Review of Altaro Hyper-V Backup 3.5
notice: Altaro are giving away two Nexus 7’s to testers of their Hyper-V backup for Windows Server 2012 beta. Check out all the details at the bottom of this blog
The crew at Hyper-V.nu were offered a first glance of Altaro Hyper-V Backup back in May 2011. We agreed to do a review of the beta version of the product. That particular version of the beta did not have support for Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and we provided feedback to Altaro about this shortcoming. As our Great Big Hyper-V Survey of 2011 showed, over 94% of users with Hyper-V clusters use CSV. We were pleasantly surprised how quickly Altaro responded by adding support for CSV in one of their next beta’s. So we did a second review testing the backup and recovery of guests living on cluster shared volumes on a Hyper-V R2 SP1 cluster.
Since then Altaro released their RTM of version 2, version 3 and v3.1 which have continued to add functionality, ease and performance. You can find a change log of Altaro Hyper-V Backup here: http://wiki.altaro.com/releases/change-log-for-altaro-hyper-v-backup
One noticeable improvement in version 3 was installation of the product on a cluster. When on a cluster the application could detect each node and configure them during the installation. You only needed to install Altaro Hyper-V Backup on one node and it would then automatically deploy modules on all other cluster nodes. Additionally, the administrator was able to manage all guests across all nodes from a single console. This meant that all backups, restores and configuration could be done from one centralized console. In a cluster environment all guests could be backed up to a single backup target such as a USB drive, a NAS or a disk on a SAN. Even when guests moved around in the cluster, Altaro Hyper-V Backup would take care of that.
By using a technique called ReverseDelta, incremental backups could be made at tremendous speed. The last version introduced ReverseDelta v2 which made incremental backups at least 300% faster.
Version 3 of Altaro Hyper-V backup also dealt with one of CSV’s shortcomings: redirected access during backup operations (backup node claiming ownership of disk and redirecting I/O across the CSV network for all other nodes for that CSV disk). A new scheduling feature called ‘Scheduling Groups’ was introduced which allowed a quick and easy drag & drop of Hyper-V guests to one or more defined Scheduling Groups. It would group guests on the same CSV together in order to decrease time required in redirected access mode. If you are a Data Protection Manager user, you will appreciate this feature as DPM does not do this for you automatically. It is also quite time consuming to even select multiple Hyper-V guests for backup and add them to their Protection Group.
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The company I work for is All In with Microsoft System Center 2012 and it is no surprise that we spend a lot of effort getting across the message that this Microsoft Management suite is what you really need if you build a Microsoft Private Cloud with a heterogeneous landscape of hypervisors, operations systems and applications.
In my book Microsoft Private Cloud Computing several of the important pieces are covered such as System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 and App Controller 2012.
This 8-minute video explains why System Center 2012 is such an interesting management suite and ought to be considered by every IT manager or CIO looking to efficiently manage a small, medium or large datacenter.
Dutch version: http://www.systemcenter2012.nl/
Please take a look at the list of System Center 2012 References at the bottom of this blog.
System Center References:
System Center User Group [Dutch]: http://www.scug.nl/
System Center Blog: http://www.systemcenterblog.nl/
System Center Central: http://www.systemcentercentral.com/
System Center Microsoft site: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/system-center/default.aspx
System Center 2012 Books: http://www.systemcenterblog.nl/tag/system-center-2012/
System Center Technical Resources: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/systemcenter/
System Center Solution Center: http://support.microsoft.com/ph/16340
Microsoft Private Cloud Computing Book: http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=12024
How to Participate in the System Center Community:
System Center twitter hashtags;
System Center Virtual Machine Manager Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/scvmm/
System Center Operations Manager Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/momteam/
System Center Data Protection Manager Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/dpm/
System Center Service Manager Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/
System Center Orchestrator Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/orchestrator/
System Center Configuration Manager Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/configmgrteam/
System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management (CDM) MVP’s:
I expect many of you have tried out the new version of VMM 2012 that will be generally available before long. It is an incredible piece of software that I have blogged about several times just after the first general beta since it arrived about one year ago. But there is one thing it cannot do: manage Windows Server ‘8’.
Now that the bits of Windows Server 8 are available to everyone, it is very good news that Microsoft has released the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of System Center 2012 for Windows Server ‘8’ Beta support. The focus of this CTP is on VMM and DPM in combination with Hyper-V and is therefore not aimed to work with all the other System Center 2012 modules. It essentially focuses on managing the fabric of your private cloud including Windows Server ‘8’.
