(Advertorial)Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 is now Generally Available and includes Tape Support & Flexible Restores

It is highly important that data needs to be backed up and there should be an effective Disaster Recovery plan in case of data threat or a catastrophe. While data continues to grow and there are number of technology providers who offer better and comprehensive storage techniques to businesses, there has not been an alternative to the concept of backup. While costs are a major factor for businesses, having a steady backup plan to counter data threats and compliant to strict regulatory standards(including the upcoming EU’s GDPR) is necessary. Be it virtual environment backup like VMware Backup, Microsoft Hyper-V Backup or legacy environment backup like Windows Server Backup, Workstation backup, Vembu BDR Suite has been offering Backup & Recovery with their own file-system, VembuHIVE thereby easing the backup process, storage management at an extremely affordable pricing.

Last week, they did announce the release of Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 which offers manifold features and enhancements to meet the different needs of Diverse IT environments. According to them, the overall goal of the new version v3.9.0 is to provide advancements in terms of Storage, Security, and Data Restoration.

Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 release is distinct because a number of critical features are incorporated for maintaining business continuity and to function effectively for high availability. Here are some of the key highlights of this release:

Tape Backup Support

Vembu now provides the popular 3-2-1 backup strategy( copies of backup in 2 medias(Disk and Tape) and 1 backup copy at offsite) to businesses by announcing the support for Native Tape Backup for  Image-based Backups (VMware, Hyper-V, and Physical Windows Servers & Workstations) providing an option for Long-Term Archival and Offsite storage.  Also, Vembu Tape Backup Support makes the DR possible on any physical or virtual environment. Thus Vembu Tape backup is designed keeping in mind the future needs of the ever evolving IT demands.

Quick VM Recovery on ESXi host for Hyper-V and Windows Image Backups

As we speak of data backup, recovery of data is equally important, if not more. While data recovery is crucial, the amount of time taken to restore data decides the business continuity of any organization. In the previous versions, Vembu has provided instant recovery capabilities only for VMware Backups from the GUI. From this release v3.9.0, Vembu makes the instant recovery process much simpler and quicker than before by making the Quick VM Recovery possible on VMware ESXi from Vembu BDR backup server console for all image-based backups(VMware, Hyper-V and Microsoft Windows). Thus, Vembu lowers the Recovery Time Objectives of the organizations and provides quicker data regain and access.

Backup-level Encryption

With the newest release, Vembu provides the ability to encrypt the data while creating a backup job. Each backup job that is configured from the distributed agents or through the Vembu BDR backup server is now highly secured through Backup-level Encryption. By using customized passwords, users will now be able to enable additional security for their backup jobs. And the backup data can be restored/accessed only by providing the password. Thus, the data is encrypted and can only be accessed by authorized users. This step is to fight data threats and also to ensure data compliances.

Auto Authorization at Vembu OffsiteDR Server

Offsite data protection is critical in terms of business continuity and is primarily done to keep a backup instance of key business data. To increase data security, Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 has Auto Authorization feature at Vembu OffsiteDR server that lets only the registered BDR backup servers to connect to the OffsiteDR server. Vembu BDR servers are authorized through unique registration key generated at the OffsiteDR server. Thus, safeguard all your backup data even if they are transferred to offsite through Auto-Authorization at OffsiteDR server.

Pre/Post backup scripts

Many businesses are in a need to execute certain business logic before or after a backup job. But running these logics manually through scripts is difficult and is not feasible for organizations having multiple backup jobs running in their IT infrastructure. To make this process simpler, Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 provides a separate wizard in NetworkBackup, OnlineBackup and ImageBackup clients, where one can add a number of pre and post executable commands/scripts. This helps in automatically executing the added commands/scripts at specific stages based on the configuration and provides the ability to run the custom actions before/after the backup schedules.

Besides all the listed features, Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.0 has few interesting features like Windows Event Viewer Integration along with some Enhancements.

Interested in trying Vembu BDR suite?, Try Now on a 30-days free trial: https://www.vembu.com/vembu-bdr-suite-download/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installed the VMware Logon monitor, now what? Let’s make a script!

A while back VMware released the Logon monitor fling. I thought this was a very useful expansion of out toolkit.

So I decided to fling in our golden image to see how it behaves. After playing around with it, it writes the log files away to a share so in case we have some logon issues we might be able to find what is going on. It’s running for a couple of weeks now and we haven’t had any issues yet.

But when do you have logon issues? most of the time you hear about this is when users start calling. Wouldn’t it be great if you could already be searching when they call if they call at all? I decided to write a script that reads the logon time from all text files from the last 15 minutes and makes an average out of it. As usual it ain’t fancy at all but seems to be speedy and does the trick for me.

Again nothing fancy about this script, it just displays the average value and since we use nagios it can use this directly. You can do anything you want with it, add stuff, use other info. I might even make a bigger script to be able to output anything usable from this nice little fling.

Beware of the Windows 7 & Server 2008 R2 convenience patch!!

While it is a nice thing for Microsoft to make the convenience patch for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 users it seems to break some things. When you are using VMXnet3 vcnic’s in your vm’s as you should it throws away the old card and creates a new one. To fix this you can uninstall the old card after enabling to view hidden devices in your device manager and adding the IP data to the new nic. Be aware that this might create issues with software that is licensed using mac addresses. According to Microsoft you can also uninstall the patch but I think that would be the last resort for me.

More info from VMware: http://blogs.vmware.com/apps/2016/06/rush-post-microsoft-convenience-update-and-vmware-vmxnet3-incompatibilities.html

The Microsoft KB: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3125574

Bye bye good old vSphere Client

As seen about everywhere on the interwebs VMware has announced it’s saying bye bye to the good old C# Client, with the next release of vShpere it will not be available anymore. Don’t be afraid that you now need to use the flash client (which has improved considerably in recent vSphere 6.0 releases!) because Vmware has also announced the HTML5 Web Client will be a supported release pretty soon. For your ESXi hosts the HTML5 Host Client already was embedded in 6.0u2.

I can rewrite this but VMware describes it this way on their blog:

Today we have two important announcements. First, the C# client (AKA Desktop Client/thick client/vSphere Client for Windows) will not be available for the next version of vSphere. Current versions of vSphere (6.0, 5.5) will not be affected, as those will follow the standard support period. You’ve heard this from us in the past, but we’ve been waiting for a sufficient replacement before finally moving forward. Second, we want to talk about the recent vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling, user adoption, and VMware’s focus on bringing a great user experience. Like the Embedded Host Client Fling (which made it into vSphere in 6.0U2), we plan on bringing this product into a supported release soon.

We’ll be referring to the new client as the vSphere Client, as it better describes the product, and isn’t a ten syllable mouthful (vSphere HTML5 Web Client).

Looking to the Future

VMware has been working towards the transition to HTML5 with the Platform Services Controller UI, vCenter Server Appliance Management UI, and the Host Client. All three of these were very well received and have become the official interfaces for their respective components. The last (and biggest) one to tackle was the management interface for vCenter Server.

vSphere Web Client has always been intended to be the replacement for the Desktop client, and many of our users have tried to embrace this during the vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 6.0 periods, spending their time working within the Web Client even with the Desktop client available.

While there were certainly issues with the 5.5 and 6.0 Web Client, many users that committed to the experience came to enjoy many of the new features and usability improvements. We also continued to listen to our customers, making further efforts to improve the Web Client experience have been made across 5.5U3, 6.0U1 and 6.0U2, including VUM (vSphere Update Manager) in 6.0U1 Web Client. We have made the Desktop client available during this period, which was much longer than originally planned. But now that time is ending.

Additionally, due to the shift in backend services going from vSphere 6.0 to the next version, updating the Desktop client would have required a huge investment. This may have been okay in a vacuum, but the required resources would have severely impacted the progress of the new vSphere Client, only to end up with four clients for users to juggle. We decided to focus on bringing the new vSphere Client (HTML5 based) up to speed as fast as possible, simultaneously offering a great user experience and getting off of Flash.

The new vSphere Client (HTML5)

(Try it here: https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vsphere-html5-web-client)

2016-03-07_1741_H5client_-_screenshot0

This decision is about VMware trying to provide the best user experience: a fast, reliable, scalable modern interface that allows you to get your work done is our primary goal. The new vSphere Client is the best way to achieve that goal. Many have already tried out the Fling (https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vsphere-html5-web-client), with approximately 40% of survey respondents deploying it into Production and using it daily to manage their critical environments. With this Fling, we’ll keep the user experience mostly the same as the Web Client, which we’ve improved, based on your feedback. We also plan on making additional improvements to make it easier for C# users to transition.

One benefit of the Fling delivery model is very fast turnaround. We’ve been able to release a new version of the Fling every week, with new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements. More importantly, we’ve been able to quickly incorporate user feedback into the product. Sometimes this means simple bug fixes, sometimes this means changing our priorities to better address user needs. While this pace and model of delivery may not be used for the fully supported releases, due to testing time required, we likely will continue to use the Fling releases to stay on track with users. A fundamental part of this high touch engagement model is users staying as up-to-date as possible, and most of our Fling users are doing just that, so thank you!

Plugins

We also recognize how important plugins are, and the transition from Web Client to vSphere Client will take second and third-party plugins into account. We’ve already started engaging with plugin developers of all sorts to get them moving to the HTML bridge, which will allow the creation of a single plugin that is forward and backward compatible with both the vSphere Client and the Web Client, creating a smooth transition path. If you require more information on plugin migration, please contact us. One great source of information is this site which contains a lot of future looking information about vCenter. This site will be updated as more information becomes available, so keep an eye on it: http://www.vmware.com/products/vcenter-server/future-overview/overview.html

We do expect the plugin transition to take some time, and this means that we expect to ship the Flex based Web Client and the HTML5 based vSphere Client side by side for some uncertain period. Everyone is very eager to have the new vSphere Client as the only client, but we want to respect the porting development time our partners require.

Seeking your Feedback

Hopefully these announcements come as a shock to no one – they are simply a reiteration of the message VMware has given for years. We are continually working to make vSphere Client a fast, reliable, and scalable product that provides a great overall experience. If you have any comments, please post them below. We’d like to hear feedback from all points of view, as we look to the future instead of the past.

Dennis Lu

Product Manager, vSphere Clients