::: Virtual Aleph ::: Virtualization Techniques: September 2013 Privacy Policy

29 September, 2013

#RedHat Solutions Exchange and the "museum of old #computers"

Hi all,
I've just finished following the first three keynotes and visit the Solution Exchange in Red Hat Partners Conferences 2013 in Madrid.

The keynotes have been interesting and with some hilarious moments with a magician.
will post about them maybe tomorrow.
in the Solutions Exchange, there was a plenty of best know hardware, software and solutions providers, and some new vendors related to the Red Hat echosystem. I've to mention the funny games prepared for the 20th anniversary of Red Hat with an aquarium filled with cylinders with rings attached, to fish up to win some interesting prizes.
Inside the room there is a space filled with some very old "mothballed" but working "computers (are they computers?). I'm attaching some picture for your fun.

Punched cards reader

Calculator using punched cards

Hints welcome!

Hints welcome!

Hints welcome!

Hints very welcome!

Hints very very welcome!
Note the white coat for the operator!



#Registration started at #Redhat #partners #conference

Hi all,

Registration started!
People from all over the World. Bad weather but good fellows!
The place for the event is beautiful and very big.

I give just a look around and the Exibit for the sponsors and vendors and it will be ready soon.
We will start at 6.00PM with appetizers and drinks to continue with the "opening and welcome" keynote Petra Heinrich (RH VP for Partners and Allinces, EMEA), followed by Arun Oberoi's keynote "View on Red Hat and its partners": he is EVP at RH for Global Sales and Services.

Will keep you posted

27 September, 2013

#Redhat #Partner #conference in Madrid starting Sunday

Hello all,

I'm at the MPX airport ready to take my flight to Madrid for Red Hat Partner Conference.
it's the first year I attend this event, and it's also my first time in Madrid ever.
During the conference I will try to blog about the sessions I'm going to attend.
In my opinion using Open Source for some production services could be interesting and save you some bucks.
Also the support model provided by Red Hat is exciting and, I hope to see some zLinux for Mainframe sessions.
Keep you posted.

19 September, 2013

Nakivo Backup and Replication and Linux Red Hat EL: another good way to backup (part four: backup and reports).

now it is the time to run the backup job and have a look at the reports that Nakivo B&R send out.
Let's see what happen in the WEB UI of Nakivo during a Backup job, and how much information we can get!

Let's see what happen in the vCenter Client console during a Nakivo backup job

And the finally we have a good reports in PDF in our inbox telling us what's happened: link to pdf report

That's all for backup.
in the next post we will see how to restore virtual Machines from Nakivo B&R repository, and in the near future we will try replication.


18 September, 2013

Nakivo Backup and Replication and Linux Red Hat EL: another good way to backup (part three: job scheduling).

Hi all,
in this post you will see how to schedule jobs with Nakivo B&R.
as always a video is worth than lots of words: after logging into WEB UI you will see the create job button.
click there and you will be able to do what's showed in the following video.


17 September, 2013

Nakivo Backup and Replication and Linux Red Hat EL: another good way to backup (part two: configuration).

Hello all,
here's the Nakivo B&R post.
In this post you'll see a video in which I will go through the main configuration items in the Nakivo Web UI.
Here's the video:


16 September, 2013

Nakivo Backup and Replication and Linux Red Hat EL: another good way to backup (part one: installation).

Hello all,
I've had a chance to evaluate a free trial of Nakivo Backup and Replication, so I have decided to post on my blog some videos that show the installation, configuration and backup of virtual machines in a vSphere datacenter using Nakivo Backup and Replication installed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
I will try to do also some additional blog posts in the future about replication.

Some caveats:
  • My lab is a home lab, running on a very good PC and vSphere using Iomega IX2-200 NFS shares as shared storage: so do not expect big performance in these posts: just imagine what could be in real environment.
  • My Nakivo Backup and Replication instance with a local transporter is installed in a Red Hat EL 6.4 64 bit Virtual machine running on Fusion on a Mac Book Pro, connected to the virtual environment via wi-fi: so do not expect big network performance.
  • With this points in mind enjoy the easiness of Nakivo installation and configuration and, I repeated myself, imagine what could be the performance in a real environment

Let's start with installation:
You can choose among installing on Windows, Linux, Linux Transporter-only installation, Virtual Appliance Full Solution, Virtual Appliance Transporter-only.
I've selected to install the Full Linux solution for installation. It is just an install shell script to be executed on your Linux Server.
Here's the video that's more than lot of words.

next post configuration of Nakivo B&R


11 September, 2013

VDP Configuration: Phase Two and Three

Hi all,
here we are to the phase two of Configuring VDP
First of all login to the Virtual Appliance Web Page and check that all the services are running and configuration parameters are fine (see video below)

Then connect to vCenter client and check that VDP plugin is present (note that this plugin do not need to be enabled). Now you are able to connect to vCenter Web access and start the real backup schedules configuration: your windows will be very different from what I've depicted in the video below as mine is a test lab deployment.


