Tuesday, 30 May 2017

NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.1 Now Supports Hyper-V Failover Clusters

We have already dedicated couple of articles related to Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 wherein we have seen the architectural components and also talked about new features available in Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 here is a link for your quick reference Demystifying Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1

We also discussed about Backup/Recovery of Active Directory Objects with Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 in case you missed it here is the link for your quick reference Backup/Recover Active Directory Objects with Nakivo

Apart from testing the backup and recovery related functionalities using Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 we also had a detailed discussion on Replicating Virtual Machines here is the link for your reference Replicate VM's with Nakivo Backup & Replication

We also talked about working with Nakivo Backup and replication appliance and what's new withNakivo Backup and replication 6.2 which was announced by NAKIVO on october 13th 2016 which help us by providing backupreplication, and recovery of paid EC2 instances sold through AWS Marketplace we also discussed about What's New - Nakivo Backup and Replication v7 Part 1 wherein we have seen some highlights about Hyper-v support which has been added for Hyper-v 2016 and 2012 with Nakivo v7.

In Our last articles related to Nakivo Backup and Replication series we discussed about 

In our recent post dedicated about a week ago we have seen how Nakivo Backup and Replication helps us to protect our Backup by creating Backup Copy 

Dedicated this quick post to talk about another new feature that has been added with Nakivo Backup and Replication v7.1 i.e Container Protection which help us protect Microsoft Hyper-V Failover Clusters.

Hyper-V Failover Clusters help improve availability of the virtualized environment wherein the Virtual Machine can be automatically started on a different cluster node we can also make use of (SCVMM) Dynamic Optimization feature that can automatically move VMs to distribute the load evenly between nodes. 


When working on the configuration of Failover Clusters we can add the entire failover clusters to the inventory and specify the details including the Display Name, FQDN/IP username and password, once we add the Failover Cluster to the Inventory Nakivo Backup and Replication automatically pulls the entire Clusters Virtual Machines's.

NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.1 track the VM location in the cluster and can continue to protect the VM regardless on which cluster node the VM is located, this New Container Protection Feature comes pretty handy and helps us solve the problem of growing infrastructure wherein we can make use of this feature and add the entire Hyper-V Failover Cluster to VM backup and Replication Jobs.

This will helps us to protect the entire failover cluster and Nakivo Backup and Replication can monitor the cluster contents and will automatically add all new Virtual Machines in the Failover Cluster to the job, ensuring all the mission critical Virtual Machines are always protected.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Protecting Backups With Backup Copy - Nakivo Backup And Replication

We have already dedicated couple of articles related to Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 wherein we have seen the architectural components and also talked about new features available in Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 here is a link for your quick reference Demystifying Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1

We also discussed about Backup/Recovery of Active Directory Objects with Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 in case you missed it here is the link for your quick reference Backup/Recover Active Directory Objects with Nakivo

Apart from testing the backup and recovery related functionalities using Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 we also had a detailed discussion on Replicating Virtual Machines here is the link for your reference Replicate VM's with Nakivo Backup & Replication

We also talked about working with Nakivo Backup and replication appliance and what's new withNakivo Backup and replication 6.2 which was announced by NAKIVO on october 13th 2016 which help us by providing backupreplication, and recovery of paid EC2 instances sold through AWS Marketplace we also discussed about What's New - Nakivo Backup and Replication v7 Part 1 wherein we have seen some highlights about Hyper-v support which has been added for Hyper-v 2016 and 2012 with Nakivo v7.

In Our last articles related to Nakivo Backup and Replication series we discussed about 

Dedicated this article to talk about another feature available with Nakivo Backup and Replication Appliance which help us to protect our backup by creating a backup copy.

When looking this feature from an enterprise perspective the feature is quite important to consider as your backups can lost because of accidental backup deletion, backup file corruption or any other unwanted reason, Therefore creating more than one copy of your business-critical backups is vital which ensure that your data can be recovered in case of a disaster. 

Another reason to think about the backup copy if we have primary backups which are store in the same location as your production machines and any issues in the production machine can also affect the backups which clearly is a single point of failure.

When working with Nakivo Backup and Replication we can create an additional layer protection by enabling the backup copy feature let's have a look how this feature works behind the covers.

First thing First create a Backup Copy Job and select the backup for which we are creating an additional copy and specify the destination repository details which would be running in a different site as the intention is to avoid any single point of failures and configure the schedule for the Backup Copy Job (Daily, Weekly).


