Release 2.4.0 includes features designed to support the business continuity requirements of multi-site retail and remote office/branch office (ROBO) customers.
It also includes features and updates all customers can benefit from, including:
- Bespoke Backup Policies. Designed for retail and ROBO customers with their own cloud storage resource - Backup schedules and retention periods can be customized to meet the businesses’ own policies.
- ProLiant GEN10 Verification. The solution is GEN10-ready, with support for HPE’s latest ML110 and DL380 servers.
- Optimized Windows Server Resources for Core VMs. Changes to the Active Directory VM and removal of the Management VM reduces system resource requirements and simplifies domain admin tasks.
This Release Note also announces the deprecation of the Management VM (ZManage) for existing customers. See the Deprecated Features section below.
Release 2.4.0 will be deployed to new servers from May 15th 2018. The Support Team will contact IT service providers in order to schedule the date of server upgrades.
For new servers, please download the Release 2.4.0 ISO image from the Commissioning Console, which should then be used for USB-staging the server before installation.
After the release date, the Installation Console will not permit software versions older than 2.4.0 to be used, in order to assure compatibility with Cloud Management Platform updates.
Bespoke Backup Policies
Backup schedules and retention periods can now be set to the customer’s specification, when data is being retained in their own cloud storage resources.
The key features of the existing backup regime remain (local compression/encryption of data and secure transport to an off-server cloud storage target), with the added flexibility of:
- The option to define the frequency and type of backups being taken, rather than using the current default backup schedule. For example, a schedule of monthly Full backups with daily Incremental backups between.
- The ability to set retention periods for each backup taken, depending on the type of backup archive. For example, Full backup archives could be retained in the cloud for a long period – a year – while the daily Incrementals are held for only thirty days.
- The option to choose which VMs are backed up, and whether the backup should in include the system drive, or only the data drive.
- The use of an AWS-based cloud storage target belonging to the customer. This is required to make use of these new features, as the resultant cloud storage costs can vary considerably with the bespoke retention policy.
If you are interested in using these features, please contact Product Management or your Account Manager in the first instance.
ProLiant GEN10 Verification
Release 2.4.0 is compatible with verified HPE ProLiant GEN10 servers.
The following servers are now supported:
- HPE ProLiant ML110 GEN10, 4-bay and 8-bay large form factor SATA HDD configurations
- HPE ProLiant DL380 GEN10, up to 8 large form factor SATA HDD configuration.
Thanks to the Zynstra architecture, both server types can support high performance, resilient disk arrays without requiring either SAS drives or add-on disk controllers, keeping hardware costs down.
Both servers make use of SSD caches for high-performance I/O and the latest Intel Xeon Silver CPUs.
Optimized Windows Server Resources for Core VMs
Changes have been made to two core VMs – ZManage and ZDC - to reduce resource requirements and make AD administration easier.
Previously, the Windows Server instance providing Active Directory (the VM named ZDC) used Windows Server Core, a ‘headless’ version of Windows Serer without a GUI. While this saved a very small amount of compute resources, many users found it inconvenient that the ZDC VM could not be accessed directly.
A management VM (ZManage) was provided with a full Windows Server GUI, to access Active Directory and also to host optional functions such as printer drivers. In many cases ZManage is infrequently used, and often is only used as a GUI to access ZDC.
From Release 2.4.0, ZManage has been removed from the system for new installations, and ZDC now provides a full Windows Server instance with GUI.
For new customers requiring somewhere to host their printer drivers, a Windows Server license must be purchased for a Custom VM.
These changes will also be applied to existing customers, after consultation about their current use of ZManage. See Deprecated Features, below.
Windows Server and Linux patches have been applied to relevant core server VMs.
Other software component updates in this release also include:
- Linux Kernel 4.4
- Untangle 13.0
Removal of Management VM (ZManage)
With the addition of a full Windows Server GUI in the Active Directory VM (ZDC), part of the Optimized Windows Server Resources for Core VMs feature described above, ZManage will be deprecated and eventually removed from existing servers.
Initially, the Support Team will contact customers who do not appear to be using ZManage for any purpose other than accessing Active Directory (ZDC). After consultation, ZManage will be removed, and customers can use the Windows Server GUI that has been added to the ZDC VM instead.
The Support Team will contact customers to arrange for the migration of other payloads, such as printer drivers, to alternative Custom VMs, with the intention of removing ZManage from the server.
After no less than 90 days from the date of this release note, the Support Team will begin removing any remaining ZManage VMs.
If you have any questions about how you currently use ZManage, and alternative solutions, feel free to contact the Support Team before this migration program begins.