Blog

Standardizing performance with Storage QoS in Windows Server 2016 (Article)

Source: Microsoft
Microsoft IT maintains a private cloud that includes dedicated storage and thousands of virtual machines. With Windows Server 2016, we use Storage Quality of Service (QoS) to manage storage usage and monitor performance. Policies in Storage QoS prevent one virtual machine from dominating storage I/O within a cluster, standardize storage I/O, and give us insight into storage I/O across the environment.
Standardizing performance with Storage QoS in Windows Server 2016 (Article)

Reducing downtime with Windows Server 2016 rolling cluster upgrades (Article)

Source: Microsoft
Hyper-V cluster nodes running Windows Server make up a significant part of the private cloud at Microsoft, hosting thousands of apps and services. Upgrading these cluster nodes was a tedious process for Microsoft IT, and meant taking entire clusters offline. But now, with Windows Server 2016, we can do rolling cluster OS upgrades without stopping the services or going offline. The process is simpler and more efficient, and no one loses productivity due to down time.
Reducing downtime with Windows Server 2016 rolling cluster upgrades (Article)

Configuration as code: Automating Windows Server 2016 configuration with PowerShell and DSC (Article)

Source: Microsoft
Microsoft IT manages thousands of servers across the company, and the process of reconfiguring servers was tedious and potentially inconsistent. Now, using automated configuration with PowerShell and DSC, we can define configuration logic and make changes programmatically in Windows Server. We have a more flexible, consistent environment, with fewer complex server configuration tasks.
Configuration as code: Automating Windows Server 2016 configuration with PowerShell and DSC (Article)

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365: Availability vs Recoverability

Source: Veeam

Veeam Backup & Replication has added a new integration – Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. How can you benefit from Office 365 email backup with the Veeam’s new product? Why is cloud Availability different from cloud recoverability? In this blog, we will discuss all these topics and try to shed some light on the needs and use cases of email backups. Of course, we will demonstrate the product in action for you.

Before we jump into the details, let’s first define the two terms, Availability and Recoverability, from the outset.

Data Availability is a term used to describe product or services continuity at a required service level (SLA), or performance. Data Availability on the cloud will be achieved through redundancy zones. On the other hand, Data Recoverability refers to the ability to restore data to the point at which a failure occurred.

In the world of cloud, there is confusion about the meaning of these two terms, and one piece of confusion arises when discussing cloud services. The assumption is that when moving a workload to the cloud, there will be no need for data backup. However, this is a mistake and data must be backed up. It appears this happens due to the lack of understanding of the above two terms.

All the great features that Office 365 Exchange Online offers to you and your business still hold hidden risks, including the lack of comprehensive backup and limited recoverability.

Considering these risks, you should ask yourself:

  • How will I manage my service levels (or lack thereof) with these limitations?
  • How do I mitigate the risk of mailbox data loss while my data is in the cloud?
  • Does Microsoft guarantee data loss avoidance of your business-critical messaging system and its data?

To ease your concerns, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, will help you to:

  • Securely back up your Office 365 email data to your on-premises environment
  • Mitigate the risk of losing access to your email and so ensure continuous email Availability to your users
  • Quickly recover individual mailbox items with best-of-breed granularity
  • Efficiently perform eDiscovery of email archives
  • Securely leverage connections to your business Office 365 organization through native Exchange Web Services APIs.

NOTE: This testing is built on the Beta version, so some of the screens are listed as TBD or may not have their icons/visualization complete as what you’ll see in the generally available build.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 architecture

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is integrated with Veeam Backup & Replication, which means you can back up hybrid cloud environments and migrate mailbox data between Office 365 and your on-premises Exchange deployment.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 Exchange Online first line of defense

The first line of defense when retrieving a deleted mailbox item is retrieving it from the deleted items store, which works only if item’s retention period has not expired. By default, the retention policy is set to 30 days. Deleting entire mailboxes also calls up the retention policy, also set to 30 days by default. Of course, these defaults can be changed from the Exchange Admin Center.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

How then, is Microsoft protecting my Office 365 email data?

Microsoft uses its Exchange Data Availability Group (DAG) to protect your data. For internal use only they also utilize traditional backup to protect Office 365 from any catastrophic disasters. Unfortunately, local failures still can happen to anyone and the above methods will not protect you from mailbox corruption, nor will these methods restore your mailbox to a point in time. Your SLAs, or data Availability requirements, will be defined by Microsoft SLA policies, but they will not provide data recoverability.

Installation and configuration

Let’s run through the Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 installation and configuration. One thing that impressed me about this product is the configuration process – it is very straightforward and very simple.

Download the installation package (it is a Beta version at this stage). Inside you’ll find two executable files, which you need to extract:

  • Veeam.Backup365.exe (3280 KB)
  • VeeamExplorerForExchange.exe (4,965 KB)

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

The Veeam.Backup365.exe file is the installer for the Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 application, and the VeeamExplorerForExchange.exe is the installer for Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange. These two installation files indicate that the product is standalone and can be installed on any workstation.

