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Archive for the ‘Hyper-V’ Category

How to copy data from a running virtual machine without connecting to network?

Posted by Brajesh Panda on October 9, 2012

Logic is so simple…. I am going to treasure this idea.

How to copy data from a running virtual machine without connecting to network?


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Microsoft iSCSI Target Cluster – Building Walkthrough

Posted by Brajesh Panda on May 3, 2011

In one of my last post I have discussed about Microsoft iSCSI Target Software 3.3. You can use this software to convert your (old) servers especially where you can populate a bunch of high capacity SATA/SAS HDD to convert the same to an IP SAN. Well this kind of scenario may be applicable for LAB/SMB business units where we don’t want to buy/spend lots of money for a specialized storage box. Well these days a lot of low cost SAS based DAS or IP-SANs are available in market with specialized storage features. So for usability you have to decide where you can use this kind of setup. Lets build a highly available storage, kind of active passive iscsi storage controllers ;-). Hope you are not getting confused with Building a MS Failover Cluser using MS iSCSI Target Software.

My Design Decisions & Blueprint

In my environment I used to have a Dell MD3000 SAS based direct storage box. I can connect 4 Servers directly without any path redundancy to this storage box & 2 Servers with 2-redundant path. But I have bunch of old (10) Dell Poweredge servers in my lab (generated out of dc consolidation project), I would like to repurpose them in my LAB & for some low priority low production purpose in my headquarter. Well none of my servers or devices is having warranty any longer. Renewing warranty or buying new hardware is out of budget. So I thought let’s do it this way…..

  • Apart from 1st 2 HDD I have pulled out all HDDs from Dell PE Servers & Populated remaining empty slots of MD 3000i. And made sure these HDDs are compatible with the storage box. Easy way of doing is install MD 3000 storage manager software & verify from the console software. I have discussed the installation & MD 3000 config step in one of my old post. It is here.
  • On server front I have decided
    • Two Node Windows Failover cluster with complete redundant path
    • I will utilize this cluster for Two Roles
      • Hyper-V Failover Cluster Role;
        With one Clustered Shared Volume to Host Less Critical LOB Application Virtual Machine
      • Ms iSCSI Target Cluster Role;
        with multiple clustered LUNs to Host virtual disks. These virtual disks will be presented to other Stand Alone Poweredge Servers through iSCSI Target using iSCSI technique. After wards I can use the same disk to host multiple virtual machines or I can use the same disk as a pass-through disk to your existing VMs. I prefer them to use as pass-through disks. . If I could use these Disks to host multiple Virtual Machine VHDs, there must be a lot of virtual translations i.e. VHDs inside -> VHDs inside -> NTFS partition.

Note: In next version of iSCSI Target I would like to see direct use of physical disk not VHDs inside NTFS partition. I could have also used those 8 Stand Alone Poweredge Servers to again create a hyper-v cluster using exported iSCSI volumes. But I never thought of that as a requirement because I will be using them in my test lab. Even if one server fails I will re-assign iSCSI exported virtual disk (LUN) to another node & start VMs over there. We can design all components in a better way to provide more performance like one VHD in one LUN, redundant network connections etc.

  • So to start with I have carved out 3 LUNs from the MD3000 & assigned to Node1 & Node2
    • Quorum LUN:         1GB
    • CSV LUN:        550GB
    • iSCSI Target LUN:    550GB
  • Network Design is one of the key components to achieve this; so I have decided on below NICs for Failover Cluster Nodes. I am flexible because it is a LAB & low priority production env.
    • Management & Virtual Machine Network: 1 NIC/node with X.X.X.X subnet
    • Cluster Communication & Live Migration Network: 1 NIC/node with Y.Y.Y.Y subnet
    • iSCSI Target Network: 1 NIC/node with Z.Z.Z.Z subnet (this is the adapter through which iSCSI Traffic will be coming in from Standalone LAB Hyper-v Server’s iSCSI initiators)

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Posted in Clustering, DELL MD3000i, Hyper-V, IP-SAN, WindowsStorageServer2008 | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Cloud Computing

Posted by Brajesh Panda on December 25, 2009

Way Back

Are we shifting to old days of technology?

Are we taking a backward step towards old days computing?

I think yes but in a refined manner. Today we are consolidating our computing infrastructure back to a Centralized Model, merely converting our commodity computers to a Thin Terminal. Remember those old computing era with a dump terminal telenting to a huge UNIX machine.
In current days computing has been commoditized brining more power in Server Computing and Home Computers. However in same time it increased the management & environment nightmares; of course CAPEX is also bringing a kind of stagnancy to the modern era computing. In the same time Service Oriented Architecture pushing the whole industry to adopt a refined modern era computing system called Cloud Computing!!

Although cloud computing is an emerging field of computer science, the idea has been around for a few years. However it still confuses most of technocrats to define it clearly. Cloud science is more similar to legacy Grid Technology which is based on parallel processing.

Let me try to keep it simple
Cloud computing is a way to deliver services rather than applications which is completely independent of underlying platform, infrastructure hardware & location. It is called could because services exist in a cloud of computers or servers which provide better resilience and on demand supercomputing capacity. These computers can be located in a same place or different place connected with private link circuit or public internet. Cloud computing can be used for;
Infrastructure as a service (Joynet, Amazon EC2, Nirvanix)
Platform as a service (Google Apps)
Software as a service (
Application, Data, Storage as Service

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Posted in Amazon EC2, CloudComputing, Hyper-V, SAAS, Software as a service | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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