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vSphere Troubleshooting Guide
Troubleshooting complex virtualization technology is something all VMware users will have to face at some point. It requires an understanding of how various components fit together and finding a place to start is not easy. Thankfully, VMware vExpert Ryan Birk is here to help with this eBook preparing you for any problems you may encounter along the way.

This eBook explains how to identify problems with vSphere and how to solve them. Before we begin, we need to start off with an introduction to a few things that will make life easier. We’ll start with a troubleshooting methodology and how to gather logs. After that, we’ll break this eBook into the following sections: Installation, Virtual Machines, Networking, Storage, vCenter/ESXi and Clustering.

ESXi and vSphere problems arise from many different places, but they generally fall into one of these categories: Hardware issues, Resource contention, Network attacks, Software bugs, and Configuration problems.

A typical troubleshooting process contains several tasks: 1. Define the problem and gather information. 2. Identify what is causing the problem. 3. Fix the problem, implement a fix.

One of the first things you should try to do when experiencing a problem with a host, is try to reproduce the issue. If you can find a way to reproduce it, you have a great way to validate that the issue is resolved when you do fix it. It can be helpful as well to take a benchmark of your systems before they are implemented into a production environment. If you know HOW they should be running, it’s easier to pinpoint a problem.

You should decide if it’s best to work from a “Top Down” or “Bottom Up” approach to determine the root cause. Guest OS Level issues typically cause a large amount of problems. Let’s face it, some of the applications we use are not perfect. They get the job done but they utilize a lot of memory doing it.

In terms of virtual machine level issues, is it possible that you could have a limit or share value that’s misconfigured? At the ESXi Host Level, you could need additional resources. It’s hard to believe sometimes, but you might need another host to help with load!

Once you have identified the root cause, you should assess the impact of the problem on your day to day operations. When and what type of fix should you implement? A short-term one or a long-term solution? Assess the impact of your solution on daily operations. Short-term solution: Implement a quick workaround. Long-term solution: Reconfiguration of a virtual machine or host.

Now that the basics have been covered, download the eBook to discover how to put this theory into practice!

Mastering vSphere – Best Practices, Optimizing Configurations & More
Do you regularly work with vSphere? If so, this free eBook is for you. Learn how to leverage best practices for the most popular features contained within the vSphere platform and boost your productivity using tips and tricks learnt direct from an experienced VMware trainer and highly qualified professional. In this eBook, vExpert Ryan Birk shows you how to master: Advanced Deployment Scenarios using Auto-Deploy Shared Storage Performance Monitoring and Troubleshooting Host Network configurati

If you’re here to gather some of the best practices surrounding vSphere, you’ve come to the right place! Mastering vSphere: Best Practices, Optimizing Configurations & More, the free eBook authored by me, Ryan Birk, is the product of many years working with vSphere as well as teaching others in a professional capacity. In my extensive career as a VMware consultant and teacher (I’m a VMware Certified Instructor) I have worked with people of all competence levels and been asked hundreds - if not thousands - of questions on vSphere. I was approached to write this eBook to put that experience to use to help people currently working with vSphere step up their game and reach that next level. As such, this eBook assumes readers already have a basic understanding of vSphere and will cover the best practices for four key aspects of any vSphere environment.

The best practices covered here will focus largely on management and configuration solutions so should remain relevant for quite some time. However, with that said, things are constantly changing in IT, so I would always recommend obtaining the most up-to-date information from VMware KBs and official documentation especially regarding specific versions of tools and software updates. This eBook is divided into several sections, and although I would advise reading the whole eBook as most elements relate to others, you might want to just focus on a certain area you’re having trouble with. If so, jump to the section you want read about.

Before we begin, I want to note that in a VMware environment, it’s always best to try to keep things simple. Far too often I have seen environments be thrown off the tracks by trying to do too much at once. I try to live by the mentality of “keeping your environment boring” – in other words, keeping your host configurations the same, storage configurations the same and network configurations the same. I don’t mean duplicate IP addresses, but the hosts need identical port groups, access to the same storage networks, etc. Consistency is the name of the game and is key to solving unexpected problems down the line. Furthermore, it enables smooth scalability - when you move from a single host configuration to a cluster configuration, having the same configurations will make live migrations and high availability far easier to configure without having to significantly re-work the entire infrastructure. Now the scene has been set, let’s get started!

How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center
Windows Admin Center is the future of Windows and Windows Server management. Are you using it to its full potential? In this free eBook, Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP, Eric Siron, has put together a 70+ page guide on what Windows Admin Center brings to the table, how to get started, and how to squeeze as much value out of this incredible free management tool from Microsoft. This eBook covers: - Installation - Getting Started - Full UI Analysis - Security - Managing Extensions

Each version of Windows and Windows Server showcases new technologies. The advent of PowerShell marked a substantial step forward in managing those features. However, the built-in graphical Windows management tools have largely stagnated - the same basic Microsoft Management Console (MMC) interfaces had remained since Windows Server 2000. Microsoft tried out multiple overhauls over the years to the built-in Server Manager console but gained little traction. Until Windows Admin Center.

WHAT IS WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
Windows Admin Center (WAC) represents a modern turn in Windows and Windows Server system management. From its home page, you establish a list of the networked Windows and Windows Server computers to manage. From there, you can connect to an individual system to control components such as hardware drivers. You can also use it to manage Windows roles, such as Hyper-V.

On the front-end, Windows Admin Center is presented through a sleek HTML 5 web interface. On the back-end, it leverages PowerShell extensively to control the systems within your network. The entire package runs on a single system, so you don’t need a complicated infrastructure to support it. In fact, you can run it locally on your Windows 10 workstation if you want. If you require more resiliency, you can run Windows Admin Center as a role on a Microsoft Failover Cluster.

WHY WOULD I USE WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
In the modern era of Windows management, we have shifted to a greater reliance on industrial-strength tools like PowerShell and Desired State Configuration. However, we still have servers that require individualized attention and infrequently utilized resources. WAC gives you a one-stop hub for dropping in on any system at any time and work with almost any of its facets.

ABOUT THIS EBOOK
This eBook has been written by Microsoft Cloud & Datacenter Management MVP Eric Siron. Eric has worked in IT since 1998, designing, deploying, and maintaining server, desktop, network, and storage systems. He has provided all levels of support for businesses ranging from single-user through enterprises with thousands of seats. He has achieved numerous Microsoft certifications and was a Microsoft Certified Trainer for four years. Eric is also a seasoned technology blogger and has amassed a significant following through his top-class work on the Altaro Hyper-V Dojo.

PowerCLI - The Aspiring Automator's Guide
Automation is awesome but don't just settle for using other people's scripts. Learn how to create your own scripts and take your vSphere automation game to the next level! Written by VMware vExpert Xavier Avrillier, this free eBook presents a use-case approach to learning how to automate tasks in vSphere environments using PowerCLI. We start by covering the basics of installation, set up, and an overview of PowerCLI terms. From there we move into scripting logic and script building with step-by

Scripting and PowerCLI are words that most people working with VMware products know pretty well and have used once or twice. Everyone knows that scripting and automation are great assests to have in your toolbox. The problem usually is that getting into scripting appears daunting to many people who feel like the learning curve is just too steep, and they usually don't know where to start. The good thing is you don't need to learn everything straight away to start working with PowerShell and PowerCLI. Once you have the basics down and have your curiosity tickled, you’ll learn what you need as you go, a lot faster than you thought you would!

ABOUT POWERCLI

Let's get to know PowerCLI a little better before we start getting our hands dirty in the command prompt. If you are reading this you probably already know what PowerCLI is about or have a vague idea of it, but it’s fine you don’t. After a while working with it, it becomes second nature, and you won't be able to imagine life without it anymore! Thanks to VMware's drive to push automation, the product's integration with all of their components has significantly improved over the years, and it has now become a critical part of their ecosystem.

WHAT IS PowerCLI?

Contrary to what many believe, PowerCLI is not in fact a stand-alone software but rather a command-line and scripting tool built on Windows PowerShell for managing and automating vSphere environments. It used to be distributed as an executable file to install on a workstation. Previously, an icon was generated that would essentially launch PowerShell and load the PowerCLI snap-ins in the session. This behavior changed back in version 6.5.1 when the executable file was removed and replaced by a suite of PowerShell modules to install from within the prompt itself. This new deployment method is preferred because these modules are now part of Microsoft’s Official PowerShell Gallery. 7 These modules provide the means to interact with the components of a VMware environment and offer more than 600 cmdlets! The below command returns a full list of VMware-Associated Cmdlets!

Office 365 / Microsoft 365: The Essential Companion Guide
Office 365 and Microsoft 365 contain truly powerful applications that can significantly boost productivity in the workplace. However, there’s a lot on offer so we’ve put together a comprehensive companion guide to ensure you get the most out of your investment! This free 85-page eBook, written by Microsoft Certified Trainer Paul Schnackenburg, covers everything from basic descriptions, to installation, migration, use-cases, and best practices for all features within the Office/Microsoft 365 sui

Welcome to this free eBook on Office 365 and Microsoft 365 brought to you by Altaro Software. We’re going to show you how to get the most out of these powerful cloud packages and improve your business. This book follows an informal reference format providing an overview of the most powerful applications of each platform’s feature set in addition to links directing to supporting information and further reading if you want to dig further into a specific topic. The intended audience for this book is administrators and IT staff who are either preparing to migrate to Office/Microsoft 365 or who have already migrated and who need to get the lay of the land. If you’re a developer looking to create applications and services on top of the Microsoft 365 platform, this book is not for you. If you’re a business decision-maker, rather than a technical implementer, this book will give you a good introduction to what you can expect when your organization has been migrated to the cloud and ways you can adopt various services in Microsoft 365 to improve the efficiency of your business.

THE BASICS

We’ll cover the differences (and why one might be more appropriate for you than the other) in more detail later but to start off let’s just clarify what each software package encompasses in a nutshell. Office 365 (from now on referred to as O365) 7 is an email collaboration and a host of other services provided as a Software as a Service (SaaS) whereas Microsoft 365 (M365) is Office 365 plus Azure Active Directory Premium, Intune – cloud-based management of devices and security and Windows 10 Enterprise. Both are per user-based subscription services that require no (or very little) infrastructure deployments on-premises.

The SysAdmin Guide to Azure Infrastructure as a Service
If you're used to on-premises infrastructures, cloud platforms can seem daunting. But it doesn't need to be. This eBook written by the veteran IT consultant and trainer Paul Schnackenburg, covers all aspects of setting up and maintaining a high-performing Azure IaaS environment, including: • VM sizing and deployment • Migration • Storage and networking • Security and identity • Infrastructure as code and more!

The cloud computing era is well and truly upon us, and knowing how to take advantage of the benefits of this computing paradigm while maintaining security, manageability, and cost control are vital skills for any IT professional in 2020 and beyond. And its importance is only getting greater.

In this eBook, we’re going to focus on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) on Microsoft’s Azure platform - learning how to create VMs, size them correctly, manage storage, networking, and security, along with backup best practices. You’ll also learn how to operate groups of VMs, deploy resources based on templates, managing security and automate your infrastructure. If you currently have VMs in your own datacenter and are looking to migrate to Azure, we’ll also teach you that.

If you’re new to the cloud (or have experience with AWS/GCP but not Azure), this book will cover the basics as well as more advanced skills. Given how fast things change in the cloud, we’ll cover the why (as well as the how) so that as features and interfaces are updated, you’ll have the theoretical knowledge to effectively adapt and know how to proceed.

You’ll benefit most from this book if you actively follow along with the tutorials. We will be going through terms and definitions as we go – learning by doing has always been my preferred way of education. If you don’t have access to an Azure subscription, you can sign up for a free trial with Microsoft. This will give you 30 days 6 to use $200 USD worth of Azure resources, along with 12 months of free resources. Note that most of these “12 months” services aren’t related to IaaS VMs (apart from a few SSD based virtual disks and a small VM that you can run for 750 hours a month) so be sure to get everything covered on the IaaS side before your trial expires. There are also another 25 services that have free tiers “forever”.

Now you know what’s in store, let’s get started!

The Backup Bible - Part 1: Creating a Backup & Disaster Recovery Strategy
This eBook is the first of a 3-part series covering everything you need to know about backup and disaster recovery. By downloading this ebook you'll automatically receive part 2 and part 3 by email as soon as they become available!

INTRODUCTION

Humans tend to think optimistically. We plan for the best outcomes because we strive to make them happen. As a result, many organizations implicitly design their computing and data storage systems around the idea that they will operate as expected. They employ front-line fault-tolerance technologies such as RAID and multiple network adapters that will carry the systems through common, simple failures. However, few design plans include comprehensive coverage of catastrophic failures. Without a carefully crafted approach to backup, and a strategic plan to work through and recover from disasters, an organization runs substantial risks. They could experience data destruction or losses that cost them excessive amounts of time and money. Business principals and managers might even find themselves facing personal liability consequences for failing to take proper preparatory steps. At the worst, an emergency could permanently end the enterprise. This book seeks to guide you through all stages of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a substantial data loss event. In this first part, you will learn how to assess your situation and plan out a strategy that uniquely fits your needs.

WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK

This book was written for anyone with an interest in protecting organizational data, from system administrators to business owners. It explains the terms and technologies that it covers in simple, approachable language. As much as possible, it focuses on the business needs first. However, a reader with little experience in server and storage technologies may struggle with applying the content. To put it into action, use this material in conjunction with trained technical staff.

The Backup Bible – Part 2: Backup Best Practices in Action
Learn how to create a robust, effective backup and DR strategy and how put that plan into action with the Backup Bible – a free eBook series written by backup expert and Microsoft MVP Eric Siron. Part 2 explains what exceptional backup looks like on a daily basis and the steps you need to get there.
In the modern workplace, your data is your lifeline. A significant data loss can cause irreparable damage. Every company must ask itself - is our data properly protected?

Learn how to create a robust, effective backup and DR strategy and how put that plan into action with the Backup Bible – a free eBook series written by backup expert and Microsoft MVP Eric Siron

Part 1 guides you through the stages of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a substantial data loss event. You'll learn how to:

  • Get started with disaster recovery planning
  • Set recovery objectives and loss tolerances
  • Translate your business plan into a technically oriented outlook
  • Create a customized agenda for obtaining key stakeholder support
  • Set up a critical backup checklist

Part 2 explains what exceptional backup looks like on a daily basis and the steps you need to get there including:

  • Choosing the Right Backup and Recovery Software
  • Setting and Achieving Backup Storage Targets
  • Securing and Protecting Backup Data
  • Defining Backup Schedules
  • Monitoring, Testing, and Maintaining Systems

Access both parts for free now and ensure you’re properly protecting your vital data today!

A third and final part of this series covering disaster recovery will be published later this year. By accessing the first 2 parts here, you’ll automatically receive part 3 by email as soon as it is available!

Download your free copy today!

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