Powered by System Center
Posts tagged Windows 8
Carsten Rachfahl en Jan Kappen were two of the many visitors of the Hyper-V.nu event on the 19th of January. But these guys have done a very good job during the event and especially afterwards. They’ve recorded all sessions and have done some nice video editing. You can view the results over here:
These videos are uploaded to the youtube Hypervcommunity channel from our German friends:
Again thanks for the really nice job!
On the 19th of January we organised our first Hyper-V.nu event for the year 2012. After the registration opened we were over booked within two days and had to disappoint a lot of people, sorry for that!
But…. This meeting was really, really great! With a fully loaded room (people were even sitting on the stairs), great speakers with great sessions and a very satisfied crowd we must be very happy and satisfied, and we are!
Specials thanks to our sponsors: Altaro, VEEAM, Inovativ, PQR, Wortell and Microsoft! Without their support it was not possible to organise this event. Also a special thank to our German friends Carsten Rachfall en Jan Kappen who have recorded all sessions. These video’s will be published very soon, so keep an eye on www.hyper-v.nu for links to these recordings.
We will also thank our guest speakers Aidan Finn and Ronald Beekelaar. Both of them were from overseas! They both have given a great session with a lot of immersion into Windows 8!
Last but not least we will thank the visitors for attending this event. We hope that you all come again to our next event!
Here are the presentations of this great event:
This blog is part of a series that started with Windows 8 Storage and Hyper-V Part 1 – Introduction:
If you have been working with any of the Microsoft virtualization products, you are familiar with the Virtual Hard Disk format. VHD was introduced with Microsoft’s acquisition of Connectix and their Virtual PC product in 2003. Seven years ago Microsoft decided to make the VHD Image Format Specification available to third parties under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise.
In June 2005 Microsoft promised that the VHD file format would have a future well beyond the then prevalent virtualization products ….. and boy did they keep their promise!
The Microsoft VHD file format specifies a virtual machine hard disk that can reside on a native host file system encapsulated within a single file. The format is used by Virtual PC 2007, Virtual Server 2005 R2 and Hyper-V and the format will be used by future versions of Microsoft Windows Server that includes hypervisor-based virtualization technology. Beyond that, the VHD format is broadly applicable, because it is agnostic to the virtualization technology, host operating system, or guest operating system with which it is used.
Customers and partners who invest the VHD file format will have a clear path forward to future Windows virtualization technologies. In addition, Microsoft plans to design its systems management tools around the VHD file format for improved patching and manageability.
Since the release of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, the VHD format became even more versatile when Microsoft promised not only to standardize the variety of container files, but also introduced native VHD. This technology made it very easy to boot from VHD and have multiple operating systems on one machine. Since then VHD’s could not only be created via the Hyper-V manager but also via the inbox Disk Manager and Diskpart. Because the VHD format was opened up a multitude of VHD tools surfaced (vhdtool, disk2vhd, wim2vhd and many more). There was no easy way to just mount the VHD from the command line so 3rd parties jumped on this as well. I should not forget to mention James O’Neill’s awesome Hyper-V PowerShell Management Library which he created when he still worked for Microsoft.
The VHD related commands in that library are:
Get-VHDDefaultPath, Get-VHDInfo, New-VHD, Compact-VHD, Test-VHD, Convert-VHD, Merge-VHD, Mount-VHD, Unmount-VHD
During the \\build conference we learnt that Microsoft will introduce a new advanced version of the Virtual Hard Disk format called VHDX in Windows 8 (both client and server). What do we currently know about this VHDX?
If you are a server, storage or network vendor, please also read the last section.
Now that the Windows Server 8 beta can be expected any time now – but promised before the last week of February 2012 – it might be a good idea to start looking at several of the groundbreaking storage related technologies that could turn up in Windows 8. I stress the word could because we must always be careful since functionality shown in Pre-RTM builds is never guaranteed to be in the GA release.
I am planning to write a couple of blogs about Windows 8 Storage which in many cases is related to the new version of Hyper-V.
If you are running a SAN but also if your company simply can’t afford a SAN, chances are that you will see significant performance increases when reading, writing, copying, moving data with Windows Server 8. In-box storage manageability with PowerShell will strongly contribute to making Windows 8 Storage one of the major pillars of the Microsoft Private Cloud Fabric. As I have looked at it so far, storage is handled extremely well in Windows Server 8. Mind you this is only what I have determined based on what I have heard and seen on \\build and have personally tested since September 2011 with the Windows 8 Developer Preview.
This edition is not at all intended to be stable and testing with de Developer Preview is a true challenge. As a preparation for the Hyper-V.nu event with several sessions on Windows Server 8, I wanted to try out and show some unique new functionality for moving living Hyper-V guests between different types of storage. I had time for building up the pre-requisites and was able to successfully show a Live Storage Migration of a guest between two SMB2 shares on a ScaleOut File Cluster. But there were several other Live Storage moves that I tested but also want to explore further:
Live Storage Migrate a guest from USB disk to a local disk
Live Storage Migrate a guest from a local disk to a new Windows 8 Pool and Spaces virtual disk
Live Storage Migrate a guest from local disk to shared storage on a single host
Live Storage Migrate a guest from a shared disk on a single host to a shared disk on a Windows 8 Hyper-V cluster
Live Storage Migrate a guest from a shared disk on a cluster to a CSV version 2 volume on the same cluster
Live Storage Migrate a guest from any location to an SMB2 file share on a ScaleOut Fileserver with Continuously Available Shares
Live Storage Migrate a guest between two SMB2 file shares on the same Windows 8 Hyper-V cluster while the ScaleOut Fileserver cluster is moved between nodes.
Live Storage Migrate a guest between an SMB2 file share used by one Windows 8 Hyper-V cluster to another Hyper-V cluster or even to another SMB2 file share on another server.
Am I now running out of options? On the contrary, I have only just started!
Just before //build/ NGN invited the Hyper-V.nu crew over for a series of interviews. Jaap Wesselius who originally started the Hyper-V usergroup accepted the role of the interviewer. Peter Noorderijk, Maarten Wijsman and myself were asked to answer Jaap’s questions. Before you start clicking the links …. the interviews are in Dutch, so unless you want to pick up a few words of our beautiful language, head over to some of the other interviews that fellow MVP Carsten Rachfahl held with me this year:
In one of the previous blog you might already have seen the link to the interview with Peter Noorderijk’s on Hyper-V: http://www.ngn.nl/ngn/weblogs/hyper-v-blog/hyper-v-interview-met-peter-noorderijk/?waxtrapp=ybinfpBsHyoOtvOXEGAH
Today also my interview was published on the site of our NGN friends:
Topics: Windows 8, Hyper-V v3, storage, networking, live storage migration, VMM 2012
We expect the 3rd interview by Jaap with Maarten Wijsman to be published in the near future.
Camera work and editing by Ed Wens
A couple of weeks ago the Hyper-V.nu team visited the Netwerk Gebruikersgroep Nederland (NGN) to record some interviews about Hyper-V. The NGN record and edit the video’s. Jaap Wesselius interviewed Hans Vredevoort, Maarten Wijsman and me. The first of the three video’s is just published online at the site of NGN.
You can watch the video here
Carsten Rachfahl took another opportunity to interview me after my presentation Hyper-V Storage Deep Dive at The Experts Conference 2011 in Frankfurt.
The subject: Hyper-V V3 and Storage
Carsten’s blog can be found here: http://www.hyper-v-server.de/videos/videointerview-with-hans-vredevoort-about-hyper-v-v3-and-storage/
In the past week I attended TEC Europe 2011 in Frankfurt and presented a Hyper-V Storage Deep Dive session for a small but highly specialized audience. TEC2011 is certainly not known for its sheer size but because of its small size it is very easy to get into touch with both other speakers and visitors. My Hyper-V.nu and inovativ colleague Jaap Wesselius was also present and he presented for the third consecutive year. So that must mean something. Jaap presented a number of topics around Exchange, Hyper-V and instructed an Exchange 2010 Availability workshop.
My presentation was part of the Cloud and Virtualization track. This track was a mixture of private cloud management, server virtualization, application virtualization, desktop virtualization, identity, software as a service, infrastructure as a service, PowerShell, etc. I really enjoyed the depth of most presentations and talking to a good number of friends I normally only meet on the social media platforms.
My presentation dived into 10 storage topics related to Hyper-V which were analyzed on both their strengths and weaknesses and compared to what will be available in Hyper-V version 3 in Windows Server 8.
Hyper-V Virtual Disks
Hyper-V Shared Disks
Cluster Shared Volumes
Hyper-V Data Protection
Cluster Storage Validation
Storage Configuration with PowerShell
You can download the PowerPoint including some of the PowerShell 3 scripts I used for configuring in a Windows
Server 8 Hyper-V and File Server Cluster: http://bit.ly/qeO2Z3
Left to right: @hvredevoort @jaapwess @workinghardinit @hypervserver @rickslager
I received a tweet from Jeffery Hicks that many of you want to know how I did the boot from VHD with Windows (Server/Client 8. Here we go!
Too cool to ignore: reblog from WindowsITPro Michael Otey:
At the recent Windows Server Workshop at the Microsoft campus in Redmond Washington Jeff Woolsey, Principle Program Manager Lead for Windows Virtualization in the Windows Server and Cloud division presented the new features in the next version of their Hyper-V virtualization platform. In the introduction to the workshop Jeffery Snover, Distinguished Engineer and the Lead Architect for the Windows Server Division made the bold statement that with Microsoft it’s the third release is where Microsoft really gets it right and with regard to what Microsoft demonstrated in the next version of Hyper-V this is definitely true. The upcoming Hyper-V 3.0 release that’s included in the next version of Windows Server has closed the technology gap with VMware’s vSphere.
Hyper-V 3.0 Scalability
The days when Hyper-V lagged behind VMware in terms of scalability are a thing of the past. The new Hyper-V 3.0 meets or exceeds all of the scalability marks that were previously VMware-only territory. Hyper-V 3.0 hosts support up to 160 logical processors (where a logical processor is either a core or a hyperthread) and up to 2 TB RAM. On the VM guest side, Hyper-V 3.0 guests will support up to 32 virtual CPUs with up to 512 GB RAM per VM. More subtle changes include support for guest NUMA where the guest VM has processor and memory affinity with the Hyper-V host resources. NUMA support is important for ensuring scalability increases as the number of available host processors increase.
Multiple Concurrent Live Migration and Storage Live Migration
Perhaps more important than the sheer scalability enhancements are the changes in Live Migration and the introduction of Storage Live Migration. Live Migration was introduced in Hyper-V 2.0 which came out with Windows Server 2008 R2. While it filled an important hole in the Hyper-V feature set it wasn’t up to par with the VMotion capability provided in vSphere. Live Migration was limited to a single Live Migration at a time while ESX Server was capable of performing multiple simultaneous VMotions. In addition, vSphere supported a similar feature called Storage VMotion which allowed a VM’s storage to be moved to new locations without incurring any downtime. Hyper-V 3.0 erases both of these advantages. Hyper-V 3.0 supports multiple concurrent Live Migrations. There are no limits to the number of concurrent Live Migrations that can take place with Hyper-V 3.0. In addition, Hyper-V 3.0 also provides full support for Storage Live Migration where a virtual machine’s files ( the configuration, virtual disk and snapshot files) can be moved to different storage locations without any interruption of end user connectivity to the guest VM.
Microsoft also threw in one additional twist that vSphere has never had. Hyper-V 3.0 has the ability to perform Live Migration and Storage Live Migration without the requirement of a shared storage on the backend. The removal of this requirement really helps bring the availability advantages of Live Migration to small and medium sized businesses that came afford a SAN or don’t want to deal with the complexities of a SAN. The ability to perform Live Migration without requiring shared storage really sets Hyper-V apart from vSphere and will definitely be a big draw – especially for SMBs that haven’t implemented virtualization yet.
VHDX, ODX, Virtual Fiber Channel & Boot from SAN
Another important enhancement with Hyper-V 3.0 was the introduction of a new virtual disk format called VHDX. The new VHDX format breaks the 2TB limit that was present in the older VHD format and pushes the maximum size of the virtual disk up to 16 TB per VHDX. The new format also provides improved performance, support for larger block sizes and is more resilient to corruption.
Hyper-V 3.0 also supports a feature called Offloaded Date Transfer (ODX). ODX enables Hyper-V to take advantage of the storage features of a backend shared storage subsystem. When performing file copies on an ODX enabled SAN the OS hands off all of the data transfer tasks to the SAN providing much high file copy performance with zero to minimal CPU utilization. There is no special ODX button. Instead ODX works in the backend. ODX requires the storage subsystem to support ODX.
Companies that use fiber channel SANs will appreciate the addition of the virtual Fiber Channel support in the Hyper-V guests. Hyper-V 3.0 guests can have up to four virtual fiber channel host bus adapters. The virtual HBAs appear in the VMs as devices very like virtual NICs and other virtual devices. Hyper-V VMs will also be able to boot from both fiber channel and iSCSI SANs.
Extensible Virtual Switch & NIC Teaming
In keeping par with the sweeping changes in Hyper-V’s compute capabilities and storage Microsoft also made a some of significant enhancements to Hyper-V’s networking capabilities. First, they updated the virtual switch that’s built into the Hyper-V hypervisor. The new virtual switch has a number of new capabilities multi-tenant capability as well as the ability to provide minimum and maximum bandwidth guarantees. In addition to these features the new virtual switch is also extensible. Microsoft provides a API that allows capture, filter and forwarding extensions. To ensure the high quality of these virtual switch extensions Microsoft will be initiating a Hyper-V virtual switch logo program.
Another overdue feature that will be a part of Windows Server 8 is the built-in ability to provide NIC teaming natively in the operating system. VMware’s ESX Server has provided NIC teaming for some time. Prior to Windows Server 8 you could only get NIC teaming for Windows via specialized NICs from Broadcom and Intel. The new NIC teaming works across heterogonous vendor NICs and can provide support for load balancing as well as failover.
The Magic Number 3
As Jeffery Snover pointed out three does seem to be the magic number – at least for Hyper-V. Hyper-V 3.0 brings Microsoft’s virtualization on par with VMware’s vSphere. Businesses that are just getting into to virtualization or those businesses that may be bulking at VMware’s latest price increases will find Hyper-V to be a very cost effective and highly competitive alternative.