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If you are in some way dealing with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 and probably now exploring Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, you are by no means able to avoid the blogs, whitepapers, books and tweets written by Aidan Finn. In 2010 Aidan asked me to be a technical editor for his Mastering Hyper-V Deployment which I gladly accepted. It was a great step-by-step for implementing Hyper-V R2 and several of the important System Center components. The book was co-authored by Patrick Lownds, Hyper-V MVP and datacenter expert working for HP in London.
About a year later, Aidan approached me again asking if I would be willing to contribute to another book called Microsoft Private Cloud Computing and I did not think about refusing (or should I have). It was my first experience as an author and I wrote up the Fabric chapters of VMM 2012. Aidan laid a nice foundation with his lucid Cloud introduction chapters, Patrick focused on the service management functionality and the VMM Library while Cloud and Datacenter MVP, Damian Flynn wrote a couple of brilliant chapters on private cloud management and integration with App Controller, Service Manager and Orchestrator. It was a fine job we completed in early 2012, the book was published just before the beta of SP1 was announced. We simply didn’t have the opportunity to wait until SP1 was out and digest and explain all the new features that arrived with Windows Server 2012. Fortunately Damian has joined Nigel Cain (who is a Senior Program Manager for Windows Server and System Center) to write a blog series on Technet in eight installments between Jan 2013 until July 2013, just to explain the new Virtual networking technology in VMM 2012 SP1
Another year came and here was Aidan again, asking me to join him on his new venture: the Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation and Configuration Guide. Although I really liked the subject and wanted to go into great depth to learn all this cool stuff, I was simply too busy doing all those great Hyper-V and System Center projects for Inovativ. Our family was also heavily burdened by the unfortunate adventures of one of my sons, which more or less influenced me most of 2012. Writing a book was out of the question.
Convincing as Aidan can be, he said he had his author team complete, again with Damian Flynn and Patrick Lownds plus Michel Luescher, “a virtualization junkie working as a consultant at Microsoft” as he calls himself. The only omission was a technical editor fit for the job. And that’s why he asked me.
I am more than honored to be mentioned quite extensively in the Acknowledgements of the Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V book by each and every author. I really felt like being part of the author team but in the role of both learning, correcting but most of all improving. I remember advising Aidan to split one chapter into two because it was approaching 100 pages, more than twice as much as they had anticipated.
Having been the first reader (and I read the chapters multiple times), I can truly say this is a superb book that anyone interested in the technical secrets of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V should buy. I can guarantee you will not one day regret having bought this book. There were moments I wanted to cry out how good these chapters were, thrilled by the sheer excellence of the product and the very talented explanatory writing in the 600 pages of this Must-have-Hyper-V-version-3 book.
The book can be pre-ordered now and will be published on March 25th. The European release will be April 5th. See the Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Book Release FAQ.
I will not wait till my free copy arrives (Sybex, hope you are reading this) as I have already pre-ordered it myself, but wouldn’t mind a few extra copies to give away.
As you can see from the screenshot, only a few tickets are left for the Hyper-V.nu event on April 16th, 2013. The event will be presented in Dutch which is unfortunate for several of our followers in the neighboring countries who wanted to attend. I hope to convince my fellow speakers to present in English again so the last 15 tickets could have been easily sold by now. The event is free by the way.
If you already know you cannot make it, please return your tickets!
I just finished a remote support session for a customer in New York. My task was to check a Windows Server 2012 cluster using PowerEdge M620 blades with 4x10GbE connected to a Dell Compellent (6.3.1 firmware).
I just had a small window of opportunity to create a fixed sized VHDX (25GB and 250GB).
new-vhd -path C:\ClusterStorage\volume1\25GB.vhdx -size 25GB –fixed
new-vhd -path C:\ClusterStorage\volume2\250GB.vhdx -size 250GB –fixed
Both completed in under 3 seconds. Wow!!!
ODX in its purest form.
So let me reiterate my advice to new SAN array buyers. The first question you should ask your SAN vendor. Does it support ODX? If the answer is negative or if they promise ODX in their next release, just tell them to take a hike and move on to a capable SAN vendor.
For Windows Server 2012 clusters it was still very difficult to find a complete list of hotfixes. In the past there were blogs and other locations for Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and clusters, but not always authorized by Microsoft. This could cause a trust issue for customers who don’t want to rely on some blog.
As MVP’s we have also expressed a wish to see an official list which is maintained by Microsoft. It is great to see our request is honored so quickly and you can now find the Windows Server 2012 Cluster hotfixes
Here is a message from John Marlin, Senior Support Escalation Engineer Microsoft Enterprise Platforms Support:
In a previous blog, it was discussed on where you can get a list of the Failover Clustering and Hyper-V hotfixes for Windows Server 2008 R2.
In this blog, we give the links to newly released hotfixes for Failover Clustering and Hyper-V so you know what hotfixes are out there. There are two Wiki pages that will make life easier for you when looking for hotfixes for Windows Server 2012 Clustering and Hyper-V.
These Wiki pages are updated on a regular basis. You can setup an RSS Subscription to the Wiki page so you can the updated Wiki page in your favorite RSS app or Outlook.
This week is an important day for Microsoft’s new Hyper-V Extensible Switch in Windows Server 2012. We already know this switch is capable of many new features including capturing, filtering and forwarding extensions from several vendors.
Damian Flynn (fellow author on Microsoft Private Cloud Computing and co-author of Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration Guide (appearing very soon!), informed me that major networking player Cisco is about to make a big announcement and that Damian will be co-presenting the announcement with Cisco.
On Wednesday March 6th at 6pm CET, Cisco will unveil its greatly anticipated Distributed Switch solution for Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V; the Nexus 1000V.
What is the Nexus 1000V?
Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches provide a comprehensive and extensible architectural platform for virtual machine (VM) and cloud networking. The switches are designed to accelerate server virtualization and multitenant cloud deployments in a secure and operationally transparent manner. Integrated into the Windows Server 2012 Extensible Switch, and fully compatible with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1,
Please blog, tweet, and pass on the message, to learn about the Nexus 1000v, and how to join the beta program; grabbing the all-important Beta Code!
For more information, and registration details please follow and share Damian’s link:
Today I received news that EMC has released its latest version of the VNX Operating System which covers NAS and Block functionality (VNX OE 32/8) and Maintenance Release 1 (MR1). If you are an EMC customer, this important release is now available for download:
For Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V customers this is especially very good news because VNX now supports SMB 3.0 and ODX (Offloaded Data Transfer), apart from some VAAI performance enhancements which are of course more interesting for the other guys. ODX is very similar to Block XCOPY in vSphere.
EMC is probably the first vendor offering SMB 3.0 support in its storage array. Several vendors are still working on adding SMB 3.0 and ODX support so this is important news for acceptance of Microsoft storage technology and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. NetApp SMB 3.0 support is targeted at ONTAP 8.2.
The software can be downloaded from PowerLink or http://support.emc.com.
Just in time for a new project for a Dutch municipality, involving HP c7000, HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8, HP StoreVirtual 4000 Storage and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, HP released a new firmware ISO and a new HP ProLiant Service Pack. With version 2013.02.0 (19 Feb 2013) HP adds Windows Server 2012 support for the following HP ProLiant servers:
- HP ProLiant BL460c G6 Server .
- HP ProLiant DL380 G6 Server
- HP ProLiant DL360 G6 Server
- HP ProLiant ML350 G6 Server
Click on picture for link to PDF.
Additionally a number of new HP ProLiant network adapters are now supported:
HP Ethernet 1Gb 4-port 366FLR Adapter
HP Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 560M Adapter
HP Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 560FLR SFP+ Adapter
HP Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 530T Adapter
Download HP ProLiant Service Pack 2013.02.0
While cleaning up my mailbox, I found a note to myself dating June 2011 about a few feature requests for the next version of Hyper-V and VMM. While talking to customers throughout the year, I often hear about and collect suggestions and product improvements which I can then pass on to the Hyper-V and System Center Product team. In retrospect most items on my list have become a reality in Windows Server 2012 and much, much more!
Online VHD growth and shrink has not yet been realized (although a 64TB dynamic disk supporting unmap pretty much covers all you can desire).
Perhaps the last item on the list is only partly covered by Hyper-V Replica but needs some additional automation or services to make this a complete Recovery solution that could make it even better than RSM. As we know Microsoft is on the right path and a flood of companies are getting really interested in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 SP1.
Thanks Hyper-V and System Center product teams for listening.
During MVP Summit we spent several great days with Hyper-V Product Manager Ben Armstrong aka @VirtualPCGuy. German fellow Virtual Machine MVP Carsten Rachfahl took the opportunity to interview his ‘rockstar’ at CenturyLink Stadium, home of the SeaHawks football team. Very soon you will notice Ben comes from the other side of this planet, at least when you look at it from our angle: ‘Down Under’.
Ben has delivered many excellent presentations on the Hyper-V hypervisor and related subjects at events like TechEd North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand:
He has been working on virtualization software for over 10 years now. The last 9 years have been spent working on virtualization as part of the Windows Core Virtualization team. Ben has been maintaining a blog for the last 8 years as Virtual PC Guy. Chances are that if you have a question about virtualization, Ben will know the answer.
You can find the German Hyper-V blog authored by Carsten Rachfahl here: