Enable Accelerated Networking using Azure Cloud Shell

What is Accelerated Networking?

Accelerated Networking provides consistent ultra-low network latency via Azure’s in-house programmable hardware and technologies such as SR-IOV. By moving much of Azure’s software-defined networking stack off the CPUs and into FPGA-based SmartNICs, compute cycles are reclaimed by end user applications, putting less load on the VM, decreasing jitter and inconsistency in latency.

Please double check the supported operating systems and VM sizes in the following documentation links to check the availability of this feature.

In 3 simple steps, we will learn to enable accelerated networking to an existing VM using Azure Cloud Shell (within the Azure Portal). Execute the following steps.

  1. First stop/deallocate the VM

    • az vm deallocate –resource-group myRG –name myVM
  2. Once stopped, enable Accelerated Networking on the NIC of your VM:

    • az network nic update –name myNic –resource-group myRG –accelerated-networking true
  3. Restart your VM. It’s that simple, isn’t it?

    • az vm start –resource-group myRG –name myVM

                    

Backup Best Practices in Action – The Backup Bible Part 2

The Backup Bible is an ambitious project produced by Altaro and written by Microsoft MVP Eric Siron that aims to be the definite guide to backup and disaster recovery for companies of all sizes.

The first eBook in the series was published earlier this year and focused on how to create a robust backup strategy including the key stakeholders you’ll need to deal with and the questions you’ll need to ask yourself to prepare yourself for a potential data loss event.

Part 2 – Backup Best Practices in Action – follows on from this starting point explaining how to implement this strategy and showing the reader what secure backup looks like on a day-to-day basis.

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The eBook is focused on providing practical implementation using actionable steps in each section providing the reader with the knowledge to bring the theory to life. It covers:

· Choosing the Right Backup and Recovery Software

· Setting and Achieving Backup Storage Targets

· Securing and Protecting Backup Data

· Defining Backup Schedules

· Monitoring, Testing, and Maintaining Systems

· And More!

The Backup Bible is an essential resource for anyone who manages data on a daily basis. For any business, data is your lifeline. A significant data loss can cause irreparable damage. Every company must ask itself – is our data properly protected?

You can download both part 1 and part 2 for free right now! The final part of the series, on disaster recovery, will be released later this year. By accessing the available parts, you’ll automatically receive the final eBook direct to your inbox when it is released later this year!

What are you waiting for? Get your eBook now!

Improvements to Azure VM backups are now available

Azure Backup now has even greater support and functionality for Azure VM backups:

  • Azure Backup is introducing restoring Unmanaged VMs/Disks as Managed VMs/Disks to provide the benefit of Managed disks for customers who are currently backing up their unmanaged disks.

For more details, please read our documentation

Restore virtual machine

  • Azure Backup now supports Replace existing disks as an option for VMs that have Managed Service Identities (MSI) Both User assigned Identities and System assigned Identities.

For more details, please read our documentation.

All the above features are generally available in all Azure regions.

Free eBook – The Backup Bible

As the old adage goes: fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

It’s the perfect description for backup yet to this day so many companies don’t have an adequate backup & disaster strategy in place for when the worst-case scenario happens. Just how well are you protecting your vital data?

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The Backup Bible, a free eBook from Altaro, guides you through the stages of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a substantial data loss event, which can otherwise be disastrous for a company of any size.

This eBook is the first instalment of a 3-part series comprising the complete guide to data protection. It covers how to get started with disaster recovery planning; how to set recovery objectives and loss tolerances; how to translate your business plan into a technically oriented outlook; how to create a customized agenda for obtaining key stakeholder support; and the essentials to setting up a critical backup checklist.

The second and third parts in the series will be released later this year but by downloading the first part, you’ll automatically receive the other eBooks in your inbox as soon as they become available!

Whether you’re just starting to put together a backup and disaster strategy or you want to make sure your current plan is up to scratch, every IT admin needs to read The Backup Bible.

Download your free copy today

Enable Azure Accelerated Networking

Azure Accelerated Networking is a new option for Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Virtual Machine (VM) on the NIC level providing several benefits by enabling single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) to a VM, greatly improving its networking performance. This high-performance path bypasses the host from the datapath, reducing latency, jitter, and CPU utilization, for use with the most demanding network workloads on supported VM types. You would typically use this feature with heavy workloads that need to send or receive data at high speed with reliable streaming and lower CPU utilization. It will enable speeds of up to 25Gbps per Virtual Machine. Best of all, it’s free!

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How to Enable Accelerated Networking:

You can enable this feature during initial creation of the VM, on the networking tab, you will see “Enable Accelerated Networking”. If you are unable to enable, then it is not compatible on your chosen Azure VM size. If you need to enable this feature after VM creation you will require to do so through powershell as it is not yet supported in the portal. You can do this simply with the below commands after deallocating the Virtual Machine.


Login-AzureRmAccount
$nic = Get-AzureRmNetworkInterface -ResourceGroupName “YourResourceGroupName” -Name “YourNicName”
$nic.EnableAcceleratedNetworking = $true
$nic | Set-AzureRmNetworkInterface

Then proceed to start the Virtual Machine and Accelerated Networking will be enabled.

ALTARO Software – Webinar

Critical Security Features in Office/Microsoft 365 Admins Simply Can’t Ignore

According to reports, since COVID-19 forced millions to work remotely, hackers have been taking this opportunity to exploit new vulnerabilities that have arisen. If your business uses Microsoft 365 or Office 365 to support remote workers, you need to be sure your security is as strong as it can be to avoid becoming another statistic in the coronavirus hackers hit list.

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Office/Microsoft 365 has a serious amount of in-built security measures, but it’s not straight forward to enable them and ensure they are all configured correctly for your requirements. A free upcoming webinar from Altaro on May 27th is a must-attend event for all users of Office/Microsoft 365, even more so due to current concerns over COVID-19 exploits.

Presented by Microsoft MVP Andy Syrewicze and Altaro Technical Consultant and former Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist Symon Perriman, this live demo webinar covers security features in the Office 365 stack that every administrator should be using including Azure AD, EMS Suite, Secure Score, Licensing for Security Features, and more!

As usual, Altaro hosts the webinar live twice on the same day to give as many people as possible the chance to attend live and ask their questions to the presenters. The first is at 3pm CEST/ 9am EDT/6am PDT and the second at 7pm CEST/ 1pm EDT/ 10am PDT. Both sessions have the same content so just choose the session with the best time for you. I’ll be attending so I’ll see you there!

Webinar Title: Critical Security Features in Office/Microsoft 365

Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Time: Webinar presented live twice on the day.

Choose your preferred time:

· 3pm CEST / 6am PDT / 9am EDT

· 7pm CEST / 10am PDT / 1pm EDT

Save my seat.

Nakivo Backup & Replication 9.3 is available

This week Nakivo Backup & Replication 9.3 has been released. There are a lot of cool features within Nakivo Backup & Replication, but one special new feature is support for Oracle RMAN. It’s now possible to backup Oracle databases using Oracle RMAN. Within a few steps, your databases are protected now.

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The installation is really straightforward. It is possible to install Nakivo Backup and Replication on Windows, Linux, virtual appliance (VMware and Hyper-V), on NAS devices as well, like QNAP, Synology, NETGEAR and even on a Raspberry Pi. You can find the list of supported devices and hardware here. Also the deployment requirements for Nakivo Backup and Replication.

Features of Nakivo Backup and Replication:

Oracle backup and restore – there is integration with Oracle RMAN to backup and restore your Oracle databases, using the native Oracle tools. You can schedule and automate your backups.

Backup to cloud – you can send backup copies directly to the cloud (AWS EC2 or Microsoft Azure)

Protect physical, virtual and cloud environments – support for AWS, VMware, Hyper-V, Office 365, Nutanix AHV cluster, physical machines (Windows and Linux)

P2V – backup physical machines and recover it to a virtual machine, like VMDK, VHD or VHDX.

Backup Office 365 mailboxes – backup user mailboxes and recover single items in the origional mailbox, or in a different mailbox

Cross-platform Recovery – export your virtual machine in the desired format and recover it on your hypervisor (VMware or Hyper-V)

Support for Windows Server 2019 – also support for Windows Server 2019, including Hyper-V Server and cluster environtments

Performance – creat performance optimizations like Advanced Bandwith Throtteling, Deduplication, LAN-Free Data Transfer, Network Acceleration using multiple transporter instances

Huge variety of integrations

Nakivo Backup and Replication offers a huge variety of application and platform integrations. ensuring that your critical data, applications and workloads are safe.

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Conclusion:

Nakivo Backup and Replication is a really powerfull and easy to manage backup and recovery solution. The setup is easy, with a great performing webinterface/GUI. It supports a lot of different platforms and cloud environments. Hopefully support for Microsoft Azure workloads will come in the future, but at this moment it is not possible. Support for backup and restore Oracle databases is really powerfull!!

You can get Nakivo 15 days trial and you’re up and running within 2 minutes.

NAKIVO Backup & Replication – Installation, Configuration, and Backup