Unitrends Enterprise backup v8.0 for Hyper-V

I have been looking at some different backup software solutions and now the turn has come to check out Unitrends Enterprise Backup.

They have a new version 8.0 that supports not only VMware but also Hyper-V virtualization platforms and also several different OS such as Mac OS and HP-UX, which can run in physical or virtual machines. There are either virtual or physical appliances of the backup solution so it is quite easy to get the backup solution up and running as you can start with the virtual appliance and get into a protected state within just an hour or so. And if you start with a virtual appliance you can later add a physical at another site and use it as a replication target.

Some nice features are:

  • Unitrends Bridge for Hyper-V, with:
    • Windows Instant Recovery from any physical or virtual guest to a Hyper-V VM.
    • Hyper-V Instant Recovery – running a hypervisor level backup instantly from the backup storage.
  • NDMP support for enterprises.
  • Support for Mac OS 10.9 and HP-UX 11.
  • Guest level protection for Shared VHDXs.
    • Note this is an important feature of 2012 R2 for HA that Unitrends can support and other Host OS backup solutions cannot because you cannot do hypervisor level backups of this config.
  • Improved SQL performance and deduplication.
  • Unified Baremetal.

Test

I wanted to test and see how easily I could get it up and running on my Hyper-V environment and how can I could use it for moving VM´s/workloads from physical or VMware?

First of all you download either an iso or an vhd packed as an EXE from the web page and then you deploy it to an hyper-v host:

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 10.59.35

Then when it has been deployed, it has to be configured with IP and other settings and once that is completed you can test and see that you have succeeded with the right settings:

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 11.20.27

One important thing is when deployed as a virtual appliance, add vhdx´s to store the backups on, as usual it is quite smart to think twice where you put these and not in the same storage as the protected VM´s as the idea is to survive if you have a failure :-). Initially when the appliance is deployed it has a system disk on a vhdx that is dynamic and can expand to 200 GB.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 12.23.47

The Console GUI then is accessible through a flash-enabled browser and it is really easy get started. As you can see on the following screen dump you can add several appliances and use them either as a local backup system or a vault:

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 12.16.05

After initiating and installing the agent on the Hyper-V host I could see it in the console and also see all VM´s running on the host:

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 12.51.07

First off I tested to backup and restore a simple VM, which of course worked flawlessly:

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 12.54.19

And then I wanted to test to backup and restore a generation 2 CentOS VM:

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 13.36.53

Last off I wanted to test the functionality of instant recovery and doing a v2v from vmware to hyper-v. I installed an UEB agent in the OS on the VM in the VMware VM and configured instant recovery in the UEB console to a Hyper-V host.

ir-physical
Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 19.39.45

Conclusion

The Unitrends Enterprise Backup is really easy to get started with and you are instantly up and running with your backups of the virtual and also physical environment from one virtual backup appliance. With the different features you can use it for both backup and also for instant recovery. Only thing I would like to see is that the flash GUI would be exchanged to a full HTML5 GUI instead, and of course a PowerShell module would make it complete 😉

Hyper-V VM´s BIN files, to be or not to be in clusters

If you create lots of VM´s with large amount of RAM memory assigned to them and start to wonder why you have used some of the storage on the volumes then this is because if you have set up a VM without changing anything you get a bin file in the VM folder that corresponds to the size of the allocated RAM. This file is used to save the VM`s RAM to disk when the VM is going into saved state!

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 12.23.41

In an environment where you have all VM´s as clustered resources you will not need to be able to use the saved state when shutdown the host as you will live migrate the VM´s when doing stuff with the HW.

The setting is easily found in Hyper-V Manager for an already deployed VM:

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 12.22.06

It is not so easily found in System Center VMM when checking the VM properties, but when deploying a new VM you find it in the wizard:

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 12.29.26

If you want to change the setting for your VM´s running in a cluster via VMM you will have to use PowerShell and it is quite easy to do that with a one-liner, first you see the setting with the PowerShell command Get-SCVirtualMachine and then you can configure it with Set-SCVirtualMachine :

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 12.40.18
Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 13.29.46

And now when checking the folder for the VM the BIN file has magically shrunk to 4KB 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 13.44.03

VM Storage Migration in VMM 2012 R2 leaves unwanted leftovers

I have been playing around with a case where we have been upgrading and creating a new Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V cluster and adding CSV volumes to it, and when first volume became full we started to storage migrate the VM´s to another volume but for some reason the files where left behind so I created my own PowerShell function to handle that as the built-in does not have that parameter and for some reason leaves leftovers?!

As you can see when I have done a live storage migration within a Hyper-V host with the GUI in VMM it leaves both vhdx and xml of the VM, and that can be troublesome when someone tries to import that VM while the other is already running and also you do not gain that space you thought would be reclaimed because you did a live storage migration.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 15.38.54

No problem to move but as you can see in the volume that I migrated from:

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 15.06.32

And the volume that I migrated to:

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 15.06.55

I have been reproducing the migration with either just folders or both folders and vhdx/xml files still at the source..

When I run my function it cleans the source if i use the parameter -deletesource

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 15.51.08

Here is the PowerShell function for you to try:

Good luck in your automation 🙂

New version of Microsoft Assessment and Planning 9.2

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 16.04.28

Yesterday Microsoft released a new version of Microsoft Assessment and Planning toolkit 9.2 and the new key features are

  • Azure VM Capacity assessment to include assessment for A8 and A9 Azure VMs
    MAP 9.2 updated Windows Azure VM Capacity assessment to include assessment for A8 and A9 Azure VMs. A8 and A9 Azure VMs are processor intensive and thus have a base processor of an Intel Xeon E5-2670 2.6 GHz.
  • Included Windows Server 2008(x86/x64) under Legacy Server Discovery
    Windows Server 2008(x86/x64) included under Legacy Server Discovery in addition to Windows Servers 2000, 2003 and Itanium. For example, before MAP 9.2 the discovery of the Legacy Servers which were added are Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003(x86/x64) and Itanium Windows Server. Now MAP 9.2 includes the discovery of Windows Server 2008(x86/x64) as well to the collection of Legacy Server Discovery.
  • Improved Legacy Server Discovery reporting by including OS Architecture
    In this version of MAP we included OS Architecture(32 or 64 bit) as an expansion in the Legacy Server Discovery reporting.
  • Collection of additional performance counters and included CPU speed
    In this version of MAP we added four new performance counters Disk Queue Length, Disk Read Queue Length, Disk Write Queue Length, Disk Bytes/sec and expanded performance collection process to accomodate the new counters and assessment process. Added CPU Speed(GHz) to Performance Metric Summary report.

You can download the new version from the Microsoft download here.

Download the new DPM 2012 R2 UR4 Eval VHD with Powershell and BITS

I was at a customer today and we decided to evaluate System Center DPM for their Hyper-V platform.

I was going to download the Eval VHD that so nicely have been updated with the latest UR4 but I got an irritating error, I reached out on twitter and it was not just me and the internet connection/Firewall I was using causing this as others where also having the same issue 🙁

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 13.55.58

I later tried this evening and now it worked, they had changed the file extension for download to .ZIP instead of VHD

By using powershell you can just send your req to BITS and sit down and relax until it is finished and then you can evaluate DPM 🙂

Happy backuping and ” Real Men don’t take backup! – Or do they? ”

 

 

 

HyperV local storage available for placement in SCVMM

I have been working with a customer and was going to do an upgrade of one of their Hyper-v clusters to 2012 R2. During my preparations and looking at the particular hosts I found several VM´s that was residing on local storage on the hosts and not on the cluster storage.

The reason for this was two things, first of all that it was allowed to put VM´s on local disks and second that when someone created the VM´s forgot to use the appropriate HW-template that makes them highly available by default. If you create a new VM with a new HW profile make sure that it is configured correctly under the Availability tab.

The Hyper-V hosts have been deployed with Bare-Metal deploy from VMM and that is why they have a D:\

Looking at the properties for a host you can see what storage that is available for placement:

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 14.26.28

and as you can see the VM is not configured as highly available and have the virtual disk on local storage:

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 14.33.41
Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 14.20.24

I have made a simple script that configures all hosts within a cluster and set all storage that is not cluster shared to not available for placement.

And now when trying to deploy a VM with a new HW profile that is not set to highly available I cannot deploy it as the local disks have been unchecked as available for placement.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 13.57.04
Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 13.58.09

The reason for just configuring this for hyper-v nodes that belong to a cluster is that there might be a single hyper-v host that actually should be able to provision the VM to local disks.

Configuring VMM logical switch with bandwidth limit virtual port

I got a question from a customer how they could limit a VM´s bandwidth from VMM as it was too noisy and devoured the bandwidth from the host for the other VM´s. There are both a way to set priority and also bandwidth in Hyper-V 2012 and later.

