Posts tagged Hyper-V

Fifth MVP Award

Today I received word from Microsoft that I am re-awarded as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Virtual Machine. When I received my first award for Cluster back in 2009, I could not begin to understand its consequences and how much such an award would mean in terms of recognition, access to knowledge, direct contact with the product teams and all those forums crowded by fellow MVPs in Hyper-V, cluster, System Center, file & storage.

Today you can’t live on an island anymore and only specialize in one direction. Although my focus has always been Hyper-V, clusters, servers, storage, I now see so many other technologies need be be learnt to provide high level services in the private, service provider and public clouds. Networking is one subject which is difficult to ignore, although I must admit I have tried. Especially NVGRE and Hyper-V Network Virtualization, the in-box Gateway in Windows Server 2012 R2, the Hyper-V Extensible Switch, physical switch integration with the OMI standard …… there are so many technologies in networking alone, that this will easily be the subject I will be studying in the coming year.

My sincere thanks to all my fellow MVPs, the EMEA MVP team, my book and blog readers, the Windows Server and System Center product teams, my colleagues and my family who’ve all made this possible.

This morning my new colleague at INOVATIV, Marc van Eijk had to remind me that my MVP was due. I had simply been too busy after TechEd and had forgotton all about it. Then again I did not think of my re-award until Microsoft sent me this email message:


Looking forward to another great year being part of a superb community!

Updated: Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and Cluster Hotfixes and Updates

Update June 26, 2013: Cristian Edwards notified me that he has updated the script to now support using a cluster name. That will save you some typing if you cluster counts 64 nodes. See end of blog

Update July 1, 2013: Great to see that Niklas Akerlund and Trond Hindenes made great extensions on the update script:

Recently I was contacted by Frank Lesniak who informed me that he had updated the Technet Wiki which keeps an up-up-to-date list of hotfixes for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. Because the list was getting longer and longer, also several items had already been updated by a newer version (solving new problems, causing new ones too I’m afraid). Frank did a great job reorganizing the WiKi and there is now a split between the active updates and the superseded updates. The list of superseded updates also describes by which update it is replaced.

In a previous blog I drew your attention to a great script by Cristian Edwards who wrote HyperV2012UpdatesCheck.ps1 which gives you a quick overview of the installation status of an update for one or multiple servers. The script uses two XML files. For your convenience I have updated both XML files to reflect all updates till June 22, 2013.

You can download these files here

I also updated the Windows Server 2012 Cluster list based on the official TechNet article “Recommended hotfixes and updates for Windows Server 2012-based Failover Clusters” which is maintained by the Failover Cluster product team.


Hyper-V: Update List for Windows Server 2012

Recommended hotfixes and updates for Windows Server 2012-based Failover Clusters

See Cristian’s blog for the updated script:

Windows Server and Hyper-V: What’s Next?

We already know that we wouldn’t have to wait four years to get significant new features in Windows Server & Hyper-V. Looking at the list of builds since the first version of Hyper-V, we can observe there were considerable intervals between the releases of Windows Server 2008 (R2) and Windows Server 2012.

We’ve seen three major releases of Hyper-V since June 2008. If development progresses well, we might even see an updated version of Hyper-V within only about 1 year from GA of Windows Server 2012. The Windows Server 2012 operating system was already packed with spectacular new functionality and scalability with major focus on the Hyper-V and Cloud OS feature set.

Builds of Windows Server including Hyper-V

  • 2008 (February 4) – RTM Windows Server 2008 SP1 – February 2008 (with beta version of Hyper-V)
  • 2008 (June 26) – Release of Hyper-V 1.0 which shipped as a free download
  • 2008 (October 24) – Release of first Service Pack SP2
  • 2009 (July 22) – RTM of Windows Server 2008 R2 including Hyper-V 2008 R2
  • 2009 (August 19) – General Availability of Windows Server 2008 R2 including Hyper-V 2008 R2
  • 2009 (October 22) – Release of Windows Server 2008 R2 including Hyper-V 2.0
  • 2011 (February 9) – RTM of SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2
  • 2011 (February 22) – General Availability of SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2
  • 2011 (September 9) – Developer Build of Windows Server 8
  • 2012 (March 1) – Beta of Windows Server 8
  • 2012 (August 1) – RTM of Windows Server 2012 including Hyper-V 3.0
  • 2012 (September 4) – General Availability of Windows Server 2012 including Hyper-V 3.0
  • 2013 (June ?) – On May 14 Microsoft’s Tami Reller, head of marketing and finance for Windows announced that Windows Blue would be officially called Windows 8.1. A public preview of the software would be available on June 26th. There was no mention of the official name for Windows Server Blue and whether a public preview would be available on the same day as Windows 8.1

When Windows Server 2012 became generally available, the System Center Suite was not able to support the new OS until its SP1 release (RTM – December 16, 2012, GA – January 2, 2013). The new OS was even so feature rich that System Center 2012 SP1 was unable to include all of the treasures in Windows Server 2012. For example features like Hyper-V Replica and Virtual Fibre Channel can still not be managed from within Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1.

Questions, Questions, Questions

If there is a new Server OS version just around the corner …. What will this mean for Hyper-V?  How will it impact Windows Azure Services for Windows Server (WASfWS)? And what will this mean for the successor of System Center 2012 SP1?  Will the management suite be able to manage all of features of the new operating system?  To what extent will Private, Hosted and Public Cloud be more aligned in the CloudOS? What’s with SMB3? What’s with Software Defined Networking (SDN) and how about the storage integration direction Microsoft is taking? Will Microsoft be able to set itself apart from the competition even more than it did with Windows Server 2012?

In other words, there are plenty of questions that remain to be answered. There’s a very good chance that some or maybe all of these questions will be answered during the live streamed TechEd North America 2013 keynote in New Orleans by Brad Anderson.


Keep an eye on this blog because we will soon announce a joint event by the System Center User Group ( and which will focus on the expected new exciting releases.


Validating Hyper-V 2012 and Failover Clustering Hotfixes and Cumulative Updates

Some time ago I blogged about a great TechNet Wiki listing available hotfixes and updates for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and Failover Clustering:

As many of you know, keeping your Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V clusters up-to-date has become a whole lot easier with Cluster Aware Updating, which assists not only in a managed installation of relevant Windows Updates such as the monthly cumulative updates, but also for any relevant hotfixes or even BIOS/device driver updates. Fellow Hyper-V MVP Didier van Hoye aka @WorkingHardInIT has published a number of interesting blogs on this topic.

It can still be a laborious task to verify which updates and hotfixes have already been installed on your servers and which are missing. Once again my Twitter feed proved very helpful. Someone had noticed a great blog by Cristian Edwards, dealing exactly with this problem.

Using two XML files with entries for each hotfix class (Hyper-V or Cluster), you can simply check your servers by issuing this PowerShell script:

.HyperV2012UpdatesCheck.ps1 server1, server2, serverX


Of course you are still responsible for selecting only those hotfixes that apply to your configuration. Windows Server 2012 cumulative updates should always be installed.

You can download the PowerShell script from Christian Edwards’ blog.


It was a great, great, great, great event

The 16th of April 2013 was a really great day for the crew. After a couple of months of preparation we were all looking forward to this next event. It was exciting also… Will all subscribers visit the event, will the visitors like the location, the lunch and the sessions, and so on.

Now some days after the event we can conclude that everything was great. Amply 100 visitors has visit the event, the visitors were really satisfied about the location, the reception, the lunch, the coffee, the presenters, the presentations actually about the whole event! ….and that’s great to see and hear!

A special word of thanks to VX Company, they facilitate a great location and were very hospitable. Also many thanks to the sponsors: Amsio, Comparex, Duvak, Imara ICT, Inovativ, Savision and Wortell.

Then our ‘Beast from Belgium’ Glimlach Didier van Hoye aka WorkingHardInIT. Still suffering from a jetlag he came over to the Netherlands and present a top session, with deep technical content and a good sense of humor! Thank you Didier!!

Last but not least we thank all visitors for this great event, you all made this a great success.

The presentations are online and you can find them on the following locations:

See you all on our next event!

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation and Configuration Book

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.image 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.

Last tickets for event up for grabs

imageAs you can see from the screenshot, only a few tickets are left for the 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!








Dell Compellent and Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX)

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:ClusterStoragevolume125GB.vhdx -size 25GB –fixed

new-vhd -path C:ClusterStoragevolume2250GB.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.



5Nine Security Manager for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V part-2

My first plan was to write a two part blog article about 5Nine Security Manager. But because of some bugs in the firewall part of this solution I decide to split it up in three parts. In the first part I described a global overview and a look at the installation of 5Nine Security Manager for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. Now it’s time to take a look at the antivirus solution.

Anti-virus/ Anti-mallware

We will first take a look at the anti-virus/ anti-mallware part of the solution. It sounds great that you didn’t have to install an agent inside a virtual machine and that the Hypervisor wil take care of this. Enabling the antivirus option is very simple:

image Open the menu ‘Settings’ and select ‘Antivirus’.
image You can select which VM’s you want to scan with 5Nine virusscanner.
image The extension tab allows you to configure which file type extension must be scanned or exclude from scanningUnfortunately it is not possible to exclude filepaths and this is a feature that is needed in an enterprise antivirus solution.

5Nine let me know that in one of the following versions this feature still will be added!

image And this is an interesting feature which I will explain a little bit more…


Hyper-V Virtual Switch Extension Cisco Nexus 1000V

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:




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