Recovering a server with vmware

The moment that we know have to happen sooner or later but we always hope that does not happen, happened: My SQL server died completely and permanently!

This server had the databases of all programs of the company where I work and could have been a big problem  had I not the backups done daily. With them, the downtime was small therecovery as complete and no need for any kind of change in the network, the server or the client. It was a case of 99.99% of success, and all thanks to those backups.

Of the many copies of all shapes I do, those used in the recovery process were:

> Image from the server, with 2 to 3 months, done with the VMware converter;
> Full copies weekly + daily + copies incremental copies of hourly logs, SQL Server;

vmware converter (free) lets you copy a real / physical computer for a set of files – that the in whole are virtual computer – with no need to interrupt the operation of it. I do regularly, 3 in 3 months, images / virtual computer of my servers to a USB external disk. These images / virtual computers can run with the vmware player software (free) on any PC.

To get the server online I just copied the files to a computer that has the VMware Player installed and run it. I had no server with enough extra capacity, so I used my laptop to run the virtual server. The process is fast and simple, and less than 2 / 3 hours the server was online again without the need for any change in server, network or on customers …ok, i’m liying! I needed to change the IP address of the virtual server. The network adapter of the server is different from the physical network card of the virtual server, so the IP configuration that is in the physical server is lost with the move to virtual, and we need to manually configure it.

After the server running i restored all copies of the SQL that I took over 2 / 3 hours. At the end of the process, which took about a day, I had the server online with all data recovered.

With everytinh working, I could choose and order a new server to host the lost. one

Transfer a virtual server to a physical server is more complicated – I do not know if you can, and honestly I actually don’t think it’s worth. So I was careful to choose a server that supports the vmware ESXi (free) which is a hypervisor – a kind of operating system that runs virtual machines, or in other words a VMware Player that does not require operating system – and copied my virtual server to it.

Today, after several months, I can say that the server operates normally and even have used the same method – virtualizing with VMware converter – in two servers and always without any kind of problems. It is the best (free) backup I ever used.

I Strongly advise this method to add your portfolio to back up.

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Free Online Version Control System

One problem that annoyed me for years in my life as a programmer has to do with managing versions of the projects they develop. Besides the obvious problem of making change or delete false inadvertently blocks of code,  I always had the problem of developing on multiple computers and have to go with the code from one place to another. Of the various methods I used, two were particularly useful / functional:

Pendrive to take the code between computers, taking care to create multiple folders with different versions of the sources;
Internet Sites like box.net to store online all my sources;

Despite taking care of the problem, none of these methods correspond to my needs and from time to time something went wrong. After many problems, some bigger some smaller, I decided to seek a better solution and I finally found one that really solved my problem and that has worked swimmingly. It comprises:

software TortoiseSVN : free Version Control Software (compatible withSubVersion/SVN) with Windows Explorer integration
site XP-Dev.com : free online repository (compatible withSubVersion/SVN)

Version Control Systems, keep a central database  of the various stages / versions of a development project. It works especially well when there are multiple developers working on the same project, guaranting – for example – that several programmers do not modify the same code at the same time. And even if they do, have the tools that compare the various amendments, who did and where they were made.

All this through the Internet and for … Free. Could it be better? No! 🙂

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UPDATE 23/03/2012: The free version of xp-dev.com  is now limited to 2 projects

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Ruin Conficker’s plans with OpenDNS

According to some security experts, Conficker, will tomorrow, April 1, try to get in touch with one of the thousands of sites that supposedly will give it further instructions to continue his path of evil.

One of the best ways to prevent Conficker coming into contact with these sites, is to prevent the DNS server from resolving  the sites in question, which may seem a complicated task, but it is not.

OpenDNS, which is free, provides DNS servers that do not resolve the addresses requested by Conficker. All that is needed is to replace in your computer or network the DNS servers used for resolution of  Internet addresses. Warning! Do not change the DNS servers that resolve names internally!

In addition to preventing the Conficker “phone home” the OpenDNS allows you to see if you have any infected computer on your network through a state panel that it provides. In it, we can see how many sites were blocked and why.

Lista de domínios bloqueados

Lista de Domínios Bloqueados

But OpenDNS is much more that blocing Conficker. Its databases contain millions of sites divided into different categories that we can choose to banish from our network (or computer).This capability, coupled with its speed, availability and other small features OpenDNS makes an essential service and free … 🙂

opendns2

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Start

I finally managed to start working on my professional website / blog.
A major difficulty in starting this project was to choose the appropriate tool to do so. Joomla and  DotNukeNet were the firsts to caught my attention.

Joomla and  DotNukeNet are both CMSS (Content Management Systems) and although  Joomla is the most famous I incline more to DNN because it is in ASP.NET / SQL Server, an environment that I understand much better that the PHP / MySQL of Joomla.

However, they seemed both too complex for a simple project and I looked at WordPress for an easier alternative. WordPress is much more than an engine for blogs and extremely simple and quick to setup. So here I am with my first project in WordPress and the results are much more interesting than expected.

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