Unable to install .NET Framework 3.5 feature in Azure Windows Server images

Windows Azure provides images of Windows Server 2008 and 2012. Using a few mouseclicks a new virtual machine can be depoyed in just minutes.

Just like when using your own Windows install, if you need .NET Framework 3.5 you will need to install this feature. It is listed in the ‘Add roles and features’ wizard.

In Windows Azure you might get the error listed below:

Installation of one or more roles, role services, or features failed. The source files could not be found.

dotnetinstall-fail

You will get the following error if the conditions listed below are valid:

1. the virtual machine is part of an Azure Virtual Network

2. DNS server(s) are added to the Azure Virtual Network configuration

3. Those DNS server do not have a forward to an external DNS server able to resolve internet based servers.

Cause of issue

For installing .NET 3.5,  Windows Server needs to download binaries located on an internet server. Probably located at microsoft.com.

If your Azure virtual machine is not part of a virtual network, it will be configured with a Microsoft managed DNS server by DHCP. This DNS server will be able to resolve DNS queries to internet based servers. So download and installation of .NET will be sucesfully.

If the VM is part of a virtual network, and you filled in the DNS server name/IP, you as tenant are responsible for providing DNS.

In the Azure Virtual  Network configuration tab a DNS servername and IP-address can be supplied. Make sure this DNS server is able to resolve internet based servers. If not, download of .NET and thus install will fail.

If you do not manage/have access to  a DNS server, use Google public DNS at 8.8.8.8

Make sure to reboot the VM if you make changes to the Virtual Network configuration. Ipconfig will not result in providing the VM with DNS server details.

What it takes to write a book on IT

As you might know currently I am authoring a book on Microsoft hybrid cloud. The book will explain Windows Azure IaaS and how to connect on-premise Windows Server/System Center infrastructures to Windows Azure to create a hybrid cloud. The book will discuss cloud computing, Microsoft Cloud OS, Azure datacenters, VPN, PowerShell, Hyper-V Recovery Manager, App Controller, StorSimple,  Windows Azure Pack, billing, costs structure, administration, monitoring and much, much more.

In a series of blogpostings I will describe my experiences in writing this book. This first blog in the serie will give you an indication about the tasks involved in writing a book.

One thing to consider when wanting to write a book yourself: it will take LOTS of time.

Things I did/ do to write the book:

  • discuss contract and content with the publisher
  • discuss with girlfriend about sponsoring ;-)
  • create the outline. This provides the publisher an indication about content,
  • do research on content for the book.
  • install software in testlab. Create screendumps etc.
  • write first draft of chapters
  • search for reviewers
  • contact with Microsoft
  • write TIS. This has description of the author and content of the book. Used for publication at sites like Amazon.com
  • write bio used in book.
  • fill in invoice forms for publisher. During severall stages of the book an invoice is sent.
  • create images
  • contact with publisher with questions on reviewing etc
  • contact with reviewers
  • process reviews made by publisher and reviewers
  • monitor status of delivery of reviews
  • write blog for promotion
  • write final draft of chapters

Hope this gives an impression of the amount of work. My book will have about 250 pages. I estimate I will need about 200-250 hours to do all the tasks involved in writing the book.

 

RVTools version 3.6 released

RVTools made by Rob de Veij is one of the best FREE tools available which helps consultants and system administrators in inventory and managing a VMware vSphere infrastructure. It offers a lot of information on the configuration of storage, network, virtual machines, ESX hosts  and a LOT more. Information can easily be downloaded in CSV format so you can do for example capacity planning. With RVTools you can disconnect the cd-rom or floppy drives from the virtual machines and RVTools is able to update the VMware Tools installed inside each virtual machine to the latest version.

If you do not know RVTools I strongly recommend to download the tool and see for yourself how useful it is and makes your life much easier. You won’t regret.

Download here.

New in the RVTools 3.6 release:

  • New tabpage with cluster information
  • New tabpage with multipath information
  • On vInfo tabpage new fields HA Isolation response and HA restart priority
  • On vInfo tabpage new fields Cluster affinity rule information
  • On vInfo tabpage new fields connection state and suspend time
  • On vInfo tabpage new field The vSphere HA protection state for a virtual machine (DAS
  • Protection)
  • On vInfo tabpage new field quest state.
  • On vCPU tabpage new fields Hot Add and Hot Remove information
  • On vCPU tabpage cpu/socket/cores information adapted
  • On vHost tabpage new fields VMotion support and storage VMotion support
  • On vMemory tabpage new field Hot Add
  • On vNetwork tabpage new field VM folder.
  • On vSC_VMK tabpage new field MTU
  • RVToolsSendMail: you can now also set the mail subject
  • Fixed a datastore bug for ESX version 3.5
  • Fixed a vmFolder bug when started from the commandline
  • Improved documentation for the commandline options

Register for free VCAP bootcamp at NLVMUG event

The first ever NLVMUG event will be held at March 6 in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. The agenda and information on registration can be found here.

vcap5-dcd

Besides breakout sessions this year will have a free VCAP bootcamp. VCDX Joep Piscaer, Martijn Baecke (VCDX #103) and Viktor van den Berg (VCDX #121) will help you prepare and certify for the VCAP exams and VCAP-DCD in particular.

Time: 15.15 till 17:30 during the NLVMUG event.

More information and registration for the bootcamp here.

VMware VSAN will be general available in March 2014

At VMware Partner Exchange 2014 some interesting details were made public about features of VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) and it general availability.

VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) is a very popular product even when it has not been released yet. It is currently available in public beta. Over 10.000 people joined this beta. More on the background of VMware VSAN in my blog here.

VMware is currently offering beta customers a 20% discount on Virtual SAN purchases.  The discount is available to those beta participants who have joined and downloaded the Virtual SAN beta product.

I guess VMware estimates  the GA of VSAN will lead to a significant growth in sales. VSAN can be used in many customer environments currently running vSphere. It might also boosts vSphere license upgrades as vSphere 5.5 or later is required to run VSAN.  It  promises to become a pretty disruptive technology.

VSAN creates out of local server storage (SSD and HDD) a shared storage solution provinding best performance for lower costs compared to general purpose storage arrays. Host based SSD is used for caching, HDD is used for persistent storage of virtual machine hard disk files.

Benefits of VSAN are:

  • Reduce investment costs by using cheap low cost storage instead of expensive SAN
  • Pay as you grow model instead of large upfront investments. If you need more storage capacity simply add SDD or HDD instead of having to buy a new SAN extension.
  • It lowers operational costs because it is simple to use, does not require a storage administrator and has increased automation

Some more details on VSAN became public in the last couple of days thanks to VMware Partner Exchange (PEX). The information below was extracted from a recent blogpost of Chuck Hollis.

1. VSAN will be generally available in Q1 2014 (confirmed). At March 6 a VSAN webinar is scheduled. This is hosted by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and CTO Ben Fathi. These executives are likely to announce some surprises. In the past we have seen announcements of new releases of VMware vSphere at similar webinars presented by the CEO. So a good *guess* would be that at March 6 the GA data of VSAN will be announced.  Maybe March 6 will be the GA date.

2. VSAN will be made available as a seperate stock keeping unit (SKU). This means VSAN is not included in the vSphere license.

3. A VSAN cluster will support at least 16 nodes at GA.

4. VSAN can be installed by customers by buying their own parts like controllers, SDD and HDD. It will also be possible to buy preconfigured servers of IBM, Dell and Cisco. These contain all the VSAN required components which are listed on the VSAN hardware compatibility guide. For example will combine SanDisk SSDs within the Dell PowerEdge R720 and PowerEdge T620 servers to power VSAN.

5. Each VSAN node can support up to 35 disk drives (in addition to up to 5 SSD or PCI-e flash devices). A max of 560 spindles in a single VSAN cluster is supported.

A lot of questions are asked on the pricing of VSAN. Pricing has not been announced yet. Licensing will be based on the number of CPU sockets in the nodes part of a VSAN cluster (unconfirmed).

Duncan Epping has another summary about VSAN here. 

 

 

Atlantis releases Unified Software Defined Storage ILIO USX

Atlantis Computing released a new 100% software solution named ILIO USX (=Unified Software Defined Storage) which enables both a capacity & performance increase  compared to existing SAN/NAS/DAS.

Organizations using server virtualization are facing two operational challenges:

  • growth of data (new application, current fileservers, databases, big data etc)
  • increasing demand for performance. Both caused by increased number of applications as well as disk intensive applications.

These challenges are traditionally solved by adding more spindles in current SAN or NAS, or by adding purpose build storage solutions. Think about solutions like Nutanix, Nimble, Pure Storage, EMC XtremIO etc. See my blogpost for an overview.

The disadvantages of this approach are:

  • costs . Hybrid arrays with flash and HDD or All Flash Arrays (AFA) are relative expensive
  • different silo’s of storage solutions all having different management interfaces and requiring specific knowledge.

Atlantis ILIO USX has a different approach. It is able to use currently in use  storage arrays (SAN/NAS), abstracts its storage and provides both a storage capacity and performance boost to that storage arrays. Plus it uses the physical host memory (RAM) and host based Flash as a performance boost. 

This can be somehow compared to what for example VMware VSAN, Nutanix and Maxta MxSP do: they use SSD as a cache. However ILIO USX uses host RAM not as a cache but as a distributed storage volume. Nothing beats the speed of RAM.

Architecture: In-Memory Storage Volumes

Atlantis ILIO USX pools local server RAM, flash or “flash on Dimm” resources across multiple servers to create a high-performance In-Memory storage volume that can be used as primary storage. Data is protected by replicating it between multiple hosts and, optionally to shared storage in a capacity pool.

Turn local storage into enterprise storage

USX is able to use local storage and present it to virtual machines as a volume very similar to what Nutanix, VMware VSAN, Maxta MxSP and Simplivity does. USX pools local disks of multiple hosts into a distributed datastore.

For resiliency data is replicated to other nodes in the cluster. So if a host/node fails, data is not lost. For this replication of both the storage layer and the volume stored in memory  10Gb/s network cards are required. There is no limit in the number of nodes in a cluster.

Volumes are presented using NFS or iSCSI. This way even applications running on physical servers can benefit from USX services like de-dup, compression etc.

USX is installed on each VMware ESX host as a virtual appliance running a Linux based os. This same appraoch is used by Nutanix and Maxta.The USX software running on that virtual appliance is able to provide high end data services like dedup, inline compression, IO processing, write coalescing, fast clones, high availability and thin provisioning to any class of storage, delivered with in-memory speed.

ILIO USX is not a typical replacement of a current of even new storage solution (SAN/NAS). If an organization already invested in an all-flash array or hybrid array Atlantis ILIO USX can enhance that array. Those arrays provide great performance but not always optimal storage capacity. Because of the dedupe and compression technology at the compute level ILIO USX enables storing of up to 5 x more VMs per Terrabyte. Because of the smart way of writing data the lifetime of flash is extended.

One of the Atlantis customers uses EqualLogic arrays and pools them with their Nimble arrays to more than double the available storage capacity, while delivering 10x increase in the performance.

This is a Atlantis document explaining how VMware VSAN benefits from USX.

Hypervisor support
To be able to use ILIO USX a hypervisor is required. Currently support is limited to VMware ESX. Support for Hyper-V will be added later this year.

cloud support
Version 1.0 supports IBM SmartCloud integration. Not sure what that is.

In the 1.5 release expected in spring support is added for Amazon S3 and OpenStack Swift object storage.

Licensing & pricing 

ILIO USX has a capacity based licensing. Customers purchases licenses based on the total storage capacity presented by ILIO USX. Licenses are added incrementally in steps of 1 TB . Licensing does not depend on the characteristics of the underlying storage. So pricing is same for SSD, Flash, HDD etc. Also there is just one edition available.
Pricing has not been announced yet. Atlantis Computing partners which have done a training will be able to provide pricing.  USX is available starting now, through certified partners.

Evaluation
Evaluation versions which can be used for a limited time are expected to be available by the end of February.

More information

The press release of Atlantis Computing on ILIO USX.
Atlantis ILIO USX Techical FAQ
Atlantis ILIO USX information

The Register: Mystical VM-accelerating beast emerges from Atlantis

Blogs on ILIO USX

Atlantis launches USX. In-Memory storage for your VMware environment by Luca Dell’Oca of virtualtothecore.com

Atlantis ILIO USX, In-Memory Performance for Servers by Marco Broeken of vClouds.nl

Atlantis launches ILIO USX – pooled storage for virutalized serversby IT Candor

Atlantis ILIO USX – unified software-defined storage by Andrea Mauro of vInfrastructure.it 

Atlantis Computing Releases ILIO USX – Deploy Up to 5x More VMs / Lowers Costs by up to 50% by  dabcc.com

SBC and VDI terms Demystified

I was getting a bit confused by all the different terms used by vendors like Citrix for ways to present datacenter executed desktops to end-users. This post is an attempt to make clear what vendors and analyst firms like Gartner mean.

Basically there are two techniques to execute desktops in a datacenter and present it to end-users:

Server Based Computing (SBC). Also known as ‘presentation virtualization’ and ‘session virtualization’. Invented by Citrix when it launched WinFrame in 1995. It basically is able to host multiple user sessions on a single operating system. Each user session is able to run it’s own user environment and applications. WinFrame evolved to the current Citrix XenApp. Microsoft acquired the code of Citrix and started it’s own product named Terminal Services. Currently this is called Remote Desktop Services. Both Citrix and Microsoft solutions allow to present individual applications or full desktops.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). VMware is inventor of the VDI-technology. It introduced Virtual Desktop Manager 2.0 at January 24 2008. This was the first VDI solution on the market which involved to the current VMware Horizon View. Citrix released competitor XenDesktop in 2009.
Using VDI each user session runs on a seperate operating system running as a vitual machine hosted by a hypervisor.
VDI is in most scenarios used to present a full desktop to the enduser. Citrix offers in XenDesktop a way to present a single application in a VDI session.(VM hosted apps)

For VDI  many other terms used. One of the reasons is that VMware has legal rights on the name VDI. To prevent copyright issues some vendors decide to use a slightly different naming. Another reason is because different implementations are used in VDI like server and client operating systems.

  • Hosted Virtual Desktops (HVD). Same as VDI but Gartner uses this to prevent copyright issues
  • Centralized Virtual desktops (CVDs)= Same as VDI. Used by IDC
  • Server-hosted virtual desktops (SVHD)= Same as VDI. Mainly used by analyst firms.
  • Hosted VDI Desktops (1-to-1 Windows 7/8)= VDI. Term used by Citrix.
  • hosted private desktop = VDI. Term used by Citrix
  • Server VDI = VDI . A term used by Citrix. It is VDI delivered by Citrix XenDesktop
  • Personal VM-based VDI= VDI where each user has its own, persistent environment stored on unique virtual disks. Applications  which are installed by the user remain available even when session has ended.
  • Pooled VM-based VDI= VDI in which the user environment is reset after the session has ended.
  • Server VDI Workers (VM/Server Isolation) = VDI. A term used by Citrix. In this configuration virtual machines are running Windows Server as a guest operating system without Remote Desktop Services enabled. Each instance is used by a single end user. In most cases a Windows 7/8 look and feel is applied. Citrix XenDesktop is used to run these Windows Server vm’s. The reason to use Windows Server as a operating system for end users is Microsoft not allowing to use Windows client operating systems in multi-tenant infrastructures with shared hardware.

Server based computing terms

  • Session-Based VDI = SBC. Term used  for Remote Desktop Services of Microsoft
  • Session virtualization= SBC.
  • Presentation Virtualization= SBC
  • Terminal Services= The old name for what now is called Microsoft Remote Desktop Services.
  • Hosted-Shared Desktop (multi-user RDS) = SBC. Term used by Citrix which is in fact just Citrix XenApp running on top of Remote Desktop Services
  • MetaFrame, WinFrame, Presentation Server = SBC. Old names for what is now called Citrix XenApp

some other terms for presenting desktops used are:

cloud-hosted desktops = Also known as Desktop as a Service (DaaS). A  set of applications or a full desktop are consumed by end users. The infrastruture to offer these is managed by a service provicer.

VM hosted apps/ VM hosted applications = Uses Citrix XenDesktop to present a single application to the end user instead of a full desktop. Acts as an alternative for published applications available in XenApp.

Free eBook ‘Software-Defined Storage for dummies’

Fresh of the press and compliments by Nutanix is a free eBook titled ‘Software-defined storage for dummies.

In this 46 pages eBook author Scott Lowe showcases the possibilities of web-scale IT in which powerful software acts as a key driver of datacenter efficiency and flexibility. As the industry buzz grows around this emerging technology, be one of the first to understand the true power of software-defined storage.

 Download the eBook to learn: 

  • How a new era of storage solutions will help your infrastructure become more flexible, powerful, and easy to manage
  • The emerging technologies that make software-defined storage a game-changer in the datacenter
  • Ten key software-defined storage facts that all IT experts need to know

This book was written with and for Nutanix.

software-defined-storage-for-dummies

Chapter 1:
The Current State of Storage: This chapter introduces you to the challenges of legacy storage.
Chapter 2:
Software-Defined Storage Basics: What is software-defined storage? Also, what isn’t it?
Chapter 3:
Key SDS Principles and Enablers: Find out what technologies make SDS possible.
Chapter 4:
How SDS Benefits Business: This chapter explains the things that your Chief Financial Officer
wants to know about SDS. Which is to say, how to make it
more flexible and more efficient!
Chapter 5: Ten Key SDS Facts: This chapter goes over some important facts to keep in mind as you explore SDS.

Download here.

New free VMware app monitors your vSphere infrastructure remotely

VMware released a free, new iOS & Android app called VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist which allows you to monitor the virtual machines you care about in your vSphere infrastructure remotely on your phone. Discover diagnostic information about any alerts on your VMs using VMware Knowledge Base Articles and the web. Remediate problems from your phone by using power operations or delegate the problem to someone on your team back at the datacenter.
It even allows you to see a screenshot of the console of virtual machine.

The iOS app requires iOS 7 or later and supports iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
The Android app requires Android 4.0.3 or later

IMPORTANT NOTE: A VMware vSphere installation (5.0 and above) is required to use VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist. Access to your vSphere infrastructure may need a secure access method like VPN. Contact your IT department for further assistance.


FEATURES:
EASILY CREATE VM WATCHLISTS
Select a subset of VMs from your VMware vSphere VM inventory to tell the app what VMs to track. Use multiple lists to organize these important VMs.

VMS AT A GLANCE
Review the status of these VMs from your device including: their state, health, console and related objects.

SUGGESTED KB ARTICLES
Got an alert on your VM? Let VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist suggest what KB Articles might help you or search the web to gather more information.

REMEDIATE REMOTELY
Use power operations to remediate many situations remotely from your device.

DELEGATE TO YOUR TEAM
For those situations where you are not able to fix an issue from the device, VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist will enable you to share the VM and alert information along with any suggested KB articles and other web pages relevant to the current problem. Your colleagues back in the datacenter can use this context to resolve the issue.

SUPPORT:

Support for VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist is provided via VMware Communities (https://vmware.com/go/vspheremobile) and also included in the support contracts sold with VMware vSphere. If vSphere Mobile Watchlist customers encounter a technical issue, only Support Administrators listed on the support contract for VMware vSphere may log a service ticket with VMware Technical Support. Individual users of the vSphere Mobile Watchlist should contact their internal IT help desk or visit https://vmware.com/go/vspheremobile.

download iOS app here and more info at VMware Community here.
Download the Android app from Google Play

Atlantis Computing will announce Unified Software Defined Storage solution

Atlantis Computing announced a new unified software defined storage solution named ILIO USX.

The solution is currently  presented at VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) and will probably officialy be launched at  February 11 or 12 according Tweets sent by PEX attendees.

ILIO USX ” abstracts, pools and automates the provisioning of storage services (SAN/NAS/DAS, SSD/Flash, or local server RAM”)  to meet the capacity, performance and availability requirements of any application”

Update:

At February 11 ILIO USX was announced. Here are some blogs reporting on this solution:

The press release of Atlantis Computing on ILIO USX.

