Veeam Backup & Replication version 7

Veeam have been playing a bit of a teasing game with its customers over the past few months. It’s been an exciting game as month by month new features have been unveiled, whetting the appetite of Veeam fans everywhere as they eagerly awaited the next slice of awesomeness to be revealed. Each feature added to Veeams already extensive feature set. I will say up front that I’m biased here as I use Veeam quite a lot and have seen it mature from being the only option for SMBs to tickling the feet of Enterprise companies. As the months went by the features became more impressive, from integration directly to vSphere Web Client, to SureBackup for Hyper-V, to SureReplica in VMware to Native Tape Backup Support. Yes you read that correctly, Veeam now supports backup to tape. No more need for agents to backup to tape or having another backup product to archive your data to tape for off-site storage. This will all be taken care of within one console.

But even these features don’t match the two announcements back on the 16th May. Veeam has integrated with HP storage (LeftHand, 3Par, StoreVirtual VSA) to allow backup from Storage Snapshots, which greatly reduces the backup time, and a built-in WAN-Accelerator to increase the speed of off-site backups by up to 50%. These two features, with the WAN-Accelerator in particular, have pushed Veeam into the realm of truly viable Enterprise Backup Solutions.

So, I’ll give a run down of the features as they were released by Veeam.

  1. Enhanced Backup & Recovery for vCloud Director
  2. Plug-in for vSphere Web Client
  3. Veeam Explorer for MS Sharepoint
  4. Virtual Lab for Hyper-V
  5. Native Tape Support
  6. Enhanced 1-click Restore
  7. Virtual Lab for Replicas


Enhanced Backup & Recovery for vCloud Director

This feature extends Veeam Backup & Replication to allow Veeam to grow as it’s clients grow. As more and more focus is put on Private and Hybrid Clouds and enabling self-service IT we are seeing more clients begin to utilize vCloud Director. The enhancements allow Veeam to use the vCloud Director API to display the vCloud Director infrastructure directly in Backup & Replication. This allows the backup of vApps metadata and attributes, restore vApps and VMs directly to vCloud Director and support restore of fast-provisioned VMs

Plug-in for vSphere Web Client

The web client for vSphere released in 5.1 is being pushed heavily by VMware and it will gain more traction over time. The upside is that is allows for plug-ins from 3rd party apps. And Veeam have taken full advantage of that. The web client allows VMware and Veeam admins, usually one and the same person, to easily manager both their virtual infrastructure and virtual backups all from one console. There is no need to have to log into the Veeam console as well as your vSphere client separately. It’s all now in one easy to use console.  This is a feature that was requested from Veeam clients, and while the web client popularity has not gained too many followers, when it does Veeam will already be ahead of the game. Once again, as with all things Veeam, it’s easy to configure.

Veeam Webclient

Veeam Explorer for MS Sharepoint

This is probably the one feature that I’ve been least interested in. Partly this is due to the fact that Veeam could already recover Sharepoint objects with relative ease. They have leveraged the highly successful Veeam Explorer for MS Exchange that quickly cracks open backup files to allow users to browse for emails and made a similar explorer for Sharepoint to quickly and easily allow the recovery of Sharepoint files. The ability for Veeam to open a compressed, deduplicated backup file through an explorer window is extremely impressive to watch. There is one drawback, it can’t do full site recovery. That I can assume will be in version 7.x or 8.

Virtual Lab for Hyper-V

Virtual Lab, or SureBackup as it’s also known, has been a solid feature of Veeam running on VMware for a few version now and it’s great to see that expand to Hyper-V. I’m not going to go into SureBackup and Virtual Labs too much, they’re a massively great topic on their own, but the fact that both VMware and Hyper-V can leverage the sandboxed VM restore feature of Veeam just goes to show how Hyper-V is maturing and deserves some attention from 3rd party software vendors. Veeam recently received a patent for its vPowerNFS software intelligence and has utilized that within Hyper-V to allow testing of VMs and also testing the validity and consistency of Veeam backups in a sandboxed environment, all running from backup storage. Genius!

Virtual Labs thumbnail

Native Tape Support

I should not have been as excited as I was when I heard that native tape support was a new feature of Veeam version 7. It may not seem like such an advanced feature to most people that currently backup to tape but it’s been a bit of an Achilles heel for Veeam for a long time now. It’s always been an issue for customers that still trust tape for long term archiving to be able to easily backup their VMs in Veeam but then have to use another product to backup to tape. This normally involved having to pay more license fees for another product and any agents that were required. This massive pain point has finally been dealt with. Archive to tape in Veeam supports virtual tape libraries (VTLs), tape libraries and standalone drives. Basically, if the OS can detect the drive then Veeam can write to/from the device. The other great feature is that you can restore directly from tape back into Veeam without having to stage the data first.

Enhanced 1-click Restore

If I’m honest I didn’t necessarily see the value of this straight away. I quickly overlooked it as a new feature but on second viewing it’s an awesome little feature. 1-click restore uses the Enterprise Manager console, run on IIS, to allow end users to be able to restore files on a self-service basis, which is one of the tenets of the Private Cloud model. I think this will become a really useful feature for customers that really want to go toward the fully self-service IT model.

  • An easy interface for finding and quickly recovering individual VMs and guest files
  • Delegation settings that control exactly which VMs and guest files users can recover
  • The security of knowing you have the ability to authorize user access to only the items that are appropriate

Enhanced 1 click file restore


Virtual Lab for Replicas

Virtual Labs has been around for a while now and is a staple for most Veeam deployments as it can automate the verification process on your backs so you can sleep peacefully in the knowledge that everything is consistent and that in the event of a failure you have backups which have been tested and are known to work. This has only been available for backups in the past. Now that Veeam is moving more toward a full DR solution as well it is necessary to provide a method to automatically test the consistency of replica VMs. This feature is only available currently with VMware but not doubt over time it will be made available to Hyper-V. This is something I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on as I already have clients request it.

Backups from Storage Snapshots:

Veeam has integrated with some variants of HP storage to allow Backup from Storage Snapshots which greatly reduces the overheads required to capture a snapshot by offloading all the heavy lifting to the storage array. This offload makes the snapshot capture up to 20x times faster than normal snapshotting technology and reduces the overhead on your production VMs by reducing the VM I/O requirement for creating a snapshot and minimize the impact on the VM and the host. This sort of feature has been available on enterprise-class backup solutions for a few years now but Veeam has added it to it’s arsenal for currently only HP based storage. They are working with other vendors so we can expect to see this expand over time. This new feature links in nicely with Veeam Explorer for SAN Snapshots released last year which allows you to crack open a SAN snapshot to easily recover data.

Built-in WAN Acceleration:

The WAN acceleration is a proprietary Veeam feature that was designed to push Veeam backup files to the cloud or to a hosted DR site. It works as a source-side deduplication device that ensures that any blocks that have been sent across the link already do not need to be sent over the wire again during backup. Veeam estimate that this will improve the performance of off-site data copy by up to 50x. This remains to be tested in the wild and it will be really interesting to see what sort of performance can be achieved with the WAN accelerator, but any way to increase the off-site data transfer speeds is a winner in my book. Even a 5x increase would be great.

wan accelerator

All you need to get WAN acceleration in place is an accelerator configured on each side of the WAN link and away you go. Increased data transfer speeds in the usual Veeam keep-it-simple way.

So they are all the new Veeam version 7 features. It’s an absolute raft of features for a product that was already ahead of its competitors. This such as the Backup from Storage Snapshots, WAN acceleration, Virtual Lab for Replicas and Native Tape Support really lift Veeam to a new level and it will be really interesting to see how this new version works in the wild. I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty with it


Veeam Cloud Backup Edition

Veeam have released a new Cloud Backup & Replication edition recently that allows companies to upload their backups from local site to any of 19 different Cloud providers. As with all Veeam products the Cloud Edition is easy to use, powerful and affordable. It provides clients that have disk backups the opportunity to push the backup files to the cloud for long term storage. The configuration and set up is simple and quick and you can really begin to upload your backup files to AWS, Azure or Rackspace within 30 minutes. Easy! As this is the first iteration for Cloud Edition there are however some drawbacks to be aware of.

select cloud storage account

The primary setback is getting your data back out of the Cloud. Getting the data in is so easy it’s almost crazy. Getting access to your data in the Cloud however involves a few workarounds. We’ll take AWS as the example here. You cannot export files back out of AWS in any format other that OVF.  To be able to get access to your Veeam Backup data once it’s in the Cloud, essentially doing a restore in the Cloud, requires performing some steps to make it work. This is a long enough process at the moment and I can definitely see this being refined by Veeam over time. The first step you need to take is to deploy an EC2 instance in AWS and within that instance deploy Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition. You will also need an OVF conversion tool and some AWS tools, the ECC & ELB toolsets.

So the steps needed to upload are:

  • Create an EC2 instance in AWS running a Windows O/S
  • Install Veeam Backup and Replication
  • Create a S3 Bucket in AWS
  • Link your S3 Bucket in AWS to you local copy of Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition
  • Upload your backup files from your local site to the AWS S3 Bucket

Steps needed to retrieve your backup files from AWS are:

  • Log onto your EC2 instance running Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition
  • Add your repository from the S3 Bucket
  • Veeam Cloud will recognise there is a backup from another Veeam Backup and Replication Cloud Edition
  • Select Recover Another Computer
  • Synchronize the Repository tools
  • Import the VBK files to Veeam Backup & Replication from the repository
  • Restore your vbk files in their native VMDK format to a location on your EC2 instance, add a disk if necessary
  • restore vodka in veer
  • Convert your vmx file to ovf format – c:tempovftool <path>my_vm.vmx <path>my_vapp.ovf

Next you need to import OVF files to an EC2 instance in the cloud.

Import using the following command –


An example of this is:

C:aws>ec2-import-instance c:tempovfCloud_SRV02-disk1.vmdk -f VMDK -t t1.micro -a x86_64 -b veeamcloud -o AKIAJV4UGHUBMTYWUU5Q -w oVjR52YPAHRxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx3BcEwh5p –region ap-southeast-2


-t                     Amazon Instance Types can be found here:

-a                     Amazon Architecture Systems

i386                 Windows 32bit Operating Systems

X86_64            Windows 64bit Operating Systems


Once this has been done you are almost there. You need to check the conversion process:

ec2-decribe-conversion-tasks <tasked> –region <region>

example for the above would be

 ect-describe-conversion-task import-i-fgisoqvn –region ap-southeast-2a

Once the conversion has taken place you will have a new EC2 instance of your virtual machine available

cloud in AWS post conversion

And ta-da! Your Veeam Backup copy of your data is now available as an EC2 instance in the Cloud. As I mentioned already, it’s a bit of a work around but it’s definitely something that will be revised heavily in the next revision of Veeam Cloud Edition.

If you currently use Veeam Backup & Replication you may need to make some changes to get the most advantage out of Cloud Edition. Firstly, you will need to change your licensing model from perpetual license to subscription based licensing. This is the way Veeam will be licensing their products from now on so it’s not surprising that they have already begun to make this move. There will be an initial saving in licensing costs for the end-user so the subscription model is a good move for both Veeam and it’s customers.

Another issue you need to be aware of is the backup type you are using, whether that is forward-incremental or reverse-incremental. Forward-incremental is the best backup method for use with Veeam Cloud. So if you have your backups configured as reverse-incremental you may need to swap the backup method over to forward-incremental. The reason of this is the amount of data being transferred. Forward-incremental will only push your latest data changes up to the public cloud. Reverse-incremental by its very nature is essentially a full backup so each time you push the backup to the public cloud it will push a full backup. Depending on bandwidth and the size of your vbk files this may not be an issue, but for most end-users it could begin to use up unnecessary bandwidth. It is recommended to engage with a Veeam recommended solutions integrator to help with the design of the backups and replication with Cloud Edition.

One of the really nice features included with Veeam Cloud Edition is the integration of a Cloud Cost Calculator. This is something that is really useful for users to work out their general costs in advance without giving Cloud Edition a go first and then getting stumped with a hefty bill from their Cloud provider.

cloud cost estimates

The supported Hypervisor platforms are:

VMware vSphere 3.5 – 5.1

Microsoft HyperV: 2008 R2 & 2012

Licensing model: 

Veeam Cloud Edition is available as an annual subscription. The paid subscription includes the full functionality of Veeam Backup & Replication to backup your virtual environment, as well as new functionality that can copy backups to the cloud.

veeam model comparison


Unidesk – Layers: A New Simpler Approach to Managing Desktops

Layers: A Brand New, Simpler Approach to Managing Desktops

unidesk solution overviewUnidesk’s patent-pending desktop layering technology combines the management simplicity and storage efficiency of non-persistent, stateless virtual desktops with the modern, customizable user experience of persistent desktops. Unidesk desktops boot off of a virtual C: drive made up of independently managed, cleanly separated “layers.” IT uses Unidesk to create single pristine layers of the Windows OS and standard applications. As end users use their desktops, their changes are automatically captured in personalization layers. Unidesk dynamically composes these layers at boot time into unified storage. Workers get desktops they can fully customize. IT gets desktops that are easy to provision, patch, and repair.

