VeeamON Virtual – unique online conference on intelligent data management

On the 5th of December 2018 it’s time again when it’s called “VeeamON Virtual”! Sign up today to learn more about intelligent data management!

More than 2,500 industry experts attend this online event each year, showcasing the latest data hyper-availability technologies. The constant growth of data and the constant increase of unstructured data, and the associated dangers in the area of data availability and data security, bring with them a variety of challenges. Join the virtual sessions to learn more about these challenges and how to master them.

Participating in the VeeamON Virtual Event is free-of-charge, and you’re welcome to sit at your desk, whether at the office or home office. Sign up now!

Agenda

Note: the agenda is preliminary and can still change. A definitive version will be sent shortly before the event.

Business Track

10:00 AM CET / 12:00 PM ET Veeam Co-CEO and President, Peter McKay, and Vice President Enterprise Strategy at Veeam, Dave Russel, give an outlook on the forecasts of 2019
10:20 AM CET / 12:20 PM ET Danny Allan, Vice President Product Strategy at Veeam, tells you more about the journey to Intelligent Data Management in a multi-cloud enterprise
10:40 AM CET / 12:40 PM ET Jason Buffington, Field Technical Evangelist at Veeam, Important information on the availability gap
11:00 AM CET / 1:00 PM ET Sponsor session
11:30 AM CET / 1:30 PM ET Sponsor session

Technical Track

12:00 PM CET / 2:00 PM ET Paul Szelesi, Manager Solutions Architect at Veeam, explains what to do during backup and restore, and what not …
12:20 PM CET / 2:20 PM ET Michael Cade, Technologist at Veeam, gives a detailed presentation on what’s new with the NEW Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 4
12:40 PM CET / 2:40 PM ET Michael White, Product Manager at Veeam, shows you how to plan for disaster with automatic tests in the Veeam Availability Orchestrator
1:00 PM CET / 3:00 PM ET Paul Szelesi, Manager Solutions Architect at Veeam, shows you how you can use Veeam Agents to protect your physical business infrastructure
1:10 PM CET / 3:10 PM ET Sponsor session
1:40 PM CET / 3:40 PM ET Rapid Restore for the Hyper Available Enterprise

Cloud Track

2:00 PM CET / 4:00 PM ET Ezra Charm, Vice President, Marketing at N2WS, tells you more about the Expanded AWS data protection with new disaster recovery and serverless options
2:20 PM CET / 4:20 PM ET Niels Engelen, Technical Evangelist at Veeam, gives you great information about Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 2.0 in a Deep Dive
2:40 PM CET / 4:40 PM ET Luca Dell’Oca, EMEA Cloud and Hosting Architect at Veeam, shows you how you Save your data securely off site with Veeam Cloud Connect
3:00 PM CET / 5:00 PM ET Sponsor-Session

The registration is not only worthwhile to get first hand important information and news in the field of intelligent data management. With a bit of luck, you can also win something!

Registration / more information

More information about the agenda, the speakers and also the registration you can find on the VeeamON Virtual website.

VeeamON Virtual – einzigartige Online-Konferenz über intelligentes Datenmanagement

Am 5. Dezember 2018 ist es wieder so weit wenn es heisst “VeeamON Virtual”! Melden Sie sich heute noch an um mehr über intelligentes Datenmanagement zu erfahren!

Mehr als 2500 Branchenexperten sind jährlich an diesem Online-Event dabei und präsentieren die neusten Technologien für die Hyper-Availability von Daten. Das ständige Datenwachstum und die stetige Zunahme von unstrukturierten Daten, und die damit verbundenen Gefahren im Bereich der Datenverügbarkeit und Datensicherheit, bringen verschiedenste Herausforderungen mit sich. Nehmen Sie an den virtuellen Sessions teil um mehr über diese Herausforderungen zu erfahren und wie man sie meistern kann.

Die Teilnahme am VeeamON Virtual Event ist kostenlos, und Sie dürfen gerne an Ihrem Schreibtisch sitzen bleiben, egal ob im Büro oder im Homeoffice. Melden Sie sich jetzt an!

