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For Sale – HGST 8TB 7.2K 3.5″ SATA III Enterprise Hard Drive £149

This the HGST 8TB 7.2K 3.5″ SATA III Enterprise Hard Drive HDD 0F23267 HUH728080ALE600.

These are Enterprise so runs forever, been using a couple of these in my RAID. 10khours.

Selling to fund a project.

I’m near Angel, Islington in London

Price and currency: 165
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PayPal BT
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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For Sale – WD My Cloud 3TB

As title, I have this for sale in white.

Purchased some time ago, Backed some files up to it and then have not used since!

Worked very well once set up, Surprised at the transfer speeds (main reason I purchased this model was the good speeds in reviews)

In very good condition, Do not think I have the original box but it will be well packaged.

Price and currency: £75
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or PPG
Location: Kent
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
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.

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Pure Storage analytics, cloud move to forefront

AUSTIN, Texas — Pure Storage this week enhanced analytics and performance monitoring for VMware, made its Cloud Block Store available and re-branded its storage-as-a-service program.

Pure1 VM Analytics Pro makes it easier to map individual virtual machines to an underlying bare-metal Pure Storage all-flash array. Pure1 Pro software is available as a separate license from Pure’s Purity operating system.

Nimble Storage was the first storage vendor to successfully introduce cloud-based predictive analytics, which since has become a baseline array feature for most major storage vendors. Predictive storage analytics can aid capacity planning and help head off hardware failure.

Customers at the flash vendor’s Pure Accelerate annual user conference this week reacted favorably to the Pure Storage analytics upgrade.

“I haven’t got it yet, but I want it,” said Steve Culy, a senior systems engineer at Navis, a company that automates operations at more than 300 marine ports around the world.

Navis beta tested VM Analytics Pro, and Culy said he was able to compare Pure analytics against third-party analytics tools. He said Pure1 cut troubleshooting from hours to about 15 minutes. “It’s easy to use and focuses on the storage,” Culy said. “It allowed to us to find the trouble real fast.”

Brandon Nguyen, a senior systems engineer with IT services provider Direct Technology, based in Sacramento, Calif., said the upgraded Pure analytics should streamline the process for identifying performance issues.

“You’re going to look for issues with either the storage, the networking or the memory. Once we get hold of this, being able to get all those analytics in one page will be extremely helpful,” Nguyen said.

Pure Storage analytics launched in 2017. Pure Storage said it encompasses more than 50,000 virtual machines (VMs) globally and generates more than 50 TB of data per day. Pure1 scans the VM tier and returns suggestions for optimizing performance of sluggish VMs.

Pure1 Analytics Pro includes three years of data retention. A free version of the Pure Storage Analytics software retains data for seven days.

The paid version gives customers a workload planner “that comes from understanding the potential of each array,” said Shawn Rosemarin, a Pure vice president of worldwide engineering.

Pure1 Analytics encompasses more than 50,000 machines globally and generates more than 50 TB of data per day, Rosemarin said.

Evergreen greyed out, AI Data Hub phased in

FlashArray is Pure Storage’s flagship block array, and accounts for the lion’s share of Pure’s revenue. Pure FlashBlade is a scale-out array that provides massive parallelism of unstructured data. FlashBlade handles file and object data and also provides the framework for Pure AIRI, a reference design for big data analytics built with Nvidia supercomputers and Arista Networks gear.

Although a pioneer in ultrafast all-flash storage hardware when it launched 10 years ago, Pure Storage has placed greater emphasis on storage software since Charlie Giancarlo took over as CEO in 2017.

The biggest manifestation of that shift is Pure Storage Cloud Block Store in Amazon Web Services, which was made generally available this week. Cloud Block Store is Pure’s software stack written to run in AWS the same on premises.

“From an IT user’s perspective, what that gives me is physical arrays side by side with Pure in the cloud. If I have any kind of automation or scripting, or if I need to train my storage [for AI], it looks exactly the same. No one else is doing this yet. The only storage vendor with a comparable product is IBM with Cloud Object Store,” said Steve McDowell, a senior analyst for storage at Moor Insights and Strategy, based in Austin.

Eric Burgener, IDC storage research vice president, said Pure’s cloud strategy is different from competitors. Pure does not build its cloud platform around hyper-convergence, and it does not offer its own cloud.

“The major enterprise storage vendors are punching up their cloud integration as well, so any differences between them and Pure are mostly just a matter of degree,” Burgener said. “Pure won’t offer its own cloud, like Dell EMC and NetApp do, and they don’t think hyper-cloud infrastructure is ever going to break out of the small to medium enterprise.”

The Pure Evergreen initiative allows customers to upgrade FlashArray and FlashBlade controllers once every three years. Pure’s consumption-based Evergreen Storage Service has been rebranded as Pure Storage as a Service, which extends across FlashArray block and FlashBlade NAS arrays.

Pure said the rebranding was done to eliminate confusion for customers. The company is keeping the upgrade path for controllers.

Pure AI Data Hub was previewed this week as a way to build a container-based data pipeline for managing AI projects that are in different phases of development. The data hub concept allows customers to pick and choose which Pure Storage array they need to meet the differing service levels. Pure is developing a software reference design that integrates Kubernetes orchestration.

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For Sale – Gaming PC, i7 7700k, 16GB DDR4, GTX 1080ti, 240GB SSD, 1TB HDD

Is this the PC we are speaking about via PM that I have already agreed to buy on another thread??

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Addressing the coming IoT talent shortage – Microsoft Industry Blogs

This blog is the third in a series highlighting our newest research, IoT Signals. Each week will feature a new top-of-mind topic to provide insights into the current state of IoT adoption across industries, how business leaders can develop their own IoT strategies, and why companies should use IoT to improve service to partners and customers.

As companies survey the possibilities of the Internet of Things (IoT), one of the challenges they face is a significant growing talent shortage. Recent research from Microsoft, IoT Signals, drills down into senior leaders’ concerns and plans. Microsoft surveyed 3,000 decision-makers at companies across China, France, Germany, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom who are involved in IoT.

Exploring IoT skills needs at enterprises today

Most IoT challenges today relate to staffing and skills. Our research finds that only 33 percent of companies adopting IoT say they have enough workers and resources, 32 percent lack enough workers and resources, and 35 percent reported mixed results or didn’t know their resourcing issues. Worldwide, talent shortages are most acute in the United States (37 percent) and China (35 percent).

Of the top challenges that impede the 32 percent of companies struggling with IoT skills shortages, respondents cited a lack of knowledge (40 percent), technical challenges (39 percent), lack of budget (38 percent), an inability to find the right solutions (28 percent), and security (19 percent).

a close up of a logo graph of tech assessment

a close up of a logo graph of tech assessment

Companies will need to decide which capabilities they should buy, in the form of hiring new talent; build, in the form of developing staff competencies; or outsource, in the form of developing strategic partnerships. For example, most companies evaluating the IoT space aren’t software development or con­nectivity experts and will likely turn to partners for these services.

Adequate resourcing is a game-changer for IoT companies

Our research found that having the right team and talent was critical to IoT success on a number of measures. First, those with sufficient resources were more likely to say that IoT was very critical to their company’s future success: 51 percent versus 39 percent. Hardship created more ambivalence, with only 41 percent of IoT high performers saying IoT was somewhat critical to future success, whereas 48 percent of lower-performing companies agreed.

Similarly, companies with strong IoT teams viewed IoT as a more successful investment, attributing 28 percent of current ROI to IoT (inclusive of cost savings and efficiencies) versus 20 percent at less enabled companies. That’s likely why 89 percent of those who have the right team is planning to use IoT more in the future versus 75 percent of those who lack adequate resources.

IoT talent shortage may cause higher failure rate

Getting IoT off the ground can be a challenge for any company, given its high learning curve, long-term commitment, and significant investment. It’s doubly so for companies that lack talent and resources. IoT Signals found that companies who lack adequate talent and resources have a higher failure rate in the proof of concept phase: 30 percent versus 25 percent for those with the right team. At companies with high IoT success, the initiative is led by a staffer in an IT role, such as a director of IT, a chief technology officer, or a chief information officer. With leadership support, a defined structure, and budget, these all-in IoT organizations are able to reach the production stage on an average of nine months, while those who lack skilled workers and resources take 12 months on average.

Despite initial challenges, company leaders are unlikely to call it quits. Business and technology executives realize that IoT is a strategic business imperative and will be increasingly required to compete in the marketplace. Setting up the right team, tools, and resources now can help prevent team frustration, business burnout, and leadership commitment issues.

Overcoming the skills issues with simpler platforms

Fortunately, industry trends like fully hosted SaaS platforms are reducing the complexity of building IoT programs: from connecting and managing devices to providing integrated tooling and security, to enabling analytics.

Azure IoT Central, a fully managed IoT platform, is designed to let anyone build an IoT initiative within hours, empowering business teams and other non-technical individuals to easily gain mastery and contribute. Azure includes IoT Plug and Play, which provides an open modeling language to connect IoT devices to the cloud seamlessly.

Additionally, Microsoft is working with its partner ecosystem to create industry-specific solutions to help companies overcome core IoT adoption blockers and investing in training tools like IoT School and AI Business School. Microsoft has one of the largest and fastest-growing partner ecosystems. Our more than 10,000 IoT partners provide domain expertise across industries and help address connectivity, security infrastructure, and application infrastructure requirements, allowing companies to drive to value faster. 

Learn more about how global companies are using IoT to drive value by downloading the IoT Signals report and reading our Transform Blog on IoT projects companies such as ThyssenKrupp, Bühler, Chevron, and Toyota Material Handling Group are driving.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Cobalt Iron extends data protection SaaS tool’s capabilities

Cobalt Iron, a cloud-based data protection and backup vendor, this week rolled out a new feature in its Adaptive Data Protection SaaS tool, aimed at improving data security and cyberattack prevention.

The addition, called Cyber Shield, is intended to identify and contain cyberattacks by locking down data access control while saving companies the cost of adding new security measures. The software includes functions such as data access control, data security, ransomware detection and ransomware responsiveness, which are intended to provide quick response to threats as well as recovery functions to reduce the impact of cyberattacks, the company said.

Cobalt Iron’s update comes amidst the industry’s shift in security investments from threat prevention to threat detection and as enterprises are facing more complicated cyberattacks. Gartner recently identified expanding capabilities for security operation centers as one of its top priorities for enterprises in 2019.

Cobalt Iron said Cyber Shield is available now with no added cost as a part of Cobalt Iron’s Adaptive Data Protection SaaS, and does not require additional equipment, software or licenses.

Competitors in the cloud-based data protection market includes Symantec, McAfee and Druva. Symantec’s Cloud Data Protection claims to enable organizations to use cloud applications such as Salesforce.com and ServiceNow and secure sensitive data while complying with data privacy regulations. McAfee MVISION Cloud Encrypt can block downloads of corporate data to personal devices and provide sensitive data encryption, which is inaccessible to any third party, according to the company. Druva promises lower costs due to elimination of onsite hardware and software and offers a free trial of its products and pay-as-you-go pricing.

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For Sale – Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070ti

Hi guys,

Purchased this 1070ti from these forums in March. Thread here:

For Sale – Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070ti

Used it for about 2 weeks to play Overwatch and has been pretty much unused since, as I’ve been abroad for most of the time. Bit of a waste to have this in what is only a HTPC so looking to move it on to someone who will use it properly. Excellent condition given how little its been used.

£240 delivered.

Price and currency: 240
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT
Location: Slough
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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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.

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Microsoft’s connected vehicle platform presence at IAA, the Frankfurt Auto Show

This post was co-authored by the extended Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform (MCVP) team. 

A connected vehicle solution must enable a fleet of potentially millions of vehicles, distributed around the world, to deliver intuitive experiences including infotainment, entertainment, productivity, driver safety, driver assistance. In addition to these services in the vehicle, a connected vehicle solution is critical for fleet solutions like ride and car sharing as well as phone apps that incorporate the context of the user and the journey.

Imagine you are driving to your vacation destination and you start your conference call from home while you are packing. When you transition to the shared vehicle, the route planning takes into account the best route for connectivity and easy driving and adjusts the microphone sensitivity during the call in the back seat. These experiences today are constrained to either the center-stack screen, known as the in-vehicle infotainment device (IVI), or other specific hardware and software that is determined when the car is being built. Instead, these experiences should evolve over the lifetime of ridership. The opportunity is for new, modern experiences in vehicles that span the entire interior and systems of a vehicle, plus experiences outside the vehicle, to create deeper and longer-lasting relationships between car makers and their customers throughout the transportation journey.

To realize this opportunity, car manufacturers and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) providers need a connected vehicle platform to complete the digital feedback loop by incorporating the seamless deployment of new functionality that is composed from multiple independently updatable services that reflect new understanding, at scale, and with dependable and consistent management of data and these services from Azure to and from three different edges: the vehicle, the phone, and the many enterprise applications that support the journey.

The Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform (MCVP) is the digital chassis upon which automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can deliver value-add services to their customers. These services areas include:

  • In-vehicle experiences
  • Autonomous driving
  • Advanced navigation
  • Customer engagement and insights
  • Telematics and prediction services
  • Connectivity and over the air updates (OTA)

MCVP is a platform composed from about 40 different Azure services and tailored for automotive scenarios. To ensure continuous over-the-air (OTA) updates of new functionality, MCVP also includes different Azure edge technologies such as Automotive IoT Edge that runs in the vehicle, and Azure Maps for intelligent location services.

With MCVP, and an ecosystem of partners across the industry, Microsoft offers a consistent platform across all digital services. This includes vehicle provisioning, two-way network connectivity, continuous over-the-air updates of containerized functionality, support for command-and-control, hot, warm, or cold path for telematics, and extension hooks for customer or third-party differentiation. Being built on Azure, MCVP includes the hyperscale, global availability, and regulatory compliance that comes as part of the Azure cloud. OEMs and fleet operators leverage MCVP as a way to “move up the stack” and focus on their customers rather than spend resources on non-differentiating infrastructure.

Automotive OEMs already taking advantage of MCVP, along with many of our ecosystem partners, including the Volkswagen Group, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and Iconiq.

In this blog post, we are delighted to recap many of the MCVP ecosystem partners that accelerate our common customers’ ability to develop and deploy completed connected vehicle solutions.

An image showing the aspects of the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform.

Focus areas and supporting partnerships

Microsoft’s ecosystem of partners include independent software vendors (ISVs), automotive suppliers, and systems integrators (SIs) to complete the overall value proposition of MCVP. We have pursued partnerships in these areas:

In-vehicle experiences

Cheaply available screens, increasingly autonomous vehicles, the emergence of pervasive voice assistants, and users’ increased expectation of the connectedness of their things have all combined to create an opportunity for OEMs to differentiate through the digital experiences they offer to the occupants, both the driver and the passengers, of their vehicles.

LG Electronics’ webOS Autoplatform offers an in-vehicle, container-capable OS that brings the third party application ecosystem created for premium TVs to In-vehicle experiences. webOSAuto supports the container-based runtime environment of MCVP and can be an important part of modern experiences in the vehicle.

Faurecia leverages MCVP to create disruptive, connected, and personalized services inside the Cockpit of the Future to reinvent the on-board experience for all occupants.

Autonomous driving

The continuous development of autonomous driving systems requires input from both test fleets and production vehicles that are integrated by a common connected vehicle platform. This is because the underlying machine learning (ML) models that either drive the car or provide assistance to the driver will be updated over time as they are improved based on feedback across those fleets, and those updates will be deployed over the air in incremental rings of deployment by way of their connection to the cloud.

Teraki creates and deploys containerized functionality to vehicles to efficiently extract and manage selected sensor data such as telemetry, video, and 3D information. Teraki’s product continuously trains and updates the sensor data to extract relevant, condensed information that enables customers’ models to achieve highest accuracy rates, both in the vehicle (edge) as well in Azure (cloud.)

TomTom is integrating their navigation intelligence services such as HD Maps and Traffic as containerized services for use in MCVP so that other services in the vehicles, including autonomous driving, can take advantage of the additional location context.

