Monitoring Storace Spaces Direct with Windows Admin Center

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One of the key problems for users new to Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) from Microsoft is the administration and monitoring of the storage subsystem. Powershell is the way to go for both aspects but not everyone, especially the ones coming from the Windows GUI fraction, is glad to do it that way. Especially in projects where you want to give the infrastructure over to the customer you have to guide them through some kind of powershell course just to handle their new storage. Normally not the reason why unexperienced users would decide to use Microsoft. Other SDS like VMware vSAN integrates the management and monitoring of the storage into their central management tool which reduces the impact when changing to a new storage.

Microsoft decided to do it the other way. Project Honolulu was started to develop a web interface to centrally manage and monitor Windows based servers and clients. Honolulu also included a part to manage failover clusters and even the hyperconverged solution. In the past, Honolulu was beta and to use the hyperconverged part that was essentially the part to manage S2D, was only useable if you had Windows Server 2016 in the semi-anual tree. Even if you had this license model to play around in the lab, you normally wouldn't recommend using the semi-anual version for production environments at customers. So Honolulu was more or less unuseable for the HCI part.

A few days ago, Microsoft release Windows Admin Center that is essentially the non-beta product based on Project Honolulu. The good news is, it is free of charge, you can use it with every Windows Server version (not limited to semi-anual tree) and all you have to do is install a simple patch on your HCI nodes to use it for S2D monitoring.

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Veeam Backup&Replication 6 is available

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{jcomments on}The new version of Veeam Backup&Replication -v6- is now available. Several new features has been added to make this product even more valuable.150x150_V6

You can get an idea of the new features with the "What's new" guide available here.

Additionally, you can get all available information on the Veeam homepage.

I hope I can get some hands-on practice in our demo lab within the next few days/weeks so there will eb a follow-up with my experience.

Free VEEAM NFR licenses

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Veeam offers free NFR licenses not only for partners but also for VMware vExperts, VMware Certified Professionals, VMware Certified Instructors, VMUG members, Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, and Microsoft Certified Professionals.

This free license is inteded for use in test or demo labs to get in touch with the (new) features of this product. Especially useful for the Windows guys that now have this tool ported to Hyper-V.

You can get the licenses here at the Veeam site.
VMware vExperts, VMware Certified Professionals, VMware Certified Instructors, VMUG members, Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, and Microsoft Certified Professionals

Veeam Backup and Replication - a great tool

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{jcomments on}The last two months I made some exciting projects with Veeam Backup and Replication v5. With steadily growing amounts of data in virtualized environments, the "old" backup way with agents inside each VM and transferring the data via the LAN to the backup server is not state-of-the-art anymore. Traditional backup tools still have their place in the backup process but have you ever tried to backup a huge fileserver with several TB of data, containing several ten thousands of small files with traditional tools? Even if you can save them in your backup window, you will put a huge amount of load on your storage while accessing every single small file on your SAN.

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