May 8, 2014

The Veeam Explorers: Now for AD and SQL!

Posted by Chris Henley

Virtualizing Tier 1 applications presents a big opportunity for small and big business alike to reap the benefits of virtualization all the way to the application level of their organization. Benefits like mobility, resource allocation, workload customization, elasticity, automation, and high availability without high cost can all be had by virtualizing Tier 1 applications. Unfortunately virtualizing Tier 1 application workloads also brings with it the challenges associate with data protection, disaster recovery, monitoring, and management of the virtual infrastructure. Keeping your business up and running at all times is critical. Businesses today require 24/7 access to data, efficient management of exploding data growth and little tolerance for downtime. For years now Veeam has helped to enable virtualization of Tier 1 applications by overcoming these challenges through backup, replication, monitoring, and management of the VMs. Veeam enables the Always-On Business with solutions that deliver Availability for the Modern Data Center.

Almost 2 years ago Veeam introduced industry disrupting innovations to the virtualization of Tier-1 applications by adding Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft® Exchange to Veeam Backup & Replication. This first of its kind tool allowed access inside the Exchange .EDB database file from within the Veeam backup file. This meant that a backup admin could now perform granular recovery of items from an Exchange database to a running Exchange server in minutes instead of hours, all without agents. In Veeam Backup & Replication v8 Veeam introduces additional functions for Veeam Explorer ™ for Microsoft® Exchange like the ability to recover hard deleted items that you thought were lost forever, support for Microsoft® Exchange Online Archiving, and a web-based restore portal for help desk operators.

Veeam followed up with Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft® SharePoint which made it possible to backup and restore everything in your SharePoint environment. The .MDF database is made available from within ...

March 25, 2014

VHD to VHDX Conversion Made Easy with PowerShell

Posted by Chris Henley

A couple of weeks ago I wrote “3 Easy Steps to Migrate to Hyper-V 2012 R2” talking about how to migrate VM’s from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012 R2. Since then I keep hearing the same question over and over again.

Question: When you migrate VMs from Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 to Hyper V in Windows Server 2012 R2 can you also automate conversion from .vhd to .vhdx? And can it be done with minimum interruption to the operation of the workload of the VM?

Answer: YES!

Our friends Aidan Finn and Didier Von Hoye are using a really cool PowerShell script to automate the entire process. The only challenge here ...

March 17, 2014

You Must Try Veeam Explorer for Active Directory!

Posted by Chris Henley

Today Veeam announces Veeam Explorer for Active Directory! Veeam Explorer for Active Directory is a valuable and innovative extension for Veeam Backup & Replication. Veeam Explorer for Active Directory will allow you to browse the backup of an NTDS.DIT database to locate containers, objects, and their attributes and then restore them to their original location in the running domain controller or to a new location.

In the good old days, like yesterday, Active Directory recovery demanded the downtime associated with restoring the VM that hosted the Active Directory Domain Controller and then using active directory restore mode to recover containers, objects, and their attributes. Unfortunately some attributes such as passwords were problematic or downright impossible to recover. With Veeam ...

March 5, 2014

Activation made easy: Automatic Virtual Machine Activation

Posted by Chris Henley

There is one word that brings fear and exasperation to the hearts of IT Professionals everywhere. Licensing! The installation of every operating system and application comes with the required and totally ignored EULA. We all find ways not to read the EULA. A contract embedded in an installation program seems counterintuitive. Imagine how long an installation would take if you actually read the EULA. The ways and means with which licenses are issued and established in the IT world are as varied as imagination will allow. Creativity in licensing is so prevalent that there are certified licensing specialists who make their entire careers out of making licensing recommendations. Why does it have to be so hard? Finally it doesn’t! ...

February 13, 2014

3 Easy Steps to Migrate to Hyper-V 2012 R2

Posted by Chris Henley

Hyper-V is cool! Its technically sound and for all practical purposes has become an excellent choice for running infrastructure workloads in a virtual environment. Hyper-V is not just for test and development environments anymore. More and more businesses are relying on Hyper-V to run their production workloads like Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, and Active Directory. Production environments have strict operating requirements! Business relies on uptime and access!

So what if you were using Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 to run your Virtual Machines (VMs) and you have decided to make the move to Windows Server 2012 R2? How will you migrate those VMs? I get this question at least once a week so I decided to write the detailed answer.

For those ...

December 3, 2013

Bats, SpiceWorld and Backups Oh My!

Posted by Chris Henley

I arrived in Austin Texas in the late afternoon just before sunset and checked into the Embassy Suites just across Lady Bird Lake (which looked a lot like a river to me) from the Austin Convention Center. The sun was setting behind me as I walked towards the Congress Avenue bridge that lead across the river/lake to the convention center. Imagine my surprise to find thousands of people lining the south side of the bridge. A musty odor that I couldn’t quite place, but was certainly familiar, filled the air. Had all of these people forgotten to shower? Had I? Then it hit me. Bats! The smell was bat guano, that putrid disgusting mix of urine and feces that ...

June 17, 2013

Replication, Backup or Both?

Posted by Chris Henley

Q: If I use replication for a virtual machine does that mean that I no longer need to worry about backing it up?

A: The short answer is you should still back up the virtual machine! The reason is that all data protection systems seek to eliminate the two critical challenges of downtime, and data loss. Each problem costs the business lots of money. In the IT industry the goals of limiting, or even eliminating, data loss and down time are referred to as Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) (for data loss), and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) (for downtime.) Replication makes a copy of a running virtual machine and then synchronizes updates from that running VM at regular intervals so that ...

May 14, 2013

Hyper-V Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V?

Posted by Chris Henley

There has been a lot of talk about Hyper-V in its 2012 editions. One of the questions that I hear on a regular basis is about which version of Hyper-V to use. Usually the conversation goes something like this.

“So Microsoft makes Hyper-V Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V?”

“Yes.”

“Hyper-V Server 2012 is a free download, right?”

“Right!”

“So why would I want to use Windows Server 2012 to get Hyper-V?”

The question is a good one, and it has a really good answer. Licensing! Here are the nitty gritty details. First this from the Microsoft Hyper-V Server2012 page;

“Hyper-V Server is a dedicated stand-alone product that contains the hypervisor, Windows Server driver model, virtualization capabilities, and supporting components such as failover ...

April 29, 2013

Countdown #6: Enhanced 1-Click Restore in Veeam Backup & Replication v7

Posted by Chris Henley

As part of our run up to v7 of Veeam Backup & Replication, we’re announcing a number of new features that will be part of this big release. The latest announcement expands on a v6 feature that solved a big problem for many organizations, you won’t believe what we have in store here!

This new feature centers on self-service for virtualized environments. On demand self-service is one of the key tenets of any public, private, or hybrid cloud. The point is that if a user can service their own needs there will be greater efficiency, greater satisfaction for the user, and less cost to the business. Everybody wins! So how does this apply to the world of modern data protection? ...

March 26, 2013

Disrupting the Market Again: Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint Announced

Posted by Chris Henley

Last year the development team at Veeam® turned the backup and recovery of Microsoft Exchange database objects on its ear. What used to be a time-consuming and unwieldy process usually performed by a separate, complex, for purchase product has become a powerful, easy-to-use, free feature included in Veeam Backup & Replication™. 

Today Veeam is disrupting the market again with the announcement of Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft SharePoint. SharePoint databases, like Exchange databases, contain large numbers of shared files and folders that are used for a variety of business operations. The process of backup and restoration in the SharePoint world has been a complex proposition requiring very specific skills, a broad set of tools, and plenty of precious time in order to ...