Posts tagged Hyper-V

Update List for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V

Taylor Browne has very recently created a new Wiki for the latest Hyper-V service packs, updates, and hotfixes for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/20885.hyper-v-update-list-for-windows-server-2012-r2.aspx

Currently only one KB article KB2883200 is on the list but it will not take long before this list will grow. KB2773200 was the General Availability Rollup which was delivered at Windows Server 2012 R2 GA release in October 2013.  This KB article also recommends to install KB2884846 which is the Windows Server 2012 R2 update rollup for October 2013 and includes “performance and reliability improvements”.

Many of the monthly update rollups for Windows Server 2012 R2 which come via Windows Update hide the exact details of what exactly has been changed or solved. It is very difficult to determine if it is specific to Hyper-V, clustering, networking, storage or all of them.

The November 2013 update rollup KB2887595 contains a fix for Hyper-V guest OS does not shut down when you restart the host computer that is running Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1 which I encountered quite a lot in our environment. What seriously worries me however is that this same November 2013 update rollup also fixes things that are not mentioned in the list.  For instance during a support case with Microsoft which dealt with VMs losing network connections on Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V hosts, we learnt that a particular update part of the November rollup was also supposed to fix a problem with LBFO teaming. It turned out that it didn’t fix the problem for everyone as we still have to disable VMQ to keep our VM networking operational.

The December 2013 update rollup KB2903939 is more explicit on what updates have been made but I have a hard time figuring out what critical updates are made for enterprise servers. I have to filter through things like issues with client computers, Lumia 2520 camera app crashes, errors in Windows Live Messenger, mouse pointer stutters, input devices that fail and something that never enters a DRIPS, whatever that may be!

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Here is another update that is not yet on the list and applies to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V: Known issues after you enable data deduplication on CSV.

My advice to Microsoft:

  • be much more specific about what has been fixed
  • avoid stealth fixes (as we call them among Hyper-V MVP’s) which solve problems but are not described at all
  • separate the server updates from client and mobile.
  • be open and honest if updates turn out to be bad or broken (as we have seen several times in the past)
  • formalize the wiki by offering a hotfix/update list authorized by the product teams like the cluster team does with: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?id=2784261: Recommended hotfixes and updates for Windows Server 2012-based Failover clusters.

This last support page is a very good initiative but it can take a while before updates are posted. A vital hotfix KB2908415 was announced only yesterday: Clustered shared volumes go offline or the Cluster service stops during VM backup on a Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V host server but is not yet on either the Cluster Update Wiki or the Official list for Windows Server 2012.

In other words: work to be done!

Windows Azure Pack Is Clearly The Place To Be

You may or may not have noticed it, but the daily stream of updates around Windows Azure Pack is becoming more and more amazing. The WAP Wiki initiative I took with Marc van Eijk several weeks ago, makes us very aware of all the blogs and articles that are published around Windows Azure Pack, Service Provider Framework, VM Role, Service Management Automation, Usage and Billing and to a lesser extent Database as a Service, Service Bus and Web Sites.

It is more than obvious that a huge amount of Microsoft resources have been dedicated to making the Windows Azure Pack a success. The Building Clouds section on the Microsoft Server & Tools blog which was kicked off by Brad Anderson himself is very active indeed.

Sometimes I see several posts a day coming from the different team members. Guys like Anders Ravnholt, Tiander Turpijn, Jim Britt, Charles Joy, Mark Stanfill, Shiram Natarajan, Thomas Roettinger, Michael Greene, Eamon O Reilly, Justin Incarnato and many more write really interesting blogs that light up the for many still undiscovered possibilities with the Windows Azure Pack. In the community we see good blogs from Marc van Eijk, Walter Eikenboom, Daniel Neumann, Nathan Lasnoski, Michael Rueefli, Joe Thompson, Damian Flynn, Stanislav Zhelyazkov, Lai Yoong Seng and others.

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Of course this is only the beginning and we have tons of feature requests for additional functionality. But then, there is so much to learn in this corner of the cloud that many of us can hardly keep up. As one of the initiators of the Hyper-V.nu blog, I’m fully aware that we can build on a superb platform using Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V, System Center 2012 and now with the Windows Azure Pack, Microsoft has just begun to realize its full potential.

If you are looking for an organized index to Windows Azure Pack related subjects, just navigate to the WAP Wiki! There is also @WAzureP tweeting on Windows Azure Pack and related stuff. You can follow @hvredevoort and @_marcvaneijk for regular updates on these topics.

Please help us promote this with a tweet, blog or face… (no nothing on FB please)
We use the #WAPack hashtag and suggest you do too!

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Hotfix: VM Virtual Fibre Channel Loses Access to LUN after Live Migration

A hotfix has been released today for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V servers which are unable to access LUNs over a Synthetic Fibre Channel after a VM is live migrated to another host in the cluster.

This problem can occur if the following conditions are met:

  • You have two Windows Server 2012-based computers that have the Hyper-V role installed
  • You install a virtual machine on one of the Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V hosts
  • You set up a guest failover cluster, and then you make the virtual machine a cluster node
  • The virtual machine is configured to access LUNs over a Synthetic Fibre Channel
  • You try to perform live migration to move the virtual machine to another host.

This issue is caused by the inability of the Hyper-V host to restore the Synthetic Fibre Channel LUN on behalf of the virtual machine during live migration.

The problem applies to Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter.

For further details look up the Microsoft Support Article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2894032

 

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Windows Azure Pack Wiki

If you are a regular reader of this blog you have noticed that a lot of content that is written is related to Windows Azure Pack (WAP for short), formerly known as Windows Azure Services for Windows Server. There are also numerous good other blogs as well as videos about WAP written by fellow MVPs and the different Microsoft Product Teams.

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I was already collecting my own list of WAP content but decided to put it in a Wiki on Microsoft TechNet. The WAP Wiki contains the following headings:

  • Windows Azure Services for Windows Server (older content but still useful)
  • Windows Azure Pack
  • Service Provider Foundation
  • Usage and Billing
  • VM Role
  • Service Management Automation
  • Hyper-V Network Virtualization Gateway
  • Hyper-V Network Virtualization
  • Disaster Recovery

Of course if you login to the Wiki with your Microsoft Account, you can add content to it. Please mark the new content with (New!) so it is easy to see what has been added.

You can find the WAP Wiki here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/20689.wap-wiki-a-collection-of-windows-azure-pack-and-related-blogs-videos-and-technet-articles.aspx

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Some More Background on Windows Update KB2855336

Not very often do I remember a Windows Update KB article off the top of my head, but this time I have talked and written about KB2855336 so often that it was probably written into my short term read-cache..

If you have been careful and missed the first version of this update because you rather wait and see what others run into after Patch Tuesday, I must compliment your smartness!

This time I have an update on the update for you. First of all the rewritten version of the KB article and secondly a link to a blog of Microsoft’s Escalation Engineer, Rob Scheepens

The part of the July update rollup KB2855536 that corrects the AD corruption risk was KB2853952. The updated KB article, which is now titled “Loss of consistency with IDE-attached virtual hard disks when a Windows Server 2012-based Hyper-V host  server  experiences an unplanned restart”, can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2853952 

The blog by Rob Scheepens details a debug for the 0xD1 bug check after installing the first release of KB2855336:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/dip/archive/2013/07/23/resolved-win2012-stop-0xd1-in-mslbfoprovider-lbfosetmacaddrvmsportmapping-b4.aspx. This blog refers to the source of the bug check while live migrating virtual machines: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2866029/EN-US

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In the past week we have not seen any problems after updating all clusters with the latest Windows Updates and hotfixes. So make sure you reserve some extra testing time when next Patch Tuesday arrives. Tell your boss you definitely need a test cluster to try these updates on first. I know of several customers who found about the 0xD1 STOP by first deploying the updates to their test clusters.

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Keeping your Virtual Active Directory Domain Controllers Safe

In my last blog I sent out a red alert on a killer Windows Update that had not been sufficiently tested. The net result was a full crash of a two-node System Center fabric management cluster. The fabric was still in the making and backups were only provisionally taken in the form of Virtual Machine exports of the most important virtual machines.  As fellow Hyper-V MVP Aidan Finn wrote unambiguously: “Something Has Gone Very Wrong With Microsoft Patch Testing

Where did it go wrong?

I was actually demonstrating the fantastic Cluster Aware Updating functionality in Windows Server 2012 clusters, which would automatically move all VMs off a host, update it, reboot it, live migrate the VMs back to the updated cluster node and move on to the next.

The problematic July Update Rollup KB2855336 – which was one of the updates to be processed – is actually a collection of originally 20 issues that solves problems in several areas. A still unidentified part of that rollup caused a 0x000000D1 Stop error while live migrating a VM on a Windows Server 2012-based server. So Cluster Aware Updating using the Live Migration mechanism to place a host in maintenance mode, combined with the mentioned update, sent shockwaves through the cluster. In this case both cluster nodes crashed within minutes.

Catch 22

Ironically enough this same July Update Rollup also contained an important fix for a problem that has been around for some time: Active Directory database becomes corrupted when a Windows Server 2012-based Hyper-V host server crashes (KB2853952).

Symptoms

Assume that you have a Windows Server 2012-based virtualized domain controller on a Windows Server 2012-based Hyper-V host server. When the Hyper-V host server crashes or encounters a power outage, the Active Directory database may become corrupted.

Cause

This issue occurs because the guest system requests the Hyper-V server to turn off disk caching on a disk. However, the Hyper-V server misinterprets the request and keeps disk caching enabled.

If you try to disable the write caching manually you will see this error: “Windows could not change the write-caching setting for the device. Your device might not support this feature or changing the setting.”  On a physical domain controller this has never been a problem.

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CORRUPTED DOMAIN CONTROLLER

It takes very little imagination to guess what happened to Active Directory if you combine the full STOP of the fabric management cluster and the AD domain controllers that were virtualized on that same Hyper-V cluster without the required updates and hotfixes.

READ MORE »

[RESOLVED] Avoid KB2855336 Rollup with NIC Teaming and VLANs

[Update July 13, 2013 – I was able to deploy the newly issued KB2855336 to all of my physical and guest cluster nodes. There have been no issues so far. The same KB will also show up in most of your VMs as it is a collection of 21 updates touching all kinds of bugs including four stop errors]

[Update July 13, 2012 – For a thank you to Microsoft testers, may I kindly refer to Aidan Finn’s very direct blog called “Something Has Gone Very Wrong With Microsoft Patch Testing”]

[Update July 12, 2013 – Meanwhile Microsoft has expired KB2855336. In WSUS you can no longer approve installation of this update and you are recommended to decline this update

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Problem has been acknowledged and KB2855336 has been reissued ]

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Unfortunately we again see a problem with Hyper-V clusters just after installing the Windows Updates. The previous one only broke Cluster Failover Manager which could be solved by uninstalling the responsible update or install the fix which came out very quickly afterwards.

This time we face a much more serious problem and should be a strong warning for those responsible for testing updates at Microsoft.

After updating the cluster nodes with the Windows Server 2012 update rollup (July 2013) and when Windows Server 2012 NIC teaming is used with VLANs (not entirely uncommon), you may get a 0x000000d1 bug check on one or more of your cluster nodes. If you analyze the debug, it points to MsLbfoProvider.sys which is for NIC teaming. The upgraded version of MsLbfoProvider.sys is 6.2.9200.16628.

Uninstalling KB2855336 will return you to 6.2.9200.16451 of MsLbfoProvider.sys

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Please avoid the July rollup until we find out which part of the rollup is responsible for this problem.

[See updated info top of blog!]

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:

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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.

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Hyper-V: Update List for Windows Server 2012
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/15576.hyper-v-update-list-for-windows-server-2012.aspx

Recommended hotfixes and updates for Windows Server 2012-based Failover Clusters
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2784261

See Cristian’s blog for the updated script:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/cedward/archive/2013/05/31/validating-hyper-v-2012-and-failover-clustering-hotfixes-with-powershell-part-2.aspx

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.

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