BURA Vembu vExpert

VMware vSphere 6.7 support added in Vembu BDR Suite 3.9.1 (Sponsored Post)

I always get amped when new releases of vSphere are released, the latest version (6.7) got released a few months back and introduced a host of new improvements.  Most noteably, the new and improved VMware vCenter Server Appliance has had a makeover to give administrators a better experience from a management perspective but also the overhaul has vastly improved the overall performance and memory requirements  (2-3X) needed to run the appliance.

Unfortunately, for me my old HP Proliant DL380 G6 in my lab still needs to run an older version of vSphere. 🙁

However you can read the vSphere 6.7 release notes here

 

But this post is more about Vembu’s latest update, which now includes support for vSphere 6.7, with this update (Vembu BDR Suite 3.9.1 Update 1), customers can use Vembu for backup and replication of their virtual machines in their VMware vSphere 6.7 environment.  This update also includes a number of minor enhancements to the console as well.

Vembu’s update 1 is GA now and is ready for download.

BURA Data Management Hyper-V Vembu vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Vembu VMBackup 3.91 released and now with Standard Edition (Sponsored Post)

The team over at Vembu are really making waves this year, having released v3.9 earlier back in January of this year (you can read about that release here but at a high level summary it introduced features such as Tape Backup Support, auto Authorization at the DR site, Quick VM Recovery on ESXi for Hyper-V and Disk Image Backups, Windows Event Viewer Integration, Advanced Backup level encryption for all agents, OffsiteDR Server retentions and Pre/Post backup scripts for all Network & Image Backup clients.

Now, they have released 3.91 which furthers their capability, fixes a few bugs and introduces a new flavour for their software.

So let’s get into what is new in this version starting with the release of a new standard edition.

What does standard edition mean for customers?

Quite simply, standard edition is aimed for the small to medium sized enterprises that perhaps do not need the bells and whistles that come with the Enterprise edition, but are adfter a tailored cost-effective solution that still provides the business with the same trustworthy data protection capabilities. such as Instant File Recovery and granular recovery for Microsoft applications in Hyper-V and VMware environments.

So what are the differences?

Along with some bug fixes, the fundamental differences between Vembu standard edition and the enterprise edition are there is no tape support in standard as well as no retention capabilities, persistent boot (no tracking on quick booted VMs) and Disk level recovery is not included in the standard edition.

On the replication side of things there is no capability in standard edition (it assumes that SMB only have one site).

For more of the differences, check out the chart here

 

Pricing for Vembu as we know is based on a per socket basis, so this means the Standard Edition for VMware Backup is priced at USD $216 USD socket per annum. If you require under six CPU sockets, you get an additional discount of 50% that could lead to USD $108 USD per socket a year.

The Standard Edition for Hyper-V Backup is priced at $144 USD per socket per annum, and again if you need under six CPU’s ithe same discount applies working out at about USD $72 USD per socket a year.

One last thing, Vembu are also holding a webinar in a few days time to discuss recovery use-cases, and more important why is recovery more important than backup.

 

Why you need Multiple Recovery Options?”

Date: May 31Thursday
Time : 12 noon ET4PM GMT9AM PT
For more information on the webinar check out the blog link and this video link .
BURA DR Storage Trending Vembu

Today is World Backup Day and…..(Sponsored Post)

Today is world backup day, which was created as a way to remind people of the importance of backups and to have them publicly pledge that they will start taking reliable backups of their data frequently.

Working in this field for some time, I have also had my own share of losing data in the past (ironic given my profession) and not being able to restore.

Interestingly enough, it is estimated that around a 1/3 of people have never backed their data up so are seriously exposed to data loss, and those who have backed up – chances are they havent tested these any may not be able to restore when needed. One study found that while 57% of IT managers have a backup solution in place, 75% of them were not able to restore all of their lost data when they tried to.

To combat this and provide a reliable backup and restore solution to this ongoing problem, our friends over at Vembu are offering offer 10% flat discount on all new purchases of Vembu BDR suite by clicking this link.

Also, remember to celebrate World Backup Day by using this hash tag! #WorldBackupDay

 

Best Practices Data Management Storage Thought-Leadership

Data Quality and Governance – why should you care?

Working in data storage in my earlier years, there was always an element of what type of data would be stored on the storage we would architect so that we would get a feel for the performance and capacity required to hold that data – this discussion would naturally lead onto data management, its lifecycle and what it needs to do once it expires.

In a bid to expand the conversation (and sometimes the sale), someone in the room would always ask about data quality, and what software do we have to help to ensure that high data quality exists throughout the complete lifecycle of the data when it is created and stored.

The outputs are only as good as the inputs, and if you feed an analytics engine or database dirty data then you can expect to fall down a rabbit hole – especially if your organisations relies heavily on this information to make key business decisions.

Take a look at the following statistics that I came across a year or so ago (I’m glad I saved this):

All of these factors can have huge implications on achieving business results, not surprisingly over half of the errors are attributed to having no data at all! So how does one prevent making bad decisions with bad data?

It all starts with how you architect data collection points and its relevant data types – take a web form for example. Now I know if you are reading this, then no doubt you would of had to fill in a web form multiple times during your life, whether it is to create a new account on a new social media platform, or to fill in a survey. You might of noticed that some of the drop down boxes only allow certain syntaxes and formats in the bid to ensure accurate data – like typing an email address without the @ sign should not be accepted.

If these measures are not in place, then the end result is a bunch of useless data that is not accurate and likely going to cause your organisation headaches (you can’t email a prospect with no @ in their email).  This leads to lost sales, mistakes, and a lot of administration time trying to clean the data.

My next post in this area will dive a little deeper, and provide some fundamentals on how your organisation can architect a robust data quality and management strategy.

 

BURA Trending Vembu Virtualization

Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 is now generally available! (Sponsored Post)

If you read my recent “No downtime for the Enterprise” post I wrote for Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure blog site, you would of learned that even in today’s words, system outages are still costing the enterprise millions and millions of dollars in lost revenue.

For backup and recovery providers like Vembu, this provides the opportunity to mitigate that risk, to help customers establish a steady recovery plan to not only counter data loss potential but also tackle compliance responsibilities at the same time (take  the upcoming EU’s GDPR) for example ).

Last week, they announced the release of Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 which offers manifold features and enhancements to meet the different needs of diverse IT environments. According to them, the overall goal of the new version v3.9.0 is to continue to provide advancements in terms of Storage, Security, and Data Restoration.

Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 release addresses a number of critical features, here are some of their provided key highlights of this release:

 

Tape Backup Support

 Vembu now provides the popular 3-2-1 backup strategy (Three copies of backup on two different types of medias (Disk and Tape) as well as one backup copy at offsite) to businesses by announcing the support for Native Tape Backup for Image-based Backups (VMware, Hyper-V, and Physical Windows Servers & Workstations) providing an option for Long-Term Archival and Offsite storage.  Also, Vembu Tape Backup Support makes the DR possible on any physical or virtual environment. Thus Vembu Tape backup is designed keeping in mind the future needs of the ever evolving IT demands.

 

Quick VM Recovery on ESXi host for Hyper-V and Windows Image Backups

As we speak of data backup, recovery of data is equally important, if not more. While data recovery is crucial, the amount of time taken to restore data decides the business continuity of any organization. In the previous versions, Vembu has provided instant recovery capabilities only for VMware Backups from the GUI. From this release v3.9.0, Vembu makes the instant recovery process much simpler and quicker than before by making the Quick VM Recovery possible on VMware ESXi from Vembu BDR backup server console for all image-based backups(VMware, Hyper-V and Microsoft Windows). Thus, Vembu lowers the Recovery Time Objectives of the organizations and provides quicker data regain and access.

 

Backup-level Encryption

With the newest release, Vembu provides the ability to encrypt the data while creating a backup job. Each backup job that is configured from the distributed agents or through the Vembu BDR backup server is now highly secured through Backup-level Encryption. By using customized passwords, users will now be able to enable additional security for their backup jobs. And the backup data can be restored/accessed only by providing the password. Thus, the data is encrypted and can only be accessed by authorized users. This step is to fight data threats and also to ensure data compliances.

 

Auto Authorization at Vembu OffsiteDR Server

Offsite data protection is critical in terms of business continuity and is primarily done to keep a backup instance of key business data. To increase data security, Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 has Auto Authorization feature at Vembu OffsiteDR server that lets only the registered BDR backup servers to connect to the OffsiteDR server. Vembu BDR servers are authorized through unique registration key generated at the OffsiteDR server. Thus, safeguard all your backup data even if they are transferred to offsite through Auto-Authorization at OffsiteDR server

 

Pre/Post backup scripts

Many businesses are in a need to execute certain business logic before or after a backup job. But running these logics manually through scripts is difficult and is not feasible for organizations having multiple backup jobs running in their IT infrastructure. To make this process simpler, Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 provides a separate wizard in NetworkBackup, OnlineBackup and ImageBackup clients, where one can add a number of pre and post executable commands/scripts. This helps in automatically executing the added commands/scripts at specific stages based on the configuration and provides the ability to run the custom actions before/after the backup schedules.

 

Besides all the listed features, Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 has few other interesting features like Windows Event Viewer Integration along with some Enhancements.

Interested in trying Vembu BDR suite?, Try Now on a 30-days free trial: https://www.vembu.com/vembu-bdr-suite-download/

 

Best Practices BURA Vembu vExpert Virtualization

Vembu release version 3.9.0 announcement (Sponsored Post)

Some exciting news from our friends over at Vembu with the announcement of version 3.9 of their backup and recovery software, for those who arent aware of what Vembu; their BDR Suite product provides data protection for a number of workloads including, physical, virtual, and cloud based workloads.

It is packed with some new features which you may read about below.

 

New Features in v3.9.0:

 

Tape Backup Support:

Vembu extends its support to native tape backup through the Vembu BDR console. You can utilise the best known 3-2-1 backup strategy of having 3 copies of backup data on 2 different media and 1 off-site location for an efficient DR plan. This secondary backup approach will help you to archive the image based backups in both virtual and physical environments like VMware, Hyper-V and Windows Servers and recover them in multiple formats like VHD, VMDK, VHDX, VMDK-Flat and RAW.

Auto Authorization at Off-site DR:

Enabling the auto authorization feature will allow only the authorized Vembu BDR servers to get connected with Vembu OffsiteDR servers (Replication) using the registration key.

Quick VM Recovery on ESXi for Hyper-V and Disk Image Backups:

Instant recovery of backed up data on VMware ESXi is now made available for both the Hyper-V VMs and Windows Servers backup jobs for an effective Disaster Recovery. This recovery of the virtual machines happens in a matter of seconds by booting the backed up machine directly from the backup storage repository, from where all the files, folders and applications can be accessed.

Windows Event Viewer Integration:

All the events of the Vembu BDR, Off-siteDR & agents like information on critical, warnings and major events are updated in the Event Viewer of Windows Servers  when enabled for better management.

Advanced Backup level encryption for all agents:

Users will be able to configure AES-256 bit encryption for all their backup jobs of VMware, Hyper-V, Disk Image through their customized passwords using corresponding password hints as well.

OffsiteDR Server retentions using Vembu Network Backup:

OffsiteDR retention policies is now available for the Network Backup plugins too, like the image based backups of VMware, Hyper-V and Disk Image backups at the too.

Listing of files & Folders in aciTree structure:

The listing of files and folders while configuring backups on a Network Backup plugin is now up with the aciTree structure for easy and quick navigation.

Pre/Post backup scripts for all Network & Image Backup clients:

This feature provides the ability to configure running custom actions before and after the execution backup schedule. The custom actions may include running an application using some script files.

AngularJS conversion of UI for Vembu OnlineBackups:

The overall UI of Vembu OnlineBackup is improved for better performance like the current Vembu BDR and Off-siteDR.

Update of consumed space on the Vembu Portal:

Based on the display of the consumed space of Vembu Online Backup and SaaSBackup plugins, the customer will be able to allocate and purchase further cloud storage post purchase and upgrade.

 

Vembu 3.9 will be available for general availability in the next week or so.

BURA Hyper-V Vembu vExpert Virtualization VMWare

More announcements from Vembu! (Sponsored Post)

More on the Vembu front, with recent announcements coming on the licensing front as well as a new service program aimed at providing service providers a platform to offer Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) for virtual environments through the Vembu software.

Service providers can leverage the native multi-tenancy functionality in Vembu to backup their VM’s by providing the Web UI access to their customers so that they can monitor their backup jobs individually and restore  files and application data without the need to get in contact with the SP.

Get a recap of all of the annoucements below!

Unveiling the perpetual licensing:
With launching the latest perpetual licensing, we look forward to availing more flexibility with the pricing. The Vembu BDR Suite which was earlier at the subscription pricing model will now be available at perpetual licensing, thereby helping IT environments fulfill their requirements that would cost less over time.
https://www.vembu.com/blog/vembu-provides-pricing-flexibility-unveiling-perpetual-licensing-option/

Introducing the brand New Service Program:
In the aim of setting firm footprints across the globe by catering one of the most comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution at an affordable pricing, Vembu unfolds it’s New Service Provider Program that would provide service providers a great scope for huge benefits and discounts with the Vembu BDR Suite v3.8.0.
https://www.vembu.com/blog/vembu-announces-new-and-customer-centric-service-provider-program/

Vembu complying with the EU GDPR:
Addressing customers’ concern have always been Vembu’s top priority. The Vembu BDR Suite does comply with the new regulation and will make the users the real data owner. Complying with industry standards and policies has always been one of Vembu BDR Suite’s core attributes and the GDPR is no exception as well.
https://www.vembu.com/eu-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

Right now, Vembu can back up VMware and Hyper-V environments only – perhaps we will see integration into Oracle Virtual Manager in the future. Either way, they’re an exciting company to watch. Visit their site here if you want to learn more!

 

BURA Hyper-V Microsoft Oracle Vembu vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Welcome Cloud-land sponsor Vembu!

Quick post to welcome Vembu as an official sponsor of cloud-land.com!!!  Vembu has been around for a little while and has been a quiet achiever in the backup and disaster recovery space covering backup for application sets such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, Active Directory, Outlook, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle.

Their Vembu BDR suite provides backup and recovery options for both physical and virtual environments and comes with a range of other features:

  • Vembu VMBackup
  • Vembu ImageBackup
  • Vembu NetworkBackup
  • Vembu OnlineBackup
  • Vembu SaaSBackup

You could probably take a guess from the names above on what the feature does, but if you wish to learn a little more about Vembu head over to their sponsor page on this site or visit their official site at vembu.com

HP vExpert Virtualization VMWare

VMware vSphere 6.5 Update 1 released

Finally! vSphere 6.5 Update 1 is now available and it has some further enhancements and fixes, quite notably the vCenter HTML5 client receives a number of new functionality to it, what is impressive is some of the staggering vCenter related improvement numbers:

 

  • Maximum vCenter Servers per vSphere Domain: 15 (increased from 10)
  • Maximum ESXi Hosts per vSphere Domain: 5000 (increased from 4000)
  • Maximum Powered On VMs per vSphere Domain: 50,000 (increased from 30,000)
  • Maximum Registered VMs per vSphere Domain: 70,000 (increased from 50,000)

 

Obviously, this is just a small snippet of the various other fixes, enhancements and maximums so please check the following release notes and also download links:

 

I’m going to try find some time to bump up my work lab to this new update although, my home based HP DL380G6 is getting a little old for this and is unsupported 🙂

 

Cloud Oracle Uncategorized vExpert Virtualization VMWare

VMware, Oracle, Cloud in Ravello?

It is not very often that I get to talk or write about VMware related technologies within Oracle, other than Customer purchasing our Oracle X86 based servers for their VMware farms or some workshops I have run in the past for our ZFS customers (VM troubleshooting with dTrace is excellent!).

Even more rarely, does this event crossover span into a cloud-based discussion too.   That is not to say that there aren’t any joint solutions out there in the field, (there are thousands of deployments globally with Oracle and VMware serving a joint purpose of providing a solid storage\computer\virtualisation solution for our customers). But today is that day!

If you are a virtualization nut, you might have heard of Ravello from way back, I remember first using it a few years ago under the vExpert NFR program and ironically, this blog post centres around my vExpert account that I continue to use.

What is it

Ravello is a lovely picturesque resort town set 365 meters above the Tyrrhenian Sea on Italy’s Amalfi Coast…….   Kidding!, Ravello Systems started up back in 2011 by Benny Schnaider and Rami Tamir who created the KVM hypervisor at Qumranet (which is now part of Red Hat) and raised $10 million dollars in their first venture capital round. Their objective was not to recreate lightning in a bottle or add another layer of abstraction between hardware and software much like the KVM hypervisor, but rather than virtualizing and partitioning the hardware for multiple stacks to use it at the same time (cloud?), and act somewhat as a facilitator of communication between separate computers.

Along came Oracle and at the beginning of 2016, acquired Ravello Systems with the intent to run VMware/KVM development, test and demo environments in the cloud without migration. The business case for this requirement is huge, why waste precious resources (labour, infrastructure, software) on something that you only need every now and then and is not business critical.

Let’s be fair, these sorts of environments are no doubt virtualised and running on VMware vSphere so the target became “Running VMware workloads on public clouds – without any changes” and form part of our Lift and Shift cloud journey at Oracle.

The Ravello import tool gives the user the capability to clone their entire VMware environment which could be running on Amazon Web Services, Azure or Google Cloud Platform and shift it to the Oracle Public Cloud. It had cloud written on it since the beginning!

 

What does it look like?

I am glad you asked, the console itself is built around “applications” which is similar to a virtual machine but should be seen as more of a “service offering”.  Below you see an application I had published in our Sydney DC, an application can be a group of virtual machines I just labelled it VMware ESXi 6.5 as it was a cluster of ESXi hosts published together!)

 

Applications View

This is the default view and provides a list of all of your published cloud applications, which you can drill into to find which VM’s are running to support that application.

 

Library View

Below is the VM library, of which I can create multiple applications from using these as somewhat of a template. You can see from the owner down the right-hand side that Ravello has pre-populated some templates to use (with predefined configuration options) and that I have also uploaded a few in order to build out my application stacks.  Sharing is caring so you can even share your VMs or disk images on the Ravello Repo to collaborate with others, however, you must have a public profile before you can share or use library items on Ravello Repo.  If you make changes to your shared VM or Disk Images in your library, they will be automatically updated to the version that is visible to other users.

 

Canvas View

This is probably where the platform sells itself, the various canvas views provide an excellent glance over what your Ravello environment looks like from high up, you can see which ports are exposed to the public (internet) and which are internal as well as resource configurations on the right hand side.

 

On the Network Canvas (shown below), you can quickly connect your applications to various network-based services (DHCP, Proxy, DNS etc) quickly and easily by clicking and dragging connection points between each other.

 

Pricing
Users only pay per hour of use and there are no upfront commitments so you can cancel when you need to.

So easy! I  1CPU, 1GB storage and 1GB RAM will set you back about 43 cents an hour (AUD), or approx $315 Australian dollars a month. A lot cheaper than space, power and tin in a data centre.

Keen to learn more?, head over to https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/tryit to try it for yourself for free or wait for my next post on creating and publishing applications in the Ravello Cloud!

Amazon Web Services Cloud CxO Microsoft Storage Thought-Leadership Trending Virtualization

A new year brings…………..?

Good new year to you!  I trust that if you are reading this then you survived the Christmas and New year break and hopefully took some time off to spend it with family and friends.

Last year, brought a ramp up in the adoption of Cloud services among many organisations  – probably not as much as a lot of folks thought to warrant the term ‘shift’, but certainly the maturity of what we perceive to be cloud computing (and what it is not) led to more and more firms asking themselves – How we can do this better and more cost effectively?

This is largely due to the massive number of vendors in the ICT universe, now marketing their offerings as “cloud-ready” –  Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, and HPE are some of the notable larger players who are now aligning to this new phenomenon along with other smaller vendors now claiming to offer a path to adopting cloud computing.

One of the pitfalls of heading down the cloud path is that companies are finding out that some legacy services simply cannot transform. More often than not, this is due to the fact that the hardware platforms that exist in newer public cloud providers do not resemble their on-premises infrastructure and architecture.

The fallout from this difference is that their most critical applications are no longer performing as expected, proven or even supported leaving their business at risk.  So a lot of companies want cloud, but simply cannot (or perhaps will not) transform to be able to adopt it due to this risk.

Let me pose a question to you – if you are considering cloud but have held off until now due to the unknown risks associated with the change).  “What is the fundamental reason for the reluctance?”

Perhaps cost is an inhibitor, or perhaps it is the unpredictability of the transformation and how things are going to look and perform on the other side that has kept your business from traveling down the cloud road.

Whatever it is, it is not always possible that you can lift and shift all services to the cloud – at a conservative view, for every single CPU associated with Oracle Database, there is at least three CPU’s of other workloads tied to that database which relies on it.  When you put it in this context, the task at hand to transform your business to be cloud-enabled seems enormous!

My next post will cover what Oracle is doing in regards to this transformation and managing change and risk by providing predictability and like-for-like performance for your Oracle database environment as well as other workloads you may have.

I will further discuss Oracle’s view on the journey to the cloud and how it can help you:

 

  1. Streamline Enterprise IT on-premises to be cloud ready should you ever need it
  2. Expand your Private Cloud
  3. Deploy a Hybrid Cloud
  4. Bring Public Cloud onto your Premises
  5. Lift and Shift to Public Cloud

Stay tuned!

Oracle Personal Storage Thought-Leadership Trending vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Update – A hiatus? Yes please!

Happy new year! I hope that my readers have had a good break and are fully refreshed to hit 2016 running, I know for me it is going to be a defining year after 2015. (its now March and 2015 seems a long time ago!). I have not blogged for a while and have been fairly absent from Twitter as well as LinkedIn. So where did I fall off the radar to? HIATUS!

A hiatus?

For the last six months, I have been taking a hiatus (going to be honest here and say I was not familiar with this word originally):

noun, plural hiatuses, hiatus

1.a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.

(Retrieved 27th February from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/hiatus)

 

This resulted in resigning from my job and making a “bucket list” which included seeing more parts of Australia I have never seen before as well as New Zealand. Sightseeing, Hiking, Wine tasting in different regions, Driving, Kayaking, Cycling, Swimming, Salmon fishing were some of the activities I did whilst on my break.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” – Ferris Bueller#Instagram

 

So what is next?

I have had a lot of people ask me what next for me, and I am please to announce I have agreed to join the team at Oracle Australia, focusing on all things storage cloud, analytics and virtualisation.

My role as Principal Technologist will see me dealing with customers of all sizes across all sectors across Australia and New Zealand , and helping them to plan new I.T services through Oracle cloud as well as working with channel partners in delivering top solutions to their customers.

Why Oracle?

Simply, The People, Technology and Possibilities:

The People

Haven spoken to a lot of the people I would be working with in this role, I gained a clear view and appreciation that there are some very dedicated and enthusiastic people on board which is truly exciting and invigorating – when you are surrounded with that enthusiasm and those positive attitudes, how can one not be inspired.

I spoke to the leadership team and got the feel that it was the right type of leadership to work for (extremely important to me); there is so much opportunity to build a really successful business through partners and customers. The truth is, the group is a start-up business within a massive corporation which gives off a real sense of start-up culture and vibe.

The Technology,

If we look at the most recent Integrated Systems Magic Quadrant published by Gartner as of August 2015, we see that Oracle along with VCE, Nutanix and HP are real contenders in the converged infrastructure market which is rising to be the future of storage platforms as we know it.

Yes, there are still companies that are focusing just on the next evolution of storage (flash), but some of these contenders will struggle as customers are no longer wanting just storage and are looking for real-world integrated packages that are proven and backed by strong ventures. There will be storage startups exiting the market this year.

intgegrated_systems_magic_quadrant_august_2015

 

The Possibilities

I like to build and grow businesses, and the Oracle storage business has so much potential to grow with some pretty impressive tech so evangelizing and educating customers and partners on why this technology can really help their I.T challenges seemed like a fun way to spend my 9-5.

Lastly, Oracle is a huge multinational and traditionally not known for storage – so the opportunity to learn other platforms and technologies other than storage was attractive. Whilst I do not think I will end up as a DBA type, I do know that their application stack sit in the Enterprise space so being able to be exposed to these platforms would be a fresh breath of air.

vExpert 2016 – Evangelist

VMW-LOGO-vEXPERT-2016-k

I am proud to be recognized again in this elite group by VMware, this will be my fourth camp receiving the Evangelist award, and although I have not been posting as much content as I have in previous years, I plan to step it up in 2016 as a new opportunity has arisen which I plan to use to engage the community.

What is really cool is that not all vExperts are alike, they are no longer posting similar content due to VMware diversifying their portfolio . This is resulting in mass generation of rich content in all aspects of VMware! We have vExperts in Server virtualization, Desktop virtualization, Network Virtualization, Automation etc. and the list has grown phenomenally since I first got awarded a few years back. A special shout out to Corey Romero for his hard work in keeping this program running.

For a more complete list please visit http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2016/02/vexpert-2016-award-announcement.html

Thats it for now, my next posts will be focused on Oracle ZFS and some of the best practices and learnings I come up with around that! Stay tuned!

 

Veeam vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Veeam Availability Suite v9 extending in the Storage land with further EMC, HP and NetApp support

Today is a very exciting day at Veeam, for those who use NetApp ONTAP and/or EMC VNX\VNXe primary storage in their environments. We are announcing further integration to our existing storage integration capabilities by allowing customers to now:

  • Use storage snapshots to create complete, isolated copies of your production environment in just a few clicks, for fast and easy testing and troubleshooting—available for VMware vSphere with HP 3PAR\StoreVirtual, NetApp ONTAP, and EMC VNX\VNXe primary storage.

 

  •  Perform VMware vSphere backups faster and with reduced impact on your virtual environment by backing up directly from NFS primary storage using Veeam’s proprietary NFS client.

 

  • Completely eliminate the additional impact from backup activities on your production storage by retrieving virtual machine data from NetApp SnapMirror or SnapVault secondary storage systems, instead of from the primary storage system.

 

Also, earlier on this year (actually about a month ago) we announced EMC VNX\VNXe snapshot integration which will allow Veeam Backup & Replication v9 to now read the  snapshots from EMC VNX and VNXe arrays. These can be the snapshots set up via a schedule via the Unisphere or within the Veeam Backup & Replication interface itself. Once Veeam has access to the storage array snapshot, customers can dive in and browse those snapshots and launch these powerful restore options without any agents:

It should be noted that this particular integration is limited to snapshots NFS shares provided by the VNX\VNXe only, yes this means no FC support…………….yet.

 

Why is this important for your business?

For me personally, this gives me added discussion points when speaking to our global alliance partners and their customers  – leveraging storage snapshots is the best way to deliver Availability for the Modern Data Centre and is how I see customers taking their existing RPO\RTO capabilities and really taking them into overdrive to be able to achieve RTPO’s of 5 minutes or better.

Why now?

Storage and Backup used to be treated completely separately, customers had a storage administrator and a backup administrator each with their own agendas and arguably not sharing any synergy between them. We then saw an evolvement where the convergence of Storage and backup technologies were treated separately but very much as a pair of separates (oxymoron?), hardware was being procured that way and it drove behaviour in the customer market to look for synergies to maximise their ROI on each. Enter virtualisation, as well as shared resources and we now have a clear need to treat storage and backup as one. Customers need an availability strategy that touched both storage and backup, and was able to meet the business needs of the company it was serving, and they are demanding more from their infrastructure.  Veeam bridges that gap between Storage and Backup and taps into the Storage Infrastructure resources to enable fast, efficient and smart restores for tier one applications. It’s that simple.

All of these features will be available in Veeam Availability Suite v9 onwards due for release later this year.

 

For our official release on v9 and EMC integration please read http://www.veeam.com/news/new-veeam-availability-suite-v9.html

 

And for a more in depth article – check out my colleague Luca Dell’Oca’s post here

 

Veeam vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Veeam Fully Supports VMware vSphere 6 via Veeam Backup & Replication 8.0 Update 2

Veeam

So as you know, VMware has recently gone GA on vSphere 6, along with the new features, bells and whistles it comes with, there is also a new requirement on the certification front! VCP5.5 was the last technical cert that I sat and hopefully the last for a while given my current role and focus.  But that is not why I am writing this post, because whilst the release of vSphere 6 brings new cert and cool features to the world of Virtualisation, it is with great pleasure I announce that Veeam is fully supporting vSphere 6 in Veeam Availability Suite v8 with the following enhancements:

  • Support for VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) and Virtual SAN (VSAN) 2.0
  • Quick Migration to VVol datastores
  • Cross-vCenter vMotion awareness
  • Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM) policy backup and restore
  • Support for backup and replication of Fault Tolerant VMs
  • vSphere 6 tags integration
  • Hot add transport for SATA virtual disks
  • Monitoring and reporting support of VVols

This latest update to Veeam Availability Suite v8 is the largest non-version-increasing update in Veeam history, with more than 1,000 change sets applied. In addition to full support for VMware vSphere 6, it also includes complete integration with Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, a new free product that enables IT to back up Windows-based desktops, laptops and even a small number of physical servers. How cool is that!?

So where do you download Update 2? Visit here my friend and enjoy! Also, read http://www.veeam.com/kb2024 for full release notes.

Conference Veeam Virtualization

AlwaysON at VeeamON 2015 – Oct 26th – Oct 29th 2015. Join us!

VeeamON is our global event that focuses on Availability for the Modern Data Centre, its a means for customers and partners to hear from Veeam’s various product, technical, and management teams about what we are doing in the availability space and give them a one-of-a-kind experience filled with education and networking opportunities.

Last year, we ran it for the very first time in Las Vegas and it proved to be (so I heard) a one of a kind conference that left people rocking from all the brilliant content and opportunities that happened and asking for more.

