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Shrinking a 20TB Virtual Disk Formatted With ReFS

Let us start with a bit of backstory before we dive into the "how to" portion shall we? In the early days of using Veeam, the original backup and replication server I started with was a bare metal/physical server. The primary repository had a capacity of 20TB of usable space and my clients were barely using any of it at the time. Fast forward a few years and I was approaching 16TB of that storage consumed and it was looking like there was no end in sight for growth, so I needed to find a replacement solution. While there were tons of options available, what I chose to go with (for better or worse) was a server which had over 5 times the storage capacity as the original. But, this time I intended to use it as a hypervisor to pull double duty and make storage management of backups a bit easier to deal with... or so I thought at the time...and I was more or less right in the end. Rather than stand up a new Veeam Backup & Replication server and start all over... and in doing
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Lessons Learned In Pain: Disk Defragmentation

The joke is that the definition of an expert is someone who's made all possible mistakes in a very narrow field of study. Well... Apparently I'm not an expert yet because I just had made a mistake this past week. Hopefully by sharing this, someone else can learn from my mistake to prevent them from going through the same pain I just did. Thankfully, this mistake wasn't an earth shattering issue. More of an annoyance really than anything. Still... not something I would want to go through again. So, without further adieu... I share with you this "Lesson Learned In Pain: Disk Defragmentation" As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), one of my services is to provide storage for off-site backups. And, as one would expect, I manage the server that these backups land on. One of the storage servers is winding down on its service life but is not yet completely empty. There are still a handful of backups (and most of those are for company internal use) that had either not aged

We Live in a 3D World

Well... it's been quite a while since the last blog post and a lot has changed in that time. Among them is the addition of a 3D printer. It's been on the shopping list for many years now and in the past they have been far too cost prohibitive to warrant purchasing one just so I could occasional produce a custom 3D part. Any time a custom 3D part was needed in the past, I often turned to Shapeways.com to do the printing. Although expensive, they turn out quality products. As of late though, 3D printers have finally come down in price enough to say "what the heck" and I pulled the trigger on getting one. Say hello to the new  Elegoo Neptune 2D  2-color printer.... As for the "why" of the purchase, as mentioned, I have occasionally sent out to have parts printed. A single Keystone grommet that I have on my Shapeways store can set you back $51 (and that's just the raw cost... not including any tax or shipping). The printer was just a shade north of $200...

A Leap of Faith & A Taste of Freedom!

The day has finally come where Prompt Critical Solutions is officially a 24/7 business. Up to this point, I've been juggling a day job at a bank alongside of servicing clients. While the dual income was nice... and needed to help buy valuable infrastructure to start the company without taking out any loans... it was also a massive workload and at times stressful. The last few years working as the IT Infrastructure & Systems Lead at the bank was also valuable to learn new skills, hone existing ones, and make new friends. But, I now step out into the unknown having never been my own boss before. It's a leap of faith for sure and it has both been a very liberating and scary experience. But, I now have the time I need to better service my existing clients as well as take on more clients to help those small businesses who can't afford to hire a dedicated IT professional to be on their payroll.

3-2-1-1-0 Rule for Backups - The New Gold Standard

  Revisiting An Old Friend The 3-2-1 rule for backups has been around for decades. It's a rather simple principle you can find documentation on almost anywhere backups are discussed. The rules are as follows: 3 copies of your data 2 media types 1 copy is off-site 3 Copies of Your Data The principal is simple, you have 3 copies of your data (at a minimum) consisting of the following: 1 working copy (your production data) 1 local backup copy for fast backup & restoration tasks 1 off-site copy for disaster recovery 2 Media Types This one is hotly debated to mean many things depending on who you talk to. On the extreme end, some will say that it means having something vastly different in storage like Hard Disk Drives (HDD) as one media type and Linear Tape-Open (LTO) as another. The thought being that if you have different "media types" that you would avoid a common mode of failure. Concerns of a bug or virus being able to exploit a weakness in a common operating system,