Microsoft Ignite – Cancellation

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Despite writing about my approval to attend Microsoft Ignite in May only a few days ago, I’m disappointed to say that approval has been removed, and I will no longer be attending.

With the local economy in my area under some upheaval, there are many cost-saving measures being implemented at my company and this is one of those measures.

I can understand the reasoning, although I am very disappointed. Unfortunately I can’t put an actual dollar figure on the value my attendance would bring, which is the only way I think it could be justified at this point.

Here’s hoping that my request for 2016 fares better next year!

Microsoft Ignite – Approval

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I’m going to Microsoft Ignite!

 

In early May I’ll be traveling to Chicago for a week, and am extremely excited that my request to attend was approved by my company.

I have never been to a large conference like this, although I have attended a smaller single-vendor conference in 2013. At this point I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m most looking forward to the following areas:

  • Networking and discussions with companies and IT experts who see the same struggles I do
  • Using Hyper-V in real world scenarios
  • Server 2012 R2 features like DirectAccess and Remote Desktop Services

Having never been to Chicago, and not knowing what to look for in accommodations I took a stab in the dark and will be staying at the “Hotel Rush”.

I hope that my attendance this year proves very valuable to my company, so that justification in 2016 is stronger; with Windows 10 and Server vNext coming in late 2015 I anticipate Ignite 2016 to be even more exciting.

Benefits of networking – and Panzura

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The concept of networking is very often mentioned within IT, but examples of it do not come up nearly as often in my experience.
However recently I do have such an example. A colleague attended Autodesk University in late 2014, and attended a session regarding file collaboration for products like Autodesk Revit and AutoCAD.
This is an area which I have been struggling with for many years. How does one give LAN-like speed to a single set of data across many geographical locations? I’ve tried many solutions as posted about previously: DFSR, PeerLock, PeerSync, GlobalScape WAFS, Citrix XenApp and others.

And yet all of these have not proven effective enough to permanently rely upon.

But at Autodesk University the session was talking about Panzura. A representative of a company almost exactly like mine was talking about the benefits, and how it has solved the file collaboration problem for them.

When this news was returned I became very excited, and eventually came across this testimonial video: this video is even more evidence that this might be the right path to travel down.

I was put in direct contact with this representative and can now communicate without sales over-exaggerating the benefits of the product.

 

There is still a large amount of research and testing ahead before Panzura can be seriously considered in my environment, however it is something I would not have seriously considered without the networking.

Status in 2015

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I feel like adding to my blog. I haven’t felt this way in a long time, and when I look at my not-so-recent posts it is evident; I only made 7 posts in all of 2014.

Part of this is because 2014 was incredibly busy at work, and exhausting at home. Continued responsibilities with my company being acquired, many new projects to juggle and a large amount of overtime all contributed to a lack of desire to write.

The other part is that I have been spending a large amount of time ‘managing’. Project managing, department managing, and managing IT within a global company. Since I don’t have as much technical to write about, I’m left with the learnings and challenges of management. However I’m not particularly good at writing, not like my wife, and have found it difficult to share experiences or thoughts on this matter.

 

Things are finally slowing down at work though; perhaps not slowing but I’m planning better, setting deliverables that are much more achievable. And because of this I again feel the desire to share and to document.

 

I’m hopeful that in 2015 I can be more consistent in this, and continue to organize my work in such a way as to not be overwhelmed.

DPM syncronization failure on Secondary Server

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I now have an environment of Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 set up as a replacement for Backup Exec 2010.

Despite the lack of some features, it has been performing quite well. However I recently started receiving email notification of errors and it relates to my secondary DPM server.

The primary DPM server exists in the head office, and provides back up of Hyper-V VMs from my main cluster. The secondary DPM server exists in a branch office 300KM away and provides back up of the primary DPM server.

 

I started receiving errors like the following from the Secondary server to individual resources on the primary:

Synchronization for replica of \Online\servername(servername.clustername) on PrimaryDPM failed because the replica is not in a valid state or is in an inactive state. (ID 30300 Details: VssError:The writer experienced a non-transient error.  If the backup process is retried,
the error is likely to reoccur.
 (0x800423F4))

 

Every time I tried to perform a consistency check on these resources, it would begin and then end within 30 seconds.

To be honest I didn’t have a lot of time to troubleshoot this one. I tried restarting both DPM servers as well as the Hyper-V host and VM itself, and none of that seemed to have an impact.

At some point I noticed that the resources giving the errors on the Secondary server hadn’t had a recovery point on the Primary server in quite some time.

I forced an Express Full Backup of the VMs on the Primary server and allowed it to complete (successfully). I then initiated a consistency check on the Secondary server protected resources, and it too completed successfully!
Where I’m still confused is why didn’t I receive alerts from my Primary DPM server that recovery points were being missed?

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