This year, its going to be bigger and better and will once again be run in the city of sin, Las Vegas at Aria.  It is going to be epic… Not convinced?  Watch the following teaser.

 

And now go visit http://go.veeam.com/veeamon for more information on how to get there!!!

Social Media Trending vExpert Virtualization VMWare

VMware vExpert 2015 – what does it really mean to me

Short note to help promote and congratulate the latest vExpert 2015 awardees announcement, and a special welcome to new folk on the list. I am typing this on an iPad so grammar isn’t going to be a strong point especially because of IOS semi-intuitive autocorrect feature, I’ll try clean it up later.

The list has grown – tremendously and as I and other people have questioned the exponential growth of the list, I truly believe and trust the team at VMware is doing a fantastic job of making sure the people in the list belong in the list. I have been out of a “technologist” focused role for almost a year now so it has proven hard to find the time to return to creating fruitful and meaningful technical white papers, blog posts and posters. (Something I do miss)

But then that is what the good thing about the programme, and perhaps I needed to be reminded about. It is about contribution to the community and not the level you are technically contributing at – filling knowledge gaps where you can and putting your hand up and identifying when there is a gap in your own knowledge.

This is what makes the global VMware community special, and whilst I do think there are a lot of ego’s in this world – the one thing I have observed is for this community’s passion for helping others along their journeys.

It creates a virtual sense of family and whilst I and other long time vExperts compete through our chosen companies – I would never be led to believe this causes any friction or animosity towards each other when one is seeking help with a particular problem. That’s what makes this programme beneficial, not the free stuff you get with it, not the label or sense of title it gives you. It’s the people it connects you with- globally.

Check out http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2015/02/vexpert-2014-announcement-2.html to see the full list.

BURA Veeam vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Veeam Endpoint Backup

Veeam has recently announced “Veeam Endpoint Backup Free” to our portfolio of products, I am excited to share with you what Veeam Endpoint Backup is and what it is not.  The release of this product is our showcase of our exciting innovation we drive at Veeam. Ok so what does this mean to virtualisation practitioners, home users etc? Let’s start with what it is.

 

What it is

Veeam Endpoint Backup Free is a standalone product designed to allow users to back up Windows-based desktops and laptops, because while we believe that the modern data center should be virtual, we recognize that some devices – like desktops and laptops – only exist in a physical form factor.  With this new product we will now make it possible for users to back up these types of devices. With Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, you can easily back up your machine to an external hard drive, NAS share or a Veeam backup repository. And if you ever need to get your data back, there are multiple easy recovery options available.

 

What it is not 

Veeam Endpoint Backup Free is designed to back up Windows-based desktops and laptops – it is NOT an enterprise physical backup server solution.  It represents a new market for Veeam, and one that we are very excited about.

Best of all, Veeam Endpoint Backup Free is (if you haven’t caught on already) 100% FREE!

 

 Where can I get it?

Please visit http://go.veeam.com/endpoint to request a download link, you should get a response in a couple of days.

 

How simple is it?

I recently installed Veeam Endpoint Backup onto a VM and configured it to backup to my home NAS, here was the process.  First thing we do is Click Configure Backup, this launches the wizard which will take you through the various steps of configuration, the first step is to click the “Configure Backup” link in the top right of the application – this will launch the trusty old wizard interface which all Windows kids adore.  The following modes are available:

Entire Computer – Backup all volumes presented to the local computer, this does not include Samba shares.

Volume Level Backup – Backup a selection of volumes (Think C:, D: etc)

File Level Backup – Backup a sub-selection of folders and/or files within a volume.

 

Endpoint 1 Once you have selected the type of backup you wish to do (I went for file backup as I do not need to backup the whole set of volumes presented to my virtual machine, you click next.
Endpoint 2 This is pretty self explanatory, in the view I chose presents me with the local volumes (in this case the system drive or ‘C drive’ for the old timers).  you can expand the folders and select a sub-selection of folders and files from here that you wish to backup. Once this is done, you may click next to select your target repository.
Endpoint 3 Now select the type of repository (where you want to backup the files to) and click next. For NAS shares, select ‘Shared Folder’. For another drive (perhaps an External USB or similar) select Local drive.
Endpoint 4 Select the location of the NAS share and enter your credentials if you need to authenticate. I selected my home NAS as a test repository.
Endpoint 5 This screen is asking how often you wish to backup? For those backup bunnies, this should be driven by your home RPO’s you set out in your Disaster Recovery plan :).
Endpoint 6 Finally, a summary page to confirm your selections. Once satisfied, click Finish! You can decide whether or not you wish to kick the backup job off immediately by ticking the box.
Endpoint 7 Thats it!  The backup job will start if you ticked the “Run the job when I click Finish” checkbox, if not, you can manually start the backup job at a later time.
Endpoint 8 Wolah! Complete! To configure a new backup, click the configure backup link again and refollow these steps.

Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions, in addition there are the Veeam Endpoint forums where other users will be posting questions and solutions to any queries they may have.

Go Veeam!

Personal

Merry Xmas!

Just a quick post to wish you all a very merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year – Eat and drink everything in front of you today!

See you all soon.

Best Practices Veeam vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Veeam Backup & Replication v8 for VMware: General Overview Poster

Veeam Backup and Replication v8 Poster

We have just updated and released the “Veeam Backup & Replication v8 for VMware: General Overview” Poster which covers deployment methods, components of Veeam Backup and Replication v8 and probably most useful – requirements of all the different moving parts of what makes our software.

 

Use it as quick reference – Hang in the office, any shared space, home lab, bedroom,  toilet whatever…

Download the poster by clicking here.

 

vExpert Virtualization VMWare

#vExpert 2015 – It’s time again!

It’s that time again, applications for the inaugural vExpert 2015 award is now open – It feels like it was only yesterday that the 2014 vExpert announcement was made, I was luckily and privileged enough to be included in that list.

There is no point regurgitating what the vExpert programme is and what tracks you can apply for so I thought I would take a different angle this year.

Why is being a vExpert important?

I am going to go out on a limb here and state being a vExpert is not important, it does not define who you are and how you should do business.  It is an award from VMware that acknowledges your contribution to an ever growing virtualisation community of like-minded technology enthusiasts and users.  I think back to Grant Orchard‘s post (one of my all time fav’s of his) on providing value in your employment (http://grantorchard.com/general/opinion/want-valued-something-valuable/) – Please read it, it provides an honest and fair view on the VCDX program and what value it could (or could not bring) to your career.

The key takeaway I took from his write up is that it is a achievement, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are “better” than anyone else, more knowledgeably than anyone else, or more valued. I think the same way about being a vExpert, its an acknowledgment of your efforts – keep it at that and remain humble.  The ones who do I think are more respected by their peers.

Please visit http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2014/11/vexpert-2015-applications-open.html for more information on vExpert programme.

Quick links

2014 vExperts: Fastrack application: http://bit.ly/1ikZ8hi (For previous vExperts)

New vExperts: 2015 vExpert application: http://bit.ly/LMJqB5

Thanks for reading and get applying!

3PAR HP NetApp Storage Veeam Virtualization VMWare

The Value of Veeam and Storage Array Integration

Time and time again, I get asked by partners and customers what is the value prop behind Veeam Backup and replication integrating with the various storage arrays for offload operations.   Why is there value there? I usually respond by stating that Veeam integrates with specific SAN arrays to let them perform the “heavy-lifting” when creating a backup job resulting in a lot faster backup and restore operations? By why is having quicker backup and restore options that important?

At Veeam, we speak about the 3 C’s of Backup challenges, Cost, Complexity and Capabilities.  Inherent to backup architecture and environments that is considered “legacy” do these challenges exist – Why?  The obvious reason is no doubt that these environments have grown organically and have never really been designed for the type of workloads that we are seeing in todays world. What is troubling is that customers simply get use to these environments and subsequently “accept” the pitfalls of having technology that has been retrofitted for newer trends and workloads – particularly for customers that are new to virtualisation, backup could be an issue that they don‘t realise they need to address.

For example, if a customer wants to restore a single virtual machine, how would they go about that with a conventional backup solution? With Veeam Backup and Replication it is extremely simple. Veeam has great momentum in the market and when you position it with primary storage arrays such as HP 3PAR or NetApp FAS systems  with their unique integration points. These represent the “heavy-lifter” I mentioned earlier in this post, getting a more suitable device to handle specific tasks – for those who are familiar with virtualisation, think vStorage APIs for Array Integration or VAAI – certain storage operations that get offloaded to compliant storage arrays is very similar.

How do we do it?  Veeam Software is an innovative provider of data protection solutions for VMware vSphere and Windows Server Hyper-V environments, and offers integration with HP 3PAR InformOS and NetApp ONTAP based arrays as of version 8 of our backup and replication platform. Veeam Explorer for SAN Snapshots enables IT administrators to recover whole virtual machines and application data directly from SAN snapshots, including HP 3PAR snapshots and NetApp SAN snapshots. This capability enables administrators to quickly restore any or all of a Virtual Machine directly from SAN snapshots, which can be taken throughout the day with very little impact on production systems. This enables short recovery point objectives (RPO) for the most common recovery scenarios: users accidentally deleting data, users deleting emails,  and system updates gone wrong. This in turn provides a better return on investment in both your backup infrastructure as well as your storage infrastructure as its hardware utilisation increases making sure you get maximum use out of your investment, and reducing costs by not having to fork out for more CPU power to handle backup jobs.

Here are the key capability points for Veeam and Storage Array integration: It is fast –  customers will be able to recover an entire VM or individual items in 2 minutes or less. It is flexible – Storage Administrators can restore exactly what they need -quickly and easily: a full Virtual Machine, individual guest files, individual Microsoft Exchange items, Microsoft Active Directory objects. In addition, it is also agent-free; there are absolutely no agents to deploy on virtual hosts or within Virtual Machines so upgrading the software in the future is straight forward. By having this architecture and ease of use, IT administrators can see a reduction in complexity and management of their backups.

So more aggressive RPO’s using compliant SAN based snapshots mean that quicker restore options and lower RTO’s are achievable using Veeam.

