's memory size value for clipboard redirection in bytes or kilobytes. The VMware Blast setting is in the VMware Blast ADMX template file (vdm_blast.admx). The PCoIP setting is in the PCoIP ADMX template file (pcoip.admx).
  • H264 High Color Accuracy: The VMware Blast setting in the VMware Blast ADMX template file (vdm_blast.admx) increases color accuracy when using H.264 encoding by using the YUV 4:4:4 colorspace instead of 4:2:0.
For more information Read the Release notes at VMware.com

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

VMware Snapshot Best Practices

We've been talking about Snapshots and I find that they are sometimes misunderstood.

I always use VMware's best practices when I use them, and also when I talk about them.

Do not use snapshots as backups.

The snapshot file is only a change log of the original virtual disk, it creates a place holder disk, virtual_machine-00000x-delta.vmdk, to store data changes since the time the snapshot was created. If the base disks are deleted, the snapshot files are not sufficient to restore a virtual machine.

Also if a VM is reverted back to a previous state, all files are restored to a previous state, we can't brick level individual files, also a lot of applications such as Microsoft Exchange server do not support Snapshots/Checkpoints (Hyper-V).

Maximum of 32 snapshots are supported in a chain. However, for a better performance use only 2 to 3 snapshots. 

The more snapshots per VM, the more storage we require and potentially each Snapshot could grow to the size of the -Flat.vmdk, also we are potentially taking a snapshot of the Memory state of the VM.

This then introduces multiple Read points per file, so there could be a performance hit.

Do not use a single snapshot for more than 72 hours.

The snapshot file continues to grow in size when it is retained for a longer period. This can cause the snapshot storage location to run out of space and impact the system performance.

When using a third-party backup software, ensure that snapshots are deleted after a successful backup.

Snapshots taken by third party software (through API) may not appear in the Snapshot Manager. Routinely check for snapshots through the command-line.

Snapshot Manager fails to detect snapshots of VMs (1026380)

For more information and additional knowledge base articles visit the:

Best practices for using snapshots in the vSphere environment (1025279)

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Functionality Updates for the vSphere Client with Update 1d

On the VMware ICM 6.5 course we look at the various clients supported for managing your VMware vSphere environment.

These are the vSphere Web Client (Flash) , vSphere Client (HTML) and finally the Host Client (Standalone management of the ESXi Host)

The HTML client is becoming more and more functional and will eventually replace the vSphere Web Client that will become deprecated.

For a full list of what is still not supported and what is supported with 6.5 Update 1d, visit the:

Functionality Updates for the vSphere Client article on VMware blog site

Monday, 8 January 2018

Introduction to Network Virtualization with NSX - Free E-Learning

This week we're currently looking at Software Defined Networking and looking the built in functionality of the vSphere Standard and Distributed switches.

However VMware have their NSX product and I always encourage people to look at products that may make their systems and operations more efficient.

With this in mind I's recommend looking at the following free course:

Introduction to Network Virtualization with NSX

The course is free of charge and only takes 3 hours to work through and covers the following topics.

  • Explain the role of network virtualization in the software-defined data center
  • Explain the fundamentals of physical networking
  • Obtain an overview of vSphere networking
  • Explain the architecture, features, and use cases of NSX


  • Evolution of the Software-Defined Data Center
  • Introduction to Physical Networking
  • Introduction to vSphere Networking
  • Introduction to NSX