How to clone VMs if VMware vCenter is unavailable

There are various tricks and hints we all use to make our daily system administration routines easier. One of them is virtual machine cloning provided by VMware vCenter Server. Great and simple thing allowing you to deploy many identical virtual machines to a group – no need to repeat the same process all over again. This is usually done in vCenter but there are several other ways you can go if it becomes unavailable.

 

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PowerCLI: a fast and easy way to set up virtual networks in VMware ESXi 6.5

Recently, I decided to automate some boring routine procedures related to setting up virtual networks in ESXi 6.5. That’s right, I’m talking about PowerCLI. This command-line tools allows automating all aspects of vSphere management, including network, storage, VM and so on and so forth. Sure, I had to dig into the details of orchestrating ESXi with PowerCLI. Yep, it took me some time but at the end of the day, the knowledge and experience I acquired paid back! Apparently, this case is not unique, so I decided to share my experience in today’s scribbling.

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Is a single cloud enough to secure your backups? 5 cool cross-cloud solutions you should consider

Nowadays, you can hardly find a company with no backup or DR strategies in place. Data is becoming the most valuable organization’s asset so making sure it remains safe and available is becoming a key priority. But does it really matter where your backups are stored? Well, Veeam actually answered that question by bringing in the “3-2-1” backup rule meaning you should have at least 3 copies of your data, 2 of which are local but on different media and at least 1 copy offsite. Sounds reasonable.

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Looking for the most affordable cloud storage? AWS vs Azure vs Backblaze B2

What was a privilege of enterprises just a few years ago, now becomes a common thing for companies of all sizes – I’m talking about cloud. The number of cloud storage providers grows, delivering various solutions that fit the needs of different organizations in terms of features and prices. Moreover, the competition in the cloud market is getting tougher, making cloud storage providers cut their prices just to stay afloat. Therefore, cloud becomes a really great alternative to purchasing more physical storage or compute resources to maintain data and applications. However, despite there is a wide range of cloud offerings, we still struggle with choosing a cloud provider that offers us storage we need without charging us a steep price in the end of the billing period.

So today, we’ll have a closer look at some public cloud providers to decide on the cheapest storage.

 

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3 key factors to consider when choosing a hyper-converged vendor

Well, hyperconvergence is certainly a good deal but there are certain factors to consider when choosing a hyper-converged vendor. Support is a number one thing you should be looking for. Basically, decent support increases chances that your production remains operational all the time or at least minimizes the downtimes. Unified management is the “core” of hyperconvergence, so make sure you won’t need any additional software for administrating your hyper-converged infrastructure. Finally, the price. Take your time and calculate if you’re not overpaying just for a vendor’s “logo”. So, there is a wide variety of hyper-converged appliances, but I hope these three simple factors will help you with choosing a vendor that will provide you with the one that will serve you faithfully.

 

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Why Snapshots and Checkpoints Alone Aren’t for Backups

Lately, I often face people who prefer using snapshots, wrongly thinking that they can serve as an alternative to a proper backup infrastructure. This comes from a misunderstanding of snapshots’ real functions. So, I’ve decided to sort things out in this post and describe some basic operations you can do with snapshots in VMware and Hyper-V environments.

The term “snapshot” refers to the absolute copy of the particular VM’s state that allows you to roll back to it whenever you want. You can always take a snapshot of the VM, be it running or switched off. Though, if you capture a running VM, its disk activity gets suspended (for a matter of seconds but still…).

So, what’s the main point of taking snapshots?

 

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A few advices that will make your VDI sizing easier

Server virtualization helped businesses increase productivity and efficiency of their IT infrastructures by abstracting physical servers’ workloads from the underlying hardware with little to no loss of functionality, VDI applied quite the same logic. Desktops and applications run inside virtual machines that are hosted centrally, either on a server or in the cloud. The purpose of VDI is to deliver fully-featured user desktops to a variety of devices including conventional PCs, thin clients, and even zero-client endpoints. But how something that was seen as a bright alternative to the traditional server-based computing model used by Citrix and Microsoft Terminal Services a decade ago ended up being a niched deployment?

 

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3 benefits your business gets with a hyper-converged infrastructure

We’ve all heard the expression “time is money” and you can’t put it better when talking about IT. Most businesses’ success and efficiency depends on their IT infrastructure. For real. We all want our applications to run as fast as possible and roll them out in a matter of minutes. Moreover, the more data you have, the worse the consequences are in the event of its loss. So, companies want to get back all their data and get it back as soon as possible in case something happens. That’s called Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and the shorter they are, the better it is for your company. Finally, as your business grows, you want to provision it with the right amount of storage and capacity and in case you need to open another branch office, you want to deploy an IT infrastructure shortly without spending months for building it.

 

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Testing iSER on ESXi

VMware ESXi is the industry-leading hypervisor that is installed directly on a physical server. It is a reliable and secure solution with a tiny hardware footprint. At the same time, ESXi architecture is easy in management, patching, and updating.

Recently, Mellanox has released iSER 1.0.0.1, the stable iSER driver build for ESXi. iSER is an iSCSI extension for RDMA that enables the direct data transfer out and into SCSI memory without any intermediate data copies. Here, we study the driver stability and performance to understand how the protocol streamlines ESXi environments.

 

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V2V Converters Overview

Nowadays, virtualization has become one of the main worldwide trends in the IT sphere. The virtual environment helps saving money, making infrastructure easier to administrate, and giving more possibilities for scaling. A large variety of hypervisors from different vendors with different functionality and a number of virtual machines available for deployment are already present on the market. In most cases, hypervisor vendors have their proprietary VM types incompatible with those of competitors’. That is why sometimes it might be a challenge to deploy one hypervisor’s virtual machines on other hypervisors. This may come up with a very painful migration process between hypervisors in case of changing one, moving to different hardware or having several different hypervisors running. A V2V (virtual machine to virtual machine) converter could help solving this task. It can convert a VM and move one between VM formats and physical environments where the hypervisor is running. The review of the most popular and well-known solutions of VM converters will be provided in this article.

 

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