Next task on the list to configure retention which gives us couple of flexible options to configure starting with default option wherein we can maintain the exact copy of the source backup and the recovery point retention of the source backups would be applied,or we can choose the recovery point retention (Week,Day, Month and Year).

Before we finish and run this job it's time we specify the name of this Job and couple of other options including Network Acceleration (Can be enabled when both the source and destination site should have at least one transporter for transferring data over slow WAN,) 


Next option in the list is Encryption which can be selected when transferring data over WAN without making use of VPN, and the last option is Screenshot Verification which perform screenshot verification for all backups after the jobs has been executed and requires VMware tools to be running inside the Virtual Machine.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Demystifying VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance

Dedicated another Guest Blog Post @ Vembu Technologies Blog which is a privately held, information technology company that specializes in developing software products inBackupDisaster Recovery and cloud storage domains. Vembu’s products serve data center IT-Administrators in small and medium businesses managing VMwareMicrosoft Hyper-V andPhysical Server environments and was founded in 2002.



This blog post provides a quick link to the original post dedicated at Vembu blog Understanding VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance which highlights the functionalities and talks about the architecture.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Back to Basics- Part 15 Understanding VMware App Volumes

In our last blog posts related to Back to Basics Series we discussed about Virtual Machine Files (Part1)Standard Switches (Part2), vCenter Server (Part 3),Templates (Part4) vApp (Part 5), Migration (Part 6),Cloning (Part 7), Host Profiles (Part 8), Virtual Volumes AKA VVOL's (Part 9) Fault Tolerance (Part10) ,Distributed Switches (Part 11) and Distributed Resource Scheduler Part 12, vCenter Server High Availability (Part 13) and Back to Basics Part -14 Creating Reports in VROPS we also discussed about the various tasks related to building Home Lab Part1Part 2Part 3,Part 4 Part 5.

Dedicated this article to talk about VMware App Volumes which is a portfolio of application and user management solution for VMware Horizon, Citrix Xen App, Xen Desktops and Remote Desktop Session Host Environments (RDSH), 


In traditional windows based system where the applications, settings, user profiles and user data is tightly coupled with operating system with VMware App Volumes we can separate IT Managed applications and applications suites into application containers which can be used for persisting user changes across sessions.
  
VMware App Volumes is application delivery and lifecycle management tool that can be used by enterprise to build dynamic application delivery system ensuring all the applications are centrally managed.

With VMware app volumes we can instantly deliver or upgrade applications to virtual desktop and published application environments in  wherein the Applications are stored in read-only virtual disks that can be instantly attach to individual or groups of virtual desktops or users.

Image Source - VMware

When working with VMware App Volumes there are various components like App Volumes Manager is a Server VM which helps us to provide dashboard for the administrator to assign app stacks,App Volume Agent reports back to manager and responsible for file system and registry directions,App Volumes database which can be Microsoft SQL or SQL Express database that contains configuration information for AppStacks, writable volumes, users, machines, entitlements, next component on the list is App Stack Volume which is a read-only volume that contains windows applications, Writable Volume which is a user specific volume where the user can preserve data and can be used to store user installed applications and local profile information including application settings, application licensing information, and the last component on the list is Provisioning VM which is a clean Virtual Machine for with App Volumes Agent.

App Volumes Technical Overview

App Volumes technical overview video talks about the various app volumes components/ architecture, the installation and setup and also talks about various app volumes technical scenarios.

In App Volume environment there are virtual disks, App Volumes Agent and the base operating system which are containerised in a single C Drive which is visible to user and is unaware about the presence of App Stacks or the writable volume within it, we can always create multiple read only application containers aka App Stacks with single read write aka writable volume.

When working with VMware App Volumes we can combine the benefits of both persistent and nonpersistent virtual desktops wherein we can design a nonpersistent architecture while giving their end- users a persistent and customizable experience.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Virtual Machine Disks Appears Offline

Recently was working on the enhancement of my Home Lab by adding few more ESXi and I noticed something strange with one of my Virtual Machine running with Windows Server 2008 was showing the recently connected disks in offline mode.



So started troubleshooting and open the DISKPART and ran few commands, so as to ensure the disks are back online and I can use them for creating NFS share and further mount it as NFS datastore on my upcoming ESXi hosts.



As we can see Disk 0 was online and the other two disks were offline so selected the disk 2 by executing select disk 2 and running ATTRIBUTES DISK CLEAR READONLY which successfully cleared the disk attributes, next task in the list was to bring my Disk back online using ONLINE DISK. 

Friday, 5 May 2017

NAKIVO VM Backup Appliance with QNAP NAS

We have already dedicated couple of articles related to Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 wherein we have seen the architectural components and also talked about new features available in Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 here is a link for your quick reference Demystifying Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1

We also discussed about Backup/Recovery of Active Directory Objects with Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 in case you missed it here is the link for your quick reference Backup/Recover Active Directory Objects with Nakivo

Apart from testing the backup and recovery related functionalities using Nakivo Backup and Replication v6.1 we also had a detailed discussion on Replicating Virtual Machines here is the link for your reference Replicate VM's with Nakivo Backup & Replication

We also talked about working with Nakivo Backup and replication appliance and what's new withNakivo Backup and replication 6.2 which was announced by NAKIVO on october 13th 2016 which help us by providing backupreplication, and recovery of paid EC2 instances sold through AWS Marketplace we also discussed about What's New - Nakivo Backup and Replication v7 Part 1 wherein we have seen some highlights about Hyper-v support which has been added for Hyper-v 2016 and 2012 with Nakivo v7.

In Our last articles related to Nakivo Backup and Replication series we discussed about 

It's time to discuss about another enhancement that has been done with Nakivo Backup and Recovery, i.e Nakivo VM Backup Appliance is now available with QNAP- NAS, Nakivo VM backup appliance based on QNAP NAS provides backup hardware, backup software, backup storage, and data deduplication in a single device.
Nakivo VM Backup Appliance with QNAP NAS based setup help us to free up virtual infrastructure resources which were previously used for backup resulting in a smaller footprint and less maintenance.
NAKIVO VM backup appliances based on QNAP NAS deliver higher VM backup speed when compared to VM-based backup solutions because the backup data is written directly to the NAS disks, bypassing network protocols such as NFS and CIFS 
When it comes to deployment NAKIVO VM backup appliances based on QNAP NAS can be deployed onsite or offsite, storing our primary site data or secondary site data (VM Backup) by removing any dependency on virtual infrastructure. 
NAKIVO VM backup appliances based on QNAP NAS provides all components that are required for operational and disaster recovery, hardware to run restores, backup data, and backup software. 
Nakivo VM Backup Appliance with QNAP NAS is really a cost effective solution wherein there is no need of purchasing a separate backup server and a storage server for our backups, we can get a single QNAP NAS and use it to both process and store our backups

VM Backup Appliance Based on QNAP NAS

Thursday, 4 May 2017

VMware Horizon For Your VDI Environment

Dedicated another Guest Blog Post @ Vembu Technologies Blog which is a privately held, information technology company that specializes in developing software products inBackupDisaster Recovery and cloud storage domains. Vembu’s products serve data center IT-Administrators in small and medium businesses managing VMwareMicrosoft Hyper-V andPhysical Server environments and was founded in 2002.


This article provides a quick link to the original post  Know the difference – VMware Horizon and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure which helps us to understand the difference between VDI environment and VMware Horizon View and talks about the various protocols including VMware Blast Extreme and PCOIP.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Step By Step Guide - VM Replication with Vembu BDR

Sunday’s should be officially announced as Home Lab Day, the statement stands true for most of the bloggers like me who spend their Sunday’s dedicating towards Home Lab and testing out various features and functionality available with different products. 

Dedicated this Sunday to test one of the feature available with Vembu Backup and Disaster Recovery, would recommend to check out previous articles talking about Vembu BDR Vembu BDR - Product Review and Top 5 reasons to choose Vembu BDR Suite which will give you quick insight about various features and functionalities available with Vembu BDR.
Before we proceed further,would like to give a brief overview about my Home Lab which is running with 4 ESXi (2 In Production Site and the remaining two In DR Site), each of my ESXi host is running with ESXi 6.0.0 Build 2494585 with 8Gib and my vCenter Server is an appliance.

VM Replication is one of the feature available with Vembu BDR and is crucial when it comes to Disaster Recovery Strategy, Vembu BDR helps us to achieve the same by taking a backup for Live Virtual machine and creating a replica image on your DR site thus maintaining the business continuity.

When it comes to configuring the VM replication with Vembu BDR, it’s pretty straightforward wherein we have to select VM Replication option and specify the Virtual machine being replicated.


