Yesterday we experienced some issues in a large hyper-v cluster that had nodes evicting and restarting the cluster service resulting in VM´s beeing restarted on other nodes and that is not great when trying to have a High Available service for the end users.
Reading about the Global Update Manager and how it works and also getting help from the Microsoft CSS helped us getting out of the issue. In default async mode in 2012 R2 the cluster update is commited when a majority of the nodes have processed it, when reading the cluster state the nodes need to check with a majority of the nodes once again to get a valid state so this means more traffic.
The problem is when you have a large Hyper-V 2012 R2 cluster with lots of cluster resource updates and VMM, SCOM agents hammering the cluster database function gets lots of traffic and that can be cumbersome and at last it might start going bananas and evicting hosts that does not respond in time. Your logs will start filling up with event 5377 and 1135.
GUM cluster synchronous mode
There have been some work under the covers and now the cluster database read write mode has changed to a default of synchronous mode in a Hyper-V 2016 cluster. When doing it synchron it means all nodes in the cluster will process the state and that also means that all nodes have the latest info and thus can read it locally and that means less net traffic!
I am right now digesting the full and exciting last week and wanted to update you on the top 10 sessions of all that I attended in person. We are all different and have different taste and here you can see what I picked out.
I had like 50 sessions in my schedule that I did not manage to attend but will try to find time to watch the recordings and I will do another follow up post with the top sessions of all from Ignite later!
GS001 – An end-to-end tour of the Microsoft developer platform
Allthough I am more of an Operations guy I did not attend the infrastructure foundation session with Corey Sanders and I am happy I went for the Scott Hanselmans instead and have an insight into how the total developer experience now is within the Microsoft space and it was a great session that i can highly recommend you check out the recording of.
DT1001 – Voices from the top: Leaders get real on building inclusive work cultures
This year the Ignite conference had a track on Diversity and Tech and the first day I attended this lunch-session and being a nerd-techi and attending a non-technical session was great! This session gave me some great insight on how we as an industry that is very much still male-focused and need to work on our culture values to be able to get more people in.
BRK2215 – Real World architecture considerations for Azure: how to succeed and what to avoid
This first session on the Tuesday morning gave some insights from the Fasttrack team on how to do best practices when setting up environments within Azure.
BRK3062 – Architecting Security and Governance Across your Azure Subscriptions
On this session we got a high level overview on governance work within Azure and very valuable insights in the releases that had been announced regarding policys, resource graph, cost, management groups and blueprints. Also we got an insight into the in-guestvm policy work that Michael Greene with the powershell team have enabled.
BRK2269 – WinOps: Lessons learned from Enterprise devops with Microsoft technologies
Avesome session on how to apply devops thinking within the Microsoft Technologies and IT Pro space by the DevopsGuys Stephen Thair. He had some great valuable points and case studies where devops principles had been successfully implemented.
DT1003 – Service degraded: Recognizing mental burnout in your colleagues and yourself
Another great session from the Diversity track and this time it was Sonia Cuff (Azure Ops Advocate) that presented on the health topic and how to get into control of signs of burnout within yourselves or your colleagues. She did a splendid job and I did really value being here and not in Snovers PowerShell session that this one collided with in the schedule (Some sessions can be saved for later via the recording)
BRK1094 – Accelerating your IT career
Thursday morning and the room was almost full with the one and only Ned Pyle talk about how to survive in the changing landscape and how to see and work on your career. He had several tips on how to succed. The four pillars of success that included Discipline, Technical powerhouse, Communication, Legacy.
BRK2362 – The SRE role: An unexpected journey
I have not heard Jared talk before but this was a great session on the path for him and Microsoft adopting SRE (Site Reliability Engineers) practices that Facebook, Netflix and Google have been utilizing for years. It was fun analogies and his story going from being a server hugger to a cattle farmer made most of the crowd to recognise themselves.
BRK3085 – Deep dive into Implementing governance at scale through Azure Policy
Last session before the Microsoft Ignite celebration party but the room was full and everyone wanted to get more insigt into the work with Azure Policy, Azure Resource Graph and Azure Blueprints. Always a deep dive gives that extra layer of understanding and this time was no exclusion having the product team presenting their stuff gives that extra nudge.
DT1005 – In conversation – raising the next generation of IT pros as diversity and inclusion champions
The final day I listened to this panel that talked on an interesting topic that I can truly recommend you to watch the recording. Among the people on stage was Donovan Brown talking about the struggle to hire the right staff as a People Manager.
I have during the latest weeks been refining my Schedule and now I am getting somewhere about to an gigantic board of valuable sessions that I want to see.
My schedule as of today Friday the 21th of september
And now you start to panic and thing this is caos, and yes in some sense it is but there is a plan with it, and that is if I realize after 5 minutes into a session that either the speaker is a bad preformer or if the session does not seem to fit my interest I can then divert to another one that I added also. There is another reason and that is after Ignite I might want to go back and see what sessions I might want to find the recordings for.
Regarding the part of your obligations as a business traveler and informing your co-workers at home there is a neat feature that you can use within the scheduler and that is the Trip report
When you press that link you get an word document where you can add your own notes and findings during the sessions and have that handy when getting back into the normal work-mode!
word doc from trip report
I will update with some more great stuff during the week!
I am on the 5th of september going to have a webinar together with Savision about moving to Azure
“Don´t be a dinosaur, how to stay on top of your it Infrastructure when transitioning into Azure”
Change is happening incredibly fast in today’s IT delivery, and for a service provider, it’s about embracing the new or risking the latest T-Rex. In this webinar we review how to automate and create standardized Windows Server solutions in Azure where management and monitoring are included as a service. Interaction with customers through Microsoft Teams and Bots that speeds up change cases and provides quick feedback! 24/7 you can know status and costs as well as order new services that automatically end up under NOC when it reaches production status
Please sign up on Savisions web page and we will have a great time together uncovering some very cool things in the Azure space
For taking care of my backups on my lab environment I have tested and updated to the new Altaro VM Backup to version 7.6 that now have some really nice features:
Augmented Inline Deduplication
Continuous Data Protection (CDP)
Offsite Backup Replication
Grandfather-Father-Son Archiving (GFS)
Cloud Backup to Azure
Setup and updating
In the console there is a check update and when pressing that I get redirected to the download page on Altaro
Installing the update keeps the settings and license so no fuzz there!
Configuring is really easy and getting the backup up and running was a breeze. Altaro have made it easy with good info and guidance on schedules and configurations needed!
After Install of the mother I see in the console that my agent on the other Hyper-V server needs to be updated also to work properly.
Offsite backup and restore
One really nice feature is the Cloud Backup to have a storage account in azure as offsite location where the backups can be sent. I can set the storage account to cool and thus save a bit on the cost!
Start up with creating a storage account in Azure at a preferred region. As I already have backup onsite I do not need geo-replication within Azure also
After setup in Azure you need to configure Altaro Backup and add an offsite location.
Once I have setup the offsite storage I can then add a backup to be replicated there. And doing a restore from an Azure storage account took about 7 minutes for a 12 GB VM, I have in my lab a 250 Mbit broadband connection and the other side will probably not be the limiting factor 🙂
Another great feature that can be configured is the Altaro Cloud Management Console that makes it easy to stay on top of your backups and you can reach it from anywhere with a browser!
To set up backup reporting via email I can utilize a Office 365 account and the smtp.office365.com
Once setup I can expect an backup report every morning at 8 AM
Getting the Altaro Backup solution up and running is really straight forward and easy! I have not yet tested it in a large scale environment yet but it seems really great and have as I described above some very good features!
For us that have an automation approach we can connect to the Altaro Rest API to check and do stuff for larger environments. Being an MSP and having BaaS is crucial as a competitive offer and the licensing for Altaro Backup in an MSP scenario goes into number of VM instead of CPU
I urge you to take it for a test run and see for your selves!
Build test environments by using the Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK).
This objective may include but is not limited to: use PowerShell commands; install updated ASDK; troubleshoot failed installs; post-deployment registration
Configure DNS for data center integration.
This objective may include but is not limited to: configure external DNS name resolution from within Azure Stack; configure Azure Stack DNS names from outside Azure Stack
Configure connectivity for data center integration.
This objective may include but is not limited to: manage firewall ports needed at the edge; configure connectivity to the data center; install and renew certificates for public endpoints
Connect to and perform API-based administration on Azure Stack.
This objective may include but is not limited to: connect to the stack by using PowerShell; configure client certificates; configure firewall to support remote administration; establish RBAC roles for the Azure Stack fabric; create subscriptions for end users
Configure and administer the App Service resource provider.
This objective may include but is not limited to: configure system; configure source control; configure worker tiers; configure subscription quotas; scale worker tiers and App Service infrastructure roles; add custom software; configure Azure Stack networking security
Configure and administer database resource providers.
This objective may include but is not limited to: configure and administer the SQL adapter; configure and administer the MySQL adapter; set up SKUs; set up additional hosting capacity
Configure and administer IaaS services.
This objective may include but is not limited to: implement virtual machine images; prepare Linux and Windows images; prepare a custom image; upload an image
This objective may include but is not limited to: create quotas; configure plans; configure offers; configure delegated offers; create add-on plans
This objective may include but is not limited to: add new tenants; remove tenants; manage authentication and authorization; establish RBAC roles for the tenant space
Manage the Azure Marketplace.
This objective may include but is not limited to: enable Azure Marketplace on Azure Stack; plan new packages; create and publish new packages; download Azure Marketplace items
Enable DevOps for tenants.
This objective may include but is not limited to: enable version control for tenants; manage ARM templates; deploy ARM templates; debug ARM templates; use Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services to connect to Azure Stack; use continuous integration and continuous deployment to automate a pipeline that targets Azure Stack
Plan and implement a backup-recovery and a disaster-recovery solution.
This objective may include but is not limited to: back up Azure Stack infrastructure services; perform cloud recovery of Azure Stack, replicate and fail over IaaS virtual machines to Azure; back up and restore PaaS resource data; back up and restore backup and restore of user IaaS virtual machine guest-OS, disks, volumes, and apps
Manage and monitor capacity, performance, updates, and alerts.
This objective may include but is not limited to: manage storage; monitor available storage; integrate existing monitoring services; manage public IP address ranges; monitor infrastructure component health; monitor Azure Stack memory, public IP addresses, and storage tenant consumption; apply updates; update system firmware; review and react to alerts
Manage usage reporting.
This objective may include but is not limited to: provide access to the usage database; test usage by using the ASDK; collect the usage data by using the Provider Usage API and the Tenant Usage API; investigate the usage time versus the reported time