Upgrading to VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 from Windows vCenter 5.1

by Bob Plankers March 17, 2014 How To

My coworkers and I recently undertook the task of upgrading our vSphere 5.1 environment to version 5.5. While upgrades of these nature aren’t really newsworthy we did something of increasing interest in the VMware world: switched from the Windows-based vCenter Server on a physical host to the vCenter Server Appliance, or vCSA, which is a […]

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What Clients Don’t Know (and Why It’s Your Fault)

by Bob Plankers March 12, 2014 People Stuff

“Whether you work with outside clients or whether you’re part of an internal team your job is always, always going to include having to convince someone of something. Because your job isn’t just making things. Believe it or not, that’s the easy part. You’re going to spend 90% of your time convincing people that shit […]

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Update to VMware vCenter Server Appliance & NTP Issues

by Bob Plankers February 13, 2014 Security

Earlier today I posted “VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5.0 Has An Insecure NTP Server.” One of the reasons I like VMware is that they’re responsive to customer issues. This situation is no different. I just spoke with a few guys involved in VMware security, and this is what I’ve learned. 1. There has been mitigation information available […]

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VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5.0 Has An Insecure NTP Server

by Bob Plankers February 13, 2014 Security

Update: I have updated this article to reflect some new information provided by VMware. I have also published new notes and discussion as a separate blog post. On January 10, 2014 a vulnerability in ntpd, the Network Time Protocol daemon, was made public (US CERT VU#348126): UDP protocols such as NTP can be abused to […]

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The Lone Bookshelf: The Macintosh Way by Guy Kawasaki

by Bob Plankers February 11, 2014 Books

(This is the inaugural post of my Lone Bookshelf series. Find more posts using the “Books” category) Last summer my family moved to a different house. By itself, moving isn’t that big of a deal. Take everything out of the old house, put it on a truck, unload it into the new house. What is […]

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New Java Security Settings: More Proof That Oracle Hates You

by Bob Plankers February 6, 2014 Outright Rant

I began the day yesterday updating to Java 7u51, after which absolutely none of my enterprise Java applications worked anymore. I could not reach the consoles of my Rackspace cloud servers. I could not open the iDRAC console on my Dell PowerEdge. They all exited with some error about the Permissions attribute not being set. Being […]

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Redundant Gigabit Management NICs, Please

by Bob Plankers February 4, 2014 Dear Vendor

I’ve been doing a lot of system design work lately, building virtualization infrastructure for places where there is no pre-existing infrastructure available (also known as the revered “green field” deployment). One of the biggest issues I’ve had is that 10 Gbps switches can fall back to 1 Gbps when the proper transceiver is installed. However, […]

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Better Linux Disk Caching & Performance with vm.dirty_ratio & vm.dirty_background_ratio

by Bob Plankers December 22, 2013 Best Practices

This is post #16 in my December 2013 series about Linux Virtual Machine Performance Tuning. For more, please see the tag “Linux VM Performance Tuning.” In previous posts on vm.swappiness and using RAM disks we talked about how the memory on a Linux guest is used for the OS itself (the kernel, buffers, etc.), applications, […]

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