Simplest way to get rid of your snapshot delta files in Vmware workstation 10

My initial vmdk file was 40GB, then I created 4 snapshots which added the file -0001.vmdk–>0002.vmdk—>0003.vmdk and finally 0004.vmdk. In my settings for VM, the hard disk was pointing to 0004.vmdk which had grown to the size of 50gb now.

That’s right, my original VM was about 40GB in total size and now with snapshots, it was taking almost 120GB.

The easiest workaround I found was to

  • BACK UP all my inside to the VM to as NAS drive.
  • Stop the VM
  • Edit the .vmx file in notepad and change the configuration to scsi0:0.fileName = “original.vmdk”
  •  Start the VM again

It started as it was in the fresh state before any of those snapshots were created.

Troubleshooting SAP connectivity Issues

  • Elevate the privileges to SAP user account the highest possible permissions temporarily.
  •  Make sure your IP address is in the SAP acceptable access range.
  •  Install network monitor tool like wireshark from wireshark.org to see if any interesting traffic is
  • flowing between the BizTalk server and SAP server.
  •  While configuring to receive IDOC, SAP Basis team should have the visibility whether the
  • connection is success/not.
  •  Make sure the SAP connection is configured as Unicode

Click here for the detailed document.

The document consists some of the hands on errors encountered while connecting with SAP and the procedure to resolve it. a sample of one such error is

Error in Wireshark
*ERR*.1.registration of tp BIZTALK from host WQDESB12 not allowed.720.SAPGateway.
720.2.gwxxrd.c.3641..Tue Nov 12 15:08:07 2013….3972841.SAP-Gateway on host
HYPLABSSECC01.HYPLABS.iadb.org / sapgw00…..*ERR*

Error in Eventlog
The adapter “WCF-Custom” raised an error message. Details “Microsoft.Adapters.SAP.RFCException: Details: ErrorCode=RFC_FAILURE.
AdapterErrorMessage=An exception has occurred on the listener while executing RfcWaitForRequest..
at Microsoft.ServiceModel.Channels.Common.Channels.AdapterReplyChannel.EndTryReceiveRequest(IAsyncResult result, RequestContext&
requestContext)
at
Microsoft.Adapters.Internal.LayeredChannelBindingElement.LayeredInboundChannel`1.System.ServiceModel.Channels.IReplyChannel.EndTryR
eceiveRequest(IAsyncResult result, RequestContext& context)
at System.ServiceModel.Dispatcher.ErrorHandlingReceiver.EndTryReceive(IAsyncResult result, RequestContext& requestContext)”.

 

What DBA’s need to Know about BizTalk Server

As a BizTalk Architect, you would always come across a situation, where you need to convince the client’s DBA team about “BizTalk server database architecture and its nature in use of in-built jobs”.

Traditionally DBAs’ presume certain roles and responsibilities on any product (which has “database in the backend”) acquired by the company, while it is very good to do so. There are products like BizTalk server that gets shipped with the pre-scripted SQL jobs, which if configured properly, would save administration/DBA team from lots of fuss in terms of maintenance and optimization.

Before diving into, where DBA’s would need to get involved in-terms of BizTalk administration, let me explain, How BizTalk is different from other traditional applications

Feature BizTalk Server Other Applications( with database backend)
Has Multiple Databases Yes, Typically around 5, but may depend on BizTalk Configuration Yes( Depends on application)
DB Tuning Required? No (if configured correctly) Yes, Depends on the transactions
Transactional Data Transactional data in the Msgbox can be viewed more like a cache.Once the message completes Workflow, data has no significance Transactional data may grow and may have to be retained for long term( Depends on the company policy)
Indexing Columns Not needed, If the jobs are configured properly, the data is backed up correctly and the transactional database( MsgBox) is maintained to the minimum Yes, as the table size increases, appropriate DB tuning needs to be applied.
Backup DBs BizTalk Jobs, take care of it. These jobs do multiple things along with backing up the database. Usually achieved through custom / SQL server backing up tools.
Can the backup be achieved without BizTalk Jobs? Yes, But not worth the risk. These jobs are optimized to backup necessary DB and do other things. DBA’s have full control; they can adapt the best for the solution.

