September, 20 1pm PT
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Meet industry-first
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Target and Initiator
for Microsoft Hyper-V and
VMware vSphere
Posted by Alex Samoylenko on June 28, 2018
VMware Skyline – Advanced Technical Support for Large Virtualized Environments

For some reason, VMware Skyline is not common knowledge for VMware vSphere admins and VMware products users on the whole. Skyline is VMware proactive support technology allowing to provide advanced technical support for VMware vSphere products (including vSAN 6.6 and later) and VMware NSX. Soon, some other products will be supported. But wait, what is this service actually for? To make that thing clear for everyone, I’d like to shed light on VMware Skyline in this article.

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Posted by Vladyslav Savchenko on June 26, 2018
Secure your data for good with Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol

Today we will look at one of them – Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol or CHAP. Before we start, let me tell you a few words about CHAP. Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) is a network login protocol that uses a challenge-response mechanism. You can use CHAP authentication to restrict iSCSI access to volumes and snapshots to hosts that supply the correct account name and password (or “secret”) combination. Using CHAP authentication can facilitate management of access controls because it restricts the access through account names and passwords, instead of IP addresses or iSCSI initiator names.

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Posted by Paulsen Muzari on March 14, 2018
Whip your Hyperconverged Failover Cluster into shape automatically and with no downtime using Microsoft’s Cluster Aware Updating

Some admins prefer the Cluster updates to be done automatically. To do so, Microsoft designed a feature to facilitate patching of Windows Servers from 2012 to 2016 that are configured in a failover cluster. Cluster Aware Updating (CAU) does this automatically, thereby avoiding service disruption for clustered roles. In this article, we are going to take a look into how we can achieve this assuming that Cluster is built with hyperconverged scenario and StarWind Virtual SAN used as a shared storage. Before going in the steps to set the CAU, we will investigate this scenario.

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Posted by Ivan Ischenko on March 8, 2018
Simplify storage management with Microsoft Systems Center VMM (SCVMM) and SMI-S

SMI-S or ‘Storage Management Initiative – Specification’ is a standard of a storage management (surprise!) which gives you a chance to administrate the storage layer using ‘Common Information Model’ and Web-Based Enterprise Management technologies and logic. The main point of SMI-S is to provide a single standard to manage various storage systems from different vendors pretty much in the same way. In this article (?) we will show you how to manage your storage using SCVMM 2016 (Server Center Virtual Machine Manager) through SMI-S, and how this whole thing works in general. We’ll use StarWind Virtual SAN as a reference distributed storage platform, but the primary scope of this document is to cover the subject in general, so any SMI-S compatible storage will work.

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Posted by Dmytro Khomenko on February 27, 2018
Storage Tiering – the best of both worlds

Before the time when SSDs took their irreplaceable place in the modern datacenter, there was a time of slow, unreliable, fragile, and vacuum filled spinning rust drives. A moment of change divided the community into two groups – the first with dreams of implementing SSDs in their environment, and the second, with SSDs already being part of their infrastructure.
The idea of having your data stored on the associated tier has never been so intriguing. The possibility of granting your mission-critical VM the performance it deserves in the moment of need has never been more appropriate.

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Posted by Boris Yurchenko on February 20, 2018
Don’t break your fingers with hundreds of clicks – automate Windows iSCSI connections

If you have a single environment with only several iSCSI targets discovered from a couple of target portals, messing with automation may not be worth it. Yet, if you have multiple environments with a bunch of portals and targets that need to be discovered and connected, and all of them are more or less similar in terms of configuration, you might find your resort in automating the whole process. I hope to post some other automation things here, so tune in and check the StarWind blog from time to time.

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Posted by Kateryna Rudenko on February 6, 2018
Managing StarWind Virtual SAN infrastructure in a web browser. Part 2: StarWind VSA

Currently, there are two options for managing StarWind-based infrastructure via web: StarWind Gateway VM and StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA). So today, I’m gonna describe the second option which allows easily managing your StarWind Virtual SAN infrastructure from any point of the world using any web browser. StarWind Linux-based Virtual Storage Appliance is the best way to instantly deploy StarWind Virtual SAN to test its functions without having to change your already-existing infrastructure. StarWind VSA supports all industry-standard hypervisors such as Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer, and KVM and includes Web Management Console allowing to use any HTML5-capable web browser. StarWind VSA is really simple to deploy and manage, requiring no special skills from the on-site IT-team.

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Posted by Kateryna Rudenko on January 30, 2018
Smashing remote IT infrastructure access barriers with StarWind Web-based management. Part 1: Gateway VM

So we all want our IT infrastructure to be available at hand and manage it from any remote location. Nowadays, it’s nothing special, it’s just a “must-have”. For real, the days of managing your IT environment only from a directly connected device are long gone. IT administrators need flexibility and the ability to access their infrastructure 24/7 no matter where they are. Installing dedicated software every time you need to make some minor changes or just to monitor your environment’s stats is also a no go. Moreover, such software may not be supported on mobile devices.

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Posted by Boris Yurchenko on January 11, 2018
Cluster Rolling Upgrade from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016

During its lifetime, any system reaches a point when it needs to be upgraded, either in terms of hardware or software. Today, I will talk about such changes, in particular, about upgrading Windows Failover Cluster nodes from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016 with no production interruption. Thanks to Microsoft, we do have a Cluster Rolling Upgrade procedure at our fingertips, and I am going to get through it and confirm it works for virtualized disks as cluster shared volumes in Windows Failover Cluster. This procedure assumes rebuilding nodes with clean OS deployment one by one, while the production keeps running from the other cluster node.

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Posted by Vitalii Feshchenko on December 13, 2017
Combining Virtual SAN (vSAN) with Microsoft Storage Spaces for greater Performance and better Resiliency

Previously, we went through the Storage Spaces configuration journey. The latest step was the creation of the storage pool and the virtual disk. Today I would like to proceed from that point on and create Highly Available (HA) devices with StarWind Virtual SAN on Storage Spaces as an underlying storage. The main goal of this post is to run the performance tests of StarWind Highly Available (HA) devices located on Storage Spaces created in different ways (Simple and Mirror). StarWind HA devices will be mirrored between two hosts via a 40Gbps synchronization channel.

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