Once we have specified the Virtual Machine we are planning to replicate, we can go ahead and configure the scheduling option which allows us to choose when to run the replication Jobs.

Next option in the list is the target replication host which has two options to choose the first option is Application Aware options which is an optional option to choose and requires guest os login credentials to proceed further, another option in the list is to select the destination ESXi host on which we are planning to replicate our Virtual Machine, we also have to specify the details of our destination datastore, with replica suffix name and the retention count, in my Home Lab environment my Virtual Machine was running in DR site on ESXi 04 so i replicated the same to PROD site on ESXi02 on the local datastore for ESXi02.
Network Mapping and Re-IP Mapping options helps us to do the relevant Network Mapping and Re-Mapping which is useful when we are using different networks for our production and disaster recovery site, Wherein we can create number of Re-IP rules for various replication Jobs,I left this option as Blank because my Home Lab is local wherein both my Sites i.e Prod and DR are communicating to each other on the same network.



Review option helps us to specify the name of the Job and give us a quick summary about the the Configured Host/VM, Scheduling, and the destination ESXi host details.
After proceeding with the replication we can monitor the progress of the Replication Job under progress bar, we can also login to vCenter Server and check out the various tasks and events happening with regards to Virtual Machine being replicated.
Was able to see the virtual machine created successfully with restore points now available with it.

Summary- Virtual Machine Replication is considered as one of the important approach when achieving the business continuity, and should be available as part of the bundle solution with disaster recovery solution allowing the administrator to quickly replicate their mission critical virtual machines to DR site or offsite. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Back to Basics- Part 14 Creating Reports in VROPS

In our last blog posts related to Back to Basics Series we discussed about Virtual Machine Files (Part1)Standard Switches (Part2), vCenter Server (Part 3),Templates (Part4) vApp (Part 5)Migration (Part 6),Cloning (Part 7)Host Profiles (Part 8), Virtual Volumes AKA VVOL's (Part 9) Fault Tolerance (Part10) ,Distributed Switches (Part 11) and Distributed Resource Scheduler Part 12 and vCenter Server High Availability (Part 13) we also discussed about the various tasks related to building Home Lab Part1Part 2Part 3,Part 4 Part 5.

Dedicated this article to understand how to create CPU reports in VMware vRealize Operations Manager, but before we proceed further would recommend all to refer few articles which I have dedicated talking about VROPS like VMware vRealize Operations Manager -10 Things You Need to Know vRealize Operations Manager 6.5 - What's New this will give you a quick overview about features/functionality and capabilities of VROPS.

When creating a report in VMware vRealize Operations Manager we make use of report template which is a predefined container of one or more views, In this post I have decided to create CPU report for Cluster, so selected my cluster and under reports clicked the + Green Icon.


In Report template we need to provide the name and description, as this was a test Home Lab environment so I used CPU_TEST_REPORT as the name and description talks about CPU_TEST_REPORT For CLUSTER,HOST and VM.



Next task in the list is to select Data Type - Views and Dashboards, select View and we can make use of quick filter to search for specific Views based on our requirements, I selected Cluster CPU Diagnose List, Host CPU Diagnose List and Virtual Machine Cpu Diagnose List, this can vary again based on your requirements if you are not too sure what option to select from the list use drag and drop menu provided to see what view fit's in your requirements. as mentioned above I only selected CPU as the options because I want to view the report for CPU.

Next option in the list is Format option which gives us the option to create reports in CSV and PDF Version, we can select both or one of them, Layout option talks about footers,cover page, table of contents in the report.



After saving the report template we can go ahead and run the template from the same screen from where we have created the template and check under generated reports tabs if the report has been generated successfully.



VMware vRealize operations manager is great product which helps us to monitor different environments, giving us the detailed information about Health, Risks and EfficiencyAnomalies, Faults,etc.




Fetching out reports in vROPS can help us to perform various activities within our production environment ,I remember one of the question being asked from my participants wherein they were looking for those ESXi host which are currently in not responding state and also those hosts which have SSH service running,vROPS can help us to fetch out these kinds of report to achieve a broaden level of security for our Production Environment.

With VMware vRealize Operations Manager we can not only monitor the VMware vSphere environment but we can also add management packs for various other sources like (Management Pack for vRealize Log Insight , Management Pack for vSAN).

Refer VMware Solutions Exchange for Complete List of Management Packs.