Tag : System

Hyper-V: Shrinking a VHD

If you are using Hyper-V virtual machine, with thin provisioned (or dynamic) virtual disks, you may find yourself needing to compact those virtual disk files (.VHD) to reclaim free space.

Typically you would compact a virtual hard disk in situations such as the following:

  • After you install the guest operating system (which uses many temporary files)
  • After you delete large amounts of data
  • When you are preparing the virtual hard disk for archiving, for deployment to another computer or CD-ROM, or for distribution

To ensure that you get the smallest possible file size when you compact the virtual hard disk, you need to do some file system maintenance before you compact the disk. In the guest operating system of the virtual machine that is using the disk you want to compact, do the following:

  • Remove any temporary folders or unwanted folders or files.
  • Empty the Recycle Bin.
  • Defragment the disk.

Note that when running a defrag, you will actually grow the .VHD file prior to compacting, so make sure the host server has enough free space to accommodate it.

Shut down the VM, then go to the settings and go to the disk settings and click edit. This will bring up the disk edit wizard and the keep the first selected option, Compact.

Depending on the size of the .VHD file, and the available “white space” within the file, compacting may take a significant amount of time. So be sure to plan your downtime accordingly.

You may receive the error message “The system failed to compact disk.vhd. Error Code: The requested operation could not be completed due to a file system limitation” when attempting to compact the .VHD file.
First, check to see that there are no VSS backups on the VHD by running a “vssadmin list shadows” command in an elevated command prompt.

Second, delete any VSS backups that are present by running “vssadmin delete shadows /all“. If this fails to delete the VSS backups, you may need to resort to the “DiskShadow” utility in WS2K8 and WS2K8R2. (There’s some more information on DiskShadow here (free registration required) and also here.)

Data Storage For Small To Medium Sized Businesses – Data Solutions That Meet Compliance Standards – ProStor InfiniVault Storage System Breakdown and Review | BVA IT Consulting Blog

In working with a few different architectural firms and medical agencies, BVA has learned of several types of backup solutions that lean toward hitting compliance standards.  Being able to store large amounts of data for a specific period of time is crucial.  We have found that tape is a great solution but the problem that we see is the restore time in case something took place.  Even with an LTO4, the restore time would be quite substantial which could be very painful when we are talking about a terabyte of data.  In looking around for different solution we found a DISK based solution, GB, that really shortens the gap of restoring.  The product is called ProStor InfiniVault and is an array full of disks that are removable which is great.

ProStor InfiniVault is a storage system designed to balance the need to cost-effectively manage increasing amounts of information over extended periods of time. This is the storage solution for terabyte-years.  You can restore data fast with reliable retrieval of information from a choice of local online, removable offline or replicated locations.  The backup system comes fully equipped with what technology consulting companies and administrators need to manage their data for the long-term. There is no extra cost for software features and RDX disk drives can be added when storage needs grow, without having to purchase expensive disk management tools or new system infrastructure.  Data is organized into vaults allowing fast access through a standard NAS interface. The system automatically manages data retention, compression, encryption, and single-instancing de-duplication. It also maintains data integrity for the user so that data is available for years to come.

The intelligent software engine automatically protects itself – there is no need to back it up. The software stores multiple copies of each file to RDX removable disk cartridges, allowing near-line and offline data protection with removability for seamless integration into current workflows. The software provides several features that allow organizations to comply with the rules and regulations that govern their business, such as:

  • Hardware-enforced WORM for immutability
  • Audit trail with chain-of-custody reporting
  • File indexing for search and rapid file retrieval (eDiscovery)
  • Data retention and automatic deletion
  • Automatic copies
  • Legal hold enforcement
  • Data encryption and key management

The backup software has a web-based management console and provides a simple interface for configuration and management.  The disks used to store the data is called RDX.   Over 130 Petabytes of data can be stored on RDX disks today, RDX is the market leader in removable storage. Organizations can trust that the technology is here to stay.  RDX has such world-wide acceptance because of its cost-savings benefits such as:

  • RDX uses less energy: RDX disks are powered down when not in use, thus reducing power and cooling costs.
  • RDX disks are cost-effective: Capacities can be intermixed, and the interface will remain compatible well into the future. Organizations can purchase the latest capacity cartridge at the current best market price.
  • RDX is built to last: Each RDX cartridge has a 30-year shelf life, along with protection against drops and static electricity.

Models and Hardware Specs:

New Cloud VoIP Phone Systems – Cloud Phone System Review – Which Cloud Solution Is Best For Phone Systems | BVA IT Consulting Blog

BVA is reviewing many different options when it comes to Cloud Offerings for phone systems.  There are many out there that promise a lot of things and in our experiences we feel that they over-promise feature sets.  There are some local vendors here in the valley that have some offerings such as Saddleback and Telesphere.  We have heard good and bad things about these services here locally, therefore collectively we thought we would look elsewhere for a viable vendor to provide said services.  We have one service we are reviewing (http://www.ringcentral.com) called Ring Central and it sounds like a good solution to review and try out.

An organization can get a complete cloud-based VoIP business phone system that eliminates expensive on-premise equipment, includes ready-to-use phones, and provides enterprise-class functionality with RingCentral Office. No setup fees, no contracts required, and instant activation is what I like about it looking at it from 10,000 feet.  You can use RingCentral Office as your business phone system and:

  • Set up your phone system to work the way you do.
  • Get the business phone system, voice and fax features you need.
  • Integrate office, mobile, and distributed employees under one phone system.
  • Manage calls, voicemail, and faxes from your mobile phone.
  • Eliminate setup costs and complex installation.
  • Significantly reduce ongoing operating costs.
  • Add users and phones any time on the fly.