Today is SysAdmin day!

Sysadmin Day

Most of us are working with computers, using text programs, database applications and web services throughout the day. And most of the time these services and applications work well. Why? Because there is an awesome sysadmin around keeping your business up and running!

Every year on the last Friday of July, this year it’s today, July 28th, some people celebrate. The last Friday of July is the System Administrator Appreciation Day, or Sysadmin Day! Yay!

But what is a sysadmin? And what’s the Sysadmin Day?

Some myths and legends say that a sysadmin is a very shy human. He / she is working all day long, and some times also during the night hours, or weekends or holidays. They keep your programs updated, your network secure and your infrastructure patched. And why? Because everyone want’s to use IT like running water. „My computer has to work properly, i wan’t have access to my mails on all my devices, whereever i am, whenever i like to. Oh, and don’t forget my favorite websites!“.

These shy figures are working hard, are always on duty. Not many people say thank you when a IT problem is solved, many people don’t understand the difference between megabyte and megahertz. Some people even don’t know what to do when the printer runs out of paper. Who you gonna call? The sysadmin!

That’s the reason why there is a special day for system administrators. Let’s appreciate their work, their tireless efforts, their devotion to servers, storage and networking. Let’s say thank you to our sysadmins! Because not all heros wear capes 😉

If you like to show your sysadmin your appreciation for his work, probably a small gift is a great idea. But what kind of gift does a sysadmin like?

Some ideas, but not limited to:

  • Cookies, brownies, cake
  • Coffee (quoffee, some readers will understand)
  • Energy drinks
  • Shirts
  • Mugs
  • Gadgets

There are so many great online shops out there in the interwebz, you’ll probably find a cool gift for your sysadmin.

If I may suggest:

(not affiliated)

Oh, did i forget to mention to add this day to your Outlook calendar? It’s easily done with a recurring appointment. Ask your sysadmin if you’re not sure how to do that 😉

„Starting drivers, please wait“ – An HPE adventure story

Yes i know that, the title of this blog post doesn’t sound very well. But if you read this blog post you can see that it fits very well. Recently, just some days before the writing of this post, one of my customers called me because of a vCenter issue. He’s got two HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen9 and an MSA 2040 SAS Dual Controller storage system.

The customer told me that some VM’s aren’t running anymore and that both hosts aren’t available in vCenter management. I made a quick look through remote support and saw that. Both hosts were gone, most of the VM’s still running but some not. We first tried to access the hosts through SSH but no success. We tried to access the DCUI with moderate success. At least we were able to logon, but the DCUI didn’t respond after successful login. That’s kind of strange, didn’t see that until yet. The hosts did respond to ping, so that’s at least a little light at the end of the tunnel.

We then decided to restart one host. We don’t have SSH (PuTTY) access to the hosts, we can’t manage them from vCenter, we can’t use the DCUI. What else could happen?

So we restarted a host. And this is the beginning of this story…

HPE

Read more…

Veeam – Get a chance to win FREE VMworld 2017 tickets

VMworld

This event is a fixed point in the tech agenda every year. VMworld 2017 is at the door. This event is one of the biggest tech events and a must-attend if you’d like to know more news about virtualization, hardware and software.

At VMworld you can see so many different hardware  and software vendors, all related to VMware, see their solutions and get more insights about them. But it’s not only limited to just see stuff. There are various breakout sessions with interesting topics, keynote sessions with announcements. You can attend the Virtual Hands-on Labs onsite to try VMware products or do challanges. If you’re a blogger then you’re invited to hang around in the blogger area to meet other bloggers and write your stories. There are also other places to hangout, take a breake and talk with people. That’s also a reason to attend this event. Meeting people and talking to them. When i attended that event 2016 in Barcelona i met many people that became good friends.

Win FREE tickets to VMworld 2017

Veeam gives away 10 full conference passes to lucky winners until Friday, August 4!

Yes that’s right. You’ve got the chance to win a FREE ticket to this event in 2017, either US or Europe. With registering at Veeam’s website you’ll enter the raffle and get the chance to win a FREE ticket.

But how?

  • Go to the Veeam website
  • Register to become one of the lucky winners

Each winner will have the choice to redeem their ticket at VMworld US or VMworld Europe.

That’s all. Easy.

VMworld 2017 information

VMworld US

To access the agenda click here.

To plan your trip you can access the Attendee Ressources website. There you’ll find information about the venue, hotels, travel and transportation.

Location: Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

VMworld Europe

To plan your trip you can access the Attendee Ressources website. There you’ll find information about the venue, hotels, travel and transportation.

To access the agenda click here.

Location: Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain

Veeam – Using Starwind VTL with AWS S3 in Veeam

StarWind Cloud VTL

I wanted to test this use case for a long time. Now it’s finally done and i’m happy that everything worked at the first try. Or should i be worried? Well, as Veeam always says „It just works (TM)“. So it did also during the write up of this guide.

Most of you will know this kind of backup media type. And some of you will not only have good memories of them. I’m talking about tapes. Tapes we’re once used for backups. Daily incremental and weekly full backups. It took ages the more data you had. You’ve been happy if a full backup fitted in a 8 hour window throughout the night. You know that. But tapes are coming up more and more again. If you heard about the recent ransomware WannaCry then you know what it means to airgap your backups. Even Google has it’s tape backup system. Yes, Google. And there are reasons why some companies still invent and develop new tape technologies like new LTO standards, new drives and libraries.

To be honest, most of us homelabbers don’t have a tape drive nor a tape library neither. And that’s the point where a Virtual Tape Library comes in very handy! You can emulate a complete tape library with software and even use this emulation in a availability software like Veeam Backup & Replication or Veeam Availability Suite! But that isn’t awesome enough. We want more awesome and that’s the reason we go to the next level.

To make it clear, i’m not only talking about homelabbers. This software is not a beta or alpha or something other. It’s a rocksolid production version which is available on the market. This guide will show you how to install and configure StarWind VTL for AWS and Veeam.

With StarWind Cloud VTL for AWS and Veeam you can leverage your backup data for the usage with a virtual tape library to archive your backups to Amazon S3 storage in the cloud. If you want you can even go further and archive your archived data from the Amazon S3 buckets to Amazon Glacier. Isn’t that awesome?

So let’s do this now! I’ll show you how to install and configure this solution, and how to make it work.

Read more…

Veeam – Backup Copy „Block is not initialized. Failed to download disk.“

Recently a customer reported an issue with a backup copy job. At this customer we implemented a new leased line with synchronous 1Gbit/s bandwidth from the main site to a secondary site. That gave us completely new possibilities regarding the backup of data and making it available. There is no need for a WAN Accelerator anymore, we can replicate VM’s with Veeam directly to the secondary site. And also backup copy jobs to this site go now A) directly and B) in a regular manner (what wasn’t possible before because of lack of bandwidth).

By the beginning of the last week, around the 30th of May, one backup copy job started to fail. This job contains all VM’s and should backup copy the data once a day to the secondary location. But one server, the main fileserver, failed with this error message:

Error: Block is not initialized. Failed to download disk. Reconnectable protocol device was closed. Failed to upload disk. Agent failed to process method {DataTransfer.SyncDisk}.

First i thought, ok, that can happen. No worries. After the second failure i did some checks and also opened a support case at Veeam support. If you don’t know how to collect log files for a Veeam support case, please have a look here.

Read more…