Tag Archives: ability

Intelligent Retail: Top Tech Trends for 2018 and Beyond – Microsoft Enterprise

Today’s innovations in technology are opening new doors for retailers. The ability to infuse data and intelligence in all areas of a business has the potential to completely reinvent retail. Here’s a visual look at the top technologies we see enabling this transformation in 2018 and beyond, and where they’ll have the greatest impact.

2018 the year of intelligent retail- infographic

How to Resize Virtual Hard Disks in Hyper-V 2016

We get lots of cool tricks with virtualization. Among them is the ability to change our minds about almost any provisioning decision. In this article, we’re going to examine Hyper-V’s ability to resize virtual hard disks. Both Hyper-V Server (2016) and Client Hyper-V (Windows 10) have this capability.

Requirements for Hyper-V Disk Resizing

If we only think of virtual hard disks as files, then we won’t have many requirements to worry about. We can grow both VHD and VHDX files easily. We can shrink VHDX files fairly easily. Shrinking VHD requires more effort. This article primarily focuses on growth operations, so I’ll wrap up with a link to a shrink how-to article.

You can resize any of Hyper-V’s three layout types (fixed, dynamically expanding, and differencing). However, you cannot resize an AVHDX file (a differencing disk automatically created by the checkpoint function).

If a virtual hard disk belongs to a virtual machine, the rules change a bit.

  • If the virtual machine is Off, any of its disks can be resized (in accordance with the restrictions that we just mentioned)
  • If the virtual machine is Saved or has checkpoints, none of its disks can be resized
  • If the virtual machine is Running, then there are additional restrictions for resizing its virtual hard disks

Can I Resize a Hyper-V Virtual Machine’s Virtual Hard Disks Online?

A very important question: do you need to turn off a Hyper-V virtual machine to resize its virtual hard disks? The answer: sometimes.

  • If the virtual disk in question is the VHD type, then no, it cannot be resized online.
  • If the virtual disk in question belongs to the virtual IDE chain, then no, you cannot resize the virtual disk while the virtual machine is online.
  • If the virtual disk in question belongs to the virtual SCSI chain, then yes, you can resize the virtual disk while the virtual machine is online.

rv_idevscsi

Does Online VHDX Resize Work with Generation 1 Hyper-V VMs?

The generation of the virtual machine does not matter for virtual hard disk resizing. If the virtual disk is on the virtual SCSI chain, then you can resize it online.

Does Hyper-V Virtual Disk Resize Work with Linux Virtual Machines?

The guest operating system and file system do not matter. Different guest operating systems might react differently to a resize event, and the steps that you take for the guest’s file system will vary. However, the act of resizing the virtual disk does not change.

Do I Need to Connect the Virtual Disk to a Virtual Machine to Resize It?

Most guides show you how to use a virtual machine’s property sheet to resize a virtual hard disk. That might lead to the impression that you can only resize a virtual hard disk while a virtual machine owns it. Fortunately, you can easily resize a disconnected virtual disk. Both PowerShell and the GUI provide suitable methods.

How to Resize a Virtual Hard Disk with PowerShell

PowerShell is the preferred method for all virtual hard disk resize operations. It’s universal, flexible, scriptable, and, once you get the hang of it, much faster than the GUI.

The cmdlet to use is Resize-VHD. As of this writing, the documentation for that cmdlet says that it operates offline only. Ignore that. Resize-VHD works under the same restrictions outlined above.

The VHDX that I used in the sample began life at 20GB. Therefore, the above cmdlet will work as long as I did at least one of the following:

  • Left it unconnected
  • Connected it to the VM’s virtual SCSI controller
  • Turned the connected VM off

Notice the gb suffix on the SizeBytes parameter. PowerShell natively provides that feature; the cmdlet itself has nothing to do with it. PowerShell will automatically translate suffixes as necessary. Be aware that 1kb equals 1,024, not 1,000 (although both b and B both mean “byte”).

Had I used a number for SizeBytes smaller than the current size of the virtual hard disk file, I might have had some trouble. Each VHDX has a specific minimum size dictated by the contents of the file. See the discussion on shrinking at the end of this article for more information. Quickly speaking, the output of Get-VHD includes a MinimumSize field that shows how far you shrink the disk without taking additional actions.

This cmdlet only affects the virtual hard disk’s size. It does not affect the contained file system(s). That’s a separate step.

How to Resize a Disconnected Virtual Hard Disk with Hyper-V Manager

Hyper-V Manager allows you to resize a virtual hard disk whether or not a virtual machine owns it.

  1. From the main screen of Hyper-V Manager, first, select a host in the left pane. All VHD/X actions are carried out by the hypervisor’s subsystems, even if the target virtual hard disk does not belong to a specific virtual machine. Ensure that you pick a host that can reach the VHD/X. If the file resides on SMB storage, delegation may be necessary.
  2. In the far right Actions pane, click Edit Disk.
    rv_actionseditdisk
  3. The first page is information. Click Next.
  4. Browse to (or type) the location of the disk to edit.
    rv_browse
  5. The directions from this point are the same as for a connected disk, so go to the next section and pick up at step 6.

Note: Even though these directions specify disconnected virtual hard disks, they can be used on connected virtual disks. All of the rules mentioned earlier apply.

How to Resize a Virtual Machine’s Virtual Hard Disk with Hyper-V Manager

Hyper-V Manager can also resize virtual hard disks that are attached to virtual machines.

  1. If the virtual hard disk is attached to the VM’s virtual IDE controller, turn off the virtual machine. If the VM is saved, start it.
  2. Open the virtual machine’s Settings dialog.
  3. In the left pane, choose the virtual disk to resize.
  4. In the right pane, click the Edit button in the Media block.
    rv_vmsettingsedit
  5. The wizard will start by displaying the location of the virtual hard disk file, but the page will be grayed out. Otherwise, it will look just like the screenshot from step 4 of the preceding section. Click Next.
  6. Choose to Expand or Shrink (VHDX only) the virtual hard disk. If the VM is off, you will see additional options. Choose the desired operation and click Next.
    rv_exorshrink
  7. If you chose Expand, it will show you the current size and give you a New Size field to fill in. It will display the maximum possible size for this VHD/X’s file type. All values are in GB, so you can only change in GB increments (use PowerShell if that’s not acceptable).
    rv_expandIf you chose Shrink (VHDX only), it will show you the current size and give you a New Size field to fill in. It will display the minimum possible size for this file, based on the contents. All values are in GB, so you can only change in GB increments (use PowerShell if that’s not acceptable).
    rv_expand
    Enter the desired size and click Next.
  8. The wizard will show a summary screen. Review it to ensure accuracy. Click Finish when ready.

The wizard will show a progress bar. That might happen so briefly that you don’t see it, or it may take some time. The variance will depend on what you selected and the speed of your hardware. Growing fixed disks will take some time; shrinking disks usually happens almost instantaneously. Assuming that all is well, you’ll be quietly returned to the screen that you started on.

Following Up After a Virtual Hard Disk Resize Operation

When you grow a virtual hard disk, only the disk’s parameters change. Nothing happens to the file system(s) inside the VHD/X. For a growth operation, you’ll need to perform some additional action. For a Windows guest, that typically means using Disk Management to extend a partition:

rv_extend

Note: You might need to use the Rescan Disks operation on the Action menu to see the added space.

Of course, you could also create a new partition (or partitions) if you prefer.

I have not performed this operation on any Linux guests, so I can’t tell you exactly what to do. The operation will depend on the file system and the tools that you have available. You can probably determine what to do with a quick Internet search.

VHDX Shrink Operations

I didn’t talk much about shrink operations in this article. Shrinking requires you to prepare the contained file system(s) before you can do anything in Hyper-V. You might find that you can’t shrink a particular VHDX at all. Rather than muddle this article will all of the necessary information, I’m going to point you to an earlier article that I wrote on this subject. That article was written for 2012 R2, but nothing has changed since then.

What About VHD/VHDX Compact Operations?

I often see confusion between shrinking a VHD/VHDX and compacting a VHD/VHDX. These operations are unrelated. When we talk about resizing, then the proper term for reducing the size of a virtual hard disk is “shrink”. “Compact” refers to removing the zeroed blocks of a dynamically expanding VHD/VHDX so that it consumes less space on physical storage. Look for a forthcoming article on that topic.

CloudBerry backups feature protection from ransomware

CloudBerry backups are hopping aboard the ransomware protection train, with the ability to detect encyrption changes along the way.

The latest update to CloudBerry’s flagship product, CloudBerry Backup, protects a customer’s file-level backups when it discovers ransomware. The product prevents existing CloudBerry backups from being overwritten until an administrator confirms if there is an issue.

Statistics show that ransomware attacks are still prevalent. Requested payment amounts to release encrypted files are also trending up.

“Customers are looking for any type of protection they can get,” said David Gugick, vice president of product management at CloudBerry Lab, which is based in New York City. “You don’t want ransomware to find your backup files.”

Some ransomware, though, is smart enough to encrypt backups. CloudBerry’s off-site cloud backup helps customers follow the 3-2-1 rule of backup, Gugick said. Organizations should have three copies of data on two different media, with one copy off site.

In addition, some ransomware is smart enough to exist on a user’s system without making its presence known right away.

When a customer enables ransomware protection in CloudBerry Backup 5.8, the vendor performs the initial backup and analyzes the bit structure of each file to determine if any files are encrypted. During subsequent backups, CloudBerry compares the original byte structure to the current byte structure, which enables the identification of newly encrypted files.

Customers are looking for any type of protection they can get.
David Gugickvice president of product management, CloudBerry

The customer’s backup plan continues, but CloudBerry prevents existing backups from deletion regardless of retention policies, according to the vendor. Customers can go back to a point in time before the attack and restore from protected CloudBerry backups.

Gugick cautioned that a ransomware protection strategy should be comprehensive and also include user education and security patches.

“Customers should not rely exclusively on backup and disaster recovery,” Gugick said. “This is just a piece of the protection puzzle.”

Waking up from the ransomware ‘nightmare’

Lori Hardtke, president of ByteWize Inc., which provides IT support for small businesses, said one of her clients got hit with a ransomware attack on a server earlier this year, before this new protection feature launched.

“It was the worst nightmare I ever went through,” Hardtke said.

However, the organization restored from CloudBerry backups and didn’t lose any data.

Hardtke recently downloaded the latest CloudBerry Backup software and engaged the ransomware feature, essentially by just checking a box. She welcomed the capability as “another layer of protection.”

Hardtke uses CloudBerry for file-level backups of Windows environments, primarily desktops. Her business, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., has roughly 50 clients across the United States. CloudBerry backs up 5.5 TB of data, mainly QuickBooks and standard documents, such as Word files and PDFs.

ByteWize uses Google Cloud Platform as the back end for its storage. CloudBerry does not provide storage; it only  handles backup and disaster recovery, which keeps costs low compared to its competition, Gugick said. The majority of customers use Amazon Web Services, but CloudBerry supports more than 30 cloud storage vendors, also including Google, Microsoft Azure, Backblaze B2, Oracle and Wasabi.

ByteWize switched to CloudBerry in September 2015 after about five years with Jungle Disk backup. Hardtke said she was looking for more innovation and less cost, and she found both with CloudBerry backups. She said she appreciates the steady flow of upgrades with significant enhancements.  

One enhancement Hardtke likes is the ability to do image-based backups. She said it would be helpful to retrieve files out of an image, like she can with Veeam Software, which she also uses to protect data.

CloudBerry's ransomware detection
CloudBerry Backup informs the user when it detects possible ransomware.

What else is new?

The ransomware protection is currently only designed for file-level backup, but Gugick said CloudBerry is planning support for images in a future release.

Other new features in CloudBerry Backup 5.8, which became generally available two weeks ago, include protection for Microsoft Hyper-V 2016 and support for VMware changed block tracking.

CloudBerry has two main backup offerings that support Windows, macOS and Linux. CloudBerry Backup for small businesses and consumers starts at $29.99 for the desktop edition and $119.99 for the server edition, and it features perpetual licenses. CloudBerry Managed Backup for managed service providers and larger businesses offers subscription licensing and starts at $5 per month, per server or desktop for file-level backup and $6 per month, per server or desktop for image-based backup.

CloudBerry backups protect more than 210 PB of data, Gugick said. The vendor claims about 43,000 CloudBerry Backup customers and 4,500 active CloudBerry Managed Backup customers.

For Sale – i7 3770K (reduced) and added GSync Monitor

My Z77 motherboard has failed this weekend losing the ability to use USB ports or SATA ports so moving onto a new build. Selling my parts as follows all tested on my server build which is also a 1155 and working fine – happy to post memtest etc if desired – unfortunately wouldn’t be compatible with any new board for me.

i7 3770K – delidded and lapped – lid is not glued down so can easily change paste if desired (currently Noctua paste on there) . Been under water cooling entire life at a modest 4.5ghz boost clock only.
£105 inc postage

Added:
ASUS VG248QE with G-Sync module upgrade.
1ms, 144HZ, 3D Vision Monitor. 24 inch – 1080P
Very good condition, boxed and complete – still even has the cellophane on the back
No dead pixels or other issues at all.
G-Sync module was added by Scan at time of purchase, was among the first available in the UK. Note that this means there is ONLY Displayport connectivity onboard.

£200 – I would prefer pickup ideally or can drop off between Bath and Cardiff most weekdays if necessary. Price is based on £160ish sales on sold eBay items (there are literally none of these available for comparison with GSync modules being rare indeed to get hold of)

Memory Sold

Pick up BA3 postcode area or Cardiff city centre most work days if desired for further discount.

Price and currency: Various
Delivery: Varies
Payment method: BACS, Paypal, cash on collection
Location: Bath
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – i7 3770K (reduced) and added GSync Monitor

My Z77 motherboard has failed this weekend losing the ability to use USB ports or SATA ports so moving onto a new build. Selling my parts as follows all tested on my server build which is also a 1155 and working fine – happy to post memtest etc if desired – unfortunately wouldn’t be compatible with any new board for me.

i7 3770K – delidded and lapped – lid is not glued down so can easily change paste if desired (currently Noctua paste on there) . Been under water cooling entire life at a modest 4.5ghz boost clock only.
£105 inc postage

Added:
ASUS VG248QE with G-Sync module upgrade.
1ms, 144HZ, 3D Vision Monitor. 24 inch – 1080P
Very good condition, boxed and complete – still even has the cellophane on the back
No dead pixels or other issues at all.
G-Sync module was added by Scan at time of purchase, was among the first available in the UK. Note that this means there is ONLY Displayport connectivity onboard.

£200 – I would prefer pickup ideally or can drop off between Bath and Cardiff most weekdays if necessary. Price is based on £160ish sales on sold eBay items (there are literally none of these available for comparison with GSync modules being rare indeed to get hold of)

Memory Sold

Pick up BA3 postcode area or Cardiff city centre most work days if desired for further discount.

Price and currency: Various
Delivery: Varies
Payment method: BACS, Paypal, cash on collection
Location: Bath
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – i7 3770K (reduced) and added GSync Monitor

My Z77 motherboard has failed this weekend losing the ability to use USB ports or SATA ports so moving onto a new build. Selling my parts as follows all tested on my server build which is also a 1155 and working fine – happy to post memtest etc if desired – unfortunately wouldn’t be compatible with any new board for me.

i7 3770K – delidded and lapped – lid is not glued down so can easily change paste if desired (currently Noctua paste on there) . Been under water cooling entire life at a modest 4.5ghz boost clock only.
£105 inc postage

Added:
ASUS VG248QE with G-Sync module upgrade.
1ms, 144HZ, 3D Vision Monitor. 24 inch – 1080P
Very good condition, boxed and complete – still even has the cellophane on the back
No dead pixels or other issues at all.
G-Sync module was added by Scan at time of purchase, was among the first available in the UK. Note that this means there is ONLY Displayport connectivity onboard.

£200 – I would prefer pickup ideally or can drop off between Bath and Cardiff most weekdays if necessary. Price is based on £160ish sales on sold eBay items (there are literally none of these available for comparison with GSync modules being rare indeed to get hold of)

Memory Sold

Pick up BA3 postcode area or Cardiff city centre most work days if desired for further discount.

