• Windows Server 2012: Convert VHD to VHDX using Hyper-V Manager

    As you are all aware Hyper-V is Microsoft’s Virtualization platform and we use VHD as the file format for installing operating systems. VHD stands for Virtual Hard Disk. Windows Server 2012 features new file format known as VHDX.

    You can read more about it over here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831446.aspx 

    As enterprise workloads for virtual environments grow in size and in performance demands, virtual hard disk (VHD) formats need to accommodate them. Hyper-V in Windows Server “8” Beta introduces a new version of the VHD format called VHDX, which is designed to handle current and future workloads.

    VHDX has a much larger storage capacity than the older VHD format. It also provides data corruption protection during power failures and optimizes structural alignments of dynamic and differencing disks to prevent performance degradation on new, large-sector physical disks.


    The main new features of the VHDX format are:

    • Support for virtual hard disk storage capacity of up to 64 TB.
    • Protection against data corruption during power failures by logging updates to the VHDX metadata structures.
    • Improved alignment of the virtual hard disk format to work well on large sector disks.

    The VHDX format also provides the following features:

    • Larger block sizes for dynamic and differencing disks, which allows these disks to attune to the needs of the workload.
    • A 4-KB logical sector virtual disk that allows for increased performance when used by applications and workloads that are designed for 4-KB sectors.
    • The ability to store custom metadata about the file that the user might want to record, such as operating system version or patches applied.
    • Efficiency in representing data (also known as “trim”), which results in smaller file size and allows the underlying physical storage device to reclaim unused space. (Trim requires physical disks directly attached to a virtual machine or SCSI disks, and trim-compatible hardware.)

    Now you may say if we have so many benefits to VHDX then what about existing VHD files. Well, you can use exiting VHD files in Windows Server 2012 for Virtualization.


    Well, we use the Hyper-V Manager to Edit the Virtual Hard Disk. Here is how we do that.

    First open Hyper-V Manager & Click on Edit Disk


    Now, on the Wizard click on Next and then on the next screen locate the .VHD file.


    In the Choose Action box select the necessary action. In this case you can perform following actions Compact, Convert & Expand. Select Convert & click Next.

    Note: If you want to expand the VHD file select Expand & click Next, that will help you extend the VHD file up to 2 TB.


    Select VHDX file format & click Next


    In the next box Choose Disk Type, select Dynamically expanding & click Next.


    In the Configure Disk, specify the file name & click Next.


    After seeing the Summary, click on Finish.

    After that it will show you the following box stating Editing the virtual disk.


    After few minutes (or based upon the actual VHD file size) you will see the new VHDX file will be ready to use. Enjoy.

    Happy Virtualization

  • Microsoft Connect: Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Beta now available!

    We are very excited to welcome you to the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Beta Program and appreciate your interest and participation in the program. Click here to download the solution accelerator. If you have additional questions or feedback about the solution accelerator, please send an email to MVMCDISC@microsoft.com. You can also visit the MVMC TechNet forum for participating in discussions and getting additional support.

    About This Solution Accelerator

    The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) provides a Microsoft-supported, freely available, standalone solution for converting VMware virtual machines (VMs) and VMware virtual disks (VMDKs) to Hyper-V virtual machines and Hyper-V virtual hard disks (VHDs). MVMC supports converting virtual machines using the following guest operating systems:

    • Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2
    • Windows Server 2003 R2 with Service Pack 2
    • Windows Server 2008 R2
    • Windows 7

    System Requirements

    The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter converts VMware virtual machines created with:

    • VMware vSphere 4.1
    • VMware vSphere 5.0

    To virtual machines for:

    • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Hyper-V
    • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1


    The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter:

    • Provides a quick, low-risk option for VMware customers to evaluate Hyper-V
    • Converts the virtual disks and the VMware VMs configuration, such as memory, virtual processor, and other machine settings from the source
    • Uninstalls the VMware tools on the source VM and installs the Hyper-V Integration Services as appropriate
    • Includes an easy-to-use wizard-driven GUI simplifying VM conversion
    • Supports offline conversions of VMware virtual hard disks (VMDK) to a Hyper-V based virtual hard disk file format (VHD)
    • Includes a scriptable Command Line Interfaces (CLI) for performing machine conversion and offline disk conversion which integrates with datacenter automation workflows, such as those authored and executed within System Center Orchestrator. The command line can also be invoked through PowerShell.

    For program details visit Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Beta now available!

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    the community to increase your technical expertise through deep
    hands-on technical training, sharing of best practices and interaction with innovators and pioneers in Private Cloud technologies, desktop and device management, and datacenter technologies.



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  • Microsoft Connect: Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) 7.0 Beta Now Available.

    The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit team is pleased to announce that MAP 7.0 Beta is now available for download.


    Get ready for the private cloud with the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 7.0 Beta. This update adds several new private cloud planning scenarios that help you build for the future with agility and focus while lowering the cost of delivering IT. Download the MAP Toolkit 7.0 Beta and begin your cloud transformation today!


    New capabilities allow you to:

    ·         Understand your readiness to deploy Windows in your environment with hardware and device readiness assessment

    ·         Determine Windows Server 2012 Beta readiness

    ·         Investigate how Windows Server and System Center can manage your heterogeneous environment through VMware migration and Linux server virtualization assessments

    ·         Size your desktop virtualization needs for both Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and session-based virtualization using Remote Desktop Services

    ·         Ready your information platform for the cloud with the SQL Server 2012 discovery and migration assessment

    ·         Evaluate your licensing needs with usage tracking for Lync 2010, active users and devices, SQL Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012


    Determine Windows readiness

    MAP 7.0 Beta assesses the readiness of your IT environment for your Windows deployment. This feature evaluates your existing hardware against the recommended system requirements for Windows. It provides recommendations detailing which machines meet the requirements and which machines may require hardware upgrades. 

    Key benefits include:

    ·         Assessment report and summary proposal to help you to understand the scope and benefits of a Windows deployment.

    ·         Inventory of desktop computers, deployed operating systems, and applications.


    Assess Windows Server 2012 Beta readiness

    MAP 7.0 Beta assesses the readiness of your IT infrastructure for a Windows Server 2012 Beta deployment. This feature includes detailed and actionable recommendations indicating the machines that meet Windows Server 2012 Beta system requirements and which may require hardware updates. A comprehensive inventory of servers, operating systems, workloads, devices, and server roles is included to help in your planning efforts.


    Virtualize your Linux servers on Hyper-V

    MAP 7.0 Beta extends its server virtualization scenario to include Linux operating systems. Now, MAP enables you to gather performance data for Linux-based physical and virtual machines and use that information to perform virtualization and private cloud planning analysis for both Windows and Linux-based machines within the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track scenario.

    Key features allow you to:

    ·         Incorporate non-Windows machines into your virtualization planning.

    ·         View consolidation guidance and validated configurations with preconfigured Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track infrastructures, including computing power, network, and storage architectures.

    ·         Get a quick analysis of server consolidation on Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track infrastructures to help accelerate your planning of physical to virtual (P2V) migration to Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track.

    ·         Review recommended guidance and next steps using Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track.



    For a comprehensive list of features and benefits, click here.


    Next steps:

    ·         Join the beta.

    ·         Download the current version of the MAP Toolkit.

    ·         Send your comments to the MAP Team.

    ·         Learn moreabout MAP.