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VMware & StarWind: Guarantee data safety and constant applications availability
Speaker: Alexey Khorolets, Pre-Sales Engineer, StarWind
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on February 9, 2016
Top 5 Best Utilities for your vSphere infrastructure presented on VMware Labs in 2015

On VMware Labs site you can read about new utilities which can simplify the management of VMware vSphere virtualization infrastructure. They help administrators to solve their everyday problems. The following list includes the tools with functions description.

  1. VMware Auto Deploy GUI – deployment of ESXi hosts with friendly interface and vSphere 6 support.

With help of VMware Auto Deploy GUI you can make profiles presetting and deploy new VMware ESXi 6 hosts for Stateless-environment directly from the GUI VMware vSphere Client:

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Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on February 3, 2016
Hyperconverged Stories Contest

Win-$500_12

Tell us anything you want about how you did hyperconverged project and get $500.

Share your experience and get $500 by participating in StarWind contest.

Write an interesting article focusing on the hyperconverged storage architecture. Send your story to us and we’ll publish it on our blog.

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Posted by Charbel Nemnom on February 3, 2016
How to Configure Storage Replication using Windows Server 2016? – Part 2

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Warning: This article is written with information related to Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4.

In part one of this multi part blog on How to Configure Storage Replication in Windows Server 2016, we covered an introduction into Storage Replica which is a new feature introduced in Windows Server 2016, and we covered step by step the implementation of Windows Volume Replication (Server-to-server). In this follow up post, we are going to cover the implementation of volume replication with stretch cluster. This type of cluster features uses Asymmetric storage, two sites, two sets of shared storage and uses volume replication to ensure that data is available to all nodes in the cluster.

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Posted by Jon Toigo on January 25, 2016
Hyper-Converged Needs to Get Beyond the Hype

It used to be that, when you bought a server with a NIC card and some internal or direct attached storage, it was simply called a server. If it had some tiered storage – different media with different performance characteristics and different capacities – and some intelligence for moving data across “tiers,” we called it an “enterprise server”. If the server and storage kit were clustered, we called it a high availability enterprise server. Over the past year, though, we have gone through a collective terminology refresh.

Today, you cobble together a server with some software-defined storage software, a hypervisor, and some internal or external flash and/or disk and the result is called “hyper-converged infrastructure.” Given the lack of consistency in what people mean when they say “hyper-converged,” we may be talking about any collection of gear and software that a vendor has “pre-integrated” before marking up the kit and selling it for a huge profit. Having recently requested information from so-called hyper-converged infrastructure vendors, I was amazed at some of the inquiries I received from would-be participants.

HCI types

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Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on January 22, 2016
Hyper-V: Free “Shared Nothing” SMB3 Failover File Server

A part of a series, the research is dedicated to the capability of free Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2 to assume a file server role and cluster the resulting file server. Our last experiment on this matter showed that it’s possible to create SMB3 File Server on the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2 and now we’re about to go further and cluster it. The post shows a detailed instruction on the process and also the resulting setup. It appears to be fully working and usable, so the process may be called a success after all. Though it is absolutely real to do so, it is a violation of Microsoft’s license agreement, so StarWind urges everyone to refrain from repeating the experiment.

2 servers with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 added into domain and the client node with Windows Server 2012 R2

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Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on January 22, 2016
Hyper-V: Free SMB3 File Server

The first experiment dedicated to building a file server on free Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2. It is a part of a series of similar practical posts. The post offers a detailed instruction on how to assign file server role to the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2. However, this process is a violation of license agreement, so StarWind urges the readers not to repeat it. As to the reason the process is at all possible, the answer is quite simple: SMB3 is a crucial part of the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2 and the latter won’t work if the protocol support is cut out. In any case, a fact that you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Violating Microsoft’s user license agreement is some serious business you don’t want to get involved in.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 as the file server and Windows Server 2012 R2 as the client

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Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on January 22, 2016
Storage Spaces Direct: 4-node “Shared Nothing” Scale-Out File Server

This is a research dedicated to practical implementation of Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct. It is a part of a series of posts about S2D and features a detailed comprehensive instruction on building a fault-tolerant 4-node setup. Storage Spaces Direct is the next step of Storage Spaces, meaning it is an extension of the current SDS for Windows Server. Storage Spaces Direct utilizes SMB3 for all intra-node interaction, including the latest SMB Direct and SMB Multichannel. The testing of S2D is hot right now, so StarWind is doing its part as well. This setup is meant to withstand node failures and the post reveals how exactly it performs in this respect.

SOFS + Storage Spased Direct

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Posted by Charbel Nemnom on January 19, 2016
How to Configure Storage Replication using Windows Server 2016? – Part 1

Warning: This article is written with information related to Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4.

Storage Replica is a new feature introduced in Windows Server 2016 that enables storage-agnostic, block-level, synchronous replication between servers for disaster recovery, as well as stretching of a failover cluster for high availability. Synchronous replication enables mirroring of data in physical sites with crash-consistent volumes ensuring zero data loss at the file system level. Asynchronous replication allows site extension beyond metropolitan ranges with the possibility of data loss.

Volume (D:) Replica

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Posted by Florent Appointaire on January 12, 2016
HOW TO: Monitor a Nano Server on Windows Server TP4

nanoserver

Microsoft released the last version of the Nano Server, Technical Preview 4. They released the TP4 of System Center too. with this last version, SCOM has the ability to monitor a Nano Server.

In this blog post, I will explain to you how to implement this monitoring. I used this blog post to implement the solution.

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Posted by Vladan Seget on January 5, 2016
How To Convert EXE To MSI Package In 5 Easy Steps

MSI package are useful to be deployed in centralized management environment of Microsoft Active Directory. Unfortunately to deploy a software you need a MSI package. Microsoft do not support deploying EXE applications via GPOs.

So if your organization has some of those EXE applications and want do manage the deployment via Group policy, it’s necessary to repackage the EXE and create an MSI package.

MSI package

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