Powered by System Center
Archive for May, 2011
Recently I was asked to describe the correct procedure for defragmenting Cluster Shared Volumes on a Hyper-V R2 cluster. This is not really a very complicated task but if you have never had the opportunity to give it a try, this blog post will offer you the exact steps using PowerShell.
Let’s start with a case description: the System Center Operations Manager Windows Management Pack is reporting “Logical Disk Fragmentation Level is high” for your Hyper-V R2 servers.
A Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) contains the configuration, virtual hard disk and snapshot files of multiple Hyper-V guests. Notably fragmentation of the large VHD files deserve your attention.
Fragmentation of these files can become a problem because the disk head needs to use an increasing number of seeks, lowering the throughput and thus the perceived performance of the guest as a whole.
On the other hand, NTFS has become more and more efficient in recent OS versions and fragmentation need not always have a severe impact on performance.
CSV is a distributed orchestration layer on top of NTFS (implemented as a file system filter driver) and for fragmentation it takes advantage of all the NTFS techniques. The advantage of this design is that all disk management tools which have been written for NTFS continue to work, including a variety of defrag tools.
I received notice from Altaro that they were looking for beta testers for their new Hyper-V Backup software.
Because I was very short on time, one of my Twitter followers Femi Adegoke (@awedio) reacted to one of my tweets so I thought I might ask him to review the product. Well he was very quick to accept my invitation. So here it is, our first guest blog post!
Let me first briefly introduce our guest blogger: Femi Adegoke lives in Thousand Oaks, Southern California. He is in charge of fixing all things IT for healthcare company WGA Management in California. Femi holds a degree in Architecture and Masters in Business. Currently he is implementing VDI using Quest vWorkspace with Hyper-V.
By Femi Adegoke
In Hyper-V world, these are exciting times.
The 3rd party eco-system is growing up. We are seeing new products come to market.
Via Twitter, I hooked up with one of the kings of hyper-v.nu, Cluster MVP, Hans Vredevoort (@hvredevoort). He asked if I would be interested in doing a review of Altaro Hyper-V Backup.
Altaro Software is a technology start-up that recognized the need to develop easy to use and innovative backup software that goes beyond traditional backup functionality. Altaro Hyper-V Backups works on Windows 2008 R2 (all editions), Windows 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Hyper-V Server R2 (core installation) and should be installed on the Hyper-V Host (not within the guest).
Some features in Altaro Hyper-V Backup:
Hot Backups – Back up running VMs without stopping them.
Fully Hyper-V Aware – Altaro Hyper-V Backup does all the complex config connections and allows you to backup any instance in 5 clicks or less.
Agent Less – Installs on Hyper-V Host without installing anything within the VM itself.
Flexible & Fully Featured – Backup or Restore Individual VMs without having to restore an entire volume.
The current rev of the software is Beta 2.
The test was performed on a Hyper-V host running 2008 R2 SP1 with 2 virtual machines.
Installing the software was fast & easy, about 6 mouse clicks. Next, next….x6
I can recommend a series that is currently being written on Hyper-V Networking Optimizations by the hand of Cristian Edwards who is Premier Field Engineer in Microsoft Virtualization at Microsoft.
Since Hyper-V R2 network optimizations were not only supported at the host level but also in the guest. If you roam the Internet you will see a lot of talk and confusion about whether to configure things like TCP Chimney Offload or when and how to configure Virtual Machine Queues (VMQ), Receive Side Scaling (RSS) and Jumbo Frames.
I am very glad I found this great source and we might consider this the definitive guide to configuring the Hyper-V networking optimizations.
This article describes recommended updates to install to address issues when you are managing hosts or are performing a physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion by using Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.
Use the information in the “More information” section to help you determine whether a particular hotfix or update applies to your environment.
Recommended updates for the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) Server and Admin Console
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 Service Pack 1
For more information on how to obtain and upgrade to Service Pack 1, please reference the following site: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg318082.aspx (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg318082.aspx)
When a Cluster Validation Test is performed in an production environment with the configuration that uses Hyper-V with Cluster Shared Volumes chances are that the Storage tests will not finish successfully. The reason for conducting a Validation Test may be expanding the Failover Cluster with an additional node or for troubleshooting purposes.
Note: We recommend you evaluate each fix to determine whether it applies to your environment. If you determine that Failover Clusters in your environment may be affected by the problem(s) that a fix addresses, install the fix on each cluster node using the procedures described in KB 174799 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/174799) .
