NLVMUG USERCON 2017 (Dutch)

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De NLVMUG UserCon 2017 vind plaats op donderdag 16 maart 2017.

De NLVMUG UserCon is het grote jaarlijke usergroup evenement van de Nederlandse VMUG. Na het daverende succes van de 2015 en 2016 officieel de grootste UserCon ter wereld!

Men is nog op zoek naar sprekers. Dit jaar gaat men nog meer ruimte voor communitysessies in de agenda opnemen en worden er een aantal informele sessievormen toegevoegd.

Schrijf je hier in voor de Call for Papers.

Hou de website en Twitter in de gaten!

Review: vembu BDR Suite 3.6

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Hereby my review of Vembu BDR version 3.6. Vembu BDR Suite is an all-in-one universal solution for backing up your VMware and Hyper-V environments as well as physical servers.  Vembu BDR Suite products cover backup & recovery of VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Physical Windows Servers Desktops/Laptops, File Servers, Applications like MS Exchange, Active Directory, SQL Server, SharePoint and Outlook etc.

In this review, I shall take a look at it’s basic features and functionality. Advanced functionally and more in depth reviews are going to appear in future blog posts.

A few of the features of Vembu BDR Suite 3.6 capabilities and functionality are as follows:

  • Support for VMware
    • Complete support for all the VMware versions (Supported from VMware 4.X version)
    • VMware Hot-Add and SAN transport mode for LAN free data transfer
    • VMware vSphere Replication for High Availability
    • CBT enabled incremental data transfer using VMware VADP (vStorage API for data protection)
  • Support for Hyper-V (support for VM in SMB)
    • Support for Hyper-V Cluster Shared Volumes
    • Vembu CBT driver for high performance incremental backups
    • Hot backup ensures zero VM downtime
    • VSS aware technology for application consistency
  • Support for Physical enviroments
    • Backs up entire disk image of Windows Server(s), including operation system and filesDuring system crash or any major disaster, bare-metal recovery helps to recover the Windows machines into the same or other hardware
    • Vembu ImageBackup helps you to migrate the Windows Servers and Workstation from your physical enviroment to VMware or Hyper-V environment.

Installation and configuration of Vembu BDR 3.6 for VMware

(Hyper-V and physical will be in another blog post)

Installation is pretty straightforward. Just hit enter 3 times and notice the advice & option to change the default admin/admin credentials and 32004 en 6061 ports etc. (Vembu uses MySQL en MonogDB).

installation configuration

Vembu installs a webserver. Make sure that you create a new firewall rule for port range 6060-6061 for TCP traffic:

firewall_vembu

After installation it’s time to add your (first) VMware server. This is done in a few clicks. Just make sure you use the appriopiate creds and correct port.

add vmware server 1

add vmware server 2

Not let’s add the first VM. Go to Backup/VMware and click at Backup Now (arrow in square box) . Go through the following steps:

Backup steps

After creating your backup your first backup is automatically made.

Monitor backup progress

You can monitor the backup progress, go to backup and List jobs. The green triangle indicates that the backup is in progress right now.

Interface

Ok, next step. Let’s go through the interface:

Dashboard is your quick info place, your overview and the place to start. Backup gives you the option to backup and configure backup jobs.
VM Replication gives you the option to replicate your VM’s. (I shall write about it in another blog post)

Recovery.., now that we have made one of more backup we want to test them!
One of the most interesting features is instant recovery/restore. If your server is down by for example ransom ware you need to be up and running as fast as possible.
Vembu uses their Virtual Drive. Their latest backup is easily mounted and you can access all of the files.

Vembu also offers the following options :

I’ve tested all of the above restore options and found that they worked fast and flawlessly.

Reports

Reporting options are clear and simple. Everything you need. Reports can easily be scheduled to be emailed to one or more email addresses.

Management

Here you can choose the server (user management, software update) and storage management options. (Add extra storage to the repository etc)


Vembu Universal Explorer


Vembu offers free tooling for their backup solution. One of them is Vembu universal explorer.
This single recovery tool allows administrators to recover different Microsoft application backups like Exchange, SQL, Sharepoint and Active Directory.

Universal Explorers offers:

  • instant restores emails/mailboxen/exchange stores from Microsoft Exchange
  • instant restore Microsoft SQL databases and tables
  • document level restore for Microsoft Sharepoint
  • granular recovery for Microsoft Active Directory

Conclusion

In this review, I found Vembu BDR 3.6 to be a full featured tool set for effectively backing up both VMware, Hyper-V environments and physical servers. The interface is extremely simple and easy to use with everything placed where you would expect it to be. Although Vembu offers more products, their backup solution offers everything you need against failures, ransomware or even complete site loss. Vembu vould be your answer for small companies and large companies seeking for a complete backup solution.

I found no issues with installing the product, backups and restores from either a VMware or Hyper-V environment, or performance with any of the operations that were performed. The GUI is nice and straightforward. A minor issue is the performance of the interface. Sometimes you have to wait a few seconds for it to respond. A drawback of using a webserver. The online portal for all your licenses and downloads is looking good also. It’s even possible to view the status of the VM’s being backup ed using BDRSuite also.

Check out the banner on vWorld.nl for the appropriate link.

Support

More information, check out the website here or email support @ vembu-support@vembu.com
I contacted support for a couple of questions and I received information pretty quick and found it to be helpful.

Tip: Go straight to the right directory using explorer with cmd

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I found this tip really useful, maybe you agree!

Open explorer

cmd1

Go to the desired directory

cmd2

just click on the directory, enter cmd and press enter!

cmd3

Now you have a cmd session straight into the desired directory!

 

NFR key for Nakivo Backup & Replication

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If you are a VMUG member, VMware vExpert, VCP, VSP, VTSP, or VCI you can receive a FREE two-socket Not For Resale (NFR) license of NAKIVO Backup & Replication for one year and use it in your home or work lab.

The NFR licenses are available for non-production use only, including educational, lab testing, evaluation, training, and demonstration purposes. This offer ends on December 30, 2016.

Click here for more information.

NFR key for Veeam Availability Suite 9.5

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Veeam® is happy to provide a free NFR license (1 year, 2 sockets) to all VMware vExperts, MVPs, VTEC members, Certified Engineers and Trainers*. This license allows for non-production use of Veeam Availabilty Suite™ 9,5 in your home lab, without any feature limitations. The license works for both VMware and Hyper-V environments.

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 is a combination of Veeam Backup & Replication™ and Veeam ONE™, and is your key to achieving Availability for the Always-On Enterprise™.

By using Veeam Availability Suite 9.5, you’ll get everything you need to reliably protect and manage your VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments:

  • High-Speed Recovery
  • Data Loss Avoidance
  • Verified Recoverability
  • Leveraged Data
  • Complete Visibility
Fill in the form here get your FREE NFR key NOW!
*Only for vExpert, VCP, VCAP, VCI, VCDX, VMUG Leader, VTEC, VMCE, MVP, MCSE, MCSA, MCT, Cisco Champion, PernixPro Member and others.

Review: Nakivo backup & Replication for VMware

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Backup is more and more important. That’s why there are several company’s proving great products for this.
Nakivo has their Backup & Replication tool for VMware (and Amazon but that will not be covered right now) and in this blogpost you find my experiences.

Nakivo backup & Replication (NBR from now..) comes in different distribution formats:

  • VMware Virtual Appliance (OVF)
  • NAS Package (Western Digital and Synology)
  • Pre configured Amazon Machine Image
  • Linux version
  • and a Windows version

Installation

I’ve tried the Linux, Windows and the NAS version. All the versions offer the same functionality. I installed the OVF version in my VMware environment and found that the installation was very straightforward and was done in minutes. After logging on the first time just add your VMware server(s) or vCenter and off you go! Don’t forget to change the default password although!

The interface is very to the point. Just make a https connection to port 4443 and login with your credentials.

Ok let’s create a job :

Choose Create and select the VMware vSphere backup job.

Select the VM you wish to backup:

Select the repository you wish to save your backup file to. You can choose not to select all the virtual machine hard drives.

Schedule your job

You have the option to change some advanced options

Click Finish & Run and your first back-up is done!

Synology Package

I also installed the Synology Package on my NAS. Like as expected that was very ease. Just make sure all sources are trusted and install the package. After a few steps the package is installed and provides the same functionality as the (for example) Windows version. I tried the package on 2 different Synology models. A high end and entry level and it worked fine on both devices. I saw minor differences in performance.  I think installing a product like this on a NAS provides great functionality. Many of my customers use a Synology NAS for their backup only. Now there is no Windows or Linux VM and hypervisor on location necessary.

Support

I had some technical questions (concering transport role) so I went to the Nakivo homepage. After a short chat session I was helped by a technical support engineer which friendly helped me. It seems that their support is quite adequate. I shall continuing test this product and shall share my support experiences.

Send Nakivo Feedback, Get $20 Gift Card

Nakivo loves to know what you think about their product. Get $20 Amazon gift card for performing the following tasks:

  1. Install NAKIVO Backup & Replication and discover your infrastructure.
  2. Use the product, such as create and run at least one backup job.
  3. Send the support bundle to support@nakivo.com by December 30, 2016.
  4. Provide your feedback by filling out a short survey.

Read the Terms and Conditions

Pricing

Nakivo comes in 4 different versions : Pro Essentials ($199), Enterprise Essentials($299), Pro ($399) and Enterprise ($599). I think their pricing is very competitive. Check out more information about pricing here.

Wishlist and improvements

After testing Nakivo Backup & Replication (and some of the other vendors and their products) I think Nakivo is a very interesting product. Altough their is some room for improvement concerning the GUI (interface). (For example you are able to add 2 jobs with the same name/description and that can be confusing) I also would like to see the following :

  • Support for other NAS vendors (for example Qnap)
  • Support for Azure
  • Deploy Transport role/VM within the user interface
  • Update/upgrade within the GUI

Conclusion

I think Nakivo provides a very interesting product which lots of interesting functionality. I especially like the Synology NAS appliance because it makes the life of the system administrator easier. Also their pricing is very competitive. Their is room for improvement (as always) but the product seems very stabile. In my next review about nakivo I’m going to test the transport role, multi tenancy, self-service, Exchange log truncation, self service and their API interface. Lot’s to come! When you have experience with Nakivo also, please leave a reply.

No internet connection after Windows 10 update #solved

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Due to an improper Windows 10 update your Internet Connection may be broken. This is how to solve it :

w10_update_1

Open cmd (with administrator privileges)

w10_update_2

Use the above command to reset your TCP/IP stack.

w10_update_3

Reboot your PC!

Top tip: Linux security & auditing tool Lynis

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For my work I often deploy Linux VM’s. I use Lynis for checking my system for security isssues en baseline(s).  Lynis is a security auditing tool for UNIX derivatives like Linux, macOS, BSD, Solaris, AIX, and others. It performs an in-depth security scan. Extensive reports in HTML and TXT are delivered. The company behind Linus (CISOfy) delivers great support and has a community of people working together.

Screenshot of Lynis:

lynis-screenshot

Installation is very simple (if you know your way round Linux)

Ensure that cURL, NSS, openssl, and CA certificates are up-to-date.

yum update ca-certificates curl nss openssl

Create /etc/yum.repos.d/cisofy-lynis.repo

[lynis]
name=CISOfy Software - Lynis package
baseurl=https://packages.cisofy.com/community/lynis/rpm/
enabled=1
gpgkey=https://packages.cisofy.com/keys/cisofy-software-rpms-public.key
gpgcheck=1

Next step is installing Lynis with yum.

yum makecache fast
yum install lynis

First time it might ask to import the GPG key. This ensures you only updates are received from Cisofy.

Now you start using Lynis. First time users are advised to use the Get Started guide.

lynis audit system

You see something like this (DONE/FOUND/YES/NO etc). You can open the logfiles afterwards in /var/log. Personally I prefer to pipe the output to a file also. (lynis audit system >> output_file)

lynis-check

Download Lynis here.

It is also possible to add extra checks (plugins) and/or change the default one. I created my own baseline which I can use every time.

Good luck with scanning your system! (and securing afterwards :-))

 

How to slipstream the latest updates and more in Windows ISO

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For testing purposes I had to deploy several Windows 2012 R2 Servers with the latest updates included. I also would like the VMware tools included for example. In this blogpost I describe the steps I’ve taken to build my own Windows 2012 R2 ISO. It also works for other Windows versions.

I use WSUSoffline (latest version here) for downloading the latest Windows updates and NTlite for slipstreaming the drivers and creating the ISO. Finally I use Vmware Workstation to test the ISO (and for the VMware tools drivers). Make sure to download WSUSoffline and unpack it to any hard drive with enough free space for you to download the updates.

wsusoffline1

Select the x64 Server 2012 R2 (in my case) updates and hit Start!

wsusoffline2

The tool started downloading the update files.

Ok…fast forward…. make sure you have a Windows 2012 R2 ISO. Extract this to a directory with enough free space for you to work with… Now open NTlite.

Add your Windows 2012 R2 folder to the installation:

ntlite1

You notice something like this:

ntlite2

Ok, dubbel click the blue button. (This contains the files you’ve just unpacked) Notice that it can take some time for everything to load..

ntlite3

Ok.. (sorry for the Dutch translation :-)) But go to “Opwaarderingen” or “updates”. Here we are able to specify which extra updates must be added to the installation.

ntlite4

Choose the “in map en sub mappen” (folders and sub folders) to specify the directory WSUSoffline just completed downloading the updates to! That’s the client folder:

ntlite5

Ok now the updates are checked and added to the left pane!

But we want to include some drivers (see my previous post) and VMware tools too! No problem. Go to device drivers and specify the folder containing the drivers.

Now we have included all the necessary drivers we are ready to build the ISO!

ntlite6

Select the option to create the ISO (specify a location and name) and click start and of you go!

Powershell: Easily export your Windows Drivers

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I was looking for a simple solution for me to export (and import later) my Windows driver. I already knew that Windows 2016 had a Powershell command for that but didn’t knew that it also worked for Windows Server 2012R2 and Windows 10!

Use the following command : Export-WindowsDriver -Destination “C:\Drivers\$((Get-WmiObject -Class win32_computersystem).Model)” -Online

export_drivers

Notice the exported drivers:

export_drivers2

Now you can easily import those drivers in (for example) SCCM or MDT.

 

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