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Project Virtual Reality Check is a initiative by Ruben Spruijt and Jeroen van de Kamp to investigate VDI infrastructure compared to a virtualized SBC infrastructure (among other things). You can read more about VRC here:
So far, Project Virtual Reality check has been a massive undertaking, which generated much interest over the years. The results have been presented at all the big technology events over the world and their findings and best practices have been published on different occasions. However, one thing was clear: many discussions in the VDI and SBC space are not just about performance best practices and product comparisons.
As a result the VRC team decided to boot up the first edition of the Project Virtual Reality Check “State of the VDI and SBC union” survey. http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/jeroenvandekamp/archive/2012/09/26/announcing-project-vrc-s-quot-state-of-the-vdi-and-sbc-union-quot-survey.aspx
It was the VRC Team’s aim to ask all the relevant questions, both functional and technical. These questions range from “What are the most important design goals set for this environment”, to “Which storage is used”, to “How are the VM’s configured”. The questions are comprehensive, and relevant to everyone in building VDI and SBC environments. The aim of Project VRC is to repeat the survey at least once a year. This will allow us to see how our industry is changing in practice.
Within a couple of weeks more than 600(!) people started the survey:
The VRC team asked us to help promote this survey, which we are glad to do. Within the first week already more than 600 people have started the survey. So if you are in any way involved in the Hyper-V and VDI community, please go ahead and participate in this survey!
If you want to contact the guys behind VRC:
Jeroen van de Kamp | @TheJeroen
Ruben Spruijt | @Rspruijt
If you install Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V, the pagefile will be automatically managed, which usually has a 1:1 ratio with physical memory. However VM’s use their own pagefile and do not use the host paging mechanism. If you have lots of memory, chances are your pagefile will be way too big.
If we compare two servers with 16GB of memory each, one installed with Hyper-V R2 and the other installed with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V we clearly see different numbers. Both servers have run for several days.
In the figure to the left you will see that Windows has 16GB allocated but recommends 24GB (1:1,5)
In the figure to the right you see that Windows Server 2012 is much more intelligent and allocates considerably less memory for paging. It is fairly consistent with the best practice in R2 to set a fixed maximum for the pagefile between 4 and 6GB.
Although I haven’t found any best practices yet for the pagefile in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, this might suggest that you can use the autopilot for virtual memory in the latest server edition of Windows. Of course we need a little bit more experience in the field to really call this a best practice.
If you are looking for a very thorough blog on pagefile settings in R2, please visit this blog.
Here is another one on technet:
And finally a post about the Hyper-V Dynamic Memory and Host Memory Setting in R2:
Host Memory Reserve
The Host Memory Reserve, which reserves memory for the processes in the parent partition can be found in the following registry key:
Registry Key: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Virtualization
Value Name: MemoryReserve
Value Type: REG_DWORD
According to this post, the Host Memory in R2 is calculated in MB as follows: 384MB + (Memory in GB * 64)
So a 16GB host in R2 will have a default Host Memory Reserve of 384MB + (16 * 64) = 1.408MB
In two 16GB Windows Server 2012 hosts I looked at, the default Memory Reserve was 2048MB. We have to conclude that the formula used for Hyper-V R2 does not apply to Windows Server 2012.
I also looked at a Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V host with only 4GB which had a currently allocated pagefile size of 704MB and a recommended pagefile size of 3.582MB. This small host did not have a Host MemoryReserve entry at all, probably because a default 2GB Memory Reserve would be disproportional to the physical memory.
I had an interesting discussion about MemoryReserve with Michel Luescher who works for Microsoft Consultancy Services at Microsoft Schweiz. Michel is writing the chapters in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation and Configuration which deal with this subject.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not manually configure the Host MemoryReserve entry and leave this to Windows Server 2012 which will auto-configure this value on an as needed basis
In fact any newly installed Windows Server 2012 server with the Hyper-V role does not have a Host MemoryReserve entry in the registry and we still need to figure out under what circumstances this entry is added to the registry.
Take a look at Michel’s blog (German) on the subject:
A few days ago I promised to send someone a free Microsoft Private Cloud Computing book, provided they tweeted or blogged about The Great Big Hyper-V Survey of 2012.
Of course we want as many people to participate in this survey as possible. That’s why we have been rather persistent on Twitter and we are glad so many of you have already given attention to our survey. Several hundred Hyper-V users from all sizes of companies including several Fortune-500 companies have already contributed.
If you haven’t completed the survey yet, let me offer the book as an incentive.
But I haven’t explained the rules yet:
Of course fellow authors and colleagues of mine are not eligible to this prize. Sorry Aidan, Patrick, Damian!
You must have retweeted my tweets on TGBHSof2012 or you must have named us in your blog
Mentions on Facebook are not valid (as I have abandoned Facebook some time ago). Not sorry for Facebook : –)
If you retweeted I must be able to find you in this list which keeps track of the retweets:
If you blogged and mentioned this page you are eligible:
I will announce an answer on the day of the close of the survey: October 31st 2012 19:00 CET
The Experts Conference is approaching fast. In less than 3 weeks experts from all over Europe come to Hotel Carlos in Barcelona where a great event is scheduled from 22-24 October. TEC has been produced for more than a decade and features 400-level training on critical technologies including Active Directory & Identity, Exchange and Virtualization & User Workspace Management.
Please come and join us! TEC is world-class training for the experts, by the experts, offering the most advanced training and networking available. Quest alliance partner Microsoft is front and center at TEC, sending program management, product management, and development staff from Redmond and the field team members to the event every year to support the training requirements of its users.
If you want quality, you get quality!
Four Microsoft Hyper-V MVP’s
Three VMware vExperts!
The following presenters will take care of the Virtualization track focusing on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V:
If you are using Red Hat Enterprise Linux you’ll find great support for Hyper-V as a standard feature in the new minor Linux 5.9 release for which a beta became available recently.
Running Linux distributions with native Hyper-V support will save you the trouble of separately installing Hyper-V Integration Components to provide support for multiple cores and synthetic drives for mouse, video, network and storage. The Hyper-V Linux drivers were recently accepted upstream by the Linux community. For Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 this means running as a guest on Hyper-V will improve overall performance.
You have probably already seen a number of blogs and tweets about several events related to Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V.
Well, I am joining the party too!
For The Experts Conference (TEC), which will be held in Barcelona (22-24 October 2012) this is my third speaking engagement.
My first presentation for TEC was in Frankfurt and offered a deep dive into Storage in what was still called Windows Server 8. It was only one month after the \build conference. It was so early that I could only demo by using PowerShell, but it was a very early view on what was to come.
I was then kindly invited to speak at TEC 2012 in San Diego. There were very few European speakers so I was very honored indeed. My presentation was called Hot Storage Tricks with Windows Server 8. I did a last minute rename to Cool Storage Tricks because the weather had suddenly turned very cold. You need to be flexible these days.
This time, I will speak at TEC 2012 in Barcelona and now I will do two presentations:
The first one is called Configuring Hyper-V Networking with Confidence and Ease which focuses on the myriad number of new ways to configure networks in Windows Server 2012 and using the Hyper-V extensible switch. Topics such as NIC Teaming, Converged Fabric, Network Virtualization and Switch Extensions will be demonstrated. My talk is more or less a practical Part 2 of Didier van Hoye’s (@WorkingHardInIT) presentation called Networking Evolved in Windows Server 2012.
The second one is a modified repeat of my San Diego presentation: Hot Storage Tricks with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012. Let’s hope the weather stays fine, or I have to rename the title of my presentation again.
TEC 2012 Barcelona promises to get a great Virtualization track focusing on Windows Server 2012, because several of my renowned fellow MVP’s will top the bill. Apart from Didier there will be:
I will also be speaking at:
Windows Server 2012 Launch and Demo Day: October 4, 2012: Amstelveen, The Netherlands (INOVATIV)
Experts 2 Experts Virtualization Conference (E2EVC): November 2-4 2012: Hamburg, Germany (Event is sold out)
Here is a list of updated documentation for the recently announced System Center 2012 SP1 beta
System Center TechCenter:
- Updated the System Center Home Page to highlight the SP1 release
- Updated the 2012 Page to include links to the consolidated Supported Configurations Page
- Highlighted the Chargeback and SPF Cloud Resource Management scenario content
- Added the Technical Scenarios node
- Added What’s New topics for all components
- Updated deployment guides for all components
- Delivered over 200 new or updated “How-to” topics for the SP1 Beta improvements
- Delivered new SP1 cmdlet reference and updateable PowerShell help for VMM and CM
- Updated the MP Guides for Windows Server 2012 and IIS
- Added the SPF SDK node
TechNet Wiki: In addition to the technical scenario content called out above, we also
- Published the Integration Guide content for VMM, OM, Orchestrator
- Published VMM UI extensibility content
Download Center: Updated all the off-line guides, and applied standard formatting to reinforce the single product message.
- App Controller: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29694
- DPM: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29698
- Operations Manager: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29256
- Orchestrator: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29258
- Service Manager: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=27850
- VMM: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=6346
Microsoft has started offering Online Backup of Hyper-V Virtual Machines to Windows Azure using System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 SP1. In this blog I will explain how to set this up and I can assure you this is absolutely no rocket science.
First of all you need to register for an account to get access to Windows Azure Online Backup Preview. The registration process will not ask you for a credit card and offers you 300GB for the limited time of 6 months to test with. Well that sounded like an offer I couldn’t refuse.
The best way to start this process is to select the Management work pane from the DPM 2012 SP1 Administrator Console. When you are registered you can click on Manage Subscriptions from the Ribbon in DPM. It will ask you to login with your newly created [name]@[domain].onmicrosoft.com account.
After sign in you arrive at the Windows Azure Online Backup portal. Click on the Setup menu, download and install the Window Azure Online Backup Agent for Windows Server 2012. Note there is a special module for Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
After we had already spotted the updated documentation on Microsoft Download and on TechNet, we now have the beta bits for System Center 2012 SP1. So finally we can also manage the recently released version of Windows Server 2012.
Fortunately SP1 Beta is not restricted to TAP customers, but publicly available. But be careful if you decide to run this beta version in production. There is no formal support available from Microsoft unless you are part of the TAP program. You can download the software here: