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Data Protection for Exchange & SharePoint


Most Exchange administrators look at data protection and yawn.  SharePoint administrators look at backup and cringe.  For Exchange admins, backups are boring; actually, VERY boring, time consuming, and frustrating to schedule, monitor, and remediate backups.  For SharePoint Admins, backups are complicated.  SharePoint Farms are multi-server octopus-like entities with dependencies, linkages, and fragile indexes that need each other in order to function properly.


A complete contrast to backups, there is nothing more anxiety producing than working through a failed data restoration issue. Restores are exciting, but often for all the wrong reasons. What is EMC doing to make backups more exciting and restores less anxiety producing?  The engineers at EMC have developed a suite of tools to address backup reliability, restoration confidence, and make monitoring and remediation of data protection fun.  Yep, I said "fun".


I know what you are thinking… “this guy is crazy!”. How could protecting data possibly be fun?!  He must be a geek… Well… I might be a geek, but let me show you what I'm talking about in a demo. At the center of the EMC Data Protection Suite is a software package called Data Protection Advisor.

The demo is about eight minutes long so grab a drink and stay focused.  This demo may change your entire perspective on backup and recovery.


In a couple of weeks, I'll post a follow-up to this where we'll talk about restoring data elements — like individual emailmessages, SharePoint content (files) and how to index all of it so your legal team will be buying you lunch every Friday!  Talk to you then.  Enjoy.

Eliminate complexity in the data center with ScaleIO when you are in an open virtualization environment.


No matter the country or how big is your organization, I have been working in small companies to large enterprise in several countries and in most of them the main concern is to find a balance between budget and demand. Datacenters are running out of space and they are struggling with operational expenses, nevertheless they have to provide agile solutions for business applications.


I spent many hours, often days, in customer’s datacenters helping with application migrations. I remember some customers with large numbers of traditional servers with different applications running individually with no SAN connectivity.

Those servers also needed to grow and provide more performance and capacity; direct attach (DAS) was the easy solution for most of them.

Connecting HBAs or other types of adapters to attach to SAN, NAS or SCSI arrays can be very complex and expensive. EMC ScaleIO will help you to solve this problem and leverage your current infrastructure with low cost, simplicity and elasticity.


ScaleIO is a software defined storage solution that supports HDDs, SSDs and PCIe flash cards to create virtual pool of block storage. ScaleIO converges storage and compute resources to single layer architecture to provide performance and capacity with simple management.


Why did I decide to use ScaleIO?

I selected ScaleIO to solve my customer problems because it enabled me to deliver the customer:


1. Convergence

ScaleIO is hardware agnostic that converges storage and compute resources aggregating capacity, performance with simple management.

2. Scalability

ScaleIO provides a scalable solution from three to thousands of nodes. Compute and storage resources grow automatically when new servers are added.

3. Elasticity

The system balances data automatically adding new compute and storage resources reducing complexity

4. Performance

This solution enhances performance adding servers and storages resources to the application with minimum impact.


ScaleIO software is implemented at server level and communicates via local area network to handle the application I/O, this is a dynamic and elastic solution that enable administrator to add or remove nodes on the fly. Logical Raid Striped is implemented across all the servers to provide data protection.

Here we have the components of ScaleIO software:

ScaleIO componenets.png

  • Meta Data Manager - MDM configures and monitors ScaleIO system
  • ScaleIO Data Client  - SDC is a device driver that shows ScaleIO volumes as Block devices to the application
  • ScaleIO Data Server - SDS  manages the capacity of a single server


The system scales linearly adding capacity and performance to the applications with minimal impact to end users.

The platform automatically rebalances when we add or remove a server, if a server is rebooted, the data is migrated to guarantee data protection, when the server comes up again, data is back to the original disk, moreover logical Raid Striped is implemented across all the servers.


We have recently tested a new solution with Microsoft applications; this is a reference architecture supporting Microsoft SQL, Exchange and SharePoint Server enabled by VMware 5.5 and ScaleIO 1.3 virtual SAN.




This solution uses eight servers with ten SAS drives per each server and is supporting 2,500 Exchange seats, 10,000 SharePoint users and SQL Databases workload with more than 200 transactions per second.


Storage pools were created per each application, configuring different VMDK files for Databases and Logs. For each application, we have used different validation tools; Jetstress, Bulk Loader, LoadBulk2SP and a OLTP workload tool.

They generated enough workload to test the applications running on ScaleIO achieving the performance recommendations for Exchange Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013 and SQL Server 2014.

Click here to access the complete white paper



ScaleIO is a software server-based SAN that converges compute and storage resources to deliver elastic storage and scalable performance on demand with the benefit of a very low operational cost.


For more information click here

Here is the First Walkthrough of some basic functions of my SIOToolKit. Enjoy




Current exposed commands:



CommandTypeName                                          ModuleName
---------------                                          ----------
Function   Connect-SIOmdm                                SIOToolKit
Function   Connect-SIOVolume                             SIOToolKit
Function   Disconnect-SIOVolume                          SIOToolKit
Function   Get-SIOPDProperties                           SIOToolKit
Function   Get-SIOPoolProperties                         SIOToolKit
Function   Get-SIOSDC                                    SIOToolKit
Function   Get-SIOSDCProperties                          SIOToolKit
Function   Get-SIOSDS                                    SIOToolKit
Function   Get-SIOSDSProperties                          SIOToolKit
Function   Get-SIOVolume                                 SIOToolKit
Function   Get-SIOVolumeProperties                       SIOToolKit
Function   New-SIOSnapshot                               SIOToolKit
Function   New-SIOVolume                                 SIOToolKit
Function   Remove-SIOSnapshotTree                        SIOToolKit
Function   Remove-SIOSnapshotTreewithParents             SIOToolKit
Function   Remove-SIOVolume                              SIOToolKit
Function   Remove-SIOVolumeTree                          SIOToolKit
Function   Show-SIOPools                                 SIOToolKit
Function   Show-SIOSDCs                                  SIOToolKit
Function   Show-SIOSDSs                                  SIOToolKit
Function   Show-SIOVolumes                               SIOToolKit

For People interested in Powershell for ScaleIO, i started a Project on Github called SIOToolKit.

It is a wrapper for scli, wich is very fast and eliminates the need for complex sripting


You can download current mastersnaps from


See a demo how it works here:


New Solution Overview Videos

Posted by MarthaP Feb 5, 2015

Check out how EMC solutions can help your Exchange, SharePoint and SQL environments!


We’ve recently launched solution overview videos detailing how EMC infrastructure, data protection, cloud and flash technologies can help solve your top challenges for your Microsoft environments.


Putting your Microsoft Applications on EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud will allow you to align business requirements with delivery of services, define your level of service and availability for individual applications and control and protect your business data at all times. Learn more here


In the SQL DBA video series we discuss how EMC flash solutions are meeting SQL DBA challenges, creating value for Microsoft SQL DBAs and why all flash arrays redefine the Microsoft SQL Server landscape. You can find this playlist here.


EMC’s Data Protection and Availability solutions for Exchange and SharePoint help you provide uninterrupted access to Exchange and SharePoint data, accelerate backup and recovery and meet regulatory compliance. Learn more here


Lastly, our Infrastructure for SQL and Infrastructure for Exchange and SharePoint videos provide an overview of how EMC’s converged solutions provide value for your Microsoft environments.

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