In Hyper-V Manager you can find the setting on the VM´s configuration and the virtual network adapter tab,

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 16.15.32

And here I can enable bandwidth management and set both a minimum and maximum, and in this case I want just a limit

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 16.15.13

But how do I accomplish the same in VMM? As you might have noticed there is no possibility to edit this on the VM´s settings on the virtual nic, this is a setting that I configure with a Port profile instead and apply on selected VM/VM´s, and by doing it this way I can easily just configure the same profile for several VM´s instead of configuring each VM. There are some configured by default and I can also add new with the particular setting that I need.

First there is the port classification:

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 15.49.49

And then the actual port profiles:

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 15.48.26

These two combined is used in the Logical Switch for the virtual port,

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 11.45.23

Easiest is to use Powershell to create a new port classification and profile and then update the logical switch to be able to use it for the VM´s that needs it, I have made a function that takes care of all the steps including adding it to the logical switch as a virtual port:

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 11.54.28

And also a function for removing, in this I check the VM´s connected and moving them to the default port profile before removing it,

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 11.55.18

Probably there will be some updates to this in the future but here you can see and test for your own needs 🙂  I will now start to test some bandwidth flooding to see that it actually limits the VM´s

 

 

 

All VM´s reporting: “Unsupported Cluster Configuration” in VMM

Today I was contacted by a customer regarding an issue they had with all their VM´s in their main cluster reporting “Unsupported Cluster Configuration”

The reason was that two of the nodes in their cluster had in VMM 2012 R2 lost their virtual switch and vnics and that resulted in the cluster saying that it did not have a HA-Virtual Switch and thus the VM`s had network connections that was not available on the cluster…

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 14.11.41

Searching a bit and checking the hosts and VM´s outside of VMM there was no issues on them and the logical switch and vnics was still there, the vm´s was able to reach the network so clearly a VMM issue.

I tried to refresh the cluster and nodes and also restart the VMM agent on the hosts but that did not help. Looking at the properties in VMM on a host showed nothing where it should be both the switch and the management vnics:

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 20.41.48

Using the failover cluster manager and live-migrating the vm´s and then restart the host did though help,

After reboot I refreshed the cluster and the network appeared again, I have been searching for a reason for the issue but have not found anything yet in the logs on either the VMM server or the hosts..

To refresh the VM´s on the cluster to remove the “Unsupported cluster configuration” after I had got the virtual switch back I used powershell

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 20.21.12

If you have had this issue or similar I would like to know so please comment the post 🙂

I will search some more and see if I can find the reason for this. It should be said that the customer have two 2012 hyper-v clusters and one 2012 R2 cluster and I have not seen this happen on the R2 cluster yet so maybe it is a 2012 issue… And yes we are working eagerly to move the VM´s to the R2 cluster 😛 , the VMM 2012 R2 server is also updated with the latest UR4

 

 

Error 25122 when doing refresh in VMM 2012 R2 UR3->

There is no better way than to start the year and enlighten you with a error I had this autumn at a customer…

After I updated the VMM server to UR3 at a customer I noticed that it started to give a warning (Completed w/ Info) during refresh of the cluster. And when digging into it you can see the reason for it…

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 19.45.26

When I set up the Hyper-V cluster I did it outside of VMM, I had though set up the hosts with logical switches and host vNics in VMM network fabric and the different cluster networks was configured with IP-Pools. And for the record, the VMM server have been upgraded from 2012 SP1.

So what was the reason for this, well when I did the cluster setup I used an IP from the Management-IP pool range for the cluster management and had not reserved it, yes I know I should have taken care of it then but did not…

Consensus is that from UR3 the VMM team has fixed the bug and now it reports this when doing a refresh on the cluster object 😛

So how did i mitigate this issue?! I searched and found a german blogpost by Michel Luescher where he solves the issue with powershell, and as you can see when reading the lines is that we find the IP-address object that is of the wrong type and change it to a HostCluster object instead:

Luckily PowerShell is in english so I could understand that part 😉 as my knowledge in the german language is a bit narrow..

 

 

New sponsor on my blog 5Nine Software

I have got the pleasure to get a new sponsor for my blog and that is the company 5Nine Software that makes some cool products for Hyper-V

5ninelogo

 The products they have

  • 5Nine Hyper-V Manager – a great christmas sale with 25 % right now!
  • 5Nine v2v converter
  • 5Nine Cloud Security

And these are also available as free versions with some limits but still great stuff

check out their web!  www.5nine.com