Advanced navigation

TomTom’s navigation application has been integrated with the MCVP in-vehicle compute architecture to enable navigation usage and diagnostics data to be sent from vehicles to the Azure cloud where the data can be used by automakers to generate data-driven insights to deliver tailored services, and to make better informed design and engineering decisions. The benefit of this integration includes the immediate insights created from comparing the intended route with the actual route with road metadata. If you are attending IAA, be sure to check out the demo at the Microsoft booth.

Telenav is a leading provider of connected car and location-based services and is working with Microsoft to integrate its intelligent connected-car solution suite, including infotainment, in-car commerce, and navigation, with MCVP.

Customer engagement and insights

Otonomo securely ingests automotive data from OEMs, fleet operators, etc., then reshapes and enriches the data so application and service providers can use it to develop a host of new and innovative offerings that deliver value to drivers. The data services platform has built it privacy by design solutions for both personal and aggregate use cases. Through the collaboration with Microsoft, car manufacturers adopting the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform can easily plug their connected car data into Otonomo’s existing ecosystem to quickly roll out new connected car services to drivers.

Telematics and prediction services

DSA is a leading software and solutions provider for quality assurance, diagnostics, and maintenance of the entire vehicle electrics and electronics in the automotive industry. Together, DSA and Microsoft target to close the digital feedback loops between automotive production facilities and field cars by providing an advanced Vehicle Lifecycle Management, based on the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform.

WirelessCar is a leading managed service provider within the connected vehicle eco-system and empowers car makers to provide mobility services with Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform that supports and accelerates their customers’ high market ambitions in a world of rapid changing business models.

Connectivity and OTA

Cubic Telecom is a leading connectivity management software provider to the automotive and IoT industries globally. They are one of the first partners to bring seamless connectivity as a core service offering to MCVP for a global market. The deep integration with MCVP allows for a single data lake and an integrated services monitoring path. In addition, Cubic Telecom provides connected car capabilities that let drivers use infotainment apps in real-time, connect their devices to the Wi-Fi hotspot, and top-up on data plans to access high-speed LTE connectivity, optionally on a separate APN.

Excelfore is an innovator in automotive over-the-air (OTA) updating and data aggregation technologies. They provide a full implementation of the eSync bi-directional data pipeline, which has been ported to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and integrated as the first solution for MCVP OTA updating.

Tata Communications is a leading global digital infrastructure provider. We are working with them to help speed the development of new innovative connected car applications. By combining the IoT connectivity capabilities of Tata Communications MOVE™ with MCVP, the two companies will enable automotive manufacturers to offer consumers worldwide more seamless and secure driving experiences.

Microsoft is incredibly excited to be a part of the connected vehicle space. With the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform, our ecosystem partners, and our partnerships with leading automotive players – both vehicle OEMs and automotive technology suppliers – we believe we have a uniquely capable offering enabling at global scale the next wave of innovation in the automotive industry as well as related verticals such as smart cities, smart infrastructure, insurance, transportation, and beyond.

Explore the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform today and visit us at IAA.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

How to Customize Site-Aware Clusters and Fault Domains

In this guide, we’ll cover how to create fault domains and configure them in Windows Server 2019. We will also run down the different layers of resiliency provided by Windows Server and fault domain awareness with Storage Spaces Direct. Let’s get started!

Resiliency and High-Availability

Many large organizations deploy their services across multiple data centers to not only provide high-availability but to also support disaster recovery (DR). This allows services to move from servers, virtualization hosts, cluster nodes or clusters in one site to hardware in a secondary location. Prior to the Windows Server 2016 release, this was usually done through deploying a multi-site (or “stretched”) failover cluster. This solution worked well, but it had some gaps in its manageability, namely that it was never easy to determine what hardware was running at each site. Virtual machines (VMs) were also limited to move between cluster nodes and sites, but had no other mobile granularity, even though most datacenters organize their hardware by chassis and racks. With Windows Server 2016 and 2019, Microsoft now provides organizations with the ability to not only have server high-availability but also resiliency to chassis or rack failures and integrated site awareness through “fault domains”.

What is a Fault Domain?

A fault domain is a set of hardware components that have a shared single point of failure, such as a single power source. To provide fault tolerance, you need to have multiple fault domains so that a VM or service can move from one fault domain to another fault domain, such as from one rack to another.

The following image helps you identify these various datacenter components.

Defining a Node, Chassis, Rack and Site for Fault Domains

Defining a Node, Chassis, Rack, and Site for Fault Domains

Source: https://ccsearch.creativecommons.org/photos/c461e460-6a99-4421-b5f1-906e74c9446b

Configuring Fault Domains in Windows Server 2019

First, let’s review the different layers of resiliency now provided by Windows Server. The following table shows the hierarchy of the Windows Server hardware stack:

Fault Domain High-Availability
Application Failover clustering is used to automatically restart an application’s services or move it to another cluster node. If the application is running inside a virtual machine (VM) then guest clustering can be used which creates a cluster of virtualized hosts.
Virtual Machine Virtual machines (VMs) run on a failover cluster and can be restarted or failover to another cluster node. A virtualized application can run inside the VM.
Node (Server / Host) A server can move its application to another node on the same chassis using failover clustering. The server is the single point of failure, and this could be caused by an operating system crash.
Chassis A server which has a chassis failure can move to another chassis in the same rack. A chassis is commonly used with blade servers and its single point of failure could be a single power source or fan.
Rack A server which has a rack failure can move to another rack in the same site. A rack may have a single point of failure from its top of rack (TOR) switch.
Site If an entire site is lost, such as from a natural disaster, a server can move to a secondary site (datacenter).

This implementation of fault domains lets you move nodes between different chassis, racks, and sites. Remember that hardware components are only defined by the software, and they do not change the physical configuration of your datacenter. This means that if two nodes are in the same physical chassis and it fails, then both will go offline, even if you have declared them to be in different fault domains via the management interface.

This blog will specifically focus on the latest site availability and fault domain features, but check out Altaro’s blogs on Failover Clustering for more information. Additionally, as a side-note, Altaro VM Backup can provide DR and recovery functionality with its replication engine if desired.

Fault Domain Awareness with Storage Spaces Direct

A key scenario for using fault domains is to distribute your data, not just across different disks and nodes, but also across different chassis, racks and sites so that it is always available in case of an outage. Microsoft implements this using storage spaces direct (S2D) which divides cloned disks across these different fault domains. This allows you to deploy commodity storage drives in your datacenters, and its data is automatically replicated between each disk. In the initial release of S2D, the disks were mirrored between two cluster nodes, that if one failed, the data was already available on the second server. With the added layers of chassis and rack-awareness, additional disks can be created and distributed across different nodes, chassis, racks, and sites, providing granular resiliency throughout the different hardware layers. This means that if a node crashes, the data is still available elsewhere within the same chassis. If an entire chassis loses its power, a copy is on another chassis within the same rack. If a rack becomes unavailable due to a TOR switch misconfiguration, the data can be recovered from another rack. And if the datacenter fails, a copy of the disk is available at the secondary site.

One important consideration is that the site awareness and fault domains must be configured before storage spaces direct is set up. If your S2D cluster is already running and you are configuring fault domains later, you must manually move your nodes int the correct fault domains, first evicting the node from your cluster and its drive from your storage pool using the cmdlet:

Creating Fault Domains

Once you have deployed your hardware and understand the different layers in your hardware stack you will need to enable fault domain awareness. Since a minority of Windows Server users have multiple datacenters, this must be enabled through a command run from any node. Microsoft wanted to avoid exposing it directly through the GUI interface so that inexperienced users did not accidentally turn it on and expect an operation that they lacked the hardware to support. Enable fault domains using the following PowerShell cmdlet:

Remember that this hardware configuration is hierarchical, so nodes are part of chassis, which are stored in racks, which reside in sites. Your nodes will use the actual node name, and this is set automatically, such as N1.contoso.com. Next, you can define all of the different chassis, racks, and sites in your environment using friendly names and descriptions. This is helpful because your event logs will reflect your naming conventions, making troubleshooting easy.

You can name each of your chassis to match your hardware specs, such as a “Chassis 1”.

Next you can assign names to your racks, such as “Rack 1”.

