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Posts tagged 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.
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.
During launch of Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has doubled the number of VM’s per cluster: going up from 4000 to 8000 since the last announcement at RTM.
Source: keynote Transform the Datacenter – Bill Laing
In less than an hour Windows Server 2012 will be officially launched to the world! You can follow the event live here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/new.aspx starting 8:00 US Pacific Time and 17:00 Central European Time. If you live in the Asia/Australia region, you’ll have a very late night.
The launch of a brand new server operating system is not a small thing. For the first time we can say a properly designed, extremely complete and fully standards based cloud operating system will see the light. And it is Microsoft that can boast being its creator. Also for the first time, Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V will be able to go head-to-head with VMware. It was overly clear that VMware has had to change gear to keep up with the multitude of new and spectacular functionality in the operating system.
The result of competition is always better quality and better price. VMware would never have changed its vTax without Microsoft attempting to overtake the money machine from Palo Alto. If you look at a number of the new features in vSphere 5.1 you cannot but conclude that VMware has been trying hard to keep up with Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012. One such last minute addition to vSphere 5.1 is an equivalent of what Microsoft calls Shared Nothing Live Migration, allowing any running virtual machine to migrate between two machines with just an Ethernet connection. This can be between standalone Hyper-V hosts, from standalone to cluster, from cluster to standalone or even between clusters. A VM is no longer confined to a machine or cluster. Well, now VMware boasts it has a similar functionality.
Hyper-V Replica is still considered the killer feature that will attract many small, medium but also large companies to seriously begin with Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery projects. And man! Is Hyper-V Replica a super functionality to have in the basic operating system.
In the past I have also been critical of Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2. Back in January 2011, I wrote this blog:
The final paragraph read:
Where will we go with Microsoft Virtualization?
Last year during MVP Summit 2010, I met the people of the Hyper-V and Cluster product teams. I know they are working really hard to make Hyper-V a better product and tune clustering into that rock solid product we all need. Because they don’t make the hardware, they also strongly depend on the efforts of OEMs. During that time they could not say much about the future of Windows but they listened and had tons of questions about our experiences in the field as well as requests for the next version. In a few weeks I will meet them again and hope to hear and see what they have come up with. I am really looking forward to the progress I expect them to have made. After all, the 3rd generation of Hyper-V and its virtualization management software will have to live up to its expectations because Microsoft will not get a second chance
That was almost 17 months ago! As an MVP you have the opportunity to help shape the new products that mean so much to you. Back in 2010 I handed in a very long list with requested features, both for Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Data Protection Manager. I can now finally see what the product teams have done with all the feedback from their customers. Windows Server 2012 is a very high quality and well designed new operating system. I already enjoy its flexibility and ease every single day. I am looking forward to implementing it with the majority of our customers. Features that really make me smile: Hyper-V Replica, SMB 3.0, Scale-Out File Servers, Cluster Shared Volumes 2.0, PowerShell 3.0, Concurrent Live Migration, Concurrent Live Storage Migration, Offloaded Data Exchange (ODX), Extensible Switch, Network Virtualization, Converged Fabric, the new VDI capabilities, the new server virtualization capabilities with Hyper-V.
Windows Server 2012 with its suberb third generation hypervisor and the strength of a rock-solid and secure cloud operating system more than lives up to my expectations.
Thanks product teams, thanks developers, thanks fellow MVP’s for such a great result.
Windows Server 2012 is exploding out of the gates! (no pun intended)
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!
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
In the past I’ve seen a lot of problems around virtual domain controllers. This varies from time synchronization problems to orphaned domain controllers (which were restored/ reverted from a snapshot). In a lot of cases the administrators of the virtual infrastructure does not understand what happened when a domain controller is restored from a snapshot.
Beside the problems I’ve seen I’ve also seen a lot of succesfull implementations of virtual Domain Controllers. These Domain Controllers were configured according a set of best practices. In the past we need to be aware that we cann’t snapshot a virtual Domain Controller and that we cann’t clone a virtual Domain Controller. This means that we apply traditional backup’s of these virtual machines (with an agent inside the virtual machine) and the we always install Domain Controllers from scratch instead of cloning an existing one.
Well this all belongs to the past with the comming new version of Windows Server: Windows Server 2012! With Windows Server 2012 we can build, deploy and protect domain controllers like every other virtual machine. Guess what: The Active Directory role in Windows Server 2012 is virtualization aware.
Regarding Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V, we are very clearly in a discovery phase. When fellow Virtual Machine MVP Didier van Hoye aka @WorkingHardInIT asked me if I had already found out how to select the Live Migration networks in a Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Cluster, I simply didn’t have a clue. I saw Aidan Finn’s blog about the new location in the Failover Cluster Manager GUI to select these networks, but he was also asking the same question.
Fortunately my rewritten PowerShell scripts to quickly configure the converged fabric switch and the different management OS virtual networks was working wonders so a new 2-node cluster could be set up in no time.
Now how do we select Live Migration Networks with PowerShell?
As you can see in the GUI, the Live Migration setting is now in the Actions Pane instead of in the properties of a high available virtual machine as with Windows Server 2008 R2. I always needed to point out to customers that this was a global setting for all VMs in the cluster. So the new location seems like a logical one.
Without touching the Live Migration Settings, all networks were enabled for Live Migration in the fresh cluster that I set up. They are in this particular order because of the cluster network metric. You can verify this by this command:
Get-ClusterNetwork | Select name, Metric, AutoMetric, State | Sort Metric | ft –Autosize
To find out about the Live Migration networks, you need this command:
By default all known networks are Enabled and have equal Priority.
If you manually move one network to the top of the list, it gets a Priority 4000. So apparently like the network metric a lower number means higher priority.
VM Migration networks are removed by
VM Migration networks are set by
Set-VMMigrationNetwork [IP Address 1, IP Address 2, IP Address n]
Priority is set by
Set-VMMigrationNework [Subnet] [IP Address] –Priority n