Thursday 10 August 2017

What’s New Vembu Backup & Disaster Recovery Suite v3.8.0 – Part 1

Recently Vembu announced the latest version of their Vembu Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) Suite v3.8.0. I upgraded and tested the Vembu BDR Server in my Home Lab and thought of dedicating an article to discuss the new features and various enhancements that have been made available in the new release

Auto Authorization

To overcome situations where the backup data might be sent to an unknown server possibly because of human errors causing the sensitive Backup data to be vulnerable can be avoided by enabling the Auto authorization feature in Vembu BDR v3.8.0. It allows proxy agents to get registered to the backup server using a unique registration key generated by the respective Vembu BDR Server ensuring only the authorized clients can be connected to the server. 

How it Works

Auto Authorization feature can be enabled under Management > Settings > Auto Authorization. Once it is enabled, the Registration Key will be generated. This Passkey should be used at the time of client setup which will ensure the connection work between the Client and Server.

File Level Recovery

File Level Recovery is now available for both backup and replication jobs where the user can choose specific files and folders from VMware/Hyper-V/Disk Image backups and VMware replication. File level recovery option allows recovering individual files and folders of the image based backups from the console itself, without recovering the machine. 

Encryption Settings

Encryption settings option can be used to provide an additional security to image based backup jobs (both physical and virtual)  by assigning a custom-password to the backup server, ensuring all the backup data is encrypted and can be restored and accessed only by providing the custom-password.

I will be dedicating an another article soon to talk about some more features available in Vembu Backup and Disaster Recovery v3.8.0 as soon as they are tested in my Home Lab environment. Meanwhile here is the link to download the latest Vembu BDR Suite.

Thursday 3 August 2017

How to Upgrade VMware VMFS 5 datastore to VMFS 6

Recently got request to create a Monster VM wherein the CPU and Memory requirements was higher but the disk requirements was way to high when compared with other Virtual Machines,after carefully considering the current datastore space utilization I requested my Storage team to give me an additional LUN so as I can go ahead and create a new datastore and fit this new Monster Virtual Machine.

While working on this request I realised that this new datastore will be VMFS6 and I can considered this as an opportunity to upgrade other VMFS5 datastore to VMFS6 so followed below steps to upgrade VMFS5 datastore to VMFS6. 

But before we proceed further and understand the prerequisites and the steps involved during the upgrade process let's understand VMFS6 which is new file system in VMware vSphere 6.5 which supports 512e advanced format drive and provides automatic UNMAP ensuring freed blocks information is passed to the backend storage device.

Ensure all your ESXi hosts and the vCenter Server are already upgraded to VMware vSphere 6.5, if ESXi host's is not upgraded to vSphere 6.5 it will loose connectivity to the new VMFS6 datastore. In my case all the ESXi on which the old VMFS5 datastore was mounted were already upgraded to vSphere 6.5.

The plan was to upgrade both my VMFS5 Datastore Datastore 1 and Datastore 2 running in a Storage DRS Cluster to VMFS6, both the datastore were running Production Virtual Machines so I had to be extra cautious will performing this activity, so proceeded further with creation of new datastore Datastore 3 VMFS6 and started storage vMotion to migrate all the Virtual Machines from Datastore 1 to newly created VMFS6 Datastore 3.

This was the most boring step during the upgrade because the Virtual Machines took their own time to migrate but at the same time I had to pay a lot of attention when the migration was happening ensuring the Virtual Machines are successfully migrated, I migrated 2 Virtual Machines at the same time because there were more than 30 Virtual Machines running on this datastore however it's best if we do it one Virtual Machine at a time.

Note : Another way of evacuating Datastore 1 is to put it in Maintenance Mode and let the migration happen automatically if it is part of Storage DRS Cluster.

Once all my Virtual Machines were successfully migrated from Datastore1 to newly created VMFS6 Datastore 3, it was time to put Datastore 1 in maintenance mode and move it out of the SDRS cluster but before doing so it's wise to check if there are no other files on this datastore as sometime you may see some Orphaned Virtual Machines folders residing on that datastore and if that is the case make sure to move them one by one to the new datastore.

After cross verifying the datastore files Datastore 1 entered the maintenance mode and unmounted it from all the ESXi hosts and then deleted it, do not proceed further with the unmount / deletion process if your datastore is not empty.

Another important point worth considering before you delete your datastore is to check datastore backing LUN and make sure you take screenshot or remember the name of that LUN because we need it later when creating the datastore.

It was time to create a new datastore wherein I used the same name Datastore 1 VMFS6 and left all other options (Block Size, Space Reclamation Granularity and Space Reclamation Priority) unchanged.

Mounted it to all the ESXi hosts and did a quick rescan on each ESXi hosts and then moved all the Virtual Machines back to this newly created Datastore, used same steps to upgrade Datastore 2 as well.

Tuesday 1 August 2017

VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.6 - What's New

Recently VMware announced VROPS 6.6 and I got the chance to work on it during the upgrade process and seen some cool new features and functionalities that has been added within the product.

This article provides a quick overview about the series of VROPS 6.6 What's New articles I have started at Vembu Blog as a Guest Blogger here is the link for reference which talks about one of the new feature i.e getting started with VROPS dashboard.

VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.6 - What's New Part 1
It also give us a quick demo about another of new feature i.e Work Load balance that has been made available in vROPS 6.6.

Workload Balance in vROPS6.6