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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.
I took all four available courses on Microsoft Virtual Academy. Quite a nice crash course about private and public cloud based on Microsoft technology. It took me a few hours to reach a shared first place with 372 points completing all four assessments. I’m looking forward to more content. There are still a few medals to earn …
Microsoft is offering a number of courses via its recently launched Microsoft Virtual Academy. You can enroll by logging in with your Windows Live account.
On March 21st 2011, Microsoft Management Summit 2011 will kick off in Las Vegas, sold out with about 5000 visitors. Of course a great deal of focus will be on Hyper-V private cloud, Azure public cloud and those parts of System Center that manage the private, public or even hybrid cloud.
Although I have already spent a full day on VMM 2012 during MVP Summit two weeks ago, I will definitely visit the majority of presentations on this topic.
Bob Muglia at Professional Developers Conference 2010 about Infrastructure As A Service (IAAS):
We bring a VM role to Azure!
You can take Windows Server 2008 R2 image that you’ve built with Hyper-V environment and move that into the Windows Azure environment and run it as is with no changes. Glad to have that feature. Over the next year we will be bringing out Windows Server 2003 and we will be enabling also image creation within the cloud, so we are treating this as something that helps you take your existing applications forward. We again believe very strongly as the destination for an applications are inside Windows Azure roles, but we know that many of you have applications there that need some work in order to maintain or may not be worth taking that step as of having this Infrastructure as a Service feature as a helpful transition there.
Server Application Virtualization: Server App-V
If you are familiar with App-V on the Windows client Server App-V takes an existing Windows application that writes to the registry and does a whole lengthy complicated install process and it packages it into a file, which can essentially be xcopied onto a desktop. We’ve taken that technology and now built it for the server environment and for the Windows Azure cloud environment and what it does it lets you take an existing application and then deploy that app without going through its installation process into a Windows Azure worker role. We think it is a very exciting way to help you get compatibility with existing Windows Server applications in the cloud environment.
I wrote about this nearly one year ago:
Not an entirely unimportant release! This allows you to put computing, storage and network resources into a dynamic pool and deliver infrastructure as a service. Think of it as your own private cloud in your own computer facility. Integration with the public cloud (Microsoft Azure) and public partner clouds (like Nobel Cloud Services) will be very easy to do.
Quote from the download page:
“Microsoft has released Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal which is a fully supported, partner-extensible solution built on top of Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V and System Center VMM. You can use it to pool, allocate, and manage resources to offer infrastructure as a service and to deliver the foundation for a private cloud platform inside your datacenter. VMMSSP includes a pre-built web-based user interface that has sections for both the datacenter managers and the business unit IT consumers, with role-based access control. VMMSSP also includes a dynamic provisioning engine. VMMSSP reduces the time needed to provision infrastructures and their components by offering business unit “on-boarding,” infrastructure request and change management. The VMMSSP package also includes detailed guidance on how to implement VMMSSP inside your environment.
Important: VMMSSP is not an upgrade to the existing VMM 2008 R2 self-service portal. You can choose to deploy and use one or both self-service portals depending on your requirements.
The self-service portal provides the following features that are exposed through a web-based user interface:
Configuration and allocation of datacenter resources: Store management and configuration information related to compute, network and storage resources as assets in the VMMSSP database.
Customization of virtual machine actions: Provide a simple web-based interface to extend the default virtual machine actions; for example, you can add scripts that interact with Storage Area Networks for rapid deployment of virtual machines.
Business unit on-boarding: Standardized forms and a simple workflow for registering and approving or rejecting business units to enroll in the portal.
Infrastructure request and change management: Standardized forms and human-driven workflow that results in reducing the time needed to provision infrastructures in your environment.
Self-Service provisioning: Supports bulk creation of virtual machines on provisioned infrastructure through the web-based interface.Helps business units to manage their virtual machines based on delegated roles.”
During the MMS2010 keynote of Bob Muglia, Edwin Yuen showed a glimpse of SCVMM vNext. The short demo presented a very interesting view ahead of what a complete virtual management solution looks like.
Next to the familiar categories like Hosts, Virtual Machines, Library, Jobs and Administration a few new categories were visible: Datacenter, Network and Storage. Apparently these will be the new building blocks in the deployment of virtual machines and most likely also Hyper-V hosts. Along with Server App-V to deploy server apps to running virtual servers. By means of a model/template objects were dragged and dropped to define a new service/server combination.
Also the concept of the private cloud and the public cloud is translated in the user interface of SCVMM vNext. In the top lefthand corner, we can now see a new light blue (azure?) container with several private clouds as well as a hosted cloud. As I wrote earlier, we can expect to move servers and services between the two clouds.
Building blocks in the SCVMM vNext Library for creating servers
SCVMM vNext will support Virtual Sever, Hyper-V R1, Hyper-V R2, Xen and VMware. By the time the product is ready it will probably also support the latest incarnation of Hyper-V, if it still listens to that name in 2011/2012. For a System Center roadmap see my previous blog.
Factor of 10 reduction cost for hardware
Factor of 10 greater speeding up application delivery
Factor of 10 reduction in cost
This translates to faster time to market for solutions, and a great enabler for the business.
Part of the cost savings is done by means of scale of buying and using server hardware. As I wrote in my blog http://hyper-v.nu/blogs/hans/?p=159, the new server form factor for the cloud is the container. A picture was shown of how Microsoft gets its servers delivered: by the thousands and ready-to-go on delivery.
Here are some shots of the new SCVMM vNext GUI:
VMware is targeting MS for not using Hyper-V for their virtualization platform. Well in fact they are not using Hyper-V current version but Hyper-V vnext (possibly even vnext R2) version. Hyper-V R2 already benefited from the experiences with Azure Hypervisor and the upcoming Hyper-V or even the next service pack will benefit in an identical fashion.
Design Principles Behind The Windows Azure Hypervisor
By Hoi Vo, Director on the Azure team
We are frequently asked about the Windows Azure Hypervisor, and whether or not the code will be made available to customers as a product they could run in their own datacenters. We built the Windows Azure Hypervisor with three principles:
- Efficient: push work to hardware as much as possible. Any percentage gain once multiplied to tens of thousands of machines will be very significant for us. Consequently we can bet on new processor features to save CPU cycles for the hosted application.
- Small footprint: any features not applicable to our specific cloud scenarios are removed. This guarantees that we do not have to worry about updating or fixing unnecessary code, meaning less churning or required reboots for the host. All critical code paths are also highly optimized for our Windows Azure scenarios.
- Tight integration: The Windows Azure Hypervisor is tightly optimized with the Windows Azure kernel. This is required to achieve the level of scalability and performance we want for our stack.
Much of the development for the Windows Azure Hypervisor would only work in our environment, taking advantage of our specific homogenous data center environment. Some of the innovations would be useful to customers with a different data center design and will be incorporated in future releases of Hyper-V (e.g. Second-Level Address Translation will be available in Hyper-V v2.0).
In my November blog I talked about moving virtual machines to the cloud. More evidence of an upcoming Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can be found on MSDN, which describes virtual machine sizing, ranging from 1-core (Small) to 8-core (ExtraLarge) virtual machines with memory up to 15GB of memory and 2TB of disk space.
Another service described is the ability to mount Windows Azure drives, which act as a local NTFS drive, mounted on the server’s file system, accessible to code running in a role. This was previously referred to as an X-drive. Mounting a so called CloudDrive requires Windows Azure Guest OS 1.1 (release 201001-01).
Will we really be able to migrate a virtual machine from our private cloud to the Azure public cloud? I don’t think we have to wait much longer before hybrid clouds become a reality.
Will we be able to move a VMware VM to Azure? I think you can answer that for yourself.
In my last blog of 2009 I anticipated that the joint forces of VMware, Cisco and EMC, would make the bond between HP and Microsoft stronger.
Apparently I’m not the only one who is observing another front on the horizon. Even though HP and MS have been partners for many years in their Frontline Partnership, the battle for the cloud seems to have started.