Agenda

Hinweis: die Agenda ist vorläufig und kann sich noch ändern. Eine definitive Fassung erhalten Sie kurz vor der Veranstaltung.

Business Track

10:00 MEZ Veeam Co-CEO und President, Peter McKay, sowie Vice President Enterprise Strategy bei Veeam, Dave Russel, geben einen Ausblick auf die Prognosen von 2019
10:20 MEZ Thomas Sander, Presales Manager Germany bei Veeam, erzählt Ihnen mehr über den Weg zum Intelligenten Datenmanagement in einem Multi-Cloud-Unternehmen
10:40 MEZ Wichtige Informationen zur Verfügbarkeitslücke 2018 / 2019
11:00 MEZ Sponsor-Session
11:30 MEZ Sponsor-Session

Technical Track

12:00 MEZ Boris Urban, Solutions Architect bei Veeam, erklärt Ihnen was Sie bei Backup und Wiederherstellung tun sollen, und was nicht…
12:20 MEZ Dominik Fischer, Veeam Enterprise Systems Engineer, gibt einen Ausblick auf das kommende Update 4 für VBR 9.5
12:40 MEZ Markus Hergt, Enterprise System Engineer, plant mit Ihnen den Katastrophenfall mit automatischen Tests im Veeam Availability Orchestrator
13:00 MEZ Anschliessend an diesen Beitrag zeigt Ihnen Markus Hergt wie sie die Veeam Agents verwalten können
13:10 MEZ Sponsor-Session
13:40 MEZ Sponsor-Session

Cloud Track

14:00 MEZ Erweiterte AWS-Datensicherung mit neuen Disaster-Recovery- und Serverless-Optionen
14:20 MEZ Benedikt Däeumling, Systems Engineer bei Veeam, gibt Ihnen in einem Deep Dive fundierte Informationen über Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 2.0
14:40 MEZ Christian Stein, ebenso Systems Engineer bei Veeam, zeigt Ihnen wie sie die Veeam Cloud Connect-Umgebung optimal gestalten und betreiben können
15:00 MEZ Sponsor-Session

Die Registration lohnt sich nicht nur um aus erster Hand wichtige Informationen und Neuigkeiten im Bereich der intelligenten Datenverwaltung zu erhalten. Sie können mit etwas Glück auch etwas gewinnen!

Anmeldung / Mehr Informationen

Mehr Informationen zur Agenda, den Speakern und die Anmeldung finden sie auf der VeeamON Virtual Website.

Enable Flash Player in Google Chrome 69

Some weeks ago Google release the newest version of their Chrome browser, version 69. I thought yeah, get it and update it. I really like Google Chrome because it supports all the websites I’m visiting often (or at least did, but more on that later) and it’s fast. You can also customize it with plugins like mouse gestures or so to customize it for your needs.

What I didn’t know is that Google switched off the support for Flash Player as far as I knew it from the older versions. You aren’t able anymore to add websites to the allow or deny list in the Flash settings within the browser. Or at least you can’t add the websites directly on that list in the settings. There are some more clicks to do. Officially announced was the end of Flash Player by Adobe. By the year 2020 Flash Player won’t exist anymore, won’t be supported neither by Adobe nor by the most used browser software. But there’s a “but”. You can manually add specific websites to the allow or block list of Google Chrome, but not in the way you might knew.

But why the heck should I use Flash anyway? All my favorite websites are already HTML5 compatible and all stuff works without that crappy Flash plugin! But wait! Do you use the VMware vCenter browser client? Probably the Flex Client because you still have the need for it, like vSAN, Update Manager, or 3rd party plugins of different software and hardware vendors within vCenter? Then you’ll have the same issues as I had. The vCenter Flex Client (aka Flash client) obviously won’t work anymore without Flash.

Yes, I know, you don’t need to use the Flex Client for vSAN or the Update Manager because in vCenter 6.7 it is finally available. But what about the 3rd party plugins? There is a lot of stuff out there you probably need, I don’t know your infrastructure. I can only compare with mine.

