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Archive for August, 2012
In Windows Server 2008 R2 it was not possible to move the Core Cluster Resources via Cluster Failover Manager (FCM). When performing maintenance on a cluster node, I prefer not only to evacuate all running guests on that node, but also the CSV disks which are owned by that node. If the Cluster Resource Group also resides on the node that is due for maintenance, one must resort to PowerShell to move that group somewhere else.
In a Windows Server 2012 cluster, the PowerShell commands are exactly the same as in Windows Server 2008 R2. If you don’t feel comfortable using PowerShell, you might be pleasantly surprised that this activity can now also be performed from the Failover Cluster Manager.
In FCM, right-click the Clustername, click on More Actions, Move Core Cluster Resources and select either Best Possible Node or select the node of your choice.
Yesterday a new/updated version of the Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster has been published. So if you have a A0 printer at home or work … start printing!
Today I have the pleasure to announce a new promising blogger for Hyper-V.nu. I will let him introduce himself:
Hi, my name is Marc van Eijk. Ever since I bumped into my first TCP packet, I have had great interest in and a strong preference for IT infrastructure. I am currently working at Duvak as an IT Consultant and responsible for all IT Pro’s in the organization.
I have focused on Hyper-V since the first beta.
Known to be driven, persistent and a true Microsoft supporter.
I am constantly learning and find helping people with infrastructure challenges very gratifying.
Marc told me he had been following Hyper-V.nu for quite a while now and that it had helped him on several occasions in his own IT consultancy practice. Now he wants to give back his knowledge and experience to the Hyper-V community. When Marc handed in his first blog for review, I was very happy to see the result. Without much further ado … here is Marc’s blog on Microsoft Hyper-V Network Virtualization. Please give him a warm welcome and many RT’s. If you have any questions about this very interesting subject, please use the comment and I will make sure you are answered.
In the early days of Virtualization we tried get our heads around the idea of abstracting a server from its hardware, disks presented as a files and even movability of a guest. Today it is just business as usual. At least for most of us I hope.
Looking at the reimagined Windows Server 2012 a new concept called Network Virtualization is emerging. This feature is the basis of a larger trend called software defined networking (SDN).
Is this something like the networks we created in the Windows 2008 R2 virtual switch? On the contrary!
What is Network Virtualization?
Similar to running multiple virtual servers on a single host, with network virtualization it is possible to run multiple isolated virtual networks on a single host. In essence this is not a new feature, because with VLANs this has already become possible in the Windows 2008 hypervisor. But VLANs – for larger organizations – have limitations (4096 to be exact) and in these environments VLAN maintenance can be error-prone and cumbersome. Network virtualization is a great feature for hosters, but many private clouds can take advantage of this in multiple ways as well. It should be noted that when a VM uses network virtualization it cannot use VLANs and vice versa.
With network virtualization the virtual networks get abstracted from the physical network topology. The physical network called the Provider Address (PA) Space is maintained by the fabric administrator. The virtual isolated networks called the Customer Address (CA) Space can be maintained by the customer (or a division or unit in your organization).
Similar to VLANs, you can create multiple subnets. Every virtual subnet is a single broadcast domain and has a unique Virtual Subnet ID (VSID). A virtual subnet routes traffic to other virtual subnets that belong to the same routing domain (called the customer network). If you have a single routing domain with two virtual subnets, the virtual subnets are allowed to automatically route traffic to each other. If you have virtual subnets within different routing domains there is no routing between them.
The routing within the routing domain is enabled by default, you cannot disable it. If you do not want routing between virtual subnets you are advised to configure them in separate routing domains. The default gateway within a virtual subnet is the first usable IP address within the IP range.
Last week (August 9th) Microsoft officially announced the availability of FreeBSD 8.2 Support for Hyper-V. Microsoft has been partnering with both NetApp and Citrix to get this up-and-running and performing well. This release of FreeBSD contains 8,500 lines of code submitted under the BSD Lincense. Microsoft is currenlty analysing customer demand to extend this to FreeBSD 9.0.
The source code can be found on Github as well as instructions for building from this source and running the drivers, which can be found here. If you have any feedback do not hesitate to give it through the mailing list.
The FreeBSD integration components provide support for:
- Network controller
- IDE/SCSI storage controller
- Integrated shutdown
This is not the first Linux support on Hyper-V. In May 2011 Microsoft already started to support CentOS running on Hyper-V: http://virtualization.info/en/news/2011/05/microsoft-announces-support-for-centos-in-hyper-v.html
Review of Altaro Hyper-V Backup 3.5
notice: Altaro are giving away two Nexus 7’s to testers of their Hyper-V backup for Windows Server 2012 beta. Check out all the details at the bottom of this blog
The crew at Hyper-V.nu were offered a first glance of Altaro Hyper-V Backup back in May 2011. We agreed to do a review of the beta version of the product. That particular version of the beta did not have support for Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and we provided feedback to Altaro about this shortcoming. As our Great Big Hyper-V Survey of 2011 showed, over 94% of users with Hyper-V clusters use CSV. We were pleasantly surprised how quickly Altaro responded by adding support for CSV in one of their next beta’s. So we did a second review testing the backup and recovery of guests living on cluster shared volumes on a Hyper-V R2 SP1 cluster.
Since then Altaro released their RTM of version 2, version 3 and v3.1 which have continued to add functionality, ease and performance. You can find a change log of Altaro Hyper-V Backup here: http://wiki.altaro.com/releases/change-log-for-altaro-hyper-v-backup
One noticeable improvement in version 3 was installation of the product on a cluster. When on a cluster the application could detect each node and configure them during the installation. You only needed to install Altaro Hyper-V Backup on one node and it would then automatically deploy modules on all other cluster nodes. Additionally, the administrator was able to manage all guests across all nodes from a single console. This meant that all backups, restores and configuration could be done from one centralized console. In a cluster environment all guests could be backed up to a single backup target such as a USB drive, a NAS or a disk on a SAN. Even when guests moved around in the cluster, Altaro Hyper-V Backup would take care of that.
By using a technique called ReverseDelta, incremental backups could be made at tremendous speed. The last version introduced ReverseDelta v2 which made incremental backups at least 300% faster.
Version 3 of Altaro Hyper-V backup also dealt with one of CSV’s shortcomings: redirected access during backup operations (backup node claiming ownership of disk and redirecting I/O across the CSV network for all other nodes for that CSV disk). A new scheduling feature called ‘Scheduling Groups’ was introduced which allowed a quick and easy drag & drop of Hyper-V guests to one or more defined Scheduling Groups. It would group guests on the same CSV together in order to decrease time required in redirected access mode. If you are a Data Protection Manager user, you will appreciate this feature as DPM does not do this for you automatically. It is also quite time consuming to even select multiple Hyper-V guests for backup and add them to their Protection Group.
Click on More for the rest of the post
Jeffrey Snover of the Windows Server team has announced that Windows Server 2012 is RTM! He has made this announcement yesterday on the Windows Server Blog.
Windows Server 2012 will be general available on September the 4th. Microsoft will celebrate this milestone with an online launch event. Take a look at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/new.aspx for more details.
For Windows 8 Microsoft announced that this version will be general available on October 26th. However for those lucky people who have a MSDN subscription they can get the bits on the 15th of August. For more details you can take a look at The Windows Blog.
Keep in mind that Hyper-V Server 2012 is not RTM yet.