The horror of Agent-Based system restores

A day in the life of a Data Protection Auditor

STEP 1: List VM hardware details!
  • vCenter (CPU/MEM/vDISK/vNIC)
  • including vNIC & SCSI Controller type!!!
STEP 2: List in-Guest Backup Agent details (case-sensitive)
  • http://backup.local
  • Remark: Operating Systems description are not (always) up to date, which could lead to wrong choice of template.
  • Remark: Everyone using the same (personalised) admin accounts is not a best-practise for logging purposes > use admin groups!
STEP 3: list IP Configuration details
  • http://cmdb.local
  • Issue: NO DNS information available
  • Remark: everyone using the same (personalised) admin accounts is not a best-practise for logging purposes > use admin groups!
STEP 3: deploying a VM template + change VM hardware
  • remark: no OS optimization enabled in vCenter
  • Issue: different HAL is impossible to know (i.e. single-processor/multiprocessor)
  • remark: due to lack of VAAI plugin for Storage Array, this process takes over 15-20 minutes.
STEP 4: perform guest OS & IP changes
  • if DMZ > change host file
    • x.x.x.x backupserver backupserver.local (server VLAN)
    • x.x.x.x backupserverb backupserverb.local (backup VLAN)
  • Remark: using local host-file changes makes restore unnecessary complicated. Make these changes in DNS.
STEP 5: initialize new disk(s)
  • Issue: drive letters unknown in CMDB
STEP 6: set <old school software> client details
STEP 7: reboot
STEP 8: take VM snapshot in case restore fails
THESE 8 steps take about 1 hour to complete
STEP 9: restore C:\
  • Issue: restore procedure cannot be killed by admin > no way to know real progress without involving global team.
This process takes about 30 minutes to complete
STEP 10: restore SystemState
This process takes about 30 minutes to complete
STEP 11: reboot
STEP 12: restore Data disks
The time this process takes depends on the size of the machine.
===========================================
Somehow I have a feeling this not really the most efficient way to protect your infrastructure.
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Ask Me A Question – button campaign

A hot topic in the last few years has been awareness around the lack of women in IT. This goes from how we give young girls dolls but boys a plastic screwdriver, to gender equality in the household, i.e., who has responsibility for the children, to how we treat women in IT on a daily basis. At the heart of the matter, I see the gender equality in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education as the issue which needs to be attacked at all levels of society.

In 2009, 24% of the jobs in STEM in the US were filled in by women, where in all jobs, the average was 48%. (source)

You go, girl!

I’ve said it before: I am a Heterosexual Type-A Alpha-male with ADHD. This is a recipe for disaster when it comes to treating women or just people in general. Micro-agression is probably one of the things I am guilty of the most. Quite recently I talked about a female colleague, who is a brilliant engineer, and referred to her as a ‘great girl’. I heard myself saying it, immediately corrected myself and was lucky enough my (female) partner in the conversation did not take it as an offense. After talking it over with her, I will never say it again and I will help other people understand why they shouldn’t as well. It is condescending in every possible way.

The phrase ‘girls’ night out’ or ‘boys’ night out’ is not an excuse to call a female colleague a girl! You would never refer to a man in a professional context as a boy.

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vSphere Storage Array FEEDBACK requested

I am working on a lengthy post/presentation related to UNMAP on all levels of the stack (from Guest Volume to Physical disk). During my research I have noticed that there is no way for me to find out through the VMware HCL which arrays support T10 UNMAP. Therefor I need your help. If you find 5 minutes of your time I’d love to get a few details from your array.

  • Vendor + Model + Firmware
  • vSphere Version
  • VAAI Status (screenshot 2)
  • Thin Provisioning Status (screenshot 2)
  • Delete Status (screenshot 1)

Screenshot 1:

Look up datastore device name: # esxcli storage vmfs extent list

Show VAAI details: #esxcli storage core device vaai status get -d [device]

NewImage

Screenshot 2:

Look up Thin Provisioning status: #esxcli storage core device list -d [device]

NewImage

NOTE: I am NOT interested here in Deduplication / Compression / ZeroPageReclaim so please don’t start pitching your product in the comments.

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Is the End of the Federation the real question?

Sometimes you get this one single thought that triggers a whole blogpost. This week someone asked me what’s to become of the EMC Federation when Joe Tucci is going on his retirement in 2015.