Note: Veeam currently supports HP 3PAR and HP StoreVirtual for snapshot integration, NetApp FAS systems will be supported in version 8.0 which is due out in the next month or so.

 

Social Media

Cloud-land goes WordPress 4.0

 

Don’t you like it when you click the upgrade button and wolah,  everything goes without a hitch.

That is exactly what happened with the recent WordPress 4.0 upgrade.  So far, I haven’t seen any massive changes but everything appears as smooth as ever.

The change log reports a few enhancements on the media integration and support side of things, probably not a lot that I will use extensively but good to know.

Still digging the theme I am using now, but beginning to think a change is neccessary at some stage.  Reinvent thy self (and thy blog).

Stay tuned.

 

BURA Cloud Conference CxO Trending Veeam Virtualization

A look back at Traditional Backup and forward to the Cloud with ‘VeeamOn’.

This year, Veeam is holding its first annual conference “VeeamON” focused on the evolution of Virtualization, the shift to the cloud, and in particular Data Protection and why now, more than ever data availability should be on the focus list of every single CIO/CDO across the globe. Why is data protection important? Let’s take a look at what workloads there were 20 years ago compared to now.

In the beginning….

Historically, Backup really revolved around tape –  usually a single tape backup drive connected to a computer that would back up days and weeks worth of precious company data to a single tape. Backups could naturally take hours to complete, as did restores which were rarely tested and also had the potential to take hours to locate the right tape drive, load it into the tape unit and restore in the event of data loss. Some may argue that the process of backing up and restoring back then was fairly straight forward as there were purpose built devices with one job but the efficiencies in doing were so were absent.

But in hindsight, there were (and still are) pitfalls in traditional backup methods, modern day features such as deduplication, compression, incremental block changes that have become a norm in storage and backup administrator’s vocabulary were not available to the business back then so things took time to complete. Eventually these features came but usually through having to purchase a new set of physical hardware or external device to perform the tasks which at times could prove costly. Virtualization was not the norm back then so servers were not portable containers and bare metals restores were 100% part of daily life for the various IT teams.  One thing that has not changed from legacy backup times is the reason why backups had to happen. To protect companies Intellectual property in the form of data and to ensure this data was online and accessible after a disaster – Availability.

The need for data availability

During my tenure at HP, I wrote a two-part article entitled “Woudl you like a side of Disaster Recovery with that” aimed to discuss the sometimes misunderstood (and unappreciated) area of Disaster Recovery – what it meant and why it is important.   I touched on points that not having data available and online can be (and is) a very costly exercise depending on what industry vertical your business operates in. You may have a read at the two part post at the following two links:

http://h30507.www3.hp.com/t5/Transforming-IT-Blog/Would-you-like-a-side-of-Disaster-Recovery-with-that-1-2/ba-p/120591

http://h30507.www3.hp.com/t5/Transforming-IT-Blog/Would-you-like-a-side-of-Disaster-Recovery-with-that-2-2/ba-p/121951

The important message I wanted to convey through these writings was availability has a cost associated with it when things goes wrong and SLAs are no longer being met due to hardware and/or software failures not to mention other unforeseen incidents such as human error (perhaps someone accidentally pulled the wrong cable out – it happens!) ,  Most storage and backup advocates know that,  a lot of our day jobs revolve around making sure SLAs are met whether you are a company providing a service or a vendor selling technology that helps meet those SLAs. – They all tie back to availability and how quickly this happens.

The landscape is evolving.

photo.JPG

Take a look at this forecast released by Cisco entitled ‘Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2012–2017’ and in particular Figure 5. Workload Distribution and its accompanied Table 3, and just observe how massive the shift from traditional workloads to virtual workloads is becoming,  of course this varies from country to country but as a general trend you can see the IT landscape is heading more and more into dealing with virtual environments as opposed to physical. In fact, this studies just verified that these days, virtual workloads are the norm and location, location, location also matters – whether it is based on-premise, or off-site perhaps in a cloud provider environment, these workloads still need to be protected at a local (site) basis as well as a off-site (replica) basis.  With the newest version of our flagship product – Veeam Backup and Replication, Veaam is positioned perfectly to manage virtual workloads no matter where they reside.

Now, hopefully that set the context of why VeeamOn is important to IT Leaders – CIO’s, CDO’s, CSO, and CTO’s alike. So here are the details:

 

veeamon

 

 

 

 

What is it?

VeeamON is a three day event focused on modern day data centre availability, not just backup, not just DR but all encompassing and will feature some well-known industry speakers and analysts from companies such as Gartner and ESG. It is being held October 6th-8th at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas. This event will host a series of quality sessions focused on modern day availability solutions and trends in the modern data centre that help form the “Always-On” story – Think back to the briefs I wrote about and why it is so important to remain always on!.  Whether you are business focused, or technical – there will be valuable content catering for both business and partner streams so you can choose from a great variety of content.

Where is it?

The Cosmopolitian in Las Vegas, USA

When is it?

The event is happening between October 6th – October 9th 2014

But wait…. theres more!!!!

Veeam is giving away five free regular passes and one free VIP pass to VeeamON, all you have to do is to go here -> http://go.veeam.com/veeamon-free-pass and enter in your details.

Its that easy!

References

Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2012–2017. retrieved 30th July 2014 from http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/global-cloud-index-gci/Cloud_Index_White_Paper.html

 

 

 

 

 

3PAR Best Practices Virtualization VMWare

New setting in HP 3PAR and VMware vSphere 5 Best Practices document.

Small change in the updated whitepaper from HP and VMware vSphere 5 when using Round Robin multi-pathing policy (which is the recommended best practice. )

The old recommendation was to use IOPS=100, which has now changed to IOPS=1.

Make sure host persona 11 is selected!

Issue the following command on your ESXi host(s) that are being served storage from the 3PAR.

esxcli storage nmp satp rule add -s "VMW_SATP_ALUA" -P "VMW_PSP_RR" -O iops=1 -c "tpgs_on" -V "3PARdata" -M "VV" -e "HP3PAR Custom iSCSI/FC/FCoE ALUA Rule"
3PAR Conference HP Storage Veeam

#Veeam at the #HP Storage Summit, Macau 25/26th June 2014 #Veeam_APAC #HPStorage

This week, I had the privilege of attending HP’s storage summit in Macau, China.   The event focused on enterprise storage market trends, product announcements from HP Discover and where HP Storage are heading in terms of their  infrastructure stack and strategy. The event hosted approximately 350 customers and I felt it was received extremely well by all. I got to catch up with old friends and have some great chats over dinners and drinks which was an added bonus.

Veeam APJ at the Summit

This year, Veeam Asia-Pacific and Japan was Gold sponsor of this event, Veeam Backup and Replication v7 has  great product integration and support for HP 3PAR StoreServ snapshots as well as HP StoreVirtual snapshot support giving customers the ability to tap into and leverage array based snapshots through the Veeam GUI.  Myself and Don Williams, VP of Asia Pacific and Japan, Veeam Software each did an video interview talking about the HP and Veeam Alliance and where the value of working with both HP and Veeam is.  UPDATE: Video  added – >

IMG_0171 IMG_0170 IMG_0169 IMG_0146

Highlights for me

  • For me, the networking with the HP Storage staff was invaluable. Having worked with a lot of these folk in my last role it made me realise even more how passionate and enthusiastic they were about where HP Storage is going and the Converged Infrastructure Stack story.
  • Speaking to a lot of customers as well and had some really fruitful discussions, this was another highlight for me as the usual question I got is “What does Veeam do”.  Meeting these questions with a great conversation around Veeam, Virtualisation and HP was simply outstanding.
  • Trying to speak and discuss the value of Veeam and HP Integration to non-English speaking customers was a challenge. Makes me think I should probably learn a new language! Thankfully, we had two technical resources on board that spoke Japanese and Chinese to aid in this area.
  • Keynotes – As ever, its very unique to hear from Global leaders of a particular company, and was good to see David Scott, SVP of HP Storage as well as my good friend Dale Degan, WW Product Marketing Manager for Software Defined Storage make the trip down to present.

In closing

A fun week, lots of information and a successful first outing in my new role, I can’t wait for the next one!

3PAR BURA Conference CxO HP Storage Veeam

HP Storage Summit – Macau, China June 25-26

Next week HP is holding a two-day event that offers focused storage solution sessions in Macau starting on June 25th, HP is a very special Alliance partner for Veeam and I am honored to be attending and representing the Veeam/HP partnership. This will be my first event as the new Veeam Alliances Manager for Asia-Pacific & Japan so am really excited to be attending.

Join HP partners and customers to hear from various HP Technical Experts and Leadership as they speak about the recent announcements from last weeks HP Discover event held in Vegas.

Veeam APAC is also proud to be a Gold sponsor of this event, and will have a booth on-site that has the latest and greatest information on our software suite and its integration with HP Storage Products. If you are heading to this event, and wish to catch up. Please get in contact -> andre.carpenter@veeam.com.

Look forward to seeing you there!
For more information->

http://www8.hp.com/sg/en/events/storage-summit-2014/overview.html

Veeam vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Resetting #VMware Change Block Tracking due to error

So I got this error message today:

Cannot use CBT: Soap fault. A specified parameter was not correct. . deviceKeyDetail: ‘<InvalidArgumentFault xmlns=”urn:internalvim25″ xsi:type=”InvalidArgument”><invalidProperty>deviceKey</invalidProperty></InvalidArgumentFault>’, endpoint: ”

Virtual machines running on ESX/ESXi hosts can identify and track disk sectors that have changed. This feature is called Changed Block Tracking (CBT)

After much research and trying to manually fix this, I came across the following solution which turned out to be easier than I thought! What we need to do is reset CBT as VMs are processed without CBT typically and in this instance the blocks arent being identified.

Thanks to http://www.veeam.com/kb1113 for the images/resolution.

1.  Power off the VM

2.  Right click the VM, click “Edit settings”, find the “Options” tab and click “Configuration Parameters”

User-added image

3.  Set the “ctkEnabled” value to false
4.  Set the “scsi0:x.ctkEnabled” value to false for each disk of the VM in question

User-added image

5.  Open the source folder and remove any -CTK.VMDK files
6.  Power on the VM and power it off again
7.  Set the “scsi0:x.ctkEnabled” value back to true for each disk of the VM in question
8.  Power the VM on

Wolah!

 

HA Virtualization VMWare

Solution patch to VMware ESXi 5.5 Update One NFS connectivity issues

OK this is really important,  when Update one for ESXi 5.5 was released, customers connecting to datastores via the NFS protocol were experiencing intermittent connectivity and in particular All Paths Down or APD.

What is ‘All Paths Down’?

For those who are unfamiliar with this “condition”, APD occurs on an ESXi host when a storage device is removed in an uncontrolled manner from the host, or the device simply fails, and the VMkernel essentially panics. This results in the datastore not accepting any I/O from the virtual machines for the duration of the APD condition. The result is that Windows virtual machines begin BlueScreening and filesystems becoming read only for Linux VMS. This can be permanently or temporarily, either way bad stuff happens.

but alas, a patch has just been released for this.

Patch notes

This patch resolves the following issues:

PR1242103: When you run ESXi 5.5 Update 1, the ESXi host intermittently loses connectivity to NFS storage and an All Paths Down (APD) condition to NFS volumes is observed. During the duration of the APD condition and after, the array still responds to ping and the netcat tests are also successful. There is no evidence to indicate a physical network or a NFS storage array issue.

  • Entries similar to the following are logged in the vobd.log file for volume named 12345678-abcdefg0 as an example:

    YYYY-04-01T14:35:08.075Z: [APDCorrelator] 9414268686us: [esx.problem.storage.apd.start] Device or filesystem with identifier [12345678-abcdefg0] has entered the All Paths Down state.
    YYYY-04-01T14:36:55.274Z: No correlator for vob.vmfs.nfs.server.disconnect
    YYYY-04-01T14:36:55.274Z: [vmfsCorrelator] 9521467867us: [esx.problem.vmfs.nfs.server.disconnect] 192.168.1.1/NFS-DS1 12345678-abcdefg0-0000-000000000000 NFS-DS1
    YYYY-04-01T14:37:28.081Z: [APDCorrelator] 9553899639us: [vob.storage.apd.timeout] Device or filesystem with identifier [12345678-abcdefg0] has entered the All Paths Down Timeout state after being in the All Paths Down state for 140 seconds. I/Os will now be fast failed.

Where can I get it?

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2077361

Personal Veeam

An update from the desk of the (re)inventor.

Earlier this year, I tweeted that 2014 is a great year to re-baseline and reinvent yourself. What I didn’t know then that I realise now was how much I was going to do this.  So what has been reinvented and created change for me in my personal life and professional life?

A new wife – On the 15th February, I married my long-term girlfriend Elise in a small ceremony in Victoria, Australia. As any wedding is, it was a special day as we were joined by friends and family from around the globe to celebrate.

289

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new degree – Last week I flew back to my homeland of New Zealand to graduate with the degree of Master of Management from the Massey University School of Business, this is special for me as it was approximately six years ago I was forced to withdraw from the very last paper due to relocating across to Australia. 

Last year I finally completed that paper and submitted just before I went overseas to the UK. I remember being nervous and unsure at the time as one minute I felt I have done enough and my report was good enough and the next I began to question whether or not I should review once more and add more. I am glad I didn’t as I would of never submitted.

IMG_2531

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new role – Last Monday (2nd), I started at Veeam Software as their Alliances Manager for Asia-Pacific and Japan looking after the business for some of our top alliances partners.  I have always admired Veeam not for the incredible software capabilities they offer, but for the people and culture I have come to know during my time in my presales roles over the years. As part of the APAC team, I am tasked with driving business and fostering healthy business relationships right across the region with these alliances which I am truly excited about.  Furthermore, Veeam has always been on the bleeding edge of virtualisation and well respected within the industry, this is appealing as it will still keep me close to the virtualisation community and outstanding people I have met through this community

And finally………..

A new pet – Elise and I adopted our first pet – a kitten named Miller after seeing a friend post on Facebook that he had found a group of them in a box beside a very busy road in Melbourne.  This has created havoc in our household as there is no longer peace and quiet but a welcome addition to our household

Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are now halfway through 2014, for me change has come in many forms as you have read. I look forward to the remainder of the year and hopefully more exciting changes.

Cloud Microsoft

Cloud-Land goes Cloud!

 So I have spent the best part of a day configuring Microsoft Office 365 to use my Cloud-land domain name.

The hardest part (and not actually hard) was creating  DNS records within the domain portal to verify that I did indeed own the domain name.

One of the best parts is that I can now use Microsoft Lync with my own domain name.  I have yet to explore the Microsoft Azure path, either way I bet Ben Diqual (@bendiq) would be proud!

Try it, Add me on Lync -> andre@cloud-land.com

 

 

3PAR HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP Insight Control Storage Module for #VMware vCenter, v.7.3.1 now available

 

HP Insight control plugin for vCenter is the go-forward VMware vCenter management integration plug-in for HP Storage. In addition to managing all HP block storage arrays, this vCenter plug-in also manages HP servers and virtual connect networking with the Server module. HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server integrates with both VMware vSphere Client and VMware’s new vSphere Web Client.

HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter enables the VMware administrator to quickly obtain contextual information about HP storage directly from vCenter. Available as a no-charge download, this functionality provides the VMware administrator the ability to easily see and manage how virtual machines relate to data stores and individual disk volumes.

By providing the ability to clearly view and directly manage these relationships between virtual machines, data stores and HP Storage, the VMware administrator’s productivity increases, as does the ability to ensure quality of service.

Features and Benefits

  • Fully compatible with the latest version of VMware, vSphere 5.5
  • Monitor and manage the physical / virtual relationships between VMware Virtual Machines, ESX servers and HP Storage
    • Map the VMware virtual environment to HP storage and provide detailed contextual storage information
    • Create / expand / delete VMware data stores
    • Create virtual machines from a template
    • Clone virtual machines from an existing virtual machine
    • Delete an unassigned volume
    • Integrated with vSphere Client and the new vSphere Web Client
    • Visualize complex relationships between VMs and storage.
    • Easily manage peer persistence for HP 3PAR StoreServ

What’s New in HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter

  • HP Insight Control Storage Module for VMware vCenter v.7.3.1 April 2014
    • Support for the new MSA 1040
    • Support for HP 3PAR Inform OS 3.1.3
    • Bug fixes

Download here: SW Depot.

Note: Licensing for the storage module is enabled as part of the download and installation sequence. The server module requires Insight Control licenses.

Virtualization VMWare

VMware VCP – Recertification policy

Do you have a VCP from VMware? If so read on!  Maintaining currency in the expertise gained and proven by VMware certifications is just as important as earning the certification initially. If your skills are not current, your certification loses value. The technical and business communities expect that VMware certified professionals are current on the latest technologies and capable of configuring and implementing VMware products with the highest level of skill. To ensure that all certification holders meet these expectations, VMware is instituting a re-certification policy for current VCP’s starting today – March 10, 2014 . To recertify, VMware Certified Professional (VCP) holders must pass any VCP or higher-level exam within two years of earning their most recent VCP certification. For more information please visit http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=46667&ui=www_cert

3PAR HP Hyper-V Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for vSphere 2.5 and Hyper-V 2.0 #VMware #Microsoft

What are they?

HP 3PAR Application Suite of solutions eases administration by providing rapid, efficient online backup and recovery of application specific databases. These software packages enhances the functionality of HP 3PAR Virtual Copy software to allow dozens of VMware VM, Hyper-V VM, Exchange, SQL or Oracle  snapshots to kept online economically allowing for extended or frequent recovery points. Using an easy-to-use graphical user interface these snapshots can then be used to quickly restore Exchange, SQL or Oracle  instances or databases, or to non-disruptively back them up to tape for near-continuous data protection.

HP have just announced the availability of the following Recovery Manager Application suites for 3PAR (Along with Oracle, SQL and Exchange releases):

  • HP 3PAR Application Suite for VMware vSphere (2.5.0)
  • HP 3PAR Application Suite for Microsoft Hyper-V (2.0.0)

 

What’s new in these two particular product releases?

 

HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware v2.5

•       Support for 3PAR OS 3.1.2MU2, 3.1.2MU3, 3.1.3(pre-enabled)

•       Support for VMware ESXi 5.1u1, 5.5

•      Integrated with Insight Control for VMware vCenter – No more standalone RMV package

•       RM for VMware is a part of ICV4C plug-ins which also includes Server component, Storage component

•       New web client support for IC4VC Plugin integration – supports all new features

•       Host Explorer for VMware is no longer a part for RMV package

•       Standalone VI client – still supported

•       Updated Documentation – Linking objects through hyperlinks in the UI. Users can jump easily between objects.

•       Support for RM Diagnostics Tool

 

HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for Hyper-V v2.0

Support for 3PAR OS 3.1.2MU2, 3.1.2MU3, 3.1.3(pre-enabled)

•       Support for Windows Server 2012 R2

•       Support for 3PAR VSS HWP 2.3

•       Enhanced restore of Virtual Machines using repository backups

•       Ability to take snapshot on remote array using 3PAR Remote Replication

•       Replication modes supported – Synchronous and Periodic Asynchronous

•       RMHV (International version) now supports Japanese local environment (localised Windows versions)

 

HP 3PAR Application Suite for VMware links

Home Page     :   http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/storage-software/product-detail.html?oid=5335618

Manuals           :   http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/public/psi/manualsResults/?sp4ts.oid=5335618

Download       :   HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware Software Suite

 

HP 3PAR Application Suite for Hyper-V links

Home Page     :   http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/storage-software/product-detail.html?oid=5386539

Manuals           :   http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/public/psi/manualsResults/?sp4ts.oid=5386539

Download       :   HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for Hyper-V

3PAR HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP Insight Control for #VMware vCenter Server 7.3 Now Available! Includes HP OneView support!

HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server, which is available as a single download, seamlessly integrates the manageability features of HP ProLiant, HP BladeSystem, HP Virtual Connect and HP Storage into the VMware vCenter console.

By integrating HP Converged Infrastructure management features directly into VMware vCenter, administrators gain insight and control of their HP infrastructure supporting their virtualized infrastructure  —reducing the time it takes to make important change decisions, manage planned and unplanned downtime and do lifecycle management.

Today HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3 with support for HP OneView is available!

HP Insight Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s new in HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3?

  • HP OneView support: HP OneView and HP Insight Control licensed hosts are managed under one single VMware  plug-in: HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3. All previous features are now available for HP OneView managed hosts.
  • Grow a cluster consistently and reliably with HP OneView profiles/HP OneView reference host in 5 easy steps. When engaged, the process fully automates the application of an HP OneView profile on selected servers, server provisioning is then used to deploy the selected ESXi build and the VMware host networking configuration is applied at the end to match the server Virtual Connect profile configuration.
  • Coordinated and schedulable firmware deployment.  Now uses HP OneView or HP SUM to deploy a firmware baseline.  The process can be scheduled and host VM’s are evacuated and returned to the normal state using VMware maintenance mode to maximize availability
  • Cluster level host networking configuration.  Host networking configuration (introduced in 7.2) mitigates networking configuration differences between the host and Virtual Connect profiles, this feature is now expanded so that simple click yields the same effect at a VMware cluster level
  • New HP Enclosure view delivers greater simplification in understanding the relationship between the physical and virtual
  • Simplified initial configuration of the plug-in credentials aiming at reducing initial configuration errors 
  • Enhanced Storage Management
    • Full HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware Integration
    • HP 3PAR StoreServ Peer Persistence management
    • Enhanced provisioning wizard for volumes
  • Simplified Configuration Management
    • Visualization of  peer persistence configuration
    • Graphical relationship representation between VMs and volumes

*As a reminder, VMware is moving away from the classic application based client to the a new web client, as such, new features are only implemented in the new web client.

Web Resources (updates will be live on Feb 18th, download available today!)

  •  HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server web page and download information

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter

  • HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server documentation (includes latest docs for this release)

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter

  • HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server documentation (includes latest docs for this release.

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter/docs

 

Enjoy folks, this is really cool stuff – I can’t wait to run it up in my home lab!

HP Servers Virtualization VMWare

VMware ESXi 5.1 U2 HP custom image is now available

VMware has released ESXi 5.1 U2 to the general public.

The HP custom ISO for this version is available at the following URL: https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=HP-ESXI-5.1.0U2-GA-JAN2014&productId=285 meaning that HP now support this Update across our server line.

The updated recipe document has been published and is available on vibsdepot at http://vibsdepot.hp.com/hpq/recipes/HP-VMware-Recipe.pdf

Enjoy

3PAR HP VMWare

NEW HP StoreFront Analytics for VMware vCenter Operations Manager available now!

What is it?

The HP StoreFront Analytics for VMware vCenter Operations Manager, an adapter for vCenter Operations Manager from VMware, relates virtual machines and datastores to volumes from HP 3PAR StoreServ storage systems. Administrators using HP StoreFront Analytics are able to visualize and analyze data from their HP 3PAR StoreServ storage array directly within vCenter Operations Manager.

What does it do?

HP StoreFront Analytics reports detailed health, capacity, and performance metrics for HP 3PAR StoreServ components including volumes, CPGs, storage systems, controllers, drive cages, disk drives, ports, and fans.  It is distributed as a management pack that installs directly in VMware vCenter Operations.

Why is it full of goodness?

StoreFront Analytics includes preconfigured dashboards enabling the vSphere administrator to quickly get started monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing their HP 3PAR StoreServ storage systems from within vCenter Operations Manager. These dashboards clearly show relationships between virtual machines, datastores, and the underlying HP storage. This visibility increases the VMware administrator’s productivity and ability to deliver improved quality of service.

Licensing?

Ahh licensing, I always forget to write licensing considerations and end up getting emailed lots about it.  HP StoreFront Analytics includes a 60 day instant-on evaluation license. After 60 days the product will provide basic array health information at no charge, but requires a license for capacity and performance metrics.

Where can I get it?

Download from HP Software Depot

https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=vCOPS

For more information

HP StoreFront Analytics for VMware vCenter Operations Manager web page

www.hp.com/go/vcops

 

 

3PAR HP Storage

Removing a 3PAR Virtual Volume from within a VVSET

When using 3PAR VVSet, 3PAR InForm OS does not allow the removal of a Single Active VLUN if the VLUN template is created with a VV set originally. For those who arent familiar,  a VVSet is generally used for cluster configurations when a set of hosts all need to see the same VLUNS.

Using the IMC or CLI, removing a VLUN from a VLUN template created a VV set will result in all active VLUNs created by the template being removed which is not a desired result.
But alas, there is a work around as explained here.

 

Work Around:

Remove a single VV from the vvset. This will leave all the VV through the VV set VLUN template exported except the VV that is removed from the VV set.

 

Let’s jump into the CLI:

CLI%   removevvset  vvsetname volume_name

To find the setname, please run the showvvset command.

 

You can use the 3PAR InForm Management Console (IMC) interface for this as well. Please make sure you are using the latest 3PAR GUI (IMC) which you can download @ http://www.hp.com/go/hpsoftwareupdatesupport

 

The High-level GUI steps are:

 1)      Click on provision

2)      Click on vvset to edit

3)      Right click on the vvset

4)      Remove

 

HP 3PAR InForm OS 3.1.2 Command Line Interface:

http://sawpro.atlanta.hp.com/km/saw/view.do?docId=emr_na-c03618134&hsid=53975427&sz=3369226

 

HP 3PAR VMware ESX Implementation Guide:

http://sawpro.atlanta.hp.com/km/saw/view.do?docId=emr_na-c03290624&hsid=53975481&sz=4151286

3PAR HA HP Storage

#HP #3PAR Persistent Ports #HPStorage

My writeup on HP 3PAR Persistent Ports is now live on the HP Official Website!

Have a read! Thanks to my pal Calvin Zito @HPStorageGuy for publishing on his blog.

http://t.co/FzJr4lgerE

 

BURA CxO HP Trending

Achieving Strategic Business Value from a Sound BURA strategy for CIO’s

Recently I wrote a summary discussion on an Executive Brief by Frost & Sullivan (F&S) titled Beyond Overhead: How Your Backup and Recovery Architecture Can Contribute to Strategic Business Success., rather than duplicating the article here. The discussion post was published on the worldwide HP Transforming IT Blog site:

http://h30507.www3.hp.com/t5/Transforming-IT-Blog/Achieving-Strategic-Business-Value-from-a-Sound-BURA/ba-p/148027

Would love to know your thoughts on this brief, I found myself mostly agreeing with the points F&S make, but of course have my own ideas as to what matters and what doesn’t in this case.  Do you?  If so feel free to comment! 

Servers Virtualization VMWare

Stale NFS Mount in VMware ESXi 5.5

So after successfully updating my vCenter and ESXi host to version 5.5, I proceeded to add back the NFS mount that had previously been mounted only to be met by the following error message:

The “Create NAS datastore” operation failed for the entity with the following error message. An error occurred during host configuration. Operation failed, diagnostics report: Unable to resolve hostname ‘nas.local”

At this stage, my DNS server was not up (and had not been for a while due to me being forgetful over the last few months) and I was mounting by IP Address so couldnt understand why it kept referring back to the hostname. Now the issue I have is that I have become perhaps too comfortable with the desktop version of the vSphere client so am still learning my way around Web GUI. Things have changed, just ask @nickmarshall9 who mentioned recently in a presentation he is still adapting to the new graphical world of vSphere Client Web style

For some reason, I was unable to see and unmount any dead\stale datastore mounts within the GUI, or the desktop client for that matter. If all else fails, go CLI!

  1. Enable SSH access (Off by default), refer to my previous post on how to do this here
  2. SSH into your box using an ssh client, I used terminal within MacOSX so naturally had to specify the root@ username
  3. run the command esxcfg-nas -l to list the volumes it thinks it has currently mounted (why these results do not filter up to the GUI astounds me)
  4. now to add a temporary entry into the hosts file,   vi /etc/hosts and add <ip address of NFS Server> <hostname>
  5. Save and exit vi
  6. esxcfg-nas -d <stale_NFS_mount>
  7. Delete the temporary entry that you added to the /etc/hosts file in Step 4 using vi
  8. You should now be able to add the NFS volume through the vSphere client
  9. Turn off SSH access

Simple solution, but one for a problem that seems more or less broken in the software stack.

3PAR Best Practices DR

HP 3PAR Remote Copy topologies and Maximum Latencies

This came up in an internal email and thought it might be of use to some customers. It depicts the maximum latency that HP supports when choosing your flavour of HP 3PAR Remote Copy replication (Remember to think about RTO). Note: This is latency, and has no hard distance, it all comes down to the link but as a rule of thumb fibre links have 0.005ms per km. May the force be with you!

image001

3PAR EVA HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP Insight Control Storage and Server Module vCenter Plug-in 7.2.3

HP Insight Control Storage and Server Module for vCenter is plug-in for vCenter Server that allows HP storage arrays to be managed from a single pane of glass that is integrated into the vSphere client.

Available at no cost from HP, the plug-in can be installed once for the entire vCenter environment using a single, all-inclusive installer.

Let’s take a look at the storage component of this plugin, some of the key features as part of this component are:

  • Monitoring the status and health of HP storage arrays
  • Automated provisioning of datastores and VMs– Adding, removing, and expanding datastores on the fly
  • Creating VM from templates on new datastores
  • Using array-based snapshot and snap clone technologies to clone VMs, tapping into VAAI primitives essentially which speeds up operational tasks
  • Common provisioning and removal tasks.
  • Datastore mapping information

And yes, its supported with VMware vSphere 5.1 and from a storage stand point the following HP arrays:

  • HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage
  • HP MSA Storage
  • HP StoreVirtual Storage including the Virtual SAN Appliance
  • HP EVA Storage
  • HP XP Storage
  • HP StoreOnce Backup appliance

So what it gives you is true and fruitful information on your server farm. I was going to add some screenshots of the GUI here but my lab has temporarily taken a holiday so unable to run it up right now.

The good thing is, these two modules (server and storage) is bundled in one installation package and is very easy to install,  for customers running HP BladeSystem and any of our major storage arrays (3PAR, StoreVirtual VSA/Appliance, MSA, EVA and XP) .

Available @ https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=HPICE

HP Servers VMWare

vSphere 5.5 is live – HP custom ISO is now available

VMware has just released version 5.5 of their ever popular Hypervisor, to coincide with this release, HP has also provided the customised image of this release prepared for HP Proliant servers running ESXi environments, put simply – this image provides customised drivers, features that Proliant Servers can leverage.  I run this on my home lab comprising of two HP Proliant servers.

The HP custom ISO is available at the following URL:

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=HP-ESXI-5.5.0-GA-19SEP2013&productId=353

Enjoy!

Cloud Virtualization VMWare

vCloud Director 5.1 Documentation

The vCloud Suite is a complex combination of vSphere,  vCloud Networking and Security (vShield), vCenter Operations  with vCloud Director automating the show with all products now aligned at version 5.1.

 

VMware has also released an updated vCloud Architecture Toolkit  (vCAT) for vCloud Director.  The vCAT provides modular components so that you can design a vCloud reference architecture that supports your cloud use case. It includes design considerations and design patterns to support architects, operators, and consumers of a cloud computing solution based on VMware technologies. Attached here are some useful vCloud Documentation links..

 

Architecture

·         VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit 3.0 PDF package (~24Mb)

 

Installation & Upgrade

·         Installing vCloud Director 5.1 best practices (2034092)

·         Upgrading to vCloud Director 5.1 best practices (2034980)

·         Installing vShield 5.1 best practices (2034173)

·         Upgrading to vShield 5.1 best practices (2034699)

·         Network port requirements for vCloud Director 5.1 (2034426)

·         Supported web browsers in vCloud Director 5.1 (2034554)

·         Installing and configuring a vCloud Director 5.1 database (2034540)

·         Supported guest operating systems in vCloud Director 5.1 (2034491)

·         Accessing and using the vShield 5.1 REST API (2034410)

·         Hardening vShield 5.1 virtual appliances (2034358)

·         Upgrade paths from vSphere editions to VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 (2032390)

 

Troubleshooting

·         Cannot upload the upgrade bundle while upgrading from vShield Manager 5.0 to 5.1 (2034804)

·         Stopping a vApp in vCloud Director fails with the error: InternalServerErrorException: Failed to purge object (2034802)

·         VXLAN support in vShield Manager (2034749)

·         Duplicate packets or packet loss when using using LACP (2034807)

·         Audit logging of vShield Edge does not work correctly in vShield Manager 5.1 (2034801)

·         Unable to remove a host from the vCenter Server inventory belonging to a VXLAN prepared cluster (2034808)

·         After upgrading to vSphere 5.1 vShield Endpoint stops functioning (2031655)

3PAR Cloud Flash HP Performance Storage

This crazy thing called Flash

The new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450

 

Earlier this year (I actually wrote this post to co-incide with the announcement but it has sat in my draft box ever since – my bad…), we announced the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 – A purpose built flash optimised 3PAR array designed for the environments wheres things can get a little ….. crazy.     Crazy in the sense where the application is demanding up and above the “usual” performance requirements architects typically see with other workloads – File serving, VMware (which is mixed and sometimes unpredictable)-even SQL and Exchange environments are part of the “usual” suspects when it comes to architecting for IOPs.  We also announced a number of other enhancements throughout this launch including QOS and Recovery Manager for Hyper-V environments.

The need for lower latency and faster response.

Not all applications and subsuquently IO’s are created equal, flash is purposefully design for the applications which require sub-millisecond and high-end IOPS for performance intensive environments.  the new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 clocks in approximately 550,000 IOPS with a latency of under .7ms. And the 7450 uses an 8-core Intel Xeon Sandy Bridge processor running at 2.3Ghz, compared to the previous 6-core 1.8Ghz model

Flash Virtual Environments “Flirtual” 🙂

Virtual powers cloud, Cloud powers Services, and providing services are all about meeting SLA’s.  Delivering a service is one thing, delivering a service well and quickly with a guaranteed satisfaction level is another.

3PAR Family

Cloud-hosting services may benefit from 3PAR 7450 for their customers who require those latency times and IOPS I mentioned earlier in this post.  However I must stress that the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 is NOT a one size fits all, consider the following graphic on where it sits within the 3pAR family. Additionally, check out my post on the other 3PAR 7000 members here.

The purpose of me making this emphasis is that there is one family,  and subsequently one operating system, so a multi-3PAR environment means you can shift workloads between the different arrays using HP 3PAR Peer Motion – or as we call it Storage Federation – check out this brief on Peer Motion covering the requirements and supported O/S . Note: Tiering at the cache and hard-drive levels only occur within the one array, meaning Dynamic Optimisation\Adaptive Optimisation cant (yet) identify a suitable tier on a separate 3PAR to place a particular volume.
But back to the 3PAR 7450 specifically.

All cached up – Cache Handling and Cache Offload on 3PAR

The software on the HP 3PAR 7450 uses a page size of 16K for cache, what that means is that it can handle up to 16K of read and\or write IO’s for serving data from cache. So without flash,  if we had a read operation of 8KB, we check to see if we can serve out of cache, if it is not there – we retrieve the data from  back-end disk to serve the request and then store it in cache for future use. This can result in a slightly higher latency if spinning disk is used.

But we are talking flash here!!!  Let’s take a look how an all flash array may do this same request. Same example, a 8K read request comes through, if it is not in cache, again 3PAR software looks to the backend storage to serve the request but as there are no spinning drives or concept of disk heads aligning. So from Flash to Cache, we call this Adaptive Reads –  8K of data is read from the flash drives back into cache at super speeds. More granular examples such as 4K result in even less data being read (but still the right amount), only 4K of data gets transported enabling even higher backend throughput making it super efficient.

The same goodness extends to write operations but altered slightly to allow fragmented writes,  for IO’s smaller than 16K, such as 8K – we would only write 8K to the flash drives, we don’t flush the whole 16K.  If we did, we would see the flash drives getting hit more than what is required . Flash has a limited lifetime, writing as little data as possible is best for this reason.

But wait theres more………Just as HP 3PAR Dynamic and Adaptive Optimisation provides policy driven “autonomic” movement of data blocks based on utilisation levels at the CPG level. We extend these ideas into the cache and flash tiers on the 7450. So

To be flash is to be expensive

But Flash storage is traditionally expensive and comes in different flavours SLC and MLC – one more reliable and expensive than the other (I’ll save this discussion for a separate post), Why would a CIO splash out thousands of dollars without proper justification as to why a certain response time is required – in fact I still see situations where Infrastructure architects are speccing flash with capacity in mind, flash is NOT about capacity given the price points  so it should not be treated as such. IOPs per GB is the wrong way to look at it given the tiering solutions there are out there these days that assist in storage efficiencies. IOPS per IO is a suggested followed by meeting capacity requirements.

For more information on HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450, please visit http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/disk-storage/product-detail.html?oid=5386547#!tab=features

 

3PAR Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP Insight Control Storage Module 7.2.1/7.2.2 and VMWare vCenter

Uh oh!! a bug in HP Insight Control 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 Storage Plugins with 3PAR environments.

Confirmed with both IC4VC 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 storage plugins with 3PAR 3.1.2 MU2

If using the plugin to perform a “New Datastore” action at the Cluster level, when the volume is presented to all hosts in a cluster in one go, Inserv will take the WWNs of the other hosts in the cluster and strip them from that host entry and apply them to the first host entry in the cluster.

This results in an immediate halt of any VMs running on the subsequent members of the cluster and the ESXi hypervisor itself, assuming boot-from-san, having its rug pulled out from under it – PSODing.

This will be fixed with 7.2.3 of the plugin,due out very soon

Update:

7.2.3 available now!

https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do%3FproductNumber%3DHPVPR

Cloud Conference HP Personal Virtualization VMWare

Back from Holiday “Vacation” and VMworld

Finally back from an epic time in the US of A,  VMworld next week.  I was intending on doing a post on the leadup to VMworld including a timetable of events I will be attending.  For those who are going, get in touch – would be great to catch up/meet some of you..  HP are a platinum sponsor and will be at booth #1405, ready to show you our newest developments such as:

  • HP Virtual System that lets you transform your IT environments and maximize the advantages of virtualisation and cloud.
  • Cloud Management solutions for heterogeneous clouds.
  • Mobility solutions make it easy for your users to work on any device anywhere.
  • Networking technology that lets you offload the networking tasks from the host, while also monitoring and securing VM-VM traffic.
  • Advances in storage that ensure fast, secure retrieval of the data you need.

HP also have a space devoted to the Software-Defined Zone in Booth #2235.

And don’t miss the opportunity to learn best practices from the experts in the following HP sessions: (US Time)

  • Monday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
    Capacity Jail Break: vSphere 5 Space Reclamation Nuts and Bolts (STO4907)
  • Tuesday, 11:30 a.m – 12:30 p.m.
    OpenStack for the Enterprise (VSVC6656)
  • Tuesday, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
    The Top 10 Things You MUST Know About Storage for vSphere (STO5545)
  • Wednesday, 11:30 a.m – 12:30 p.m.
    Implementing a Scalable and Highly Available Desktop and Application Architecture with a VMware AlwaysOn Solution (EUC5672)
  • Wednesday, 2:30 p.m – “3:30 p.m.
    Storage – The Next Frontier of Virtualization – How VMware Technologies Can Enable and Accelerate Software Defined Storage (STO5787)

Be sure to stop by to see our exciting in-booth theater sessions providing detailed information on cloud, virtualization, mobility, end-user computing, and more. Also an HP Slate 7 Tablet will be given away at each in-booth theater session.

For the social bunnies, please check out this list of all the gathering/events/parties/tweet-meets that is happening. http://www.vmworld.com/community/gatherings#!

For now, Jet-lag is killing me,  and I have a bunch of work to do. Such is life, great to be back.

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