A little about Disk write cache on Windows VM
Posted by Bogdan Savchenko on
March 9, 2017
There are lots of great materials on optimization of virtualized environments that I think many of you will enjoy reading about. Such topics are all over the IT community and they cover a wide range of the technical questions. This article will focus on the matter which is not quite clear yet, especially when it comes from theory to practice. It’s about Windows Disk write cache feature and its implications for data consistency and performance of the virtual hard drives.
Backup and restore your first VMware VM with Veeam
Posted by Romain Serre on
March 8, 2017
In the previous topics, we have installed and updated Veeam B&R 9.5. Then we have connected Veeam to vCenter 6.5 to get visibility on VMware VM and backup them. To finish, we have added a backup repository to store backup files. Now we can backup a virtual machine. Once we have some restore points, we can also recover the VM.
Upgrade your CA to SKP & SHA256. Part II: Move from a CSP to KSP provider
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on
February 3, 2017
Move from a CSP to KSP provider
Once you have moved to a least Windows Server 2008 R2 you can take this step. Any version below doesn’t allow for this and should be considered the end of life. Many haven’t made the move from a CSP to KSP provider yet, even when they are already running Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2 for a few reasons. There were some issues with older clients like Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. These were fixed with a hotfix but in all seriousness, if you’re still on those OS versions you need to move a.s.a.p. and if not there’s nothing we can do to help you. A modern and secure PKI will be the last of your worries I’m afraid. For a Microsoft reference, see Migrating a Certification Authority Key from a Cryptographic Service Provider (CSP) to a Key Storage Provider (KSP).
VMware Horizon FLEX. The architecture and the key features
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on
October 20, 2016
As far back as 2 years ago at VMworld Europe 2014 conference VMware announced the release of the VMware Horizon FLEX solution. It is a virtualization platform for desktops, which allows running virtual machines locally on users’ computers, both on Mac and with Windows, while connection to the company’s datacenter isn’t available. At the same time, the virtual machine utilized by the user can be Windows-based or have guest OS Linux inside.
Many virtual infrastructures administrators still remember that before VMware had VMware ACE and VMware View Local Mode products, which passed long ago and now have been replaced with FLEX technology. Since VMware Horizon FLEX 1.9 version, as well as the new versions of Workstation and Fusion desktop platforms, has been released just recently, let’s look closer at the FLEX solution and consider its key features.
VMware Horizon FLEX isn’t a standalone product, but a mixed technology based on three solutions:
Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V Backup Rises to the challenges
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on
September 19, 2016
In Windows Sever 2016 Microsoft improved Hyper-V backup to address many of the concerns mentioned in our previous Hyper-V backup challenges Windows Server 2016 needs to address:
- They avoid the need for agents by making the API’s remotely accessible. It’s all WMI calls directly to Hyper-V.
- They implemented their own CBT mechanism for Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V to reduce the amount of data that needs to be copied during every backup. This can be leveraged by any backup vendor and takes away the responsibility of creating CBT from the backup vendors. This makes it easier for them to support Hyper-V releases faster. This also avoids the need for inserting drivers into the IO path of the Hyper-V hosts. Sure the testing & certification still has to happen as all vendors now can be impacted by a bug MSFT introduced.
- They are no longer dependent on the host VSS infrastructure. This eliminates storage overhead as wells as the storage fabric IO overhead associated with performance issues when needing to use host level VSS snapshots on the entire LUN/CSV for even a single VM.
- This helps avoid the need for hardware VSS providers delivered by storage vendors and delivers better results with storage solution that don’t offer hardware providers.
- Storage vendors and backup vendors can still integrate this with their snapshots for speedy and easy backup and restores. But as the backup work at the VM level is separated from an (optional) host VSS snapshot the performance hit is less and the total duration significantly reduced.
- It’s efficient in regard to the number of data that needs to be copied to the backup target and stored there. This reduces capacity needed and for some vendors the almost hard dependency on deduplication to make it even feasible in regards to cost.
- These capabilities are available to anyone (backup vendors, storage vendors, home grown PowerShell scripts …) who wishes to leverage them and doesn’t prevent them from implementing synthetic full backups, merge backups as they age etc. It’s capable enough to allow great backup solutions to be built on top of it.
Let’s dive in together and take a closer look.
Storage Replica: “Shared Nothing” Hyper-V Guest VM Cluster
Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on
October 30, 2014
This post is about Microsoft Storage Replica, a new solution introduced by Microsoft in Windows Server 2016. Basically, it enables replication between two servers, clusters or inside a cluster, also being capable of copying data between volumes on the same server. Storage Replica is often utilized for Disaster Recovery, allowing the user to replicate data to a remote site, thus being able to recover from complete physical failure on the main location. The post is dedicated to building a “shared nothing” cluster. It is an experimental part of a series and features a “Shared Nothing” Hyper-V guest VM cluster. As always, there is a detailed instruction as to how to create the subject setup and there are results for everyone to check.
Storage Replica: “Shared Nothing” Hyper-V HA VM Cluster
Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on
October 29, 2014
This post is dedicated to the new solution from Microsoft – the Microsoft Storage Replica. It is a practical part of a series of posts about this technology and features a “Shared Nothing” Hyper-V HA VM Cluster in practice. Microsoft Storage Replica is designed to perform replication between various media: servers, clusters, volumes inside a server, etc. It’s typical usage scenario is Disaster Recovery, which is essential for data protection in case anything happens to the main location. Critical data is replicated to a remote site, often located hundreds and thousands of miles away for better data safety. The experiment is performed by StarWind engineers, so the post contains detailed instructions and a comprehensive conclusion.