Archive for the ‘Data Storage’ Category

Boot from SAN / physical server RecoverPoint replica to VM

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

2017-01-04 Initial Post

A few months ago I looked into this and could not find much information about it. In theory it seemed like it would work. I even asked two different consultants about it and neither had any experience with this. After testing multiple times, I can confirm that this works.

Goal:

Use existing EMC RecoverPoint (hardware appliance) to replicate entire physical server (OS and data drives) to DR site and then mount the replicated LUNs as RDMs to a VM at the DR site.

Currently the physical server uses a local direct-attached disk for its OS partition. It does utilize SAN LUNs for data so it already has connectivity to the SAN. One of the major tasks is to move the OS partition from the local disk to the SAN and then enable boot from SAN.

Result:

This works pretty much exactly as I expected. The VM boots up into Windows fine. DNS updates the AD DC/DNS server in the DR site and clients are able to access the VM. Failback also works, so any changes made while in “VM mode” will be seen by the physical server.

Why would you want to do this?

If you only have a handful of physical servers and you already use RecoverPoint and SRM to replicate VMs, there’s little justification for bringing in something like Double-Take or PlateSpin since those costs thousands and add more complexity and steps to your DR plan. Yes, you have to manually attach the VMs to the RDMs with my method, but you can prep some of this ahead of time with a placeholder VM so during actual failover it really only takes a few minutes per VM. And you could attempt to automate some of this to make it even quicker.

Hardware and software used during test:

  • Server: HP Blade BL460c Gen8 with QLogic QMH2572 HBA and Dell PowerEdge R620 with Emulex LPE1150 HBA
  • OS: Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Storage: EMC VNX5600 and VNX5200
  • Replication: RecoverPoint 4.1.2.3
  • VMware vSphere/ESXi: 5.5U2
  • Imaging: Macrium Reflect 6.1.1366

High-level steps:

  • Configure proper FC zoning, VNX LUNs, and RP CGs in both production and DR sites.
  • Install and use Macrium to image the local C: drive to a new SAN-based LUN C: drive.
  • Reboot the server and configure the HBA to boot from SAN (this is one of the trickier parts because each HBA vendor does it a different way).

To test, failover the RP CG then attach the replicated LUNs to the DR VM.

I don’t have time to detail ever little step, but any competent storage/server/VM admin will be able to figure them out. The point of this post was to make it known that this does work and is a viable option for DR.

VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 4.1) Test Lab Configuration Notes

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

2012-06-20 Updated

2010-12-22 Initial Post

I've never had a chance to work with any version of VMware at work. My last company was so far behind in its IT strategy that even in late 2009 it had absolutely no virtualization strategy at all. I did manage to set up one Hyper-V server for them so that one department could use it for software testing. Where I work now, they do use VMware, but they don't use them on any of the messaging servers that I support. So once again, I have no chance to work with VMware. (more…)

BitLocker on Windows 7 Ultimate (x86), Set Up Notes, Boot Issues, BCD

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

2011-12-27 Updated

2010-07-14 Initial Post

Also see my other post, http://sysadmin-e.com/bcd1.

I finally got around to messing with BitLocker again and learned a few more things about it. I have a Gateway S-7410M laptop which I thought did not have a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip. I have the latest BIOS update, but in the BIOS setup, the option to turn on TPM was grayed out and there was nothing in the documentation that mentioned how to enable it, and there was no TPM management software for download. (more…)

Get Logical Disk Size and Percentage of Free Disk Space with PowerShell

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

2011-05-21 Initial Post

Tested with PS v2 on Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2

I've found a few commands for getting disk size and free space but I wanted percentage of free space also. I modified one of the commands that I found by adding additional commands to show the percentage of free space. Note that DriveType=3 means local disk.

Get-WMIObject Win32_LogicalDisk -Filter "DriveType=3" -Computer . | Select SystemName, DeviceID, VolumeName, @{Name="Total Size (GB)"; Expression={"{0:N1}" -F ($_.Size/1GB)}}, @{Name="Free Space (GB)"; Expression={"{0:N1}" -F ($_.Freespace/1GB)}}, @{Name="Free Space %"; Expression={"{0:N1}" -F (($_.Freespace/$_.Size)*100)}} | FT -AutoSize

The output is below, but it doesn't line up properly in Outlook when I use the output string in an e-mail. I haven't had a chance to play around with the formatting.

SystemName     DeviceID VolumeName  Total Size (GB) Free Space (GB) Free Space %
----------     -------- ---------- --------------- --------------- ------------
Server001          C:        C-System    116.5             79.8              68.5
Server001          X:        X-Util      116.4             102.8             88.3

Disaster-proof External Hard Drive – ioSafe Solo

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

2010-04-29 Initial Post

I've never had the need for something like this, so didn't even know that a product like this existed for consumers. The specs and reviews look decent. The only big issue I see from the specs is that the interface is USB 2.0, which is SLOW. It'd take several hours (probably most of a day) to back up 1 TB over USB 2.0. I haven't checked to see if there are similar products that have a faster interface.

(more…)