vMotion over Distance support with EMC VPLEX Metro

Last month at EMC World we released a storage virtualization product unlike any other. EMC VPLEX not only virtualizes back-end storage from other vendors it also allows shared storage to be presented active/active over long distances. This capability makes it possible for long distance vMotion and brings a new technical term to disaster planning, Disaster Avoidance.

Imagine you’re planning a datacenter shutdown due to a power outage or building maintenance, or perhaps that wildfire is making its way to your office location. Now you have the flexibility to be able to avoid major downtime by simply swinging your workloads to an off-site datacenter.

VMware has taken notice and has officially released a KB article detailing out full support for long distance vMotion with the EMC VPLEX product. More information on this KB article can be found at http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1021215. Perhaps you want to know more about VPLEX or even see a demo of it in action? Chad Sakac posted a great breakdown of how it works along with some videos on his website, check it out now.

Created on June 8, 2010 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, Storage, vCenter, vSphere.

This blog has 5,771 views and 10 responses.

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Before Host Profiles there was vicfg-cfgbackup.pl

This last weekend I was reminded of a RCLI command that creates a backup of your ESXi Host configuration.  A client had an ESXi host where the USB drive failed.  The system didn’t entirely crash, it pinged so HA didn’t kick-in however hostd and vpxa weren’t responding so management from vCenter was impossible. Performing a reboot of the host proved it was a USB failure when it failed to boot.

So, HA kicked in finally when the host was powered off – however the remaining hosts in their cluster did not have adequate resources to power everything back on.  We needed to get this failed ESX host back online and quick!

Brought in new USB stick with fresh ESXi 4.0 installed, plugged in and powered up.  In the TUI configured the Management Port IP address/gateway/DNS, etc.    But now what, all of the (NFS) Datastores, vSwitch configuration and advanced settings were toast…and they didn’t have Enterprise Plus.

Say Hello to vicfg-cfgbackup.pl — a RCLI command which could be found in the vMA.  This utility will allow you to create a backup and restore a full ESXi configuration.  Luckily we had this (backup) command running on a nightly basis so we knew the configuration was complete.  A simply command and the host was online.

Seeing that ESX is going to be phased out, this RCLI command is a valid alternative for those ESXi users that do not have Enterprise Plus licensing.

The commands vicfg-cfgbackup.pl (esxcfg-cfgbackup.pl) allow you to backup and restore the configuration of your ESXi host.

To backup the host you would run the command.

vicfg-cfgbackup.pl –server <server_name> -s <backup_file_name>

To restore your backup configuration to your host you would run. This will cause the host to reboot once the process is complete. NOTE: The host must be in Maintenance Mode for this to work. The backup configuration must also match the patch level of the ESXi install. You can add a -f to force if needed.

vicfg-cfgbackup.pl –server <server_name> -l <backup_file_name>

Created on October 12, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, ESXi 3.5 Tips, vSphere.

This blog has 21,634 views and 8 responses.

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NetApp SnapManager for VI 2.0 (SMVI)

For those of you using NetApp for your back-end virtual machine storage, there is a new version of their SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure (SMVI) tool that was recently released. SMVI 2.0 will include a number of enhancements that really push the bar when it comes to NetApp/VMware integration.

Some of the enhancements to the 2.0 product include;

  • Autosupport Integration
  • Backup Enhancements & GUI Re-design
  • Snapshot Naming Changes
  • Scripting
  • Restore Enhancements
  • Single File Restore
  • Self-Service Restore
  • Limited Self-Service Restore
  • Administrator-Assisted Restore
  • Restore Agent

What really excites me with this new version is the ability for an end-user to do a single file restoration, this will dramatically decrease the labor required at the server administration level for these types of requests.  Most of us already using the 1.0 product have seen the benefits of the VMware/NetApp snapshot integration, how NetApp utilizes VMware Tools to quiesce the virtual machine(s) within a datastore then do a NetApp level snapshot. Then there is also the ability to tie this all into SnapMirror, which works great.

Check out this video demonstrating some of the new features in SMVI 2.0

For those of you using NetApp, I’d strongly recommend adding SMVI to your FY11 budget!

Created on September 16, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, NetApp, Storage.

This blog has 15,642 views and 4 responses.

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The Things You’ll Find When You Google Yourself

My boss asked me today to provide a list of things I’ve done the past year for my upcoming performance review.  I typed up all I knew off the top of my head, but I decided to do a Google Search on my name to see what it comes back with.  To my surprise I found a interview that Gartner did of me a few months back in regards to virtualization and storage. What’s funny is that it feels like I did this years ago and that everything I mention is such old and outdated technology! 

Check it out for yourself, hope you enjoy it!  Here is the abstract and link to view it;


DataCenter Virtualization: Why You Need It and Best Practices for Success

Server virtualization has fast become the way to cut costs. If you are interested in maximizing the benefits of virtualized servers and extending those benefits toward storage, then check out this new program now.

In this program you will learn how server virtualization:

  • Can save you money
  • Help with server sprawl
  • Free up data center space
  • Support your x86 server architecture
  • Enhance disaster recovery
  • Provide dynamic flexibility
  • Allow for rapid deployment

You will hear experts from featured analyst firm, Gartner, Inc., and industry experts from NetApp, and San Diego Data Processing Corporation discuss:

  • The reasons your organization should choose server virtualization for storage.
  • The benefits server virtualization can bring to your company.
  • The objectives your company can achieve with server virtualization.

Plus you’ll have access to a number of case studies, white papers and other supporting materials, which will be interesting and useful to you as you make the move towards virtualization.

See for yourself. Check out this new program now and learn more.

Created on April 16, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, NetApp, Storage.

This blog has 2,213 views and one response.

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Like Veeam FastSCP? Get Veeam Backup for 50% Off!

The past few weeks I’ve been working with a customer that only has ESXi, Veeam FastSCP has came in really handy lately! I can copy files between systems or between a system and my desktop, the flexibility it creates is amazing.  It also attempts to utilize the VMKernel API first, if it cannot make a connection that way it will fallback to SSH.  Did I forget to mention, its blazing fast!

Well, now is your chance to get Veeam Backup and Replication for 50% off! Don’t miss this great opportunity to get a solid backup utility for your ESX(i) infrastructure.  Oh yeah, it also works with ESXi Free Edition!

Backup small header

Through June 15, Veeam Software is extending a special upgrade offer that gives you budget relief, freeing you to license the new #1 for VMware backup and replication. Veeam has the functionality, reliability and performance you need now.

You can have both backup and replication in one product – now 50% off when you provide proof of purchase of a competing product. Learn more >>

Created on April 7, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery.

This blog has 3,461 views and 2 responses.

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Goodbye Backup Agents….Goodbye VCB

I’ve been quite busy the last couple weeks, so busy that I’ve neglected VMwareTips.com for far too long!  Today I’d like to tell you about an exciting upcoming release for IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) and NetApp SnapMirror users.

NetApp announced a couple weeks back the integration of NetApp SnapMirror to Tape and Snapshot technologies with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) 6. As a result, NetApp and IBM customers using TSM 6 will experience enhanced backup capabilities for data stored on NetApp FAS storage devices.

TSM 6 leverages NetApp SnapMirror to Tape technology, enabling customers to use TSM Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) support to back up FAS volumes directly to tape or across the network to any tape device managed by TSM. This can be done without having to scan each volume to find new and changed files, helping reduce the amount of time customers need to back up their FAS systems, which can make the backup process up to 12 times faster.

TSM 6 also leverages NetApp Snapshot technology to reduce progressive incremental file backup time by comparing the current backup Snapshot copy with the previous backup Snapshot copy to identify new, changed, and deleted files. Traditional backup scans of large file systems can take hours. However, TSM 6, together with NetApp Snapshot technology, completes the identification of new, changed, and deleted files in seconds, drastically reducing the amount of time customers need to complete NetApp file system backups with TSM.

Read More…

Created on February 19, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, NetApp, Storage.

This blog has 9,946 views and 7 responses.

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NetApp & VMware Webcast: Protect Your Virtualized Environment

Live Webcast
Protect Your Virtualized Environment
Automated Backup and Disaster Recovery Is Within Your Reach

Join us for a live Webcast and hear Rick Scherer, San Diego Data Processing Corporation, discuss his team’s strategy for protecting over 300 virtual machines from system, storage, network, and facility failures.

Register Now

Thursday, February 19, 2009

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Pacific
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Eastern

Outlook Reminder

Technical experts from NetApp and VMware will also discuss how you can use SnapManager® for Virtual Infrastructure and VMware® Site Recovery Manager to:

  • Cost-effectively automate disaster recovery.
  • Eliminate host-server bottlenecks with instantaneous virtual machine backups.
  • Implement policy-based backups using Snapshot™ technology.
  • Use 50% less storage with NetApp. Guaranteed.*
Bonus Offer

Virtual Protection Resource Kit

Can’t Make It?

Click here to register now and gain access to content and special offers after the event.

Created on February 5, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, Conferences, NetApp, Storage, VMware.

This blog has 2,549 views and 2 responses.

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Idealstor Releases VMware vCenter Backup Solution

Idealstor, a leading developer of disk-to-disk backup solutions, announced today the release of iBac VIP for VMware Virtual Center.  iBac VIP for Virtual Center was created to simplify VMware backups by offering a single license that backs up every virtual machine regardless of how many ESX hosts have been implemented.

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Created on February 2, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, Storage.

This blog has 3,580 views and no responses.

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NetApp SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure and VIBE

So, I’ve already had a couple posts including some shell scripts that I wrote that will quiesce your Virtual Machines then initiate a NetApp level snapshot.  Some have noted (including myself) how they are not the best tools for getting the job done….mind you, they worked for me and my purpose, but they were lacking.  I’m not going to get into what they were lacking, but lets just leave it at that (definietly not a commercial product). Luckily for us, NetApp has released a new product called SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure (SMVI) which a lot of people have already discussed in the blogging world.  This is another tool of the SnapManager series which automates the snapshot process for your application, including system quiescing (VM snapshots) and also integration with SnapMirror (if your using it).  Tons of information on SMVI can be found on the links at the bottom of this blog.

OK — so lets take it a step further, say you don’t want to fork out the money for SMVI, what can you do?  Well, NetApp released on its NOW ToolChest (support subscription required) a tool called VIBE, Virtual Infrastructure Backup Engine.

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Created on December 23, 2008 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, NetApp, Storage.

This blog has 8,874 views and one response.

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NetApp Snapshots in ESX – Take 2

Alright, well I finally set aside some time to sit and think about my script that runs my snapshots (VMware Snapshots then NetApp Snapshots then remove VMware Snapshot).   The problem with my current script is that if you have multiple VMware Snapshots they all get removed… which IMO maybe isn’t a bad thing (since your not suppose to keep snapshots for that long), but I can see in some environments it may not be a good thing.

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Created on December 5, 2008 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, ESX 3.5 Tips, NetApp, Storage, VMware.

This blog has 14,012 views and 19 responses.

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