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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire ContainerX

Source: Cisco
I’m excited to share that today Cisco announced its intent to acquire ContainerX, Inc., Cisco’s first acquisition in the rapidly emerging container market. ContainerX is an early stage, privately held company focused on building technology to help enterprises manage, orchestrate and integrate containers across data centers. Many of our customers are starting to use containers […]Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire ContainerX

Why fast virtualized application recovery is key to the hybrid cloud journey

Source: Veeam

Considering that many VMworld attendees are front-line IT system firefighters, a nightmarish scenario could unfold. While roaming the casino halls at some ungodly hour, a critical business system could suddenly crash and burn. How many of these folks are confident in their ability to quickly extinguish the flames through rapid VM recovery capabilities?

It is estimated that businesses lose $16M annually due to application downtime. Between lost revenue, lost productivity, lost business opportunity and lost credibility, the consequences of application service disruptions are enormous.

Perhaps it is no surprise then that in a recent IDC research report, over 80% of 1,200 IT users surveyed, indicated that faster recovery was the top reason for investing in VMware virtualization solutions.

While many industry observers often point to lower costs as a prime business reason for betting the house on virtualized infrastructure, faster recovery, server consolidation and increased agility trumped cost savings by a large margin in IDC’s survey.

Perhaps even more telling is that those IT respondents with a higher degree of confidence in the resiliency and recoverability of their application environment, were likely to be much further down the path of being fully virtualized. And herein lies the key to accelerating the journey to private and hybrid cloud – a key initiative for many businesses.

The last mile of virtualization typically consists of mission critical platforms like order entry systems, business revenue generating applications, messaging systems, etc. These are typically the last hold outs to get converted over from physical to virtualized systems. The conventional thinking is that by dedicating physical (non-shared) resources to a critical application, performance and availability can be better ensured.

The irony is there may be a false sense of security with walling off critical applications into dedicated, silo’d infrastructure. For instance, the CPU and storage resources assigned to an application today may be woefully inadequate for that system tomorrow. Having the ability to quickly and non-disruptively migrate an application, via VMware’s server vMotion feature, to a system with more resources, is a decided advantage over a physical, “lift and shift” environment.

Likewise, if a mission-critical application were to go belly up, there are faster, more efficient and less painstaking ways to recover an application residing on a virtualized machine than one configured on a   dedicated server.

In fact, there are VMware integrated recovery solutions, like Veeam Availability Suite, that can quickly spin up new VMs on premise or in the public cloud, while providing very low recovery point and recovery time objectives (RTPO). And from an IT administrative perspective, it doesn’t have to be a stressful, panic-stricken fire-drill.

In addition, through Veeam’s automated application recovery testing capabilities, IT organizations can demonstrate to their business stakeholders that critical applications, whether physical or virtualized, will continue to meet service levels even in the event of an outage.   

And while the IT team is in Vegas, the last thing you want to do is roll the dice on the ability of your applications to quickly recover following an outage. You want this process to be smooth, fast and predictable.

Perhaps it’s easy to see then that application recovery, or better put, application availability, plays an integral role in any organization’s virtualization strategy. Now if we could only recover as quickly from a Vegas fueled night out on the town.

While at VMworld, please visit Veeam at booth #1731 to learn how you can improve the Availability of your mission-critical applications while simplifying IT operational management. And if you would like a chance to win a free ticket to VMworld Europe in Barcelona, click here.

The post Why fast virtualized application recovery is key to the hybrid cloud journey appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Why fast virtualized application recovery is key to the hybrid cloud journey

Migrating on-premises SharePoint sites to the cloud (TechNet Radio Session)

Source: Microsoft
TechNet Radio host Yung Chou welcomes David Johnson, Senior Program Manager, to discuss how Microsoft IT migrated more than 185,000 on-premises internal SharePoint sites and portals to the cloud. Learn how Microsoft IT approached its move to the cloud as David shares best practices, tips and tricks, and lessons learned that you can take to your own IT environment.
Migrating on-premises SharePoint sites to the cloud (TechNet Radio Session)

Cloud at Microsoft (SME roundtable June 2016)

Source: Microsoft
IT Showcase brought together subject matter experts from our Cloud at Microsoft course to answer questions about how Microsoft IT designs, develops, implements, monitors, and supports cloud solutions at Microsoft. In this session, they discuss evaluating applications for PaaS or SaaS, monitoring your cloud infrastructure, migrating to Office 365, and using SharePoint Online compliance and records management—and lots more!
Cloud at Microsoft (SME roundtable June 2016)

Fast recovery with NetApp snapshots and Veeam

Source: Veeam

Let’s face it, for an IT administrator, recovery is a big part of your world. Over the years, I’ve seen exhaustion and fatigue on the faces of IT staff struggling to recover their business applications and data after unplanned system disruptions. In the IT arena, ever-increasing demands and expectations are setting the bar higher, and fast recovery is a key to success.

Veeam’s deep integration with NetApp enables businesses to leverage storage snapshots to create application consistent backups to fast SAN/NAS based repositories. As a result, IT administrators avoid the pain, frustration and exhaustion often experienced when in “recovery mode.”

At this point, I think it is important to recognize that fast recovery has a lot to do with backups. Think of good backups as the preparation required of a world-class athlete. It is often said the race is won before it starts. A competitor’s ability, training and confidence all factor into the winner’s success before the gun goes off.  Fast recovery is only as good as your pre-crisis preparation, ability to recover and confidence in the integrity of your backups.

NetApp snapshots orchestration

For Veeam, the starting line is our orchestration of NetApp snapshots. Veeam Backup & Replication sits on top of the FAS storage system, to control and automate application consistent snapshots for local fast recovery point objectives (RPO). By taking backups from storage snapshots, Veeam reduces the impact on the VMware vSphere environment. By directing the backup copy to a secondary storage target, Veeam offloads backup overhead from primary storage where VM’s are running. It is a great way to follow the 3-1-2 rule of three copies of data on two media types and keeping one in a different location.

3-2-1 Rule

Veeam, for example, can orchestrate and schedule these application-aware snapshots to a secondary NetApp FAS array. From there, Veeam backup from SnapMirror and SnapVault leverages a secondary FAS system for backup and reduces the impact on not only the vSphere environment, but also on the primary FAS system. With orchestrating snapshots locally and then replicating them to a secondary FAS system, Veeam delivers backup to a secondary media type. This is a good example of how Veeam can achieve a high return on your SnapMirror and SnapVault investment.

Fast recovery with Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots

Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots allows IT admins to browse into these NetApp snapshots and perform fast granular recovery of files and application items even though the snapshots are in a crash consistent state.

Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam

By avoiding the complexity and spinning up time required to restore full VMs, restoring from snapshots drastically reduces the recovery time and allows IT to move on to the next event. What was a marathon-like effort, is now merely a short sprint back to productivity.

Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots can be used to view historic snapshots or snapshots that have not been orchestrated by Veeam but still enable file level recovery options.

Below you can see the view from a snapshot that is created and orchestrated by Veeam.

Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam

You can also see the options available for this virtual machine, which has been snapshotted in an application consistent state.  Veeam provides application, item-level recovery from storage snapshots—all without the use of software agents and from an easy-to-use interface.

Veeam Instant VM Recovery with NetApp

Veeam Instant VM Recovery is another good example of how we work with NetApp storage to overcome the hurdles of recovery. You can immediately restore a VM from secondary storage back to your production server.

Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam

The steps below show the process to run an Instant VM Recovery for a storage snapshot from the Veeam management console. The final step (see the bottom right shot) is for the backup admin to use vSphere tools such as Storage vMotion to migrate from the mounted snapshot to its original datastore.

Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam
Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam

Veeam’s Virtual Lab

Another great way to avoid injury of your production environment in the first place – and thus avoiding the need to recover — is Veeam On-Demand Sandbox for Storage Snapshots. This Veeam feature requires NetApp FlexClone, and again is an excellent added value to your NetApp investment.

FlexClone is a great technology from NetApp that gives IT admins a fully functional snapshot version of their production data with production-quality storage performance. Veeam enables the automation of the entire process, including the creation of the FlexClone snapshot, presentation, provisioning and automates clean-up operations when testing and development is completed.

Fast Recovery with NetApp Snapshots and Veeam

 

This feature can provide a full performance virtual lab without using any further production storage and, as of Veeam v9, can leverage both primary and secondary tier FAS systems. Use it for not only reducing setup time and testing time of new patches and applications, but also for training and development.

 

Without Veeam, the effort needed to recover from service disruptions often leaves you doubled over, out of breath and seeing stars. Especially when a business line manager is screaming at the service desk because mission-critical application SLAs are continually missed.

Learn more about how Veeam delivers Availability for the Always-On Enterprise with efficient and fast backup and recovery with NetApp.

The post Fast recovery with NetApp snapshots and Veeam appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Fast recovery with NetApp snapshots and Veeam

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration: First-hand backup and replication

Source: Veeam

I recently blogged about the Veeam-Nimble integration configuration and recovery from Nimble Storage snapshots with Veeam. Today, let’s test backup and replication from Nimble snapshots with the Beta version of Veeam Availability Suite 9.5.

NOTE: This is a Beta, so some of the screens are listed as TBD or may not have their icons/visualization complete as what we will see in the generally available build of Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5.

Creating a Nimble volume collection

To back up from the snapshot, you need to create a volume collection, and then assign the desired volume for replication. The volume collection doesn’t require any complex configuration — everything is very straightforward:

  1. Browse the Nimble WebGUI: ManageProtectionVolume Collections
  2. Add a new volume by clicking on New Volume Collection
  3. Add the Volume Collection Name on the Introduction Be careful with the naming to stay within the limits of 80 characters
  4. Select None on the Synchronization tab, because Veeam will orchestrate the VMware VSS Snapshot before the backup job starts
  5. Set the scheduling for Nimble Storage snapshots c Note that Veeam Backup & Replication uses its own engine to initiate the creation and replication of snapshots. Nimble configuration will not allow empty scheduling therefore you can choose Weeks or Repeat Every Week and Replicate to set to “2” as the minimum — or any desired configuration, as these configurations will not be used by Veeam.
  6. Associate the desired volume for replication on the Volumes Tab

As with SAN backup, the Veeam proxy server requires an access to the Nimble volumes where the needed VM(s) stored. Make sure you attached the Nimble Volume to the Proxy server via the windows iSCSI initiator.

Backup from Storage Snapshots and Nimble Storage integration

Veeam’s Backup from Storage Snapshots feature leverages EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), NetApp — and now Nimble — snapshots to minimize RPOs and the impact from backup and replication on the production environment. This functionality allows you to back up any VM from the Nimble array using Nimble Storage Snapshot as a source. Additionally, Veeam can now perform Nimble Storage replication between two arrays, and use the replicated copies on a secondary array as a source for backup, thus removing the backup load from the primary array.

Let’s see how Backup from Storage Snapshots works with Nimble arrays.

Create a new backup job in the Veeam Backup console as you would do it normally, and add the required VM(s), which reside on your Nimble volume. On the Storage tab, choose the backup repository.

Storage integration is enabled by default, but you can double check this — go to the Integration tab in the Advanced Job settings and ensure that the Enable backup from storage snapshots option is selected.

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

Complete the backup job configuration, including guest processing configuration and scheduling, as you would do it normally, and run the job.

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

This is a backup job utilizing the new Veeam-Nimble integration, and as you can see on the above screenshot, the Veeam backup job initiates the creation of the Nimble Storage Snapshot and starts the processing of the backup data from the storage snapshot. Once the backup complete, Veeam deletes and cleans up the Storage Snapshot.

Nimble Storage snapshots orchestration

With Veeam Backup & Replication, you can orchestrate initiating your Nimble Storage snapshots on a specific schedule. Nimble snapshots provide you with the whole set of recovery options enabled by Veeam, such as Instant VM Recovery, application-item recovery and so on. You can also leverage the initiated Nimble snapshots for creating an exact copy of your production environment by using the On-Demand Sandbox capability.

For Nimble Storage snapshots orchestration, create a new backup job and select the required VM(s) located in the Nimble volume.

On the Storage tab, choose Nimble snapshot (Primary storage snapshot only) option for the Backup repository:

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

Then, set the desired job scheduling (in the example below, I used the five-minute period) and run the backup job:

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

You should see the following picture if you browse the Nimble Storage snapshots from the Veeam console:

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

Backing up from the secondary storage

One of the key benefits you get from backups from the secondary storage is minimizing of the performance degradation that impacts your production storage during the backup process.

To be able to back up a VM from the secondary Nimble array, you need to create a snapshot on your primary storage and replicate it to the secondary storage first. After that, Veeam Backup & Replication will back up the VM from the secondary storage.

Create a new backup job and add the required VM(s). Choose the backup repository and tick the Configure secondary destination for this job checkbox:

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

Now you need to configure the secondary target by selecting Nimble Snapshot and Nimble Collection Replication:

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

Here, the Nimble Snapshot option defines the retention for the source (i.e. production) storage snapshots. The Nimble Volume Collection Replication option defines the snapshots retention on the target (i.e. secondary) storage.

Enable backup processing from replica (“Use as the data source”) in the Nimble Volume Collection Replication settings:

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

On the background of this job, Veeam Backup & Replication first created a snapshot on your production storage and then replicates it to the secondary storage. After that, Veeam starts backing up from the replica:

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

On-Demand Sandbox from Storage Snapshots

Another functionality enabled by Veeam-Nimble integration is On-Demand Sandbox, which allows you to create a test environment from your existing storage snapshots. The sandbox provides an exact copy of your production environment, which gives you the complete freedom to safely perform development and testing.

Sandbox functionality is configured under the SureBackup menu in Veeam GUI:

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

First, you need to create and configure an Application Group (the same way as you do it for running a SureBackup job for regular VMs). The only difference here is that you need to select From storage snapshots when adding VMs to the new Application Group:

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration

Note that you will also need to set up a proper configuration for the Virtual Lab, once the Application Group is created.

Conclusion

The Veeam-Nimble integration is currently available in Beta version only. However, as you can see from my early first-hand experience, all the announced functionality in major works as expected. Like with any Beta testing, some minor fixes are required, and this will be improved in the release version without any doubts. But even now, I already can say “Kudos!” to the Veeam R&D team!

See also:

The post Veeam and Nimble Storage integration: First-hand backup and replication appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam and Nimble Storage integration: First-hand backup and replication

Charting New Paths the Cisco Way

Source: Cisco
Large companies are often associated with complexity, lack of speed, and even obsolescence. Creating a start-up like ecosystem deep within the bowels of a large company calls for disruptive people practices and non-linear improvements. It also requires a trade-off between current business priorities and future opportunities that may align better to our customer’s priorities and […]Charting New Paths the Cisco Way