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Archive for April, 2011
Not very long ago HP held one of its Technology@Work On Tour 2011 events in Amsterdam. As a matter of fact I come from Amsterdam and live within a distance of only 45 kilometers from Schiphol where the event was held. So why would I travel almost 1500km to Madrid to write a few blogs on this HP event?
It’s not because I was unable to attend in Amsterdam, but it’s because Ivy Worldwide contacted me. Considering me an influential blogger, both HP & Ivy Worldwide invited me to go to Madrid to investigate the new cloud related technology offered by HP. In short Ivy Worldwide is a five-year-old social media marketing firm employing the innovative strengths of social media to help making a buzz for their clients.
So my job is to make a lot of noise about what HP’s CloudSystem proposition has to offer for customers and in our case for the Microsoft Hyper-V and System Center community. Because, let’s face it: that’s what Hyper-V.nu stands for.
You can expect me to tweet and blog in the course of the coming week. The event will be on 4-5 May, 2011 but you’ll hear from me using #HPTAW hashtag starting today. Also subscribe to http://hyper-v.nu RSS feed, @hvredevoort and @hypervnu if you want to be updated in the fastest and most direct way.
During an entertaining #mvpchat today, someone mentioned a Twitter statistics site called the Archivist. It is very easy to use and the graphics are very attractive. Just enter a keyword or hashtag. You can save up to three archives. Initially saved archives are private, but you can make them public too. I have not found a way to share my public archives yet.
I blogged about the webcast earlier. Corey Hines and Simon Perriman did a great job bringing awareness of Microsoft Virtualization (certainly not only Hyper-V) among VMware admins.
I strongly recommend this series if you want to have the best possible overview of this fantastic platform.
Microsoft Learning hosted another new and exclusive Jump Start virtual training event – Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals. We are thrilled to announce availability of the HD-quality video recordings – FREE – on TechNet Edge and soon coming to MS Showcase, the Zune Marketplace, iTunes! Additionally, every module will be made available (with assessment questions) on the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) in the next few weeks.
Several hotfixes have been issued after the formal release of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. There was one particular hotfix in the making that we have really been waiting for. Many enthusiastic installers of SP1 in Hyper-V clusters with 3 or more nodes would face a problem with Cluster Validation. See the thread for more details.
We are glad that the hotfix has been made available today:
KB2531907 Validate SCSI Device Vital Product Data (VPD) test fails after you install Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
A nice blog called Working Hard In IT by Didier van Hoye, describes all post SP1 hotfixes and can be found here.
Here are two RemoteFX hotfixes:
This culminating blog in a series on SCVMM 2012 shows how to create a Hyper-V R2 cluster in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012. With the arrival of Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, cluster creation has almost become a trivial job, largely because of the excellent Cluster Validation Wizard. The previous blogs showed us what preparations to make before we could perform a successful bare metal deployment. One moment you have 16 unconfigured blades, the other you have 16 fully installed Windows Server 2008 R2 hosts including the Hyper-V role. All that is left is to build a cluster from them … the easy way!
Because I didn’t have 16 available blades I had to settle for only two. But you’ll get the idea despite of this.
Instead of one big article, I decided to split the Bare Metal Deployment blog in a number of smaller pieces to reach the final goal: automating the creation of a Hyper-V cluster. If you go back a few articles you’ll see several other blogs about SCVMM 2012. Although only recently in beta, it is a remarkable piece of software with a great number of new and astounding features aimed at creating and managing what we have come to call the private cloud.
Let me first point out that although SCVMM 2012 is well equipped to manage Hyper-V, VMware and XenServer hosts, some features are currently focusing on Hyper-V as its primary citizen. In the current version Bare Metal Deployment and Cluster Creation can only be done with Hyper-V R2. The primary reason for this is the technology used: boot from VHD which is an R2 feature not seen in VMware or XenServer.
In my previous blogs I explained the concept of Run As Accounts/Profiles, Out of Band Management, adding HP iLO2 to OOB and Host Profiles in SCVMM 2012.
In the previous blogs I have explained how to create Run As Accounts & Profiles. I also discussed Out of Band Management and specifically how to Add the HP iLO2 OOB provider to SCVMM 2012. In this blog I focus on another preparatory step before we can start our Bare Metal Deployment and Cluster Creation: Preparing the Host Profile.
The Host Profile is like a combination of the Hardware Profile and OS Profile in SCVMM 2008 R2 but intended for defining the physical server rather than the virtual machine. Again a wizard is available to define such a Host Profile which is relatively straightforward:
- General: Host Profile Name & Description plus location of the VHD file to be used as the base image for the operating system
- Hardware Configuration: Selection of the Management NIC with a choice of DHCP or static IP address; Partition and Disk Configuration and Driver Options (for injection of a specific set of (filter) drivers
- OS Configuration: similar to the OS Profile in SCVMM 2008 R2 describing OS name, Run As Profile, Admin Password, Identity Information, Product Key, Time Zone and Scripts
- Host Settings: for adding the virtual machine placement paths
The preparation of the Host Profile starts off by clicking on the Library wunderbar, expanding Profiles and right-clicking Host Profiles: Create Host Profile.
In the previous post I went into some detail about Out of Band Management (OOB) options in SCVMM 2012 and how bare metal servers can be discovered via an IP range via an OOB provider. After installation of SCVMM 2012 you’ll discover that HP iLO is not a standard option. However a custom OOB provider for HP iLO is offered and can be configured via the following procedure.
First of all we have to download the HP Lights Out Configuration Utility and install it on the SCVMM 2012 server. You can get this utility from HP’s Software and Drivers site and is located under the ProLiant server model and operating system version. If you install this program, take note of the installation directory which defaults to C:\Program Files (x86)\HP\cpqlocfg because next you’ll have to get the HP Lights-Out XML Scripting Sample for Windows. As a third step you must copy the files to same directory where you installed the iLO Configuration Utility.
As I wrote earlier in my blog on Deep Storage Integration in VMM 2012, Microsoft decided to embrace standards as much as possible in SCVMM 2012. This is also the case in the area of Out of Band Management (OOB). Microsoft supports several standards based options:
OOB is of course intended to take control of the bare metal machine using some kind of baseboard management controller (BMC). In the HP world we know OOB very well by the name of Insight Lights Out (iLO2 and iLO3). Dell has a BMC called DRAC which stands for Dell Remote Access Controller. IBM has a Remote Supervisor Adapter or RSA. OOB can serve several purposes. One is power state control (query status, power on and power off) but also to collect information about the server hardware (SMBIOS GUID, Manufacturer, Model, AssetTag, Serial Number) or to collect system hardware logs. The ultimate goal is to leave the bare metal untouched, yet under your total control.
We can think of several scenarios:
Bare Metal Deployment
The Out of Band Management interface in SCVMM 2012 is fully extensible and offers custom OOB Configuration Providers. Here is an example of such a provider in Powershell.
Since Windows Server 2008 you’ve two options when installing Windows: Full installation or a Core installation. The Core installation is available for some server roles including the Hyper-V role. When you start the setup you’ve the option to choose between these versions.