New-SMBMapping -UseWriteThrough $True

New-SMBMapping -UseWriteThrough $True

As my readers probably know I like networking technologies. I experiment a lot find the best solutions for the challenges at hand. The aim is to make sure what I finally deploy in production is a very solid design. This avoids issues. Details can be very important in all this.

One such details is that in Windows Server 2019 (1809) and Windows 10 1809 mapping an SMB share has gotten a new parameter. For specific use cases, where caching is undesirable, you can now leverage: New-SMBMapping -UseWriteThrough $True

Some software requires and is dependent on the absolute guarantee data is consistent and persisted at all times. If so, the standard behavior of the OS in relation to a SMB 3 share is not enough to achieve this. Backups are such a use case. I wrote an article on this that was published on the StarWind Software blog: 
Windows Server 2019 introduces a new SMB Mapping Option UseWriteThrough

Go have a look and I hope you find it useful. You will find more info on the potential issue it fixes inWhen using file shares as backup targets you should leverage continuous available SMB 3 file shares

Attending the Global MVP Summit 2019

Attending the Global MVP Summit 2019

This week I registered for attending the Global MVP Summit 2019. My flights are booked, as is the hotel. The train tickets to and from the airport can still wait a bit. I am already looking forward to it. Getting out of the office to interact with so many people with various back grounds and roles is a great way to evaluate where you stand, what you do and where you are going. That’s why I also attend and present at conferences and I am happy to contribute to community programs like Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, Veeam Vanguard, DELL Rockstar etc. It is time and money well spent.

Being a Microsoft MVP is a great experience. You get to give and receive feedback on their technology and gain a better understanding about the why.

The experience

I for one can say that arriving in Bellevue and at the Redmond campus has always been an educational, stimulating experience. There is always a bit of a buzz and a focus. They’ll gladly pull you in a room with a few program managers to discuss issues, ideas or concepts you brought up and, in some cases, you’ll see the results of that discussion later that year. That’s kind of cool and satisfying to help make something a little bit better with our contributions.

This doesn’t mean we agree on everything, far from, but discussion is good as challenging things help find the strengths and weaknesses. There is a reason for the word “real-world knowledge, independent,expertise and passion to describe what MVPs do and are. As one manager puts it “MVPs help keep us honest”. It is one way of prevent tunnel vision and I think this might be the most important part for Microsoft. They don’t need a couple of fan boys showing up but people with feedback and opinions, and real world, hands on experience.

I realize that I do not I get to set the course at Microsoft or determine their business plans and strategies. Far from. But you are a valued contributor, a real-world bio indicator of how well they’re are doing in the global IT ecosystem. In that week we work together and learn from each other. I feel appreciated.

Even when I drop in to their offices when passing by Redmond, I always got a warm welcome. Many of my own employers or managers have never made me feel that appreciated and welcome. We can learn something from that. Appreciate people who dare tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Whatever you do after that feedback is fine, but at least genuinely listen and evaluate it.

Conclusion

I think it is all the above that keeps me coming back to the MVP Summit. Sure, it costs me: vacation days, travel expenses, out of pocket expenses. All costs that I cannot declare or recuperate. I’m traveling for 20 hours inbound and outbound but, with or without my employers support, I am going.  It is an investment in myself and you cannot let others decide on everything you learn or do. Remain valuable, remain independent and don’t be afraid to do the right thing. With or without a sponsor or your employers consent, go! Go and be all you can be.

Kemp LoadMaster template import issue: Command serverinit needs 1 parameter(s)

Introduction

The error Kemp LoadMaster template import issue: Command serverinit needs 1 parameter(s) was encounter during a migration project I was involved in recnetly. Recently. The job was to migrate the virtual services of an aging Kemp LoadMaster HA solution (LM-2200, 32 bit) to newer and more capable versions (running 7.2.43, X64 bit). Even more important, migrate to a version that is still in support. The LM-2200 series are like many older ones End of Life (EOL). Kemp still delivers important fixes for critical security issues like this year (7.1.35.5 and 7.1.35.6) but that’s it in long term support (LTS). This is not bad, these have been supported for a very long time but the aging 32-bit hardware has reached the point where replacing the is the only right thing to do.

With Kemp we can select new hardware, virtual machines or appliances in the cloud. So on-premises, hybrid and public cloud needs can be taken care off with the same familiar load balancer / Application delivery controller (ADC).

One technique to migrate Kemp workloads is to export the virtual services to templates and use these to configure the new solution. It is during that process we ran into an error: Kemp LoadMaster template import issue: Command serverinit needs 1 parameter(s)

Kemp LoadMaster template import issueCommand serverinit needs 1 parameter(s)

One of the applications is a mission critical one that has many different virtual services. FTP/FTPS/HTTP/HTTPS and also a bunch of TCP/UDP connectivity over ports that are very application/industry specific. A dozen virtual services, all on the same IP address with different ports and configuration needs.

We exported all of them to templates which we then used to recreate them on the replacement ADC. While doing so we used a different IP address for these newly created virtual services for testing purposes. This test IP address is changesd to the original production IP when ready to make the move and after disabling the old virtual services. That also allows for a quick exit / roll back if needed.

The process of creating a new virtual service requires a little work to be done still such as defining a gateway, SSL certificates, adding real servers, … but the bulk of the work is done for you.

But with certain templates we got an error: Syntax error detected in template file: Command serverinit needs 1 parameter(s)

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When looking at the template in a text editor we see the following:

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Clearly “servinit” does not have a parameter set. So, it probably needs one, to specify which type of the Server Initiating Protocol needs to be set for our generic service.

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Finding a solution

We need to find out what parameter goes with our setting and add that the template. That value is found is easy enough. Via educated trial and error. On a test virtual service on the current version ADC we set the value for the Server Initiating Protocols to our value (other server initiating) and then export this virtual service to a template. We look at the template and note the number. That way we map what server initiating protocol corresponds to what value. In our case other server initiating is “3”.

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We edit our exported templates to have the correct parameter value set that we find out this way and try to import it again.

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That’s all that we needed to do to get these exported templates to be imported with no further issues.

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All that’s left to do is to finish configuring the virtual service and continue our migration.

Conclusion

Don’t panic. Many problems you encounter have a solution, workaround or fix. Maybe this will help someone out there. Take care and until next time.3

Upgrading to DELLEMC Unisphere Central for SC Series

Upgrading to DELLEMC Unisphere Central for SC Series

To prepare for rolling out SCOS 7.3 (see my blog post SC Series SCOS 7.3 for more information on this version) we upgraded our Dell Storage Manager Data Collector and DELL Storage Manager Client to 18.1.10.171. I am happy to report that went flawlessly. This means we are ready to work with CoPilot and will upgrade our SANs over the next week. That is always a phased roll out, to minimize risk.

Upgrading to 18.1.10.171 actually means we are upgrading to DELLEMC Unisphere Central for SC Series, which was announced as part of the SCOS 7.3 upgrade benefits.

The upgrade process itself is straight forward and isn’t different from what we are used to. First you upgrade the Storage Manager Data Collector and then the Storage Manager Client. If you have a remote Storage Manager Data Collector you must then upgrade that one as well.

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Make sure you have successful backup and create a checkpoint before you start the upgrade. That way you also have an easy exit plan when things go south.

Upgrading the Storage Manager Data Collector & Client

This needs to be done first. It can take a while so be patient. Run the Storage Manager Data Collector 178.1.10.171.exe with elevated permissions. It unpacks and asks you to select a language.

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Click OK to continue and just follow the wizard.

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It will ask you to confirm you want to upgrade.

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Click yes and follow the wizard.

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Click “Next” to kick of the upgrade and relax.

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The wizard will provide you with plenty of feedback of what it is doing along the way.

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The final step after the upgrade is to start the Data Collector service.

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Starting the Data Collector service can take quite a while. Be patient. When it’s done the wizard will inform you of this.

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Click “Finish” to close the installer.

On your desktop you’ll notice that you now have an icon called DELL EMC Unisphere Central. This indicates that the storage management for DELL EMC offerings are converging.

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Do note that if you have a remote Storage Manager Data Collector you must now upgrade that one also, Do NOT forget to keep both deployments at the same software levels.

You are now ready to upgrade the Storage Manager Client. Run the installer with elevated permissions.

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Just follow the wizard, normally this goes really fast and that’s it. You can log into the new and see that the GUI is very familiar to anyone using already.

What is new is the look and feel of the DELLEMC Unisphere Central for SC Series. It’s not you father’s data collector any more.

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We’ll talk about DELLEMC Unisphere Central for SC Series later when we have had a chance to work with it some more in real live.