Vembu 3.9.0 – What’s New?

Vembu have released 3.9.0 of their Vembu BDR Suite, extending it’s features and capabilities. Let’s take a look at what’s new:

Tape backup support – The technology that has more lives than a cat – tape is added to the feature list. The feature which Vembu are calling Native Tape Backup allows backup jobs to be copied to tape. This allows all the benefits of tape to be achieved, cheap long term storage of backups, easy offsiting and enablement of the 3-2-1 backup rule. The 3-2-1 backup best practice suggests that you have three copies of your data in two different media and one offsite location. Tape clearly assists with the objectives of an offsite copy and a different type of media

Vembu Tape backup

Quick VM Recovery – The Quick VM Recovery allows you to instantly start up a virtual machines from backups. This allows for very low RTO’s and in turn allows for greater testing of restores. This feature was previously available in Vembu for VMware only, the 3.9.0 release introduces quick recovery for Hyper-V

Vembu quick vm recovery

Backup-level Encryption – This feature allows the encryption of backup data between the client and backup server. Each backup jobs is secured with a password and can only be restored or accessed by using the password.

Pre-post Backup Scripts – Some times there is the need to run a script before or after a backup job to enable applications to be in a consistent state ready for backups. These scripts can now be added directly into the backup job . This simplifies the process by creating one place for all necessary configuration of a backup job.

Vembu pre post backup script

Auto Authorization at Offsite – This ensures that only authorised Vembu servers can connect with the offsite DR server using a shared key

Event Viewer Integration – This allows events generated by the Vembu application to be added to the Windows event log

If you would like to investigate further you can download a free trial

 

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Securing Office 365

This weeks guest post is brought to you by Seb Masterton-Smith from HMS-evolve, a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider.

In this world of uncertainty, insecurity and downright misinformation, how do you know if your cloud service is secure and maintain its integrity?

One provider has created a tool which gives you a score of how secure your tenancy is based on a series of security best practices. Not only is Office 365 one of the most popular cloud services for collaboration and productivity, but it’s also cramming in a host of secure features that would please most high security sites. It’s called Office 365 Secure Score and it gives visibility into just how secure your implementation is and presents you with a rating, much like a credit rating score.

Simple? Scary?

Sounds simple, and it really is!

Office 365 Admins can simply go to https://securescore.office.com to see how they are doing, and can share this information with other users in the business.

Once you are in, the first thing you’ll notice on the dashboard is the score itself, a huge number in the middle of the screen, and if it’s the first time it’ll likely be lower than you might think. Your first instinct will be to panic, and perhaps question everything you know about your Infrastructure, fearing that some teenager in his parents’ house is hacking into your data right now.

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Stop, take a deep breath, count to 10 or go for a walk, whatever you need to calm down, it’s not as bad as it seems. Once you’ve calmed down, made a coffee and got back to your screen, here’s how you can take advantage of this information and improve that terrible score.

Take action!

Underneath the scary score you’ll find a list of actions which can help improve it. It’s worth going through each one and understanding what each one means, there’s not enough time to go through them all here, but they are broadly split into 3 categories (account, device and data. Some tasks are an immediate change and forget (such as enabling Multi-Factor Authentication), others are suggested to be reviewed periodically (reviewing sign-ins after multiple failures report weekly).

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Either way, there are a lot of really sound security features that will help secure your business, especially with the new European General Data Protection Regulations coming in May 2018, which impact all businesses that interact with European citizens.

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Great, so this will tell me if I am more likely to get breached?

Unfortunately, it won’t. There is no way to properly measure whether your Infrastructure is liable to get breached or not, because that depends on many more factors than simply the security of the Infrastructure. Someone that is determined won’t be stopped by anything.

What it can do is go some way to mitigate the risk of your accounts, devices or data getting breached.

So my advice as a minimum is to go through the score and change options that you know about, and for the other options you can ask consultancy’s such as HMS-evolve to offer a free consultation on the rest.

3PAR & InfoSight

Whilst at HPE Discover I managed to nab some screenshots of the new 3PAR implementation of InfoSight. You can read my post about all the InfoSight announcements.

To get InfoSight up and running with 3PAR you need to be running 3PAR OS 3.3.1, have an active support contract and have the 3PAR communicating back to base. The initial release, available in January will focus on delivering greater insight into the performance of VM’s on the storage.  This is achieved by adding additional functionality to the Service Processor which will allow it to talk to the vCentre in your environment.  Once you have your 3PAR setup with InfoSight you will see two key areas of information, storage information which today will be the same as information being retrieved from StoreFront remote. Secondly you will see the virtualisation layer info being pulled back from vCentre.

Screenshots

Below is the screenshots I managed to gather of InfoSight with 3PAR:

Key host storage performance stats – IOPS, latency and throughput

3PAR InfoSight Storage Performance

The more familiar looking information previously available in Storefront Remote

3PAR Storefront Remote

High level VM overview

3PAR InfoSight VM overview

The following screens allow “noisy neighbour analysis”. They look at various stats to identify which VMs are working your environment the hardest and potentially causing contention in the environment.

Top VMs by latency and IOPs

InfoSight VM IO Contention

Top VMs by CPU usage

Top VM by CPU Useage

Top VMs by data usage

Top VM by data useage

This menu shows all the contention reports available

Seen the 3PAR simulator video setup guide?