Archive for September, 2011

I got wind of a new project launched by Veeam from one of the many, many, many tweets that flooded by tweetdeck during VMworld US week – when my fellow vExpert, Blogger & Colleague Rick Vanover hinted that Veeam was due to launch another free community resource, I was keen to discover !


Having made the transition to vendor world, finding content as a blogger can be a little bit more of a search. For some reason, many of Veeam’s competitors don’t seem to want to give me a sneak peak of their products Winking smile ,however in this case the product in question isn’t one that Veeam will be selling !


When we shifted into virtualisation, many of us from the physical server world had to make a little bit of a leap of faith into the new mind-set around virtualisation, now that we’ve made it, its is almost second nature to us. If you cast your mind back to those days of 7u file servers, imagine how alien the concept would be that they could be represented as a handful of files running of a single half height blade. Fast wording that concept to today and many people have yet to make that similar leap of faith when it comes to image based backup of VM’s


The Backup Academy as developed by Veeam to provide administrators with the foundations and fundamentals of Virtual Machine level backups, no matter who you choose for the solution. Veeam are by no means the first vendor to produce “neutral” training, EMC for example have paved the way with  Their Cloud Certifications last year.

The solution consists of a series of Videos produced by well known community contributors and trainers, such as David Davis, Eric Siebert & Greg Shields . The Academy Professors will be an ever growing list of subject matter experts around the backup and management of virtual machines.

Users of the site will be able to take an exam based on the content and even get a certificate for passing. I personally see the academy as a great way for current backup admins & virtualisation specialists to move to the next level – now that you have made game changing strategies to your production infrastructure, why not do the same for your backups ?


to find out more, head to


One of the more fundamental tasks a good IT professional should undertake is also often one of the least favoured. For a long time I’m sure there was a direct pathway in my brain between “Writing Documentation” and “boring school work” – whilst my education was not quite "Tom Brown’s School Days” Its certainly not something I would class as my favourite pastime. On the whole if I an application has been designed reasonably well you may not think that detailed documentation is really needed, however consider the plight of your peers – during any knowledge transfer stage, detailed documentation is an absolute godsend and will earn you many many management brownie points.

With a half decent screen grabbing utility and a copy of your preferred note taking software, I have often looked on with dread at the task of documenting a multi step wizard, for example cloning a virtual machine. Clicking through each step, taking a screen shot , then noting the exact response isn’t the most fun way to spend an afternoon.


I bumped into an old colleague on a long train journey last week & as we were swapping war stories ( one of an IT Pro’s favourite ways of passing the time ) we got round to talking about documentation and he told me of a novel way to make use of one of Windows 7’s hidden Gems..



I believe the tool was intended as one for end users to be able to document a problem to then pass to a support desk. However its also an excellent way to record a process for documentation resources.  Simply run PSR from the start menu – then click start Record. The resulting file will open in IE or you can edit with Microsoft Word.

Good news for non windows users , the tool also works in Server 2008 R2 – So you should be able to connect to a windows server to run through the wizards where possible.




Above is a screenshot I took using PSR on a windows 2008 VM – I particularly like the way that the area I clicked is outlined in green ! Hope this helps with some of the knowledge transfer pain!

For a tool that helps documentation , there really isn’t that much on it from Microsoft. As good place to start would be