End of Microsoft EBS (Essential Business Server)

Sadly but truly Microsoft has removed the plug from the EBS server. MS has taken decision since there has been no much sales improvement in the server market for this product. Apart from that most of the SME market are focusing on cloud computing and server virtualization options. EBS is targeted for customer who is having 300 seats (computers), but as the MS has identified a customer who is having 300 computers will be already established company in Infrastructure point of view.

Even though EBS provide significant cost benefit moving to EBS from existing server environment to EBS is daunting task.  Requiring  minimum 3 servers (And they need to be high end as well) to run the product suit including an additional server for premium version is not a easy financial consideration.So the product will be discontinued from selling from June onwards. But the for the existing customers the product will be supported by MS in the normal product life cycle.

What I like most is SBS has not been done any changes and most of the customers still benefit that. Personally I prefer SBS product since it is a significant cost saver for SBS market. This product is targeted for companies who is having less than 75 seats.

SBS Rocks!

Gaining higher IOP’s in iSCSI world

When it comes to consolidating servers one key concern is the hardware capability to handle that workload simultaneously. CPU is not an big issues since we’re having more rough horsepower on those. Disk speed and network speed has been key constraint areas. I’ve been discussing about using iSCSI for storage protocols and it’s popularity.

SAN storage has been the preferred method for the VHD hosting in most scenarios. To communicate with the SAN storage some vendors support HBA adapters, Even though this solution is good it comes with a hefty price tag. Step into the iSCSI protocol over the existing Ethernet. Ethernet has been improving for vastly and IT companies focusing on using Ethernet as the preferred method. As a result 10 Gbps has been introduced to cater the market requirement.

The interesting story I want to bring is Microsoft has incorporated with Intel to bring i million IOPs over iSCSI protocol! That means speed never will be a key issue again for you. Check out the following webcast which describe about this technology. Apart from that additional information can be found over here about this webcast.

bottom line is companies can carefully evaluate how they really want to move with storage and the storage designing and what components need to there. iSCSI and 10 G networks are getting popular so it’s time to invest your money carefully on virtualization and get maximum ROI.

Edit: I thought of highlighting this article again and it’s significant since at this stage Server Virtualization is having a rapid growth. Most of the companies I’m interacting are having the desire to taste the virtualization but don’t have the budget of owning FC SAN. Last year I’ve highlighted the advantage of considering the software based iSCSI solutions. Guess what that really applies now to most of our SMB, SME and also Enterprise customers who want to have their certain business applications hosted in virtualization environment. Intel has released the whitepaper of the test they carried out on this test lab.

Backup and Recovery methods for HYPER-V

Most of our customers are having practical issues on how to backup and recover HYPER-V machines. One key thing is HYPER-V  backup procedure or at least I would say approach is different from normal server backup methods.

If you’re expecting to backup the VPC using Windows native backup software then it is still possible but the issues will be you won’t be able to recover single VPC in a recovery scenario instead entire volume. As you can see this is time consuming but free options always comes with a catch. At least this is a good option to backup your VPC without shutting them down.

Please refer to this TechNet article which describes solutions in very detail and easy to understand method.

If you prefer to backup individual VPC level and their data inside separately then you’ll have to consider backup software which is aware about HYPER-V. Microsoft DPM is one such software which is very comprehensive in that area. Some of the resources about HYPER-V backup using DPM can be found over here and here.

Apart from that Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 is a good software which is capable of backing up HYPER-V  VPC’s and recovering individual file level. (hint…hint guys)

One practical advise is backup and restore of VPC is time consuming task. so make sure your backup solution has a speedy method of recovery, DPM overlook this sometime back and advise customers to move into disk based backup. Still you have to make sure backup media connectivity with the host server support speedy recovery.

So one way to minimize of these kind of unhappy moments is to have high availability solutions like HYPER-V host clustering. This will allow you to balance the HYPER-V  workload. More information about this can be found plenty out there when you do a search. One comprehensive article can be found over here.

We’re looking forward to provide more information about HYPER-V backup from DPM 2010 product in future articles, so stay tuned 🙂

Backup and Recovery methods for HYPER-V

Most of our customers are having practical issues on how to backup and recover HYPER-V machines. One key thing is HYPER-V  backup procedure or at least I would say approach is different from normal server backup methods.

If you’re expecting to backup the VPC using Windows native backup software then it is still possible but the issues will be you won’t be able to recover single VPC in a recovery scenario instead entire volume. As you can see this is time consuming but free options always comes with a catch. At least this is a good option to backup your VPC without shutting them down.

Please refer to this TechNet article which describes solutions in very detail and easy to understand method.

If you prefer to backup individual VPC level and their data inside separately then you’ll have to consider backup software which is aware about HYPER-V. Microsoft DPM is one such software which is very comprehensive in that area. Some of the resources about HYPER-V backup using DPM can be found over here and here.

Apart from that Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 is a good software which is capable of backing up HYPER-V  VPC’s and recovering individual file level. (hint…hint guys)

One practical advise is backup and restore of VPC is time consuming task. so make sure your backup solution has a speedy method of recovery, DPM overlook this sometime back and advise customers to move into disk based backup. Still you have to make sure backup media connectivity with the host server support speedy recovery.

So one way to minimize of these kind of unhappy moments is to have high availability solutions like HYPER-V host clustering. This will allow you to balance the HYPER-V  workload. More information about this can be found plenty out there when you do a search. One comprehensive article can be found over here.

We’re looking forward to provide more information about HYPER-V backup from DPM 2010 product in future articles, so stay tuned 🙂