Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog
In this episode I welcome back Sr. Technical Product Manager Martin Booth for Part 2 of our System Center 2012 SP1 for Windows 8 series. We discuss device support improvements made in Configuration Manager as well as improvements to support user mobility.
Download the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation today and test your applications, hardware and deployment strategies with Windows 8.
If you’ve been following our blog series for any length of time, you already know that “the cloud”, in the form of Windows Azure, is becoming an option for IT organizations in which to extend their datacenters. And believe it or not, this includes the ability to create an Active Directory domain controller in the cloud and have it be in just another site in your directory services.
“I don’t believe it.”
On second thought: Believe it. Today in part 20 of our “31 Days of Servers in the Cloud” series, Keith Mayer (teammate and friend with an awesome blog) gives us the rundown on how to configure this very thing.
READ HIS BLOG POST HERE
Yes indeed! It’s short notice, but I’d love to see about 30+ IT Pros from the area on Thursday, August 30th. We’ll be holding an IT “Mini-Camp”, where we’ll discuss and give you some hands-on time with Windows Server 2012 and the new version of Hyper-V virtualization.
Here is the text from the registration page, describing what we’re doing:
Microsoft Edina Office 3601 W 76th St Suite 600 Minneapolis Minnesota 55435 United States
Product(s): Microsoft System Center 2012 and Windows Server 2012.
Audience(s): IT Decision Maker, IT Generalist, IT Implementer and IT Manager.
What’s New in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3.0 Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3.0 have been acclaimed by industry pundits as the most ambitious release of Windows Server since Windows 2000! Windows Server 2012 was released to manufacturing in early August, and will be generally available in September. Attend this event to learn what’s new in Windows Server 2012 in Scalability, Virtualization, Storage, Networking and Manageability and get a jump start in preparing for how best to leverage Windows Server 2012 in your environment.
As an optional, added bonus: If you’d like to install and work with Windows Server 2012 on your own PC (in a boot-to-VHD or virtualized installation), we’ll also be helping those who wish to get it installed and to work through some exercises along with the instructor. To do this, you will need to bring a minimum of one computer running Windows Vista or later with the following hardware configuration:
If you wish to download the release candidate evaluation of Windows Server 2012 prior to attending the event, feel free to download it from here: http://aka.ms/Server2012.
NOTE: The event is scheduled to go from 8:30am to 4:30pm, but the schedule for the afternoon is flexible and depends upon how many people want to do the installation and hands-on work.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
..and I’ll see you there!
As we’ve shown in previous articles of our series, Windows Azure is a very useful tool for setting up a testing and training environment.
Today in part 30 of “31 Days of Servers in the Cloud”, Dan Noonan (via Tommy Patterson’s blog) shows us how to set that up, and build “a classroom in the sky”, as an example of what you can do.
FIND HIS ARTICLE HERE
The first time you start up Windows Server 2012, and you login, it is the first thing you see.
“Even when I install it as a Server Core installation?”
Oh.. okay.. no. When you install “Server with GUI”, you see this: Server Manager. Server Manager is the one-stop, do-everything, manage-it-all application. No, this is not the same tool as was in Windows Server 2008/2008 R2, or the original in Windows NT. Remember that one? (And here’s a little tidbit for you. If you need to manage Windows NT 3.51 or NT 4.0 from Windows Server 2003, you can actually download SrvMgr.exe)
Today’s blog post in our 31 day series is by my buddy Brian Lewis: http://mythoughtsonit.com/2012/10/31-days-of-our-favorite-things-windows-server-manager-2012/. In it he lays out the “whats” and “whys”, and even some “how”.
CHECK IT OUT HERE!
Today’s installment of our “Build Your Private Cloud in a Month” series is the third of a 5-part mini-series we’re calling “Deploying Private Cloud Workloads”. This week we (Tommy Patterson, Blain Barton and I) are going to detail and demonstrate some of the key areas in System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager that support the foundational concepts and objects in your Private Cloud arsenal:
To follow along, make sure you have installed a test lab with Windows Server 2012 and the Virtual Machine Manager component of System Center 2012 SP1. (Click the links and download the evaluations, please.)