To give this some background; when the EMC Federation got it’s third leg, being Pivotal, next to VMware and EMC itself, there were some chairs being shifted. Once Pat Gelsinger made the move as COO of EMC to become CEO at VMware (2012), Paul Maritz moved into EMC to later become CEO of the third leg Pivotal (2013). In that light Joe Tucci said he wouldn’t leave the throne before 2015. Today we are 1 quarter away from 2015 so it’s worth thinking what could happen to the Federation.

[edit: re comment Greg Schulz] I forgot to mention that David Goulden is the 3rd CEO managing EMC Information Infrastructure (the EMC you know) and Joe Tucci is the CEO of the Federation itself.

JoeTucci

What’s to become of the federation

I think the what’s to become of the federation lies in the other question what’s to become of VMware? I think VMware is heading a very challenging time. VMware is slowly but certain losing it’s market domination. If you simplify the last 30 years in technology you could say that

  • 20 years ago everyone ran the same mainframes
  • 10 years ago everyone ran Windows physical server
  • the last 10 years everyone ran VMware hypervisors

I’m sure you’ll disagree and tell me you ran other stuff but I am speaking about a specific technology being the primary for the market ecosystem.

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VMworld wrap-up: the EVO-Family

The Announcements

It’s hard for #vExperts, bloggers, industry experts, … to be surprised at these events. We are so close to it all the other 51 weeks of the year that most announcements are either already known through some chatter on the Social Media platforms or we may already have been briefed. Another reason is that most announcements are just evolutionairy and fall in the category of ‘this was what we expected at some point‘.

EVO Rail

EVO-Family

We have been ‘warned’ that VMware was going to announce a hyperconverged platform at VMworld 2014. Under the working title Marvin we had a fair share of guessing going on. First of all I must applaud VMware for NOT going into hardware selling. VMware is and remains to the day a pure software company that simply does not have the internal structure for sales, distribution and support of hardware appliances.

This brings us to the why of EVO-family. If you simplify it, EVO (both Rail & Rack) is nothing more than VMware software, distrubuted by the OEMs. This is not new as those vendors have been selling it that way for years. Then it was only ESX(i) because that was all that was available. So why the big buzz then? In my opinion EVO is not an intent to sell more VMware. But it is a product that gives the OEM vendors an answer to the node-based datacenter architecture where Nutanix, SimpliVity and ScaleComputing have led the way.

Mike Laverick 2014 Aug 29

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VMworld wrap-up: this is Sparta!

This is my thank you to the community at large. Not only has VMware built the biggest eco-system there is today in the datacenter industry, it also has by far the biggest and best community. Every VMworld I make new friends for life! Not just business connections, not just people to talk to over the common denominator being technology but true personal friends.

  • The type of friends you invite for a birthday dinner or even a wedding for that matter.
  • The type of friends that set up huge fund-raising campaigns when one of us faces the toughest periods in life.
  • The type of friends I will take PTO for to show them my country (call me!!!).
  • The type of friends that stand up for one another with no questions asked. We will bully the bullies, we will escort you to your room if you had one too many, we will respect you for who you are and take on anyone that would challenge that.
  • The type of friends that help me being a better person in life, whether that is through praise or preach.

THIS my friends is our SPARTA!

I hope to see you all real soon again and in the mean time, enjoy my set of #VMworld pictures. Feel free to download them at full size, re-use them wherever you need (yes dear vendor, you too) or tag yourself in my facebook album. While you are there, hit that friend request button if you haven’t done so before.

COMMENTS: tell me your best personal moment of VMworld 2014 in the comments section please! Share your Sparta.

 

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VMWorld vendor update: Infinio 2.0

Infinio is just one of those small startups you just cannot love enough. Most of that is actually due to their great choice of people. From CEO down to localised sales engineers or one of my personal best friends in this industry Matthew Brender (@mjbrender

Infinio 2.0

Infinio launched last year with a storage accelerator product. The short elevator pitch is basically that you’d deploy one small appliance per VMware host that uses 8GB of your RAM to offload NFS-read requests, through a distributed caching pool.

Today Infinio is announcing Infinio Accelerator v2.0. You can follow a deepdive about the updates on Wednesday through their presentation for TechFieldDay. But I had a brief chat with Matthew yesterday and thought I’d share some more information to go with the press release.

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The IT Hulk thoughts

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