Enabling Data Deduplication for VDI in Windows Server 2012 R2

Data deduplication involves finding and removing duplication within data without compromising its fidelity or integrity. The goal is to store more data in less space by segmenting files into small variable-sized chunks (32–128 KB), identifying duplicate chunks, and maintaining a single copy of each chunk. Redundant copies of the chunk are replaced by a reference to the single copy. The chunks are compressed and then organized into special container files in the System Volume Information folder.

By optimizing CSV volumes for your VDI workloads, you can stretch the virtual machine capacity of your existing storage subsystem. Storage savings as great as 95 percent can be achieved by implementing Data Deduplication on live VHDs for VDI deployments.

Your Hyper-V and VDI infrastructure can remain the same, with one exception: all VHD files for the virtual machines must be stored on a file server running Windows Server 2012 R2.

Install deduplication.

From the Add Roles and Features Wizard, under Server Roles, File and Storage Services, File and iSCSI Services and select Data Deduplication.

AddDedupe

You can also use PowerShell to install it by using the following command:

PS C:\> Import-Module ServerManager
PS C:\> Add-WindowsFeature -name FS-Data-Deduplication
PS C:\> Import-Module Deduplication

Enable and configure deduplication on an existing volumen

Enable Data Deduplication on a volume is very easy to do in PowerShell:

enablededupe

Using -usageType  Hyperv  enables the deduplication of in-use files (virtual machine virtual hard disks) and optimizes partial files. In addition, the configuration files’ extensions for virtual machines are automatically excluded from deduplication.  If you want to deduplicate Hyper-V virtual machines you must choose the Hyper-V (VDI) configuration option.

You can also do it from the Server Manager dashboard, right-click a data volume and choose Configure Data Deduplication.

enablededupeGUI

After that we can run a manual deduplication optimization job:

enablededupe5

To get optimization savings and status you can use these commands:

Get-DedupJob

DedupJobStatusJPG

Get-DedupVolume | fl

DedupVolume

Get-DedupStatus | fl

DedupStatus

You can also look at the properties of the volume to show how much space you have saved:

DeduplicationSavings

In this lab the dedeplication rate is just 31% but deduplication rates for VDI deployments can range as high as 95% savings. Of course that number will vary depending on the amount of user data.

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Amazon AWS EC2 first impressions

I’m going to test the Amazon Web Services using a free account

The first you have to do is to créate an AWS account

  1. Go to http://aws.amazon.com, and click Create an AWS Account.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.Part of the sign-up procedure involves receiving a phone call and entering a PIN using the phone keypad

AmazonWebServices

Welcome

This is a view of the management console you get once you are signed up.

AmazonWebServices

The first AWS feature I’m interested is in EC2. I’m going to create some VM’s

Creating a new Instances is easy as clicking a button which then showed me a list of templates for different operating systems / pre-configured systems.

EC2 DashBoard

Carrying on through the wizard you get to select what type of instance you want.

Step 1: Choose an Amazon Machine Image

An AMI is a template that contains the software configuration required to launch your instance. You can select an AMI provided by AWS, or you can select one of your own AMIs.

AMI1

Step 2: Choose an Instance Type

Amazon EC2 provides a wide selection of instance types. They have varying combinations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity, and give you the flexibility to meet your computing needs.

InstanceType

Step 3: Configure Instance Details

confInstanceDetails

Step 4: Add Storage

Your instance will be launched with the following storage device settings.

You can learn morn about storage options in Amazon EC2.

AddStorage

Step 5: Tag Instance

Tags enable you to categorize your AWS resources in different ways, for example, by purpose, owner, or environment. Each tag consists of a key and an optional value, both of which you define.

TagInstance

Step 6: Configure Security Group

A security group is a set of firewall rules that control the traffic for your instance. On this page, you can add rules to allow specific traffic to reach your instance.

ConfigureSecurityGroup

Step 7: Review Instance Launch Cancel and Exit

Review

And finally to conclude, you need to créate a new key pair that allow you to connect to youir instance securely.

createKey

existingKey

Tha last step is to press “Launch Intances”

LanchStatus

And here we have our new instance running created from AMI, and the whole process only last a few minutes.

ViewInstancesJPG

IBM Hyper-Scale XIV Storage IBM Mobility – Step by Step

IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility is a powerful function for moving volumes between XIV Storage System systems in a manner that is transparent to host applications.

IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility is a feature of the XIV system. IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility enables clients to move a volume from one XIV Gen3 system to another in a manner that is indiscernible to host applications before, during, and after the volume migration.

 IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility helps you with online data mobility, load balancing and over-provisioning.

XIV Storage System online volume migration is useful when combined with XIV Storage System thin provisioning, the volumes in the XIV thin pool that are unexpectedly using more hard space than planned can be moved to an XIV Storage System with plenty of hard pool space, with no effect on the application host severs.

 IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility requirements

To cause minimal disruption to the host and uninterrupted I/O operations, these requirements must be met:

Multi-path driver. It is required that the host operating system uses a multi-path driver to access the volume that is being moved.

Switch zoning. Source and the destination XIV systems must be accessible to the host system concurrently.

 Hyper-Scale Mobility process description.

The IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility process that is used to move a volume between XIV systems can be summarized in a sequence of stages.

The phases and states are depicted in the following picture:

Captura0

The first stage of the IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility is to create the volume on the destination XIV Storage System, and to set up the relationship between the two volumes.

During migration, new data is written by the host to the source, and copied to the destination.

 In proxy mode, the source no longer functions as a regular volume, and the source storage system communicates host requests to the destination. At this point, the migration is no longer reversible.

In proxy mode, the host can remain connected to the source without a need to zone and move it to the destination. The host can be moved after the ported volume data is on the destination.

The final stage of the migration involves connecting the host directly to the new volumen and the multi-path device driver must discover the new path to the ported volumen.

Finally, the original paths can be removed, and the IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility relationship can be deleted.

Hyper-Scale Mobility

There are two ways of doing the mobility process, the first one is using the XIV GUI, or the command pront interface XIV CLI. In this case we are going to use only the GUI.

Using the XIV GUI Mobility

1. Preparation

  • Confirm that both the source and destination XIV systems are configured and accessible in the GUI.

Captura0a

Validate the host multipath.

 Validate the host multipath connectivity to the source volume by running the xiv_devlist command of the XIV Host Attachment Kit.

Add the host to the destination XIV Storage System

 Click the Hosts and Clusters link in the Hosts and Clusters menu on the destination XIV Storage System:

Captura0aa

And then select the Add Host option:

Captura0b

After the host is added to the destination XIV Storage System, add the ports for the host.

Right-click the host entry and select the Add Port option:

Captura0c

2. Setup

After that  we have to create the Hyper-Scale Mobility relationship, click the Volume Mobility link in the Remote menu, as shown:

Captura0d

Select the values for Source System, Master Volume, Destination System (Target), and Destination Pool

Captura0e

To immediately activate the IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility relationship upon creation, select the box “Activate Migration after creation”.

The Volume Mobility view for the source XIV Storage System now displays the new IBM Hyper-Scale Mobility relationship:

 Captura0f

To complete the Migration task, perform the following step right-click and select the Step 1: Activate option, as shown in picture:

Captura0g

Proxy phase is successfully initiated, you are ready to map the newly created volume to the host on the destination XIV Storage System

Captura0h

After the destination volume is mapped to the host, you need to rescan the devices from the host. to discover the additional paths.

Run the xiv_fc_admin -R command, and then run the xiv_devlist command from the host.

After you have validated that the host has connectivity to the volume through the new paths to the destination you are ready to unmap the volume from the host on the source XIV Storage System, and remove the paths to the source volume from the host.

Captura0i

Click OK to unmap the source volume from the host.

Captura0j

Now that you have unmapped the volume from the host, you have lost paths.

Run the xiv_fc_admin -R command, and then run the xiv_devlist command from the host,

 

The final step is to end the proxy.

 In the XIV GUI, go to the Volume Mobility view of the source XIV Storage System, Right-click the volume relationship and select the Step 3: End Proxy option:

Captura0l

The proxy has been removed, and you can confirm the expected end state of the volumes on both the source and destination XIV systems, the source volume is no longer on the source XIV Storage System and the destination volume exists on the destination XIV Storage System.

ExpressRoute for Office 365

Good news!!!!

On March 17, 2015 was announce that starting later this year, Office 365 customers will be able to use Azure ExpressRoute to establish a private, managed connection to Office 365.

You can read Julia White’s blog post to learn more about this announcement and check out ExpressRoute website to learn more about the service.

ExpressRouteo365

 

 

Free Ebook 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Infraestructure Solution

One of the greatest challenges with certification exams is finding study materials for new exams.

I have found this free PDF ebook:

Ebook 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Infrastructure Solution

I’m glad of sharing it with you.

Exam 70-533 is one of three exams that can be successfully passed to complete the Microsoft Specialist certification on Microsoft Azure.  The other exams in this series include:

70-532, Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions.
70-534, Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions.
Enjoy the book!!!!

Windows Azure – Interesting blogs

 Microsoft Blogs

 MS Employees Blogs

 IT Pros Blogs

Compilation of 70-534 study guides

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

http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2015/01/12/early-experts-study-guide-for-microsoft-specialist-certification-exam-70-534-architecting-microsoft-azure-solutions.aspx

Sandbu Blog Study guide 70-534

https://msandbu.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/study-guide-70-534/

Anders Eide Blog  70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Study guide

https://anderseideblog.wordpress.com/reading-lists/ms-exam-70-534-architecting-microsoft-azure-solutions/

Microsoft Virtual Academy

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/architecting-microsoft-azure-solutions