Repost: Veeam Content Roundup for April 2013

In this installment of the Content Roundup for April 2013, we have no shortage of things going on with the Veeam Teeam! This is a good time as we are really ramping up to v7 of Veeam Backup & Replication, but there are still a lot of other things going on. We’ve had a number of events, a release of the MP, awesome news and some great product and thought leadership content to share. Just recently we celebrated the 5th birthday of Veeam Backup & Replication on May 2, hence why this post is a bit after the end of the month. Nobody likes someone taking attention away from their birthday anyways, right?

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Read the entire post at the Veeam blog.

Multi-Switch Management.. make sense?

On 7-May, Apcon announced new simple network management with new Titan EP series for multi-switch management. Here is a pre-release of their press release:

 

Wilsonville, Ore., May 7, 2013APCON, the industry leader in intelligent network monitoring and security support solutions, today announced at Interop Las Vegas 2013 the latest major release of TITAN EP, plus a first look at the application on a mobile platform. TITAN EP is the only multi-switch management system in the industry that allows enterprises to manage, share and monitor all APCON switches and devices across the entire network with a 360-degree view from a single point of control.

The new TITAN EP release ensures full compatibility with the recent APCON Firmware release which includes a new 40G inter-switch trunk solution to help enterprises support security and performance monitoring tools in the 40G network environment. TITAN EP upgrades and features include:

· Labeled ports and switches organized hierarchically for convenient management and tracking

· A range of connection configurations between switch ports, including filters

· Real-time status of each switch, simplifying management process and increasing productivity

· Customizable manual or automated connection paths, allowing the end-user more control of the network

· Customizable usage reports for convenient analysis

· Trunking support to ensure optimal bandwidth and traffic flow

“For large enterprise networks, packet aggregation switches have emerged as the new standard for sharing monitoring devices. TITAN EP goes further than any other offering — with a single point to manage every network monitoring switch in the network,” said Richard Rauch, President and CEO of APCON. “The level of sophistication we’ve achieved with TITAN is in large part due to working closely with our Fortune 500 customers to ensure a complete switch management solution that meets today’s network monitoring needs.”

Stop by the APCON booth #727 to learn more about TITAN EP and get a first glimpse of TITAN EP for mobile, or visit: http://www.apcon.com/products/titan-ep-multi-switch-management.

Expanding VMFS Volumes: Do or Do Not?

One of the great things about virtualization is that it is such a flexible platform that we can change our mind on almost anything. But, that’s not to say that there are some things that we just shouldn’t do — for examples, see my "5 Things To Not Do with vSphere." One of those areas is storage, and in a way I’m torn as to whether a broad recommendation makes sense for expanding VMFS volumes.

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Read the entire post at Virtualization Review.

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Newbie tips for using vSphere Web Client

A few weeks ago, I sent out a Tweet that may end up being more work than I had planned! I simply said that I plan on using the vSphere Web Client for future blog posts that I do. The goal was to be more modern in the content I present around vSphere virtualization. I quickly got a number of replies from fellow bloggers, both encouraging me to do it and also warning me about some current limitations of the vSphere Web Client.

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Read the entire post at TechRepublic.

Easily Rescan All ESXi Host Storage

I’m what you might call a contradiction. I’m definitely not a fan of the repetitive task, but am also coincidentally too lazy to learn how to script this very same task. Sometimes I luck out and a quick Web search will point me in the right direction, or other times my laziness takes me to built-in functions that can help me out just as well. The vSphere Client (and Web Client!) have helped me avoid scripting one more time! Whew!

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Read the entire post at Virtualization Review.

5 Things To Not Do with vSphere

I’ll admit it — I love the flexibility that VMware vSphere virtualization provides. The fact is, you can do nearly anything on this platform. This actually can be a bad thing at times. I recently was recording a podcast with Greg Stuart, who blogs at vdestination.com and we observed this very point. We agreed that all virtualized environments are not created equal, and it is very rare if not impossible to see two environments that are the same.

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Read the entire post at Virtualization Review!

¡Lab virtuales vienen a Backup & Replication v7 para Hyper-V!

Esta es la segunda versión de una soltura principal para mí durante mi tiempo aquí Veeam. Empecé en 2010, unas semanas después de llegar a ser disponible v5. Esta versión es de hecho una versión muy importante para mí y para Veeam.

Esta semana, Veeam se anunció que la capacidad del lab virtual vendrá para Hyper-V en Veeam Backup & Replication v7, disponible en Q3 de este año. Este es la cuarta característica principal que anunciamos antes la soltura para v7, los otros son:

  • Soporte ampliado de backup y recuperación para VMware vCloud Director
  • vSphere Web Client plug-in para Veeam Backup & Replicación
  • Veeam Explorer para Microsoft SharePoint

La capacidad de lab virtual en Veeam Backup & Replicación incluirá soporte completa para U-AIR, SureBackup y Sandbox a pedido (On-Demand Sandbox). Estas son las ventajas para las infraestructuras virtualizadas de Hyper-V:

  • U-AIR: Universal Application Item Recovery para recuperar objetos individuales desde CUALQUIER aplicación virtualizada sin usar agentes, backups o herramientas software. Si la aplicación necesita un servidor de base de datos, servidor de web y Active Directory, no es nigún problema. Déjelo operar en el lab virtual.
  • SureBackup: Verifique la recuperabilidad de todos los backups, en cualquier momento. Comprueba los backups automáticamente, ejecutando las VMs desde ellos mismos en un entorno aislado lab virtual.
  • Sandbox a pedido: ¿Cuántas veces ha tenido un gran cambio a una aplicación, y no estaba asegurado de lo que debe hacer? Ejecute VMs desde un backup en un entorno aislado Virtual Lab para hacer pruebas o resolver problemas.
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El imagen abajo demuestra cómo funciona el lab virtual con Veeam Backup & Replicación:

Esta noticia es muy importante para clientes que usan Hyper-V y muestra otros puntos importantes para v7. ¿Son labs virtuales necesarios en sus sistemas de Hyper-V? Dígame aquí.