How Unidesk Desktop Layering Works

Unidesk Composite Virtualization™ technology dynamically combines the OS and app layers created andassigned by IT with each user’s personalization layer. IT can provision, patch, and update all desktops bysimply updating a layer once. None of IT’s changes affect the local profile settings, user-installedapplications, and data in the personalization layer. Because Unidesk operates between the hypervisor andMicrosoft Windows, anything can be a layer, including the OS itself, system services, and kernel-mode apps.

unidesk overviewWhere Unidesk Fits in the VDI “Stack”

Unidesk exceeds the capabilities of profile management, application virtualization, storage optimization,and PC configuration point tools with one, unified solution that minimizes VDI cost and complexity.

unidesk solution overview1

Seamless Integration with Existing Infrastructure

Unidesk software integrates quickly with your existing VMware vSphere infrastructure, connection broker, directory, and storage. Unidesk consists purely of virtual appliances – no additional hardware is required.

unidesk solution overview2

Next Step: Evaluate Unidesk
Evaluate Unidesk in your own environment – technical requirements are simple. All you need are:

  • One VMware ESX™ (VI3™ or vSphere™) host, connected to VMware vCenter Server.
  • 100GB of centralized or local storage. Unidesk’s automated Personalization Layer replication protects all desktops from local host or local storage failures.
  • Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows 7 as your desktop operating system.
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (free with Windows) or any connection broker.

System Center 2012 SP1 Update Series – Part 4

In the last part of the series we are going to focus on Configuration Manager 2012. The guys in the Configuration Manager side of the house have been busy working on addition features for Service Pack 1. When Configuration Manager 2012 was originally released back in April 2012 there were rumblings of the new Windows 8 platform but support was not originally available. Since then the up-take of Windows 8 has increased and BYOD has become the latest must have feature of any IT department. Allowing Configuration Manager to support the changes in Intune licensing is going to assist greatly in the BYOD sphere.

Some of the new features of Configuration Manager SP1 are:

  • Deployment and management of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
  • Distribution point for Windows Azure to help reduce infrastructure costs
  • Automation of administrative tasks through PowerShell support
  • Management of Mac OS X clients and Linux and Unix Servers
  • Management of Windows 8 Phone and Windows RT devices
  • Support for Windows Intune Licensing Changes
  • Support for Windows Embedded Devices – Embedded thin clients, Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals, digital signage, kiosks, and ThinPC
  • Real-time administrative actions for Endpoint Protection related tasks

Now that service pack 1 is available for System Center we believe that the growth of both System Center, Server 2012 and Windows 8 will begin to increase. A lot of administrators and decision makers will normally wait until a service pack has been released on a Microsoft product before make the move. We can see great growth over the coming year for Microsoft, and it will be really interesting to see what will happen in the virtualization sphere with Hyper-V as it now takes the battle to VMware. Will 2013 be Microsoft’s year?

System Center 2012 SP1 Update Series – Part 3

Operations Manager is one of the most important but quite often overlooked elements of System Center. We will go through the latest enhancements that come with Service Pack 1 and information regarding the upgrade process can be found over on Kevin Greene’s blog in his two part series, Part 1 and Part 2, which details the process substantially. Once again it’s a must read before any upgrade takes place. There are new features within Operations Manager that are only available if the underlying operating system is Windows Server 2012. Microsoft recommend on their Technet site to install the upgrades for System Center SP1 first and then implement the upgrades for the operating system to Server 2012.

Some of the new enhancements for Operations Manager are:

  • Support for IIS 8 & Server 2012 Management Packs
  • Improved support for heartbeat monitoring of Linux and Unix agents
  • CentOS, Debian, Oracle and Ubuntu Linux are now supported
  • Monitoring of ASP .Net web service, WCF service, MVC and .Net NT Service
  • Integration with development tools such as Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio
  • Windows Azure SDK support
  • Monitoring of Sharepoint 2010 with APM
  • ACS support for Dynamic Access Control in Server 2012
  • Global Service Monitoring support – monitoring of websites from outside locations, includes 360 .Net Application Monitoring Dashboards
  • Support of more network device models

Many of the new enhancements are geared towards developers and monitoring of applications. The inclusion of support for Windows 8 and Server 2012 should now make the decision to upgrade to those platforms easier for administrators as they now have the comfort of knowing that the can monitor them successfully. In the next part of the series we’ll look at the new enhancements to Configuration Manager 2012.

System Center 2012 SP1 Update Series – Part 2

The upgrade process should begin with Orchestrator 2012. We’re not going to cover the installation process as this has been very well covered by System Center MVP Kevin Greene over on his blog which can be found here. Kevin’s blog is a must read for any administrator or operator that is considering installing Service Pack 1. In this part of the series we’re just going to quickly look at the enhancements that come as part of the new Service Pack and we’ll begin this by looking at Orchestrator.

On the whole the Service Pack 1 now allows for support of the following:

  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2012
  • SQL Server 2012

When System Center was launched in April 2012 the support for the newest versions of Windows operating systems were not available. This was largely due to the sequence of product release dates. For Orchestrator the list of enhancements includes the following:

  • Support for Windows Server 2012
  • Support for SQL Server 2012
  • Update Active Directory Integration Pack for System Center 2012
  • Update Integration Pack for Operations Manager
  • Updated Integration Pack for Virtual Machine Manager
  • Update VMware vSphere Integration Pack for Orchestrator
  • New Exchange Administrator Integration Pack

As mentioned earlier, more details on these enhancements can be found over at Kevin covered the upgrade process in detail as well. In the next part of the series we’ll look at the enhancements to Operations Manger

System Center 2012 SP1 Update Series – Part 1

Microsoft have just released SP1 for System Center 2012. Unlike previous version of System Center, 2012 is a cumulative update for all products under the System Center umbrella. The upside to this is that all products are kept on the same version which makes the updates easier to rollout and keep track of. The downside is that products need to be updated in a specific order.

In the next part of the series we will cover the enhanced features that have been upgraded as part of the new service pack, and also take a more in-depth look at the upgrade process. To begin with we will look at the order for upgrading the products within System Center. If you are using two or more of the System Center products you will need to follow up upgrade sequence otherwise you may experience issues with integration and communication between the various components in System Center. If there is only one product installed then you can proceed to upgrade that product without following the upgrade sequence.

  1. Orchestrator
  2. Service Manager (SCSM)
  3. Data Protection Manager (DPM)
  4. Operations Manager (SCOM)
  5. Configuration Manager (SCCM)
  6. Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
  7. App Controller

Technet Excerpt: Except for VMM, which requires Windows Server 2012, it is assumed that no other operating system upgrades have taken place before or during this upgrade. Upgrade the various System Center components before you upgrade the operating system. In addition, we assume that no upgrades to SQL Server have taken place. You can upgrade to SQL Server 2012 after you have upgraded your System Center components.

There are two possible issues to be aware of with the upgrade path. These relate to Orchestrator and Operations Manager. Integration Packs installed in Orchestrator 2012 will no longer function with SP1 components. It is recommended to leave the current Integration Packs installed so that current functionality continues. After you upgrade the subsequent System Center components the Integration Packs will be un-installed and you will need to return to the Orchestrator server and import the upgraded Integration Packs for SP1. Some new features for Operations Manager are only available in Windows Server 2012 so if you need to upgrade to 2012 wait until the SP1 upgrade has been put in place and then upgrade to Server 2012.

In the next part in the series we will look at the new enhanced feature for Service Pack 1

Windows 8 Support in SCCM

So it looks like Windows 8 is beginning to get some traction in the Enterprise market with a number of clients that we work with looking at rolling out Proof of Concepts with their users. Some are doing this via dual-boot options, other through VDI and some more are testing using bootable USB keys. All of these methods are really just to see how easily the users can interact with the new Windows 8 interface and if they would be happy with a move from Windows 7, which now has a really strong following.

As we have told most of our client, the biggest issue with Windows 8 will be getting their users familiar with the interface as Microsoft have moved away from the traditional Start menu. Their primary reason for testing is due to BYOD and having to support only one O/S. So the question begs to be asked, does my version of SCCM support Windows 8? Can I only support Windows 8 through SCCM 2012 or can I hold off on an upgrade from SCCM 2007 to 2012 for a while longer?

Until recently no version of SCCM was able to manage Windows 8 machines. There is a new SP1 update for SCCM 2012 due in January which will include this functionality. SCCM 2007 will require a hotfix to allow management of Windows 8 clients, but not O/S deployment. The information is available from Microsoft here.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1:

We will add the following operating systems to our client support matrix with the release of Service Pack 1:

  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Note: Systems with these operating systems will also be able to host a distribution point

  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Note: Systems with these operating systems will also be able to host a distribution point

All site server roles – including site server, SMS providers, and management points – can be deployed to servers with the following operating system editions:

  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2

As with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1, we are adding the following operating systems to our client support matrix in Configuration Manager 2007 with SP2 (includes Configuration Manager 2007 R2 and Configuration Manager 2007 R3):

  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Note: Though these will be fully supported as clients, there is no plan to add support for deploying these as operating systems by using the Configuration Manager 2007 operating system deployment feature. Also, no site servers or site systems will be support on any SKU of Windows Server 2012.

The hotfix update for SCCM 2007 can be found here

So, this Hotfix only adds limited support for Windows 8. It will allow visibility of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 in the supported platforms list for Software Distribution, SUP, and DCM. It doesn’t look like SCCM 2007 will ever support Windows 8 clients in full. SCCM 2012 will however provide full support for Windows 8 and Server 2012 clients.

So if you want to utilise the full functionality of SCCM for Windows 8 deployments you’ll need to look at SCCM 2012 SP1, or upgrade from 2007.

Windows Server 2012 Shortcut Keys

Windows Server 2012 is a big change for administrators when it comes to managing their infrastructure. It brings with it a bunch of new features that make management and deployment of services both more efficient and easier. A big change with Server 2012 is the use of powershell, which is something we will write a Did You Know article about soon. Just getting around the GUI for Server 2012 has also changed quite a bit.

Below are a list of shortcut keys that will make getting around Server 2012 a lot easier.

  • Windows Key + C – Opens Charms bar
  • Windows Key + Ctrl + Tab – Cycles through apps
  • Windows Key + Shift + Tab – Cycles through apps in reverse order
  • Windows Key + D – Switch to desktop (from start screen)
  • Windows Key + E – Opens file explorer
  • Windows Key + F – Search (files and folders)
  • Windows Key + H – Share
  • Windows Key + I – Settings
  • Windows Key + K – Devices
  • Windows Key + M – Minimizes current windows on desktop
  • Windows Key + O – Sets device orientation
  • Windows Key + Pause – System properties
  • Windows Key + PgDown- Moves current app to right monitor
  • Windows Key + PgUp- Moves current app to left monitor
  • Windows Key + PrtScr – Save screenshot
  • Windows Key + Q – Global search
  • Windows Key + R – Run command
  • Windows Key + spacebar – Switch keyboard/input language
  • Windows Key + TAB – Provides list of running programs
  • Windows Key + U – Ease of access center
  • Windows Key + V – Cycles notifications
  • Windows Key + Shift + V – Cycles notifications in reverse order
  • Windows Key + Y – Shows desktop screen
  • Windows Key + W – System settings search
  • Windows Key + X – Quick access menu
  • Windows Key + Z – Opens app bar

More information on shortcuts can be found over at PetriIT


Veeam Operations Manager Monitoring Pack Offer

Free Veeam Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager 2012

Veeam are currently offering a free 10-socket license of Veeam (nWorks) Management Pack for new Veeam MP users who are using System Center Operations Manager 2012. This fantastic offer allows customers to officially license and get maintenance support for up to 5 (2 socket) ESX hosts. This is a substantial offer for any small/medium sized business.

The Veeam Management Pack 10-Pack includes:

  • A free 10-socket license of the Veeam Management Pack for deep VMware monitoring in System Center 2012
  • One full year of maintenance and support

More information on the off can be found here. I would recommend anybody that has System Center Operations Manager 2012 in their environment to leverage the knowledge base already collected for System Center Operations Manager to monitor their VMware environment efficiently and effectively.

Veeam Management Pack Integration

Veeam Management Pack provides built-in intelligence to increase productivity and reduce the learning curve for front-line operations staff. It also delivers instant value with hundreds of out-of-the-box rules, monitors, topology diagrams and reports on VMware performance and events while lowering administration and deployment overhead through centralized management and configuration. The management pack includes enterprise-class features such as high-availability, load balancing and a distributed, scalable architecture. Veeam Management Pack leverages native vSphere APIs to gather its data.