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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.

How to Develop a Multi-cloud Management Strategy
Increasingly, organizations are looking to move workloads into the cloud. The goal may be to leverage cloud resources for Dev/Test, or they may want to “lift and shift” an application to the cloud and run it natively. In order to enable these various cloud options, it is critical that organizations develop a multi-cloud data management strategy.

The primary goal of a multi-cloud data management strategy is to supply data, either via copying or moving data to the various multi-cloud use cases. A key enabler of this movement is the data management software applications. In theory, data protection applications can perform both of the copy and move functions. A key consideration is how the multi-cloud data management experience is unified. In most cases, data protection applications ignore the user experience of each cloud and use their proprietary interface as the unifying entity, which increases complexity.

There are a variety of reasons organizations may want to leverage multiple clouds. The first use case is to use public cloud storage as a backup mirror to an on-premises data protection process. Using public cloud storage as a backup mirror enables the organization to automatically off-site data. It also sets up many of the more advanced use cases.

Another use case is using the cloud for disaster recovery.

Another use case is “Lift and Shift,” which means the organization wants to run the application in the cloud natively. Initial steps in the “lift and shift” use case are similar to Dev/Test, but now the workload is storing unique data in the cloud.

Multi-cloud is a reality now for most organizations and managing the movement of data between these clouds is critical.

Multi-cloud Data Protection-as-a-service: The HYCU Protégé Platform
Multi-cloud environments are here to stay and will keep on growing in diversity, use cases, and, of course, size. Data growth is not stopping anytime soon, only making the problem more acute. HYCU has taken a very different approach from many traditional vendors by selectively delivering deeply integrated solutions to the platforms they protect, and is now moving to the next challenge of unification and simplification with Protégé, calling it a data protection-as-a-service platform.

There are a number of limitations today keeping organizations from not only lifting and shifting from one cloud to another but also migrating across clouds. Organizations need the flexibility to leverage multiple clouds and move applications and workloads around freely, whether for data reuse or for disaster recovery. This is where the HYCU Protégé platform comes in. HYCU Protégé is positioned as a complete multi-cloud data protection and disaster recovery-as-a-service solution. It includes a number of capabilities that make it relevant and notable compared with other approaches in the market:

  • It was designed for multi-cloud environments, with a “built-for-purpose” approach to each workload and environment, leveraging APIs and platform expertise.
  • It is designed as a one-to-many cross-cloud disaster recovery topology rather than a one-to-one cloud or similarly limited topology.
  • It is designed for the IT generalist. It’s easy to use, it includes dynamic provisioning on-premises and in the cloud, and it can be deployed without impacting production systems. In other words, no need to manually install hypervisors or agents.
  • It is application-aware and will automatically discover and configure applications. Additionally, it supports distributed applications with shared storage. 
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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!

Why Should Enterprises Move to a True Composable Infrastructure Solution?
IT Infrastructure needs are constantly fluctuating in a world where powerful emerging software applications such as artificial intelligence can create, transform, and remodel markets in a few months or even weeks. While the public cloud is a flexible solution, it doesn’t solve every data center need—especially when businesses need to physically control their data on premises. Download this report to see how composable infrastructure helps you deploy faster, effectively utilize existing hardwar

IT Infrastructure needs are constantly fluctuating in a world where powerful emerging software applications such as artificial intelligence can create, transform, and remodel markets in a few months or even weeks. While the public cloud is a flexible solution, it doesn’t solve every data center need—especially when businesses need to physically control their data on premises. This leads to overspend— purchasing servers and equipment to meet peak demand at all times. The result? Expensive equipment sitting idle during non-peak times.

For years, companies have wrestled with overspend and underutilization of equipment, but now businesses can reduce cap-ex and rein in operational expenditures for underused hardware with software-defined composable infrastructure. With a true composable infrastructure solution, businesses realize optimal performance of IT resources while improving business agility. In addition, composable infrastructure allows organizations to take better advantage of the most data-intensive applications on existing hardware while preparing for future, disaggregated growth.

Download this report to see how composable infrastructure helps you deploy faster, effectively utilize existing hardware, rein in capital expenses, and more.

Composable Infrastructure Checklist
Composable Infrastructure offers an optimal method to generate speed, agility, and efficiency in data centers. But how do you prepare to implement the solution? Here’s a checklist of items you might consider when preparing to install and deploy your composable infrastructure solution.
Composable Infrastructure offers an optimal method to generate speed, agility, and efficiency in data centers. But how do you prepare to implement the solution? This composable Infrastructure checklist will help guide you on your journey toward researching and implementing a composable infrastructure solution as you seek to modernize your data center.

In this checklist, you’ll see how to:
  • Understand Business Goals
  • Take Inventory
  • Research
  • And more!
Download this entire checklist to review items you might consider when preparing to install and deploy your composable infrastructure solution.
Evaluator Group Report on Liqid Composable Infrastructure
In this report from Eric Slack, Senior Analyst at the Evaluator Group, learn how Liqid’s software-defined platform delivers comprehensive, multi-fabric composable infrastructure for the industry’s widest array of data center resources.
Composable Infrastructures direct-connect compute and storage resources dynamically—using virtualized networking techniques controlled by software. Instead of physically constructing a server with specific internal devices (storage, NICs, GPUs or FPGAs), or cabling the appropriate device chassis to a server, composable enables the virtual connection of these resources at the device level as needed, when needed.

Download this report from Eric Slack, Senior Analyst at the Evaluator Group to learn how Liqid’s software-defined platform delivers comprehensive, multi-fabric composable infrastructure for the industry’s widest array of data center resources.
Exploring AIOps: Cluster Analysis for Events
AIOps, i.e., artificial intelligence for IT operations, has become the latest strategy du jour in the IT operations management space to help address and better manage the growing complexity and extreme scale of modern IT environments. AIOps enables some unique and new capabilities on this front, though it is quite a bit more complicated than the panacea that it is made out to be. However, the underlying AI and machine learning (ML) concepts do help complement, supplement and, in particular cases
AIOps, i.e., artificial intelligence for IT operations, has become the latest strategy du jour in the IT operations management space to help address and better manage the growing complexity and extreme scale of modern IT environments. AIOps enables some unique and new capabilities on this front, though it is quite a bit more complicated than the panacea that it is made out to be. However, the underlying AI and machine learning (ML) concepts do help complement, supplement and, in particular cases, even supplant more traditional approaches to handling typical IT Ops scenarios at scale.

An AIOps platform has to ingest and deal with multiple types of data to develop a comprehensive understanding of the state of the managed domain(s) and to better discern the push and pull of diverse trends in the environment, both overt and subtle, that may destabilize critical business outcomes. In this white paper, we will take a look at an AIOps approach to handling one of the fundamental data types: events.
Make the Move: Linux Desktops with Cloud Access Software
Gone are the days where hosting Linux desktops on-premises is the only way to ensure uncompromised customization, choice and control. You can host Linux desktops & applications remotely and visualize them to further security, flexibility and performance. Learn why IT teams are virtualizing Linux.

Make the Move: Linux Remote Desktops Made Easy

Securely run Linux applications and desktops from the cloud or your data center.

Download this guide and learn...

  • Why organizations are virtualizing Linux desktops & applications
  • How different industries are leveraging remote Linux desktops & applications
  • What your organization can do to begin this journey


Key Considerations for Configuring Virtual Desktops For Remote Work
At any time, organizations worldwide and individuals can be forced to work from home. Learn about a sustainable solution to enable your remote workforce quickly and easily and gain tips to enhance your business continuity strategy when it comes to employee computing resources.

Assess what you already have

If you have a business continuity plan or a disaster recovery plan in place, that’s a good place to start. This scenario may not fit the definition of disaster that you originally intended, but it can serve to help you test your plan in a more controlled fashion that can benefit both your current situation by giving you a head start, and your overall plan by revealing gaps that would be more problematic in a more urgent or catastrophic environment with less time to prepare and implement.

Does your plan include access to remote desktops in a data center or the cloud? If so, and you already have a service in place ready to transition or expand, you’re well on your way.

Read the guide to learn what it takes for IT teams to set up staff to work effectively from home with virtual desktop deployments. Learn how to get started, if you’re new to VDI or if you already have an existing remote desktop scenario but are looking for alternatives.

Top 5 Reasons to Think Outside the Traditional VDI Box
Finding yourself limited with an on-premises VDI setup? A traditional VDI model may not be the ideal virtualization solution, especially for those looking for a simple, low-cost solution. This guide features 5 reasons to look beyond traditional VDI when deciding how to virtualize an IT environment.

A traditional VDI model can come with high licensing costs, limited opportunity to mix and match components to suit your needs, not to mention the fact that you're locked into a single vendor.

We've compiled a list of 5 reasons to think outside the traditional VDI box, so you can see what is possible by choosing your own key components, not just the ones you're locked into with a full stack solution.

The State of Multicloud: Virtual Desktop Deployments
Download this free 15-page report to understand the key differences and benefits to the many cloud deployment models and the factors that are driving tomorrow’s decisions.

The future of compute is in the cloud

Flexible, efficient, and economical, the cloud is no longer a question - it's the answer.

IT professionals that once considered if or when to migrate to the cloud are now talking about how. Earlier this year, we reached out to thousands of IT professionals to learn more about how.

Private Cloud, On-Prem, Public Cloud, Hybrid, Multicloud - each of these deployment models offers unique advantages and challenges. We asked IT decision-makers how they are currently leveraging the cloud and how they plan to grow.

Survey respondents overwhelmingly believed in the importance of a hybrid or multicloud strategy, regardless of whether they had actually implemented one themselves.

The top reasons for moving workloads between clouds

  • Cost Savings
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Data Center Location
  • Availability of Virtual Machines/GPUs