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RAM Disk technology: Performance Comparison
Posted by Alex Khorolets on February 23, 2017
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Introduction

Since every computer now has a volatile amount of available storage located in the RAM, when compared to other direct-access memory used for data storage, for example, hard disks, CD-RWs, DVD-RWs and the older drum memory, the amount of time used to read/write the data differs in correspondence to the physical location and/or the medium used for reading/recording (rotation speeds and arm movement) the data.

The implementation of RAM as a storage provides a list of benefits over other conventional devices, due to the fact of the data being read or written in the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of data inside the volume. Taken into consideration all the information mentioned above, it would be a crime not to take advantage of the provided conditions.

RAM Disk IOPS Comparison IOPS vs Software

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Backup VMware environment with Veeam 9.5 Backup & Replication
Posted by Romain Serre on February 22, 2017
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Part 1: Deploy Veeam 9.5 Backup & Replication

Part 2: Prepare backup repository & Connect Veeam to vCenter [coming soon]

Part 3: Backup and restore your first VMware VM [coming soon]

Veeam Backup & Replication is a backup solution which works for VMware & Hyper-V VM and physical servers (Windows and Linux). Veeam has many advantages over the other solutions on the market such as Instant VM Recovery, the easy graphical interface and the host-level backup for SQL Server, Active Directory or file servers. In this series, I’ll show step by step how to deploy Veeam, backup a first virtual machine and restore it.

Veeam Backup and Replication Install view

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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
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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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
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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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