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7 Valuable VMware Infrastructure Backup Tips

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At small companies or in brand-new virtual infrastructures, backup can be straight forward. You may be able to use a free tool that makes VMware backup deceivingly simple.

However, over time, your infrastructure will probably grow, as well as the number of virtual machines and the amount of data needing backup. As this happens, you’ll find what other virtualization experts have already figured out – virtualization backup can be much more complex that it seems and you need the right tool for the job.

In this article, you’ll learn how to save time, prevent data-loss, and create a bulletproof VMware backup infrastructure by employing the 7 valuable VMware infrastructure backup tips from virtualization backup experts.

Selecting the right tool for the job of backing up your virtual infrastructure is the critical piece of your entire virtual infrastructure protection plan.

1. Here are the steps I recommend to select the right backup tool for your virtual infrastructure:

1. Don’t assume you have to select the same tool as everyone else. There are a number of good tools on the market. Just because a tool has the best marketing strategy doesn’t make it the best tool. Do your own research and find the best tool for your environment.

2. Test tools for yourself and take your time doing it. Every tool offers a free trial period that allows you to test their product on your own infrastructure (plus, if you are really interested in the product, most companies will give you a free extension to try their product longer than the original trial). Make sure that you test these tools in a test environment and not your live infrastructure. Put these tools through their paces, with your applications, and focus on features related to recovery.

Remember, you aren’t just getting a tool to backup your VMs, what you really want is them to be restored and FAST. Test things like multiple restores at a time, file level restore, and application integrity after restore.

3. Make your life easier by selecting a tool that has the latest features. Your tool should offer features like fast restore for multiple VMs, application integrity in your backups, replication, backup of multiple hypervisors, backup of physical and virtual servers, deduplication, and more. Cost make effect your decision here…

2. Avoid VMware Snapshots of Virtual Machines

Snapshots aren’t backup. Snapshots should only be used for very short-term and not as your primary backup method. Let’s say that you are about to perform an application upgrade, you would take a snapshot (and do a backup) before the upgrade. Then, the next day, if the app upgrade was successful, you would remove your shapshot.

A week later you needed a pre-upgrade database then you could restore if from your backup and not the snapshot.

Snapshots take up tons of disk space and space in your backup repository. Space used by snapshots is, many times, forgotten and easily overlooked, causing unexpected results.

3. Plan for Offsite Backup and Replication

The problem with so many VMWare backup tools is that they stop once something is backed up. They leave the files on a disk and leave it up to you to figure out how to get them offsite in case there is a disaster.

Something else to consider is that you may need to recover a virtual server on a physical server or vice versa. Can your backup product cover all of these scenarios?

I recommend moving to 100% virtualization, backing up all VMs, and then replicating those backups offsite. In the event of a disaster, you’ll be able to bring them up at the DR site. And more importantly all your data will be on another site if you just need to restore one VM.

4. Test your backups!

Just because your backup software tells you that backups were “100% successful”, doesn’t mean that you can restore your data. You need to either manually test your virtual machine restores AND applications inside or have your backup software do this for you.

How many VMs have you restored that bluescreened when they were booted up?

How many VMs have you restored that had corrupted Exchange or SQL server databases?

To ensure that your backups will be 100% recoverable, make sure that you test:

• VM image level restore

• VM file level restore

• The VMs boot successfully and filesystems (like NTFS) mount perfectly

• The application databases mount and services start (e.g. Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint)

Testing all of this on a periodic basis can be very time consuming but it is vital to save your bacon and your job / company should it ever be needed in an emergency.

5. Cloud Backup and DR

Replicating to your own secondary datacenter is an option however not everyone has a secondary datacenter, nor does it make sense for everyone to build one. Cloud-based disaster recovery services are now available that can store your replicated data pretty affordably so worth considering.

6. How Applications Affect Backups

End users now expect applications like Exchange, SQL, and Sharepoint to be available 24 x 7. There is no more backup window. Your backup software must be able to:

• Backup mission critical applications without downtime

• Verify that backups have application integrity

• Restore individual items from mission critical applications back into production

The purpose of your backups is to also protect your applications. Make sure that your backup software not only backs up VMs, but recovers your critical application data.

7. Agent-less vs agent-based backup

From our experience, agents may be a headache to deploy but they do tend to be more reliable communication with the agent and server. However, agent-less backups means it is very simply to deploy and manage. So look at both options and see which one works best for you.

Conclusion

Make sure that you plan for offsite backup and replication, consider cloud-based backup, and use automated testing to ensure backups are recoverable. Selecting a backup tool that knows your applications and can reliably restore them is crucial. Finally, don’t dismiss any tool without fully understanding and testing its capabilities, personally in your test environment.

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Elite League of Legends Teleport Tricks to Destroy Your Friends

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Every day, thousands of gamers log onto League of Legends to play Riot Games’ free DOTA-style video game, unfortunately most of them get crushed by the elite few that know all the tricks of the trade. The most popular tricks often involve one of the lesser used summoner spells in public games; the incredibly useful but oft-ignored teleport spell, and while these tricks can take weeks to master, it only takes a few moments to read on and learn them.

1. Fiddlesticks’ Surprise — If there is one sound that strikes fear into the heart of every experienced League of Legends player, it’s the horrifying “Caw! Caw! Caw!” of Fiddlestick’s monstrous ultimate, which is nothing less than an area of effect spell of doom for everyone caught in its wake. The problem with this spell, of course, is its two-second channel time that requires you to be smart about when you’re ready to attack. Surprisingly, few players realize the power of this ultimate when combined with the utility of the teleport summoner spell.

An awesome way to get the drop on your opponents with Fiddlesticks, is to lay a ward down in the farthest bushes on the top or bottom lane of the map. When done correctly, you can teleport in behind your opponent and out of sight, waiting for the right time to launch from the bushes and strike. This is particularly effective if for some reason you are playing Fiddlesticks in the lane, as you can recall base before quickly teleport behind them to create mass confusion.

2. Nunu’s Trap — Nunu is well-known in League of Legends to have one of the strongest ultimates in the game, capable of swallowing entire teams in its large radius and exploding them into a million bits. Unfortunately, this is perhaps the most difficult ultimate to land in the game as it has a long stationary channel that is easily interrupted and even more easily stepped out of…. that is, of course, unless you have the teleport summoner spell.

With the teleport spell at your disposal, Nunu can quickly become a frightful player for the opposing team. Try sneaking a ward right into the middle of the middle lane to teleport to later, and wait until your opponent’s solo mid steps by it. When he does, teleport in and quickly ice-blast him for the slow effect, pop your ultimate and watch as he explodes with the help of a teammate already in that lane. This is an awesome technique because you will actually give yourself an additional second or so for your ultimate to go unnoticed, as your opponent will be extremely confused as to how you appeared next to him out of the middle of nowhere.

This is also an effective technique at grouping hot-spots, like Baron, Dragon, or a short distance in front of your middle tower. Placing a ward a bit in front of your middle tower is particularly rewarding, as once you teleport in and cast your ultimate while your opponents are attacking your tower, they will be pinched in and be forced to move into the tower where all your teammates await, or back toward you for an icy surprise of ultimate death.

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How to Play Spoons Card Game

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How would you like to play a game that could be enjoyed by the entire family regardless of age? Sounds pretty fun, right? Well, we’re going to teach you about just that game. It’s called spoons, and it’s one of the more popular card games. It’s really simple to play, and it’s really enjoyable! So just follow these simple steps.

What you’re going to need:

  1. Spoons ( You need one less spoon than there are players. So let’s say that there are 5 players, you need six spoons )
  2. Deck ( Full Deck of Cards )

Game Set Up

To set up the game, you’re going to need to count the number of players. Let’s say that there are six players in your group. You’re going to need six suits of cards. You don’t need to use the whole deck.

Now, at this point, you’re going to need to put the spoons in the center of the table and pass out an equal number of cards to each player. Then you’re ready to go!

Game Play

Once each player has a hand of cards, it’s time to get started. The object of the game is to get a suit of hands in your card, so what you’re going to do is select one card from your hand and pass it to the player on the left. At this point, the player on the left, the one receiving the card, has the option to take that card into his hand, or he can pick a card from his hand and pass it to the player on his left. This continues until one player has an entire suit of cards in his hand.

Once that happens, his goal is to sneakily grab a spoon from the center of the table. If other people find out he has an entire suit, they could inadvertently make him the loser, so don’t let that happen. Once you’ve grabbed the spoon you reveal your hand to the other players.

They then have to hastily grab their own spoons. The player who is left without a spoon is then declared the loser and removed from the game. The game play continues until there are only two players in the group. At which time, they are both declared the winner.

Get Your Game On!

As you can tell, spoons is a real simple game, and it is perfect for those family game nights. So we recommend you give it a try! We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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Dog Training Academy – How to Create Obedience in Your Dog

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Training a dog can be a frustrating act but not anymore with the Dog Training Academy e-course. Dogs tend to be unruly at times with excess of barking and whining along with aggressive actions towards visitors. It is high time to start training your dog using well established and proven methods when you find him reacting in a non responsive manner to your commands.

Lack of training can lead to behavioural problems in your dog and this can turn them into a disobedient pet. An unruly pet can end up tearing furniture or behaving in an uncontrollable manner. It is hence necessary that you take the right measures to control behavioural problems and to train your dog. This is where Dog Training Academy can help you get the perfect pet by bringing in obedience in your dog. The training course is a 7 day series that consolidates tips and tricks on training your dog on obedience matters.

Training a dog is not an easy task, but the job now becomes simple for you now with this free training e-course. The methods of training and the skills of the owner and pet normally determines the time taken to train a dog, but this training e-course can resolve all your problems in just about 7 days. They provide you with many widely practiced professional methods of obedience training to bring in fast and effective behavioural changes.

Basic bonding and effective communication is required between you and your dog before you can start training on obedience. This kind of essentials that needs to be obtained before the dog can respond to your basic commands and orders are detailed in the Dog Training Academy course.

There are many ways of training your dog other than the e-course methodology. One such way of obedience training your dog is by taking him to a training school. Such schools provide professional help offered by expert trainers who can handle any kind of dogs. But is it necessary to check whether such schools are recognized ones before your enrol your dog. Such kind of schools also charge a hefty amount for a complete training spanning around 3-4 weeks time as compared to the free course.

A proven training plan and a step-by-step guide of the plan can make you feel the difference in your dog’s behavior in just a week time. The training plan can bring in more obedience and security in your dog at the end of the course. Enrol for the Dog Training Academy course and you no longer need to worry about torn furniture or garbage in your living room.

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