Today’s topic is Guest OS Profiles in System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager.
What is an Application Profile?
From the TechNet entry on the subject: “An application profile provides instructions for installing Microsoft Server Application Virtualization (Server App-V) applications, Microsoft Web Deploy applications, and Microsoft SQL Server data-tier applications (DACs), and for running scripts when deploying a virtual machine as part of a service.”
So, there are three Application Profile application types, and each will be used (and re-used) when we want to add a deployable Web Application, Server App-V application, and SQL Server DAC to virtual machine templates that are being deployed as a part of a service template.
And that last part – service template – is important. Like some of the properties of the Guest OS Profile we talked about yesterday, Application Profiles will only be deployed when used in a virtual machine is a part of a service deployment.
Why are Application Profiles Useful?
Just like any other template, if we have a way to define and implement something that will be used over-and-over again, there is a benefit of creating it once and then re-using as needed. It saves time, and reduces the opportunity for user-errors. (PEBKAC*, or ID-10-T** errors.)
How do I create an Application Profile?
We’ll find Application Profiles under the same section of the Library as we did the other two profiles we’ve discussed.
Right-Click it, and create a new one.
Give your Application Profile a name and a description…
Notice that under Compatibility you have some choices:
For this example, I’m going to choose General.
Now click on Application Configuration…
…and notice that I’ve already selected “64-bit edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise”. You of course will choose the operating system version onto which this application will be installed.
Now click Add…
…and you’ll see that I can add any of our three application types, plus add some scripting. And in fact, because I selected “General” Compatibility earlier, I can add more than one of these to the same application profile.
For the rest of this example, I’m going to open up a pre-built Application Profile to show you how one might be configured for a Web and then an App-V application. Here is one for the web tier of a sample “Stock Trader” application..
You can see that this Application Profile includes two web applications (Trade Web and Config Web), one each of pre-install and post-install scripts for the Trade Web application, and one pre-install script that will run before anything else runs.
NOTE: I have application packages that have been saved in the VMM Library, and clicking on Browse allows me to select the packages or custom resources required. The creation of the applications, packages, and custom resources are beyond the scope of this article.
Settings for an application are surfaced here and variable values can be edited. In some instances, you’ll use placeholders so that, when the service is finally being deployed, you can fill in values that will be used when the applications are finally installed or the scripts are finally run.
Notice what options you have for configuring this script…
I can specify the type of script command it is, from a number of options. I also enter what the executable program will be (in this case just the command engine cmd.exe), command parameters, and a script resource package. I also specify the Run As account – which is the security context that this command should be run in.
Let’s look at an example of an Application Profile that defines the installation of a Server App-V application:
This is an application that was packaged using Server App-V that I pulled from the library. (Click the link for details on Server App-V). Again, this is an application that contains variables that will contain values during the configuration of the application. And we’ve also defined some scripting to configure the server with the application; both pre and post-installation.
How do I USE an Application Profile?
For my example, I’m going to build the Middle Tier VM Template of a four-tier service. And I’m going to include the “ST Order Processing” Application Profile as I build the machine template. (I’ll also use a Hardware Profile and Guest OS Profile that I’ve already created.)
And then when I’m done building the VM Template, I’ll create a new Service Template that includes all four of my VM Templates.
VM Templates are found in Templates, at the very top of the Library section (above Profiles):
I’ll start by creating a brand new VM Template that uses the Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Evaluation as its source .vhd image.
Click Next. in the VM Template Identity form, I’ll name my VM Template “Stock Trader Mid OP Tier”, since it will be the template that builds the machines running the middle-tier Order Processing application in my Stock Trader service.
Click Next. Here’s where the work of the last couple of days pays off. For the description of the hardware, I can use a previously created Hardware Profile. Mine is called “Stock Trader Server HW Profile”. It has everything about the hardware for the VM pre-configured; including the networking configuration.
Click Next. Similarly, I can pull in a pre-created Guest OS Profile that I named “Stock Trader Guest OS Profile”.
You can see that it comes pre-configured with OS, Administrator account, product key and domain membership information already defined. Note that in my desire to keep the Guest OS Profile more generic, I didn’t enter anything unique about the Computer Name in the profile. But now that I’m using the profile for a specific machine type, I can edit it here. I’m going to use “ST5MidOp###”, so that the machines will all be named uniquely but similarly, and will have incrementing 3-digit numbers at the end of their names.
Notice also that I didn’t add any roles or features in its definition. This is fine for this VM Template, but there are others (the Web Tier machine, for example) that I have added things like Application Server and IIS components.
Click Next. Here’s where I can select and use my ST Order Processing Application Profile…
I’ll click Next, click Next again to skip over the addition of a SQL Server application to this template, and then on the Summary page I’ll click Create.
The Jobs window opens, and in short order the “Create Template” job completes successfully. And hen I look back at my list of VM Templates, I now see this:
Now I’m ready to use these in the creation of my Stock Trader Service Template, and then to deploy the Stock Trader Service based on that service template.
See “Creating Service Templates in VMM” for more information on how that’s done.
For More Information
For more details, I recommend the following articles and locations for expanding your knowledge of System Center 2012 SP1, Virtual Machine Manager, and VMM Guest OS Profiles:
Was this useful? I hope so! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions, concerns, clarifications, or cheap shots at me or Microsoft. (Hit me with your best shot! I can take it! )
* “Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair”
** Telling the user it’s an “ID 10 T” error is just another way to call them an ID10T.
“Storage vMotion? isn’t that a VMware thing?”
Yes, and although I’m sure that most of the readers of this blog are also familiar with the Microsoft terminology “live migration”, it’s still useful to help those who are more familiar with the vSphere world understand that, with Hyper-V v3.0 in Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012, we can do that, too. And for absolutely no additional cost.
In our “20+ Days of Server Virtualization” part 8, my cheeseheaded friend Brian Lewis writes up a very useful step-by-step on how you can live migrate the storage of a running virtual machine – Storage Live Migration.
READ HIS EXCELLENT ARTICLE HERE
PS – Did you know that Hyper-V on Windows 8 also supports Storage Live Migration?
In this episode I talk with Craig Blessing, Vice President at Datacastle. We discuss how his company uses Windows Azure to protect business data. Tune in as he outlines for us Datacastle’s innovative cloud solutions which help organizations have secure, anytime, anywhere access to their data.
After watching this video, follow these next steps:
Step #1 – Start Your Free 90 Day Trial of Windows Azure Step #2 – Download Windows Server 2012 Step #3 – Begin building your own Virtual Machines in Windows Azure!
If you're interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, click on any of the below links for free, in-depth information:
Websites & Blogs:
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Welcome to March 2013! Can you believe it? March is already here! And as you’re coming to learn, a new month means a new topic for our team’s series of blog articles.
This month the topic is Server Virtualiaztion. Specifically, we’ll be discussing and helping you learn more about Microsoft’s virtualization platform: Hyper-V. We’ll go in-depth into topics that provide and support this, such as virtual networking, storage, performance, vMotion…
“’vMotion’? That’s VMware, isn’t it?”
Yeah.. that was just to see if the VMware fans among you were paying attention. If I’d said “Live Migration” or “Live Storage Migration”, you might not have understood what I meant. But from now on, that’s what I’ll be calling these capabilities. Anyway, some other topics…
Tools! We’ll be talking about System Center 2012 and the Enterprise-class components that configure, support, manage, monitor, and drive virtualization. And as I’ve already hinted – we’ll be comparing and contrasting the capabilities of Hyper-V with its nearest competitors.
In part 0 (the introduction) of the series, Dan Stolts also gives us a good introduction to what we’ll be discussing. READ HIS ARTICLE HERE.
Also, here is my complete “20+ Days of Server Virtualization” blog post, which has a preliminary schedule and will be updated with links and any updates or changes as the month progresses.
And finally, as always, we sincerely hope that you find these resources useful!
Great day #1 of TechEd 2012!
Last night’s Krewe of TechEd party at Howl at the Moon was a lot of fun. Thanks to all of the sponsors that made it possible.
This morning I started the day very early. The “Twitter Army” held a 7:30am “briefing”, which I attended. Got to have a little breakfast, got a nice Twitter Army pin, and got my marching orders.
Today’s opening keynote by Satya Nadella, the president of the Server and Tools Division at Microsoft was very good, but as usual the crowd control left something to be desired. (Thousands of people just don’t move quickly through the channeled walkways.)
The “Foundational” session I chose to attend was entitled “Modernizing your Datacenter”, which turned out to be a very good introduction to Windows Server 2012.
After lunch with Brian Lewis, Harold Wong, Yung Chou, and Bob Hunt, I attended a VDI “lessons learned” session, and part 1 of Jeff Woolsey’s excellent Introductions to Hyper-V.
“What are you doing now, Kevin?”
Brian and I checked out the Allumni Lounge before heading back to the room. I wanted to dump off my bag and pick up my cameras and other things I’ll need for tonight’s Tech Expo opening night reception. I hope to hand out a bunch of my “Full of I.T.” buttons tonight.
“Aren’t you taking video of TechEd also, Kevin?”
Yes, I am.. but there just isn’t enough time to put together video diary entries and ALSO attend and get the most out of TechEd. It involves creating, editing, rendering, posting, and embedding. I’ll post some videos soon – along with some “Full of I.T.” testimonials, perhaps later this week.
There’s nothing remote about the chances that Microsoft would make big improvements in nearly all aspects of the platform that is Windows Server. And Windows Server 2012 is no exception. In this instance, we’re going to discuss Remote Desktop Services – otherwise lovingly referred to as RDS.
“Lovingly? That’s a bit much, isn’t it, Kevin?”
Okay.. perhaps to you. But there are more and more people every day who depend upon this platform for bringing the Windows experience to the devices they love. So any technology that lets my users and my business get their work done from wherever, on whatever device; that’s something I love. It’s a true BYOD love story.
In today’s next-to-last (wow!) installment of our “31 Days of our Favorite Things”, my Milwaukeen friend Brian Lewis writes about the “three main buckets” of changes and improvements in RDS for Windows Server 2012:
PS – I am personally looking forward to using RemoteApp from my new Microsoft Surface, for those few desktop applications that I want to use but can’t locally install.
“’Milwaukeen’? Is that a word?”
I don’t know… Milwauker? Milwaukite? Milwacko? Milli Vanilli?
If you know the answer, please let us know in the comments.
“Seriously, Kevin? Are you going to VMware User Groups now?”
Yes, I am. As an IT Professional, and as one who does his best to represent the IT Professional Community as a whole, I think it’s useful to keep in touch with as many technologies and as many other IT Pros as possible. And sure, it’s also useful for me personally and professionally to keep up with what Microsoft’s competitors are doing. So, yes, I attend VMUGs whenever I get a chance. (This afternoon you’ll find me at the VMUG in St. Cloud, MN)
“Are you going there to stir things up, or just spy on the competition?”
I don’t stir things up**. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to just sit on your hands when there is misleading (or sometimes blatantly false) information comparing ESX or vSphere or vCenter to Microsoft’s Hyper-V and System Center 2012. But I’m quiet, polite, and not a spy. It’s all public information, is it not? I’m really just there to learn.
In fact, if anyone wants a really solid introduction to Hyper-V and System Center 2012 and how they compare to VMware solutions, I have created two easy-to-remember links to Matt McSpirit’s awesome recordings from TechEd North America 2012, which was held just a couple of weeks ago:
http://aka.ms/vir311 - Compete to Win, Part 1: Comparing Private Cloud Capabilities
http://aka.ms/vir312 - Compete to Win, Part 2: Comparing Private Cloud Capabilities
These sessions do an excellent job of contrasting our solutions. After watching these, I think that even the most diehard VMware fan will have to admit that Microsoft is a solid virtualization and private cloud platform choice.
**At least I haven’t, yet. But if you ask me a direct question about Microsoft during one of these meetings or during the breaks, I’ll be happy to answer your questions.
Today in part 18 of our cloud series, John Weston bemoans the mistakes one might make while suffering the effects of datacenter hypothermia.
I guess Texans don’t work well under 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Read his post HERE.
And if you have missed any of the series posts, check out my summary post for links to all of the articles available so far at http://aka.ms/cloudseries.
Today in part 3 of our 30-day “Cloud on Your Terms” blog post series, John Weston discusses:
Enjoy it HERE!
Near you, that is, if you live in any of the most major cities in the United States.
Our team of 11 Technical Evangelists (IT Pro Evangelists) are once again on the road and delivering live, FREE IT Camps for you! We’re bringing you three very compelling topics:
The day starts with checkin and breakfast at 8:30am, with the presentations starting at 9:00am local time. We’ll provide lunch, a prize drawing, and then an afternoon of hands-on-labs that you can take at your own pace. The day wraps up whenever you want to leave, but we try to clear the room by 4:00 pm. (I have a plane to catch. )
“Are there any requirements for my hardware, or setup for doing the labs?”
Yes indeed. And this is important. To participate in the afternoon hands-on lab session, you will need to bring your own computer (laptop preferred) with the following minimum configuration:
Recommended:Although wireless internet access will be available, you may find that bringing your own mobile connectivity (MiFi™, phone data tethering, etc.) will be desirable.
“Where are you going to be?”
Here’s a list of the coming events (sorted by State, and then by City), their dates, and links to the registration pages. Register early! These tend to fill up quickly!
***Update: Unfortunately we had to cancel the Saint Louis event on March 26th due to low registration.
“But Kevin, where are YOU going to be? Which ones are you delivering? I’d travel a great distance just to see you!”
Aww.. you’re too kind. I’ve highlighted them for you. I’ll be in Omaha next week, and then Kansas City (Overland Park), Saint Louis (Creve Coeur), and Minneapolis (Edina).
See you there!
Windows 8 is ready for business - delivering the power and familiarity you want, along with new ways for people to interact with line of business apps, and support for more mobile devices.
In this episode I had the privilege of interviewing Sr. Marketing Manager for the Windows Commercial Team, Hye Jun. We discussed how Windows 8 benefits businesses by helping your workforce increase its productivity. Tune in as they talk about how Windows 8 delivers the perfect blend of devices and experiences people love and the Enterprise grade solutions businesses need.
Today in Part 17, It’s Brian Lewis’s turn to admit some “Doh!” moments and, more importantly, share what he learned from them during our build-out of our test datacenter in San Jose.
So if you don’t think sysprep is all that important, you should read his post HERE.
NTFS is getting a little long in the tooth. It has been, and continues to be, a rock-solid file system on which most of the world’s data on disk is stored. And it is still the default disk format for installations of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.
Enter ReFS – the new Resilient File System available with Windows Server 2012. In today’s “31 Days of our Favorite Things” article, Keith Mayer describes in detail the benefits of the new ReFS, how it compares to NTFS, and when you might want to choose it as the format for a new data volume.
READ HIS ARTICLE HERE
Today’s installment of our “Build Your Private Cloud in a Month” series is the first of a 5-part mini-series we’re calling “Deploying Private Cloud Workloads”. This week we (Tommy Patterson, Blain Barton and I) are going to detail and demonstrate some of the key areas in System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager that support the foundational concepts and objects in your Private Cloud arsenal:
Today’s topic is Hardware Profiles in System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager.
What is a Hardware Profile?
According to TechNet, “..a hardware profile is a library resource containing hardware specifications that can be applied to a new virtual machine or a virtual machine template. A hardware profile can contain specifications for CPU, memory, network adapters, a video adapter, a DVD drive, a floppy drive, COM ports, and the priority given the virtual machine when allocating resources on a virtual machine host.” So, like any template, it’s a starting point. It’s a named definition that represents some desired configuration that can be applied to a new virtual machine or virtual machine template.
Why are Hardware Profiles Useful?
As you’re creating many new virtual machines, you probably have a pretty good idea of what the hardware should look like. Particularly with items like the network adapter or video configuration, you’re likely going to be defining them in a consistent way among many different machines. Doing this once in a named configuration (a profile) and then using it over and over again is certainly much more efficient than having to re-specify those configurations each and every time you build a new virtual machine.
How do I create a Hardware Profile?
Hardware Profiles are found in the Virtual Machine Manager Library section under Profiles.
Create a new Hardware Profile by using the “Create” tool, or by right-clicking Hardware Profiles and selecting Create Hardware Profile.
When you first create it, you’re really only required to give your new Hardware Profile a name.
Other than that, you could just leave the default hardware configuration as it is.
“But what would that be good for?”
Exactly. You’ll want to click on Hardware Profile on the left, and then modify the definitions found there. (NOTE: I’ve collapsed the five sections in the list so that you can see all of them before we dive into each one.)
Notice that at any time we can create new hardware objects such as virtual SCSI adapters, DVD drives, or Network Adapters to include in our profile. And we can also click View Script to view the current contents of the actual PowerShell Script that will be launched to create the hardware profile when we click OK.
Click on and expand Compatibility, and click on Cloud Capability Profiles. I’m going to select HYper-V. (and you should, too)
Cloud Capability Profiles are used to help limit the options when rolling out a new virtual machine. For example, if I say that a machine based on this profile is only meant to run on vSphere, then those hosts are the only ones that have the capability to run this “hardware”. Note that you aren’t limited to just those three. Like Hardware Profiles, you can add your own custom Capability Profiles and use them to specifically allow or limit how or where machines can be deployed. (See Capability Profiles just two up the list from Hardware Profiles?)
Now let’s click on and expand General.
Under General we have options for pre-defining how many virtual processors and how much memory (with startup memory and the range of dynamic memory) this virtual machine requires, plus options for other virtualized hardware. It’s important to remember here that, not only are we defining what machines based on this profile will have, but we’re also helping to determine to which virtualization hosts the machine is able to be created on or later migrated to. For example, if this VM requires 8 virtual CPUs, then I’m not going to be able to run it on a host with only 4 logical processors; and that host won’t be a valid candidate when looking at the intelligent placement results.
In my example, I’m going to say that this machine needs 2 processors, will be able to migrate between different processor versions (my lab laptops are all Intel-based, but have different processors), and I’m going to enable and configure Dynamic Memory. I’m going to leave the other hardware as it is.
Now click on and expand Bus Configuration.
This is where you can add or remove hardware that supports storage devices. By default this profile says that I’ll have a virtual DVD drive in machines based on this profile, but there is no media associated with it. You can add as many as four IDE DVD Drives and four SCSI Adapters by clicking either option above next to “New”. And as this silly screenshot example shows, you can use this to be more specific about the the SCSI adapter type, also. (Remember, this isn’t actually only limiting you to 4 iSCSI disks. Each SCSI adapter can have as many as 64 disks, giving you a maximum of 256 drives!)
You can use this area to pre-define associations with physical DVD drives or mounted .ISO files, but you can’t use this for pre-creating or connecting to hard disks.
For my Hardware Profile I’m going to leave these settings as they are by default.
Now let’s click on and expand Network Adapters.
Here is where you can specify the number of NICs your VMs based on this profile will have. Notice in my example that I have one adapter, and that I’m specifying that these machines will connect to a previously defined “Contoso” network, getting their IP addresses from a static pool of addresses associated with that network.
“Hey Kevin.. What’s a ‘Port Profile’?”
That’s a good question, and is a bit beyond the scope of this article. “A native port profile for virtual network adapters specifies capabilities for those adapters, and makes it possible for you to control how bandwidth is used on the adapters. The capabilities include offload settings and security settings. ” I recommend you look at THIS ARTICLE under “Native port profile for virtual network adapters” for more details.
Now let’s click on and expand the Advanced area.
The settings under Advanced have to do with various performance and reliability requirements for machines based on this profile. In the screenshot above, you see that not only can I require that this machine only be deployed to clusters (because it must be “highly available”), but I can also give it a priority relative to other VMs on the same host as far as how quickly this machine should restart.
…we have the ability to choose the startup order of virtual bootable devices or methods, plus determine whether or not the all-important Num Lock is enabled.
I was being sarcastic.
Under CPU Priority…
…we can specify relative priority for CPU resources for these machines. So, if the host hardware is being heavily utilized, machines with a higher relative priority will get earlier access to resources than those of a lower priority. And using the choices under Resource Control will further specify a minimum and maximum percent of CPU cycles these machines should have.
