SAN? NAS? Public cloud? Let’s pick the secondary storage

Some time ago, I wrote an article about backup storage media. Today, I’d like to talk about secondary storage. Before I move on, I want to clarify what I mean by “secondary storage” here, just to make sure that we are on the same page. Secondary storage is the storage where the actively used data resides. It can be both some local storage like SAN or NAS, or some public cloud hot tier. Well, it’s absolutely true that you can use disk arrays too, but let’s think of them today just as NAS-like servers packed with many disks, ok? That’s entirely up to you “which side you are on”, and there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution. NAS, SAN, and public cloud storage… Whatever secondary storage you choose, it has own pros and cons. I discuss them in this article.


How to remotely enable Remote Desktop on another computer

From day to day, admins troubleshoot issues remotely. And, pretty often, they cannot count on another guy who helps them to enable Remote Desktop (RD) on the remote host. There may also be the case when you loose the access to RD on another computer for some reason, and there’s no one in the remote office who can help you. Whatever, I hope you got the point. What do you need to do? Sure, you can just ask a fellow admin to enable RD on the remote host and wait a bit, but what if that’s something really urgent and you are to fix that issue in the middle of the night? Let’s think through what you can do in that case.


How to reset the 120-day RDS grace period on Windows Server 2016 without GUI

Sometimes, guys running home labs do not have licenses for Remote Desktop Services (RDS). Well, that’s not a big deal, you know, because Microsoft provides the 120-day grace period for the platform! However, one day the time runs out and RDS server breaks all the client connections. That day, admins are to choose between reinstalling the server and cheating a bit to reset the 120-day RDS grace period.


PowerShell commands & scripts do not work. How can I fix it?

In my today’s topic, I discuss why PowerShell behaves like that. Specifically, I shed light on why you cannot run scripts or access a computer on a different domain. Also, I’ll take a closer look at how some cmdlets work.


Where to keep your backups? Let’s talk about backup storage media

In fact, losing even a small portion of your data is not fun. Especially, if you did not back them up for some reason. So, in today’s topic, I’d like to talk about backup storage media. I’ll review the most popular of them and give some ideas about how to pick the appropriate one for your backups. I know that the choice of media strongly depends on the volume of data to back up, environment peculiarities, and admin’s preferences. But, while looking for the backup storage solution we all also consider some general things like price, resulting environment scalability, and media reliability. That’s what I am going to highlight today. So, today I write my ideas on how to pick the backup storage solution that may be a perfect fit for your environment.


Several tips and hints to full-throttle your Hyper-V performance

Getting more storage capacity for data or applications is not a problem. The question is: how fast your apps can run? That’s why performance becomes a number 1 demand for the majority of system administrators. So it’s not a big deal finding an article on improving Hyper-V and VMs performance, the challenge is to get an up-to-date info and modern insights. That’s why in this post, I’m gonna give some advice on boosting your Hyper-V infrastructure performance – from host to virtual machine and the overall cluster optimization. This might come in handy when building a new Hyper-V based environment or even improving the existing one. Let’s put the pedal to the metal!


Hot adding/removing memory in Hyper-V 2016: a closer look at the feature

Today, I’ll talk about a thing that any sysadmin running Hyper-V VMs does (or still dreams about) while managing infrastructure resources: hot modifying assigned to VM memory amount. I’ll discuss not only the feature itself but also how it works on different OS and its impact on the environment stability.

All of us keep an eye on resource consumption within our environments. If a VM needs extra RAM to have the job done, we provide it with some, right? And, we usually run many VMs on our servers each with own purpose and configuration. That’s, actually, why changing the amount of assigned to a VM memory without rebooting it may come in handy. Also, many guys run some parts of their environments on Windows while having other parts run on something from Linux family. Looks pretty hectic in terms of management, doesn’t it?


Performance or protection? How Microsoft patches against Meltdown and Spectre influence CPU, RAM and Disks performance

In today’s topic, I’d like to talk about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. But not about the harm they cause, this has been covered widely in numerous articles, but how Microsoft patches intended to protect you from the vulnerabilities, affect (if they do) the hardware performance. Before we take a deep dive into the tests and numbers, let me tell a few words about Meltdown and Spectre and outline the testing scope to make sure we speak one language.


How to save disk space in Clustered File Servers on Windows Server 2016 using Data Deduplication feature

So we all know about the benefits you get with data deduplication technology. Long story short, it minimizes server application’s storage consumption by reducing the amount of redundant data stored on the disk. As the result, you should get more space for your VMs and applications. How does it work for a file server? Well, that’s what I’m gonna test here.


The idea Behind Node Fairness in Hyper-V: How it works and why you need it?

For quite a long time, System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) has a feature called Dynamic Optimization. Its main goal is to automatically rebalance VMs between the participating cluster nodes in case the placement is unequal. Now, this feature has partially became available in Windows Server 2016 in the form of Node Fairness. It balances the workloads among the hosts in a Hyper-V Failover Cluster and automatically live migrates guests from an overloaded node to  a less busy one with zero downtime.

Node Fairness goes embedded in Windows Server 2016 and is intended for deployments without SCVMM. SCVMM Dynamic Optimization delivers more versatile functionality than Node Fairness. Regarding this fact, Dynamic Optimization is recommended for balancing workloads among the cluster hosts. However, to use this feature, you need an additional license from the main operating system.

Now that we know what Node Fairness is, let’s take a look at how this service works.