These are the capabilities you can try out:
- Hyper-V Network virtualization
- Hyper-V VM’s on an SMB2.2 file share (on a Windows 8 file server or scale out file cluster)
- VHDX format
- Live Storage Migration
- Live Migration without shared storage
- VM protection on CSV 2.0 volumes
- VM protection on remote SMB2.2 file shares
- Protection of de-dup enabled file share volumes
System Center 2012 CTP for Windows Server ‘8’ Beta Support can be downloaded here:
Remember that this CTP is not even beta so only run this in a test environment!
New Hyper-V Blog
Altaro who introduced an easy to use backup product for Hyper-V in 2011, informed us they have just launched a new Hyper-V blog. Their first article goes into good detail about Hyper-V Dynamic Memory and can be found here: http://www.altaro.com/blog/hyper-v-dynamic-memory-explanation-and-recommendations-2/
Version 3 of Altaro Hyper-V Backup
We can also announce that version 3 of Altaro Hyper-V Backup will be released on February 7.
Some of the new features are:
Central Management console on CSV Cluster
Increased backup performance with ReverdeDelts V2
Great new ‘Schedule Groups’ – allows easier backup scheduling
Live backup of Linux VMs
5Drive Swap / Rotation.
Currently beta 2 is available here:
Today – during the announcement of System Center 2012 RC availability) – seems the perfect occasion to announce our book called Microsoft Private Cloud Computing. Mid-2011 four MVP’s decided to make a joint effort at writing a practical book on deploying a Microsoft Private Cloud. The four authors are:
Aidan writes the introductory chapters on Private Cloud, Hans deals with the Fabric Management (Servers, Storage, Network), Patrick explains the Service Management (VMM Library, Service Modeling) and Damian focuses on Private Cloud Solutions (VMM Services, Self-Service, App Controller).
Kristian Nese (@kristiannese) who is also MVP System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management accepted the role of technical reviewer. Kristian has also written a book on Cloud Computing in Norwegian.
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Everybody is talking about the cloud these days. However the term Cloud is completely over-hyped! Suppliers rebrand their products into cloud products even when it has not only one Cloud property. People say that they are using Cloud computing, but they mean virtualization… and so on.
In this article I’ll try to explain the Internal Cloud and what you need for the Internal Cloud. We also will take a look if we can build an Internal Cloud with Hyper-V and System Center.
Let’s first take a look at the Wikipedia definition of Cloud computing:
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet).
When you look at this definition I can imagine that you say: Hey we’re already doing this for a couple of years and that can be true. Cloud is just a marketing term!
Ok now we’ve clarified the term Cloud let’s take a look at the difference between an internal cloud and a public (external) cloud. The main difference is that an internal cloud is only dedicated to your company and a public cloud is shared with many. An example of a public cloud service is Office 365. Many companies share this platform with other companies and it’s not possible to get a dedicated Exchange server or Sharepoint server within this service. The opposite is true for a private cloud service. Within a private cloud you can get dedicated servers or dedicated hardware.
However, the question is: when are we talking about a private cloud? Well Gartner made a nice model with required en preferred components for a private cloud:
When any of the required components is missing we’re not talking about a private cloud.
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UPDATE October 20th 2011: Here is a link to the video: http://t.co/v1xAMV6x
On Tuesday, October 4th Technical Evangelists Symon Perriman and Rick Claus are hosting an online conference on Virtualization Career Training with Microsoft Learning. This half day virtual event (8am – 11am PST) will offer a Level 100 to 200 introduction for anyone who wants to learn more about Microsoft Virtualization and how it can help their career. It is free and public so sign up for this warm-up for the Jump Start event on October 6th.
Module 1 – Technology: Learn about Microsoft’s virtualization technologies, how they work, and the future roadmap to the Cloud!
Module 2 – Career: Understand the importance of virtualization and Private Cloud, and how it can make or break an IT Professional’s career!
Learn More: http://mctreadiness.com/MicrosoftCareerConferenceRegistration.aspx?pid=270
Instructor Bios: http://mctreadiness.com/MicrosoftCareerConferenceRegistration.aspx?pid=287
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The beta of DPM 2012 is ready and available to the general public. Related to Hyper-V it is nice to know that DPM 2012 is fully supported in a Hyper-V virtual machine and that Item Level Recovery is now possible without having to add the Hyper-V Role to the DPM server as we had to do in physical installations of DPM 2010.
You can download beta and apply for joining the Customer Experience Program (CEP).
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