Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog
Just last week, Corey Hynes and Rick Claus delivered a 2-day deep-dive into the details of the next version of Windows Server coming out later this year: Windows Server 2012. I was privileged to be able to help with Q&A during the first day, also.
“Yeah, I missed that. I sure would have liked to have attended.”
Well, you’re in luck! The high-quality recordings of their two-day drill-down are now available! Here is the list of topics, with links:
Also, Rick and Corey promised to get you an extra link to the videos which weren’t working correctly during the live demo session. Here you go: http://regularitguy.com/2012/06/22/windows-server-2012-hyper-v-guest-iops-and-network-portability-demos/
“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.
Monday at TechEd North America 2012, pretty much as I described it in my previous diary entry; but now in video form!
PS – You’ll see me in this video, near the end. You have been warned.
I’m finally getting a chance to compile some of my video footage from TechEd North America 2012 in Orlando, Florida. This one here was taken using my still camera (not too bad, actually), and just shows a quick glimpse of my day on Sunday, June 10.
Have you ever attended the TechEd Jam Session? If not – you’re really missing out. Last night we were at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Pointe Orlando. Thanks to CommVault for sponsoring it this year!
Rather than try to describe it, here’s a quick video diary for you…
“Did you get to sing, Kevin?”
Nope. Line of performers waiting to go on stage was long, and supposedly there was a signup sheet that I never got close to. But I won an XBOX 360.
“Huh?! You did?! You can’t do that. Isn’t that a conflict if you work for Microsoft and win a prize at TechEd?”
Don’t worry – I didn’t keep it. But the lucky guy I was chatting with (sorry, friend, I’ve forgotten your name) standing next to me in line for the stage at the time sure seemed pleased when I quickly handed him the winning ticket and said “You won! Get up there!”
Okay.. this is purely for fun, but I thought it was time to share my collection of some of my Microsoft TechEd doo-dads with all of you. (We are celebrating 20 years of TechEd, this year, are we not?) TechEd is and has always been one of my favorite weeks of the year. I have been attending nearly every year since 1994; only missing 1996 and 1997 when my boss wouldn’t let me go. In addition to some of the TechEd Bags, and the cheap plastic wristwatch from 1994, I have collected and saved little tidbits of TechEd history.
So here are my bottles. Click on each for a better look.
1999 – Dallas, Texas
I thought it was geeky enough for Microsoft to create more than one design for the water bottles they gave us, that I took two of them home with me. That’s what got me hooked.
2000 – Orlando, Florida
Because I was attending my 5th TechEd, I was admitted into their exclusive “Star Club” area. And they had their own exclusive water bottles. The theme for the year was “It’s time to build the business Internet.” I think we’ve succeeded.
2001 - Atlanta, Georgia
The theme was “Feeding time for your brain.” I went to this one with a coworker named Greg. I remember the Jam Sessions (sponsored by NetIQ, several nights of them) being particularly good. This was also one of the few years that we had a keynote delivered by Bill Gates himself. And at the party we celebrated 10 years of Visual Basic with Tower of Power and Paul Rogers as the main entertainment.
2002 - New Orleans, Louisiana
This was my fourth TechEd in New Orleans, which is really my favorite TechEd location. The water bottles that year were sponsored by Intel.
2003 - Dallas, Texas
KVS sponsored the water this year. The MCP party was at some raceway park. Lots of rain. At the all-attendee party we were entertained by Smashmouth and The Wallflowers. This would be my last TechEd as simply an attendee, and not a Microsoft employee.
2004 - San Diego, California
Water sponsored by Quest Software. This was my first TechEd as an employee, representing and working at the Microsoft TechNet booth. The MCP/MCT party we handed out these really sweet flowered “IT Hero” Hawaiian shirts. I try to wear it again at least once a year at TechEd.
2005 - Orlando, Florida
AMD were the sponsors of our water. The theme of the year was “Learn. Solve. Grow.”
2006 - Boston, Massachusetts
This was the one and only TechEd North America held in Boston. I remember that it was good, but we all spent way too much time in shuttle busses. I did happen upon and get to share a beer with the one-and-only Mary Jo Foley. The all-attendee party was at Fenway Park, where we were entertained by Train and Jet.
2007 - Orlando, Florida
The bottle says “VoIP AS YOU ARE”, so I’m guessing the OCS product team were the water providers that year.
2008 - Orlando, Florida
Second year in a row in Orlando. I prefer when they mix it up a bit more. This year TechEd made the move to a more earth-friendly approach by giving us each one refillable bottle; sponsored by NetApp in this case. The party was at Universal Studios. I remember spending much of that show in a little Plexiglas-enclosed room doing TechEd video interviews.
2009 - Los Angeles, California
EMC were the providers of the bottle this year. Los Angeles’ TechEd was earlier in the year (Mid May) than most others (early-to-mid June).
2010 - New Orleans, Louisiana
Ahh! Back to my favorite TechEd location! EMC provided the bottles. Hmm.. did Microsoft steal the metro-esque icon idea from this design?
2011 - Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is really a pretty great place to hold TechEd. EMC once again provided the bottles. The party was on the grounds and in the facilities of the Georgia Aquarium and the World Of Pepsi Coke museum.
2012 - Orlando, Florida (*the new one!*)
My memories of TechEd 2012 here in Orlando are still being written. Stay tuned!
Is this the most geeky thing you’ve ever seen? Let me know in the comments!
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.
The early morning flight went great, and I got lucky with my ride to the hotel. Not long before I landed, my friend Dan Stolts had e-mailed the team and asked if anyone needed a ride in his car. My text to him reached him as he was just 10 minutes away from the hotel, but he turned around and picked me up anyway. What a hero!
My room wasn’t ready (it was just a little after noon), so I had the hotel hold my bags, and we went over to register.
I had time to see the cool Custom Channel 9 Mustang,
And then killed a little time by doing a Windows Azure Hands-on Lab.
“Where are you now, Kevin?”
I’m glad you asked. I decided to head back to the hotel, just in case the room was ready.
No. So I’m sitting in the lobby. Official “check-in” time is soon, so I’m just hanging out. Hopefully I’ll have time to take a nap by the pool before the Krewe of TechEd meet-n-greet later tonight.
Sunday is the day! My flight leaves MSP in the morning, and by mid-afternoon I hope to be lounging by my hotel pool. That evening I’ll be attending the Krewe of TechEd opening part / Meet-n-Greet.
It’s been fun watching Twitter (#msteched) and the traffic of people who are also excited. In fact, this year I plan on joining “the Twitter Army at TechEd 2012”. You should, too.
I’ve also been seeing many posts and pointers to posts containing tips for first-time TechEd attendees. Here are a few of them I’ve found:
And don’t forget the myTechEd Windows Phone App.
“Do you have any tips, Kevin?”
Actually.. I got this tip from my friend Harold Wong (who is also attending TechEd). Whenever he goes to a conference like this, he packs old conference and vendor t-shirts that he is going to get rid of. He assumes that his supply will be replenished at the show, so he wears old shirts and then throws them away to make room in his bag for the new ones. I might do that with a few old shirts of my own.
“What else are you going to be doing at TechEd?”
I’m glad you asked. I’ll be helping man a table at the Community Party. I’ll also be hanging out in and might do some staff duty at the “Geek Lounge” (though they didn’t put me on the schedule, which I suppose means that my travel expenses are coming out of my own budget once again. Oh well.. I get to attend more breakouts! ). I’ll be sharing some more of these TechEd Diaries and TechEd Video Diaries.
And I’m also going to be looking for people who are full of I.T. like me.
I’ve created 100 buttons that I’m going to hand out to people who are willing to talk to me on camera and share any and all reasons why they are “full of I.T.”
I’ll post those videos here as well. So.. find me at TechEd. Tell me why you’re full of I.T. Wear your button proudly. Be FULL OF I.T.
“Will you be wearing that red ‘the Blog!’ t-shirt?”
Jeff asked me for this at a recent TechNet Event…
That’s a fair question, Jeff. For several years, I have been promoting TechNet Subscriptions in pretty much every way available to me. It is a great resource that, even if I weren’t a Microsoft Employee, I would yearly purchase for myself.
The answer to your question, unfortunately, is: I don’t know. I can speculate that perhaps this year** they wanted to take a break from always providing a discount. (I mean, if it’s always on sale, then why not just make that the ordinary sale price?) And I do think that so many people have already subscribed that there aren’t that many left who aren’t already taking advantage of the yearly renewal price; which is and has always been cheaper than our new-subscription promotion price.
Plus, really.. for what you get, it’s definitely worth the price. (My opinion again, I know. But it’s my blog. I am allowed.)
**Microsoft’s Fiscal Year runs from July 1st to June 30th.
Are you a TechNet Subscriber? Are you not one yet? DO YOU KNOW OF A DISCOUNT CODE THAT I AM NOT AWARE OF THAT EXPIRES JUNE 30TH AND SHOULD BE SHARED HERE? Give us your reasons/complaints/loves/hates/fears/hopes/dreams in the comments.
The following question was asked by Joobly-Goop (not his real name) at a recent TechNet Event, in the context of our doing a Boot-From-VHD configuration and then dual-booting into the Operating System that was in the Virtual Hard Disk (.VHD) file…
I certainly understand your confusion, J.G. (May I call you J.G.?) If I’m running an operating system from within a VHD file, which is the file representing hard disks used in Hyper-V based virtual machines, then it might make sense to assume that Hyper-V is involved in some way. But actually, it’s not.
VHD files are really just a standard file format that represent a container of sorts. It represents a disk. And if that “disk” is formatted and populated, it contains a file system.
“You mean.. like a hard disk can contain a file system?”
Bingo. So if I can boot and run an operating system from my mounted (and that’s the important part) hard disk, which is a container for files of an operating system, then maybe I could also mount (see?) a VHD file in such a way that the computer sees it as a hard disk containing a file system and a bootable, runnable operating system. That’s why we talked about the requirement of having the proper “boot loader” available to you. Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and newer operating systems boot and run from a boot loader that supports treating a VHD file as a mountable disk with a runnable operating system, so that you can run that operating system right on the physical hardware.
“Why would you want to do that, Kevin?”
Think about the flexibility this provides. I can modify the boot loader (or let the operating system installation do that modification for me) to add another boot option that is really just a file (.VHD) on my hard disk. I can use it on my physical machine. And when I’m done, I just remove that entry from the boot-loader; all without disturbing any other operating system install (physical or .VHD based).
And what about using this capability to support quick deployments? If I can deploy an operating system to a bare-metal machine that doesn’t yet have an operating system simply by scripting the configuring a boot loader and copying a .VHD file to it.. that’s a pretty quick deployment. And that is exactly what Virtual Machine Manager in System Center 2012 is doing when it supports deploying .VHD files containing Microsoft Hyper-V Server for you when you take advantage of bare-metal deployment for new virtualization hosts.
Fun Fact: This capability was originally created to support the quick deployment of operating systems and virtualization onto the millions of physical servers that support Windows Azure.
So to summarize my answer to your question J.G…
Required: A Boot-loader that supports it
Required: VHD file that has a bootable operating system inside of it
NOT Required: Hyper-V.
For those of you interested in learning more about Boot-From-VHD, how it works and how to configure it, check out these further resources:
Understanding Virtual Hard Disks with Native Boot
“How to Boot from a VHD” TechNet Wiki Article
“Windows 7 Boot From VHD”
Mike W asks:
“When backing up a virtual machine, what files need to be backed up?” ”Do the virtual servers need to be down for the backup?” ”What considerations need to be made when doing a ‘Disaster Recovery’ of a host server?”
Well Mike, you sure do ask a lot of questions. And I don’t think I can do this very big topic justice with just this one blog response. So let me give you my thoughts, and hopefully weave in some links to good resources that you can use to learn more about virtual machine backup best practices. (And I’m sure I’ll leave some awesome method or idea out of this.. so if you readers have other best-practices or helpful hints, please be sure to share them in the comments!)
Good and Cheap – Just copy the virtual machine’s files to another location. NOTE – in this case the virtual machines DO have to be stopped. The .VHDs, snapshots, and the machine’s configuration all will need to be copied; and they might not all reside in the same place. (Check your machine’s settings to find out where they are.)
The pros are that this doesn’t cost anything extra. But the cons are that you have to do this manually (or scripted), and it’s usually ruled out anyway due to the necessity for the machine to be turned off at the time.
An even better method here, as long as your machines are already turned off, is to script and launch an export of the virtual machines. This will put all of the required files for each virtual machine into one easily restorable (importable) folder. Ben “Virtual PC Guy” Armstrong describes this process on his blog in two parts: Part 1, and Part 2.
Better (and still Cheap) – Use Windows Server Backup. This is good because in some cases you can take advantage of Volume Shadow Services and actually back-up a running virtual machine. (NOTE: You have to register the Microsoft Hyper-V VSS writer with Windows Server Backup. See this KB article for a description on how to do it.) Pro: It’s available for no additional cost. Con: It still may require your machines to be turned off if they’re older non-VSS-aware operating systems. Note that there are additional requirements, such as the Integration Services being installed and with the backup integration service not disabled, the virtual hard disks be NTFS-formatted basic (not dynamic) disks, and more.
Here’s a good blog post on the Microsoft Virtualization Team Blog that discusses the backing up of hyper-v virtual machines.
Best (and it will cost you something) – Use System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager, or some other product that specializes in virtualization backup (such as Veeam’s excellent products).
What are the rest of you using to back up your Hyper-V based virtual machines?
At a TechNet Event a couple of months ago, Ken W. asked :
“If I'm running many guest VMs, do you recommend NIC teaming additional NICs for guest traffic? Or just adding them and keeping them separate and control per guest settings?”
For those of you not familiar with the idea, NIC Teaming is a capability of making many physical Network Interface Cards (NICs – not always a card these days, but still representing physical plugs or paths for network traffic) as if they are one. Prior to Windows Server 2012, NIC teaming in Windows was the job of the NIC vendors to provide. However, in the next version of the server, NIC teaming is also a capability that Windows Server provides.
NIC Teaming provides two main benefits:
So, you have the opportunity to get better throughput, and also maintain connectivity in the event that one of the network paths fail.
You can team NICs on the physical AND the virtual machines; provided you’re running Windows Server 2012, of course. In a virtual machine you could define virtual NICs that connect to different physical NICs (or even teams that are presented as physical NICs) in order to create a team. (You could also connect a virtual machines virtual NICs all to the same virtual switch and then create a team, but you wouldn’t gain anything by doing that. It makes for a good demonstration, but nothing more.)
On your physical server running Windows Server 2012, it’s really up to you how you want to divide the workload and traffic among your guests, plus other important network traffic types as needed:
“But what do you recommend?”
I have to say it really all depends on how you want to manage it. If you want to do all of your teaming on the physical host, and present teams as individual NICs to your VMs, then that’s great. And even your guest operating systems that don’t otherwise support NIC teaming can use a single NIC that in reality is a high-performing, reliable team. But if you have some reason to do the teaming of NICs within your Server 2012 VM, then you can do that, too. Consider the role your physical server plays (cluster node?), the roles your machines play, and the kind of performance and/or reliability you need them to have. Also consider carefully your network definitions and assigned NICs when configuring nodes in a cluster. The machines need to see the same-named virtual switches when they move between cluster nodes.
NOTE: There may be other considerations having to do with the new Network Virtualization capabilities with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012. I haven’t looked into it enough yet to know what impact that will have (if any) in making these choices.
Here are some more useful resources about NIC Teaming:
and I really enjoyed David Ziembicki’s blog post about it:
Are you excited about native, build-in, easy-to-use NIC teaming in Windows Server 2012? Give us your feedback in the comments.
Adam asked this question at a recent TechNet Event…
Well, Adam, you’re asking me to share my opinion. At this stage of the release cycle, I’m not sure that I’m allowed to share my own opinion. And of course I want to point you to the blogs that hold the official company stance on these kinds of topics:
“Okay.. So what’s YOUR opinion?”
Honestly, I believe it simply has to do with sharing a common experience. Just like an older laptop or desktop that doesn’t have a touchscreen, you’ll still find the start screen useful as if it were just a big colorful start menu. You’ll have the same capability to run “Metro Apps” on Windows 8, Windows 8 RT / ARM-based tablets, and Windows Server 2012. But ultimately the way you’re going to be using Windows Server 2012 is through remote management. We’ve made it so much easier to use Server Manager to connect to many servers and fully manage them remotely, that most of your work will be done from your Windows 8 Desktop and using the RSAT tools.
BTW – You can get the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 8 HERE.
Wow.. the “big four – O” in this series. Recently I’ve had some very nice feedback from some of you – appreciating this series. And you folks sure do ask a lot of great questions.
“How many more of these do you have waiting for an answer, Kevin?”
I haven’t counted.. but probably enough to at least hit the “big one – O – O” eventually.
What do you think? Is it really that big of a deal that the Metro Start Screen is in full installations of Windows Server? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
I feel bad that I didn’t include this yesterday – because it’s hugely important: Alongside of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 release candidates, Microsoft’s Hyper-V Server 2012 release candidate was also made publically available for download.
“What’s so cool about that, Kevin?”
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Hyper-V Server is the free
Yes, free operating system that.. well, I hesitate to call an operating system. It is Hyper-V in its purest form.. just the “micro-kernalized hypervisor” that you can run for virtualization hosts.
“Ah.. so it’s free, which means it’s a slim subset of capabilities of the Hyper-V that’s in Windows Server, right?”
Wrong. It's every top-notch feature that exists even in Hyper-V in Windows Server Datacenter edition. Full failover cluster support. Full support of Live Migrations. And now in Hyper-V 2012 there are even more amazing features for high availability, disaster recovery (Replication, anyone?), network virtualization, and scale scale scale.
“What kind of scale? And how does it compare to VMware?”
Read this excellent blog post by Thomas Maurer, where he compares the Release Candidate version of Hyper-V to previous releases, as well as to current releases of VMware products.
Can you say “64 virtual procs in a VM”? I knew you could.
Microsoft has just made available the new pre-release of Windows Server 2012!
GET IT NOW!
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.
Thanks to our friends at Oakwood Systems, I have a series of free, hands-on “kick start” events to tell you about. Here’s the text from an e-mail I just received:
What is the best way to determine if Windows Azure might be a fit for your organization? Microsoft is offering your organization the opportunity to learn more about Windows Azure in a hands-on lab environment through our upcoming Kick Start Training Events. Developed with Microsoft, and delivered by one of Oakwood's certified Azure architects, this training will help you put Azure in context for your own organization. Those who attend will learn how to build a web application that runs in Windows Azure, how to sign up for free time in the cloud, and how to build a typical web application using the same ASP.NET tools that are being used today. We'll review the types of applications that make sense to move to the cloud, and those that do not, and we'll have plenty of interactive time for Q&A. This is a full day session, with lunch included, and attendees will need to bring a laptop. Details of the laptop requirements are on the registration site. The download site for the session prerequisites is http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/net/ and click on the green install button. Whether you'll be joining us yourself or not, please feel free to forward this invitation to your development team members. All are welcome (until we run out of seats, of course). Click on your preferred city and date to the right to register. These sessions are being offered to you at no charge, so we hope you will choose to leverage a session to advance your organization's Azure knowledge and planning. Best regards, Margaret Johnson on behalf of Oakwood's Azure Team and the Microsoft DPE Team
What is the best way to determine if Windows Azure might be a fit for your organization?
Microsoft is offering your organization the opportunity to learn more about Windows Azure in a hands-on lab environment through our upcoming Kick Start Training Events. Developed with Microsoft, and delivered by one of Oakwood's certified Azure architects, this training will help you put Azure in context for your own organization.
Those who attend will learn how to build a web application that runs in Windows Azure, how to sign up for free time in the cloud, and how to build a typical web application using the same ASP.NET tools that are being used today. We'll review the types of applications that make sense to move to the cloud, and those that do not, and we'll have plenty of interactive time for Q&A.
This is a full day session, with lunch included, and attendees will need to bring a laptop. Details of the laptop requirements are on the registration site. The download site for the session prerequisites is http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/net/ and click on the green install button.
Whether you'll be joining us yourself or not, please feel free to forward this invitation to your development team members. All are welcome (until we run out of seats, of course). Click on your preferred city and date to the right to register. These sessions are being offered to you at no charge, so we hope you will choose to leverage a session to advance your organization's Azure knowledge and planning.
Margaret Johnson on behalf of Oakwood's Azure Team and the Microsoft DPE Team
Reserve your seat now in the city of your choice:
These hands-on lab sessions will begin at 8AM and end between 5 and 6PM. Lunch and beverages are included.
This is neat… I was searching the Intertubes (“Googling it on BING”), looking for knowledge on some topics and some answers for future blog posts, and I happened upon one of John Savill’s excellent series of Q&A posts on the Windows IT Pro Magazine site. One of the articles answers the question “What features are in Server Hyper-V that aren't in Client Hyper-V?”, and contains a handy list of what the differences are in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.
One tidbit that I didn’t even notice while using Hyper-V on my current installation of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview was something he mentions right at the end of his article…
“What is great with Client Hyper-V is that wireless networks can be used and your machine can still be put to sleep and hibernated!”\
“What is great with Client Hyper-V is that wireless networks can be used and your machine can still be put to sleep and hibernated!”\
“My VMs can use my client’s wireless NIC?! That is great!”
Yep. Look at the device I picked for this new virtual switch I just created…
Recently, as a new installment of our “Cloud Innovators” series on TechNet Radio, I had the pleasure of talking with Shahrouz Malekpour of Ezy Consulting. His company provides a service and a tool to help businesses determine what their investment will be when choosing Office 365 as their productivity platform-of-choice.
Click here to take advantage of Ezy Consulting’s Office 365 Evaluation Assessment Promo.
Promo Code: TechNetRadio
Video: WMV | MP4 | WMV (ZIP) | PSP Audio: WMA | MP3
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:
Good question, Todd. And unfortunately I don’t know the details enough to give you a precise answer. But I will say that no matter what Windows Server 2012 has in it, it isn’t a supported platform for the current RTM (Release to Manufacturing) version of System Center 2012.
‘cause it’s in beta – that’s why not. So Server 2012 can’t a supported platform, and can’t be supported as a managed platform, either.
“Really? I can’t manage Windows Server 2012 beta with System Center 2012?”
I didn’t say you can’t. Some things will be manageable, just not supported. And features and functions that are brand-new to Server 2012 (live storage migrations and “Shared Nothing” migrations in Hyper-V come to mind) won’t be manageable at all.
“So.. that will change when Server 2012 finally comes out, right?”
No. Not immediately. There will have to be an update of System Center 2012 to make that happen. At the time of the writing of this blog post, no announcements of the timing of the release of Server 2012 or the next update of System Center 2012 have been made. But it has been announced that an update of System Center 2012 will be required to support Server 2012. In fact, early test releases of updates to System Center 2012 components are already available in CTP (Community Technology Preview) form on the Microsoft Connect site.
But back to your question on why an older version of the .NET framework might be required for a released product: It’s because that framework was the current broadly available framework when development of the product was underway. At some point in every product’s lifecycle, the requirements of the platform need to be decided upon and locked down, never to change. So in that light it’s easy to see why Microsoft (or any development organization) might come out with a product that requires older tooling than what is more recently available at the time of launch.
Does that make sense? Do any of you in the product team want to comment more specifically on any .NET framework differences?
This question was asked at a recent TechNet Event where we discussed Server Migration tools:
For those of you not familiar with these, the Server Migration tools are best practices and utilities for moving server roles and data from old servers (Are you still running Windows Server 2003?) to the current Windows Server 2008 R2. One of the migrations we discussed and demonstrated in our event was the move of File Services. We installed the tools on the source and destination machines, opened firewall ports, transferred local users and groups, transferred the files and shares (across the network), and then shut down the old and renamed (and re-addressed) the new server to take on the identity of the original server. In the end we had a machine that looked just like the original, but was actually a Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008 R2.
The process of transferring the files over the network involves using two PowerShell commands – one on either end of the connection:
(I’ll leave it to you to figure out which one you run on the source and destination.)
Once these are run on both source and target, they see each other and the tunnel is created. Then the files are encrypted and sent across the network. NOTE: This is only supported on a single subnet.
“Ah.. so if you can’t cross subnets, then the desire to move files across a WAN connection really can’t be fulfilled.”
Correct. And although it might still be useful to throttle or somehow dictate the speed or method of the file transfer, those options don’t exist in the current version of the tools. There may be other tools out there that do that, and certainly there are a wide range of choices in how you move files (robocopy, xcopy, etc.), but the File Service migration in the Server Migration tools is meant to be a simple, straightforward method of duplicating an existing configuration to the new server platform.
For more information and the steps required to plan for, perform, and verify this kind of migration, make sure you take advantage of the File Services Migration Guide.
Have you migrated file services from an old to a newer server? Did you use the Server Migration Tools, or some other method or toolset? Please share your experiences in the comments!
Dan, at a recent TechNet Event, noticed that although he can get Hyper-V working on his laptop when it’s running Windows Server 2008 R2, he couldn’t get it going when running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
SLAT (Second Level Address Translation) is a CPU-based memory indexing technology that greatly increases the performance of virtualization. Intel’s version of this is what they call Extended Page Tables (EPT), and AMD has Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI).
Hyper-V running on Windows Server 2008 R2 can benefit from SLAT, but doesn’t strictly require it; unless you’re using RemoteFX.
“So what about Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8? Do they require SLAT?”
Okay.. I need to tread lightly here…
** DISCLAIMER: What I am saying next is only based on the current beta and Consumer Preview of those two products; which means that it may or may not be true in the future, actual released products. **
Currently, as is true in Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V in the beta of Windows Server 2012 (known as Windows Server “8” beta at the time it was released) doesn’t require SLAT unless you’re using RemoteFX.
But Hyper-V in the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 requires SLAT. This requirement has to do with the fact that, as a client operating system, you’re using higher-end graphics than what is typically required (or desired) on a server installation. I happen to be running the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 as my production (work) operating system, and I have Hyper-V installed. It worked great for my recent series of TechNet Events while doing the AD and Migration and demos.
What about you? Are you as happy to have Hyper-V on a client operating system as I am? Have you been testing/trying/learning Windows Server 2012? Share your impressions or experiences in the comments!
Jeanne asked two questions at our TechNet Event a couple of weeks ago:
So.. in question #1 you’re asking about the implications of using one particular .VHD (virtual hard disk) disk type; Fixed, Differencing, or Dynamic. To answer that question, first let me take a minute to describe what these types are. I’ll point to some benefits and weaknesses, and then I’ll point you to some documentation on what the performance impacts are.
First of all you should understand that when you create a VHD file you have three choices. Two of these choices concern the difference between what the virtual machine or file system thinks it has when compared the actual file of the disk, and one has to do with a linked relationship between disks.
Fixed: This is a disk that, to the file system using it, believes it is a certain size.. and that size matches the actual size of the .VHD file. So if I create a virtual disk for a virtual machine that believes it has 40GB on its C: drive, the .VHD file is approximately 40GB in size.
Dynamic: This is in contrast to the Fixed-type disk. In this case, the operating system or file system sees 40GB in the disk, but the size of the .VHD file starts small and grows dynamically as more information is added to it; potentially growing to the full capacity eventually.
Differencing: This is a parent/child relationship. Or a grandparent/parent/child relationship. Or a great-grandparent/grandparent/parent/child relatio…
“Get on with it!”
Sorry. The idea is that you have a .VHD that is a basis, or starting point of content for a new child disk. Let’s say the .VHD that is going to be the parent is a fully installed and sysprep’d copy of an operating system. So it’s ready for duplication. Then you create differencing disks that refer to the common parent. Those new machines based on the parent will all have the contents of the parent, plus whatever changes gets written in the child; or in the lowest-most disk in the chain of differencing disks. IMPORTANT: Once you have based one or more children off of a parent disk, the parent .VHD file must never be modified. If it is, any disk that they are based on becomes invalid and won’t work.
“What’s the benefit, then, of differencing disks?”
Mainly there are two benefits:
“So what are the performance implications of these options, Kevin?”
Of course, the more disk operations that are required, the more performance can be degraded. The .VHD file option with the smallest impact in performance is a Fixed size disk. (I mention .VHD File option because you do have the ability to run a virtual machine on a “Pass-thru” disk – which is pointing to an actual file or storage system location for the virtual machine to use as its disks. That is even more efficient than .VHD files in terms of performance; but you lose the big benefits of flexibility and transportability that a virtual machine running off of file system objects gives you). Next would be Dynamic Disks. Operations to grow the disk add overhead when it’s required. The same can be said for differencing disks, because as I mentioned above, your child disk is essentially a dynamic disk. Changes that would have otherwise been written to the parent are being committed in the child, and that child .VHD file will grow as needed.
“Where can I go to get more detailed information? Is there anything like, say, a ‘Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Virtual Hard Disk Performance Whitepaper’?”
As a matter of fact, there is exactly something like that: ‘Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Virtual Hard Disk Performance Whitepaper’ Enjoy.
In question #2, you are looking for a small-business equivalent of System Center 2012’s Service Manager component; something along the lines of Microsoft’s System Center Essentials, but with some (or all) of the functionality of Service Manager.
I’m afraid that doesn’t exist. At least not from Microsoft. What happens in the future I don’t know and can’t speculate on, but for now, I don’t know of a product for small-to-midsized businesses that does what Service Manager does.
In case you’re interested in System Center Essentials, check out these resources:
I hope that helps. Let me know.
Dean attended our TechNet Event recently, and asked this question:
No. A Server Core installation is really not meant to be an application platform for rich applications. Many Windows applications require components that are not available in the current Windows Server 2008 R2 core installation. And a core option is not supported in the list of Exchange 2010 supported Operating Systems.
However, while researching this I did fine a very well-done summary of an attempt to make it work. Johan Delimon gave it a shot, and documented his attempt here. (Nice work!) In short – he was sooo close. But it didn’t work.
Have any of you tried to run things on, or are currently supporting applications running on Windows Server Core installations? Share your experience in the comments.