Azure

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery: Between an on-premises VMM site and Azure – Part Two

Here is part two of my VMM to Azure quick guide. In part one, the Hyper-V and VMM servers had the required agents installed and the VMM server was registered with the Azure Site Recovery Vault.

In this part I’m going to cover:

  • Configuring cloud protection
  • Managing virtual machine protection
  • Changing the hardware sizing of virtual machines

Configuring cloud protection:

During the installation of the VMM agent, if the Sync cloud meta data to site recovery portal option is checked, there should be a list of your on-premises clouds appear in Azure. This is found under the Protected Items tab of the Site Recovery Vault that you have registered the VMM Server with.

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If you didn’t or there where problems during the agent install, you will need to open SCVMM, select a cloud you wish to protect, right click and open the properties tab and finally check the box ‘Send configuration data about this cloud to the Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager’

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Once the clouds appear, select the cloud you wish to protect, click on Configure Protection Settings, select Azure as the target, configure any other cloud settings then click SAVE on the bottom menu bar.

Setting that you may wish to adjust include

  • Copy Frequency: 30 Seconds | 5 Minutes | 15 Minutes
  • Retain Recovery Points For (Hours): 0 – 24
  • Frequency of application consistent snapshots: Never – 12 Hours

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Once the configuration setting have saved, the cloud is protected and this is shown in the Azure Portal.

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Managing virtual machine protection

To protect virtual machines, they must reside in one of the protected clouds.  Click on the protected cloud to open it, then either click on Enable Protection if you are adding the first virtual machine for protection or click on the + Add virtual Machine button on the bottom menu.

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Select the virtual machine you wish to protect and if its running Windows or Linux and then click the tick to begin protection of the virtual machine.

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There are multiple ways to enable protection on a virtual machine, another way is by setting it on a virtual machine within VMM. Browse in VMM to the virtual machine you wish to protect, select the virtual machine and then click the Manage Protection button on the top ribbon. As with most things Microsoft there are various ways to achieve the same thing and in VMM is no exception, with various locations available to enable protection.

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Once the machine has been enabled for protection, the virtual machine will begin to sync with the Azure Site Recovery Vault.

Changing the hardware sizing of virtual machines

Once the the virtual machine has replicated to ASR, its possible to change some of the hardware details of the Azure clone. It maybe that in a DR scenario, as long as the resource is able to continue to run in the cloud, performance is not so much of a problem as that of the cost to do so. Azure offers the ability to select the size of Azure machine you wish it to run on, depending on processor and RAM requirements.

To do this, open the protected cloud which the protected virtual machine resides in, then click on the virtual machine to display the Source and target properties.

It is from here the machine size can be changed.

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That’s the end of this part of the post, in part three I hope to cover:

  • Mapping networks
  • Recovery plans
  • Failover options.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery: Between an on-premises VMM site and Azure – Part One

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery: Between an on-premises VMM site and Azure – Part Two

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery: Between an on-premises VMM site and Azure – Part Three

Azure

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery: Between an on-premises VMM site and Azure – Part One

I have recently seen an increase in the interest from clients wishing to invest in DR and Backup to the cloud. Azure Site Recovery Services has many offerings for various scenarios, with additional options appearing all the time. I have discussed Azure Backup Vault in previous posts and no doubt will touch on it again in the future, but today I have chosen to look at DR and Azure Site Recovery.

So what is ASR?

‘Azure Site Recovery helps you to protect important applications by coordinating the replication and recovery of physical or virtual machines. You can replicate to your own datacenter, to a hosting service provider, or even to Azure to avoid the expense and complexity of building and managing your own secondary location.’  Microsoft

Essentially, Microsoft Azure Site Recovery offers the ability to simplify and automate DR between two on-premise site or between on-premise and Azure.

As I write this the options are:

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Microsoft are developing ASR rapidly and additional functionality is always appearing, with much to come in Q1 and Q2 of 2015.

For this particular post I will be focusing on the Between an on-premises VMM site and Azure option.

Requirements

  • An Azure Subscription
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V – used as VM host
  • Fixed disk .VHD or .VHDX (Generation 1 only VMs)
  • Guest OS Windows Server 2008 or later or Linux: Centos, openSUSE, Ubuntu

More details on requirements and planning are located here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn469074.aspx

Setting Up the Azure Site Recovery Vault:

The first step to configuring DR between an on-premises VMM site and Azure is to create a Site Recovery Vault. To do this, open the Azure Portal and select the Recovery Services tab on the left menu.

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Next click + NEW  at the bottom of the screen which opens the window required to create a Site Recovery Vault and a Backup Vault. Select Site Recovery Vault, then give the vault a name and select the region where the data should be stored.

A full list of Regions can be found at http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/regions/

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After the job has completed, the new Site Recovery Vault appears as Active.

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Configuring the Hyper-V and VMM servers:

Now the ASR Vault has been created, the next step is to configure the local Hyper-V and VMM servers. Click on the new ASR Vault to open its Dashboard.

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Download the ASR Provider and Registration key. Install the ASR Provider on the VMM server and register against the ASR Vault by using the registration key.

NOTE: If you are running VMM in HA, the first step is to install the ASR provider on the active node, then register the server. Then secondly install the ASR provider on the passive node.

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Return back to the Dashboard and then select to Add an Azure Storage Account.

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Give the storage account a name (lowercase case and numbers only). Select the location of the storage account and the chosen level of redundancy.

Option Redundancy Comments
Locally Redundant 3 copies replicated within a single datacentre CheapestProtects against hardware failureDoes not protect against loss of facility or region
Zone-Redundant 3 copies replicated between 2 or 3 datacentres in a single region Protects against hardware failureProtect against loss of facilityDoes not protect against loss of region
Geo-Redundant 6 copies replicated 3 times within the primary region and 3 times in a secondary region Maximum durabilityProtects against hardware, facility and regional lossRecommended as default
Read-Access Geo-Redundant Same as Geo-Redundant, additionally grants Read-Access in the secondary region in the event of primary region loss Maximum durability and availabilityMost expensive

Once the storage account has been successfully created, it will appear under the Storage tab of the Azure Portal.

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The final step is to download the Azure Recovery Services Agent and install on all hyper-V hosts. When installing the agent, the agent is smart enough to detect if there is a previous version present and attempt to upgrade it.

This is how the Azure Recovery Services Agent looks when its upgrading a previous version.

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Now the Azure Recovery Services Agent has been installed on all the Hyper-V servers, this seems a natural point to end this first post. In summary, the on-premises Hyper-V and VMM servers have been configured and registered to the created Azure Site Recovery Vault. Everything is now in place to begin configuring the protection of on-premises clouds and resources.

The next part of this post will include:

  • Configuring cloud protection
  • Managing virtual machine protection
  • Changing the hardware sizing of virtual machines
  • Mapping networks
  • Recovery plans
  • Failover options.

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery: Between an on-premises VMM site and Azure – Part One

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery: Between an on-premises VMM site and Azure – Part Two

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery: Between an on-premises VMM site and Azure – Part Three

Hyper-V

Building a private cloud within the MOD

I have recently been involved in designing and deploying a Hyper-V and SCVMM environment for Landmarc Support Services. They have since spoken at Microsoft Future Decoded, based around the road map used in building a private cloud within the MOD.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eME3e6eW47Y&feature=youtu.be

System Center Data Protection Manager 'SCDPM'

How to throttle network bandwidth usage for a protected computer in DPM 2012 R2

Bandwidth throttling in DPM is  set on an individual protected computer bases. This allows the admin to tailor throttling requirements to the protected computer, based on network speed, business policy, geographical location and so forth.

For example: An admin may need to configure endpoint laptops to be backed up only during the working day, limiting bandwidth when the endpoint is potentially outside the organisation.

To throttle network bandwidth usage for a protected computer in DPM 2012 R2, begin by opening the DPM console. Select the Management tab, then click on the Agents link in the top left console panel which will display all protected computers in the window on the right as well as changing the DPM ribbon to make visible the Throttle computer button.

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Select the protected computer that requires network throttling and then click the Throttle computer button, this will pop up the Throttle wizard.

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Check the Enable network bandwidth usage throttling check box and then configure the appropriate settings. This is done by establishing Work hours and Work days then assigning throttling limits to each period of time.

And its as simple as that! 🙂

Azure

Transform The Datacentre Workshop, Supported by Microsoft

ttdc

I have recently been invited to present at a number of events. The first event, Transforming the Datacentre Workshop, Supported by Microsoft, covered Microsoft’s Cloud OS approach to deliver a consistent and comprehensive set of capabilities via Windows Server, Hyper-V, System Center and Microsoft Azure, across on premise and cloud based platform.

Included in the event is a discussion around Windows Server 2003 reaching end-of-support on July 14th 2015, what options are available and how best to approach the problem.

It has been great to see the numbers of people turn up and very interesting to hear how they are adopting the Hybrid Cloud and plan to deal with the challenges around Windows Server 2003 reaching end-of-support.

cardiff-1st-october-2014-02If you fancy joining us at one of the multiple locations we are running the event at, you can book in by following the link below.

System Center

Installing Update Rollups to SCVMM in HA

I have been on a number of customer sites recently that have had System Center Virtual Machine Manager deployed as HA and were looking to install the latest Update Rollup. I have made note of the steps and the order, that has been suggested as the best in this scenario.

The first thing I would say is, wait at least a month before installing Update Rollups in your production environment. It has been known for Update Rollups to contain bugs and be called back. Assuming that the Update Rollup has been given chance to bed in, the following steps can then be used to deploy it.

  1. Backup the VMM DB
  2. Run the UR installer on the passive node(s)
  3. Failover the active node
  4. Run the UR installer on the now passive (before failover, active) node

 

Hyper-V

‘Access to path: is denied’ error after installing SCVMM 2012 R2 console

After installing the SCVMM console you get the error message “Access to the path: “C:Program FilesMicrosoft System Center 2012 R2Virtual Machine ManagerbinAddInPipelinePipelineSegments.store” is denied.”

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To resolve these issues, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the following folder: C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012 R2Virtual Machine Manager\bin
  2. Right-click the AddInPipeline folder, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Security tab, click Advanced, and then click Continue.
  4. Select the BUILTIN group, and then click Edit.
  5. Click the Select a principal link, type Authenticated Users, and then click OK.
  6. Click OK to close each dialog box that is associated with the properties.

The steps for this fix were originally taken form the Microsoft article below which relates to Update Rollup 1 for SCVMM 2012 R2 and a potential issue that might be encountered.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2904712