Finally define any sites you have and provide them with a friendly name, like “Primary” or “Seattle”.

For each of these types, you can also use the -Description or -Location switch to add additional contextual information which is displayed in event logs, making troubleshooting and hardware maintenance easier.

Configuring Fault Domains

Once you have defined the different fault domains, you can configure their hierarchical structure using a parent (and child) relationship. Starting with the node, you define which chassis they belong to and then move up the chain. For example, you may configure nodes N1 and N2 to be part of chassis C1 using PowerShell:

Similarly, you may set chassis C1 and C2 to reside in rack R1:

Then configure racks R1 and R2 within the primary datacenter using:

To view your configuration and these relationships, run the Get-ClusterFaultDomain cmdlet.

You can also define the relationship of the hardware in an XML file. This method is described in Microsoft’s Fault domain awareness page. If you want to dig deeper, check out the full PowerShell syntax.

Wrap-Up

Now you are able to take advantage of the latest site-awareness features for Windows Server Failover Clustering, giving you additional resiliency throughout your hardware stack. We’ll have further content focused on this area in the near future, so stay tuned!

Finally, what about you? Do you see this being useful in your organization? Do you see any barrier to implementation? Let us know in the comments section below!


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Author: Symon Perriman

New integration brings Fuze meetings to Slack app

An integration unveiled this week will make it easier for Slack users to launch and join Fuze meetings. Zoom Video Communications Inc. rolled out a similar integration with Slack over the summer.

Slack is increasingly making it clear that it intends to incorporate voice and video capabilities into its team messaging app through integrations and partnerships, rather than by attempting to build the technology on its own.

Fuze Inc.’s announcement also underscores how big a player Slack has become in the business collaboration industry. Fuze, a cloud unified communications (UC) provider, opted to partner with Slack, even though it sells a team messaging app with the same core capabilities.

The integration lets users launch Fuze meetings by clicking on the phone icon in Slack, instead of typing a command. They will also see details about an ongoing meeting, such as how long it’s been going on and who’s participating.

Furthermore, Slack’s Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar apps will let users join scheduled Fuze meetings with one click. Slack previously announced support for that capability with Zoom, Cisco Webex and Skype for Business.

No formal partnership

Slack gave Fuze special access to the set of APIs that made the latest integrations possible, said Eric Hanson, Fuze’s vice president of marketing intelligence. But the companies later clarified there was no formal partnership between them.

The vendors apparently miscommunicated about how to frame this week’s announcement. Within hours on Tuesday, Fuze updated a blog post to remove references to a “partnership” with Slack, instead labeling it as an “integration.”

In contrast, Slack and Zoom signed a contract to align product roadmaps and marketing strategies earlier this year.

In the future, Fuze hopes to give users the ability to initiate phone calls through Slack. Previously, Slack said it would enable such a feature with Zoom Phone, the video conferencing provider’s new cloud calling service.

Slack declined to comment on any plans to expand the Fuze integration.

“There are still some things that Slack hasn’t made available through this set of APIs yet,” Hanson said. “They have a roadmap in terms of where they want to take this.”

Making it easier for users to pick and choose

The voice and video capabilities natively supported in Slack are far less advanced than those available from main rival Microsoft Teams, an all-in-one suite for calling, messaging and meetings. But users want to be able to easily switch between messaging with someone and talking to them in real time.

By integrating with cloud communications vendors like Fuze and Zoom, Slack can focus on what it does best — team-based collaboration — while still connecting to the real-time communications services that customers need, said Mike Fasciani, analyst at Gartner.

“One of Slack’s advantages over Microsoft Teams is its ability and willingness to integrate with many business and communications applications,” Fasciani said.

Fuze also competes with Microsoft Teams. Integrations with Slack should help cloud UC providers sell to the vendor’s rapidly expanding customer base. Slack now has more than 100,000 paid customers, including 720 enterprises that each contribute more than $100,000 per year in revenue.

“Even though Fuze has its own [messaging] app, it doesn’t have anywhere near the market share of Slack,” said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research. “I think this shows Slack’s continued view that they don’t want to compete directly with the voice/meeting vendors.”

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