Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Tech Round Up 31st January 2013

Interesting tech stuff happened upon since the 31st December Tech Round Up! With stuff from: Actiflo, Brocade, Cisco, Citrix, DataCenterKnowledge, FalconStor, Microsoft, NetApp, Veeam, VKernel, and VMware.

Actiflo

Actifio Copy Data Storage Products

Brocade

Build Your Own Ethernet Fabric (BYOEF):

Cisco

Cisco MDS SAN Zoning Best Practices

Citrix

Secrets of the Citrix Support Ninjas

DataCenterKnowledge

There’s nothing quite like a bit of datacenter p@#n!

FalconStor

Free iSCSI SAN Software:

Microsoft

VMware vSphere 5.x supports Windows Server 2012 cloning and snapshot

The Pros and Cons of Using Database Availability Groups

The Hydration Kit for ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 (with Windows Server 2012 / SQL Server 2012) is available for download!

NetApp

Clustered Data ONTAP Benefits (excellent NetApp TV video):

How NetApp Deduplication Works - A Primer

NetApp Flash Pool and Flash Cache: A Deep Dive

How to Configure Your NetApp Systems for 100% Efficiency

C-Mode Visio Generator PowerShell Script Module

OnCommand Insight v6.4 Beta Program:

Walkthrough on Deploying the NetApp Edge VSA:

SPC-2 performance results MBPS/drive – chart of the month
“It turns out that the SGI system is actually a NetApp E5460 (from their LSI acquisition) with 60-146GB disk drives in a RAID 6 configuration.”

NetApp Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Workflow: Device attached to the system is not functioning

Troubleshooting Workflow: NDMP backup performance

Troubleshooting NDMP issues

Veeam

The Hands-on Guide: Understanding Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012

VKernel

vOPS Server Explorer – TOP FREE VMWARE VSPHERE TOOL OF 2012!

VMware

Monitoring vCenter SSO User Account Expiration
“Did you know that user accounts created in the vCenter SSO Server automatically expire by default after 365 days?”

VMware vCloud Director 5.1 Performance and Best Practices

The CPU Scheduler in VMware vSphere 5.1

Download VMware vCenter Support Assistant

Retrieving a screenshot of VM console through any browser directly from the host:

Configuring syslog on ESXi 5.0

Something to watch out for when upgrading your vCloud:

vSphere 5.1 – VMDK versus RDM

Automating ESXi host level changes without opening SSH

Get VMware vCenter Scheduled Tasks with PowerCLI

How to write your own esxcli plugin

Notes on an “All-Encompassing” Project

A few brief notes from an “all-encompassing” project which involved many elements – EqualLogic, vSphere 5.1, AD uplift, DHCP migration, EV 7.5 decommissioning, BES decommissioning, Exchange 2003 to 2010 upgrade, Archive Mailboxes, Print Services migration, File Server migration, SQL Services, RDS Services, Member Server uplifts, Backup Exec 2012...

Dell EqualLogic

VMware vSphere 5.1
Install as a domain user to avoid needing to do:

Domain uplift from a 32-bit 2003 DC to 2008R2
After passing: dcdiag, netdiag, replmon, repadmin /showrepl
adprep32.exe /forestprep
adprep32.exe /domainprep
(Optional) adprep32.exe /rodcprep
dcpromo

DHCP Migration

BES Decommissioning
If you just want to get rid of BES, can simply shut down the BES Server or just the Blackberry services!

Symantec Enterprise Vault 7.5 Decommissioning
Easy to do as in -
Note 1: Don’t delete the Exchange Mailbox Archiving Task, or Exchange Provisioning Task, just stop/pause them (if you do, you will be unable to Export back into Exchange 2003 - the tasks are easy to recreate though.)
Note 2: When all archives are moved back into Exchange 2003, and archive mailboxes deleted, it is okay to simply stop the Enterprise Vault services and that’s it.
Note 3: Be aware that exporting back into Exchange 2003 can take some time, as an example: one 150GB Enterprise Vault store took roughly 15 days!

Exchange upgrade from 2003 to 2010
Be sure to run Best Practice Analyzer Permissions and Health Checks first, and take heed of any warnings!

Useful command to get Mailbox Statistics from an Exchange 2010 Server:
Get-MailboxStatistics –Server EXCHANGE2010 | Select DisplayName, ItemCount, TotalItemSize | Sort-Object TotalItemSize –Descending | Export –CSV C:\MBSizes.csv

Exchange 2010 Archive Mailboxes
Simple to configure – important to remember this requires Exchange Enterprise CALs and Office 2010 Professional Plus*.

*For more on licensing requirements for Personal Archives:

Command to Exclude Archive Database from automatic mailbox provisioning:
Set-MailboxDatabase “Archive Mailboxes” –IsExcludedFromProvisioning $true
Note: In Exchange 2010 SP1 it became possible to have Archive mailboxes in a different database to the original mailbox – still requires good IOPs though!

Print Services Migration from 2003 32-bit to 2008R2
Easy:
1. Install Print and Document Services role on 2008R2 print server
2. Open printmanagement.msc (2008R2 Print Management)
2.1 Add the 2003 32-bit print server
2.2 Install 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the in use drivers on the 2003 server (names need to match for the import – might have to upgrade the 2003 printer drivers to manufacturer universal versions)
2.3 Right-click 2003 print server and Export printers to a file…
2.4 Right-click 2008R2 print server and Import servers from a file…

Image: 2008 R2 Print Management and Import printers from a file…

File Server Migration

SQL Services
Disk provisioning – 4/5 disks: O/S, SQL Server Data (DB), SQL Server Logs, SQL Server TempDB, (optional) SQL Server Backups

Remote Desktop Services
Apply best practices recommendations as per Citrix XenApp 6.5.

Symantec BackupExec 2012

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

ROBOCOPY, FSMT, & VMware Converter Asynchronous: Part 1/3

There are a few “free” tools we can leverage to migrate a Windows fileserver. In these 3 posts I’m going to focus on three different ways of migrating from a Windows 2003 32-bit fileserver, to a Windows 2008R2 one.

ROBOCOPY

ROBOCOPY is a very easy to use, file-based copy mechanism. Run from the DOS command prompt; a usable syntax is:

ROBOCOPY Z:\ D:\ /COPYALL /E /R:0 /DCOPY:T /log:rlog.txt

Run the above command from the new fileserver, where Z:\ is the source (a mapped drive to the say \\FSOLD\d$ on the old fileserver), D:\ the destination (D drive on the new fileserver), and the switches:

/COPYALL equivalent to /COPY:DATSOU where DATSOU = Data, Attributes, Timestamps, Security (NTFS ACLs), Owner, aUditing
/E for copy subdirectories, including Empty ones
/R:0 for zero Retries on failed copies
/DCOPY:T for COPY Directory Timestamps
(Optional) /log for logging to a text file

After an initial run, it is fine to simply re-run the script to copy across delta changes.

Problems you might encounter with ROBOCOPY: locked files won’t be copied, permissions issues (if the account running ROBOCOPY does not have read permission to the source files or folders then they will be skipped), and – because it is file based – it make take a very long time (especially if copying lots of very small files.)

ROBOCOPY, FSMT, & VMware Converter Asynchronous: Part 2/3

FSMT

The Microsoft File Server Migration Toolkit is freely downloadable from Microsoft.

Quick Step by Step Walkthrough:
1. On the Windows 2008R2 fileserver, download fsmigrate_x64.msi and run the msi
2. Follow through the Setup Wizard:
Next > Accept > Next > Next > Complete > Next > Install
3. Start the File Server Migration Toolkit Launch Pad
This list 3 Steps:
Step 1 – Planning
Step 2 – Prepare to maintain original UNC paths (optional)
Step 3 – Run the File Server Migration Wizard
4. Run the File Server Migration Wizard
4.1 Create a new migration project
4.1.1 New Project Wizard: Next >
4.1.2 New Project Wizard: Project Name and Location, Next >
4.1.3 New Project Wizard: DFS Consolidation Root Server, check or uncheck ‘Use the following DFS root server’ depending on whether using one or not, Next >

Image: New Project Wizard – DFS Consolidation Root Server

 Note: In the continuing example, a DFS root server is not used.

4.1.4 New Project Wizard: Default Location for Migrated Shared Folders, specify location and Next >

Image: New Project Wizard – Default Location for Migrated Shared Folders

4.1.5 Finish
4.2 Click ‘Add Server…’ to add a Source file server, verify Settings, then click ‘Continue >’

Image: Source file server with 6 shares

4.3 Validating Settings/Ready to copy: settings will be validated and if all is okay, click ‘Continue >’ again to copy the shared files and folders.
Note: To sync delta changes after the first copy, it works to click ‘< Back’ and ‘Continue >’ between Copy and Finalize, to bring the delta changes across from the source.
4.4: Ready to finalize: click ‘Continue >’ and click Yes to the Warning regards ‘… access to the source shares will be disabled …’

Image: FSMT, Ready to finalize Warning

4.5: Success – Migration!

To summarize: FSMT is a bit like ROBOCOPY with a GUI, automated control of shares, and being able to leverage DFS.

Note: If using DFS “FSMT requires that the DFS root server is not a domain controller.”

ROBOCOPY, FSMT, & VMware Converter Asynchronous: Part 3/3

VMware Converter Asynchronous

Note: Here we are using VMware Converter Standalone Version 5.0.1.

Quite a nice way to migrate a file server from 2003 to 2008R2 with minimal downtime, is to run an asynchronous VMware Convert (allows synching of delta changes until a chosen finalization point), and then simply attach the P2V’d data drive to a new Windows 2008R2 fileserver. Alas, it doesn’t always work which is why there are better paid for products out there (like Platespin Migate, Double-Take Move…) and it’s worth doing a trial run first!

Notes on fileserver switchover:
i. First copy the shares from the registry on the old fileserver at HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Shares and merge into the registry of the new fileserver (data drive must have the same letter for this to work)
ii. When the original fileserver is ready to be decommissioned (after final VMware Converter Sync), power off, reset its AD account, join the new fileserver to the domain with same name and IP as the old one.

Quick Step-by-Step Walkthrough:
1. Install VMware Converter on fileserver to be migrated.
2. VMware Converter > Convert machine > Powered-on machine > This local machine
2.1 Conversion: Destination System > Select VMware Infrastructure virtual Machine > Enter vCenter Server, User name, and Password
2.2 Conversion: Destination Virtual Machine > Enter/Accept Name, and Next >
2.3 Conversion: Destination Location > Chose Cluster, Datastore, Host, and Next >
2.4 Conversion: Options > leave everything on default settings, except Advanced options – Synchronize tab
The only option we change is to select the Synchronize changes check box, ignore the Schedule radio button, and do not tick ‘Perform final syncrhonization’ (if perform final synchronization is checked, this removes the option to synchronize later.)
And Next >

Image: VMware Converter > Advanced options > Synchronize
Note: The Synchronize will not work if the O/S disk is not selected, or shrinking NTFS volumes.

2.5 Conversion: Summary > Finish and let VMware Converter do its magic!

3. When the convert task is complete
From ‘View by: Jobs’ right-click the job and select Synchronize… > Next > Finish
And we can do this as many times as we like!

Image: VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Synchronize…

4. For the final Synchronize, edit the advanced options and tick ‘Perform final synchronization’

The End!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

VMware vCenter 5.1 - Unable to Grant Permission to Active Directory Domain Accounts

Problem
If VMware vCenter 5.1 is installed with a local administrative account and not a domain account, then, when trying to assign permissions in vCenter via the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client, the Active Directory domain will not be listed as an option.

Image: Assign Permissions – Domain showing only server (local) and SYSTEM-DOMAIN (SSO)

Solution
1) Log on to the vSphere Web Client at https://vcenter.domain.priv:9443/vsphere-client using the admin@system-domain account and password
2.1) Home > Administration > Access > SSO Users and Groups > Groups tab > Click on the blue-half-person icon ‘Add Principals
2.2) Add Principals: from the ‘Identity source:’ drop-down, select the vCenter server > click Search > click on the local Administrator account > click Add and then OK

Image: Add Principals, Add local Administrator account

Note: To just get Active Directory permissions available via the vSphere Client, 2.1 and 2.2 are not required to be done, just 3. This step is only required so can log into the vSphere Web Client as Administrator to manage permissions etcetera.

3.1) Home> Administration > Sign-On and Discovery > Configuration > Identity Sources tab > Click on the green plus icon ‘Add identity source
3.2) Add identity source: for ‘Identity source type’ select ‘Active Directory
And fill in the ‘Identity source settings’ like below (change the values as per the domain in question):

Name: DOMAIN
Primary server URL: ldap://dc01.domain.priv
Secondary server URL: ldap://dc02.domain.priv
Base DN for users: cn=users,dc=domain,dc=priv
Domain name: domain.priv
Domain alias: DOMAIN
Base DN for groups: cn=users,dc=domain,dc=priv
Authentication type: Password
Username: administrator@domain.priv
Password: ********

Click ‘Test Connection
And if all is okay, click OK

Now, if you log into the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client as the local Administrator account, you will be able to grant permissions to AD Accounts!

Note 1: If you log into the vSphere Web Client as admin@system-domain, you will see 0 vCenter Servers and this is normal. If wanted the vCenter Server(s) to appear in the vSphere Web Client when logged in as admin@system-domain, then just give the admin@system-domain account some permission to vCenter.

Image: vSphere Web Client 5.1 and 0 vCenters

Note 2: With the very latest version of VMware vSphere vCenter 5.1, trying to install vCenter SSO when the vCenter is on a domain but logged in locally, will present the following warning.

Image: vCenter SSO – “Automatic discovery of identity sources will not work.”

Note 3: Trying to install vCenter on a machine in a workgroup presents a different warning.

Image: vCenter SSO – “Automatic discovery of identity sources and authentication using Security Support Provider Interface will not work.”

Friday, 18 January 2013

Dell EqualLogic SAN HeadQuarters: SAN Assist Setup

One of the great new features about SAN HQ 2.5 (released in December 2012) is the new SAN Assist feature.

First things first, download the latest version of SAN HeadQuarters from https://support.equallogic.com. If you’ve already got SAN HeadQuarters, it is fine to run the setup and upgrade over an existing installation, keeping configurations and data.

When you first login to SAN HQ Version 2.5.X, you’ll see a new SAN Assist button,

Image: SAN Assist
Image: SAN Assist options
The options available from the SAN Assist button are:

1) Configuration Wizard
“This wizard will guide you through the process of enabling SAN Assist data collection for the PS Series groups that are monitored by SAN Headquarters Servers. SAN Assist data collection will allow Dell Support to automatically receive detailed diagnostic and configuration information, enabling pro-active monitoring of well-known detectable issues and improved customer notification about potential resolutions. All data collected by SAN Assist is uploaded to the Dell Data Center using a secure encrypted channel over the internet. No sensitive information, such as passwords or data stored on PS Series volumes, is collected and transmitted to the Dell Data Center.
“Under normal conditions SAN Assist data collection will occur once per week. Data collection can also be triggered when the system detects critical conditions or when you choose to run data collection on-demand.”

2) Run Now
3) Decrypt Local Data Packages
“This wizard allows for the selection of one or more Diagnostics Local Data Packages to be decrypted for review before submitting them to the Dell Data Center.”

How to Configure SAN Assist

Following through the SAN Assist Configuration Wizard (SACW):

1) Accept the license agreement and Next >
2) Select the PS Series Groups to configure for SAN Assist and Next >

Image: SACW – PS Series Group Selection for SAN Assist
3) Provide Group Admin Credentials and a SAN Assist Read-Only Account Password, then click Apply & Test and Next >

Image: SACW – PS Series Group Login Credentials
4) Provide an available server IP Address for Group Syslog Servers and Next >

Image: SACW – Syslog Server Configuration
5) Provide your Customer Contact Information and Next >

Image: SACW – Customer Contact Information
6) Specify ‘Data collection and upload settings’ and Next >

Image: SACW – Data collection and upload settings
7) Finally, verify your settings and click Configure!

Image: SACW – Ready to configure SAN Assist
And click OK to the ‘Saving SAN Assist Configuration completed successfully.’

Note: SAN Assist Settings can be reconfigured later via Settings > SAN Assist Settings

Image: SAN Assist Settings

Sunday, 13 January 2013

How To Build a 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services Farm

Below are brief walkthrough notes on how to create an RDS farm in a VMware environment (Brief in a sense that there’s a good bit of info to get started, 13 reference pictures, and outlines step by step from initial design to finally cloning the first session host multiple times to create the farm. Highly recommend the following posts by Aaron Walrath for more detail: Installing and Configuring RDS on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Configuring RDS Farm Connection Broker.)

0. Design

RDS00 – Web Access*, Licensing, Gateway, Connection Broker
RDS01 – 1st Session Host (and will clone for subsequent hosts)
RDS02 to RDS05 – Other Session Hosts
*We could have multiple Web Access Servers (perhaps even each Session host as a Web Access Server which would be overkill for most environments) here we’ve gone for just the one.

1. Prepare AD

New Global Security Group: RDS Users Group
New OU: RDS Servers (for the session hosts RDS01…X)

2. Install first RDS01 as the 1st Session Host

VMware Tools is installed prior to installing RDS Session Host.

Install Remote Desktop Session Host
RDS01 – install Remote Desktop Services Role

Specify Authentication Method for Remote Desktop Session Host:
Choose ‘Do not require Network Level Authentication’ if have legacy clients pre-Windows 7

Specify Licensing Mode:
Choose ‘Configure later’ – RDS Licensing server is done later

Select User Groups Allowed Access To This RD Session Host Server:
Choose users and groups

Configure Client Experience:
Choose options – here we tick for Audio, Video, and recording for functionality with dictation softwares, but not the Windows Aero elements

The Desktop Experience Feature includes:
Windows Calendar, Windows Mail, Windows Media Player, Desktop themes, Video for Windows (AVI support), Windows Photo Gallery, Windows SideShow, Windows Defender, Disk Cleanup, Sync Center, Sound Recorder, Character Map, Snipping Tool

Confirm Installation Selections:
Click Install

And restart.

Some Registry Settings for RDS in a VMware Environment
Set Read Access for users logging on to the server to the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\VMWare. Inc.\VMWare Tools
Set Value ShowTray = 0 on: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\VMware Tools

Install Apps


3. Install RDS00 as the RDL, RDCB, RDG, RDWA

RDS00 install Remote Desktop Services >
- Remote Desktop Licensing
- Remote Desktop Connection Broker
- Remote Desktop Gateway (and add required role services)
- Remote Desktop Web Access (and add required role services)

Configure Discovery Scope for RD Licensing:
Leave unchecked the ‘Configure a discovery scope for this license server’

Default location for the RD Licensing database is C:\Windows\system32\LServer

Choose a Server Authentication Certificate for SSL Encryption:
Either choose an existing certificate, create self-signed, or we can ‘Choose a certificate for SSL encryption later’

Create Authorization Policies for RD Gateway:
Choose now or later

Network Policy and Access Services:
NPS is required with Remote Desktop Gateway and cannot be de-selected, choose any additional NPAS role services if required and continue

Web Server (IIS)
IIS is required with RDG and RDWA, choose any additional IIS role services if required and continue

Confirm Installation Selections:
Click Install

And restart taking a note of any warnings.

Further configuration


4. Fixing the Certificate Error and Other Annoying Little Things
http://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/show/15809-dealing-to-the-annoying-certificate-errors-and-multiple-credential-requests-in-remote-desktop-services-2008-r2

5. Group Policies, TS Profiles, and Folder Redirection

For consideration!

6. Cloning The First Session Host to Make RDS02 to RDS05

- Clone the server
- Power the clone server up with network disconnected
- Disjoin from the domain
- Set network to DHCP
- Sysprep the server and shutdown
- Clone server as many times as needed and bring back online
- Perform setup
- Configure with static IP and hostname
- Reboot and re-enable the network connection
- Join clones to the domain
- Take the new group of servers and join them to session broker and RDS farm

Note: There is a limit of 3 syspreps before requiring re-arm. The first session host (or whatever session host is later decided to be sysprep-ed) is never actually sysprep-ed, just the clone, hence we can keep adding/removing apps and follow the clone process to create new session hosts.

EqualLogic, BackupExec 2012, and VMware SAN Transport Mode Part 1/2

Scenario

We have a physical server running Windows Server 2008R2 with 6 NICs, 2 NICs for LAN (which will be teamed), and 4 NICs for iSCSI (which will each be configured with a different IP Address.) We need to configure the server to use Symantec Backup Exec 2012 SAN Transport Mode, to backup a VMware environment running off an EqualLogic PS6100 iSCSI SAN.

Step by Step Walkthrough

Installing Softwares

1. Install Symantec Backup Exec 2012.
2. Install the EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for Microsoft (Complete) from the Setup64.exe (or Setup32)

Image: Components install with HIT/ME Complete

The HIT/ME installer will automatically add Server 2008 MultiPath I/O Feature, along with installing the EqualLogic MPIO DSM.

3. Reboot to complete the MultiPath I/O Feature install.

Diskpart Part 1/2

From the DOS Command Prompt (run as administrator), run the following commands in bold below:

C:> diskpart
DISKPART> automount disable
DISKPART> automount scrub

iSCSI Configuration

1. Obtain the backup server’s iSCSI Initiator Name from Control Panel > iSCSI Initiator > Configuration Tab

2. Enable the iSCSI Initiator on the backup server to have access to the volumes containing the Virtual Machines to be backed up (the easiest way to do this is modifying/create a new ACL Policy via the EqualLogic VSM/HIT for VMware – see http://cosonok.blogspot.com/2013/01/equallogic-install-complete-with-vmware.html - alternatively via the PS Group Manager GUI.)

3. iSCSI Initiator Properties > Dell EqualLogic MPIO tab and MPIO Settings

Image: Dell EqualLogic MPIO tab

Exclude the LAN subnet, change the Default Load Balancing Policy to Round Robin (for VMware), change the Max sessions per volume slice to 4 (4 iSCSI NICs on the backup server, and 4 iSCSI NICs per controller a PS6100)

Image: Configure MPIO Settings

4. iSCSI Initiator Properties > Discovery > Discover Portal… and add the Group IP Address and click OK

Image: iSCSI Discover Target Portal

5. iSCSI Initiator Properties > Targets > click Refresh

And for each of the discovered targets, click Connect
Connect To Target > tick the ‘Enable multi-path box’ > and click OK

Image: Connect To Target and Enable multi-path

Note: If you check back 10 seconds or so later on the Properties or Devices… buttons there will be 4 Sessions/Devices present per target, with paths built by the Dell EqualLogic MPIO.

Diskpart Part 2/2

The EqualLogic GUI doesn’t allow assigning read-only rights, in which case we must use diskpart to set the newly discovered volumes to read only (otherwise the volumes could be re-formatted accidentally or otherwise corrupted) run the following commands in bold below:

DISKPART> list disk
DISKPART> select disk 1
DISKPART> attributes disk set readonly

Do this for however many disks you have.

Note 1: The disk numbers match with the numbers in Disk Management, and they will indicate Read Only when the readonly attribute is set.
Note 2: Setting the disks to readonly prevents accidental formatting/corruption, but also prevents restore to that volume. The volume can be set back to read/write with attributes disk clear readonly.

EqualLogic, BackupExec 2012, and VMware SAN Transport Mode Part 2/2

Setting up the backup job in Symantec Backup Exec 2012 for a VMware vCenter using SAN Transport Mode

1. Open up the Backup Exec 2012 GUI.
2. Click on the Backup and Restore tab.
3. Click on Add VMware Server from the ribbon and follow through the wizard to add the vCenter server.

Image: Add VMware Server

4. With the vCenter added, right-click on the vCenter server in the Server view and select Backup > and Backup to Disk (for example)

Image: Right-click server options

5. Edit the Selections as required
6. Test/Edit Credentials
7. Configure Backup Options – Schedule, Storage, Network, Notifications, Test Run, Verify, Advanced Open File, Security, Pre/Post Commands, Virtual Machines, and Exclusions as required.

For VMware Transport Mode backup from SAN mode, ensure that the Virtual Machines > VMware > SAN tick box is selected

Image: Backup Options > SAN – Use the SAN to move virtual disk data

8. Finally, run the job!

Note: The Backup Exec Agent for Windows must be installed on all (Windows) Virtual Machines where GRT-enabled restores of application data are required. Backup Exec 2012 has just one ‘Agent for Microsoft’ which incorporates Exchange and SQL….

Image: Exception – unable to perform GRT-enabled restore with no Agent for Windows

Migrating Mail from Symantec Enterprise Vault Back Into Exchange

Scenario

An Exchange upgrade from Exchange 2003 Standard to Exchange 2010 Standard, also needing to account for Symantec Enterprise Vault archives connected to the Exchange 2003 server, with the intention to migrate the Enterprise Vault archives to Exchange 2010 Archive mailboxes. The version of Symantec Enterprise Vault was 7.5 and the support had lapsed so upgrading this was not an option – version 9.0 or above would have been required for Exchange 2010 (the latest version of EV is 10.0.2.)

Important Note: The Exchange 2010 Archive mailbox feature requires Exchange 2010 Enterprise CALs!

Note: An easier solution might have been to upgrade the Symantec Enterprise Vault, this would not require the Exchange 2010 Enterprise CALs, and make the migration a lot quicker (no need to re-inject the archives back into Exchange 2003, then have to migrate a potentially much larger mailbox to Exchange 2010, and finally – with Exchange 2010 Enterprise CALs – configure the archive mailboxes at the other end.)

Migration Steps

1) Pause the following tasks from the Enterprise Vault Administration Console (VAC), and Console Root > Enterprise Vault > Directory on SERVER > EVSITE > Enterprise Vault Servers > EVSERVER:

Exchange Mailbox Archiving Task
Exchange Provisioning Task

Image: EV 7.5 > Tasks

2) Right-click the Archives folder and choose Export…

Image: EV 7.5 > Archives > Export…

3) Follow through the Export Archive wizard, choosing to ‘Export Archives to their original mailboxes

Image: Export Archives to their original mailboxes

Note: For archives that no longer link to an active mailbox, if these archives are still required then export to PST instead.

4) When the Export to the original mailboxes is complete, simply right-click exported archive(s) in the Archives > Exchange Mailbox folder and choose delete

5) When all the archives have been re-injected back into Exchange 2003 we can decommission the Symantec Enterprise Vault server (can first delete the Exchange 2003 server from the VAC - Targets > Exchange > DOMAIN > Exchange Server)

6) The migration from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 is a straightforward Move Request from the Exchange 2010 EMC or EMS.

7) Final step would be configuring the Archive Mailboxes in Exchange 2010.

Note: Another option would be to just Export to PST all the mailboxes then re-import the PST, but re-injecting into Exchange is potentially quicker (only the re-inject operation and the Archive Policy will sort out the rest) and also avoids any compatibility issues with re-importing Exchange 2003 PSTs into Exchange 2010.

Things to Consider

1) Pausing the Mailbox Archiving Task will potentially cause the Exchange 2003 mailbox database to start growing, be sure there is plenty of free space, and if you have Exchange 2003 Standard, watch out for the 75GB limit in Exchange 2003 SP2 (after applying the registry fix to up the limit from the default of 18GB with SP2.)

2) Re-injecting archives back into Exchange will potentially cause the Exchange 2003 mailbox database to start growing. Also, it will generate a lot of transaction logs.

3) Regards handling transaction logs, the preferred method is to take regular backups to keep the transaction logs down, if this is not an option then circular logging will need to be enabled on the Mailbox Store.

4) Migrating mailboxes to Exchange 2010 will generate transaction logs on the Exchange 2010 server – again recommend regular backups to keep the logs down. It is important to remember that when you move a mailbox from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010, the white space is only made available in the Exchange 2003 server database after the database maintenance task runs.

5) If the Exchange 2003 Standard 75GB database limit is too much of a problem, it can be upgraded to Exchange 2003 Enterprise!


“An (Exchange 2003 Standard) mailbox database will dismount every morning at 5:00 when the 75GB limit has been reached. As a temporary fix, before the migration to a new server, create a scheduled task to run every day at 05:30 that re-mounts the database.”

For a greater than 24 hour window between dismounts:

“… if the following value in the registry is set to one hour behind the current dismount time, it will be almost 48 hours before the next dismount …

To change the time, create a DWORD registry key called "Database Size Check Start Time in Hours From Midnight" in the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS\\Private-GUID

Then, specify a decimal value of 1-24 in the value datafield, where 1 is equal to 01:00 or 1 AM and so on. A dismount and remount of the database is required for this change to be active.”

Saturday, 12 January 2013

EqualLogic Install Complete with VMware vSphere Integration

The following blog runs through what could be considered to make up a complete install of an EqualLogic Array with all possible value add software components when integrating with VMware vSphere.

The Value Add Software Components

Below are latest software versions as of January 2013, and these are all available from https://support.equallogic.com:

- Dell EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module (MEM) for VMware vSphere Version 1.1.2
- Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) for VMware Version 3.5
- Dell EqualLogic SAN Headquarters Version 2.5

Note 1: The HIT/VMware (or HIT/VE – Host Integration Tools) was renamed the VSM as of Version 3.5.
Note 2: The ASM/VE (Auto-Snapshot Manager) is now legacy - last version was 2.0.5

How to Install the MEM for VMware vSphere 5.X
Note: Below uses the VMware vSphere CLI method of installation. The MEM can also be installed using VMware Update Manager or setup.pl script (see the ‘Dell EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module Installation and User Guide’.)

1. Download the MEM
2. Unpack the download to reveal the dell-eql-mem-esx5-1.1.2.292203.zip (do not unpack further)
3. Upload the mem…zip to a datastore which is accessible by the VMware host(s)

Image: dell-eql-mem-esx5-1.1.2.292203.zip uploaded to datastore1

4. (If not done already) Download and install the VMware vSphere CLI
5. Run the DOS Command prompt as an administrator and navigate to the vSphere CLI bin folder with:
cd C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vSphere CLI\bin
6. Put the host in maintenance mode
7. Run the command:
esxcli --server=vmhost01.ace.priv software vib install --depot /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/dell-eql-mem-esx5-1.1.2.292203.zip
Enter username and password when prompted.
8. Exit the host from maintenance mode (no reboot required)

What the MEM does

“EqualLogic MEM for VMware vSphere enables VMware platforms to intelligently leverage EqualLogic SAN architecture, Storage and Network usage for optimized performance for user environments.”

How to Install the VSM

1. Check that the vCenter Server Managed IP address is configured (vSphere Client > Administration > vCenter Server Settings > Runtime Settings)
2. Download the VSM appliance
3. vSphere Client > File > Deploy OVF Template, browse to the VSM-3.5.1.179-GA.ova file
Next > Next > Accept > Accept > Next > … follow the prompts to deploy and configure the VSM
Hostname:
Timezone Setting:
NTP Servers:
vCenter Username:
vCenter Password:
Default Gateway:
DNS:
Management Network IP Address:
Management Network Netmask:
And check ‘Power on after deployment’
4. Once the VSM has booted, check vSphere Client > Plug-ins > Plug-in Manager > and enable the ‘com.dell.EqualLogic Virtual Storage Manager for VMware
Note: The VSM Plug-in is a server-side plug-in and does not need to be installed vSphere Client endpoints.
5. (This bit requires Java installed!) vSphere Client > Solutions and Applications > Dell EqualLogic Virtual Storage Manager

Image: Dell EqualLogic Virtual Storage Manager icon

And enter the VMware vCenter credentials.

6. From the Groups view, Add PS Series Groups…

Image: Dell EqualLogic Virtual Storage Manager – Add PS Series Groups…

What the VSM does

The VSM makes the life of managing EqualLogic Storage in a VMware vSphere environment very easy. A lot of storage task can be performed via the vSphere client, including:

Create Datastores, Create Smart Copy, Clone, Create Smart Copy Replica, Create schedule, Start Virtual Desktop Deployment Utility, Manage ACL policies, Configure VSM Properties, Replication …

A right-click of the Cluster > EqualLogic > Datastores – presents:

- Create Datastores

A right-click of a Virtual Machine > EqualLogic > Datastores – presents:

- Create Smart Copy
- Create Schedule
- Create Smart Clone

How to Install SAN HQ

1. Download SAN HQ
2. Double-click on the SANHQSetup32And64.exe to install (accept the prompt to install .NET 4.0 if not already installed.) Here we ‘Install SAN HQ Server and Client’.

Image: SAN Headquarters – Install SAN HQ Server and Client

3. Launch Dell EqualLogic SAN Headquarters and follow the wizard to add a new PS Series Group to SAN Headquarters for monitoring

Image: Dell EqualLogic SAN Headquarters – Welcome to the Add Group wizard

What SAN HQ does

“SAN Headquarters (SAN HQ) is Dell’s management tool for consolidated performance and robust event monitoring across multiple virtualized EqualLogic SAN groups. It gathers and formats performance data and other vital group information for easy viewing. With SAN HQ, you have the ability to centrally monitor alerts, obtain historical performance reporting, do trend analysis for capacity planning and troubleshooting.”

Final Comment

If you want to get the maximum value out of your EqualLogic and VMware vSphere environment, don’t miss out on these recommended and free extras!