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The last event day has started at 8 AM with the general sessions “Efficient IT – Shifting from Operation to Innovation” with Stephen Murdoch (VP & GM of Public and Large Enterprise, EMEA).

In my opinion, this was the best general session of the entire event, maybe with a less impact compared with the one yesterday morning, with a lot of interesting points, like:  “Dell is focusing on people & process not just the technology”, “17% of IT hardware is storage 60% of storage cost is labour “, “shadow IT is when users just go out and do stuff to get it done”, “Unavailable IT complexity must be handle with automation/cloud or must become strategic”.

Also a new website and project has been announced: a unique space where IdeaStorm visitors like you can take part in hyper-focused idea-generating sessions. For more information see http://www.ideastorm.com/

The rest of the day was covered, as yesterday, by parallel sessions (some of them were a repeat of a previous one, but other were also more deep in technical details) and also the Hand-on Labs (pretty good the Equallogic related labs).

Finally, in the afternoon, I went away to go back.

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The third day was also the first official one: there are two different track at DellSF12, one for the partner (starting from Monday) and one for the customer (starting from Wednesday).

The day program opens (8:00-9:00) with a plenary session from Darren Thomas (VP & GM of Dell Storage) and Phil Soran (President of Dell Compellent) that introduce the “Fluid by Design” approach of Dell storage solutions.

The fluid properties of keep the same level if you rotate the container or adapt if you change the form or streck the container can match the capacity of Dell storage to keep good service level and adapt itself. Was interesting have an entire session without the term cloud or virtualization (or at least without a huge usage of this terms).

The rest of the day was with parallel sessions (really more than previous days) and I’ve followed the Equallogic track that was really interesting (particular the Ethernet design track) with a look at the NDA session about the new Fluid File System (the Exanet port to have a NAS gateway for all the Dell block storage).

The evening event was in an amazing location (Tower of London) and still was a good way to close a full intensive day. There were several ice-sculptures, with the biggest one at the entrance that represent the Towers Bridge (used also, in the morning general session, as an example of Fluid by Design architecture).

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The second day at Dell Storage Forum 2012 London has finished with a lot of interesting information about Dell plans in storage and products roadmap.

The general session “Channel Partner Session” (8:00-9:00) was a great overview handled by Greg Davis and Andy Hardy, with the announce of the “cloud certification” for partners.

More technical (and also protected by NDA) was the general session (9:00-10:00) by Brett Roscoe and Mike Devis on Dell Storage Roadmap and how different products (like PowerVault, Equallogic and Complent) will (or may will) share some technologies (like deduplication, NAS, some core features of fluid data, …).

Also the Dell DR4000 has been announced, then is a physical appliance to handle deduplication and can fit in B2D solutions (previous there was the EMC DataDomain in Dell portfolio for this specific area).

Similar, but more detailed and deep were the other two sessions in the morning about a Deep Dive of Equallogic (with a lot of live demo) and Complellent roadmap. In this case NDA is really strict and I cannot say more. But some of my hope in the wish-list may be handled in the future…

The afternoon was more traditional with a lot of sales and pre-sales sessions.

The evening event was great in a nice English pub and was a nice way to close the day (unfortunally has finish too late to go also to the #storagebeers).

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One of the “non-official” event at the Dell Storage Forum 2012 will be the #storagebeers – London 2012 organized by Martin Glassborow (@storagebod).

All are welcome, whether attending Dell Storage Forum or not…whether you work for Dell or not. Please come along and enjoy a pub where Dickens, Dr Johnson and Voltaire all drank.

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The first event day was quite strange, one reason was that I take only the second half of the day (my fly has landed around 12:00), and the second reason was that day has been focused on the partner training. There where four different sessions of “Partner Pre-Conference Training”: one sales oriented, and the others for technical people on EqualLogic FS7500, Equallogic and Compellent.

I’ve choose the NAS track, due to the high confidence level with EqualLogic block stora family and the quite good one on Compellent. But, honestly, was a little low my expectation because was not too much deep and without limited practical demo. The training sessions for customers, instead, where handled really good (has I hear from some of them) and all where with hands-on-lab.

But the evening event for partner, in the hotel hall, was pretty good and a was to meet and know some people. There were really few Italian people (seems that the total number of Italian attendees was around 10), but may the reason was that it was the first Dell Storage event in Europe.