Pagina principal de v7

Veeam Management Pack (MP) for VMware Ver6のリリース

Veeam SoftwareはMicrosoft System Center用VMware環境管理ツール、Veeam Management Pack (MP) for VMware Ver6のリリースを開始しました。(注)Veeam nworks MPはVeeam Management Packに名称が変わりました。

Veeam MPは詳細なVMware監視、管理、キャパシティ・プラニング機能でSystem Centerを拡張し、物理、仮想インフラとアプリケーションを同一コンソールから統合管理することができます。Veeam MPが Microsoft System Centerを拡張する機能は

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詳細情報 Climb.co.jp

Black box hardware–Do you expect much? You Should!

One of the things I’ve noticed over my IT career is that if I’m buying servers and storage systems, I look very closely at features and design elements. A good example is server systems, where serviceability and rack ease of use are important. This can be anything from intuitive rail mechanisms, to front-side USB (remember when that was novel??) or performance design for density and capacity.

But when I buy systems that “include” hardware, I usually forgo these preferences. I’ve sometimes referred to them as Black Box hardware that accompanies another purchase. I’ve used mail relay systems, deduplication appliances, firewalls, network software solutions and more where there are hardware requirements. We buy these solutions for the software, and don’t generally give much concern for the hardware involved.

In my previous role, I supported specialized software solutions that ran on Windows Appliance Edition (See a blogpost I did on specialized hardware) and a number of Linux-based hardware devices. I bought them for the software.

The takeaway here is that when we buy these hardware solutions, we continually are disappointed with the individual equipment components; especially when something goes wrong.

Recently, I had a chance to talk to MBX Systems about a new product they are launching in this space. They just launched the MBX X-60 disk system (pictured below):

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You can see the big feature on this appliance, a lot of disks. 60 to be exact, and a lot of flexibility for the software solution to plug into this platform. While MBX doesn’t have a specific application that is built for, there are a lot of use cases. One of my favorite detail features is below:

Configurable SAS2 backplanes with 6 GB SAS expanders delivering up to 5 discrete backplane configurations with performance up to 30 Gb/s

The 5 discreet channels part is most important to me. So, there can be 5 discrete I/O channels. This could be of great interest to next generation deduplication or storage systems that may want to have a higher-tier performing zone on SSDs or something, yet they won’t have to manufacture the hardware themselves. We always want high capacity storage (when not using as a SAN) to be something fancy, or at least fancier than the BackBlaze cookbook from 2009.

The MBX X-60 gravitates to a term that was new to me: “Cloud drives” They refer to this hard drive for use in this product that provides the best cost and capacity (for most applications) benefit, and it usually comes from the desktop computing segment. The software maker can specify higher performance drives, however if needed.

Other features of the MBX X-60 include these, with my notes in red:

Up to 240 TB of storage, depending on the customer’s needs. Important as SSDs are also supported, if they use 3.5” interface (usually with enclosure).

Support for ATX or Extended ATX motherboard form factors, providing the flexibility to add expansion slots as well as the power to support both big data storage and processing in one unit – leveraging EATX’s 512 GB of memory plus the system’s power supply, cooling and expansion design. So, the compute platform here (and next point) allow the most options for the hardware platform for the software applications to run on.

· Support for a variety of x86 or ARM architectures depending on the motherboard configuration  Good, as above.

Integrated individual drive activity and fail LED indicators Good, don’t want black boxes to not indicate problems.

· Dual fan banks for distributed cooling to acclimate to operating environment extremes. Good for serviceability.

· Tool-less maintenance with captive thumb screws for easy front and rear lid removal. Good for serviceability.

Inside of this OEM hardware space, there are a lot of details in play. First of all, products like the MBX X-60 is targeted to a few specific industries/applications:

  • Video streaming
  • Broadcasting
  • Video on demand
  • Media storage
  • Public or private cloud storage
  • Email archiving
  • Data warehousing
  • File and web services

These are just a few use cases that MBX supply with the product, and appeal to the industry to find a fit for software applications.

I asked MBX if any specific customers were lined up for the MBX X-60, they didn’t offer any but focused on the industries/applications list above.

All of this being said, I think MBX is on the right path with the design of this series for serviceability, I/O channels and flexible compute platforms.

What do you expect of “black box hardware”? Share your comments below.

Veeam’s vSphere Web Client Plug-In Preview

The other day I prepared a few demo environments of a new component coming in Veeam Backup & Replication v7, the vSphere Web Client plug-in for Veeam Backup & Replication. Think what you want about the Web Client (it’s growing on me for one), but it’s going to be part of the future. Might as well put a Veeam hook in there if you ask me.

Anyways, it’s pretty straightforward. Here it is on my vSphere 5.1 environment:

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Once you go in, to the main link a lot of useful information is presented:

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Namely job successes, warnings or failures at the top in text and the bar graph. Also important is the “Running jobs” option, a nice quick look to see if a job is running at a time you don’t expect it to.

There are 5 dashboard widgets in the Plug-In:

  • Weekly VMs Overview
  • Processed VMs
  • Repositories
  • Job Statistics

Each widget is expanded as shown below:

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The Repositories and Weekly Protected VMs widgets have links to important Reporter components: the Capacity Planning Report for backup repositories and Protected VMs report (great tool to tell you what is NOT backed up).

The webinar I did on the Plug-In should be available for replay soon at Veeam.com.