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Why do we always see Responder CQE Errors with RoCE RDMA?
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on June 2, 2017
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Why do we always see Responder CQE Errors with RoCE RDMA?

Anyone who has configured and used SMB Direct with RoCE RDMA Mellanox cards appreciates the excellent diagnostic counters Mellanox provides for use with Windows Performance Monitor. They are instrumental when it comes to finding issues and verifying everything is working correctly.

Many have complained about the complexity of DCB configuration but in all earnest, any large network under congestion which needs specialized configurations has challenges due to scale. This is no different for DCB. You need the will to tackle the job at hand and do it right. Doing anything at scale reliable and consistent means automating it.  Lossless Ethernet, mandatory or not, requires DCB to shine. There is little other choice today until networking technology & newer hardware solutions take an evolutionary step forward. I hope to address this in a future article. But, this I not what we are going to discuss here. We’ve moved beyond that challenge. We’ll talk about one of the issues that confuse a lot of people.

Responder CQE errors report after virtual machines migration from Hyper-V cluster

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Windows Server 2016: NIC Teaming functionality
Posted by Mikhail Rodionov on May 30, 2017
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NIC teaming is not something we got with Windows Server 2016 but I just find it interesting to review this functionality as we have it in the current iteration of Windows Server, as usual, touching a bit on basics and history of this feature.

NIC teaming feature reached its maturity in Server 2012 R2 and there are (almost) no major changes in this department in Server 2016, yet if you just starting out with a practical use of NIC teaming on prepping for any related Microsoft exam you may find it useful to review this feature thoroughly.

Windows Server NIC Teaming key facts

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You can’t have too much monitoring
Posted by Gary Williams on May 25, 2017
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One of the things I come across time and again is a lack of monitoring in what are supposed to be corporate environments. I am honestly surprised at how little monitoring is carried out on infrastructure. These days, it is quite possible to carry out some very in-depth monitoring by using a freely available software on Linux and Windows. In this article, I’m going to go through the various monitoring tools that I use to monitor both production and my lab environment.

Having extensive monitoring in a lab is handy when testing systems as not only are it possible to get an idea of the sorts of information you can get from the device when it’s in production but you also get to see how it works thanks to having a greater visibility of the system. These little insights are always handy for putting into documentation ahead of deploying to production plus it’s a huge help when you’ve already seen error messages before and have a clearer understanding of what may have caused them.

Graylog view server CPU usage diagram

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How to install VPN access on Windows Server 2016
Posted by Vladan Seget on May 1, 2017
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I did previously setup during a few occasions, VPN access on Windows Server 2012 R2, but haven’t tested that on the newly released Windows Server 2016.

Remote access role is a VPN which protects the network connection or your remote connection from one side to another and protecting both sides from attacks or data sniffing as VPN protocol uses a tunnel inside of a standard data connection.

Open the getting started wizard

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Data Management Moves to the Fore. Introduction
Posted by Jon Toigo on March 23, 2017
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Data Management Moves to the Fore

To the extent that the trade press covers, meaningfully, the issues around digital information processing and technology, it tends to focus rather narrowly on the latter:  infrastructure.  The latest hardware innovation — the fastest processor, the slickest server, the most robust hyper-converged infrastructure appliance — tends to be the shiny new thing, hogging the coverage.

Occasionally, software gets a shot at the headlines:  hypervisors, containers, object storage systems, even APIs get their 10 minutes of fame from time to time.  But, even in these days of virtual servers and software-defined networks and storage, software is less entertaining than hardware and tends to get less coverage than tin and silicon.

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Hyper-V Networking 101. Part 1: NICs and Switches
Posted by Thorsten Windrath on March 22, 2017
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Network cables

Source: pixabay.com

Introduction

There are lots of posts regarding Hyper-V networking. But there doesn’t seem to be a single compiled and up to date guide covering fundamentals and some advanced topics alike. This article aims to fill that gap, without a wall of text but a few easy to understand diagrams, tables, and PowerShell snippets. We will take a look at Hyper-V’s basic networking concept, NIC teaming (Network Interface Card) and different approaches to let VMs (Virtual Machines) talk to specific VLANs or even VLAN trunks.

The first article in the Hyper-V Networking 101 series will cover everything you need to know about virtual switches and NICs. The last post is planned as a real-world example: A way to implement a secure Wi-Fi (and/or wired) guest network on top of a virtual firewall.

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Fibre Channel: Concepts and Configuration
Posted by Taras Shved on March 3, 2017
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Introduction

This article is intended to introduce you to the main concepts and features of Fibre Channel (FC), the high-speed network technology and a relevant family of standards (protocols) for storage networking that was standardized in 1994.

FC is one of the first technologies used for connecting data storage to servers, for example, in Storage Area Networks (SAN). On the physical layer, it is typically built with optical fiber cables. There are three major Fibre Channel topologies: Point-to-Point, Arbitrated Loop, and Switched Fabric. FC is available at 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 16, 32 and 128 Gbit/s speeds.

Inverted pyramid of doom

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Microsoft Just Released Azure Network Watcher: Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics Service for Azure
Posted by Augusto Alvarez on March 1, 2017
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The network component and the troubleshooting that sometimes we need to do represents a big factor on all cloud customers, not matter if you are using Azure, AWS, Office 365 or any other. If you don’t have control over the network and/or you are not capable of identifying issues root causes, then there’s most likely the cloud experience it’s not going to be a good one. Microsoft has that clear and is now offering a new tool to assist customers: Azure Network Watcher.

Azure Network Watcher view

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