PHD Virtual Backup and Replication for VMware vSphere Review

Tuesday 7 February 2012 @ 6:52 pm

As I have been exposed to Virtualization, Storage & Disaster recovery solutions for quite long, PHD Virtual has approached me to give a feedback on their latest PHD Virtual Backup and Replication v5.3.1 for VMware vSphere. As I had a couple of hours today, I decided to see what I can a accomplish in them messing around with PHD Virtual Backup and Replication v5.3.1 for VMware vSphere in my home lab. At this post I will document the features I like most of the product, what I believe missing as well a high level steps of how to use the product.

VMware ThinAPP Antivirus Best Practices

Thursday 2 February 2012 @ 10:30 am

Many Many Many time I have been called to diagnose a VMware ThinApp problem specially VMware ThinApp package slowness and all it end up to be nothing more than a problem being caused by an antivirus or anti-malware software that has not been configured according to VMware ThinApp Antivirus best practices. Ah I can see already few of you are shocked there is such a thing out there! OK, now I have told you there is best practices for Antivirus configuration in a VMware ThinApp environment I will go ahead and explain them and where they apply.

IT Solutions LIVE WEBINARs Page

Tuesday 31 January 2012 @ 11:14 pm

As I get invites to a lot of interested Webinars and IT Solutions events that of interest to my readers. I have started a new page  where I will be posting these event to. You can find the IT Solutions Live Webinars page at:

Keep checking out as I will start posting info about many Webinars covering Storage, Virtualization, Backup, & Management solutions as they hit my mailbox.

If you are a vendor in Storage, Virtualization, Backup, or Management solutions and want me to include your Webinar info on my page all you have to do is just to drop me an e-mail few weeks ahead of the Webinar as it usually get me a bit of time to get to it and it get useless if I get to it after the Webinar date has been passed.

New StarWind iSCSI SAN v5.8 and Hyper Backup Plug-in are a New Level of Data Protection

Tuesday 17 January 2012 @ 9:21 pm

StarWind Software Inc., an innovative provider of SAN software for iSCSI storage and VM Backup technology, today announced the release of new StarWind iSCSI SAN v5.8 and Hyper-V Backup Plug-in. The iSCSI SAN software is enhanced by the powerful VM Backup technology that is included as a plug-in.

Backup plug-in is built specifically for Hyper-V-based environments to provide fast backup and restore for Hyper-V virtual machines. The backup solution delivered by StarWind performs all operations on the Hyper-V host level thus it requires no backup agents to be installed on virtual machines (Agentless Architecture).

Hyper-V Backup Plug-in makes fast backups and allows quick, reliable restore of both virtual machines and individual files. It utilizes advanced technologies for maximum disk space saving (Global Deduplication). This backup tool is integrated with StarWind Centralized Management Console that enables managing backup and storage from a single window.

IBM XIV, IBM SVC, IBM Storwize V7000 support VAAI is here & DS8000 is on the way

Monday 14 November 2011 @ 8:49 pm

If you have been following on VMware vSphere closely, then you would know that VMware VAAI(vStorage Api for Array Integration) is evolving to be more important on regular basis. VAAI, as you probably aware is a method VMware use to offload some tasks to the storage. The initial release was to offload three main functionality:

1- Full Copy: It was used to offload copying VMs to the storage to handle it rather than doing it in the software. This speed up VMs Deployment & so on.

2- Zero Blocks: which is used to zero-out disk regions

3- VMFS Assisted locking, so ESXi hosts will lock only a block rather than the full store as originally was the case before introducing VAAI when any file operation was done.

The first VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) Supported with EMC VPLEX

Saturday 5 November 2011 @ 3:02 am

EMC VPLEX Metro Storage clustering with vSphere has been getting a lot of interest lately. Many companies are interested of building a Disaster Avoidance & Across Site Availability scenarios where EMC VPLEX with vSphere stretched cluster might seems to be the easy solution to do it. Ok,  if you told me this about a year back I would told you about all the draw backs about this approach and all kind of deadly loop holes that could made the solution a disaster like if the links between the two sites failed or a full site failure. The good news that EMC & VMware has already addressed most of these with the vSphere 5 & the new EMC VPLEX 5 (Is it a conscidence that both products are at version 5 or was it a good planning between the two companies I really don’t know the truth on that).

HP Storage P4000 Virtual Storage Appliance installation on vSphere 5

Sunday 23 October 2011 @ 5:10 pm

When Building Virtual lab for vSphere, Hyper-V,  or any clustering solution the shared storage has always been an interesting part of the solution. Left Hand virtual storage appliance has always been a good easy to use option. After HP taking over lefthand, they have changed the product name to HP Storage P4000 Virtual Storage Appliance. Here I will show how to download & install the HP Storage P4000 Virtual Storage Appliance on ESXi host.

Why Use IBM Tivoli Storage Manager?

Tuesday 6 September 2011 @ 5:13 pm

If you’re new to IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (IBM TSM from here on), you may be curious as to why there’s so much love for this particular method of data storage and backup. Well, there are several reasons for this, that should illuminate its benefits and the various features putting it ahead of the competition.

Backup is probably one of the two main reasons people look into data storage management software, and this is arguably one of IBM TSM’s strongest features. IBM have implemented what they call a “revolutionary” progressive incremental backup system, that allows you to continuously backup new and changed files, while the old ones are kept as as single copy. Not only is this faster, it saves space, and you’ll soon find that it means you can restore backups and sift through backup data without the hassle of digging through countless identical copies of the same file.

Format Completed with Return Code 499

Tuesday 10 August 2010 @ 5:21 am

If you have been trying to upgrade TSM 5 to TSM 6 & received the following error:  “Format Completed with Return Code 499” Then follow the steps below, which I have got from IBM article to fix the problem. I have used these steps & they have worked for me & they should work for you too.

If this is not an upgrade & you started with a clean install, but you still got a missed up database then follow up the steps below & then follow up: “How do you remove a server instance without uninstalling the TSM server?” which will remove the corrupted instance & database & you will be ready for trying to initialize the instance again. Below is the how-to copied from IBM KB.

How do you remove a server instance without uninstalling the TSM server?

Sunday 8 August 2010 @ 4:59 am

Today while installing TSM 6.1.2 for one of my client I had end up with a crashed instance of TSM. I did not feel to reinstall TSM & wanted to delete that TSM instance & its database. Below the steps I have used to do just that:

1) Open a DOS command prompt and run “db2ilist”. This will list the TSM instances that are defined to DB2.

2) From the DOS command prompt issue “db2idrop <instance name>”. So if the instance you want to remove is “SERVER1″ you would issue “db2idrop server1″

3) Open the registry to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\IBM\ADSM\CurrentVersion\Server. Here you will find the instance. Remove the instance directory. Do not remove HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\IBM\ADSM\CurrentVersion\Server itself.

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