Customer Provided Keys with Azure Storage Service Encryption

Azure storage offers several options to encrypt data at rest. With client-side encryption you can encrypt data prior to uploading it to Azure Storage. You can also choose to have Azure storage manage encryption operations with storage service encryption using Microsoft managed keys or using customer managed keys in Azure Key Vault. Today, we present enhancement to storage service encryption to support granular encryption settings on storage account with keys hosted in any key store. Customer provided keys (CPK) enables you to store and manage keys in on-premises or key stores other than Azure Key Vault to meet corporate, contractual, and regulatory compliance requirements…
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Azure Ultra Disk Storage: Microsoft’s service for your most I/O demanding workloads

Inside Ultra Disk Storage Ultra Disk Storage is our next generation distributed block storage service that provides disk semantics for Azure IaaS VMs and containers. We designed Ultra Disk Storage with the goal of providing consistent performance at high IOPS without compromising our durability promise. Hence, every write operation replicates to the storage in three different racks (fault domains) before being acknowledged to the client. Compared to Azure Premium Storage, Ultra Disk Storage provides its extreme performance without relying on Azure Blob storage cache, our on-server SSD-based cache, and hence it only supports un-cached reads and writes. We also introduced a…
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vSphere 6.5 Storage

This technical white paper describes the various features of the new vSphere 6.5 Core Storage in detail Storage Limit Improvements Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) Improvements VMFS-6 UNMAP Storage I/O Control vSphere VM Encryption New Virtual Storage Hardware NFS ISCSI Improvements
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VMware vSphere 6 Metro Storage Cluster Recommended Practices

VMware vSphere® Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) is a specific configuration within the VMware Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). These configurations are commonly referred to as stretched storage clusters or metro storage clusters and are implemented in environments where disaster and downtime avoidance is a key requirement.   This best practices document was developed to provide additional insight and information for operation of a vMSC infrastructure in conjunction with VMware vSphere. This paper explains how vSphere handles specific failure scenarios, and it discusses various design considerations and operational procedures. For detailed information about storage implementations, refer to documentation provided by the appropriate…
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Windows Server Technical Preview – Storage Replica

Storage Replica enables storage-agnostic, block-level, synchronous replication between clusters or servers for disaster recovery, as well as stretching of a failover cluster for high availability. Synchronous replication enables mirroring of data in physical sites with crash-consistent volumes ensuring zero data loss at the file system level. Asynchronous replication allows site extension beyond metropolitan ranges with the possibility of data loss. To help you get familiar with Storage Replica, we have a downloadable guide to provide you with step-by-step instructions for evaluating the Stretch Cluster and the Server-to-Server scenarios. These are both designed for Disaster Recovery and provide “over the river”…
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SCSI Bus Sharing on SCSI Cards

Recently working with a monster VM I had a request to add more capacity after looking at the properties of this machine I noticed that it had almost reach the maximum number of possible hard drives (SCSI devices) that could be allocated due to the amount of capacity and RDM's required.  So based on this I thought I would write a blog post on why there is this limitation. Now lets just take a quick look at the wide SCSI bus which is capable of serving SCSI ID 0 to 15 which means 16 SCSI targets. As you know (if you've dealt…
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VMware Virtual SAN Sizing Tool

All Virtual SAN customers and enthusiasts can easy get sizing ideas and estimations on the amount hardware resources necessary to support a particular Virtual SAN design. All you will need  to do is provide a few virtual machine inputs based on capacity, performance, and availability requirements. The purpose of this tool is to help determine the hardware specifications for hosts in a Virtual SAN cluster required to run a set of virtual machines defined by a set of input characteristics. These important assumptions should be understood before using this tool: All hosts in the cluster are assumed to have an…
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Symantec NetBackup and PureDisk appliances

This may be off topic but I thought I would cover it anyway as a colleague of mine found the information very useful.  We had a faulty 1TB disk (in slot 16) which needed replacing but looking at the front of the appliance there was no indication/labels to give us a clue as to location of  slot 16.  We trawled the internet for hours and finally came up with the following diagrams that perhaps one day may help you out and save you many hours of surfing. Following tables show the location of hotspare disks and data disks in different models…
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MetaLUNs Explained

The purpose of a MetaLUN is that a Clariion can grow the size of a LUN on the ‘fly’. Let’s say that a host is running out of space on a LUN. From Navisphere, we can “Expand” a LUN by adding more LUNs to the LUN that the host has access to. To the host, we are not adding more LUNs. All the host is going to see is that the LUN has grown in size. We will explain later how to make space available to the host. (more…)
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VMware VMFS: Technical Overview and Best Practices

The VMware Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) is a high performance cluster file system that allows virtualization to scale beyond the boundaries of a single system. This paper gives a technology overview of VMFS, including a discussion of features and their benefits. The paper highlights how VMFS capabilities enable greater scalability and decreased management overhead. It also provides best practices and architectural considerations for deployment of VMFS. Download http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vmfs-best-practices-wp.pdf Source: VMware
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