Atlantis launches USX. In-Memory storage for your VMware environment by Luca Dell’Oca of virtualtothecore.com

Atlantis ILIO USX, In-Memory Performance for Servers by Marco Broeken of vClouds.nl

Atlantis launches ILIO USX – pooled storage for virutalized serversby IT Candor

Atlantis ILIO USX – unified software-defined storage by Andrea Mauro of vInfrastructure.it 

Atlantis Computing Releases ILIO USX – Deploy Up to 5x More VMs / Lowers Costs by up to 50% by  dabcc.com

 

5nine Cloud Security 4.0 for Hyper-V released

5nine Cloud Security for Hyper-V is the first and only agentless anti-malware and virtual firewall solution for the Windows Server Hyper-V, utilizing the flexibility of Hyper-V Extensible Switch. It offers some unique features like support for NVGRE. The solution is interesting for service providers who like to protect their customer virtual machines but do not have access to the guest operating system.

5nine

Cloud Security for Hyper-V   is the new name of 5nine’s Security Datacenter for Windows Server Hyper-V. See the datasheet for detailed info.

Cloud Security is available as a free edition (with limitations) and a paid edition.
Download the free edition here.

Enterprises and cloud providers can:

  • Secure multi-tenant Hyper-V environments and provide VM isolation
  • Protect Hyper-V with light-speed agentless antivirus
  • Enforce PCI-DSS, HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance

 

5nine Cloud Security 4.0 for Hyper-V features:

  • Secure multi-tenancy and VM isolation
  • Virtual Machine security groups and cloud tenant security
  • User/roles access that allows users or user groups to manage only objects associated with them
  • Agentless antivirus for Hyper-V hosts and real-time protection for VMs
  • NVGRE support
  • New LWF R2 vSwitch extension
  • Enhanced API and advanced event logging

Licensing options

  • Standard license is available for fewer than or equal to 10 VMs per 2 CPU.
  • Datacenter license is available for unlimited number of VMs per 2 CPU.
  • SPLA license is available for hosting providers upon request.

Thomas Maurer has written a comprehensive blogpost about 5nine here.

How to create a site-to-site VPN connection using ADSL to Windows Azure

For research on my to be released book on Windows Azure I had to create a site-to-site VPN connection from my home to Windows Azure. Untill recently I was under the impression I needed a VPN device or Windows RRAS server configured with a public facing IP-address to be able to have such a site-to-site VPN.

However, that is not the case. Using a common ADSL modem, Hyper-V manager and a virtual machine running Windows Server 2012 with RRAS I was able to setup the VPN connection.

Thanks to Christopher Keyaert  who blogs at vnext.be who helped me. Read his blog which describes how to update Azure networking if your ADSL connection has a dynamic IP. 

My ADSL modem is a Fritz!Box 7270. I did not have to modify the configuration of the modem. You might want to add a route in your modem pointing to your RRAS server if other servers need access to Azure VMs.

The site-to-site can be setup using a physical server with RRAS installed as well. No need for the RRAS server to have a public IP.

In my book I will publish a step by step instruction how to configure this. In this post I will provide the basic steps. There are many other posts explaining how to setup a site-to-site VPN connection. For example this one. 

1. In the Azure Management Portal create a virtual network. First create a new local network. In here you configure the public IP-address which is assigned to your ADSL modem. You also specify the IP-subnet used in your home location. Mine is 192.168.178.0/24.

2. Enable ‘configure site-to-site VPN’.

3. Then create a gateway in the portal. Select dynamic routing. Creation of the gateway will take about 5 to 10 minutes.

4. After the creation has finished, select ‘Download VPN device script. Choose Windows Server RRAS and store the .cfg file on your RRAS server.

5. Rename the .cfg file to PS1. Start PowerShell and execute the .PS1 file. You might have to change the execute policy .

The PowerShell script adds a Network interface to the RRAS server. This connects to the IP-address of the Azure gateway. When the script has finished open Routing and Remote Access console. Select Network Interfaces-> then select the demand dial connection named as IP-address of the Azure gateway. Right click and select Connect.

If all goes well a VPN connection is enabled.

Make sure the Ethernet network interface of the RRAS server which connects to your internal (home) network does not have a gateway filled in for the IP-properties. Otherwise ip-traffic will not flow to and from Windows Azure.

Also make sure the firewall on the RRAS server does not block VPN-traffic.

In Windows Azure create a virtual machine and make sure it is added to the virtual network you created in the first step. After creation has finished, open an RDP connection. Then make sure the Windows Server firewall does not block VPN traffic.

That is it. You now should be able to ping or use any other connection from your home server (RRAS) to a virtual machine in Azure.

Please let me know if you have issues in setting up the S2S VPN (mvdb22 at gmail dot com )

StarWind SAN V8 Beta 3 is available

StarWind software released StarWind SAN V8 Beta 3.

The software products uses local storage on servers running Windows Server to provide SAN features. It supports features like VMware HA, vMotion, Hyper-V Live Migration etc. It also does replication and deduplication and much more.

This is an interesting storage solution for small and midsized organisaties who do not have the budget for expensive SAN solutions.

This will be the last beta release. A release candidate is expected soon. The final release will probably made available second half of February 2014.

If you are using SAN V8 Beta 1 or Beta 2 you can update by installing Beta 3 over the existing installation.

New in this third beta:

LSFS device:
• Correct processing of device size parameters and usage of available storage of underlying disk.
• Fixed he issue which led to disk write errors (when certain amount of data was written on the device and device files multiplied).

Synchronous replication for LSFS device:
• Fixed snapshot management functionality: creation and deletion of snapshots now works correctly.
• Fixed the issue, where the state of HA node changed to “unsynchronized ” without any reason.

VSS providers:
• Hardware VSS provider is now available for LSF S devices and LSFS devices with synchronous replication.
• Software VSS Provider is now available for LSFS devices.

Asynchronous replication:
• Replication on very slow channels is now possible.
• Mounting of snapshot fixed.
• Replication algorithm fixed.
Minor fixes to the VAAI commands processing implemented.

Release notes are here.

Download the software here

Maxta will demo software defined storage solution at Dutch VMUG

At the first ever NLVMUG event in the Netherlands (March 6 2014 in Den Bosch) Maxta will attend as a silver sponsor. Their software defined storage solution Maxta Storage Platform MxSP will be demonstrated in public for the first time in the Netherlands.

Maxta MxSP can basically be compared to VMware VSAN offering shared distributed storage carved out by using local server storage. While VSAN is embedded in the ESXi kernel and supports vSphere 5.5 only, Maxta MxSP is distributed as a virtual appliance supporting VMware ESXi and Hyper-V.

Also Maxta supports any hardware configuration supported by VMware. VSAN has it’s own Hardware Compatibility List.

 

The town of Venray is one of the first Maxta MxSP customers in the Netherlands. Venray uses MxSP for their  virtual desktop infrastructure. The announcement can be read here.

Much more technical detail in this post titled Maxta presents software defined storage for vSphere challenging traditional SAN/NAS. Software eats storage! 

vExpert 2014 nominations are now open!

Time flies! Nominations for the vExpert 2014 programme are open! Nominate yourself or someone else but do it before  March 6th at midnight PST. 

A vExpert is recognized by VMware as someone who contributes to the VMware community by sharing knowledge (via blogs, a book, presentations etc),  being a VMUG leader or tool builder or being an  enthusiast.

Benefits for being a vExpert are fame, the honour, having access to beta programms, enjoy vExpert parties during VMworld and Partner Exchange, get access to services like vCHS, access to briefings about to be released products etc. Other vendors appreciate vExperts as well. Last year benefits were for example:

  • SimpliVity offered a free, personalized Raspberry Pi for vExperts.
  • TrainSignal gave away a one-year subscription to all their online video trainings.
  • HP gives away a NFR license of its StoreVirtual VSA.

The number of vExperts has increased each year.

In 2014 two changes are introduced to the programme

  1. a fast track for current vExperts. No need to fill in the complete form. Just tell VMware what you did to the community in 2013.
  2. a quarterly nomination. If you are not selected as a vExpert this quarter, you do not have to wait a full year for new voting.

Apply and more information in this VMware blogpost.

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