Clicking on Virtual NUMA…
…reveals the choice to either allow Hyper-V to optimize (and allow the OS and applications to optimize) thread allocations based on NUMA topology on the hardware, or to be more specific about processors and virtual NUMA nodes for these machines.
Check out this TECHNET MAGAZINE ARTICLE – Virtualization: Optimizing Hyper-V Memory Usage for a good description of NUMA (Non-Uniform Memory Access) and how it is used to improve a virtual machine’s performance.
And finally, when we click on Memory Weight…
…we see that we can further prioritize the memory that these machines will need to run. When memory resources on a virtualization host are running low, this is a good way to help ensure that your most important machines are able to run; even at the potential exclusion of other less important machines.
So that’s it! I click OK, and now you can see my new hardware profile in the list.
Right-Click on the profile, and select Properties…
…you see that there are some additional options that you can configure now that weren’t a part of the original creation of the profile.
I can, for example, see if there are any detected dependencies. For example, if I had decided to attach a library-based .ISO file as disk in the virtual DVD drive, we would have seen it in this list of dependencies.
If we click on Access…
…we can add self-service users or roles here to grant use-rights for this profile.
(For more information about Self-Service Users and Roles, CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE on Configuring Self-Service in VMM)
And finally, we can click on Validation Errors…
…to see if there are any, um, validation errors. If something in the configuration is not quite right, or something that this profile depended upon has been removed or is otherwise unavailable, you might be able to troubleshoot it by looking here.
And that’s it!
To use my new profile, I’ll create a new virtual machine called Contoso-SQL-01.
Notice that when I get to the Configure Hardware portion of the wizard, I’ve selected my Contoso SQL Server Profile profile from the drop-down selection.
This is where I now have the ability to add and define virtual hard disks to my IDE and SCSI bus adapters, or add additional devices.
In any of these areas I can also change my choices. That’s important. The Hardware Profile is just a starting point, but it doesn’t mean I can’t make individual tweaks and changes for the sake of the virtual machine or the VM template that I’m creating with it.
I complete the wizard, watch the job complete, and presto!..
For more details, I recommend the following articles and locations for expanding your knowledge of System Center 2012 SP1, Virtual Machine Manager, and VMM Hardware Profiles:
Today in Part 21 of “31 Days of our Favorite Things”, Brian Lewis answers the musical question, “To NIC or not to NIC?”
There are so many new and exciting hardware options out there, and sometimes it makes sense to purchase one over another. One thing that may influence your decision is in how you might be able to best integrate the hardware features with features that the operating system (in this case Windows Server 2012) now provides. Brian does a great job of discussing those options.
Leave a comment if you’d like to discuss this further, or have any opinions you’d like to share.
There’s a theory that a Shark needs to keep moving, or else it will die.
“Is that really true?”
Do I look like Jacques Cousteau? I don’t know. You look it up. But I think the same can be said for virtual machines.
Stop interrupting me. In your datacenter, no machine in production should ever be unavailable. Period. It’s there for a reason, whether or not it is running on physical hardware or as a virtual machine. Just because it’s virtual doesn’t make it any less important. Downtime (death) is not an option.
But the realities of hardware and operating systems are still such that sometimes you need to update/upgrade/shift/repurpose/etc. A benefit of virtualization is that we can adjust and move virtualized servers and their storage to different hardware when these transitions (planned or not) are taking place. So.. VMs move. And they move. And they must never die.
Both Microsoft and VMware have capabilities that allow you to move running virtual machines and their storage from one place to another with no downtime. VMware calls it vMotion. In Hyper-V it’s called Live Migration.
“So, what makes them different, then?”
I’m glad you asked. Just as Microsoft doesn’t make you pay extra for virtualization, we also include the live migration of virtual machines and storage for no additional cost. In the new version of Hyper-V, we no longer limit you in how many simultaneous migrations you can perform at a time. And while clustering is still important for the sake of automating high-availability, we even allow you to perform something called a “Shared Nothing Live Migration”, where, with absolutely zero downtime, you can move a virtual machine between two otherwise unrelated physical hosts, and where the machine is just running on local storage. In my datacenter (aka spare bedroom that is my office) I demonstrate moving a running virtual machine from the C: drive of one old laptop to another’s C: drive, all while remote-desktop connected to the running virtual machine. It’s magical.
Here’s a chart** comparing the free vSphere Hypervisor, vSphere (the purchased product), and Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012.
And yes, the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server can do everything that Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 can do.
Want more details?
**I realize that things change. VMware will likely soon improve their capabilities to better compete with Microsoft’s Hyper-V. As they should. These numbers come from a good talk given by Matt McSpirit at TechEd North America 2012. I highly recommend viewing the recording of his session HERE.
Have you tried a “shared nothing” migration yet? Let me know if you have any questions on getting it configured. And if you have any opinions at all on the topic, we can discuss it in the comments.
Y’all heard that we released a new preview for consumers of Windows 8, right?
Windows 8 Consumer Preview
Today I took and passed the VMware VCP5 certification test.
“Wait.. huh?! You got certified on VMware?”
Yes, I did. I am now a VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5.0. The powers-that-be realize, as I and my teammates do, that it’s important to be well-versed in what’s happening in the real world datacenters; especially if we’re going to be comparing and contrasting (and competing) with other solutions. One of the biggest competitors we have is VMware in the datacenter and virtualization space. So we acquired some funds to get trained on VMware, and to get certified if we wanted to take it to that extreme.
So, last week I took the week-long “VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [5.0]” training course. And then this week, aside from preparing for and delivering a talk down in Winona, MN, I spent my days studying, installing, playing-with, and re-studying my class notes and labs. And this morning at 9:00am I took the test. Score: 422 (of 500, I think). Passing is 300. So, with the class and the test out of the way, I expect to hear from VMware soon that I’m “VCP5” certified.
Aw shucks. Thanks.
“I guess that explains why you’ve been very quiet on the blog here.”
Yeah, that’s right. July at Microsoft is all planning and budgeting and getting geared up for the coming (fiscal) year.. and it’s a good opportunity to get done with some goals for the year that might otherwise be hard to do when we get into full-blown prep/event/travel/launch/IT Camp/Presentation/etc.-mode. In fact, in preparation for the other big certification I want to acquire this year, I’m leaving for Redmond on Sunday for a week of intensive Private Cloud training.
What a nice surprise! Today Microsoft announces the availability of the next pre-release of the new client PC operating system: the Windows 8 Release Preview.
More details here:
What do you think? Let’s talk about your thoughts on this new milestone in the comments.
In today’s “31 Days of our Favorite Things” series, Matt Hester is giving away the store.
Unlike our main competition in the area of virtualization and all things private cloud, Microsoft believes that virtualization is just a ubiquitous part of the datacenter today. And as such, it should be available and optionally installable as a part of our server platform that is Windows Server 2012. So.. everything you can do, and no matter how big you want to scale or be flexible on our virtualization platform, you can do with what is simply included in Windows Server.
Can you say “64 virtual procs in a single VM”? I knew you could.
How about handling up to 8000 virtual machines in failover cluster of 64 nodes? Or a no-additional-cost platform that does live migration, live storage migration, and even shared-nothing live migration (which is the LIVE move of a virtual machine between to virtualization hosts with no shared storage… just a network path between them. Yeah.. you heard me right. I move a VM from the C:\ drive of one Hyper-V host to the C:\ drive of another host, and the VM never goes down or loses connectivity)? I could go on and on.
“Ah ha! There’s a catch!”
Hold on there, buckaroo. No catch. I was just going to say: But if you want all of that scale and all of those same capabilities supported by a FREE hypervisor without having to purchase Windows Server for the virtualization host OS, you can get it all in Hyper-V Server.
“But seriously.. your competition has a free hypervisor, too.”
Does their free hypervisor do everything that their top-of-line hypervisor does? Can you do every form of vMotion..er.. Live Migration imaginable with it? Or do they require you to buy their super-ultra-mega-enterpri$e-plu$ edition?
Exactly. Hyper-V Server is full-featured. Anything you can do with Hyper-V as a role on Windows Server 2012, you can do with Microsoft Hyper-V Server.
Make sure you CHECK OUT MATT’S ARTICLE on the subject. And then download the free Hyper-V Server and give it a try.
Are you interested in this? Have any concerns or questions? That’s what the comments are for.