But I can tell you, enabling Flash Player in Google Chrome, even in the most recenter version 69 is easier than you think. It’s just some steps and clicks, no rocket science!

Read moreEnable Flash Player in Google Chrome 69

VMware – Clone a VM with snapshots (and consolidate it)

Recently we had a weird issue in our office. We had one virtual machine with a snapshot. That by itself isn’t an issue, a snapshot is nothing special. But someone created that snapshot before a software upgrade and forget to delete it. So this snapshot was growing and growing. We found out that there is a snapshot when the VM or service owner requested some additional disk space. We weren’t able to add disk space because of that snapshot. So we scheduled a maintenance window to delete the snapshot. Faster said than done.

The VM went offline because of disk consolidation. That could happen, depending on snapshot size and storage system. But the VM not only went offline for some time, but unexpectedly for hours. Together with VMware support we were able to stop the snapshot deletion. The VM came back online but with the known “Disk Consolidation Needed status”. We found out that this snapshot was about 400 GB in size. What a bummer! So we scheduled another maintenance window to consolidate that snapshot. Unfortunately that didn’t work well. Consolidation timed at around 96%, not sure why. “Error communicating with the host” isn’t very helpful in that moment.

Some research and again having a chat with VMware support led us towards cloning the disk files. During the cloning of a disk file the snapshot will be consolidated. And as you’re doing a disk clone locally on the ESXi host with “vmkfstools” and not withing vCenter, there shouldn’t be a timeout either. So we had out action plan. And we scheduled another maintenance window with the service owner.

Read moreVMware – Clone a VM with snapshots (and consolidate it)

VMware vSAN cache disk failed and how to recover from it

Recently i rebuilt my VMware homelab from scratch and with the most recent vSphere version available at this point. I planned to rebuild my lab a long time ago but because of my job and other things I really hadn’t the time to do that. But recently I had to rebuilt my lab because I screwed up my vCenter. Yes, I screwed it. So what did that mean? Reinstall all and everything completely from scratch. All my physical ESXi hosts, domain controller, vCenter, Jumphost and backup server. All these services are running on a standalone ESXi server with some local disks. This server is called my homebase. I’ve got some more servers which are running my VMware vSAN environment. I reinstalled these too and reconfigured everything what was needed, like networking and storage.

This week one of my vSAN cluster nodes went into degraded mode because of one of the cache disks failed. I thought, easy, just replacing the cache disk and that’s it. But no, the struggle became real…

What happened?

I’ve got three DELL servers for my vSAN cluster. All servers are equiped with one SSD as cache tier and three SSDs for the capacity tier. Now one cache disk failed because of reasons (I really don’t know why). That was causing vSAN to go into degraded mode as “failures to tolerate” was set to 1. So one failure (the failed cache disk) was compensated. Just for your information in case you didn’t know. If a cache disk of one disk group fails, the whole disk group will become unavailable. In my case that meant that one third of the whole vSAN capacity was gone.

What did i do to resolve this?

My first idea was to replace the failed cache disk as I’ve got some identical disks as spare drives available. Well, not directly as spare drives, but installed and configured as RAID 5 in my homebase ESXi host. So I did a Storage vMotion on all my homebase VMs mentioned above to another local RAID 5 datastore, deleted the SSD RAID datastore and removed the disks. The physical replacement of this disks was easy. But telling my degraded vSAN node to accept this disk was a different topic.

Checking the disks

After I installed the “new” disk into the vSAN node I did a rescan on all storage adapters. And there was nothing. Only the already existing capacity disks but no cache disk. So i tried the second and the third identical disk with the same result. Only the capacity disks were visible in vCenter on the host but not the cache disk. What’s wrong here? I knew that ESXi server only shows empty disks without any volumes, file systems or data on it. But how should I wipe this disk when not even with esxcli the disk is not visible?

As I’m using HPE Smart HBA H240 as my storage controller in the DELL server, I already installed the HPE smart storage administrator CLI tool on all the vSAN nodes. So I was able to look onto the storage controller to see what’s happening there (or probably not).