The differences being depicted in the table above, Let see, where the DBAs needs to get involved in terms of BizTalk administration.

  1. Make sure that all the Jobs configured and enabled and running properly.
  2. Do not forget to enable the jobs after any sort of maintenance.
  3. Make sure sufficient database storage is available for the backups.
  4. Maintain the overall health of the SQL server (if standalone) or SQL cluster (if clustered).

In conclusion, Though BizTalk uses SQL server backend, it is deemed to see the entire as a product setup and avoid digging deep and modifying the pre-scripted BizTalk jobs to include custom solutions.

BizTalk Server 2013 licensing model

BizTalk Server Licensing model has changed to per core basis, Below is the cost sheet advertised to public


Here are key points to consider while licensing a BizTalk server:

  • You must license all the cores used for the BizTalk server
  • Minimum of 4 core licenses required ( even if your server has less than 4 cores, ex: single core and dual core machines)
  • Core licenses can be purchased in pack of two.
  • Processor Cores are priced at 1/4 the cost of BizTalk 2010 processor license. BizTalk 2010 processor license was around $44,000, the new core license is $10,835. So if you are licensing a server with only quad core processor present, then the pricing is identical to BizTalk 2010 pricing.
  • Actual number of core licenses required may vary based on processor type and core factor.

    Also, May be most of you know this, BizTalk Server Developer edition is available license free and can be installed in Dev and Test environments. Dev edition also offers the fail-over clustering, so there by companies who wish to save on budget can install developer edition in their Test environments.

    Courtesy : http://blogs.biztalk360.com/understand-biztalk-server-2013-licensing/

BizTalk Admin & Disaster Recovery

Well our BizTalk Server tracking database was growing large and the Job that was configured to purge and Archive was not running well.

Use the following to purge.

–– Change to the BizTalk Tracking database.

USE BizTalkDTADb

GO

–– Purge tracking data older than two hours.

DECLARE @dtLastBackup DATETIME

SET @dtLastBackup = GetUTCDate()

EXEC dtasp_PurgeTrackingDatabase 2, 0, 1, @dtLastBackup

Read more: http://www.modhul.com/2008/04/13/why-archive-and-purge-when-you-can-just-purge/#ixzz2CPSaXMDB

As I started executing this statement. It took a while and I could notice the drastic change in my BiztalkDTADb_log.ldf located it C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA.

It has started to grow to almost the size of my mdf file. When I thought it was done, Damn!! By log file grew out of the max limit size and threw an error.

Well, We would have to work on this task again.

Additionally, this article explains in detail on how to truncate tracking database.

http://www.modhul.com/2008/04/10/truncating-the-biztalk-2006-tracking-database/

If you ever want to plan for Disaster recovery, consider reading this article

http://www.modhul.com/2009/06/29/configuring-biztalk-for-disaster-recovery-part-1/

Licensing and Requirements – BizTalk Server 2010

Option 1 :- (Cost effective) :

Standard Edition – Total Software cost : $16,000 approximately.

Cost effective, Can easily handle an average of 15,000 claims per day

Software :

BizTalk Server 2010 R2 Standard Edition :

                  SQL Server 2008/2010 Standard Edition :

                  Production Support Tool (Optional) :

              Hardware :

Memory : 24 GB or More

Processor : Intel Xeon CPU X5560 @ 2.8 GHz ( 2 processors) or higher configuration

         Operating System : Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit

Option 2 :-

Enterprise Edition – Total Software cost : $80,000 approximately.

Highly Scalable, But incurs more cost : Can handle
greater than 50,000 – 150,000 Claims per day.

Software :

BizTalk Server 2010 R2 Enterprise Edition :

  • Can host unlimited BizTalk applications.
  • Ideal for Active-Active or Active-Passive clustered mode. Supports high Availability /failover.
  • Per Year License Cost – $44,228
  • Unlimited CPUs on the server, but has to be licensed on per CPU basis
  • Details about pricing : http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/pricing-licensing.aspx

                   SQL Server 2008/2010 Enterprise Edition :

                    Production Support Tool (Optional) :

Hardware :

Memory : 24 GB or More

Processor : 2 Servers with the configuration of Intel Xeon CPU X5560 @ 2.8 GHz ( 2 processors) or higher configuration

Operating System : Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit