Backup vCenter Server High Availability nodes

Using Veeam Backup to protect VCHA

The vCenterServer Appliance (VCSA) is becoming more and more important. Many vSphere-related services rely deeply on the availability of vCenter. So it was a logic move to make vCenter more available by having an active, a passive and a witness node of vCenter in your cluster. In case the active appliance breaks, the passive appliance will take over.

I’ve been experimenting with VCHA for a while. Although I’m not yet satisfied with the failover time (5-10 minutes), I think it is a move into the right direction. I wouldn’t call it “high” availability right now – maybe “elevated” availability. But nevertheless the failover time might be alright for many environments today and it is used for production. That raises an important question:

How to backup a vCenter High Availability node?

If you have a standalone VC you’ll just make a backup or replica and you’re finished. But VCHA consists of 3 components and before backing up you’ll need to find out which one is the active node, because VMware only supports VADP-based backups (VMware vStorage API for Data Protection) of the active node. There’s no point in backing up the passive node or the witness. Keep in mind that active and passive node may have switched roles since last backup! Continue reading “Backup vCenter Server High Availability nodes”

Query NTFS Blocksize

Using 64k blocksize for better performance

Partitions with Veeam-Backups, SQL-Database files or SQL-Logs should be formatted with a 64k blocksize for better performance. You can check blocksizes with a simple command.

Open a CMD Shell with Administrator rights.

fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo <Drive>

Example for the system partition.

fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo C:
NTFS-Volumeseriennummer : 0xa892e42c92e400a4
Version : 3.1
Anzahl der Sektoren : 0x000000001dc807ff
Gesamtzahl Cluster : 0x0000000003b900ff
Freie Cluster : 0x0000000000b42c71
Insgesamt reserviert : 0x0000000000000ff0
Bytes pro Sektor : 512
Bytes pro physischen Sektor : 512
Bytes pro Cluster : 4096
Bytes pro Dateidatensatzsegment : 1024
Cluster pro Dateidatensatzsegment : 0
MFT-gültige Datenlänge : 0x0000000017180000
MFT-Start-LCN : 0x00000000000c0000
MFT2-Start-LCN : 0x0000000000000002
MFT-Zonenstart : 0x0000000000eb7240
MFT-Zonenende : 0x0000000000eb9340
RM-Bezeichner: FFFF0956-A102-11E7-87BD-005056C00008

You can see Bytes per Cluster: 4096 which equals 4KB.


To check all local partitions for the corresponding blocksize you can use a PS script, which was originally posted by Stuart Moore.

$wql = "SELECT Label, Blocksize, Name FROM Win32_Volume WHERE FileSystem='NTFS'"
Get-WmiObject -Query $wql -ComputerName '.' | Select-Object Label, Blocksize, Name


Stuart Moore – Get Cluster size for all disks and volumes on a Windows machine using powershell and wmi

Veeam Backup & Replication Best Practices

vExpert experience

The first 3 months in the life of a vExpert

I’ve been blogging about virtualization and VMware for almost 8 years now. It started simple as a digital reminder, or as I like to call it: “a swap partition for my brain”. This blog was meant to be a central location to store all these tips and tricks, procedures and workarounds. I didn’t expect anyone to read my content and in fact in the beginning there was no reaction. After two years of blogging, first responses reached me (someone actually read that stuff). So I’ve started to design my posts in a more comprehensive and educational way. More and more people wrote comments or sent emails – all of them very encouraging and positive.

Thank you all for pushing me forward.

In May 2017 I’ve visited VeeamON in New Orleans. After more than a decade in virtualization this was my first international convention and also a game changer. I met there some well-known bloggers, vExperts and Vanguards. While chatting about their blogs I found out that some of them actually knew my site, which honestly surprised me.

Until then my personal definition of vExperts were people whose blogs I used to read frequently. Excellent resources like Yellow-Bricks by Duncan, ESXvirtualization by Vladan, by Frank, CormacHogan by himself and a dozen others. In mid 2017 some colleagues convinced me to apply for vExpert 2017 (2nd half). Honestly, I did not expect to have the slightest chance of success – but on the other hand I had nothing to lose. OK, let’s press submit.

Continue reading “vExpert experience”

Runecast Analyzer – Getting started Guide part 3

First steps

In the first two section of this article-series I’ve shown how to deploy and setup Runecast Analyzer and how to update the appliance with latest patches. In this section I’ll show you some first steps to get familiar with the dashboard.

First login into the appliance (default login is rcuser / Runecast!).

Once you’re logged in you’ll see the dashboard where a brief overview of your infrastructure and possible issues are displayed in a condensed way. Don’t be scared, there will be issues. 😉

Continue reading “Runecast Analyzer – Getting started Guide part 3”