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Migrating volumes with EqualLogic features

During an array migration usually you can use application level trick to move your data between the old and the new array. For example with VMware vSphere you can use the Storage vMotion features (now added also in lower edition of vSphere 5.1) or with Microsoft Hyper-V 3 you can use the new Storage Live Migration feature.

But in some case you may have also an option at storage level. For example to migrate across two Dell EqualLogic array (also different models) you can use the embedded function.

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Comparison - David vs. Golia

The “IT divide” problem

This was a guest post on vDestination.

Usually (especially in Country like mine) we common talk about the Digital divide that bring not equity, or at least not same opportunity, between different group. But this is mainly focused on the connectivity aspects and how accessing to broadband networks could be different and limited for somebody. But this it’s only one aspect and there are also others that must be considered! (more…)

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Installing vCloud Director in a lab

Build a vCloud lab is interesting to increase your skill and knowledge, make some test and of course preparing for the VCAP-CIA exam. If you build on a ESXi nested environment you will not have too much problem (except with old hardware that may not support complete ESXi nesting with vSphere 5.1).

With a VMware Workstation environment (of course with enough memory and resources) could be more fun and portable. But could be more difficult if you plan to use vCloud Director virtual appliance.

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Issue in VM migration: MAC Address may change

Recently I got a strange issue using a cold storage migration usign the Migrate function of vCenter Server.

This was the scenario: a Free Hypervisor with some VMs where a full license (Essential Plus) was added and the host was also added to a vCenter Server. For compatibility matrix reason the version 4.1 was used (although the storage can work with vSphere 5.0 but officially was not supported). Also the Free Hypervisor was build with the 4.0 version and upgraded (one year ago) to the 4.1 version.

This was the issue: after a cold storage migration all the VM build when the ESXi was on version 4.0 have changed their MAC address. No issue on the VM build when ESXi was upgraded to the 4.1 (but still in free mode).

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Microsoft Virtual Labs

Some months ago I’ve write about the VMware Hands on Labs and how labs are important for testing and learning about a product (also for other vendor). Events like VMworld, Microsoft TechEd, Dell Storage Forum, HP Discover, … are a good moment to have access at those kind of labs.

But of course you can also build your own labs (as described in this post) but this require more effort. A good work-around is use on-line and on-demand lab. For VMware the on-line version is just in beta, but for Microsoft this kind of tools are a reality from several years and are called Virtual Labs (available in the TechNet section). You will experience a full-featured virtual lab experience, a download-able manual, and a 90-minute block of time for each module.

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Veeam Backup & Replication – SAN Transport Mode

The SAN Transport Mode is a way to implement a LAN-free backup solution when the backup server is a physical machine and have a direct access to the VMFS datastores. This method was first provided by the VCB Framework and then ported to the vStorage API related to backup and data protection.

In order to use this method in the proper way, some configurations and considerations are required:

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Virtual CPU and Virtual Cores

In a physical environment usually the term CPU is used to refer to the physical package (or socket). The real processing unit inside this package are called cores (and not that each core can have inside more ALU and can be seen as more logical cores with hyper-threading feature). More CPU usually define a SMP system, more cores a multi-core CPU, more CPU each with more cores a complex system (usually the NUMA architecture is used in this case).

In a virtual enviroment the term vCPU is used to refer to a core assigned to a VM. More vCPU define a vSMP system, similar to a physical system with more CPU each with a single core.

The number of vCPUs can be assigned is determined by the license edition (for more info see http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/buy/editions_comparison.html): for all edition except the Enterprise+ was (in vSphere 4.x) 4 vCPU, now (in vSphere 5) is 8 vCPU. For the Enterprise+ edition was 8 and now is 32.

But the number of vCPU can have some impact on guest OS CPU licensing. For example Windows XP or 7 is limited to only 2 vCPUs as “physical” CPUs and can not use more than this limit… But can use more cores.

To get around this limit, it’s possible expose to a VM a more complicated structure where each vCPU has more than one cores. This can be set by and advanced setting in the vmx file. Note that from vSphere 5 this is possible also from graphics interface.

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VMware View 5.1 – Disable the certificate warning

One year ago, I’ve described how to disable the certificate warning in the Windows View Client 5.0, by using GPO or a direct change in the local registry (on the client).

Now, with the new version 5.1 of the View Client there is a new way client side:

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Manage an “isolated” Windows Server

There could some cases where you may have some Windows (Server) completely isolated from the Internet, for example in some appliances or storage solution.

One interesting aspect that learn on Windows products during a DataCore training was that in this case you can have some delay in the user interface, both on the DataCore GUI, but also on the Windows one.

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Using PCoIP on WAN connections

In a View environment the PCoIP is usually the right choice and on a LAN works really well (see also the previous post about PCoIP and RDP differences). But on a wide-area networks (WANs)you have to consider some aspects to have a reasonable reactivity or to maximize the number of remote clients: you must consider bandwidth constraints and latency issues. The PCoIP display protocol provided by VMware adapts to varying latency and bandwidth conditions, but some optimization may be needed.

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After the first announce in August (Nakivo annouce v4) and some intermediate versions (v3.8 and v3.9) with some of the announced features, and with also a good beta period, now the NAKIVO Backup & Replication v4.0 is finally available.

Built for virtualization, this backup product is an all-in-one backup and replication solution that features a Web UI, protects live VMs running applications and databases, can run backup and replication jobs as often as every minute, reduces the backup size with deduplication and compression, speeds up data transfer with network acceleration, enables full VM and granular recovery, provides reporting, encryption, and cloud integration features.

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Dell Enterprise Forum EMEA 2014

Now that the Dell Enterprise Forum EMEA at Frankfurt has finished is possible comment this event and compare with the previous EMEA editions. This year, due to work commitments I was able to attend only one day (Tuesday), and for this reason my evaluations will certainly influenced by this limited time (that of course cannot describe the entire event).

But the first impression (and partly also shared by some of the other attendees) is that this event was a bit ‘resigned (or undertone, if you prefer), certainly compared to the London event (where perhaps there were less people, but was really great, probably because was the first, but also for the excellent organization, and has been above my expectations) than the one in Paris. To be honest, however, this is a general impression that covers many of the events of this year.

Something was really missing, for example I definitely expected something more for bloggers and for the Dell TechCenter Rockstars, if only because in events like VMworld there arises a lot of attention to these aspects.

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vExpert

The primary reason for becoming vExpert certainly should not be related to any possible benefits of the program. And once confirmed (for me is the fifth year in a row) you have to think more about what you can give rather to what is to be expected. But I’d be a hypocrite to deny that there are also practical advantages in being a vExpert!

Officially, VMware, according with the vExpert FAQ, say that the biggest benefit of the award is the public recognition as a VMware vExpert Award winner.

But benefits also include:

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vmug-it

After the great success of the first Italian VMUG User Conference, there will be the second edition on May 7 2014 still in Milan but in a new location: the MiCo (MilanoFiera City).

A VMUG User Conference is not your regular VMUG meeting, it’s a full blown conference, with separate tracks and prominent guest speakers. A good opportunity to learn more, share experiences, and make networking.

And note that some sessions (we are trying to build an entire track) will also be in English, so this is not only for Italian people, but for all VMUG members!

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Heartbleed is a software bug in the open-source cryptography library OpenSSL, which allows an attacker to read the memory of a server or a client, allowing (with special forget packets) reading (small) portition of the victim client. This could expose to lost of some data and potentially also confidendial data.

Heartbleed.com has a detailed explanation of the issue, which is related to the “heartbeat” section of OpenSSL’s transport layer security (TSL) protocols and has been in the wild since March 2012 and affect all version from OpenSSL 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f.

You need to upgrade the OpenSSL binaries if you are implementing services with SSL but also you have to change your password (or you certificates) if you are using (of have used) affected services (see also The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now).

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Fusion-IO is a well-know company in the host-side flash solutions to accelerates databases, virtualization, cloud computing, big data, and the applications without change your storage. Their In-Server Acceleration products are impressive (sometime also in the price) and can provide up to 10.24TB of flash to maximize performance for large data sets, or also solutions for blade server (with the ioDrive2® Mezzanine).

Thanks to Fusion-IO Italy I’ve got the opportunity to test thee Fusion-io 410GB ioScale, the smallest model of this product line (ioScale products use MLC technology and are in these capacities: 410GB, 825GB, 1650GB, 3.2TB), but enough to provide good performance and enable my environment to do some tests (anyway they are the second Generation ioScale Device).

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Heartbleed is a software bug in the open-source cryptography library OpenSSL, which allows an attacker to read the memory of a server or a client, allowing (with special forget packets) reading (small) portition of the victim client. This could expose to lost of some data and potentially also confidendial data.

Heartbleed.com has a detailed explanation of the issue, which is related to the “heartbeat” section of OpenSSL’s transport layer security (TSL) protocols and has been in the wild since March 2012 and affect all version from OpenSSL 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f.

You need to upgrade the OpenSSL binaries if you are implementing services with SSL but also you have to change your password (or you certificates) if you are using (of have used) affected services (see also The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now).

continue reading…

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Heartbleed is a software bug in the open-source cryptography library OpenSSL, which allows an attacker to read the memory of a server or a client, allowing (with special forget packets) reading (small) portition of the victim client. This could expose to lost of some data and potentially also confidendial data.

Heartbleed.com has a detailed explanation of the issue, which is related to the “heartbeat” section of OpenSSL’s transport layer security (TSL) protocols and has been in the wild since March 2012 and affect all version from OpenSSL 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f.

You need to upgrade the OpenSSL binaries if you are implementing services with SSL but also you have to change your password (or you certificates) if you are using (of have used) affected services (see also The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now).

continue reading…

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Dell Enterprise Forum EMEA 2014

Also this time I’ll be attending the Dell Enterprise Forum EMEA (this third edition, after London and Paris,  will be in Frankfurt) and will be a good opportunity to spend some time with the technical Dell people, see latest products, hear about the new strategy and new products.

This is the first European Dell event, after the name rebrand and one year miss due to some changes in the period (previously was in Winter/Autumn, now in Spring).

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VCAP-DCA

One year ago I’ve written about the VMware exams and related products version but in the past months something has changes in VMware exams and the described criteria is not (completely) valid.

Some month ago VMware has release a new VCP5-DCV exam based on vSphere 5.5 and I’ve (later) associated this with the new recertification policy for VCP.

But on April 7, VMware released a new exam to qualify candidates for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration (VCAP5-DCA) Certification. This new exam (exam code VDCA550) is based on vSphere v5.5, where the existing exam (exam code VDCA510) is based on vSphere v5.0.

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After five months the GA of VMware Horizon View 5.3, now VMware announce officially the new VMware Horizon 6.0 with much emphasis on the features of Horizon View. In the VMware End-User Computing Blog there are several post about it, but of course there are also several other blog post.

Will be an impressive innovation? Will be the year of VDI? Can simple change some rules and equilibrium in the EUC world?

There are of course several new features, but I think that it’s mostly and evolution than a revolution. The main core architecture remain exactly the same, with it’s pro and cons.

About if this could be the year of VDI, I think that after more than five years, nobody will never say this sentence again: the really is that the EUC is a fragmented world and will remain a fragmented world just because there are different needs. But some of the new features of Horizon View can change something.

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