iSCSI Boot Disk disconnect fix

In one of our labs we are using iSCSI to boot our ESXi5.1 hosts from a VNXe. If you lose connectivity to the NIC that runs the boot LUN (switch reboot, cable disconnect, etc.), you will see the following error:  Lost connectivity to the device backing the boot filesystem. As a result, host configuration changes will not be saved to persistent storage.



This error is being displayed because connectivity is lost and the iSCSI boot does not support Multi pathing, which means that if connectivity is lost between the Storage Processor (SP) on the VNXe and the NIC on the host, the host can no longer access its boot lun and cannot write logs etc.

The good news is that the whole ESXi OS is loaded into memory so there is no outage for the VMs. Once the connectivity is restored the host can access the storage again.

The bad news is that the error does not clear automatically. As no one likes to see errors/warning in their production environment I needed to find a solution to this issue.

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Posted in iSCSI, VMware

Avamar/Datadomain Visio Stencils

In my role as an Advisory Solutions Architect I create a good bit of documents for internal and external customers. Today I am working on an Avamar and Data Domain solution. EMC is fairly good at providing Visio stencils. A bit more for their core (VNX/VMAX) products then for some of their other products.

I spend a good bit of time locating a stencils for both but, finally I found it, buried deep in the support site. So I thought I would post it here for everyone to easily find. Enjoy!

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Posted in Avamar, DataDomain

Moving on

After less than a year, I came to the conclusion that a new opportunity that I came across was to hard to pass up. I really enjoyed my time at Windstream, and was blessed with a great team of people to work with. But like I said, the opportunity was to hard to pass up. So after three months of debating to leave I decided to go for it.

As of April 15th, I am working as an Advisory Solutions Architect in the Corporate Engineering team of VCE.  I will be working with Sales and vArchitects on complex solutions, doing POC’s and customer briefings and hopefully you will be able to find me on more trade shows doing demos and presentations.  As I have been slacking on the blogging, I hope that in this position I will be able to finally pick this back up and provide great content.

Stay tuned as there will be more to come!

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SRM 5 vSphere Replication – how to install and configure

In this article I want to focus on the installation and configuration of SRM 5 vSphere Replication. This new feature will provide bi-directional replication of Virtual Machines between your production vCenter and your DR vCenter. These Virtual Machines can be located on any type of storage; SAN, NAS, within Datastores created by vSphere Virtual Storage Appliance, or even DAS Datastores.

The last one in particular might be very interesting for very small environments or for branch offices.

During my testing, I have found that there a few strange quirks and the documentation supplied by VMware is not very well written to explain why things might not work as expected.

So in this article I will start with some basics regarding IP-addressing, DNS, database setup, and go through the installation, setup, and the things to pay attention too.

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Posted in SRM

SQL, replication, and VMware SRM. How to replicate SQL and keep you network team happy.

So you made it down the path of virtualizing your servers and now are tasked to protect them and have a DR/BC plan. When using VMware the choice is simple, replicate the VM’s and protect them with SRM.

The simplest way is to use some replication product and replicate all Datastores to your DR site. Shortly after you start this process, the network people will start knocking down your door because you are flooding the network with all this replication traffic.
This is where you really need to start looking to see what needs to be replicated and what does not.

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Posted in SQL Replication, SRM

Running vSphere 5 VSA in VMware Workstation 8

I do not have a lot of hardware laying around to test new things, so I have to use VMware Workstation to its full extent. I really wanted to test out vSphere 5 and the VSA to see how it worked.

So after a few failed attempts I thought that this was not going to end well. So after doing some research and finding a few helpful posts online,( I was able to get it to work.

The reason that this does not want to work out of the box on workstation is because of some of the checks that the VSA installer does to make sure that the hardware is robust enough to support the VSA environment.

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Windows 7 running from an USB stick

Even though it is not supported by Microsoft I need to give this a try one day.

The document on how to do this can be found here:

Posted in Uncategorized