You must configure the Backup window, the Maintenance window and the Blackout window. Let's explain those name:

  • Backup window represents the hours in which VDP will backup your VMs: normally, no maintenance activities are performed during this lapse of time. The default setting for this windows is 12 hours starting at 8.00PM 
  • Blackout window: this portion of time is used by VDP to perform garbage collection (deletion of data / metadata that are no more needed, and so on...) 
  • Maintenance window represent the lapse of time in which VDP runs integrity check tasks: it verifies and maintains data integrity and on the deduplication store.
Now it's time to schedule the backup of your VMs: this task also is carried out with vCenter Web Access as you can see in the above video. You can configure the schedule in the common way taking the backup (Full or differential) of your VMs each day or spreading the backup during the windows, or do them weekly for low importance VMs.
You can also configure the retention period for each VMs or Group of VMs, so you can be in line with legal policies (SOX, Basilea, ...)

For a complete reference to vSphere Data Protection follow the link



10 September, 2013

VDP Configuration: Phase 1

Hello all,
after installing the VDP Virtual appliance it's time to configure it.

Just point your favourite browser to http://<IP-DAddress>:8543/vdp-configure/ and login.

During the first setup you'll be asked to confirm Time Zone, user to be used to perform backups and restores. Configure SSO and give the vCenter IP address.

I've recorded all the task in the video below for reference, if you want to have a look beforehand and go straight during your configuration in production.

At the end of first phase configuration a reboot will be required to perform the final part of the process.


09 September, 2013

Virtual Machines Backup: the "built in" solution a.k.a. VDP - Part 1

Hello all,
since the start of virtualization backing up the virtual machines in a good way was one of the major subject of interest.
The backup of a virtual machine could be approached in different way:
  • "Same as physical server" approach, using the network and an agent installed on each virtual machines, maybe dedicating a port group just for backup (no best practice)
  • Use of different solutions existing on the market (Veeam, Nakivo, ...) that use snapshots and advanced features of the underlying shared storage  
  • VMware Data Protection (a.k.a VDP)
I've tested this last approach in my home lab and I think that's a good way to backup your datacenter Virtual Machines. VDP is not the evolution of the old VCB (VMware Consolidated Backup) approach,  where a proxy server take care of talking with the backup product and the leveraging the quiesce/snapshot features of VMware, took the backup of the Virtual Machine.

VDP is a Virtual appliance, that get installed and configured in less than one hour and give the power of scheduling the backups, using the vCenter Web Interface, as well as restoring complete VMs or file from a backed up VM: all the metadata/backup gets saved on the underlying shared disks.

The installation of VDP is straightforward, and it's depicted in the following video: first of all you must reserve an IP pool range; the you must import the Virtual appliance file and configure the IP/NM and default gateway. At the end of the import task, power on the VM and you'll get a Linux console that will run a web interface daemon ready to be accessed by the browser of your choice.

More on VDP in next post.

06 September, 2013

VMworld US 2013 finished... waiting for VMware Europe

Hello all,
VMworld US 2013 have just finished and I'm waiting for the Barcelona event in October.

Have a look at the VMware TV video (Monday General session)

During the US event a lot of news had been showed to the attendee, such as:
- new version of the products (including VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion)
- incresed scalability and more and more features
- new certifications for VMware professional

- new vendors solutions for the virtual ecosystems in the various Solution Exchange booths
- great opportunity to network with expert, gurus, etc.

Successful Hands On Labs (HOL) : let's listen to Doug Baer interview on the HOL

Hang Space Community Lounge: have a look at this time lapse video (courtesy @iben)

Looking forward to see you in Barcelona. In the meanwhile I will be in Madrid during the week between September and October for Red Hat conference: if you will be there, send me a tweet (@mfrizzi)