Arcserve UDP Technical Bootcamp

Arcserve logo

I was pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago when I received an email inviting me to attend an Arcserve UDP Technical Bootcamp. What words appeal to a techie more than the words ‘Technical Bootcamp’ coupled with ‘free’. I don’t use Arcserve right now so you’re probably thinking why go? But if one wants to learn about different products that are out there and develop one’s knowledge you need to be prepared to put some personal effort in, so I decided that I should attend to see what it was all about.

Arcserve offer three locations for the bootcamp; London, Harrogate and Motherwell, so I chose London as it’s the closest. They use a room at Arrow by Canon Street and I found the venue to be very nice having never been there before, but I have had some pretty dodgy training facilities in the past.

We were shown to a room where we met our host for the day, Carl Green – Principal Consultant, Technical Sales. Carl has worked with Arcserve for over 20 years since it was purchased by CA so he is very experienced in the product which came across throughout the day.

The day was laid out with the morning dedicated to a deep dive presentation, quick demos and Carl spent quite a lot of time at the white board where things got explained in more detail. The afternoon was then spent doing a hands on lab (al la VMware style)

They keep the attendees down to 12 per session and there was a mix of about 50-50 of End-users and resellers which I think worked quite well.

Arcserve Unified Data Protection (UDP) has been around now since 2014 and is their product of choice if you want to backup to disk, let’s face it who doesn’t nowadays. There are a number of different versions and you can either spin up your own virtual appliance (great for a trial) or go down the physical appliance route.

We covered a great deal of information in the morning session covering a number of topics including:

  • Arcserve deduplication efficiency
  • Arcserve UDP architecture and the recovery point server
  • How dedupe and infinite incremental backups work
  • The effect of Block level backups and block sizes
  • VMware and Hyper-V imaged based backup to disk
  • Instant Virtual Machine and bare metal recovery
  • How to upgrade to UDP 6.5
  • The ports needed for Arcserve to work
  • Arcserve Appliances
  • Arcserve Cloud

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I won’t go through all these points, if you want to know more than you can book yourself on a Bootcamp, but I thought I would mention a few cool features that I wasn’t aware of.

  • Source based deduplication (dedupe). Apparently some other products that dedupe do it at the target but doing it at source keeps the data off the Wan therefore making it faster, Carl was able to demonstrate some impressive statistics and they believe that with a typical retention period of 30 days most people can get about 80% dedupe which is then additionally compressed. Carl was able to quote examples of up to 96% dedupe which coupled with compression makes for overall data reductions of 97%.
  • Deduplication and block size. Carl then spent several minutes explaining the affect of different block sizes against dedupe which should be obvious but you can’t change a disk block size on the fly so you really need to give it some thought. The default is 16K which Arcserve believe is a good point to start. Smaller and you will need more space for the database.
  • Instant Virtual Machines. This was a feature I wasn’t aware of in that you can effectively instantly spin up a virtual machine from backup. The virtual disk is created and you can literally start working on the server whilst the data is being restored in to the virtual disk. What’s more you can use Arcserve to backup from one hypervisor and restore to another (we covered this exact scenario in a lab in the afternoon).

The Labs were run on a web platform from Skytap, so you need to take your own laptop and I found them to be very responsive indeed. We spent about two hours running through:

  • Lab 1: Add a VMware server and backup the virtual machines running on it
  • Lab 2: Add a recovery point server and replicate the backups to it
  • Lab 3: Create a Virtual Standby of a server
  • Lab 4: Create an Instant VM of a node from VMware to Hyper-V

The next day I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email informing me that on completion of the bootcamp I had been awarded the accreditation of Arcserve Associate.


So as you will see we achieved a lot in one day and I can honestly recommend it, especially if you’re thinking of changing your backup product, and if Arcserve is on the shortlist you have a great way to see how easy it is to use Arcserve UDP.

If you want to test out the product for yourself you can sign up for a 30 day trial of Arcserve UDP 6.5 here.

VMware Community Podcasts every Wednesday

vm community podcast

Over the last couple of months I’ve started to listen to the VMware Community Podcasts. These are every Wednesday at 12:00pm Pacific time, which currently equates to 8pm BST here in the UK (7pm in GMT). Latest topics have included vROps 6.6, vSan 6.6, code exchange and vRA 7.3. The Podcast is hosted by Eric Nielsen, one of the nicest guys I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at the last couple of VMworld’s, and he is so instrumental in all community activities from the podcast to VMTN, Cloudcred and the vExpert program.

The VMware Community Podcasts have been running for nine years now which I think is a major achievement if you think where we were with this kind of technology nine years ago!

Initially I was introduced to the VMware Community Podcasts through my addiction to Cloudcred,  but lately I have noticed a change in my behaviour, I’m becoming more interested in the podcast and finding out the next subject content and I find myself looking forward to Wednesday nights.

How to Listen

The podcast is hosted on TalkShoe and to listen to the podcast its quite straightforward. Just click the logo below and then click the link to listen live or to the last recording. Alternatively if you want to download it and listen to it say in the car there are 407 past editions to download and listen to at the same location.


How to take part

Using the web client there is an interface to listen and a chat window where you can ask questions and Eric is always looking for questions for the guests, but I was intrigued how I could dial in. talkshoe

TalkShoe has a phone dial in but I think the phone charges would be prohibitive. It also has a VOIP dial in which sounded like a low cost option, but I struggled to find a way to dial in for free. TalkShoe has a classic client and the ShoePhone which I assumed was the way to go but I found it unstable. So I reached out to TalkShoe and joined a live support session and they suggested I use the X-Lite client. This allows you to dial in for free from the UK.

There is an excellent link on their website “Use X-Lite to Call Into TalkShoe on a Windows PC”


So if you’re interested in all things VMware why not take a listen, and if you want the opportunity to ask some of the top VMware people some questions then why not dial in on a Wednesday night, after all its all about the community.

London VMUG meeting Thursday 22nd June

vmug london

This week sees the last of this year’s London VMUG gatherings and what a great agenda we have! It will be followed by a luxury vBeers at the Fourpure Brewing Company on what will be one of the hottest evenings of the year. I’m sure some nice cool beer will be just what we need.

We are especially lucky to have the legends that are Frank Denneman, Julian Wood and Neils Hagoort speaking in the community sessions so it’s truly not an event to be missed.

The event is at TechUK, the new home of the London VMUG at 10 St Bride Street, London, EC4A 4AD (just off Fleet Street) and is running from 10am to 5.15pm.

This event is sponsored by Nimble Storage, BlueMedora and SIOS so a big thank you to them as without sponsors this event couldn’t happen.



Here is the agenda and if you dont want to miss out on what will be a great event then pop over to the VMUG web site and register here.



London VMUG meeting Thursday 6th April

I’ve not been posting for a while and suddenly realised that I had let the next meeting of the London VMUG creep up on me, so the news is the meeting is tomorrow on Thursday April the 6th.

The event is at TechUK, the new home of the London VMUG at 10 St Bride Street, London, EC4A 4AD (just off Fleet Street) and is running from 10am to 5.15pm.

If you’re interested in all things VMware then come along and meet some of the nicest people in the VMware community, we don’t bite and everyone is welcome.

So what’s on you ask, well here is the agenda so you can pick the sessions you want to attend.


This event is sponsored by Bitdefender, Morpheus and Runcast so a big thank you to them as without sponsors this event couldn’t happen.





So come along and see what it’s all about, you can pre-register here or just turn up on the day Hope to see you there.

vExpert 2017 Award Announcement


Today is a special day for me, I’ve been awarded vExpert 2017 from VMware and I’m so thrilled to make the list again, this being my second year as a vExpert.

To see the full list of vExperts and find out more about the program see the Announcement here.

I believe that becoming a vExpert is all about the community, and this last year I have tried to really get to know the people out there, and have now made new friends at the London VMUG as well as led the CloudCred team on the charge up the leader board. I’ve set questions for Cloudcred, Attended many events, all the UK London VMUG events, Airwatch and EUC events, VMworld 2016 Europe and the UK VMUG usercon. I used to be shy and intimidated by talking to people at these type of events but by taking the jump to get involved has been so rewarding for me, meeting people, seeing  then present and chatting over food and drink has been inspirational to me.

I’m really looking forward to continuing my journey with both VMware and the London VMUG and seeing where it takes me, only last week I was having vBeers with my good friends Chris Bradshaw and our very own London VMUG leader Dave Simpson

I’ve met a number of great people who have supported me on this journey and hopefully Ive supported them on their journey’s, far too many people to mention here (but I will try) so a big thanks to The London VMUG team, The Open Homelab project The Open Techcast team,  (hope to be a podcasting guest soon guys)

The following people for inspiring me (in no particular order)

A really special mention must go to NoellGrier @CloudCredGeek who as the Cloudcred admin must be really sick of all my emails about bugs, suggesting improvements, problems with tasks and why I can’t complete any tasks at the moment!