Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

Category Archives: Disaster Recovery

Free VMWare Disaster Recovery Solution Book


VMWare have made an excellent free book available online here. it goes into a lot of detail around the various DR scenarios that you can use VMWare for; even P2V DR and has lots of example configurations with various vendor’s server & storage equipment.

Some really good technical documentation coming out of VMWare & it’s partners recently like the Cisco doc.


A Closer look at Green IT and Microsoft’s new Container Data Centre in Chicago


Link here – good visualisation about 10mins in of how their new Chicago data centre is laid out internally.

With virtualisation breaking the traditional hardware/OS ties; this is becoming an increasingly appealing way of managing commodity compute grid resources for large organisations. Mike makes some good points about the de-comissioning of servers on a large scale where you are adding 10’s of thousands on a regular basis – you need to take them out at some point too, and that’s time consuming. at this scale of operation It’s more efficient to make the the container and/or datacentre the field replaceable unit (as I discussed a while back) in this scenario.

Also interesting point that water consumption may be the next environmental touch paper for legislation and disclosure for IT shops.

HP iLo Very Slow for Installing an OS


A bit of a disappointment; we’re trying to do a WinPE 2.0 CD/DVD based installation for our Windows 2003/2008 standard blade servers in an HP c7000 enclosure.

Installing from a .ISO image presented to the iLo via the virtual media applet is dog-slow (5-10 times slower than from a physical CD/DVD- why is this? – surely its technically possible to make this access run faster and GigE chipsets are cheap-as these days. I’ve been through every combination of switching/duplex/port config and even via a cable directly into the Blade OA.

The same issue seems to manifest itself on traditional rack mount HP servers – the iLo just isn’t fast enough to make this a workable solution, unless you are really patient.

I know we could use the RDP and do it as a PXE type installation over the network to each blade, but this doesn’t really achieve what I want…

Most customers maintain an OoB (Out of Band) network to which all of the management interfaces  (iLo, DRAC, etc.) are connected to. the reasoning for this is obvious; if you loose your main core switching network you can get access via a totally different physical network and path to assist in troubleshooting.

For this same reasoning I would like to use this method to build servers from a master boot CD/DVD image, you can present a .ISO image to a server via the virtual media applet on the iLo. We have a fully end-end build process that sets up the HP array controllers, flashes BIOS and installs the OS and drivers etc. from a CD/DVD.

We just update the boot CD .ISO file as required and its flexible and it doesn’t rely on any deployment infrastructure (PXE server, RDP server etc.) so we can port it between customers and data centres, VM’s and physical machines and do a bare-metal builds without requiring any build/network infrastructure in place.

This isn’t just limited to a Windows OS – I tried the same with an ESX installation; took over an hour (compared to 5-10 mins from a local CD)

Disaster Recovery Resource for Exchange


Stumbled across this site earlier; looks like there is some good practical information here if you are looking for how to handle Exchange backup and disaster recovery.

Sites like this are so much more valuable than the usual vendor white-paper approach as they show people’s real world experiences, mistakes, etc.

This is an employee from a commercial data recovery organisation, but this kind of resource is good for information sharing with the community…. and if it really goes wrong and you need to get into raw disk data recovery you have a level of confidence in their services and knowledge… an example of how blogs can deliver “business value”.