Archives 2017

Quick post: Bug in Veeam Quick Migration

Last week I was moving some VMs for a client using Veeam Quick Migration. During the migration, I happened to stumble upon some strange behavior.

The source VMs make up an Oracle RAC cluster, using shared VMDKs. One of the requirements for setting up shared VMDKs, using the multi-writer option, is that they are thick eager zeroed disks. When the VMs got to the other side, they wouldn’t boot. I figured something went wrong during the migration so I tried it again. Once the second run completed, the VMs still wouldn’t boot so I started digging around some more.

The error message I was getting was rather vague; “Incompatible device backing specified for device ‘0’.”. After verifying the config of both nodes I eventually decided to look at the disk type on the destination side. That’s when I noticed the disk type was thick provisioned lazy zeroed. Ahah, that’s why they didn’t want to boot! After manually inflating the disks, they were up and running again. I’m starting to suspect that this is a bug.

Running some tests

I started building some more test VMs just to prove that this was, in fact, a bug. One of the options you can set during the Quick Migration wizard, is the disk type. You can explicitly select each of the types, or you can have Veeam use the same format as on the source side. Explicitly selecting thick provisioned eager zeroed or using the same as source also produced a VM with lazy zeroed disks. Time to submit a ticket!

As usual, Veeam support was very helpful and investigated the issue. A couple days later they came back to me and confirmed this was indeed a bug that will be fixed in an upcoming version.

Workaround

This bug is a minor inconvenience since there is an easy workaround. You can login to an ESXi server using SSH and convert the VMDK using the command

More info on how to convert a VMDK can be found in this VMware KB.


Publicly share Office 365 room calendar

A customer asked me if it was possible to have a room mailbox automatically accept meeting requests from external parties. They would also like to publish the calendar of that specific room publicly.

Accept meetings from external parties

Let’s start with the first question. By default, resource mailboxes only accept requests from internal senders. As you might guess, you can’t change this behavior through the GUI, Powershell to the rescue!

Since I didn’t know the cmdlet that would let me change this behavior, the first thing I did was look for all “Calendar cmdlets”. After connecting to the Office 365 PowerShell, I ran this command

Seems like there are a few cmdlets concerning calendars, good info for the second question! The Get-CalendarProcessing cmdlet looks promising, let’s try it out!

As you can see on the highlighted line, this is exactly the property we were looking for. Let’s change it so we get the desired behavior. In the get-command output, I saw a cmdlet Set-CalendarProcessing, this seems like the right one.

This change will only affect new meeting requests, requests that have already been refused won’t be automatically accepted.

Publish calendar publicly

In the cmdlets we got earlier, there wasn’t really one that stood out as a “possible match” so let’s look at the attributes of the calendar itself. In essence, the calendar is just a folder inside of a mailbox object. Let’s query that folder directly.

That’s everything we need and more! As you can see, we can set the PublishEnabled attribute to true but we can do so much more. You can choose the detail level and even set how far back and forth the published calendar needs to go.

Let’s publish the calendar and run the Get-MailboxCalendarFolder cmdlet again to get the URL.

All done! Now you can browse to the URL and verify everything is being displayed as you’d expect.


Cannot get extent connection. Failed to restore file from local backup

When I got into the office this morning, I noticed that on particular copy job hadn’t done its` job over the weekend. This particular job copies the daily restore points to a separate scale-out repository and enforces the GFS scheme that’s been set.

The job report displayed

Not that much to go on if you ask me. First, I checked to see if all extents in the repository still had enough room, this was the case. While I was doing that, I verified that all my proxies were still up and running. Before heading to my good friend Google, I decided to remove the copy job restore points from the configuration.

After this, I did a rescan of the repository and retried the job. It ran without a hitch, a nice and easy fix 🙂 I hope this won’t become a common thing, time will tell.


Looking forward to the coming year

It’s been fairly quiet on the blog front lately, with this post I’m trying to pick it back up again 🙂 I decided to put the blog in a fresh new theme, I really like how it turned out! It looks a lot cleaner now.

2016 in review

When I started this blog last year, I made a goals page that lists everything I wanted to get done that year. A quick review:

  • Earn the VCP6-DCV certificate –> FAIL. I only managed to get part 1/2 done, I haven’t gotten to part 2 yet, but it is one of the top priorities this year.
  • Become CCNA  –> FAIL. I will be taking this one off the list. When I have some more time, I might pick it up. But for the moment, I feel my knowledge is good enough to get by.
  • Learn PowerShell –> PASS. Last year I started performing routine tasks using PowerShell. Eventually, I was able to automate some of the things that I had to do frequently. Over the past year, I’ve gotten a pretty good feel for the language and I’m constantly discovering new things! I will be continuing with this until I feel that I have mastered it.
  • Publish code to GitHub –> PASS. I published 2 scripts that I created. I also made my first ever pull request and added some tests to the awesome Vester project (If you don’t know it, check it out here!). When I get some more free time, I will be looking for some more projects to contribute to.
  • Attend VMUG(s) –> PASS. I managed to go to both the Belgian as the Dutch VMUGs and I’m hoping to do it this year as well.

2016 was also a big year on a personal level. In august, I changed jobs and started working for Realdolmen as a system engineer. This was one of the best decisions I have made recently, working here gives me the chance to interact with some of the smartest people I know. I get to work with complex and interesting environments and I’m learning new things every day!

But the most important thing I did, was asking my girlfriend to marry me. She said yes and we’re getting married this coming May, I’m very much looking forward to it!

Looking forward to 2017

Obviously the biggest thing for me this year is my wedding. Shortly after that, 29 colleagues and I will be climbing the legendary Mont Ventoux by bike. I’m riding a lot again and found the joy of cycling again.

On a professional level, I will also be setting a few goals for the coming year.

  • Earn the VCP6-DCV certificate –> This is the first thing I want to get done education wise this year. It’s possible I won’t have time to do this until the summer, though.
  • Continue learning PowerShell –> There’s a ton I don’t know yet, and a lot that I can do better. I’ve started to put most of my code in functions and I will be looking into building some modules where I can.
  • Upgrade my MCSA to 2016 –> With the release of Server 2016, it’s time to upgrade my MCSA. I don’t want to let it expire, which would mean I would have to take the first 3 exams again.
  • Keep the blog more active this year –> Changing jobs in the summer, starting cycling again and preparing for our wedding has eaten up most of my free time since august. I’m hoping to find some more time to keep this blog going with some new content!
  • Wildcard –> I’m keeping this one open for something else to do the coming year. I’m not entirely sure what it is yet, it will all depend on the amount of free time I have and how the other goals have come this year.

A short list this year, but with a lot going on in my personal life, this feels reasonable.