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Archive for May, 2011
Today at TechEd 2011 in Atlanta we learnt that Microsoft now officially supports CentOS. CentOS is a popular free Linux distribution and is among the top three most popular ones.
CentOS has been added to the list of formally supported Linux Distributions. The others are SUSE Linux Enterprise (v10 and v11) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 and up. With the added support for CentOS, Windows Virtualization becomes even a better candidate for mixed Windows-Linux environments.
Many other Linux distributions can be easily integrated into a Hyper-V R2 environment since Microsoft submitted the code for the Hyper-V integration components. These additions enable native Hyper-V support for synthetic devices (video, network, mouse), multi-processor support and graceful shutdown of Linux VM’s.
In this blogpost Ben Armstrong explains how to install Ubuntu Server 10.10 on Hyper-V.
Another nice announcement was made by Yusuf Öztürk from Istanbul who developed a PowerShell based new functionality for Linux virtual machines on Hyper-V: Set-LinuxVM
What you can do with Set-LinuxVM?
- Unattended IP, Hostname and DNS configuration for Linux VMs
- Automatic Linux integration components installation
- Multi Distro Support: Debian, Ubuntu, Centos, Fedora, Redhat and Suse
- Automatic CPanel installation for Redhat and Centos
- Linux VM Template support (Use Skip for EnableLIC switch
- Hyper-V support! You don’t need SCVMM to use this script.
- Multiple Hyper-V and SCVMM host support.
- Automatic Emulated NIC to Synthetic NIC support
- No need to internet connection (SSH access etc.) or additional changes on VM.
- Custom Answer File support! You can execute your own scripts.
The System Center team is pleased to announce the Community Evaluation Program. The program is designed to provide IT professionals a structured approach to evaluating System Center and Forefront products before their final release. Members of this program are able to evaluate early versions of products with guidance from the product team and by sharing of experiences and best practices among a community of peers.
Multiple programs are now open and accepting applications including:
Forefront Identity Manager
Virtual Machine Manager
To apply and for more information about the programs, please visit:
Because I don’t want to copy Michel de Rooij’s blog I will simply make a reference to his blog. Many of us know that the Unified Messaging role was not supported for Virtualization and that the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Role if used in Database Availability Groups was not supported if implemented on top of Hyper-V, VMware or XenServer host failover clustering. So in a Hyper-V environment we were unable to use Live Migration (although I know many who went against that policy).
With the release of a new whitepaper on virtualizing Exchange this now seems to have changed. Michel explains further in his blog.
The first day of MS TechEd is a busy day for new product announcements. Just to recap a few:
5nine Software, innovative provider of Microsoft Hyper-V Data Management, Security and Compliance solutions for Virtual Datacenter environments, Cloud and VDI has announced today a Beta Preview Program for its 5nine Management and Security Suite for Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Providers.
5nine Suite includes new version 3.0 of 5nine Virtual Firewall for Hyper-V, 5nine ‘Easy V2V’ and Monitoring, High Availability Management and Backup Solutions designed primarily for Microsoft Hosting/Cloud Services Partners. 5nine Suite was specifically built to meet Major Management and Maintenance requirements of Hyper-V Cloud Providers, such as Scriptability, Scalability, with Data Center being a Management Unit (with up to 16- node Hyper-V clusters), in accordance with Microsoft DDC Alliance Best Practices
StarWind Software presents a free version of their iSCSI SAN solution:
Host operating systems: any modern Microsoft Windows OS is supported.
Works with all the leading Hypervisor vendors: VMware, Microsoft, VMware.
Data De-duplication (fully supported, variable block size). Data Deduplication is a specialized mechanism of data-reduction, reducing storage capacity requirements by eliminating duplicated data within and between files.
Unlimited storage capacity & Unlimited number of supported concurrent iSCSI connections.
Full Production use is allowed.
Support. Free version is covered with a basic support plan (an open public community forum). Support upgrades are available for paid per-incident plans or switching to any commercial version with extended functionality where an annual support plan is included.
Caching. StarWind has a multi-level cache mechanism implemented. The cache can use gigabytes of RAM and converts it into to extremely fast level 1 write-back or write-through cache, providing superior storage performance over many conventional SANs.
CDP (Continuous Data Protection) and Snapshots that are completely compatible with VSS (Volume Snapshot Services).
VTL (Virtual Tape Library) and WAN replication are offered as paid upgrade options.
iSCSI boot is fully supported with iSCSI boot capable NIC.
Further details at the website
Those who follow me know that I am fairly active on Twitter and this blog. I decided to focus my blog very strictly around Microsoft Virtualization, Hyper-V, System Center, HP Server, Storage, Cluster and Cloud. On the other hand there is very little news about my personal life. Well maybe just the occasional exception to this rule. If I want to share something I use Facebook, but admittedly I use that sparingly. I also closed down my FourSquare account as I couldn’t think of a valid reason to use it, at least not for what I want to use social media for. There is one opportunity to get to know me a little better: the recent video interview with me by Carsten Rachfahl. We are also planning an interview with the entire Hyper-V.nu team by the way.
A few blogs back I introduced a site called the Archivist which saves and analyzes tweets. It then visualizes them in pretty graphic representations.
We are blogging to share knowledge and grow the Hyper-V community and that’s why I want to measure my influence by different counters. Of course the number of followers is one of the first counters I look at every day. It’s good to keep on seeing a steady growth and the magic number 1000 is approaching rapidly.
A relatively simple one is Twittercounter.com to just see some quick growth statistics. It predicts I will grow to 1015 followers in 15 days and 1800 in 172 days for instance.
One that I used right from the start is wefollow.com although their updates are very irregular. The idea is that you enter a number of keywords that describe your profile and wefollow.com calculates both your rank in number of Most followers for every keyword as well as Most Influential.
There’s also an easy way to check why your follower count goes down every now and then. If I have been very overenthusiastic, I lose 5 to 10 followers although they are mostly the ones who did not understand what Hyper-V was anyway. To check this I navigate to http://who.unfollowed.me/lite which can also show me all tweeps that I follow, but don’t follow back. So I can try and do something about it like “Hey! Please Follow me, I want to send you a DM”
Many of us have delayed installing Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 on HP ProLiant Servers until guidance from HP became available. While writing my blogpost Preparing for upgrading your Hyper-V R2 cluster to SP1 about two months ago I was unable to find any details. Searching for an updated BladeSystem Matrix Compatibility guide, I stumbled upon the long expected HP Integration Note: Implementing Microsoft Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 on HP ProLiant and Integrity servers.
In my post about Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 Core or Full version I wrote about some tools which you can use for managing a Hyper-V installation on Windows Server Core edition. Recently I read on the Windows Virtualization Team Blog an article about 5Nine Manager for Hyper-V. Another great and free tool for managing a Core edition or Hyper-V Server.
5Nine Manager for Hyper-V can be installed on a remote server and you can manage every version of Hyper-V through a graphical user interface. It’s possible to manage multiple Hyper-V servers from a single console view. With 5Nine Manager for Hyper-V it’s possible to:
- Adding, removing, and editing virtual machines, virtual networks, and virtual disks
- Viewing resource allocation and utilization of virtual machines
- Full virtual machine snapshot management
- Event viewing and searching
- Hyper-V service management
- Graphical user interface for exploring files and network shares
For more information check this link.
Looking back on the business day
It’s always difficult to contemplate when you are right in the middle of something. Now that I have returned from the Madrid edition of HP’s Technology@Work on Tour 2011, I had some time to think what was remarkable, promising, disappointing or difficult to grasp.
As an invited but independent industry blogger it is not directly my intention to make or break what was presented at the event. Some of the things I found remarkable have already been tweeted under the #HPTAW hashtag. In this blog I am happy to use more than 140 characters to further detail my observations.
Before I arrived I was fully aware that the first day of the event would focus on the business side and that the second day would have a more technical focus.
Although I have not counted, I estimated there were approximately 700 visitors on the first day. The second day of technical sessions attracted about 400 visitors. It was difficult to tell whether the visitors of the second day also attended on the first day, but my guess is that business and technically oriented people still don’t mix very well.
Last week @hypervserver (Carsten Rachfahl) visited me for an interview about topics around Microsoft Virtualization, the Hyper-V community, Hyper-V & System Center (Virtual Machine Manager 2012), Microsoft Software iSCSI target and the choice between Fibre Channel and iSCSI.
Carsten regularly interviews people in the IT industry, but this time it was his first time in English. Although a bit uneasy at first, he did a wonderful job and I never misunderstood his questions.
Before we realized it we had talked for 40 minutes without a break. Although I didn’t know what he was going to ask, they were all well within my field of competence.
Normally I always find it difficult to hear your own voice and see yourself on video. But when I finally convinced my self I had to watch it at least once, I must say I am quite pleased with the result. So here you have a chance of getting to know me a little better and hear about the things I am working on.
I’d like to thank Carsten for a very pleasant and positive experience!
Marc Payne, vice president Enterprise Servers, Storage & Networking Iberia in his keynote explained the rationale behind what HP calls IT sprawl. Many datacenters have grown into extremely complex and difficult to modify infrastructures. Too many servers are still being used for only one purpose, built on top of a variety of storage devices, housing hundreds of applications, complicated by a horrible amount of cables of all sorts and with hardly any management software in place to make it at least look like a coherent system.
The same is beginning to apply to the home with an ever increasing number of devices all connected to the Internet: desktops, laptops, tablets, media centers, servers, phones and television sets, although you wouldn’t expect a system management in place for the home (yet). Wait till pets are starting to start Internet services.
What we do know is that al these billions of users require a lot of server, storage and network resources and that the datacenters are getting bigger and bigger.