Price and currency: Various
Delivery: Varies
Payment method: BACS, Paypal, cash on collection
Location: Bath
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – i7 3770K (reduced) and added GSync Monitor

My Z77 motherboard has failed this weekend losing the ability to use USB ports or SATA ports so moving onto a new build. Selling my parts as follows all tested on my server build which is also a 1155 and working fine – happy to post memtest etc if desired – unfortunately wouldn’t be compatible with any new board for me.

i7 3770K – delidded and lapped – lid is not glued down so can easily change paste if desired (currently Noctua paste on there) . Been under water cooling entire life at a modest 4.5ghz boost clock only.
£105 inc postage

Added:
ASUS VG248QE with G-Sync module upgrade.
1ms, 144HZ, 3D Vision Monitor. 24 inch – 1080P
Very good condition, boxed and complete – still even has the cellophane on the back
No dead pixels or other issues at all.
G-Sync module was added by Scan at time of purchase, was among the first available in the UK. Note that this means there is ONLY Displayport connectivity onboard.

£200 – I would prefer pickup ideally or can drop off between Bath and Cardiff most weekdays if necessary. Price is based on £160ish sales on sold eBay items (there are literally none of these available for comparison with GSync modules being rare indeed to get hold of)

Memory Sold

Pick up BA3 postcode area or Cardiff city centre most work days if desired for further discount.

Price and currency: Various
Delivery: Varies
Payment method: BACS, Paypal, cash on collection
Location: Bath
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – i7 3770K (reduced) and added GSync Monitor

My Z77 motherboard has failed this weekend losing the ability to use USB ports or SATA ports so moving onto a new build. Selling my parts as follows all tested on my server build which is also a 1155 and working fine – happy to post memtest etc if desired – unfortunately wouldn’t be compatible with any new board for me.

i7 3770K – delidded and lapped – lid is not glued down so can easily change paste if desired (currently Noctua paste on there) . Been under water cooling entire life at a modest 4.5ghz boost clock only.
£105 inc postage

Added:
ASUS VG248QE with G-Sync module upgrade.
1ms, 144HZ, 3D Vision Monitor. 24 inch – 1080P
Very good condition, boxed and complete – still even has the cellophane on the back
No dead pixels or other issues at all.
G-Sync module was added by Scan at time of purchase, was among the first available in the UK. Note that this means there is ONLY Displayport connectivity onboard.

£200 – I would prefer pickup ideally or can drop off between Bath and Cardiff most weekdays if necessary. Price is based on £160ish sales on sold eBay items (there are literally none of these available for comparison with GSync modules being rare indeed to get hold of)

Memory Sold

Pick up BA3 postcode area or Cardiff city centre most work days if desired for further discount.

Price and currency: Various
Delivery: Varies
Payment method: BACS, Paypal, cash on collection
Location: Bath
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – i7 3770K (reduced) and added GSync Monitor

My Z77 motherboard has failed this weekend losing the ability to use USB ports or SATA ports so moving onto a new build. Selling my parts as follows all tested on my server build which is also a 1155 and working fine – happy to post memtest etc if desired – unfortunately wouldn’t be compatible with any new board for me.

i7 3770K – delidded and lapped – lid is not glued down so can easily change paste if desired (currently Noctua paste on there) . Been under water cooling entire life at a modest 4.5ghz boost clock only.
£105 inc postage

Added:
ASUS VG248QE with G-Sync module upgrade.
1ms, 144HZ, 3D Vision Monitor. 24 inch – 1080P
Very good condition, boxed and complete – still even has the cellophane on the back
No dead pixels or other issues at all.
G-Sync module was added by Scan at time of purchase, was among the first available in the UK. Note that this means there is ONLY Displayport connectivity onboard.

£200 – I would prefer pickup ideally or can drop off between Bath and Cardiff most weekdays if necessary. Price is based on £160ish sales on sold eBay items (there are literally none of these available for comparison with GSync modules being rare indeed to get hold of)

Memory Sold

Pick up BA3 postcode area or Cardiff city centre most work days if desired for further discount.

Price and currency: Various
Delivery: Varies
Payment method: BACS, Paypal, cash on collection
Location: Bath
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.