RDM disks for VMware vSphere VMs: how & why to create them

Sometimes, you need your VMs to access a LUN directly over iSCSI. Direct access comes in handy when you, let’s say, run SAN/NAS-aware applications on vSphere VMs, or if you’re going to deploy some hardware-specific SCSI commands. Also, with direct access, physical-to-virtual conversion becomes possible without migrating a massive LUN to VMDK. Whatever. To enable your VMs to talk directly to LUN, you need a raw device mapping file. Recently, I created vSphere VMs with such disks. Well, apparently, this case is not unique, so I decided to share my experience in today’s article.

How to ensure maximum data security with VMware VM encryption

Leakage of confidential business information can become a true disaster for any company. Therefore, data security is an issue of prime importance for most of companies. Organizing an IT infrastructure, administrators’ top question is how to warrant a secure storage to keep sensitive business information.

In this article, I suggest having a closer look at a relatively recent method of ensuring data security – VMware virtual machines encryption that can become a good remedy against intruders for your organization.

Installing vSphere 6.5 U2 update without messing things up

One day, any virtual infrastructure needs to be updated. That may be just due to admin’s wish to keep up with modern trends or the need for some cool features that are brought to life with the latest updates. And, speaking of updates, VMware has recently released their vSphere 6.5 U2.So, being a VMware fan, I decided to update my vSphere 6.5 and describe the entire update process from its planning through the installation itself.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?