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What is Smart Policies and how it works in VMware Horizon 7 infrastructure
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on February 21, 2017
4.67/5 (3)

As administrators of VMs infrastructure based on VMware Horizon 7 well know, the last version of VMware User Environment Manager 9.0 (UEM) solution provides an interesting feature – Smart Policies. This functionality allows customization of user environment on a virtual desktop, depending on various conditions, such as the location from which the user logs in.

VMware User Environment Manager Management Console

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Azure Backup Server Offering New Features: Central Monitoring, Enhanced Security, and New Regions
Posted by Augusto Alvarez on February 20, 2017
4.75/5 (4)

We talked about Azure Backup before in this blog, when they recently added the capability to backup VMware virtual machines, now they are introducing a new set of features: Central monitoring, enhanced security and available in new regions.

Microsoft Azure Backup

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Storage HA on the Cheap: Fixing Synology DiskStation flaky Performance with StarWind Free. Part 3 (Failover Duration)
Posted by Vladislav Karaiev on February 17, 2017
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We are continuing our set of articles dedicated to Synology’s DS916+ mid-range NAS units. Remember we don’t dispute the fact that Synology is capable of delivering a great set of NAS features. Instead of this, we are conducting a number of tests on a pair of DS916+ units to define if they can be utilized as a general-use primary production storage. In Part 1 we have tested the performance of DS916+ in different configurations and determined how to significantly increase the performance of a “dual” DS916+ setup by replacing the native Synology DSM HA Cluster with StarWind Virtual SAN Free.

Synology DS916 and StarWind

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AWS wants your Databases in the Cloud: Amazon Aurora offering up 5X Better Performance and PostgreSQL Compatibility
Posted by Augusto Alvarez on February 16, 2017
4.5/5 (4)

Amazon released recently the Aurora Storage Engine as a MySQL-compatible relational database service and is highly encouraging to customers to migrate from Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server to this new cloud service platform. Amazon Aurora is promising up to five times better performance than MySQL with better security, availability, and reliability of a commercial database and a 10% cost of what organizations are paying. And also announced a short time ago, PostgreSQL compatibility (available as a preview).

Amazon Aurora

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Setting yourself up for a success with virtualization
Posted by Michael Ryom on February 16, 2017
5/5 (1)

I am going to try to address a few issues I have seen quite a lot in my virtualization career. It is not that you have to take extra care when virtualizing, but your virtual environment will never be better than the foundation you build it on. The reason you do not see that many people fuss about it in non-virtualized environments (anymore). I believe, that resources are in abundance today. Well, they were so ten years ago as well, but since then we have only seen higher and higher specification on server hardware. It was the reason for starting to virtualize. Do not get me wrong – Lots of people care about the performance of their virtual and physical environments. Yet some have not set them self up for a successful virtualization project. Let me elaborate…

Mind the gap of virtualization

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Upgrade your CA to SKP & SHA256. Part III: Move from SHA1 to SHA256
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on February 14, 2017
5/5 (2)

We’re not done yet. In part II we moved from the older CSP provider to a KSP provider but now we want to start issuing certs with a SHA256 hash. That’s what we’ll do here in part III.

Move from SHA1 to SHA256

The final step is that we move from SHA1 to SHA256 and tell the CA to work with the KSP. This is a tedious job that involves creating registry files in order to change the existing registry keys we already backed up before.

We’re not done yet. In part II we moved from the older CSP provider to a KSP provider but now we want to start issuing certs with a SHA256 hash. That’s what we’ll do here in part III.

Registry editor

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Storage HA on the Cheap: Fixing Synology DiskStation flaky Performance with StarWind Free. Part 2 (Log-Structured File System)
Posted by Alex Bykovskyi on February 13, 2017
5/5 (3)

Introduction

In this article, we are going to continue testing Synology DS916+ with StarWind Virtual SAN. Our main goal today is to improve the performance of Synology boxes specifically on random patterns. Randoms were chosen for a reason. SQL and OLTP workloads tend to cause huge stress, especially, to spindle arrays, generating a heavily randomized I/O. Patterns we are choosing for today’s benchmark are common for such environments. There are different approaches, which can handle these workload types, such as caching and tiering. Our approach is to build environment with StarWind Log-Structured File System. LSFS was created exactly for this type of environments to improve the performance.

We will compare the results we receive to the ones from Part 1 of our research.

Synology DS916+ StarWind

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Microsoft Keeps Going Big on CyberSecurity: Investing $1 Billion a Year
Posted by Augusto Alvarez on February 10, 2017
5/5 (1)

The technology giant Microsoft is, as many other big ones in the market, making a statement regarding CyberSecurity: They are maintaining their $1 billion investment on yearly basis for research and development in this field, which does not include any “inorganic investments” (buying other companies). The latter investments will be a separate budget.

cloud security

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Storage Spaces Direct: Enabling S2D work with unsupported device types (BusType = NVMe, RAID, Fibre Channel). Part 1: Registry hack
Posted by Taras Shved on February 10, 2017
5/5 (4)

Introduction

Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct is a new storage feature introduced in Windows Server 2016 Datacenter that significantly extends the software-defined storage stack in Windows Server product family and allows users to build highly-available storage systems using directly attached drives.

Storage Spaces Direct or S2D helps to simplify the deployment and management of software-defined storage systems as well as to open the use of more classes of disk devices like SATA and NVMe drives. Previously it was not possible to use these types of storage with clustered Storage Spaces with shared disks.

Storage Spaces Direct can use drives that are locally attached to nodes in a cluster or disks that are attached to nodes using enclosure. It aggregates all the disks into a single Storage Pool and enables the creation of virtual disks on top.

Storage Spaced Direct stack

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Fighting Azure AD Connects custom installer
Posted by Gary Williams on February 8, 2017
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I’ve recently been spending more and more time looking into various cloud technologies such as AWS and Azure. One of the projects I’ve been working on required the on-premises active directory to be extended to Azure to allow for a future introduction of various Office365 elements.
The process for doing this is fairly easy as it’s just a matter of installing the Azure Active Directory Connect tool onto a server, creating the domain in the Azure portal and then waiting for Azure AD connect to Sync.

Microsoft Azure AD connect setup

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