Installation of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is a straightforward process, so let’s move straight to setting up its configuration. Click Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

You can see the user interface below:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

To start the configuration, click on the menu icon at the top left corner and then choose Options:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

You need to set up backup repository, define the backup retention period and specify folder location. In addition to the repository location, on this step you can also configure which folders to exclude from your backup (if any):

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

After setting the repository, backup retention period and folder location, you need to connect and configure your Office 365 account.

No stress here, this is an easy task. Start by clicking the Add Organization window, or click the Add Org icon as shown below:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Add your Office 365 credentials in the Add Organization window:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

On adding your credentials, Veeam will configure and enable the necessary PowerShell commands and the Office 365 configurations for you:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Now it is time to create a backup. Right click the Organization name or click on the Backup icon:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

At the prompt, provide a Backup job name, then choose the account to be backed up. You can also choose either to back up all mailboxes, or only selected ones:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Set up the desired schedule in the New Backup Job window:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

That’s all it takes to configure Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 and back up your Office 365 mail server!

Recovery with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Performing a recovery with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is even simpler than its setup.

To start recovery run Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange and choose the desired recovery option:

  • Explore latest state as of <day, date and time>; or
  • Explore point-in time state…

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

If you choose “Explore latest state”, it’ll immediately start Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange tool. With the “Explore point-in time state” option, you will need to specify the details in the Explore Backup window:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Browse available mailboxes to select a mailbox item for recovery:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Choose the destination for your recovered mailbox and start the restore. Upon the process completion you can deliver the recovered mailbox to your end user:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Conclusion

Even when moving your workloads to the cloud, it’s still critical for the safety of your business to do regular backups of that data. As with any of your cloud services, it is important to understand your cloud provider SLAs and know what recoverability options are provided.

We have demonstrated an easy and secure way to back up your Office 365 email data with Veeam. When it comes to protection for your mailbox data, Veeam Backup for Office 365 is a right solution enabling both data Availability and recoverability. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on the Beta version! Please don’t hesitate to share your ideas and opinions in the comments to this blog or in Veeam Forums.

The post Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365: Availability vs Recoverability appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365: Availability vs Recoverability

Migrating business-critical Treasury apps to Microsoft Azure (Article)

Source: Microsoft
Microsoft IT is continually moving company technologies and business processes to the cloud. Recently, we worked with Microsoft Treasury to move its portfolio of finance apps to Azure. Together, Microsoft IT, Microsoft Treasury, and Azure Engineering used infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) functionality in Azure to move applications from on-premises datacenters to the cloud, providing a unified, scalable, and resilient platform.
Migrating business-critical Treasury apps to Microsoft Azure (Article)

Datacenter switches amp up network capacity for Gears of War team (Technical Case Study)

Source: Microsoft
The Coalition, the game studio at Microsoft responsible for Gears of War 4, lacked the network infrastructure to efficiently distribute 120 GB builds during development of the game for Xbox One and Windows 10. Microsoft IT installed high-capacity network switches that dramatically increased bandwidth and performance, enabling the studio to meet its October 2016 launch deadline.
Datacenter switches amp up network capacity for Gears of War team (Technical Case Study)

How will your company benefit from sponsoring VeeamON 2017?

Source: Veeam

VeeamON 2017 is the most awaited Availability event of the year – definitely the right place to network with IT fellows worldwide and take the pulse of the whole IT industry. Wondering how you can be part of the action? By sponsoring the event, your company will become part of the conversation and the future of Availability through the substantial exposure the over 3,000 attendees will generate for your products and services.

Sponsoring VeeamON 2017 is a great opportunity to showcase your company’s offerings to a tech-savvy crowd and pursue new opportunities with our partners. In the Expo Lounge, you get unparalleled marketing exposure and access to industry’s thought leaders and decision makers. You’ll have the chance to interact with IT pros and well-known industry leaders not only during breakout sessions, but also through networking activities, meals or other social events that will be taking place.

If you are looking for an event that will deliver a greater ROI than any other, then VeeamON is it, and today I will share with you a few of the benefits of sponsoring our next VeeamON in New Orleans.

Networking

It is said that networking is everything these days, and this is the cornerstone of VeeamON. The Expo Hall hosts traffic-driving events that ensure our sponsors are given every opportunity to engage with the attendees and make themselves heard. And, the networking goes well beyond the Expo Lounge with social events that will keep the conversations going all day.

VeeamON

Innovation

As a sponsor of VeeamON, you’ll play in the big league. Industry giants like Cisco, HPE, Microsoft, NetApp and VMware were part of our first two years and are intended to be in the lineup for 2017 as well. This is your chance to discover the latest innovations in cloud, virtualization and modern storage technologies from leading vendors and to present your own technologies that support Availability for the Always-On Enterprise. Moreover, you can perform live demos at your sponsored booth and exhibit how your products and vision are part of the future of Availability.

VeeamON

Opportunities 

Displaying your products and solutions at your sponsored booth can bring you recognition and new business opportunities, prospects or even customers. Every connection counts!

VeeamON

Visibility

VeeamON 2015 was a real success, and the positive feedback came through in the coverage figures: #VeeamON was mentioned 4,230 times on Twitter, 64 times on Facebook, 163 times on Instagram and more than 200 media articles were dedicated to our event. VeeamON 2017 will provide incredible publicity with even more media attention and exposure!

VeeamONVeeamON

 

VeeamON

Are you interested in sponsoring? Platinum, Gold, Silver and Exhibitor levels are available.

Other useful resources for VeeamON:

P.S. Pre-registration is now open, and the Super Early Bird access comes with a $200 discount!

P.P.S. On Aug. 23, we announced our new vision and strategy. At VeeamON 2017 you’ll see how this vision comes to life with our new products!

The post How will your company benefit from sponsoring VeeamON 2017? appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

How will your company benefit from sponsoring VeeamON 2017?

Want fries with that hyper-converged infrastructure?

Source: Veeam

Hyper-converged infrastructure environments are increasing in popularity for many reasons, especially for ROBO (Remote Office / Branch Office) environments. They are integrated software-defined systems that combine compute, network, storage and virtualization with a software layer that provides a single system of managed IT. Hyper-converged infrastructures are easy to deploy, manage and offer IT agility and flexibility as well as a decrease in operational costs and the resources needed to manage them.

Next logical step

Hyper-converged has provided the next logical evolution in IT after converged systems. Converged systems pre-integrate IT components (compute, data storage and networking). These components are pre-validated bundles that are likely from separate hardware manufacturers. They are pre-assembled and configured before shipping to the data center. The end result is a predictable deployment with minimal compatibility issues. Converged infrastructure is designed to operate with specific workload types and capacities that provides customers very predictable and streamlined times to deployment as well as an increased return on their investment.

Hyper-converged solutions offer the next step in IT infrastructure evolution by integrating compute and direct-attached storage into a single software-defined IT resource. This environment is then managed from a common interface. One key characteristic of hyper-converged infrastructures is the ease of scaling when additional storage capacity or processing power is required, simply add additional nodes. Hyper-converged systems provide all-in-one, compute and storage building blocks that can provide many good availability features like self-healing, clustering, replication and failover. These are all good for keeping the platform running, but really don’t complete the data and overall application Availability picture. It’s like ordering a cheeseburger without fries, who does that? Veeam challenges the Availability Gap; the difference between what IT can offer to the business in terms of RTO and RPO versus the demands of their Always-On 24.7.365 business requirements.

Modernize data protection when you modernize your infrastructure

Hyper-convergence gets you part of the way there, but to truly maximize your hyper-converged systems you need to upgrade your data Availability strategy. To achieve the highest levels of data Availability you need the combination of both backup as well as replication. Replication will provide the best RTO’s whereas backup will provide much longer term system archival. Many benefits can be achieved from a solution that was purpose built for highly virtualized environments. For example, a common challenge is testing a DR strategy. A second example, is how fast can I recover an individual item, MS Exchange for instance.

Better together

A good example of getting a complete meal is Cisco HyperFlex with Veeam.

Veeam complements Cisco HyperFlex

HyperFlex is the Cisco hyper-converged infrastructure offering that provides many built-in platform Availability features like clustering, self-healing and failover. When paired with Veeam Availability solutions you have a robust data Availability solution. This solution will provide incredibly fast restore operations, enhanced application-level item recovery and blazing backups.

Veeam complements Cisco HyperFlex like fries complement a cheeseburger, to ensure Availability by enabling automated recovery, site-to-site replication and the ability to test and verify off-site replica data. Together they are better! Cisco and Veeam enable IT to gain greater efficiency and infrastructure agility, greatly reduce operational costs and dramatically reduce risks. They provide unified data protection, fast and flexible recovery and replication so end users have 24/7 data and application access.

Veeam complements Cisco HyperFlex

To learn more about Cisco HyperFlex and Veeam together, read the Tech Target white paper. If you’re already running an environment on HyperFlex with Veeam be sure to upgrade to Veeam Backup & Replication 9.0 Update 2. This update provides support for Direct NFS backup mode.

To truly maximize your investment in hyper-converged or converged infrastructures, be sure to ask for fries with it and get a complete data Availability solution.

The post Want fries with that hyper-converged infrastructure? appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Want fries with that hyper-converged infrastructure?

Cisco and Dell EMC – Delivering Converged Infrastructure

Source: Cisco
On September 7 Dell Technologies officially acquired EMC Corp., and became the world’s largest privately controlled technology company. EMC and Cisco have a long and great legacy, collaborating together for nearly 20 years. Most recently, we’ve demonstrated tremendous value to customers working together to deliver Vblock and VxBlock, converged infrastructure systems that combine the compute power […]Cisco and Dell EMC – Delivering Converged Infrastructure