Happy New Year !!

Wish all of my readers a Happy New Year 2017 !!


SAN ports. Types.

N port: Node port. N_Ports are end-points in a FC network. Servers and Storage Nodes have this port.
NL_Port: Node Loop port. NL_Port is a port that connects a device to a Arbitrated loop
FL_Port: Fabric Loop port. FL_Port connects loop nodes to a Fabric nodes.
F_Port: Fabric Port. F_Port are generally found on switches.
E_Port: Expansion Port. These ports are the ones that are used to link 2 switches using inter-switch links (ISL)

VMware Data Protection + EMC DataDomain

If you are privileged to be using a DataDomain system along with VMware Data Protection (VDP) you are one of the lucky ones.

VDP has direct integration capabilities with DataDomain and can leverage the full capabilities of storing data with DeDup onto DD.

While most of the documentation that is available on the VMware support site give you all the information about how to map DD to VDP and how to configure backup jobs so that the data goes onto DD; there is very less / no document that lists the steps involved when a VDP appliance crashes leaving you with an orphan DD Storage Unit.

I went through the process and logged a call first with EMC and then VMware (who in turn called EMC internally for the solution) and then came up with the steps involved to be carried out to re-map DD to VDP.

The testing for this scenario assumes the following:

  • VDPA appliance 6.0.1.
  • DataDomain storage unit (DDSU) is connected.
  • The destination for the backup jobs are set as DDSU.
  • Checkpoint for the appliance is set to store on DDSU.


In this test case we did the following to simulate a VDPA crash.

  1. Set backup for a test VM. Destination DDSU
  2. Allowed the backup to complete successfully.
  3. Shut down the VDPA appliance.


Deploy a new VDPA appliance.

  • Give it the same name as the appliance that was shutdown/crashed.
  • Provide it the same IP as well.
  • The version of VDPA should be same.
  • The size of the VDPA appliance should be equal to or bigger than the crashed VDPA.
  • The VDPA should have same data partition count as crashed the VDPA.

Every time we map DD to VDPA, DD creates a new Storage Unit. This is default behavior of DD. We have to use the Fast Copy feature of DD to copy data from one Storage Unit to the other. Clicking on the Storage Unit gives more information about the Storage Unit, using this information you can determine which Storage Unit was created recently and designate it as the destination Storage Unit. The older Storage Unit is the source Storage Unit.


Once Fast Copy finishes..


Once Fast Copy completes copying the data onto the new Storage Unit we can proceed with the recovery process.

Log in to the VDP appliance as root and from a CLI prompt, query the available checkpoints to recover by typing this command:

ddrmaint cp-backup-list --full --ddr-server=Data_Domain_system --ddr-user=DD_Boost_user_name --ddr-password=DD_Boost_user_password



Data_Domain_system is the Data Domain system with the VDP appliance checkpoint backup.

DD_Boost_user_name is the DD Boost user account used for VDP and Data Domain system integration.

DD_Boost_user_password is the DD Boost user account password used for VDP and Data Domain system integration.

The command output:
 ================== Checkpoint ==================

 Avamar Server Name                    : aaaa.bbbb.com

 Avamar Server MTree/LSU         : avamar-1234567890

 Data Domain System Name        : x.x.x.x

 Avamar Client Path                        : /MC_SYSTEM/avamar-1234567890

 Avamar Client ID                            : 17211dd2196563ded28f665a45712e57434b9bf8

 Checkpoint Name                          : cp.20160901033034

 Checkpoint Backup Date              : 2016-09-01 09:01:21

 Data Partitions                                : 3

 Attached Data Domain systems : x.x.x.x

Command to restore the backups stored on the DDSU.

/usr/local/avamar/bin/cprestore --hfscreatetime=VDP_ID --ddr-Server=Data_Domain_system  --ddr-user=DD_Boost_user_name --cptag=Checkpoint_name


VDP_ID is from the Avamar Server MTree/LSU field: avamar-1234567890. Here the VDP_ID is 1234567890.

Data_Domain_system is the Data Domain system with the VDP appliance checkpoint backup. In the previous checkpoint output example, the value is aaaa.bbbb.com.

DD_Boost_user_name is the DD Boost user account used for VDP and Data Domain system integration. In the previous checkpoint output example, the value is VDP.

Checkpoint_name is the checkpoint name. In the previous checkpoint output example, the value is cp.20150812033037

Verify using the cplist command that checkpoint is copied on your new VDP.

Stop the VDP appliance with this command: dpnctl stop

To initiate a rollback, run this command: dpnctl start –force_rollback

After issuing the command above, you get prompted the question if you had contacted EMC Support prior to issuing this command. Select yes.

A list of choices appears. Select option 3, then select a specific checkpoint to which to roll back and select desired checkpoint number to which you want to rollback.

Wait for the rollback to complete. The rollback might take up to one hour, depending on the amount of data present in the VDP appliance. When the rollback is complete, the command prompt returns.

The output will give you a tail command which you can issue in a separate ssh session to verify if the task completes successfully.

Post checkpoint restore:
We need to disable and enable the internal proxy from the vdp-configure UI.
Login to vdp-configure UI, click the Storage tab, click the settings wheel.
Select the Disable internal proxy, click next, click Finish
Click the settings wheel and select Enable internal proxy
Select Enable Internal proxy and click Next.
Click Finish.
Click Close

Login to vCenter and navigate to the VDP appliance. Now when we check in the Restore section we can see the VM’s which were backed up. This also restores the backup jobs.

Hope this document helps you with the  VDP + DD setup. Happy Backups !!




I saw Samsung Galaxy S7E launched, the specs were awesome and there was nothing better in the market at the time.
Although I wanted the phone I couldn’t buy it since it was way out of my budget area and also I have a OnePlus One that I was using.
Incidentally I got some money from an investment that I had done. And your guess is as good as anyone else’s as to what I did with the money..

I got the Titanium Silver edition and it looks gorgeous !!


Vortex Pok3r Cherry MX Blue

So as all of you know I had bought the CM QuickFire Rapid-I. However to my disappointment, the LED back lighting of the keys started going off one by one.
After 10 keys went off I panicked and contacted Amazon so as to ask for a replacement. Amazon said that replacement wont be possible and they would only be able to offer a refund. I agreed and went ahead and sent the keyboard back and recieved a refund. Now… I needed a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switches and fast, coz I had used the Rapid-I and was in no mood to go back to membrane keyboards.

Suddenly one day a friend of mine sent me a URL of a deal from Banggood.com. A Vortex Pok3r 3 keyboard was selling for $124; which was cheaper than what I was getting elsewhere. I consulted with 2-3 more of my friends and went ahead and bought the keyboard.

The keyboard is really petite. It arrived in a small black box.

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As you open the box there are 3 packets you get. One contains the keyboard itself. Another one contains the connecting mini USB cable; and the third packet contains the replacement keys for some special keys.

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This keyboard is a 60% model. This is really small. However, it isnt light by any means. The body is made out of aluminium and is really sturdy. The rubber feet below the keyboard are really nice. It holds the keyboard in place and doesnt let it slide all over the place.

The half keys are placed mostly towards the right side and takes some getting used to, before you can swiftly use them.

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All in all I am happy with the keyboard and now that I have it, quite a few of my friends are trying it out and are thinking to get a mech keyboard for themselves.

CoolerMaster QuickFire Rapid-I

One of my friends is a mechanical keyboard fanatic. He fortunately had been to Netherlands and was fortunate enough to get his paws on a Ducky Mechanical keyboard. When I saw that keyboard I was so much in love with it and was lusting after it. I had decided; I must have a mechanical keyboard. Then the search began. Much to my disappointment the keyboards available were all out of my budget range.

For quite some time I had given up on the dream of owning a mechanical keyboard. Then another friend of mine recently told me that he scored a CoolerMaster QuickFire Rapid-I for 5.1K INR. This keyboard retails for 11.5K INR… my jaw dropped on the floor. This price point was my sweet spot and if I was made aware of the deal, I would certainly have gone for it.

I was licking my  wounds and waiting patiently for another such deal to come up on Amazon.in. Fortunately a lightening deal came up on Friday, and I pounced on it. The keyboard arrived today and I am so so happy that I went with this keyboard. In face I am typing from the very same keyboard about itself.


This is the package contents


Keyboard commissioned.