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This a a wish-list of what I would like to hear at the Dell Storage Forum 2012, for future features or roadmap in Dell Storage products:

  • An ASM Linux edition that work with LVM (actually does not exist).
  • An integration between ASM Virtual edition with the ASM Windows edition in order to handle granular restore of files, mail and database in VMs without use a guest iSCSI initiator inside them.
  • More applications supported in Compellent’s ReplyManager (without using scripting).
  • Storage snapshots integration with backup programs, to implement a backup offload procedure (something is actually possible with CommVault, or with scripting).
  • Extent the replication also to other storage of MD3xxx family.
  • RAID across Equallogic member to have a fully redundant group (actually the volume distribution act as a RAID0, wonderful for performance but could be dangerous for resilience).
  • Unified NAS solution for Equallogic and Compellent (and, why not, also the PowerVault MD3xxx serie): the FS7500 and the zNAS have similar approach, but different technologies and interfaces.
  • And for the next year, I hope that that the european edition will not be in the first working week of the year.

 

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One of the first big events of this new year will be the Dell Storage Forum (the first Dell’s European storage show) during the second week of January (9-12). This event was partly born from the hashes of C-Drive (Compellent trade show) that was supposed to have its first European incarnation last year but due to the acquisition of Compellent by Dell C-Drive got canceled and Dell Storage Forum was born instead conveying all things storage by Dell in a single storage-focused event.

For more information on the event see also those post: Time to pack your bags for the Dell Storage Forum in London! and Dell Storage Forum 2012 London – the day before.

On Twitter, there is a official hashtag for the event (#DellSF12) and a list of some attendees (@DellSF/dellsf12london)

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Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager is a Web-based management and reporting application that comes with Veeam Backup & Replication (included only in the Enterprise edition). It allows management of multiple instances of Veeam Backup & Replication from a single console. It is also required to delegate restoration permission and to approve application restoration (AD, Exchange and SQL).

The installation file (Veeam_Backup_Enterprise_Manager_Setup_*.exe) is in the same archive of Veeam Backup & Replication. It can be installed on a new Windows machine or in the same machine of the Backup component.

For more information see also:

Requirements

  • Microsoft Internet Information Services 5.1 or later (“IIS 6.0 Management Compatibility” and  “Windows Authentication” components are required for IIS 7.0)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008 (SQL 2005 Express Edition is included in the setup)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 (included in the setup)

Installation

On a new Windows Server 2008 R2 you can simple add the IIS roles and then start the installation and follow the wizard.

 

Configuration

Logon to the Enterprise Manager https://servername:9443, then choose Configuration, Backup Servers, Add. In the Backup Server settings dialog enter the computer name or IP address of the backup server and provide user credentials.

Note that the the data are collected not in real-time, but periodically (according with the scheduling).

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Compared to other backup software, Veeam Backup & Replication has several formats to save and handle the backup files. As you can see in the Advanced Settings for each backup jobs there are different formats (or mode) where the files are saved:

  • Reversed incremental: the last file is a full version and past files are re-calculated as delta files.
  • Incremental: the first file is a full one and on each backup jobs is created a new delta file.
  • Incremental with synthetic full: similar to the previous but a new full file is periodically re-calculated.
  • Incremental with a single synthetic full: a mix of the reversed and the incremental, with only one full file.

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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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Some weeks ago, Veeam has released the first patch for the Backup & Replication 6. The fixed issues are:

  •  Direct SAN Access processing mode does not work for some virtual machines with certain SAN makes and models.
  • Virtual Appliance (Hot Add) processing mode does not work when backup proxy is installed on non-English version of Microsoft Windows.
  • Upgrade related issues affecting jobs created with v5 – poor incremental backup performance, and large VIB file created on the first incremental run.

Also this patch is only available thought the technical support, because is not yet included in a new package (same as the patch for vSphere 5 with Veeam Backup 5.0.2). To be honest, in the official KB there are also the instruction to direct download the patch: http://www.veeam.com/kb_articles.html/KB1442

One lack of the KB is that there isn’t a list of the affected SAN (I’ve found that some old EMC Clariion are affected)… so I suggest, if you use SAN mode, to just apply the patch.

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Interesting European IT events:

Interesting Italian IT event (most in English):

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