Monday, 12 March 2018

StorSimple Upload Calculator

Some time ago, I played around with the on-premise Azure StorSimple virtual appliance. Unfortunately, I happened to pick the new blob storage account in cool, RA-GRS mode. This happened to have a very expensive "per 10k write" cost and cost quite a bit of money when I uploaded 750 GiB of data.

Since then, we have seen Azure storage transaction costs come way down, especially on the v1 general purpose storage account type.

To help you get an estimate of storage and transaction costs for uploading bulk data into a StorSimple device, I've created a calculator here.

To begin, simply key in a GiB storage amount that you plan to upload, the per 10k write and per GB cost for your region and the calculator will give a guide to the expected transaction and storage cost to upload the data.

The calculator does not calculate transactions for day to day access, nor does it include cloud snapshot transactions or storage.

Be aware, the 512 KiB chunk size will reduce transaction costs, but will also significantly reduce deduplication. The Microsoft pricing page explains this.

This, version 1 of the calculator requires you to key in the per 10k writes and per GB cost for your chosen region and storage account type. It defaults to v1, LRS, North Europe, GBP costs as of the time of writing. I've purposely left out the currency symbol as it should work with most currencies as-is.

Hopefully with some additional time, I'll be able to add a pull-down box to choose storage account type and location and have it automatically enter those costs for you.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Windows Server 2012 R2 & 2016 updates showing as not applicable

Due to Spectre and Meltdown patches causing problems with various anti virus vendors, Microsoft has added a registry key check for ALL patches on Windows Server for January and February 2018 (not just the Spectre and Meltdown patches)

If you find yourself in the situation where your severs are not detecting the latest update rollups then check this Microsoft post:

Most AV vendors are properly setting this flag in the registry, but some will not and if you have some servers which do not have AV for legitimate reasons you may find yourself unable to patch these machines.

The server will simply not show the update rollups from WSUS or Microsoft Update servers. In WSUS, they will show as 'not applicable' for the server.

Setting the flag resolves the issue, but unless you are checking that servers are getting updated properly this may not be noticed. In WSUS, since the updates are not applicable, the server will show as fully patched, not requiring the updates which is a bad situation to be in.