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

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 – Using Starwind VTL with AWS S3 in Veeam

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

Veeam – Prepare yourself and your infrastructure against Ransomware

A little more than a week ago a new ransomware called WannaCry hit various computers and IT systems, private persons and businesses, all around the world. More than 200’000 computers in up to 150 countries, experts say. That’s a lot. It happend fast. And this ransomware created also some serious damage.

ransomware

Yes, the red marked countries are those affected by WannaCry…

(Image by Wikimedia Commons)

Ransomware preparedness and recovery

Not only firewall, even hardware appliances or software firewalls on your computers, should be installed, but also a decent antivirus and anti-malware scanner should be in place. Obviously with daily updates and new signatures at least.

But when desaster strikes, it’s probably to late to update your security systems. The digital pest is on your system, somehow it made it’s way through various security barriers. Probably through security flaws, undetected by any antivirus or firewall, via mail, drive-by downloads or what not. What can you make then? Glad you have a backup of your systems and your data! Oh, did i mention to air-gap your backups? It doesn’t help when you’ve got ransomware-encrypted backup. The air-gap becomes more and more popular, not only for private users but also for big companies.

To have a 1TB external USB drive with your data, which is safely ejected after successful backup (Veeam Agent for Windows FREE does that), is ideal for your home computer, or your laptop. And absolutely recommended to do so. But imagine your 20 or more terabytes in your office? All your virtual (and physical) servers? Mail data? SharePoint and so on?

Veeam recently released some blog posts and white papers about ransomware topics. I’d like to share those valuable bits and bytes and ressources with you.

White paper

Rick Vanouver, Director of Technical Product Marketing at Veeam, created a white paper with the name „Designing Veeam Availability Suite to Protect Against Ransomware Threats“. Get your copy here:

https://www.veeam.com/wp-veeam-availability-suite-protection-against-ransomware-threats.html

…and learn more about:

  • Offline storage, the most effective ransomware resiliency technique
  • Using different credentials for backup repositories
  • The need to have more types of restore points that are more frequent

Blog post

But Rick created not only the white paper but also a comprehensive blog post about „Ransomware resiliency & Availability: The endpoint is a great place to start“ which is available here.

This blog posts shows you how you can use both Veeam Agent for Linux and Veeam Agent for Windows in your environment. It doesn’t matter whether it’s installed on a server or a computer, Veeam Agent for Linux and Windows are two pieces of software which are tightly integrated into the Veeam Availability Suite yet, and will be even tighter integrated into the next version 10 of Veeam Availability Suite.

At this point I would also like to refer to the early tipps for some of the early attacks and some practical tipps when using Veeam Backup & Replication.

E-Book

Last but not least, Veeam and Conversational Geek are offering a free e-book about the above topic. This e-book not only gives you an insight into the ransomware threat, but also reviews the fundamentals of top notch ransomware preparedness and recovery, in order to help you protect yourself and your organization.

Download it here:

https://go.veeam.com/ransomware-awareness-education

Learn more about:

  • Ransomware milestones, key capabilities and impact
  • Key layers of ransomware protection and preparedness against attacks
  • Quick and painless recovery from backups
  • And much more!