Attend or present at VeeamON 2020

Attend or present at VeeamON 2020

VeeamON 2020 is taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA from May 4th till May 6th, 2020. It is the place to be to learn about Veeams (and yours) Cloud Data Strategy. This is an opportunity to learn from industry experts on how to leverage the cloud for scalable, efficient data protection to accelerate your business. You can actually attend or present at VeeamON 2020. Every year I encourage people to invest in attending VeeamON. This year is no different.

Attend or present at VeeamON 2020
Register for VeeamON 2020

Why attend?

You can enjoy hands‑on intensive training from industry experts. There is ample of opportunity to educate yourself on the latest technologies from Veeam and our partners. To help you do that you can choose from 50+ breakout sessions, featuring top experts in the industry. On top of that, you can attend the Veeams VMCE training course to ensure that your business’s Cloud Data Management strategy is ready for what’s next.

Learn from these industry heavyweights

Conferences are also a superb place to network. Where else will you find yourself in a community of over 2,000 IT visionaries and leaders, tech trainers and cloud backup experts? All ready and eager to support your perpetual journey in search of data protection and management on-premises, in private, hybrid and public clouds as well as in hosted services.

Last but not least, celebrate your newfound knowledge, insights, and inspiration with that network at the legendary Veeam Party.

Become a presenter

You can do even more than all that. Veeam has launched its call for presentations (CFP). This is your opportunity to become a presenter at VeeamON 2020. If you have something to share and think it is interesting enough for the target audience of VeeamON 2020, please submit.

Really, go for it. You have nothing to lose and maybe you’ll be on stage presenting in Las Vegas. I mean, come on, that’s called an opportunity!

You can submit your proposals right here by clicking on the button. It will open the official Veeam CFP page in a new tab. Good luck! I hope you make it and attend or present at VeeamON 2020.

The Darwin award with MFA push notifications

Introduction

Recently in a talk with a pen tester I was demoing an end-user security risk that is relatively new on the scene. Apps that automatically confirm MFA push notifications. This effectively bypasses conscious user interaction and approval of any login attempt secured with a push notification. Hence the Darwin award with MFA push notifications phrase was born.

The Darwin award with MFA push notifications

Just when some security people worried more about the people with push notification suffering from security fatigue as being the biggest risk we go step further. Never mind people accepting any notification like Pavlov’s dog in a semi-unconscious, conditioned action. They have even grown tired of this an turn to MFA bypass apps to handle this for them.

The Darwin award with MFA push notifications
Yes, the Darwin award is only one approval away!

More then ever it seems that disabling any kind of self-service for device registration with MFA is key. On top of that, it is a sobering reminder that a strong password and conscious user actions are still very much key to providing security via MFA. I am not bashing DUO here. This was just the one I tested and it worked shockingly well.

Conclusion

I think for some people and organizations one or more FIDO2 keys will be the better option. Unless mobile device management can prevent people from installing auto-responder apps for push notifications you might have an issue. Or, they need to find a way to block such tools. Whatever I can come up with breaks the ease of use of push notifications but there are smarter and more knowledgeable people out there than me, so who know what they come up with. Microsoft Authenticator seems to have some capabilities to prevent this. I don’t know if you can enforce it 100% and if this cannot be bypassed in code as well.

Approve sign-in box on computer
You get a number challenge …
Approve sign-in box on device
… and you need to tap the correct number.

This, however, does nothing against conditioned responses of pushing a button or scanning a fingerprint on a FIDO2 key. So, remain vigilant. The sobering fact is that the adoption of MFA is disappointingly low. And no matter how many scary MFA bypass stories your read MFA is a key aspect of securing access today. It puts you far ahead of the curve. If done well and with well thought out procedures it is a formidable barrier for but the most determined attackers. Actually MFA bypass attacks are very rare still. Most of us are not that interesting targets but it can help keep out the majority of casual or professional thieves looking for quick wins on easy targets.

Virtual switch QoS mode during migrations

Introduction

In Shared nothing live migration with a virtual switch change and VLAN ID configuration I published a sample script. The script works well. But there are two areas of improvement. The first one is here in Checkpoint references a non-existent virtual switch. This post is about the second one. Here I show that I also need to check the virtual switch QoS mode during migrations. A couple of the virtual machines on the source nodes had absolute minimum and/or maximum bandwidth set. On the target nodes, all the virtual switches are created by PowerShell. This defaults to weight mode for QoS, which is the more sensible option, albeit not always the easiest or practical one for people to use.

Virtual switch QoS mode during migrations

First a quick recap of what we are doing. The challenge was to shared nothing live migrate virtual machines to a host with different virtual switch names and VLAN IDs. We did so by adding dummy virtual switches to the target host. This made share nothing live migration possible. On arrival of the virtual machine on the target host, we immediately connect the virtual network adapters to the final virtual switch and set the correct VLAN IDs. That works very well. You drop 1 or at most 2 pings, this is as good as it gets.

This goes wrong under the following conditions:

  • The source virtual switch has QoS mode absolute.
  • Virtual network adapter connected to the source virtual switch has MinimumBandwidthAbsolute and/or MaximumBandwidth set.
  • The target virtual switch with QoS mode weighted

This will cause connectivity loss as you cannot set absolute values to a virtual network attached to a weighted virtual switch. So connecting the virtual to the new virtual switch just fails and you lose connectivity. Remember that the virtual machine is connected to a dummy virtual switch just to make the live migration work and we need to swap it over immediately. The VLAN ID does get set correctly actually. Let’s deal with this.

Steps to fix this issue

First of all, we adapt the script to check the QoS mode on the source virtual switches. If it is set to absolute we know we need to check for any settings of MinimumBandwidthAbsolute and MaximumBandwidth on the virtual adapters connected to those virtual switches. These changes are highlighted in the demo code below.

Secondly, we adapt the script to check every virtual network adapter for its bandwidth management settings. If we find configured MinimumBandwidthAbsolute and MaximumBandwidth values we set these to 0 and as such disable the bandwidth settings. This makes sure that connecting the virtual network adapters to the new virtual switch with QoS mode weighted will succeed. These changes are highlighted in the demo code below.

Finally, the complete script

#The source Hyper-V host
$SourceNode = 'NODE-A'
#The LUN where you want to storage migrate your VMs away from
$SourceRootPath = "C:\ClusterStorage\Volume1*"
#The source Hyper-V host

#The target Hypr-V host
$TargetNode = 'ZULU'
#The storage pathe where you want to storage migrate your VMs to
$TargetRootPath = "C:\ClusterStorage\Volume1"

$OldVirtualSwitch01 = 'vSwitch-VLAN500'
$OldVirtualSwitch02 = 'vSwitch-VLAN600'
$NewVirtualSwitch = 'ConvergedVirtualSwitch'
$VlanId01 = 500
$VlanId02 = 600
  
if ((Get-VMSwitch -name $OldVirtualSwitch01 ).BandwidthReservationMode -eq 'Absolute') { 
    $OldVirtualSwitch01QoSMode = 'Absolute'
}
if ((Get-VMSwitch -name $OldVirtualSwitch01 ).BandwidthReservationMode -eq 'Absolute') { 
    $OldVirtualSwitch02QoSMode = 'Absolute'
}
    
#Grab all the VM we find that have virtual disks on the source CSV - WARNING for W2K12 you'll need to loop through all cluster nodes.
$AllVMsOnRootPath = Get-VM -ComputerName $SourceNode | where-object { $_.HardDrives.Path -like $SourceRootPath }

#We loop through all VMs we find on our SourceRoootPath
ForEach ($VM in $AllVMsOnRootPath) {
    #We generate the final VM destination path
    $TargetVMPath = $TargetRootPath + "\" + ($VM.Name).ToUpper()
    #Grab the VM name
    $VMName = $VM.Name
    $VM.VMid
    $VMName

    #If the VM is still clusterd, get it removed form the cluster as live shared nothing migration will otherwise fail.
    if ($VM.isclustered -eq $True) {
        write-Host -ForegroundColor Magenta $VM.Name "is clustered and is being removed from cluster"
        Remove-ClusterGroup -VMId $VM.VMid -Force -RemoveResources
        Do { Start-Sleep -seconds 1 } While ($VM.isclustered -eq $True)
        write-Host -ForegroundColor Yellow $VM.Name "has been removed from cluster"
    }
    #If the VM checkpoint, notify the user of the script as this will cause issues after swicthing to the new virtual
    #switch on the target node. Live migration will fail between cluster nodes if the checkpoints references 1 or more
    #non existing virtual switches. These must be removed prior to of after completing the shared nothing migration.
    #The script does this after the migration automatically, not before as I want it to be untouched if the shared nothing
    #migration fails.

    $checkpoints = get-vmcheckpoint -VMName $VM.Name

    if ($Null -ne $checkpoints) {
        write-host -foregroundcolor yellow "This VM has checkpoints"
        write-host -foregroundcolor yellow "This VM will be migrated to the new host"
        write-host -foregroundcolor yellow "Only after a succesfull migration will ALL the checpoints be removed"
    }
    
    #Do the actual storage migration of the VM, $DestinationVMPath creates the default subfolder structure
    #for the virtual machine config, snapshots, smartpaging & virtual hard disk files.
    Move-VM -Name $VMName -ComputerName $VM.ComputerName -IncludeStorage -DestinationStoragePath $TargetVMPath -DestinationHost $TargetNode
    
    $MovedVM = Get-VM -ComputerName $TargetNode -Name $VMName

    $vNICOnOldvSwitch01 = Get-VMNetworkAdapter -ComputerName $TargetNode -VMName $MovedVM.VMName | where-object SwitchName -eq $OldVirtualSwitch01
    if ($Null -ne $vNICOnOldvSwitch01) {
        foreach ($VMNetworkadapater in $vNICOnOldvSwitch01) {   
            if ($OldVirtualSwitch01QoSMode -eq 'Absolute') { 
                if (0 -ne $VMNetworkAdapter.bandwidthsetting.Maximumbandwidth) {
                    write-host -foregroundcolor cyan "Network adapter $VMNetworkAdapter.Name of VM $VMName MaximumBandwidth will be reset to 0."
                    Set-VMNetworkAdapter -Name $VMNetworkAdapter.Name -VMName $MovedVM.Name -ComputerName $TargetNode -MaximumBandwidth 0
                }
                if (0 -ne $VMNetworkAdapter.bandwidthsetting.MinimumBandwidthAbsolute) {
                    write-host -foregroundcolor cyan "Network adapter $VMNetworkAdapter.Name of VM $VMName MaximuBandwidthAbsolute will be reset to 0."
                    Set-VMNetworkAdapter -Name $VMNetworkAdapter.Name -VMName $MovedVM.Name -ComputerName $TargetNode -MinimumBandwidthAbsolute 0
                }
            }
                
            write-host 'Moving to correct vSwitch'
            Connect-VMNetworkAdapter -VMNetworkAdapter $vNICOnOldvSwitch01 -SwitchName $NewVirtualSwitch
            write-host "Setting VLAN $VlanId01"
            Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan  -VMNetworkAdapter $vNICOnOldvSwitch01 -Access -VLANid $VlanId01
        }
    }

    $vNICsOnOldvSwitch02 = Get-VMNetworkAdapter -ComputerName $TargetNode -VMName $MovedVM.VMName | where-object SwitchName -eq $OldVirtualSwitch02
    if ($NULL -ne $vNICsOnOldvSwitch02) {
        foreach ($VMNetworkadapater in $vNICsOnOldvSwitch02) {
            if ($OldVirtualSwitch02QoSMode -eq 'Absolute') { 
                if ($Null -ne $VMNetworkAdapter.bandwidthsetting.Maximumbandwidth) {
                    write-host -foregroundcolor cyan "Network adapter $VMNetworkAdapter.Name of VM $VMName MaximumBandwidth will be reset to 0."
                    Set-VMNetworkAdapter -Name $VMNetworkAdapter.Name -VMName $MovedVM.Name -ComputerName $TargetNode -MaximumBandwidth 0
                }
                if ($Null -ne $VMNetworkAdapter.bandwidthsetting.MinimumBandwidthAbsolute) {
                    write-host -foregroundcolor cyan "Network adapter $VMNetworkAdapter.Name of VM $VMName MaximumBandwidth will be reset to 0."
                    Set-VMNetworkAdapter -Name $VMNetworkAdapter.Name -VMName $MovedVM.Name -ComputerName $TargetNode -MinimumBandwidthAbsolute 0
                }
            }
            write-host 'Moving to correct vSwitch'
            Connect-VMNetworkAdapter -VMNetworkAdapter $vNICsOnOldvSwitch02 -SwitchName $NewVirtualSwitch
            write-host "Setting VLAN $VlanId02"
            Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan  -VMNetworkAdapter $vNICsOnOldvSwitch02 -Access -VLANid $VlanId02
        }
    }

    #If the VM has checkpoints, this is when we remove them.
    $checkpoints = get-vmcheckpoint -ComputerName $TargetNode -VMName $MovedVM.VMName

    if ($Null -ne $checkpoints) {
        write-host -foregroundcolor yellow "This VM has checkpoints and they will ALL be removed"
        $CheckPoints | Remove-VMCheckpoint 
    }
}

Below is the output of a VM where we had to change the switch name, enable a VLAN ID, deal with absolute QoS settings and remove checkpoints. All this without causing downtime. Nor did we change the original virtual machine in case the shared nothing migration fails.

Some observations

The fact that we are using PowerShell is great. You can only set weighted bandwidth limits via PowerShell. The GUI is only for absolute values and it will throw an error trying to use it when the virtual switch is configured as weighted.

This means you can embed setting the weights in your script if you so desire. If you do, read up on how to handle this best. trying to juggle the weight settings to be 100 in a dynamic environment is a bit of a challenge. So use the default flow pool and keep the number of virtual network adapters with unique settings to a minimum.

Conclusion

To avoid downtime we removed all the set minimum and maximum bandwidth settings on any virtual network adapter. By doing so we ensured that the swap to the new virtual switch right after the successful shared nothing live migration will succeed. If you want you can set weights on the virtual network adapters afterward. But as the bandwidth on these new hosts is now a redundant 25 Gbps, the need was no longer there. As a result, we just left them without. this can always be configured later if it turns out to be needed.

Warning: this is a demo script. It lacks error handling and logging. It can also contain mistakes. But hey you get it for free to adapt and use. Test and adapt this in a lab. You are responsible for what you do in your environments. Running scripts downloaded from the internet without any validation make you a certified nut case. That is not my wrongdoing.

I hope this helps some of you. thanks for reading.

VEEAMON Virtual 2019

VEEAMON Virtual 2019

VeeamON Virtual 2019 takes place on November 20th, 2019. This is a global event. You can join this virtual conference from the comfort of your home office, couch or whatever spot you’d like to enjoy it from.

VEEAMON Virtual 2019

Why attend?

Veeam will bring the virtual conference to you where ever you are. First of all, you will learn about the latest and greatest in data protection, security and management. In order to fully optimize your experience you can engage with Veeam’s® leading experts and partners. But you can also network with the more than 5,000 attendees. Joining this conference gives you exclusive access to all the sessions. As a result, the content will keep you on top of the new innovations, tools and techniques needed today.

Agenda

You can find the agenda right here https://www.veeam.com/veeamon-virtual.html
Topics covered are in 4 categories:

  • Vision & Strategy
  • Implementation Best Practices
  • Cloud-Powered
  • Architecture & Design

Experts from around the globe are volunteering their time

Meanwhile, along with the presentations and discussions, you will have the opportunity to ask questions. Professionals from around the globe are volunteering their time. I will be there to help out with Hyper-V related questions. You can discuss anything ranging from network, storage, compute to architecture and design.

Likewise, if you want to discuss Off-Host proxies or Scale Out Backup repositories, just ask. Need to talk about general backup architectures, designs and migrations? Feel free to engage us for a chat. That is real world experience and expertise to augment the value from VeeamON Virtual 2019 for you!