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Posts Tagged ‘VM’

Microsoft and AzureCon delivers! Love it! – #Azure, #AzureCon, #EnvokeIT, #IoT, #SaaS, #PaaS

I really love the way that Microsoft and Azure delivers! It’s so amazing with all the PaaS and SaaS offerings they now have on top of the traditional IaaS delivery. There is no other cloud provider out there that delivers anything near it! I’m amazed and so happy to be a part of this journey!

If you didn’t have the time to look at AzureCon you have a lot of great videos and topics to go through!!

Here is a short overview of the many great things released and presented:

  • General Availability of 3 new Azure regions in India
  • Announcing new N-series of Virtual Machines with GPU capabilities
  • Announcing Azure IoT Suite available to purchase
  • Announcing Azure Container Service
  • Announcing Azure Security Center

Watching the Videos

All of the talks presented at AzureCon (including the 60 breakout talks) are now available to watch online.  You can browse and watch all of the sessions here.

Announcing General Availability of 3 new Azure regions in India

Yesterday we announced the general availability of our new India regions: Mumbai (West), Chennai (South) and Pune (Central).  They are now available for you to deploy solutions into.

This brings our worldwide presence of Azure regions up to 24 regions, more than AWS and Google combined. Over 125 customers and partners have been participating in the private preview of our new India regions.   We are seeing tremendous interest from industry sectors like Public Sector, Banking Financial Services, Insurance and Healthcare whose cloud adoption has been restricted by data residency requirements.  You can all now deploy your solutions too.

Announcing N-series of Virtual Machines with GPU Support

This week we announced our new N-series family of Azure Virtual Machines that enable GPU capabilities.  Featuring NVidia’s best of breed Tesla GPUs, these Virtual Machines will help you run a variety of workloads ranging from remote visualization to machine learning to analytics.

The N-series VMs feature NVidia’s flagship GPU, the K80 which is well supported by NVidia’s CUDA development community. N-series will also have VM configurations featuring the latest M60 which was recently announced by NVidia. With support for M60, Azure becomes the first hyperscale cloud provider to bring the capabilities of NVidia’s Quadro High End Graphics Support to the cloud. In addition, N-series combines GPU capabilities with the superfast RDMA interconnect so you can run multi-machine, multi-GPU workloads such as Deep Learning and Skype Translator Training.

Announcing Azure Security Center

This week we announced the new Azure Security Center—a new Azure service that gives you visibility and control of the security of your Azure resources, and helps you stay ahead of threats and attacks.  Azure is the first cloud platform to provide unified security management with capabilities that help you prevent, detect, and respond to threats.

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The Azure Security Center provides a unified view of your security state, so your team and/or your organization’s security specialists can get the information they need to evaluate risk across the workloads they run in the cloud.  Based on customizable policy, the service can provide recommendations. For example, the policy might be that all web applications should be protected by a web application firewall. If so, the Azure Security Center will automatically detect when web apps you host in Azure don’t have a web application firewall configured, and provide a quick and direct workflow to get a firewall from one of our partners deployed and configured: Read more…

Microsoft Specialist – Architecting Microsoft Azure Cloud Solutions – #Azure, #LoveAzure, #EnvokeIT

Yes, I found a really interesting exam and must say that this is a great one! Makes you show that you understand all the great services that Azure has to offer and on such a good level as well!

I’m happy I made it and that EnvokeIT continues its journey within the Microsoft Cloud and Mobility area! 🙂

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The things that I love is the way that Microsoft puts a lot of really good material out there for free for all us techies to consume, like the Microsoft Virtual Academy, Channel 9, Azure Friday, etc.

Also what is really good if you’re preparing for this exam (70-534) is to go through this great prep guide:

Early Experts Study Guide for Microsoft Specialist Certification Exam 70-534, Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

So go and explore everything that Azure has to offer and if you have any thoughts or questions around Azure don’t hesitate to contact me at richard at envokeit.com or through our official contact details for the UK and Swedish businesses here.

Have a great weekend!

//Richard

Deploying #SCCM 2012 Packages and Programs with the #Citrix Connector – #DaaS, #XenDesktop

January 13, 2015 Leave a comment

This is a really good blog post by Christopher Fife, it touches on a couple of scenarios and explains the solution to how best you would accommodate the solution to them. Good work Christopher! 🙂

The Citrix Connector 7.5 for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, also known simply as the Citrix Connector, integrates XenApp and XenDesktop 7 with Configuration Manager 2012 (CM). The Connector streamlines use of Configuration Manager deployment technology to automate Citrix server and desktop image management. The Connector leverages the new Application/Deployment Type (App/DT) feature of Configuration Manager 2012 to orchestrate deployment to the right images at the right time. Administrators can optionally use the App/DT model to deliver the actual application publications.

Many of our customers are still early in migrating to the App/DT model. They are still leveraging their extensive library of Packages and Programs developed with great care over many years. These Citrix customers want to know how to use all the goodness of the Connector with these Packages and Programs. So, if you are interested in using the Citrix Connector to deploy Packages and Programs to your Citrix servers and desktop, this post is for you.

In many cases deploying Packages and Programs with the Citrix Connector is a straight forward process familiar to any CM administrator. However there are two scenarios in which specific actions are required to avoid unintended consequences when deploying Packages and Programs with the Citrix Connector.

Scenario 1 – Deploying to Image Managed (MCS or PVS) Citrix hosts

The first scenario that requires special consideration is deploying Packages and Programs to VMs created with Citrix XenDesktop Machine Creation Services (MCS) or Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS). As an administrator, you want to deploy software on the master image of a Machine Catalog and rely on XenDesktop/XenApp to clone worker VMs. Deploying directly to VM clones wastes compute, storage, and network resources because each clone will discard the changes on reboot.

Thus, the Citrix Connector is optimized to only install applications on the master image of a Machine Catalog while entirely skipping application installation on the clones of the master image. The key enabler that allows us to selectively install applications is a CM client policy that puts a 3rd party agent like the Citrix Connector in charge of when to install application or updates.

Here’s the problem. CM client policy does not stop the installation of Packages and Programs or Task Sequences; it only applies to the App/DT model and Windows Updates. This means that the Citrix Connector cannot prevent the installation of Packages and Programs on MCS or PVS clones, leading to unnecessary resource utilization.

Solution

Create a device collection that contains just the update device and deploy Packages and Programs to this device collection instead of the device collection created by the Citrix Connector.

Scenario 2 – App Publishing from the CM Console

The second scenario comes into play when using the CM Console to publish the Package/Program as a XenApp-hosted application. The Citrix Connector uses CM application detection logic to ensure that the application is installed before publishing it to Citrix Receiver. This is to prevent an icon from appearing in Receiver before all the servers in a Delivery Group have the application installed.

Unfortunately Package/Program deployments do not have reliable, ongoing application detection logic. Consequently, this orchestration feature of the Citrix Connector cannot be supported when using the Citrix Application Publishing Wizard to publish apps from the Configuration Manager Console.

Solution 1

Use Citrix Studio to publish the application instead of the Citrix Application Publishing Wizard in the CM Console.

Solution 2

If you are using CM Application Catalog and want the Citrix hosted version of the installed program to appear there, you will need to create a new application with a Script deployment type and a Citrix deployment type. The Script DT supplies the application detection logic by looking for the application’s executable, while the Citrix DT creates the application publication in XenDesktop.

 

Solution Details

 

The remainder of this post is divided into two sections and will give specific examples of how to implement the solutions discussed above. The first focuses on image management and precisely targeting the program deployment at the update device for a Citrix device collection. The second section focuses on publishing the program installed by CM as a Citrix hosted app.

Solution for Image Management and Resource Utilization

As previously mentioned, the Citrix Connector cannot prevent the installation of Packages and Programs on pooled Citrix session hosts created with Machine Creation Service (MCS) or Provisioning Service (PVS). To prevent this potential inefficiency, a new device collection must be created that only contains the update device. There are 4 steps to accomplish this:

  1. create the new device collection,
  2. deploy the program to the new device collection,
  3. monitor for deployment success on the update device, and
  4. update the pooled Citrix session hosts with the updated image.

These steps are detailed below.

For background information about master image management with the Citrix Connector and the role of the update device, watch the Master Image Management video http://www.citrix.com/tv/#videos/11534 on CitrixTV.

Before you start, use the machine catalog properties to make sure there is a designated update device, the Update Method property value is “update device”, and the Update Device property value contain a machine name. This is a very important step. If an update device is not defined for a Citrix image managed device collection, the steps outlined below will result in a new device collection with zero members.

Machine Catalog Properties

Step 1: Use the Configuration Manager Console to create a device collection

  • In the Assets and Compliance section of the Configuration Manager Console, click the “Create device collection” action on toolbar ribbon.
  • On the General Page of the Create Device Collection Wizard,

Read more…

#Microsoft #Azure (#IaaS) Cost Estimator Tool version 1.2 released

January 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Have a look at the new version of the Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool, here is a good summary by Courtenay Bernier. It currently only supports US pricing but would give you a good estimate at least and hopefully it’s updated with all other country pricing as well soon!

Back in August of 2014 Microsoft released version 1.0 of the Azure (IaaS) Cost Estimator Tool (view my previous post here). Today I’m happy to announce the release of version 1.2!

The following new features have been updated/added:

  1. Support for all regions (apart from US) along with associated currencies.
  2. Support for D-Series virtual machines.
  3. Export data with new regions and currency symbols.
  4. Updated instance prices for all regions and currencies.
  5. Total monthly costs are now calculated over 31 days that’s 744 hours and is aligned with the costs displayed in the Azure portal. (In version 1.0 costs were calculated over 30 days).

Download: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43376

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Estimated runtime of 31 days

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D-Series VMs Added Read more…

Metro Availability – Nutanix site-to-site cluster! Sooo cool! – #Nutanix, #EnvokeIT

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

This is a really cool feature, I know many companies right now that are thinking about refreshing their platform (computer, network and storage) solution(s) and datacenter strategy. Most have dual datacenters today and would like to simplify the setup and ensure that they don’t have to handle two private clouds and manually create disaster recovery processes and technical solutions for ensuring that they can ensure high availability of their applications running on top of the IaaS solution.

This is where this new feature from Nutanix comes into play, now you can get data protection and mirroring of your data across two or more sites built into the product. Think about it, you can ensure your application availability in the event of downtime (planned or unplanned). Really cool!! 🙂

Introducing Metro Availability

Business-critical applications demand continuous data availability. This means that access to applications and data must be preserved even during a datacenter outage or planned maintenance event. Many IT teams use metro area networks to maintain connectivity between datacenters so that if one site goes down the other location can run all applications and services with minimal disruption. To keep the applications running, however, requires immediate access to all data. 

Nutanix is the first hyper-converged infrastructure vendor to deliver continuous data protection across multiple datacenters. Using synchronous mirroring, Metro Availability stretches datastores for virtual machine clusters across two or more sites located up to 400km apart. All functionality is natively integrated into Nutanix software, and supported across all Nutanix platforms with no hardware changes. Enterprise IT teams benefit from improved business operations by maintaining application availability during planned and unplanned site downtime. 

Virtualization teams can now non-disruptively migrate virtual machines between sites during planned maintenance events, providing continuous data protection with zero recovery point objective (RPO) and a near zero recovery time objective (RTO). Metro Availability is deployed within minutes and managed directly from Nutanix Prism UI, eliminating any need for additional management consoles. 

  • More Flexibility – Only Nutanix enables customers to deploy different configurations for primary and secondary sites, and support one-to-many and many-to-one topologies. Customers are no longer forced to have identical platforms and hardware configurations at each site
  • VM Awareness  – Individual VMs can be mirrored across sites using Metro Availability, giving administrators unparalleled flexibility in configuring multi-site deployments and improving overall system efficiency
  • 2X Greater Distances Between Sites – Nutanix Metro Availability supports single datastores stretched up to 400km – twice what current systems support today

Metro Availability enhances and extends the already rich set of integrated data protection and high availability capabilities in the Nutanix solution, catering to the diverse needs of enterprise customers.

Official release not you can find here!

And contact EnvokeIT if you want more information on how this can provide value to you!

//Richard

 

OpenStack and Nutanix – perfect match! (perfect with VMware and Microsoft as well of course) – #Nutanix, #OpenStack, #IaaS

This is a good post by Dwayne Lessner around how perfect match OpenStack and Nutanix is (not just OpenStack of course, Nutanix rocks with VMware and Microsoft as well)!

Nutanix NDFS also provides an advanced and unique feature set for OpenStack based
private clouds. Key features include:

  • Simplicity – The same great platform that simplified your virtualisation deployment can simplify the compute and storage deployment for key OpenStack services (Glance, Nova, Horizon, Keystone, Neutron, Cinder, and Swift)
  • Single Scalable Fabric – NDFS provides a single fabric for data storage that integrates seamlessly with OpenStack services. NDFS-based storage is easy to provision, manage, and operate at scale.
  • Hypervisor Agnostic – Just like OpenStack, Nutanix NDFS was designed from the ground up to be hypervisor agnostic. Nutanix enables customers to choose between KVM, Hyper-V, and the VMware ESXi hypervisor for deployments of OpenStack.
  • Enterprise Ready – Nutanix enables a full set of enterprise storage features including Elastic Deduplication, Compression, In-Memory and Flash-based Caching, VM-Data Locality, intelligent Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), Snapshots, Fast Clones, and Live Migration.

OpenStack on Nutanix

Read more here

Here you also have the link to the webinar with topic:

Building OpenStack on a Single 2U Appliance

OpenStack promises to be the open source cloud operating system. Automated provisioning and management of network, server and storage resource via a single dashboard is great, but how can you get the same one-stop-shop simplicity for the underlying infrastructure?Attend this advanced private cloud webinar and learn:

  • Why OpenStack is much more than just hype
  • A summary of key OpenStack technologies
  • Why to consider converged infrastructure for building private clouds
  • The right way to scale-out OpenStack deployments 

Watch the webinar here!

//Richard

Single File Restore – Fairy Tale Ending Going Down History Lane – via @Nutanix and @dlink7

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Great blog post by Dwayne Lessner!

If I go back to my earliest sysadmin days where I had to restore a file from a network share, I was happy just to get the file back. Where I worked we only had tape and it was crapshoot at the best of times. Luckily, 2007 brought me a SAN to play with.

bad times with dealing with LUNSThe SAN made it easier for sure to go back into time and find that file and pull it back from the clutches of death by using hardware based snapshots. It was no big deal to mount the snapshot to the guest but fighting with the MS iSCSI initiator got pretty painful, partly because I had a complex password for the CHAP authentication, and partly because clean-up and logging out of the iSCSI was problematic. I always had ton of errors, both in the windows guest and in the SAN console which caused more grief than good it seemed.

Shortly after the SAN showed up, VMware entered my world. It was great that I didn’t have to mess with MS iSCSI initiators any more but it really just moved my problem to the ESXi host. Now that VMware had the LUN with all my VMs, I had to worry about resignatureing the LUN so it wouldn’t have conflicts with the rest of production VMs. This whole process was short lived because we couldn’t afford all the space the snapshots were taking up. Since we had to use LUNS we had to take snapshots of all the VMs even though there were a handful that really need the extra protection. Before virtualization we were already reserving over 50% of the total LUN space because snapshots were backed by large block sizes and ate through space. Due to the fact that we had to snapshot all of the VMs on the LUN we had to change the snap reserve to 100%. We quickly ran out of space and turned off snapshots for our virtual environment.

When a snapshot is taken on Nutanix, we don’t copy data, nor do we copy the meta-data. The meta-data and data diverge on a need basis; as new writes happen against the active parent snapshot we just track the changes. Changes operate at the byte level which is a far cry from the 16 MB I had to live with in the past.

Due to the above-mentioned life lessons in LUN-based snapshots, I am very happy to show Nutanix customers the benefits of per-VM snapshots and how easy it to restore a file.

Per VM protectionTo restore a file from a VM living on Nutanix you just need to make sure you have a protection domain set up with a proper RPO schedule. For this example, I created a Protection Domain called RPO-High. This is great as you could have 2,000 VMs all on one volume with Nutanix. You just slide over what VMs you want to protect; in this example, I am protecting my FileServer. Note you can have more than one protection domain if you want to assign different RPO to different VMs. Create a new protection domain and add 1 VM or more based on the application grouping.

Read more…

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