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Monday, July 28, 2014

Veeam Hyper-V Management Pack


Veeam has just released a new Hyper-V Management Pack. Veeam Hyper-V MP is license per CPU socket (number of cores on a physical CPU is not a factor in Veeam MP licensing).

Veeam MP supports two tier licensing:- Enterprise and Enterprise Plus Edition. The following table explain differences between both edition


Currently Veeam is running a promotion: Free product license including one year of free Standard maintenance for Hyper-V environment up to 100 sockets. This offer is available for Enterprise edition only and end 31 Dec 2014.

The Veeam Hyper-V MP provides the following advanced features for virtualized systems and the associated network and storage fabric:

  • Discovers complete Hyper-V infrastructure topology, including System Center Virtual
    Machine Manager (if present), Hyper-V failover clusters, Hyper-V hosts, VMs, and related network and storage resources
  • Provides customizable dashboards views for monitoring the configuration, resource
    utilization and health state of the virtualized systems
  • Includes a set of performance and status monitors that diagnose the state of Hyper-V hosts, virtual machines, and associated storage and network fabric
  • Includes an extensive knowledge base to speed up root-cause diagnosis and reduce
    resolution time for detected issues
  • Allows on-demand realtime analysis of key performance counters for Hyper-V hosts and running VMs in a ‘Task-manager’ style view
  • Includes analysis and capacity planning reports for forecasting resource utilization and planning a hybrid cloud environment

Requirement to install Veeam Hyper-V MP:-

  • Operation Manager agents must be installed on every Hyper-V Host
  • Hyper host must running at least Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2 Hyper-V
  • Operation Manager server must be SCOM 2012 SP1 or SCOM 2012 R2
  • Operation Manager Reporting Server and Data Warehouse must installed
  • Support only SQL Server 2008 SP3, SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012 SP1 Reporting Services

Lets have a quick walkthrough on what’s available on Veeam Hyper-V.

Comprehensive View available under the Veeam for Hyper-V – consists of views for alerts, performance, state and diagrams.


Topology views: Compute, Network & Storage


State view:- showing the state and properties of discovered Hyper-V infrastructure components and services.



Performance view – showing the performance of discovered Hyper-V Cluster, Host and virtual machines.


Analysis dashboard – help you quickly drill down into the root cause of a problem and speed the troubleshooting process.


There are several state available:-

  • green = healthy
  • yellow = warning
  • red = critical

The dashboard will act like traffic light and change the state color. Sorry folk, at this moment, my entire infrastructure is healthy. Smile

Heatmap dashboard – compare two dimensions of performance metric values for object and represent data as a heatmap. Heatmap object are represented both by size of each heatmap tile and by the colour of each tiles.


Example:- 1 host. It will display multiple tile when you have more monitor Hyper-V in the environment.

The size of or each tile represent the available CPU or memory for each host, and the colour of the tile represents the %usage of CPU or memory.

Capacity Planning dashboard – allow to forecast resource utilization for Hyper-V infrastructure object. Calculation is based on analyzes historical performance data for specified period in the past, calculates the performance utilization trend and predict the outcome. At this moment, these dashboard only good when your environment is running Hyper-V cluster.

All these above widgets can be customized.

Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V

Next, we found “Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V”. As we all know that Task Manager on server is not useful when running Hyper-V roles. We need to know the CPU and memory usage for host and virtual machine. This is where Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V come into picture to provide a unique real time view of host and VM compute resources, embedded into Operation Manager as on-demand dashboard. Example show CPU and memory usage for a Hyper-V host:-


Let move on to view reports.


There are 2 report included in the Veeam Hyper-V management pack:-

  • Veeam Hyper-V Analysis Reports


  • Veeam Hyper-V Capacity Planning Reports


Here is one of the sample Configuration tracking and alert correlation report . We make some changes on the vm and look like our action (with date, time & changes) has recorded in these report.


With these in our environment, it make monitoring our Hyper-V infrastructure more easier. Interested to get free Veeam Hyper-V MP and try it out, please feel free to click here.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Report Server Installation Is Not Initialized–SQL Server Reporting Services


Just encounter a problem on SQL Server Reporting Services after installation SQL Reporting on SCOM Server. When perform a test on URL http://servername/ReportServer it displayed below error message:


Based on the information found in this link, it mentioned that SQL reporting failed to initialize due to unmatched installation identifier and public key.


1. Open Reporting Services Configuration Manager

2. Go to Encryption Key and select Delete


3. Test again. By right, you should be able to get Reporting Server initialize and working fine.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

SMB File Share for Azure Virtual Machine Using Azure Files Services


In Azure Iaas, we can attach multiple disk into VM with each disk up to 1TB depend on your Tier choice.

Here is a summary sizes of virtual machines depend on Tier

Basic Tier

Size CPU cores Memory Max data disk (1 TB each) Max IOPS (300 per disk)
A0 Shared (0.25) 768 GB 1 1 X 300
A1 1 1.75 GB 2 2 X 300
A2 2 3.5 GB 4 4 X 300
A3 4 7 GB 8 8 X 300
A4 8 14 GB 16 16 X 300

Standard Tier

Size CPU cores Memory Max data disk (1 TB each) Max IOPS (500 per disk)
A0 Shared (0.25) 768 GB 1 1 X 500
A1 1 1.75 GB 2 2 X 500
A2 2 3.5 GB 4 4 X 500
A3 4 7 GB 8 8 X 500
A4 8 14 GB 16 16 X 500
A5 2 14 GB 4 4 X 500
A6 4 28 GB 8 8 X 500
A7 8 56 GB 16 16 X 500
A8 8 56 GB 16 16 X 500
A9 16 112 GB 16 16 X 500

Sizing information captured from here.

Let say for an example:- You would like to create a file share and hold data more than 1TB (example 4TB), then you may encountered a problem of hitting size limit as per disk maximum size is 1TB.

There are several way available that we can think of to solve this problem.

Option 1:- Create software RAID on dynamic disk.

By using Windows operating system, we can enabling disk striping (RAID 0), disk mirror (RAID 1) and parity set (RAID 5). To achieve this, we need to select A2 / A3 Size. That would provide us 4 disk (using A2) and 8 disk (using A3). Once create the dynamic disk with volumes, it would provide a volume with enough size to hold your 4TB data.

However based on previous testing on IOPS, the performance on using software RAID is not great.


a) Use Basic Tier and test IOPS using Iometer- Test result was 280+ IOPS

b) Use software raid – Test result was 180+. It seem the performance was bad.

* anyway, this test was subjective and varies *

Option 2:- Use Azure Files Services

Azure Files allows Virtual Machines (VMs) in an Azure Data Center to mount a shared file system using the SMB protocol. These VMs will then be able to access the file system using standard Windows file APIs (CreateFile, ReadFile, WriteFile, etc.). Many VMs (or Platform as a Service (PaaS) roles) can attach to these file systems concurrently, allowing you to share persistent data easily between various roles and instances.

It’s using SMB 2.1 protocol and compatible to access from Linux System and Windows in VM on Azure.

VMs on Azure must be in same region with the Azure Storage to use for Azure Files.

The following is the scalability of Azure Files:-

  • Up to 5TB per share
  • A file can be up to 1 TB
  • Up to 1000 IOPS (of size 8 KB per share)
  • Up to 60 Mbps per share of data transfer for large IOs

Configuration to Setup

1. Create a new Storage Account

2. Use Windows Azure Powershell to create Azure Files

# import module and create a context for account and key
import-module .\AzureStorageFile.psd1
$ctx=New-AzureStorageContext ms4uteststorage01 7JjWiR04dUAhf5jSRRnswyL5LCfAuYgjIOAd/s6xKqgmHfOLFPF2oPL3vZW9gT3mbfncpWBqxfrbB5sD0/XXX
# create a new share
$s = New-AzureStorageShare ms4ushare -Context $ctx
# create a directory in the test share just created
New-AzureStorageDirectory -Share $s -Path testdir
# upload a local file to the testdir directory just created
Set-AzureStorageFileContent -Share $s -Source D:\Cert\DataEncryptionCertificate.pfx -Path testdir
# list out the files and subdirectories in a directory
Get-AzureStorageFile -Share $s -Path testdir


New “Files” services available on Azure Storage Account.


# import module and create a context for account and key
import-module .\AzureStorageFile.psd1
$ctx=New-AzureStorageContext <account name> <account key>
# create a new share
$s = New-AzureStorageShare <share name> -Context $ctx
# create a directory in the test share just created
New-AzureStorageDirectory -Share $s -Path testdir
# upload a local file to the testdir directory just created
Set-AzureStorageFileContent -Share $s -Source D:\upload\testfile.txt -Path testdir

Script taken from here.

3. Go to your VM (same region), map Azure Files by using net use and start copying files into Azure Files.

net use z: \\\ms4ushare /u:ms4uteststorage01 7JjWiR04dUAhf5jSRRnswyL5LCfAuYgjIOAd/s6xKqgmHfOLFPF2oPL3vZW9gT3mbfncpWBqxfrbB5sD0/XXX


net use z: \\<account name>\<share name> /u:<account name> <account key>


The map drive has a maximum size of 5TB as displayed. Do take note that Azure Files services was able to access by multiple VMs as long it is on the same region.

Option 3:- Setup Storage Spaces

Storage Spaces is introduced on Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 which allow us to combine multiple disk to a pool and then create virtual disk. Since Azure Files (under Preview) had a limit of 5TB, Storage Spaces allow us to scale more higher TB (till 16 TB).


At this moment, we only can think of 3 options as listed above. If you have any solution/ways, please leave a comment and share with other readers.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Webinars with IT Experts

Live Webinars with IT Experts

1. Going Hyper-Converged with Software Defined Storage

Chris M Evans, Independent Consultant, Langton Blue Ltd.
Featured Speakers:
Chris M Evans,
     Independent Consultant, Langton Blue Ltd.
Max Kolomyeytsev,
     Product Manager, StarWind Software

23 July
11am PT / 2pm ET
Register now

As the concept of hyper-convergence (combining compute, networking and storage) continues to gain acceptance and adoption, this webinar discusses what features to expect from hyper-converged solutions and how they can be delivered exclusively through software. As well as a technical discussion of the issues, the webinar will look at vendor implementations from VMware’s VSAN to StarWind Virtual SAN platform.
During the webinar, you will learn:

  • What defines and differentiates hyper-converged and how these solutions fit in with software defined storage
  • Essential features to look out for in hyper-converged products
  • Vendor roundup – market players and features of their products
  • Technical feature comparison of VMware and StarWind Virtual SAN offerings

2. Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2: Deduplication, Backup & Primary VM Storage

StarWind Software and Veeam Software
Featured Speakers:
Max Kolomyeytsev,
     Product Manager, StarWind Software
Ryan Post,
     Inside Systems Engineer, Veeam Software

30 July
11am PT / 2pm ET
Register now

Data deduplication is not a lofty feature anymore, and nowadays it becomes synonymous with storage for virtualization environments. With a variety of deduplication solutions available on the market it’s often hard to distinguish which one fits your environment best.
Join Ryan Post of Veeam and Max Kolomyeytsev of StarWind Software in a discussion about why, when, and especially how to use data deduplication efficiently in different virtualization scenarios. They will discuss:

  • Brief overview of Veeam Backup and Replication with the added benefits of Windows 2012 Deduplication
  • Best practices leveraging Windows Server 2012 Deduplication
  • StarWind's in-line deduplication for primary VM storage