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While cleaning up my mailbox, I found a note to myself dating June 2011 about a few feature requests for the next version of Hyper-V and VMM. While talking to customers throughout the year, I often hear about and collect suggestions and product improvements which I can then pass on to the Hyper-V and System Center Product team. In retrospect most items on my list have become a reality in Windows Server 2012 and much, much more!
Online VHD growth and shrink has not yet been realized (although a 64TB dynamic disk supporting unmap pretty much covers all you can desire).
Perhaps the last item on the list is only partly covered by Hyper-V Replica but needs some additional automation or services to make this a complete Recovery solution that could make it even better than RSM. As we know Microsoft is on the right path and a flood of companies are getting really interested in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 SP1.
Thanks Hyper-V and System Center product teams for listening.
I admit, you don’t have to remove a non-existent VMM Library Server everyday, but today happened to be such a day. Let me explain what happened. In addition to a SQL Server 2012 AllwaysOn cluster for the VMM database and a VMM 2012 SP1 Failover Cluster, I wanted to also make the VMM Library Server highly available because the management foundation for a production Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V hosted cloud would soon become too big too fail.
Let me concentrate on the VMM Library cluster. I created an ordinary guest based 2-node Windows Server 2012 cluster using the new synthetic virtual Fibre Channel adapters, connected to an EMC VNX5300 storage system. After documenting the WWN’s and WWPNs for both adapters and requesting the SAN admin to create a few disks and to correctly zone the FC devices, creating the failover cluster was really a very quick deal. For some reason after installing EMC PowerPath 5.5 SP1, only one node of the cluster detected the correct Multi-Path Disk Device while the other thought it was dealing with a VRAID SCSI Disk Device.
Because uninstalling the devices or removing and reinstalling EMC PowerPath didn’t do the trick, I just went on to create a standard clustered file server role and add a share to be used for the VMM Library.
Some time ago I did a series on Bare Metal Deployment of Hyper-V servers with Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Beta. Back in March I tested with HP BL460 G6 servers which have an Insight Lights-Out (iLO2) Baseboard Management Controller (BMC). This time I was able to test with the RC build and HP BL490 G6 blades as well as DL360 G7 rack servers (which have a newer iLO3 onboard).
For beta there was a possibility to generate a customized Out-of-Band (OOB) protocol for HP iLO. Unfortunately that is not supported anymore and Microsoft advised me to use the IPMI protocol. After some experiments I figured out that this required a recent firmware (v2.07 of iLO2 to be precise). So after updating the firmware I was able to discover my physical servers via their iLO IP address combined with the right account/password combination which I saved as a Run As Account.
As you can see – when using IPMI with iLO2 (in this case) — there is a limited set of information returned. It lacks Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number, etc. What is worse … it returns an SMBIOS ID that is different from the one VMM2012 expects when you perform a Bare Metal Deployment of one or more Hyper-V R2 servers.
When you continue the Add Resource Wizard, the bare metal server will boot from the PXE server. This is where things go wrong.
UPDATE October 20th 2011: Here is a link to the video: http://t.co/v1xAMV6x
On Tuesday, October 4th Technical Evangelists Symon Perriman and Rick Claus are hosting an online conference on Virtualization Career Training with Microsoft Learning. This half day virtual event (8am – 11am PST) will offer a Level 100 to 200 introduction for anyone who wants to learn more about Microsoft Virtualization and how it can help their career. It is free and public so sign up for this warm-up for the Jump Start event on October 6th.
Module 1 – Technology: Learn about Microsoft’s virtualization technologies, how they work, and the future roadmap to the Cloud!
Module 2 – Career: Understand the importance of virtualization and Private Cloud, and how it can make or break an IT Professional’s career!
Module 3 – Certification: Get prepared for your next steps towards a virtualization career by understanding and preparing for the Microsoft 70-659 Technical Specialist exam, Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization.
This article describes recommended updates to install to address issues when you are managing hosts or are performing a physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion by using Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.
Use the information in the “More information” section to help you determine whether a particular hotfix or update applies to your environment.
Recommended updates for the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) Server and Admin Console
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 Service Pack 1
For more information on how to obtain and upgrade to Service Pack 1, please reference the following site: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg318082.aspx (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg318082.aspx)
When upgrading from SCVMM2008R2 RC version to SP1 you need an additional tool that changes the database used by the RC version.
The tool is called UpgradeVMMR2SP1RC.exe and can be downloaded here.
Before you start make a backup of your SCVMM database! After this run the tool and than upgrade the Server component of SCVMM2008R2. The other components can be upgraded in the same way the RC version is installed.
Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1 RC Upgrade Tool
Use this tool to upgrade your VMM 2008 R2 SP1 RC database.
Usage: UpgradeVMMR2SP1RC.exe -server -database
Example (named SQL instance):
UpgradeVMMR2SP1RC.exe -server VMMDB01\MICROSOFT$VMM$ -database VirtualManagerDB
Example (default SQL instance):
UpgradeVMMR2SP1RC.exe -server VMMDB01 -database VirtualManagerDB
A full description in how to use this tool can be found here: Migrating to VMM 2008 R2 SP1 from VMM 2008 R2 SP1 RC.
Okay, more Virtual Machine Manager News! SP1 for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 is OUT!
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (VMM 2008) is a comprehensive management solution for managing virtualized infrastructure running on Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V, Virtual Server 2005 R2 and VMware ESX through Virtual Center. With the release of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, significant feature improvements were made to Hyper-V—the underlying hypervisor platform.
VMM 2008 R2 SP1 – the next version of VMM – has been released. VMM 2008 R2 SP1 leverages the new platform enhancements and extends the feature set of VMM 2008 R2. This overview highlights the most important new and significantly enhanced features in VMM 2008 R2 SP1:
Support for new features of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
- Dynamic Memory: Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Hyper-V supports Dynamic Memory enabling customers to better utilize the memory resources of a Hyper-V host. VMM 2008 R2 SP1 allows administrators to create and deploy Virtual Machines onto Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Hyper-V hosts and will report on the memory currently in use for these VMs where Dynamic Memory is enabled. Using Dynamic Memory for supported VMs allows for more efficient utilization of memory, with consistent performance, and higher consolidation ratios.
- Microsoft RemoteFX: Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 introduces a new set of end user experience enhancements with Microsoft RemoteFX. VMM 2008 R2 SP1 allows administrators to create and deploy Virtual Machines with RemoteFX enabled to qualified Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Hyper-V hosts. This enables a rich, local-like desktop environment over the network.
System Center 2012 cloud and datacenter management solutions empower you with a common management toolset for your private and public cloud applications and services. System Center helps you confidently deliver IT as a Service for your business. Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012 Beta is a key component of the forthcoming System Center 2012 releases.
With this release you will be able to do:
- Hyper-V and Cluster Lifecycle Management – Deploy Hyper-V to bare metal server, create Hyper-V clusters, orchestrate patching of a Hyper-V Cluster
- Third Party Virtualization Platforms – Add and Manage Citrix XenServer and VMware ESX Hosts and Clusters
- Network Management – Manage IP Address Pools, MAC Address Pools and Load Balancers
- Storage Management – Classify storage, Manage Storage Pools and LUNs
- Dynamic Optimization – proactively balance the load of VMs across a cluster
- Power Optimization – schedule power savings to use the right number of hosts to run your workloads – power the rest off until they are needed.
- PRO – integrate with System Center Operations Manager to respond to application-level performance monitors.
- Abstract server, network and storage resources into private clouds
- Delegate access to private clouds with control of capacity, capabilities and user quotas
- Enable self-service usage for application administrator to author, deploy, manage and decommission applications in the private cloud
Service Lifecycle Management
- Define service templates to create sets of connected virtual machines, OS images and application packages
- Compose operating system images and applications during service deployment
- Scale out the number of virtual machines in a service
- Service performance and health monitoring integrated with System Center Operations Manager
- Decouple OS image and application updates through image-based servicing.
- Leverage powerful application virtualization technologies such as Server App-V
Production Support: The SCVMM 2012 Beta is NOT Supported in production environments.
Today at MMS2011 I got confirmation of the Virtual Machine Manager product team that Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1 is RTM.
The System Center Virtual Machine Manager Team has released VMM 2008 R2 SP1 and blogged about it:
The software can be downloaded from various locations. If you are just looking for an evaluation version go to:
Microsoft seems to make the beta of System Center VMM 2012 available on Technet very soon. I just checked this page and saw a (still broken) link to the download of what we formerly referred to as Virtual Machine Manager vNext: