Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Back to Basics - Part 16 vSphere Storage DRS

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), Back to Basics Part -14 Creating Reports in VROPS and Part 15 Understanding VMware App Volumes
we also discussed about the various tasks related to building Home Lab Part1Part 2Part 3,Part 4 Part 5.

I Recently had to rebuild my Home Lab due to some recent hardware changes and now when the lab is up and running thought of dedicating an article talking about Storage DRS which is another important feature available in VMware vSphere but before we proceed and understand how can we enable it and what are the features provided let's have a quick overview.

Storage DRS can be enabled on datastore cluster where we can add multiple datastore which work together to balance capacity and I/O Latency, but before we enable SDRS  we need to ensure that all the datastore which are running in a cluster are either NFS or VMFS and are mounted to ESXi5.0 and later.

Storage DRS Cluster and Host DRS cluster (Host HA Cluster and Host DRS Cluster) can coexist in the environment wherein the load balancing for your compute resources taken care by Host DRS and load balancing for storage capacity / I/O latency taken care by Storage DRS can occur at the same time.


VMware vSphere Storage DRS works in pretty much the same fashion as Host DRS and helps us to initially place the Virtual Machines based on the storage capacity and I/o Latency to the respective datastore and make use of storage vMotion to balance load across the datastore which are part of the datastore cluster.

While Creating the SDRS cluster we can choose Manual Mode where vCenter Server generates recommendations for Virtual Machine Storage Migrations but won't perform any actions however when Fully Automated mode is selected the Virtual Machines Files will migrated automatically and we can also make us of Anti affinity and Affinity rules to stop/allow the Virtual machine disk to be migrated to different datastore.

Initial disk placement option comes pretty much handy at the time we are creating, cloning or migrating a Virtual Machine and instead of selecting the single datastore we select the Datastore Cluster and Storage DRS decides which datastore to be used for initial placement of the Virtual Machine Disks based on the storage usage.

All other options available including Space Balance Automation Level / I/O Balance Automation Level / Rule Enforcement Automation Level / Policy Enforcement Automation level and VM Evacuation Automation Level can be adjusted accordingly using Manual Mode or Fully Automated Mode.


Next option in the list is option either can be enabled but when disabled beware that vCenter Server doesn't consider I/O metrics when making any Storage DRS recommendations and also the initial placement of Disks would happen based on space and I/O metrics wouldn't be considered.

We can also specify the space threshold based on the Utilized Space or Minimum Free space and I/O latency threshold by specifying the minimum I/O Latency for each datastore.


Next options on the list are pretty straightforward wherein we have to select Cluster/Host and the datastore that we are planning to be part of this datastore cluster, I recently created two NFS datastore for both my ESXi so used them.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

My Nakivo Backup & Replication EC2 Instance is Up and Running

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 few weeks ago we have seen how Nakivo Backup and Replication helps us to protect our Backup by creating Backup Copy 

In our last post related to Nakivo Backup and Replication Series we discussed about the upcoming features in Nakivo Backup and Replication v7.2

Dedicated this article to talk about how to set up NAKIVO Backup & Replication AWS EC2 Instance, which can back up AWS EC2 infrastructure in the same region, across regions, or to on-premise site.We can simply login to AWS marketplace and search for NAKIVO Backup and Replication the current version available is v7.1.0. EC2 charges for micro instances are free for upto 750 hours a month if we qualify for AWS free tier. https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp/B01BKFOEP0


Before you click continue and proceed further with the configuration of your Nakivo Backup and Replication AWS EC2 Instance check the region and the pricing as the pricing can vary based on the region being selected.


Once we click continue we can either proceed with 1-Click launch which will give us a quick overview to select Region, Choose the EC2 Instance Type, in this blog I will be proceeding further with t2.micro instance which is running with 1Gib Memory and 1 Virtual Core, we can also review VPC settings and security group wherein we can create a New VPC if there it's not already existing and create a subnet within VPC.

While specifying the Security Group we can create new based on seller settings or choose from the drop down menu and can make use of the existing ones. Which will give us few more options to chose the connection method wherein we can specify the Source IP (Anywhere, My IP, Custom IP).


The Second option in the list is the Manual Launch option which provides us the version details and Amazon Machine Instance Id's which is required to launch an instance in cloud.
The last option is Service Catalog which allows us to copy the Nakivo Backup and Replication software to Service Catalog in a specific region where that service is supported and then we can further assign users and roles.

In this Demo I selected 1-Click launch option to create my Nakivo Backup and Replication EC2 instance and created a new key pair.


Once the instance is up and running we can login using the default username admin and the password would the AWS EC2 instance id.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Ensuring Business Continuity With Vembu BDR

Recently got invite to attend Webinar on How to Address Data Center challenges hosted by Vembu Technologies which is a privately held, information technology company that specializes in developing software products in BackupDisaster Recovery and cloud storage domains

The Webinar will held on Tuesday July 4 @ 12:00 PM GST and I was able to get a brief insight about the topics being covered so though of dedicating a quick post covering those points which will give you an idea why you should attend this webinar.



1) How Fast can we recover data center during disaster - This is one of the most important question we need to address when designing the environment and Recoverability is considered to be part of the design phase, the webinar gives us the insight on how fast we can recover our data center during disaster.

2) Another Important point which will be addressed during the webinar is how can we avoid data loss during Disaster Recovery.

3 ) Planning P2V and V2V migrations

Save your spot - How to address Data Center Challenges 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Upcoming Features - Nakivo Backup and Replication v7.2

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 few weeks ago we have seen how Nakivo Backup and Replication helps us to protect our Backup by creating Backup Copy 

Dedicated this article to talk about some upcoming features in Nakivo Backup and Replication v7.2 which has been recently announced by Nakivo on June 19 2017.

VM Backup Appliance Based on Asustor NAS 


Nakivo backup and replication appliance soon would be available on ASUSTOR NAS which will help to turn ASUSTOR NAS into a VM backup appliance, the solution will help us to offload VMware or Hyper- V Infrastructure to a low cost NAS and to  keep our backup software, hardware, storage, and data deduplication within the same device like we have  been doing with QNAPSYNOLOGY and Western Digital NAS.

Microsoft SQL Log Truncation

Microsoft SQL Log Truncation is another feature which would be made available with Nakivo Backup and Replication v7.2 and has been announced which can automatically truncate transaction log files post successful Virtual Machine Backup or replica is created, preventing log files from growing.


Calendar Dashboard

Another cool feature which helps to schedule backup jobs from calendar and provides us a quick overview of all the Jobs with duration.


Instant Object Recovery for Microsoft SQL

Nakivo backup and replication helps us to instantly recover SQL objects (database and tables) directly from compressed deduplicated VM Backups, when working on recovery of the objects we can recover the objects back to SQL Server or to a different SQL Server.

Monday, 19 June 2017

My VCAP6-DCV Deploy Journey

Last week I passed VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6 - Data Center Virtualization Deployment exam, the Journey was awesome and indeed require a lot of dedication and hard-work .

Dedicated this blog post to help fellow community members who are preparing for this exam, the article 
talks about my exam experience and also
 provides the list of Books, Blog's and other sources I referred while preparing for this exam.

My Exam Experience

I booked my exam for Thursday afternoon and reached the exam center 1.5 Hours before my exam slot ensuring I have enough time to relax and if in case there are some technical issues with exam center I should be aware of them well in hand and this is something I highly recommend to all fellow community members who are planning or preparing for this exam ensure you reach early on your exam day. 



Again it's not mandatory to reach exactly 1.5 Hours before :-) reaching 45 mins before your exam slot would give you enough time to prepare yourself and will help you save a lot of time when writing your exam, for sure no-one want's to waste their precious time using washroom during the exam :-) It's a long exam and preparing yourself well in advance will help you save a lot of time.

Stay Calm

When starting your exam stay extra cool as you may have to spend some time understanding and adjusting the desktop resolution as per your preference and loosing patience is something which is not going to help. I spent almost 15 Mins in understanding the overall look and feel of exam and adjusting the screen as per my preference, would highly recommend everyone to visit Hands on Labs and test out few labs which will give you a brief idea on how to deal with the desktop during the actual exam.

When writing VCAP6-DCV Deploy exam every seconds count and if you are spending time reading the questions throughly before starting the task it's going to be beneficial at-least it was in my case because I was able to save a lot of time when doing the tasks.

Be aware that CRTLALT and BACKSPACE are not working go back using arrow keys and then press delete it's better to make use of on screen keyboard if you wish to copy and paste.

The Preparation ?

Being a VMware Certified Instructor I deliver a lot of VMware vSphere courses and consider them as the foundation for writing VMware Exams, because these courses are properly aligned with exam blueprint and they not only give you the knowledge that you need but also give you various scenario to practice in a lab based environment.

Apart from VMware vSphere Design and Deploy fast track v6 course which is recommended training before you write this exam,There are few more trainings course that I personally recommend all to attend VMware vSphere 6 Optimize and Scale and VMware vSphere 6 troubleshooting workshop I learned a lot of great technical stuff at the time I attended and while preparing for delivering these courses.

If you are preparing for VCAP6-DCV Deploy exam make sure you align yourself with exam objectives and simulate every objective in your Home Lab environment. If you are not too sure on how to simulate the objectives in your Home Lab environment then here is the blog post you should refer VCAP6-DCV Deployment Guide, If you are one of those who has not yet deployed your Home Lab believe me you have a long way to go, I have dedicated a couple of articles which talks about Home Lab deployment here is the link for your reference My New VMware Home Lab is Spinning.

Important Links

As I quoted above it’s was a long journey and a lot of dedication and hardwork is required to achieve these credentials, below are some of the technical guides which I referred while doing the preparation and strongly recommend all to go through before you write the exam.




Wrap up

Passing the VCAP6-DCV Deploy exam need a lot of efforts and can be achieved by properly aligning yourself with exam objectives and simulating them in your Home Lab. Once you have practice these objectives multiple times in your Home Lab you are good to go, but as I said going through the objectives is one thing and the other important aspect is to stay cool and calm while writing your exam, read the question twice and understand the requirements before you begin with the task.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Desktop Connection Broker For VMware VDI Environment

This blog post provides a quick link to the original Guest Blog Post @ Vembu Technologies Blog which is a privately held, information technology company that specializes in developing software products in BackupDisaster Recovery and cloud storage domainsThe blog post talks about various important features by covering 10 important points related to installation, configuration and features.