The following command showed me that all disks are here and are fine:

./ssacli ctrl slot=2 pd all show status

But I was still struggling. Why is vCenter still showing only the capacity disks?

Clearing the disk(s)

An article by Cormac Hogan showed me how to reclaim disks for other uses. So i deleted all the partitions on the existing capacity disks, hoping that then the cache disk will also come back online. I read on another blog that wiping all vSAN disks can bring back non-detected disks. But that didn’t help.

First I removed the vSAN node from the vSAN cluster:

esxcli vsan cluster leave

Next I checked with partedUtil how many and what kind of partitions are on the disks:

partedUtil get /vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba1:C2:T2:L0

Each capacity disks showed two partitions, so I wiped them all:

partedUtil delete /vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba1:C2:T2:L0 1

partedUtil delete /vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba1:C2:T2:L0 2

A look into the HPE smart storage administrator CLI tool again showed me that still all physical disks are here. A rescan on all HBA in vCenter on this particular host didn’t help, only the capacity disks were shown.

I looked a little deeper into the storage controller with the command:

./ssacli ctrl slot=2 pd all show detail

That showed something not completely unexpected:

physicaldrive 2I:0:1

Masked from HBA: The drive contains controller configuration data and has been disabled
in order to protect the configuration data. Please run the "modify clearconfigdata"
command on the drive to re-enable it.

This physical drive above was the cache disk I was missing in vCenter. OK, so let’s clear the “configdata” and let’s see what happens then:

./ssacli ctrl slot=2 pd 2I:0:1 modify clearconfigdata

I checked again with “all show detail” and this “modify clearconfigdata” was gone.

Now I was able to rescan all storage adapters in vCenter on this host and that brought back my missed cache disk:

But that was to easy…

After having my cache disk back I went into vSAN configuration in vCenter and claimed the disks. The small one for the cache tier, the bigger ones for the capacity tier. And boom! This particular disk group went into another network partition group. Well done, thank you for nothing!

When you search around the internet for vSAN network partition you will find many forum and blog posts mentioning that this happens if something with the network configuration wasn’t as good as it should be. In my case I checked everything and I changed nothing on the network. So this partitioning issue had another reason. But to be honest I didn’t try to solve that. I wasn’t in the mood for that. I only wanted to bring back my vSAN into a good and healthy state.

I removed this vSAN node from the cluster by just draggin and dropping it out of the cluster. Then I tried to remove it from the inventory. And another boom!

The resource 'eagle.lan.driftar.ch' is in use.

That was the error message in vCenter when I tried to remove the host from inventory. But why? The host is in maintenance mode! Dang it! Let me remove it!

After doing some research on the interwebs I checked also the tasks in vCenter if there is a bit more of information. And I’ve found something:

Cannot remove the host eagle.lan.driftar.ch because it's part of VDS vMotion-DSwitch vSAN-DSwitch.

Well, that’s true. And that was also the obvious reason why I can’t remove the host from inventory. So I had to reconfigure the host networking, putting back the VMKernel ports for vMotion and vSAN to their origin local virtual switches. After that I was finally able to remove the host from the inventory.

Now rebuilding vSAN…

The next steps were easy. I added the host back to the vSAN cluster and configured the VDS for vMotion and vSAN as they were before. Then I went into vSAN configuration and checked the disk group. Lucky me the disk group configured before was still there and healthy, and vSAN claimed it automatically. And no network partitioning this time! All hosts and disk groups in the same network partition group!

After retesting the health onf the vSAN cluster it showed that there is one component in need of a resync. One of my templates was partially on this disk group before failing and is now waiting until the resync completed.

But at least vSAN is working fine again!

Closing words

In the most cases, or probably in all cases, replacing a disk in vSAN should be easy. Usually you will replace a used disk against a new and empty disk other than me. But that doesn’t mean you can’t unless you know what to do. I’m glad if this blog post helped you solving the issue.

If you follow the steps described in the VMware Knowledge Base then you should be fine: