Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • IE8 – What Do IT Pros Need To Know?

    IE8 for IT Pros Are you an IT Pro?

    “Of course.. I’m reading your blog, aren’t I?”

    Oh yeah.  Well.. do you browse the Internet?


    Stupid question.. I know.  And you’re likely using Internet Explorer.  And even if you’re not, you may be supporting it as a critical app for your companies or your workgroups; or maybe just curious about what’s new and useful that IT Pros will care about and take advantage of. 

    If that sounds like you, then here’s a very good article on the IE Team Blog all about what IT Pros need to know around and about the soon-to-be-released next version of Internet Explorer - Internet Explorer 8.

    Check it out here.

    Also, my buddy and team mate Matt “Mongo” Hester sent me this link to additional resources.

  • Facebook Is for Old Fogies?

    Facebook is for old fogies!

    This article had me chuckling, thinking of what my boys (age 17 and 16), who are big Facebook fans, will say when they read this.


  • Breaking User Group News: UGSS is LIVE!

    User Group Support Services

    This is cool.  What was formerly known as “Codezone”, a site for Developer user groups, resources, and events, has now become “User Group Support Services”, supporting both the developer and IT Pro Communities.

    “Do you really care about user groups, Microsoft?”

    Absolutely.  In fact, Shawn Travers answers that question in his blog, too, along with a good summary of the benefits of using the UGSS.

    Basically, Microsoft will provide some cash, advertising, and freebies for your user group events.  You can post your event or meeting details on the calendar (which is then synchronized with multiple community calendars, including the Community Megaphone calendar), and then anyone in the world can search the calendar for events that might be of interest to them.

    I’ve already made all the user groups I know of aware of this great resource.  You should, too!  Or at least go there, register, and get connected to the groups in your area.

  • Do these e-learning courses interest you? You may be able to take them for FREE…

    Course 6537: Implementing High Availability in Windows Server 2008
    This 2-hour online course provides IT Professionals with the knowledge and skills to implement high availability in Windows Server 2008.
    Topics covered in the course include:
    -Network load balancing configuration
    -Failover clustering implementation and configuration

    Course 6320: Introducing the Hyper-V Technology
    This two-hour online course provides IT professionals with an overview of the Hyper-V technology and its features. This course also teaches you how to implement Hyper-V on a Windows Server 2008 server. This knowledge helps IT Pro’s plan and implement a Hyper-V virtualization server to enhance your IT infrastructure.
    Topics covered in the course include:
    - Benefits of Hyper-V
    - Features of the Hyper-V technology
    - Planning for Implementing Hyper-V virtualization

    Course 4327: Querying and Filtering Data in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (Published on: 12/15/2008)
    In this 2 hour course the IT Pro’s are introduced to the basic Transact-SQL statements that are used for writing queries, filtering data, and formatting result sets.
    Topics covered in this course include:
    - Introduction to the SELECT statement.
    - How to filter data.
    - How to retrieve unknown values.
    - Format result sets.
    - Describe the performance considerations of Transact-SQL.

    “What?  Kevin – you said I might be able to take these for free?”

    I copied/pasted these right out of a TechNet Plus Subscription e-mail I received today.  These are available for a price; usually as a package of a dozen or so courses for $288, which you have access to for 18 months.  OR if you’re TechNet Plus Subscriber, you can take them for free.

    I figured that someone following this blog just might be on the fence about whether or not to subscribe… and this might help them make their decision.

    And you can still get a discount on the subscription.  For details, check out this blog post.

  • Best of Questions and Answers for TechNet Webcast: If I Virtualize It, How Do I Manage It? (Level 300)

    Webcast link As promised (and long overdue), here are the “Best of Q&A” from the webcast I delivered on January 28, 2009, entitled "TechNet Webcast: If I Virtualize It, How Do I Manage It? (Level 300)

    A BIG THANK YOU to John Baker and Yung Chou for assisting in answering questions during the webcast.  This blog post is primarily a result of their efforts.

    Thanks for attending!  ...and if you haven't seen the webcast yet, you can click on the link above (or the picture to the left) to get to the registration page.

    PS - Hare the RESOURCES I pulled together for this webcast


    Questions and Answers

    "What is the link to sign up for the other webcasts in this series?"

    "Can VMM be installed on a virtual machine on a host it will be managing?"

    Yes. That's how I was doing this demo, actually.

    “Why has MS required a 64 bit OS for the VMM?”

    I think you'll find all of our products witl have 64 bit requirement going forward, taking advantage of the benefits 64 bit brings for things like scale. Also, it means only having to compile and support one set of executables that run natively on a 64-bit platform.

    “VMM can only be installed on a server in a domain correct it can't be a stand alone server?”

    Check this whitepaper for different topologies:

    “Will you cover how to virtualize an existing physical machine?”

    Not in this webcast. But he does talk about it in part 7 of the series.

    “If I perform a p2v conversion and data is being written to the physical, does it automatically load the virtual machine up and shutdown the physical so there is no service interruption?”

    VMM will transfer the disk contents from source to the Hyper-V host with no interruption to the source. HOWEVER… the resultant VM is an EXACT copy of the source (including MAC, SID etc). You have the choice of starting the destination VM (for example if you are converting to a host with an isolated vSwitch.)

    You also have the option of shutting down the source after P2V. However, none of this is orchestrated and is not meant to attain “no service interruption.” The user should perform a check on the resultant VM to make sure everything is working as expected before putting it on the production network (this involves the user shutting down the source to avoid potential conflicts on network)

    “Is it best practice to host SCVMM within a Virtual machine, or to host it on a physical server?”

    I would have to say a “better” practice would be to run it on a physical server, or at least on a virtual machine that is not managing itself. It’s a little contorted to run a virtual machine that runs a product that is managing the very same virtual machine.

    “What are the steps for P-to-V conversion?”

    We cover conversions in part 7 of the webcast series.

    “I have 1 HOST server (2 - quad core) running 4 VM’s (each VM has 1 - quad core). With a CPU stress test tool I maximize the CPU on each VM. Task manager within each VM shows 100% CPU, however VMM2008 console shows each CPU average at 49%/ Lastly the CPU utilization on the HOST Server at the time is less then 2%. Any idea on this or how to test how many VM a HOST can handle?”

    It's all on RAM, my friend. It also depends on what is loaded and running.

    “Regarding this answer...." It's all on RAM, my friend. It also depends on what are loaded and running... so "
    What would you suggest to see just how many VM a HOST can handle, CPU wise?”

    Certainly there are published OS requirements, however and this is my experience, you want to give the parent partition (or host partition if we incorrectly call it) really 2 and not 1 GB. For heavy workload like SharePoint and Exchange, you should plan just as if it is running on a physical box. It really depends on what you are running upon. Sorry I can’t be more specific

    “Are there many exams I could take for virtualization? I have taken the one for configuring server virtualization and will take one for VMM, are there many more? I couldn’t see any more on the microsoft learning site.”

    Well, if you’re watching the MS Learning site, then you’re looking in the right place. I don’t really have a better resource for you.

    “With SCOM 2007 integration, is it a good idea to have SCOM virtualized and have SCOM monitoring a hyper V server?”

    It’s your choice whether to virtualize it. Monitoring the Hyper-V server is a great idea.

    “When I deploy an image via SCVMM, it is copied within 2-3 minutes. but then it takes about 10-15 minutes to start and be ready for use? Why?”

    File copy and booting a machine is not the same. Also for SCVMM there are more handshakes and communications it needs to establish with its agents. And you’ll see different performance if you’re, say, just deploying a configured machine from the library versus deploying a template from the library, because the template has to go through the initial machine mini-setup before it is ready to use.

    “If i remember correctly, if you do a p2v the phical server is left in a syspreped state or non useable form. It at some point during the transfer a job fails and p2v is stoppet in the middel, what happens to the physical machine? Is there a way to recover it? Will Kevin be demonstrating intelligent placement?”

    Check this link, it has info on what to do in case of a failure.

    “Is there any eBooks that go into really good detail on how to use VMM2008 or Hyper-V?”

    “Does vmm control licenses... like with 2008 enterprise and the limit of 4 vm's with it. or datacenter with unlimited or are there defaults we will need to adjust with our datacenter servers?”

    Short answer: SCVMM doesn’t do anything to monitor, control, or enforce licensing.
    Here’s the licensing info:

    “Why does the sysprep take so long? It doesn't if i deploy to a physical machine. Handshake or not, 10-15 minutes is just too long.”

    I don’t specifically know the reason why. I am only speculating that perhaps there are some steps that have no programmatic way to tell whether a certain task is completed or not, so there may be timeouts that have to be waited for, etc. Beyond that I really don’t know the answer.

    “Are you aware of any Best Practice and or Performance Docs”

    Here is a good “Performance and Capacity Requirements for Hyper-V” article:

    “Can you use library server as a DFS share?”

    If we`re talking about placing VMM library on a DFS share, it is not supported. Each library server has its own agent each resource in the library is given an unique GUID.
    Good post here:
    If you want to use VMM library server AS member of DFS (without adding VMM library share to the DFS), I think it`s fine. DFS and library shares are separated in this case.

    “In a physical server the boot disk can be SCSI or IDE, I understand that a virtual server boot disk needs to use the IDE adapter - does anyone know why the boot disk can’t use SCSI?”

    For Hyper-V… because Hyper-V only exposes the SCSI controller as a synthetic device. Synthetic devices are new to Hyper-V. These types of devices load on the ‘VM Bus’ (new to Hyper-V as well). Emulated devices (like a NIC) load on the PCI Bus. To enable boot from SCSI… Hyper-V would need to expose an emulated SCSI device. Also… there is no benefit in supporting boot from scsi. In Hyper-V performance is the same. Of course this was not the case with VS2005.

    “Once you have a 2 node Hyper V cluster with some Hyper-V servers made highly available, is it possible to create a Virtual Machine to use local storage on one of the Hyper V hosts? Of course this Virtual machine would not be high available.”

    Yes. Check
    If you don’t use shared storage you will not be able to make the machine highly available as you describe.

    “Regarding clustering, which Exchange Server clustering options are supported for virtualization/virtual management? (SCC, CCR, DAG?)”

    Microsoft does not support combining Exchange clustering solutions (namely, cluster continuous replication (CCR) and single copy clusters (SCC)) with hypervisor-based availability or migration solutions (for example, Hyper-V's quick migration). Both CCR and SCC are supported in hardware virtualization environments provided that the virtualization environment does not employ clustered virtualization servers.

    “Are there going to be any future presentations that actually shows administration of VMWare machines via VMM?”

    Yes. I discuss and demonstrate that in part 7.

    “Is there a reason why the integration tools would not install on a Windows 2003 x86 VM when it installs on a Windows 2003 x64 VM?”

    Sometimes the moved machine, even though you’ve installed the Integration Components, doesn’t know enough to check the HAL for the change. You can resolve within that virtual machine by running “MSCONFIG”, going to the “Boot” tab, clicking on “Advanced Options”, and checking the “Detect HAL” checkbox.

    Screen Snip

  • Early Announcement: The “Career Assist”

    Microsoft Learning Well.. Ken Rosen announced it early.. so it’s fair game.  And it’s just cool enough to warrant a blog post.

    On Friday of this week the folks at Microsoft Learning will officially announce a new benefit to the “Second Shot” program that they’re calling “Career Assist”.   Basically, when you sign up for the free do-over before you take any Microsoft certification exam, you can also “get ANY Microsoft Official E-Learning Collection for only $35 USD!

    Watch the “Born to Learn” blog, and the Microsoft Learning web site for details.

    “But what if I’m already signed up for the Second Shot?”

    No problem.  You can (and should) just register again, so that you can get the discounted e-learning.

    Remember.. this doesn’t go live until sometime on Friday, February 6.  So don’t tell anyone you heard it from me.

  • Resources for TechNet Webcast: Building on Your Existing Virtual Environment (Level 300)

     Register to attend the live or view the recorded webcast. Here are some resources relating to webcast I delivered on January 28, 2009, entitled "TechNet Webcast: Building on Your Existing Virtual Environment (Level 300)

    This is part 7 of a 20 part series on the many aspects of virtualization.  (Yung Chou blogged the entire schedule HERE).

    I hope you find these links useful.  And watch for me also delivering part 1, 5, and 19.  See you there!


    Microsoft Virtualization Website

    Virtualization for Windows – A Technology Overview


    Hyper-V Overview Whitepaper

    P2V: Converting Physical Computers to Virtual Machines in VMM

    V2V: Converting Virtual Machines in VMM

    Virtualization Management

    Microsoft System Center

    Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008

    System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 – Evaluation Download

    How Customers Are Cutting Costs and Building Value with Microsoft Virtualization

    White Paper: How Customers Are Cutting Costs and Building Value with Microsoft Virtualization

    White Paper: Flexible Desktop Computing

    Windows Server 2008 – web, virtualization, security, and a solid foundation for your business workloads (training resources)

    Microsoft TechNet

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