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Category Archives: Uptime

Enable SSH Root Login for vSphere Data Protection

VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) is a backup and recovery solution based on EMC Avamar that is included with vSphere Essentials Plus Kit and higher editions of vSphere. VDP is deployed as a virtual appliance running a Linux guest operating system (OS). I have had several individuals ask about enabling the ability to log into the VDP appliance guest OS as the root user with an ssh client such as PuTTY on Windows and Terminal on OS X. This is disabled by default for security purposes, but it can easily be enabled. This short blog article provides the steps. Just be sure to disable the access when it is no longer needed.   ;)

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SRM 6.0 is now GA – What’s New?

SRM6 now GA

Now that Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 6.0 is available for download, here is an overview of the latest features, additions and improvements:

  • Improved interoperability with Storage DRS and Storage vMotion
  • Simplified SSL certificate requirements
  • Full integration with vSphere 6.0
  • IP customization enhancements

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Protecting vCenter Server with vSphere Data Protection (VDP) 6.0

I often get questions around backing up and restoring vCenter Server with vSphere Data Protection (VDP). VDP includes an “emergency restore” feature, which enables the restoration of a virtual machine even if vCenter Server is offline. This makes VDP a possible option for backing up a vCenter Server virtual machine and restoring it if it is lost, e.g., deleted from the datastore on which it resides. In my environment, I have a 4-node vSphere 6.0 cluster running approximately 10 virtual machines including the vCenter Server virtual machine (Windows OS) on a VMware Virtual SAN datastore. I just powered off and deleted the vCenter Server virtual machine. Let’s see what happens…

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vCenter Server 6.0 Deployment Guide

VMware_vSphere6_Box

Over the course of the last few months I’ve been working on a pretty massive deployment guide for vCenter Server 6, the result turned into a 100 page guide. Before getting scared off by the size the guide it goes into details for installing and upgrading many different scenarios including new installs and upgrades from the most common configurations.

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vSphere Replication 6.0 Compression

VMware recently introduced vSphere version 6.0. One of the features of vSphere 6.0 is vSphere Replication 6.0, which is included in the Essentials Plus Kit and higher editions of vSphere. The reason I mention that explicitly is there are still many VMware customers and partners that do not realize they have access to a mature, proven host-based replication technology for their vSphere virtual machines. vSphere Replication is also compatible with VMware Virtual SAN and vCenter Site Recovery Manager.

I recently posted a blog article that briefly covers the new features of vSphere Data Protection and vSphere Replication. In the article you are reading now, we will dig into the newly added option for enabling compression in vSphere Replication to reduce the amount of bandwidth consumed when replicating virtual machines.

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What’s New with vSphere Data Protection 6.0 and vSphere Replication 6.0

There are many interesting items coming out of VMware’s 28 Days of February where customers can learn more about “One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device”. A couple of the biggest items are the announcements of vSphere 6.0 and Virtual SAN 6.0. In this article, we will look at what is new with two of the more popular vSphere features: vSphere Data Protection and vSphere Replication. Perhaps the biggest news with these two features is around vSphere Data Protection. Before vSphere 6.0 and vSphere Data Protection 6.0, there were two editions of vSphere Data Protection: vSphere Data Protection, included with vSphere, and vSphere Data Protection Advanced, which was sold separately. With the release of vSphere Data Protection 6.0, all vSphere Data Protection Advanced functionality has been consolidated into vSphere Data Protection 6.0 and included with vSphere 6.0 Essentials Plus Kit and higher editions. Keep reading to learn more about the advanced functionality now included as part of vSphere Data Protection 6.0.

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vSphere 6 – Clarifying the misinformation

With the Announcement of vSphere 6 this week there is a lot of information being published by various sources. Some of that information is based on old beta builds and is much different than what we’ll see in the final product. In this post I aim to correct some of the information based on the beta builds that’s floating around out there.

First off there’s confusion on the maximum number of virtual machines per cluster vSphere 6 supports. This is in part my fault, when we wrote the What’s New in vSphere 6 white paper the number was 6000. Additional scale testing has been done and that number is now 8000. The what’s new paper will be updated soon to reflect this.

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vSphere APIs for IO Filtering

I’ve been fortunate to have one of our super sharp product line managers, Alex Jauch (twitter @ajauch), spend some time explaining to me one of the new enabling technologies of vSphere 6.0: VAIO.  Let’s take a look at this really powerful capability and see what types of things it can enable and an overview of how it works.

VAIO stands for “vSphere APIs for IO Filtering”

This had for a time colloquially been known as “IO Filters”. Fundamentally, it is a means by which a VM can have its IO safely and securely filtered in accordance with a policy.

VAIO offers partners the ability to put their technology directly into the IO stream of a VM through a filter that intercepts data before it is committed to disk.

Why would I want to do that? What kinds of things can you do with an IO filter?

Well that’s up to our customers and our partners. VAIO is a filtering framework that will initially allow vendors to present capabilities for caching and replication to individual VMs. This will expand over time as partners come on board to write filters for the framework, so you can imagine where this can go for topics such as security, antivirus, encryption and other areas, as the framework matures. VAIO gives us the ability to do stuff to an IO stream in a safe and certified fashion, and manage the whole thing through profiles to ensure we get a view into the IO stream’s compliance with policy!

The VAIO program itself is for partners – the benefit is for consumers who want to do policy based management of their environment and pull in the value of our partner solutions directly into per-VM and indeed per-virtual disk storage management.

When partners create their solutions their data services are surfaced through the Storage Policy Based Management control plane, just like all the rest of our policy-driven storage offerings like Virtual SAN or Virtual Volumes.

Beyond that, because the data services operate at the VM virtual device level, they can also work with just about any type of storage device, again furthering the value of VSAN and VVOLs, and extending the use of these offerings through these additional data services.

How does it work?

The capabilities of a partner filter solution are registered with the VAIO framework, and are surfaced for user interaction in the SPBM Continue reading

Storage and Availability at Partner Exchange 2015

VMware’s 2015 Partner Exchange is now just about one week away, and it’s shaping up to be a great one!

In storage and availability we’ll have a lot to talk about across the board: Some sessions will offer deeper examinations of our current products, others will give you a great exploration of some of the newer things VMware has to showcase.

I’ve made a list of some of the sessions put on by those of us in the storage and availability product team; it’s a good cross section from product marketing, product managers, and technical marketing people such as myself.  Outside of the engineers who actually write the code, these are the people closest to the products you use, so sign up and hear something new.  There are also sessions from our highly experienced field sales and technical teams — the experts at understanding how these products address customer requirements and explaining their value to our customers.

I’m personally doing a technical session with my colleague Rawlinson on Virtual SAN (STO4275) and looking forward to it quite a bit.

Lastly, don’t be shy to come say hello after the sessions.  We love to hear your thoughts, if we’ve got time between activities…

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vSphere Data Protection – SharePoint VSS writer registration failed

I was working with the SharePoint agent and came across the following error message: SharePoint VSS writer registration failed.

mossagent_error

On a Windows Server 2012 R2 VM running SharePoint Server 2013, I found the location of stsadm.exe here: C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\15\BIN

I ran this command which fixed the issue: stsadm.exe -o registerwsswriter

@jhuntervmware