Back up Your Files

Source: SANS security tip
Eventually, we all have an accident or get hacked. And when we do, backups are often the only way to recover. Backups are cheap and easy; make sure you are backing up all of your personal information (such as family photos) on a regular basis.
Back up Your Files

Windows 10 text-to-speech functionality speeds up internal support call recording (TechNet Radio Session)

Source: Microsoft
The Microsoft IT global internal support team uses an integrated voice recording (IVR) system to redirect users to the right queue. For recording and updating messages, the team uses Microsoft Zira, the built-in Windows 10 text-to-speech voice, which has greatly simplified the process.
Windows 10 text-to-speech functionality speeds up internal support call recording (TechNet Radio Session)

How Microsoft IT empowers Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs with an Azure data platform (Webinar)

Source: Microsoft
Jaydeep Baliram Sawant, Senior Software Engineering Manager, and Krishna Sagar, Program Manager, walk through how Microsoft IT uses Microsoft Azure data services and analytics tools to ensure that Corporate, External and Legal Affairs has an effective and scalable data platform.
How Microsoft IT empowers Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs with an Azure data platform (Webinar)

Auditing the cloud (Article)

Source: Microsoft
Are you—and your internal auditors—concerned that cloud-based services and applications could impact critical compliance activities and service certifications? As Microsoft moves to Microsoft Azure, IT and auditors work closely together, on an ongoing basis, to validate that Azure provides a fully auditable computing environment. Learn how Microsoft uses independently validated Azure services and features to simplify, automate, and operationalize corporate compliance activities.
Auditing the cloud (Article)

Tips and tricks on leveraging NetApp E-Series arrays in Veeam Availability Suite designs

Source: Veeam

The NetApp integration added in Veeam Availability Suite v8 is a great set of capabilities to ensure higher levels of Availability in the data center. In NEW Veeam Availability Suite v9, Veeam improved the functionality, adding — among other considerations — the NetApp E-Series range as a viable and high-performing backup repository SAN appliance for Veeam backup jobs. The E-Series offers a high-performance backup repository to store Veeam backup files. This, coupled with the high density of storage and the performance of recovery from an enterprise level storage array, makes the E-Series is a great fit for a SAN-based Veeam repository.

E-Series product description

NetApp has two products within the E-Series portfolio: the E-Series and the EF-Series. For the purpose of this post, I am going to touch on the E-Series only, purely because it is quite unrealistic but not unheard of for end users to require an all-flash array for backup purposes. However, the EF-Series has the same SANtricity OS as the E-Series range, so all points in the post are relevant to both products.

E2700 & E5600

Both the E2700 and the E5600 are SAN storage arrays with FC, iSCSI or SAS connectivity options, and both scale up from a capacity point of view by adding additional disk shelves. The options around disks from a controller and storage point of view are 2U with 12 disks or 4U with 60 disks. The E-Series family uses a lightweight management software called SANtricity, which has many features, including:

  • Dynamic drive rebalancing
  • RAID management
  • Intelligent cache tiering
  • Data replication

Another key feature of the E-Series array is the Dynamic Disk Pools (DDP). This technical feature enables the dynamic drive rebalancing, allowing users to grow capacity while also providing disk-level protection in case of disk failure.

The final feature I am going to mention is full-disk encryption (FDE), an enterprise feature within the storage array market and sometimes a requirement for all tiers of backup storage. The ability to encrypt at the drive level using the AES-128 bit algorithm and simplified key management gives users that level of security without an affecting performance.

Below is an example configuration:


RAW capacity = 1.2PB

Max Number of Drives = 192

E2712 = 2U / 12 Drives

E2724 = 2U / 24 Drives (SAS/SDD options only not NL-SAS)

NetApp E-Series arrays

NetApp E-Series arrays

E2760 = 4U / 60 Drives (NL-SAS, SAS, SDD options available)

NetApp E-Series arrays


RAW capacity = 2.3PB

Max Number of Drives = 384

NetApp E-Series arrays


Veeam Availability Suite with NetApp E-Series

Veeam delivers five key capabilities that deliver Availability for the Always-On Enterprise:

  • High-Speed Recovery: Rapid recovery of what you want, the way you want it
  • Data Loss Avoidance: Near-continuous data protection and streamlined disaster recovery
  • Verified Recoverability: Guaranteed recovery of every file, application or virtual server, every time
  • Leveraged Data: Low-risk deployment with a production-like test environment
  • Complete Visibility: Proactive monitoring and alerting of issues before operational impact

It’s clear that these two technologies are a good fit together. Let’s see how this looks end-to-end.

Backup & archive use case

NetApp E-Series arrays in Veeam Availability Suite designs


Regardless of the production storage in this instance, the E-Series allows for all great features from both vendors to accomplish short-term backup retention, as well as a long-term archive policy. My next post regarding the cloud-integrated appliance may have a better use case as the archive piece. The best solution really depends on the data you are backing up and where the locality of that data needs to be.

Off-premises backup or replication target

NetApp E-Series arrays in Veeam Availability Suite designs


Another scenario where the E-Series may fit is in an environment using FAS for production storage similar the first scenario but with Veeam’s ability to talk to the underlying NetApp FAS storage API. In this case, you’ll see a large reduction in the backup window and the hit on the vSphere production environment. The big thing to note here is that by leveraging the E-Series as the primary backup storage, you are not using the same hardware, but you are still able to work with the same technical support for all storage-related issues.

Veeam replication jobs here for fast disaster recovery (DR) SLAs without needing to invest in expensive DR storage systems. You can simply use a Veeam backup copy job for an off-site backup to another E-Series device.

Benefits of Veeam and E-Series

The fundamental reason that the NetApp E-Series is a great fit for a backup repository is because of the great improvements on the restore capabilities from Veeam when used with a storage system that can handle operations in a fast and timely manner.

The restore capabilities with the E-Series and Veeam’s ability to leverage the backup data to perform verification tasks and bring up a virtual environment for testing purposes is a huge plus for this storage system as a backup repository. With the built-in deduplication and compression engines, this allows for some powerful storage efficiencies on this block-based SAN. This decreases network traffic and the storage required for storing VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V backup files. Veeam Backup & Replication includes built-in deduplication, compression and additional data reduction techniques, including swap exclusion, BitLooker and file-selective, image-level processing.

BitLooker is a v9 feature that analyzes the NTFS master file table (MFT) to identify blocks belonging to deleted files and then automatically skips those blocks from image-level processing instead of saving those zeroed blocks into the backup image, allowing for a huge reduction in size.

Another feature of Veeam’s that increases backup performance is the new per-virtual machine (VM) backup file chains option in the backup repository settings. With this option selected, any backup job writing to this repository will store each VM’s restore points in the dedicated backup file. This enables multiple write streams within a single job with parallel processing enabled. Enabling multiple streams dramatically improves overall job backup performance.

NetApp E-Series arrays in Veeam Availability Suite designs

Availability end-to-end

As you can see, leveraging the NetApp E-Series is a great way to have end-to-end Availability for your data center. Have you leveraged the NetApp E-Series in any Veeam designs? If so, share your configuration below.

See also:

Tips and tricks on leveraging NetApp E-Series arrays in Veeam Availability Suite designs

Lenovo and Juniper Networks Announce Global Partnership

Source: Lenovo

Lenovo (HKSE:992) and Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), the industry leader in network innovation, today announced the commencement of a global strategic partnership to leverage synergies in their respective product and technology portfolios to build the next generation of converged, hyper-converged, and hyper-scale data center infrastructure solutions for enterprise and web-scale customers. The alliance reflects a shared commitment to deliver simplified, flexible, and high-performance solutions that will provide customers faster time-to-application value with reduced operating costs. 
Lenovo and Juniper Networks Announce Global Partnership

Cisco Announces Acquisition of Synata

Source: Cisco
Today, I’m excited to announce the acquisition of Synata. Synata is a privately-held company based in San Francisco that will enhance how customers can search rooms and content within Cisco Spark, our business collaboration service. Cisco Spark is built on the Cisco Collaboration cloud and enables customers to message, meet, or call anyone, anywhere, and anytime. Over the past year, Cisco’s Collaboration team has continued to innovate on Cisco Spark, delivering new features and increased momentum in the market. More […]Cisco Announces Acquisition of Synata

Veeam Cloud Connect Portal Branding

Source: Veeam

Starting with version 9, Veeam allows service providers to offer true Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to their customers for both VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V, thanks to Veeam Cloud Connect Replication — a fast, secure and cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) solution.

Tenants subscribed to a service provider’s Veeam Cloud Connect Replication offering can get an access to cloud hosts provided by the service provider and create off-site virtual machine (VM) replicas. In case of a disaster at the production site, tenants can quickly and easily switch to VM replicas in the cloud and use the service provider’s infrastructure as a remote DR site.

To guarantee that tenants have easy access to their cloud failover plans, service providers can deploy Veeam Cloud Connect Portal — a convenient web tool for performing full-site failover. With Veeam Cloud Connect Portal, tenants can run cloud failover plans to switch to VM replicas in the cloud DR site in an easy and secure way.

Branding? Why do you need it?

By default, Veeam Cloud Connect Portal looks like this:

Veeam Cloud Connect Portal

Since many tenants will see the Veeam Cloud Connect Portal on a regular basis, it represents a critical component of a service provider’s branding strategy. It communicates who the service provider is and what they offer through its organization and appearance.

Service providers can give Veeam Cloud Connect Portal that familiar look and feel by using the company’s color scheme and name. This is very easy to achieve, because Veeam provides both simple and quick options to brand the Veeam Cloud Connect Portal.

Company name

A company’s name plays a crucial role not only in a brand’s growth, but also in customers’ perceptions of it. This makes the company’s name the first impression the company, its products and services have on many people.

Most of the information one can see in Veeam Cloud Connect Portal is editable via app.js file, and the company name is no exception.

In order to replace Veeam© with the name of your company, you should find the following files (login and application pages in accordance):


Locate the string including Veeam©:

componentCls:"app-header-title",bind:{html:'<div class="sup">Veeam <sup>®</sup></div>

Replace it with the appropriate name (Wonderland Corp. in this example):

componentCls:"app-header-title",bind:{html:'<div class="sup">Wonderland Corp.<sup>®</sup></div>

You’d see something similar to the following:

Veeam Cloud Connect Portal

The only missing part is the portal name. That is also configurable via text editor.

This time, we’re going to replace the line containing the application name:

appName: " Cloud Connect Portal "

Enter your new application name:

appName: " Awesome Portal "

The outcome looks good, but the application title still preserves its previous name:

Veeam Cloud Connect Portal

So, we have to open web config file:


Change the title name:

<add key="AppName" value="Awesome Portal"/>

Now, everything is set up how we want, so it’s time for us to proceed with color scheme customization.

Veeam Cloud Connect Portal


Branding and color go hand in hand because color provides a direct method for communicating meaning and messages without words.

The Veeam Cloud Connect Portal color scheme is present in three CSS files:


By default, Veeam uses green (#54b948). So, you need to replace it across the mentioned documents (Edit->Replace->Replace All, if Notepad is used) with a hex code for the color you want.

For instance, the following example uses blue (#4c05ff):

Veeam Cloud Connect Portal


As mentioned above, most of information regarding styles, names and colors of Veeam Cloud Connect Portal are present inside the js or css files.

Having a basic understanding of JavaScript and CSS should help you to modify it even further.

Feel free to trick it out and share your experience either here or in the corresponding section of our community forums.

Veeam Cloud Connect Portal Branding