Secure Backups in home and semi-professional environments

As many may know I do a lot of photography as a hobby. As I have just jump-started a photography blog, I posted the first part of a blog series on securely backing up digital negatives. As this is related to the stuff I post on, I’m mentioning it here.

The first part of the blog series focuses on different storage media you can use, and their cons and pros.

In part 2 (to be posted soon) I will be focusing on the actual implementation of a backup solution that is affordable and works for 99% of the home and semi-professional, even professional needs.

If you are just as passionate about photography as I am, you can visit my new blog at

EMC Live Webcast: VSI plugin

Tomorrow there will be an EMC Live Webcast around EMC’s VSI plugin called “How to simplify Management with EMC VSI plugin for VMware vSphere”. This webcast will be delivered by my colleague and friend Simon Seagrave (@Kiwi_Si at for those who know people by their twitter names!). I will be assisting in answering in the chat window, together with Josh Hutt, one of the VSI plugin developers!

The VSI plugin is a cool little plugin that allows for EMC storage to be integrated into vCenter. With separate menus and right-click integration using EMC storage straight from vCenter is a breeze. Provision storage, monitor storage, deploy fast clones or change path failover modes… The VSI plugin has it all.

Come join me, Simon and Josh in this webinar! You can subscribe for this webinar here.

It will run from 6/7/12 9:00 AM MDT to 10:00 AM MDT (America/Denver)

That is 15:30 through 17:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

UPDATE: Read more info on the Webcast at Simon’s blog here.

The Cloud – Top Down – Future Down

So everyone is grabbing his infrastructure and looking in which ways they can propel their stuff “into the cloud”. Different vendors have different visions of how the cloud should look like. But why not shoot ourselves beyond the StarTrek era, and then look back? Let’s try to reverse engineer the cloud of the future back into current and future solutions!

In Star Trek the toilet is never clogged

Very true. In Star Trek the toilets are never clogged. They probably solved this issue at least 400 years ago. In fact Read the rest of this entry »

VMworld 2012: Public voting for sessions started!

Another year of cool VMware stuff. Another year of cool VMworld sessions. Public voting has started!

This year I put in a session as well: session number 1659: “The importance of sizing storage correctly for VDI projects: Big impact, big results”

In this session I will be dealing with the load that VDI solutions generate. Then I will focus on how you can optimize storage Read the rest of this entry »

Made it into the vExpert realms for the 2nd year

The official word is out: The vExperts of 2012 are being announced. Having been a vExpert for 2011, I know what great people make up the vExpert group. When I found my name on the vExpert 2012 list, I felt honored to be part of this group once again! I will continue to evangelize VMware like I have been doing the past years.

Since I became a vSpecialist working for EMC I have had less time and less access to cool hardware to perform the technical deep dives I love to do so much. I will work hard to put up more of these in the near future! I think I should raid Chad’s garage or basement to see if I can dig up some cool hardware to use this year. For example, the “Performance impact when using VMware snapshots” is something way overdue for a revisit under vSphere 5.0 or 5.1 .

vExpert 2012! Thanks to all for your support!

Thanks all for your support!

EMC VSPEX: Inbetween cardboard boxes and Vblock

Even though this blog mainly focusses on technical geeky things, it cannot be denied that as infrastructures grow, the deep-down technical details get covered up more and more by the sheer size of things. As customers need to grow their environments more and faster, they have a need to make things decide for themselves, automate more and more. Yesterday you bought boxes and cables. Tomorrow you buy a converged infrastructure like VCE’s Vblock. But what about today? EMC is about to fill that gap…

The Cake Story

To explain the difference between a build-your-own and a Vblock, there is this great story where the parallel is drawn to birthday cakes: Read the rest of this entry »

EMC FAST-cache and “Follow the I/O”

I do not often write to specific implementations of a vendor. This time however I focus on EMC’s FAST-cache technology, and we will be playing a little “follow the I/O” to see what it actually does, where it helps and where it might not.

Read the rest of this entry »

Backwards VDI math: Putting numbers to the 1000 user RA

EMC and VMware have published a joined Reference Architecture where an EMC VNX5300 using a minimum configuration of disks squeezes out the required IOPS for a thousand VDI users. That is awesome stuff, but how to go about using and remodeling this RA for your own needs? In this blog post I’ll try to put some numbers to it, both validating and enabling you to resize for your needs.

A very cool use case: VMware View and 1000 vDesktops running off an EMC VNX5300

This is a very VERY cool one. You can find the Reference Architecture Read the rest of this entry »

“My VAAI is Better Than Yours”

VAAI has been around for quite some time, but I still get a lot of questions on the subject. Most people seem to think VAAI is solely for speeding up processes, where in reality there should not be significant speeding up if your infrastructure has enough reserves. VAAI is meant to offload storage-related things so they are executed where they should: Inside the storage array.


EDIT: My title was stolen borrowed from my dear collegue Bas Raayman in a post like this one, but focussing on file-side in My VAAI is Better Than Yours – The File-side of Things. Nice addition Bas!

My VAAI is better than yours

I recently had an interesting conversation Read the rest of this entry »

Snapshot Consolidation needed – Which with my luck… fails

As I am testing several third party backup tools, this morning I stumbled upon a failed backup. No snapshot present on the VM which could not be backed up – but a yellow mention in the VI client: “Configuration Issues – Virtual Machine disks consolidation is needed“. And my luck was, that selecting “consolidate” ended in that one brilliant error: Unable to access file since it is locked. Great. Here’s what was wrong!

Read the rest of this entry »

Soon to come