Aspiring VCDX Study Guide Link-O-Rama

VCDX5-DCVWith all of the recent newly minted VCDXs I thought I would start compiling a list of resources for those aspiring to become a VMware VCDX. This will be a living page, which hopefully will have links added as people make me aware of new content on the web.

There’s always a flurry of activity after defenses when newly minted VCDXs blog about their experiences. I was no exception to that rule, when I was minted VCDX #125. If you know of VCDX content that I don’t have links to here, please leave a comment to this post and I’ll add the links as I have time. Many of the pages below have additional links on them, so there’s a wealth of information here at your fingertips.

VMware vSphere 5.5 Toolkit v1.58 Live

As many of you know, one of my passions throughout my IT career has been security. Having worked in the Federal Government space for most of my career, making sure solutions are secure is always a top priority. Securing your VMware infrastructure is very important, and one of the primary tasks is using trusted SSL certificates. So last year I wrote the vSphere 5.5 Toolkit PowerShell script, which has had over 9,000 downloads! I had no idea it would be so popular. Here’s a screenshot of the main menu:

vsphere 5.5 toolkit

Features of the SSL toolkit script include:

Citrix Validated Solution for Nutanix on Hyper-V

Hot off the Citrix presses is a very thorough solution design document, called Citrix XenDesktop 7.1 on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 on Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform. Whew, that’s a quite a mouthful. What is it? It’s a document, nearly 100 pages long, detailing how to deploy both Citrix VDI (XenDesktop) and RDS (XenApp) for 1,000 users on the Nutanix platform.

It provides prescriptive guidance for these components including the design, configuration and deployment settings that customers can mirror and quickly adopt for their environment. This reduces risk, decreases deployment time, and increases confidence in the solution as a whole.

VSS Labs vCert Manager Part 2

This is part 2 of the VSS Labs vCert Manager installation and configuration series. In Part 1 we got vCert Manager installed, and secured with a trusted SSL certificate. In this section we will get into the nuts and bolts configuration and start replacing certificates.

vCert Manager Configuration

1. First we will setup a SMTP server, which is used to send email notifications of various events such as expiring certificates. Login to vCert Manager and from the main menu select Settings. The in the left under Company Settings select Portal Settings.

VSS Labs vCert Manager Part 1

Last August I wrote a blog post about this great new VMware SSL tool by VSS Labs called vCert Manager, which replaces many of your VMware SSL certificates all from the comfort of a nice GUI. It’s a full certificate lifecycle management tool for VMware vSphere and related components. For the full feature list and comparison with the free VMware tools, check out my post here. I’ll wait for as you read through that long article.

Nesting Hyper-V 2012 R2 on ESXi 5.5

imagesSince joining Nutanix I’ve had the opportunity to get exposed to Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2, as our platform supports the three most common hypervisors: VMware vSphere, Hyper-V, and KVM. I’m now embarking on writing some Hyper-V guides for Nutanix, and wanted a way to leverage my existing ESXi 5.5 Nutanix block to learn about Hyper-V networking. While I’m very familiar with VMware networking, this project presented itself as a great learning opportunity for Hyper-V. This article will show you how to nest Hyper-V 2012 R2 on ESXi 5.5.

vCenter 5.5 Update 1b Now Out

2014-06-13_8-54-42Earlier this year the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability came to light, and many products from many different vendors were affected. Heartbleed is a very serious vulnerability, and you should conduct a thorough audit to validate all of your software and hardware components are not affected. My bet is that many of your product are affected, and VMware was far from alone in having to issue software updates. Fresh off the presses is vCenter 5.5 Update 1b, which addresses CVE-2014-0224, Heartbleed. They have updated their OpenSSL libraries to 0.9.8za, 1.0.0m and 1.0.1h. I find it interesting that all three versions are used within the product.

vSphere 5.5 U1 NFS APD Fix out

A couple of months ago when upgrading one of my Nutanix clusters to vSphere 5.5 U1 I started to see what appeared to be random loss of connection to my NFS datastores. All VMs on the datastores would become inaccessible, then a few minutes later, access would be restored. As it turns out, this All Path Down (APD) bug introduced in vSphere 5.5 U1 and affected most any storage vendor using NFS. VMware wrote a KB article about the problem, which you can read here.

TechEd 2014: Building a web-scale Private Cloud

Session: DCIM-B395 Building a Web-Scale Private cloud (without losing your cool) by Steve Poitras, Nutanix (@StevenPoitras). This was a good session showing how the combination of the Windows Azure pack, Hyper-V, and Nutanix enable large scale-out private clouds. You can check out the full video and slide deck of the session here on Channel 9. Steve had a lot of diagrams and good tables that you should check out, which aren’t captured in my session notes.

Why are we here today?

  • Web-scale cloud is here
  • IT needs to be much more agile
  • Users want services on demand and IT needs to keep up with it

TechEd 2014: Hunting Malware with Sysinternals Tools

Session DCIM-B368: Malware hunting with Sysinternals Tools. This was a great session by Mark Russinovich on how to use his Sysinternals tools to find and rid your system of malware. He had a number of demos showing exactly how his tools find, and then can be used to remove the malware. Check out the Channel 9 video to see all of his great demos.


  • The top 4 AV products detect less than 40% of all malware
  • Malware cleaning steps: Disconnect from network, identify malicious process/drivers, terminate identified processes, identify and delete malware autostarts, delete malware files, reboot and repeat.
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