IT


Quick tip : How to check which other websites are sharing your (VPS/Web) server 1

Many people make use of VPS servers of providers like TransIP and GoDaddy.com

Often I hear people complain about the performance of their (web) server of Blog. Often this is due to overcomittment of the virtualization platform that the provider is using. Many websites have little to none traffic and at peak times the performance is not that great. (Keep in mind the price differences between hosting providers!) Don’t expect great performance when you use a $3/month WordPress website. Often those servers are heavily overcommitted.

You can check this very easily by using reverse DNS. An easy to use website is yougetsignal. Just fill in your (or any other) domainname and hit check. You instantly see which other websites are using the same public Internet IP Address. You see >30 other questionable websites??? Don’t expect top performance…

yougetsignal


Combine Plesk and New Relic to monitor your server(s) running your Blog (for free!)

I use Plesk for management of my web servers. It saves me a lot of time and makes managing several (Linux) web servers a piece of cake. Those web servers are running on virtual servers and I wanted an overview of the usage and the performance. I decided to use the API’s of New Relic because I already had a great experience and noticed that there was a Plesk extension for it.

Installing the extension is very easy. Go to extensions and add the New Relic – Application Performance Extension

Now click on the Extension New Relic to configure it. Open a extra tab in your browser and sign up for a free New Relic account here. (I prefer to use Google Chrome, it works beter)

After creating your account. You need 3 things, 2 of those you can find in the New Relic interface. First is the Account Number. You can find that in the browser:

That is the number between accounts/ and /applications.

The second is the API key. Go to Account settings:

And find your API key below:

Now go back to your other tab and let’s configure the New Relic extension. You notice the following screen:

First is the license key (step 2), the server name is the name of your server (of something to identify it) and the account ID is the number you wrote down. Choose to install Servers (this will install the appropriate client on the server for monitoring purposes) and click ok.

After some time, go to the New Relic tab, choose the servers menu and notice your server!

You notice the green square. Your server is in a healthy state. You notice the CPU, memory and disk statistics. Now let’s click on your server.

Wow! In one single overview you have all the necessary information you need. Is your website performing badly? At what time? Was it the CPU or memory?

Notice the Processes, Network and Disks tabs. Clicking on those you can easily find more information what is causing possibly a problem on your server(s)

Conclusion

When you are using Plesk for management for your server, the New Relic extension is a great way to monitor your servers. It’s very easy to configure and it gives you lot of information. You can use all the server features at no costs! All of the above is free and you receive no commercials or SPAM.


NLVMUG USERCON 2017 (Dutch)

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

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.


NFR key for Veeam Availability Suite 9.5

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.

Top tip: Linux security & auditing tool Lynis

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.

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

Next step is installing Lynis with yum.

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.

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 :-))