Vol. 18, #8 - February 25, 2013 - Issue #918
Save Money on Storage
- Editor's Corner
- Saving Money on Storage
- Tip of the Week
- Recommended for Learning
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Webcast Calendar
- Register for Webcasts
- Money Saving Storage Tips
- SAN Tips
- Virtualizing Server Workloads
- Step-by-Step: Build a FREE System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 Lab in the Cloud
- E2EVC Presentation – WS2012 Hyper-V Versus VMware vSphere 5.1 Deathmatch
- Want to be an MCT? Start Here!
- Incorrect amount of RAM listed
- 5Nine Security Manager for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V
- Office 365: The Mobile Office for Your Small Business
- Bringing Analytics as a Service to the enterprise
- Straightening out virtual desktop snags with VDI monitoring tools
- Cluster Shared Volumes and virtual storage provisioning decisions
- IT needs to keep up with workers who use desktop cloud backup
- This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
- Meet the new product that’s making Email Archiving easy
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER to a colleague who you think might find it useful!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
This week's newsletter is all about saving money on storage in Windows Server environments. But before we dig into that topic, hey, did I mention that I recently bought an iPod Touch 5G? It's interesting sometimes trying to view websites that have supposedly been designed to be viewable in a web browser on a smartphone or other mobile device:
Hey, did I mention that I recently bought an iPod Touch 5G? It's interesting sometimes trying to...
Saving Money on Storage
I live in Winnipeg, Canada, which among other monikers is sometimes known as Bargain City. Everyone one shops for bargains around here, and nobody buys anything unless it's on sale or they have a coupon. Of course, this means that everything is on sale all the time, which sort of takes away from the meaning of the word "sale"...
So if you're like me, then the first thing you think about when you hear "saving money on storage" might be where you can buy the biggest, cheapest hard drives. Unfortunately, cheap can bite you in the backside when you follow that approach in business...
In the server world, saving money on storage isn't about buying cheap hard drives. It's first and foremost about storage consolidation, that is, migrating your existing assortment of direct-attached storage (DAS) devices to a storage-area network (SAN) or other pooled storage array so you can:
- Save money on storage hardware by using thin provisioning
- Enhance the supportability of your storage by retiring old hardware
- Boost application performance by implementing data tiering
- Safeguard your data better by enabling snapshot backups
- Track and manage your storage more easily
- Save money on power and air conditioning costs
Then once you've consolidated your storage you can gain additional benefits by implementing a data tiering solution as we described in a previous issue of this newsletter:
Of course, consolidating server storage and establishing data tiers takes careful planning and execution since it deals with a precious commodity--your business data. Also important to consider however is when you should embark on such initiatives.
When to consolidate storage
A good time to refresh your storage architecture through consolidation and tiering is when you are planning on consolidating your server workloads through virtualization. That's because migrating physical servers to virtual machines running allows you to retire both your existing physical servers and the internal and DAS storage devices used by those servers:
Figure 1: Virtualizing server workloads provides an opportunity to consolidate server storage
Avoiding the pitfalls
While storage consolidation can bring benefits, it can also involve pitfalls. One thing to watch out for is the desire to over-engineer your new storage solution by allocating too much storage to each virtual machine. Another potential issue is avoiding virtual machine sprawl, the insidious counterpart to physical server sprawl. It's actually easier to end up with a sprawling collection of virtual machines just because it's so easy to spin up a new virtual machine when you need one, and pretty soon you've ended up drawing down the capacity of your storage array with workloads that could have been consolidated onto fewer virtual machines.
Managing concurrent projects
Another potential pitfall is that you'll be implementing two significant IT projects simultaneously (or nearly so) for your infrastructure, namely physical to virtual (P2V) conversion and storage consolidation. It's hard enough to bring a single IT project to a successful conclusion on time and under budget, so it might be doubly hard or more so to implement two IT projects simultaneously.
Obviously this means you'll need to utilize good project management practices to succeed in such a transformation of your infrastructure. Along these lines in a few weeks from now, we'll be including a guest editorial by Dave Kehler on the topic of successful project management in this newsletter, so stay tuned!
More ways to save money on storage
For some more ways on how you can save money on storage for your business or the businesses of your customers, see the links in the Tech Briefing section of this newsletter.
Send us feedback
How have you saved money on storage in your own organization? Share your tips with our readers by sending them to [email protected]
Tip of the Week
Microsoft Outlook uses two types of Outlook data files: PST and OST. For a good explanation of these different files, see here:
In Outlook 2010 the maximum size of these two files is preconfigured to be 50 GB (in Outlook 2007 it was 20 GB). So what do you do if your PST or OST file is approaching 50 GB in size?
If your PST file is approaching the limit, what should you do? One solution is to export some of your PST folder to a second PST folder as described in this Knowledge Base article:
For an OST file approaching the limit you have several different options. For instance, starting with Outlook 2007 you can control which folders are synced to your OST which allows you to limit the size of your OST as described here:
Another thing you can try is to compact the OST to reduce the amount of free space it has. To do this in Outlook 2010, right-click on the root of your Exchange mailbox folder and select Data File Properties, then click Advanced, select the Advanced tab, click Outlook Data File Settings, and click Compact Now. Note that compacting a very large OST file can take a long time so it's probably best to run this operation overnight.
Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013 also have some registry keys you can use to define size limits for both PST and OST files as described here:
but be sure to read the Note under More Information in that KB article before you attempt to implement this approach.
Finally, you might also want to look into purchasing a good email archiving solution such as Mail Archiver from Exclaimer:
Exclaimer also has other great products for Exchange and Outlook and they're our sponsor for this issue of WServerNews, so be sure to click on one of the banner ads to find out more about their products and solutions.
Contact us at [email protected] if you have a tip you'd like to share the 100,000 subscribers of this newsletter!
Recommended for Learning
Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is a program for IT Pros to gain access to free self-paced training resources. The MVA has just celebrated an important milestone: they've now logged over one million customers from over 100 countries around the world!
For those of you who work with Hyper-V or VMware as a virtualization platform, there are a couple of Jump Starts on the MVA you might want to check out:
Introduction to Hyper-V
Technical Evangelist Symon Perriman and Principal Program Manager Lead Jeff Woolsey team-teach this demo-rich course for IT Pros who are experienced in virtualization and want to learn to leverage Hyper-V to perform essential tasks in the Windows Server 2012 platform.
Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals
Explains the competitive advantages Microsoft has over VMware products and technologies, and focuses on how using the Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 SP1 can help build, deploy, and manage private cloud architecture:
And for those of you who are interested in embracing the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement but still need to manage and secure PCs, tablets (Surface, iPad, etc.) and mobile devices (Windows Phone, Android, iPhone) you might want to check out the following:
Windows Intune for IT Professionals Jump Start
In this on-demand free training course, Technical Evangelist David Tesar and IT Security and Infrastructure Architect Richard Harrison explain why Windows Intune is the perfect choice for IT organizations exploring the best approach to Mobile Device Management (MDM).
Find out more about the different training options offered by the MVA by visiting it today:
Quote of the Week
"Work doesn't care whether you like it, love it, or are passionate about it. It just wants to get done!"
--Larry Winget, the Pitbull of Personal Development
Until next week,
BTW feel free to:
Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don’t receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we’ll try to troubleshoot things from our end.
Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
Email Archiving made easy – Exclaimer Mail Archiver provides you with all the benefits of email archiving in a package that’s simple to install, easy to maintain and low cost to own.
Download SolarWinds free Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory to get a complete hierarchical view of the effective permissions and access rights for a specific file folder or share drive!
Start discovering sensitive data in your file systems in the next 10 minutes with StealthSEEK – it’s that simple – download now:
Free tool: Hyper-V Backup by Altaro. Easy to use, fast, has your back. More info & Download:
NetApp unified storage systems can be used to consolidate all your storage into one easy-to-manage, easy-to-scale system:
- Microsoft Management Summit on April 8-12, 2013 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, USA
- Microsoft TechEd North America on June 3-6, 2013 in New Orleans, USA
- NEW! - Microsoft TechEd Europe on June 25-28, 2013 in Madrid, Spain
- Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference on July 7-11, 2013 in Houston, USA
- Microsoft TechEd Africa 2013 on April 16-19, 2013 in Durban, South Africa
Add your event
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
We'll start with some more ways you can save money on storage:
- How Businesses Use Virtualization to Optimize Storage (BizTech Magazine):
- Five Cost-Effective Storage Options (EnterpriseStorageForum.com):
- SAN consolidation reduces costs, boosts performance (TechTarget, requires login):
- NAS: Big Storage in a Small Space (BizTech Magazine):
- Missing Link for Enterprise Storage and the Cloud (Data Center Knowledge):
- Why Your Agency Should Switch to Virtualization Technology (FedTech Magazine):
- Economic Realities of Archive Storage (EnterpriseStorageForum.com):
If you're new to storage area network (SAN) technologies then a good place to start learning about it is Brien Posey's series of articles "A Crash Course in Storage Area Networking" on WindowsNetworking.com:
Brien also has a new series of articles about Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 (WindowsNetworking.com):
Your Editor also has a new series of articles about using iSCSI storage with Windows Server 2012 (WindowsNetworking.com):
As far as virtualizing server workloads is concerned, we previously touched on this topic when we discussed P2V conversion in several previous issues of this newsletter:
Now on to other stuff...
Step-by-Step: Build a FREE System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 Lab in the Cloud
Keith Mayer walks us through the steps that he used to build his ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 demo lab in the cloud on the Windows Azure platform (IT Pros ROCK! at Microsoft):
E2EVC Presentation – WS2012 Hyper-V Versus VMware vSphere 5.1 Deathmatch
A presentation that Aidan Finn did at the last E2EVC event in Hamburg where he discusses Windows Server virtualization licensing, Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, System Center, and vSphere (Aidan Finn, IT Pro):
Want to be an MCT? Start Here!
Mitch Garvis explains how to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer (Canadian IT Pro Connection):
Incorrect amount of RAM listed
Aamer from the Windows Performance team at Microsoft explains why Windows may report the incorrect amount of installed RAM (Ask the Performance Team Blog):
5Nine Security Manager for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V
This is the first of a two-part blog article that takes a look at 5Nine Security Manager for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V (Hyper-V.nu):
Office 365: The Mobile Office for Your Small Business
Microsoft Office 365 is easy to use yet sophisticated enough to make your mobile office just as productive as your brick-and-mortar office (Why Microsoft):
Bringing Analytics as a Service to the enterprise
Traditionally, data warehousing and business intelligence projects have been costly and time-consuming, but that’s all starting to change thanks to the cloud. Inside this tip, learn how to leverage cloud-based analytics to streamline these challenges and enhance the quality of your analyses.
Straightening out virtual desktop snags with VDI monitoring tools
While VDI delivers significant benefits, it can be challenging to effectively manage this dynamic infrastructure and troubleshoot issues. Fortunately, there are a number of VDI monitoring tools you can leverage to minimize potential pain points. Find out more inside this exclusive guide.
Cluster Shared Volumes and virtual storage provisioning decisions
Many organizations are leveraging Cluster Shared Volumes to better manage resources, but when doing so, it’s essential to properly plan out your storage strategy to avoid bottlenecks. Learn how to successfully provision your virtual storage to ensure your systems continue to run smoothly.
IT needs to keep up with workers who use desktop cloud backup
Whether IT realizes it or not, many end users are utilizing desktop cloud backup services on their personal devices to save and store company data. Access this valuable tip to learn the key steps you must take to prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
A Wallace and Gromit-style device that makes pancakes from eggs laid just minutes before.
Girl meets boy in the office and they find a new way of expressing their affection in this endearing short film.
Master speed-painter D. Westry shows off his creative skills during the "Anderson's Viewers Got Talent" competition.
WServerNews - Editors
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.