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Removing swap partition after OS is installed

Posted on 2010-11-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Hello,


My system is an ALIX 3D2 with 500Mhz and 256mb ram.

I have installed  Elastix 2.0 (which runs on CentOS 5) from the distro to a CF 4GB Flash.  The distro created a SWAP partition of 512MB.

I'd like to know if it is safe to remove the SWAP partition to bring down R/W on the CF card and how to do it without having to reinstall the whole OS.

Thanks.
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Question by:rivira
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by:jools
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256mb isnt a lot of memory, if the elastix server is busy it may want to swap...

if you do want to try without try removing it from the fstab file first or you could just remove it and use a swap file instead.
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by:rivira
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Hello,

Sorry, but I don't follow.  I only have very basic linux knowledge (copy, move, reboot, etc.)

I am looking for step by step instructions and some sort of explanation.

I've read that CF cards are not good with write cycles so that's why I worry about the SWAP partition (My hope is that this system can run for 4 years from today without the CF failing)
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NDarkstar earned 250 total points
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Well, it comes down to how many connections and the expected load percentage that the PBX will be expected to perform under that will determine if removing the partition will be 'safe'.

It's certainly possible to run without a swap partition and / or a swap file, but if the machine runs out of allocatable memory, it's going to start killing processes to make memory available - typically the most recent process.

Depending on your number of trunks, SIP trunks, PSTN trunks, SIP phones, analog phones, and total expected load across those trunks and devices, you may end up running out of memory rather fast.  Disabling the swap on a machine that's running a large number of extensions and traffic is probably not advisable.

That said, to disable your swap, run the commands below.  Note that the references to LogVol01 are assuming that you're using LVM volumes and that your swap is located on LogVol01.  Look in /etc/fstab to be sure which volume is the swap.

The following command disables the swap partition:
swapoff -v /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01

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This command will delete the swap partition entirely:
lvm lvremove /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01

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...then remove the following entry from your /etc/fstab file.
/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01   swap     swap    defaults     0 0

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by:rivira
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Hi,

This is how my pbx currently looks like.  


CPU Info:
AuthenticAMD Geode(TM) Integrated Processor by AMD PCS
Uptime:
11 days, 6 hour(s), 29 minute(s)
CPU usage:
   4.73% used of 498.09 MHz
Memory usage:
   39.51% used of 241.24 Mb
Swap usage:
   10.14% used of 511.99 Mb


Extensions:
SIP Extensions (4) : (4 Registered) (0 Not Registered)
IAX Extensions (0) : (0 Registered) (0 Not Registered)
Trunks:
Trunks (4) : (4 Registered) (0 Not Registered)
Network Traffic:
Bytes (3.73kB/s) <= RX | TX => (5.12kB/s)

I expect to add 1 or 2 additional extensions.  All are IP trunks no PCI cards.

This is an output of ps -aux  ( I don't know why I have the same process running several times - this is the default install from the distro)

[root@pbx-asimed ~]# ps -aux
Warning: bad syntax, perhaps a bogus '-'? See /usr/share/doc/procps-3.2.7/FAQ
USER       PID %CPU %MEM    VSZ   RSS TTY      STAT START   TIME COMMAND
root         1  0.0  0.2   2164   584 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:02 init [3]                                             
root         2  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [migration/0]
root         3  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        SN   Nov04   0:00 [ksoftirqd/0]
root         4  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [watchdog/0]
root         5  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [events/0]
root         6  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [khelper]
root         7  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [kthread]
root        10  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:05 [kblockd/0]
root        11  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [cqueue/0]
root        14  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [khubd]
root        16  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [kseriod]
root        45  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Nov04   0:01 [kapmd]
root        89  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 [khungtaskd]
root        90  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Nov04   0:06 [pdflush]
root        91  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Nov04   0:10 [pdflush]
root        92  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:10 [kswapd0]
root        93  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [aio/0]
root       246  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [kpsmoused]
root       268  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [ata/0]
root       269  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [ata_aux]
root       276  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [kstriped]
root       285  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [ksnapd]
root       296  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   2:09 [kjournald]
root       321  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [kauditd]
root       354  0.0  0.1   2368   372 ?        S<s  Nov04   0:00 /sbin/udevd -d
root       883  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [kmpathd/0]
root       884  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [kmpath_handlerd]
root       906  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [kjournald]
root      1321  0.0  0.2  12628   660 ?        S<sl Nov04   0:05 auditd
root      1323  0.0  0.2  12164   620 ?        S<sl Nov04   0:02 /sbin/audispd
root      1353  0.0  0.2   1924   684 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:01 syslogd -m 0
root      1356  0.0  0.1   1768   364 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 klogd -x
rpc       1376  0.0  0.1   1916   424 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 portmap
root      1407  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Nov04   0:00 [rpciod/0]
root      1413  0.0  0.2   2072   624 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 rpc.statd
root      1445  0.0  0.0   5952   228 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 rpc.idmapd
dbus      1468  0.0  0.1   2848   448 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 dbus-daemon --system
68        1676  0.0  2.5  14340  6256 ?        Ss   Nov04   5:00 hald
root      1677  0.0  0.2   3264   548 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 hald-runner
root      1729  0.0  0.3   7212   800 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 /usr/sbin/sshd
root      1765  0.0  0.2   2840   576 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 xinetd -stayalive -pidfile /var/run/xinetd.pid
ntp       1781  0.0  1.8   4528  4528 ?        SLs  Nov04   0:00 ntpd -u ntp:ntp -p /var/run/ntpd.pid -g
root      1818  0.0  0.4   4632  1032 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 /bin/sh /usr/bin/mysqld_safe --datadir=/var/lib/mysql
mysql     1865  0.2  2.0 138652  4976 ?        Sl   Nov04  37:02 /usr/libexec/mysqld --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/
cyrus     2007  0.0  0.6  17960  1548 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:20 /usr/lib/cyrus-imapd/cyrus-master -d
cyrus     2056  0.0  0.0  30144   172 ?        S    Nov04   0:08 idled
cyrus     2058  0.0  0.4  31644  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd
cyrus     2059  0.0  0.4  31644  1128 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd -s
cyrus     2060  0.0  0.4  31340  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 pop3d
cyrus     2061  0.0  0.4  31340  1128 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 pop3d -s
cyrus     2062  0.0  0.4  31436  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 lmtpd
cyrus     2063  0.0  0.4  31644  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd
cyrus     2064  0.0  0.4  31644  1128 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd -s
cyrus     2065  0.0  0.4  31340  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 pop3d
cyrus     2066  0.0  0.4  31340  1128 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 pop3d -s
cyrus     2067  0.0  0.4  31644  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd
cyrus     2068  0.0  0.4  31340  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 pop3d
cyrus     2069  0.0  0.4  31644  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd
cyrus     2070  0.0  0.4  31340  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 pop3d
cyrus     2071  0.0  0.4  31644  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd
cyrus     2072  0.0  0.4  31644  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd
cyrus     2073  0.0  0.4  31644  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd
cyrus     2074  0.0  0.4  31340  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 pop3d
cyrus     2075  0.0  0.4  31644  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd
cyrus     2076  0.0  0.4  31644  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd
cyrus     2077  0.0  0.4  31644  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 imapd
cyrus     2078  0.0  0.4  31340  1124 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 pop3d
root      2124  0.0  0.5   6972  1432 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:01 /usr/libexec/postfix/master
postfix   2128  0.0  0.6   7096  1528 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 qmgr -l -t fifo -u
root      2140  0.0  3.8  26260  9500 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:08 /usr/sbin/httpd
root      2172  0.0  0.1   4632   380 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 /bin/sh /usr/sbin/safe_asterisk -U asterisk -G asteris
asterisk  2187  0.3  4.6  54100 11372 ?        Sl   Nov04  49:57 /usr/sbin/asterisk -f -U asterisk -G asterisk -vvvg -c
root      2205  0.0  0.2   5388   652 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 crond
xfs       2232  0.0  0.2   3404   584 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 xfs -droppriv -daemon
root      2246  0.0  0.4  24452  1204 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 /usr/bin/php /opt/elastix/elastix-updater/elxupdaterd
root      2253  0.0  0.3  24452   988 ?        S    Nov04   0:14 /usr/bin/php /opt/elastix/elastix-updater/elxupdaterd
root      2261  0.0  0.1   2364   352 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 /usr/sbin/atd
uucp      2277  0.0  0.2   6880   536 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 /usr/sbin/faxq
uucp      2280  0.0  0.2   4488   556 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 /usr/sbin/hfaxd -i hylafax
root      2309  0.0  0.1   5708   280 ?        Ss   Nov04   0:00 /usr/sbin/saslauthd -m /var/run/saslauthd -a pam
root      2312  0.0  0.0   5708    80 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 /usr/sbin/saslauthd -m /var/run/saslauthd -a pam
root      2313  0.0  0.0   5708    76 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 /usr/sbin/saslauthd -m /var/run/saslauthd -a pam
root      2314  0.0  0.0   5708    76 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 /usr/sbin/saslauthd -m /var/run/saslauthd -a pam
root      2315  0.0  0.0   5708    76 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 /usr/sbin/saslauthd -m /var/run/saslauthd -a pam
asterisk  2364  0.0  0.1   4632   380 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 -bash -c cd /var/www/html/panel && /var/www/html/panel
asterisk  2366  0.0  0.3   4580   912 ?        S    Nov04   0:00 sh /var/www/html/panel/safe_opserver
asterisk  2374  0.2  2.8  13548  6920 ?        S    Nov04  41:46 /usr/bin/perl /var/www/html/panel/op_server.pl
root      2390  0.0  0.1   1752   396 tty1     Ss+  Nov04   0:00 /sbin/mingetty tty1
root      2391  0.0  0.1   1752   396 tty2     Ss+  Nov04   0:00 /sbin/mingetty tty2
root      2392  0.0  0.1   1752   412 tty3     Ss+  Nov04   0:00 /sbin/mingetty tty3
root      2393  0.0  0.1   1752   396 tty4     Ss+  Nov04   0:00 /sbin/mingetty tty4
root      2394  0.0  0.1   1752   396 tty5     Ss+  Nov04   0:00 /sbin/mingetty tty5
root      2395  0.0  0.1   1752   412 tty6     Ss+  Nov04   0:00 /sbin/mingetty tty6
root      2396  0.0  0.1   1768   436 ttyS0    Ss+  Nov04   0:00 /sbin/agetty ttyS0 9600 linux
asterisk 19154  0.0  3.3  27748  8392 ?        S    Nov14   0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
asterisk 19155  0.0  2.0  26404  5060 ?        S    Nov14   0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
asterisk 19156  0.0  2.4  26536  6152 ?        S    Nov14   0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
asterisk 19157  0.0  5.4  32448 13364 ?        S    Nov14   0:02 /usr/sbin/httpd
asterisk 19158  0.0  5.8  33188 14340 ?        S    Nov14   0:03 /usr/sbin/httpd
asterisk 19159  0.0  6.3  33704 15656 ?        S    Nov14   0:03 /usr/sbin/httpd
asterisk 19163  0.0  5.4  32444 13364 ?        S    Nov14   0:02 /usr/sbin/httpd
asterisk 19164  0.0  5.5  32624 13716 ?        S    Nov14   0:02 /usr/sbin/httpd
postfix  27046  0.0  0.7   7036  1748 ?        S    14:22   0:00 pickup -l -t fifo -u
asterisk 27096  0.0  4.6  29960 11444 ?        S    14:27   0:01 /usr/sbin/httpd
asterisk 27099  0.0  2.0  26404  5044 ?        S    14:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/httpd
asterisk 27100  0.0  5.2  31980 12860 ?        S    14:27   0:01 /usr/sbin/httpd
root     27222  6.1  1.1  10064  2892 ?        Ss   15:11   0:00 sshd: root@pts/0 
root     27224  2.1  0.5   4636  1408 pts/0    Ss   15:11   0:00 -bash
root     27252  0.0  0.3   4356   976 pts/0    R+   15:12   0:00 ps -aux

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by:rivira
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Does it look safe to remove the swap partition?
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by:jools
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Err.... it's in use so you do need swap, if you really dont want it as a partition then you can create a 512mb swap file but you wanted to cut down the io to the cf disk so the only real way to do it is to use an internal hard disk but I guess if you had one you'd have installed Elastix to that anyway.

Can you post more hardware info;
   df -h
   fdisk -l

   vgs
   lvs
   pvs



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by:NDarkstar
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In all honesty, I'm not too familiar with the requirements of Elastix.  From what I've seen for hardware requirements, your current system should be able to handle your current usage within the 512MB of system memory without the swap, but I really don't know for certain.

If you skip the step for deleting the swap partition (but still comment out the fstab entry), you can try loading your system to test performance without swap.

If it ends up unable to perform without the swap partition, you can re-enable it by uncommenting the fstab entry and running the following command:
swapon -va

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by:NDarkstar
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The 256MB of system memory, that is.  Not 512MB.

Regardless, I would still strongly recommend loading the system after disabling the swap before permanently deleting it.  Put as many calls on at the same time as you can, open all the call monitoring software, run reports, and whatnot.  If it can stand up to a very heavy load without the swap, you can always come back and remove the partition later.
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by:jools
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because the swap is currently in use you will need to reboot after editing the fstab file, I forgot to mention this in my earlier post.
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by:NDarkstar
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Note that the swapoff command does not require a system reboot and editing the fstab file will remove the requirement to run swapoff again on reboot.

If you already have the swap commented out in the fstab file, running the swapon command will bring the swap partition online until the next reboot.
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by:rivira
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[root@pbx-asimed ~]# df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00
                      3.1G  1.8G  1.2G  61% /
/dev/hda1              99M   12M   82M  13% /boot
tmpfs                 121M     0  121M   0% /dev/shm
[root@pbx-asimed ~]# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/hda: 4011 MB, 4011614208 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 487 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *           1          13      104391   83  Linux
/dev/hda2              14         487     3807405   8e  Linux LVM
[root@pbx-asimed ~]# vgs
  VG         #PV #LV #SN Attr   VSize VFree
  VolGroup00   1   2   0 wz--n- 3.62G    0 
[root@pbx-asimed ~]# lvs
  LV       VG         Attr   LSize   Origin Snap%  Move Log Copy%  Convert
  LogVol00 VolGroup00 -wi-ao   3.12G                                      
  LogVol01 VolGroup00 -wi-ao 512.00M                                      
[root@pbx-asimed ~]# pvs
  PV         VG         Fmt  Attr PSize PFree
  /dev/hda2  VolGroup00 lvm2 a-   3.62G    0 
[root@pbx-asimed ~]#

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by:NDarkstar
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Your swap volume is located at LogVol01, so the commands provided earlier will disable / delete / enable the swap partition.

Editing the fstab file just changes whether the swap partition will be active at boot time or not.
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by:jools
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@NDarkstar Thx for the tip, I thought if swap was in use it couldnt be turned off...

@rivira: I thought you said the swap was on the CF disk, it looks like it's on the ide disk on hda...

Do you really need to disable swap at all?
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by:NDarkstar
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@jools: The CF disk is mounted at hda.
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by:rivira
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It is a CF disk Sandisk CF 4Gb.  To the OS it looks like an IDE.
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by:rivira
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This is the board that I have:

http://www.pcengines.ch/alix3d3.htm
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by:jools
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Very strange, Centos 5 would usually see CF disks as SCSI (sda-z) as these would normally be on the usb bus, I guess this must all be a function of the board you are using, apologies for the confusion.

In that case just disable the swap using swapoff first, if the system can handle this (and you should make sure there is a load on the system) you can disable it in the fstab file as I mentioned in my first post and NDarkstar mentioned above.

if it works you should be able to remove the swap lvol, you can always create a swap file if you need to.
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by:rivira
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I deactivated the swap partition.  It seem it could work as it would route calls - memory usage went up to 80%. However I made some config chances in the GUI and the system crashed.

My conclusion is that I need the SWAP in this case.

How long would you expect the life for this CF to be?

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by:jools
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This depends on the CF card, they are usually guaranteed for so many read write operations, not sure how you can calculate that.

Check the manufacturers web site.

Have you tried just creating a swap file? It doesnt get rid of the need for the additional I/O but does nean you dont need the additional partition. have a look at `mkswap`, the fstab would just point to a file rather than a partition. however, not sure if this is worth the trouble, your system was definately using swap so you could be wasting your time.
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by:NDarkstar
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@jools: Using a swap file is much the same as a swap partition.  It will still access the disk.

@rivira: You can find a rather good explanation of the SSD lifespan for a device here - http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html

Essentially it depends on the number of writes, but unless the CF model you have has a very low write endurance rating, the SSD should meet your expectation of a four year lifetime.
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by:rivira
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NDarkstar,

These are the specs of my CF Card:

# Endurance and Reliability
# MTBF > 1,000,000 hours (Ultra II cards)
# Endurance: > 3 hundred thousand program/write cycles per physical block (Ultra II cards)
# Data Reliability: <1 non-recoverable error in 10 e 14 bits read

According to this website you provided lifespan can be calculated as

Write cycles x capacity in MB / write speed in MB = result in seconds.

According to my the formula on the site the CF should last ~138 days with the following specs.

Capacity      4 GB
speed      15 MB
write cycles      300,000

This equates to 926 days ~2.5 yrs
      
However, please correct me if I am wrong on this.. If I assume that mostly 512mb are written due to the swap.. than this would increase lifespan aproximately 7 fold (4000mb/512mb)?  I don't know if this relationship would be linear.
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by:rivira
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Toall, sorry for the previous post.  This is the correct post.

These are the specs of my CF Card:

# Endurance and Reliability
# MTBF > 1,000,000 hours (Ultra II cards)
# Endurance: > 3 hundred thousand program/write cycles per physical block (Ultra II cards)
# Data Reliability: <1 non-recoverable error in 10 e 14 bits read

According to this website you provided lifespan can be calculated as

Write cycles x capacity in MB / write speed in MB = result in seconds.


Capacity      4 GB
speed      15 MB
write cycles      300,000

This equates to 926 days ~2.5 yrs
     
However, please correct me if I am wrong on this.. If I assume that mostly 512mb are written due to the swap.. than this would increase lifespan aproximately 7 fold (4000mb/512mb)?  I don't know if this relationship would be linear.
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by:NDarkstar
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I was making assumptions based on the 10% usage you had posted earlier in the thread which seemed to indicate that the swap partition didn't get an excessive amount of usage.  With the wear leveling in the CF card, the lifespan would be increased as the physical blocks where the swap data is stored would be moved around the card to less used locations.

Mind that my experience with SSD based storage is limited to log files on various routers and RAID arrays that I have in use, so my knowledge is solely based on readily available information.
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by:jools
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@NDarkstar: I know, hence the wasting your time comment.

@rivira: As long as you have a backup then failure, whilst being a bit of a pain, can be easily(*) fixed.

(*) Easily is relative :-)
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by:jools
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I think the answer is basically you may as well just leave it be... the system works, if it needs to use swap then it'll use it, if not then there will be no write operations worth worrying about anyway.
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by:rivira
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Jools,

I was thinking in the same.  I guess I'll leave it alone for now.  I'll see how I can fit a real IDE drive into the tiny case.

Thanks to you both.
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