Use the information in the “More information” section to help you determine whether a particular fix applies to the cluster. Before you install a particular fix, we recommend you review the original Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article that describes the fix.
After my previous blog post announcing Vital Signs for Hyper-V server by Savision, I received some additional information (including an opportunity for MVP’s to request an NFR license).
Vital Signs for Hyper-V provides a real-time performance monitoring and troubleshooting capability for Windows Hyper-V Server. The agentless dashboard deploys in minutes and allows System Administrators to immediately see dozens of key performance graphs and configuration for Hyper-V Host (CPU, Memory, Disk, Network) and Virtual Guest.
Stop Waiting, Start Fixing Dynamic Hyper-V Problems
Stop waiting up to 15 minutes for the next polling cycle or remoting into a machine to see its current performance. Get everything you need to troubleshoot every alert or incident in seconds.
One Dashboard, Over 100 Real-time Metrics
Immediately collect all the foundational troubleshooting information to zero in on the root cause faster to ensure hyper-v fabric is functioning well.
Snapshots, Storage, and V-Systems
Instantly track snapshots paths, storage configuration and storage throughput in real-time. Drill into the Virtual Guest OS to understand its performance characteristics. Troubleshoot the most difficult performance problems faster.
Eliminate Capacity Guesswork
Automatically calibrate and quickly tune performance in your environment to understand virtual guest to hyper-v host usage.
Real-time for Microsoft’s Private Cloud (System Center + Hyper-V)
See SCOM Alerts and SCSM incidents, problems and changes, correlated and placed directly to the real-time performance charts.
If you have any additional questions or would like access to our internet-accessible demo environment, please contact: Dan Merritts @ email@example.com; +1-415-480-0366.
Learn more at: http://www.savision.com/hyper-v
Contact Dan Merritts for your MVP NFR License Key: firstname.lastname@example.org; +1-415-480-0366.
After yesterday’s big announcement by Veeam, another management tool vendor Savision (known for Live Maps in System Center Operations Manager and Configuration Manager) releases a major management tool for Hyper-V.
Here’s a copy of Savision’s announcement today:
Real-time Performance Troubleshooting for Microsoft’s Private Cloud
Virtualization is ubiquitous. More companies than ever are virtualizing major workloads into Microsoft’s Private Cloud solution built atop Hyper-V Server. Mission critical applications rely on the performance of this virtualized solution. Hyper-V is complex and changes dynamically. Manually diagnosing, troubleshooting and resolving Hyper-V performance problems is nearly impossible.
Without a real-time view into both the Hyper- V server’s and its virtualized hosts’ health, configuration changes, dynamic re-allocations, IT Pros are left frustrated when trying to resolve problems. Vital Signs for Hyper-V is the answer. With its real-time performance, configuration, event views and informative graphical interface designed by Hyper-V experts, you are able to immediately identify performance problems, visually correlate significant events and configuration changes to immediately start resolving problems.
Currently I am attending Tech-Ed North America 2011 in Atlanta. In one of the sessions held today by Mark Ghazai and Peter Meister a tool called Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) was mentioned. Unfortunately for me the session was too long and there was no time to discuss this tool. The tool can be downloaded at Codeplex, it is free and in my opinion a very easy way in getting an insight into the performance of your Hyper-V environment.
Ever have a performance problem, but don’t know what performance counters to collect or how to analyze them? The PAL (Performance Analysis of Logs) tool is a powerful tool that reads in a performance monitor counter log and analyzes it using known thresholds.
- Thresholds files for most of the major Microsoft products such as IIS, MOSS, SQL Server, BizTalk, Exchange, and Active Directory.
- An easy to use GUI interface which makes creating batch files for the PAL.ps1 script.
- A GUI editor for creating or editing your own threshold files.
- Creates an HTML based report for ease of copy/pasting into other applications.
- Analyzes performance counter logs for thresholds using thresholds that change their critieria based on the computer’s role or hardware specs.
To use PAL
The PAL tool is primarily a PowerShell script that requires arguments/parameters passed to it in order to properly analyze performance monitor logs.
Tested on Windows 7, but should run on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Required Products (free and public):
- PowerShell v2.0 or greater.
- Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1
- Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
As the event progresses video content from MS TechEd 2011 will become available on:
Expect at least 24 hours before the content is made available.
A live taste of TechEd can be found here: