Hyper-V hasn’t been around that long, yet already we’re talking about key features that are coming in the next release! I guess Live Migration was always going to be top of the list for many people, as for me, it’s the one killer feature that Hyper-V was lacking, but still, there are many organisations out there who’ve adopted Hyper-V, who are finding that Quick Migration is fine for them.
So, what can we expect from the next version of Hyper-V?
You can read more information over at Hypervoria, and more at Bink.nu.
I think, for me, the thing that is significant about Hyper-V 2.0, is that everything you’ve already put in place, around your storage, management, LUN structure, networking etc, doesn’t have to change. Apply the R2 update, turn on Clustered Shared Volumes, and Live Migration, among other things, is enabled. You’ll obviously have to reboot somewhere in there, plus you’ll probably need to update the integration components inside the VMs, but the process shouldn’t be too painful. I guess time will tell – it’s a fair while off yet, but the beta’s will be just around the corner…
We’ve just announced a day for all you Microsoft UK Partners out there, who want to understand, from a sales and licensing perspective, some of the Microsoft technologies that are currently available.
This session is aimed to equip new starter sales people with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to talk to new and existing customers about the business benefits of Microsoft technologies, and associated areas such as licensing, but I’m sure it’s also a useful course for those people just after a refresher, as we know how easy to follow/keep up with Microsoft licensing is!
So, what’s going to be covered? It’s quite a packed agenda, and I’ve highlighted a few key parts of the agenda which I feel are critical for Partners going forward – Virtualisation, Core Infrastructure (Windows Server) and Management (System Center) provide massive opportunity for Microsoft Partners, and this is a great chance to understand how they are licensed and how they fit together to form compelling solutions for your Partners.
• Introduction to the day and the course • Microsoft Office • Windows Vista • The Microsoft Unified Communications solution • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server • Other key Microsoft server applications • Tour of Microsoft Campus (optional) • Windows Server • Virtualisation • The System Center Family • ForeFront Security • The fundamentals of Microsoft licensing
The course is being run on the 13th November, and it’s at Microsoft Campus, Thames Valley Park, Reading, RG6 1WG.
You can register here.
This is the first time I’ve seen this Silverlight demo of SCVMM 2008, and I was pretty impressed – definitely worth checking it out if you’ve got a spare 15 minutes.
You can access the demo here.
Update – Eval Link Now Live - Click Here!
Just 13 months after SCVMM 2007, SCVMM 2008 has shipped, and brings a hell of lot of new capability to your virtualisation infrastructure. To quote Zane Adam, from the Virtualisation Blog:
“We’re excited to see the partner and customer adoption of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008. We’ve already seen hundreds of our early deployment customers use either the beta or release candidate version of VMM to manage their Hyper-V deployments. They are seeing the many cost reduction and management simplification benefits of Hyper-V and the SCVMM 2008 integration with the rest of System Center. Now that RTM is official, I fully expect the rate of Hyper-V deployments to further accelerate. Through the SCVMM 2008 console, administrators can see the entirety of their datacenter infrastructure – physical or virtual. SCVMM 2008 facilitates key functions like P2V (physical to virtual) migration, Intelligent Placement (selecting the best virtual host for a VM), and managing Hyper-V host clusters, to name just a few. SCVMM 2008 works closely with its siblings – particularly SC Ops Mgr – in identifying consolidation candidates and in Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO), a new feature in which SCVMM 2008 can alert and recommend solutions to administrators about failing virtual machines or hardware. As I mentioned above, this comprehensive view extends throughout the data center as SCVMM 2008 is capable of seeing and managing VMware ESX infrastructure through Virtual Center. I hope you download SCVMM 2008 today and give it a try. Additional information, including a link to download an evaluation version is available here and it will be generally available for purchase as of November 1”
The link isn’t quite live yet, so you can’t grab the eval right this minute, but keep visiting this page, and I’m sure it will be updated ASAP.
So, what does SCVMM 2008 do, that SCVMM 2007 didn’t?
There are loads more features that may be of interest too, and you can grab them in this document. There will be even more documentation released over the next week or so, now that we’ve hit RTM.
Even more resources can be found here:
Get the eval ASAP and try it for yourself!
The Windows Hardware Engineering Conference isn’t far away now, and if you’re lucky enough to be going, and have an interest in Virtualisation, I’d strongly suggest you take note, as this is the first time many of you will have heard about these features. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what WinHEC is all about, here’s the blurb:
“With over 140 technical sessions, panels, and chalk-talks, WinHEC will provide plenty of opportunities to connect in person and in depth with Windows engineers. WinHEC is designed to provide deep explorations of future engineering and business directions for PC and device hardware. We are making sure we have the right speakers to have meaningful conversations. The people who build and develop for Windows are working hard to make sure the talks are on target. They designed the code; they built the code; they tested the code. Having our core engineering team at the conference gives us an opportunity to have valuable dialogue with you”
This year, there’s a strong focus on Windows 7, both client, and for me, more interestingly, server. I’ve pulled out a couple of the key sessions that, if you have an interest in Virtualisation, you should be looking to attend (or at least be looking to read the write up’s of the bloggers!) :
Improving Networking Performance for Hyper-V Virtual Machines - ENT-T589
Presenter(s): Alireza Dabagh
Windows Server 2008 R2 will deliver new networking features and enhanced support of stateless and state-full offload technologies to Hyper-V virtual machines. This session discusses the architecture and implementation details of these Windows networking features. Also included is a description for how network interface card (NIC) adapters implement this support for virtualized environments.
Windows Boot from Virtual Hard Disk - ENT-T606
Presenter(s): Paul Rambo, Peter Brundrett
Virtual hard disk (VHD) is a de facto standard image format for virtual machine operating system images. This session discusses native support of VHD in Windows Server 2008 R2. This support allows users, administrators, and vendors of storage and management tools to operate on VHDs as they would other storage devices. This creates opportunities for lowering operational costs by enabling customers to use a single image creation, deployment, and maintenance process and toolset across virtual and physical environments.
Windows Presentation Virtualization - ENT-T591
Presenter(s): Tad Brockway; Nelly Porter
This session discusses Microsoft's continued investment in Windows remoting features such as Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that empower the enterprise mobile workforce in the next release of Windows and beyond. We’ll covers how RDP features in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will enhance the user computing experience and how applications can integrate well with core remoting infrastructure services to provide on-the-go users with rich software and device experience from anywhere with Internet access.
Windows Server Power Management Implementation Details - ENT-T552
Presenter(s): Johnson Cheng
This session presents an in-depth discussion of the power management technologies and features that will be introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2. Included will be best practices for platform design, an outline of hardware and platform requirements, and internal details of system software features for server power management.
Windows Virtualization and Cluster Shared Volumes - ENT-T588
Presenter(s): Jeff Mastro, Bryon Surace
Windows Server 2008 R2 will introduce a new feature for Failover Clustering called Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV). CSV is an enhancement that allows multiple virtual hard disk (VHD) images to be mounted on a single logical volume. It allows the migration of virtual machines from one physical host server to another with minimal downtime. This session discusses the architecture and implementation details of CSV and illustrates its utility in Windows virtualization deployments
Directions for Virtualized I/O in Windows - ENT-T590
Presenter(s): Jake Oshins
Now that Hyper-V is released, it's time to consider virtualized I/O directions that go beyond "make it work with existing drivers." This session discusses areas of technologies that are being investigated for future Microsoft virtualization offerings. These include PCI Single-Root I/O Virtualization, those technologies that enable it, and their implications to the Windows Driver Model. Improving storage area network (SAN) support and other I/O-related virtualization capabilities are also discussed.
There are loads more, listed under the ‘Enterprise Conferencing’ on the Sessions Page.
If you’re going, have fun (very jealous), and if you’re not, like me, you’ll no doubt get all your news via the web. Not to worry, I’m sure you’ll get the information you need. Think, 2 years ago at WinHEC, we showed Hyper-V with Live Migration!
A couple of months back, Mike and I sat down and recorded a series of 6 short videos showcasing the Microsoft Virtualisation Sales Opportunity.
Now, as we recorded these videos a few months back, some of the stuff may be a little out of date, but overall, you should get a good overview of the Microsoft stack of virtualisation technologies and where they fit together.
An exclusive opportunity to meet Nicholas King, Technical Product Manager from Microsoft Corp before the launch of the Windows Essential Server Solutions offerings, Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 on November 12th. Hear Nicholas and Jamie Burgess advise on why these solutions have been created, and why it is still important to invest in solution infrastructure in an economic uncertainty. With the assistance of Jamie they will go into some technical detail around the two products that make up Windows Essential Server Solutions.
1. Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 is an all-in-one server solution designed to help you keep your data more secure and your company more productive. It provides many of the features used by larger companies, such as e-mail, Internet connectivity, internal Web sites, remote access, support for mobile devices, file and printer sharing, backup, and restore - all at one affordable price. The Premium version also provides advanced support for line-of-business applications.
2. Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008 is an all-in-one integrated multi-server solution designed and priced specifically for midsize businesses. EBS provides the essential technology needed for a highly secure and reliable infrastructure. Powered by Windows Server 2008 technology, it combines software for management, messaging, and security features into one integrated server solution that is designed to dramatically reduce IT complexity and improve efficiency across the business, putting IT in control with a centrally-managed network platform. Join us to get a technical overview of Windows EBS 2008, learn about the server requirements, and find out more about the integrated technologies and architecture.
Finally after covering the key ways to deploy and manage the server infrastructure, Nicholas and Jamie will take you through how to keep ahead of the game and customise your solutions to make the most out of your server.
07 November 2008 - Welcome Time: 08:45
Thames Valley Park, Chicago 1, Microsoft Campus, Building 3, Thames Valley Park, Reading, Berkshire, RG6 1WG
You can register for the event here.
I’ve recently been chatting with David Overton, who recently wrote an article for the Windows Vista magazine, around virtualising stuff on Windows Vista using technologies like Virtual PC 2007 SP1 or Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1. The reason for this post? I’m going to clarify what installs, what runs, what doesn’t, and what is supported.
So, from the top:
Windows Vista Home Basic / Home Premium:
So, as you can see from the image, I’m running Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium, and I’ve installed Virtual PC 2007 SP1. When I try to install it for the first time, I get a message saying that I’m trying to install VPC 2007 on an OS that isn’t supported. I can continue with the installation, and as you can see, in my VPC, I’m just wrapping up an installation of Vista SP1 inside the VM. So far, so good, in terms of my usage. If it all goes belly-up though, I’m not going to be able to call MS for support but it is running fine.
When I tried to install Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 on Vista Home Premium, I get an ‘unsupported’ error, but I’m not allowed to continue this time, unlike with Virtual PC. Also, I suspect that even if it did allow me to continue, it wouldn’t work correctly anyway, as the Home versions don’t support ‘Windows Authentication” as part of the IIS Web Server bits needed for Virtual Server, so I’m guessing it wouldn’t work.
Windows Vista Business / Enterprise / Ultimate:
So, 2 key differences here, when using the more ‘business/fully’ featured versions of Vista. Firstly, Virtual PC 2007 SP1 is supported on the platforms, so you would be able to call MS for support on those ones. Secondly, Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 actually installs this time, plus the OS has the ‘Windows Authentication’ settings in IIS too. There is a more recent update for Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 to allow support for Vista SP1 as both a host, and a guest OS. You can grab that here.
There are also a number of guides to installing Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 on Vista. Here’s one I just found.
It’s come around pretty quickly, but already the 2nd meeting of the Microsoft Virtualisation User Group is upon us, and it’s looking like a cracking line-up already. The previous session went down really well, and the feedback from that session has already started to be incorporated into the upcoming session. So, what’s this session going to be about? Well, 2 strands:
For the planning part, the guys have managed to snag Baldwin Ng, who writes the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solution Accelerator blog, and is one of the Senior Product Managers for MAP at Microsoft Corp. Baldwin’s time in the UK is very limited, and in my opinion, there is no bigger and more passionate advocate for the potential of the MAP tool than Baldwin, so if you can get some free time, it will definitely be worth coming along for. The MAP tool itself is a fantastic tool, and you can read all about it in one of my previous posts. There is also a MAP v3.2 on the way, and you can get all the details for that over at Baldwin’s blog.
So, the 2nd half of the session is dedicated to protection of your virtual assets, but not just the virtual assets – don’t forget about the physical too! Thankfully, Data Protection Manager 2007 handles both physical, and virtual workloads, from a backup and protection perspective. Andrew Driver, from my team, is going to take an hour or so to go through DPM, how it works, and what the key benefits are of the technology. Before the event, try and have a quick watch of this flash video, as it will give you a good overview of what DPM is all about.
In terms of the structure of Meeting #2:
Location - Microsoft, Reading, UK - Building 3, First Floor, Memphis Meeting Room
Date and Time - Monday 10th November 2008, 1800 – 2130
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, or if you’ve seen me present before, you’ll have seen me go on about this ‘Datacenter to the Desktop’ approach to Microsoft Virtualisation, and how we have pretty much all the components you’d need to build a very comprehensive virtualised infrastructure, whether it’s using Hyper-V that’s built into Windows Server 2008 or Hyper-V Server 2008 that’s just shipped, for your virtualisation layer, or whether you want to combine Terminal Services with App-V for a compelling application delivery solution. These are just a couple of examples of where Microsoft Virtualisation can meet your needs, and don’t forget about the management. Management is a critical element to any virtualisation implementation. It’s plain silly to implement any type of production virtualisation without some way to control the potential virtual server sprawl that may ensue. This is where the System Center stack of technologies come in, whether it’s backup, patching and deployment, monitoring and eventing, or virtual machine management, either way, System Center has the tools for you, and not only for your virtual infrastructure, but for your physical too.
You can check out all the bit on Microsoft’s complete virtualisation set of solutions over at the Microsoft Virtualisation homepage.
So, back to the point of the post, we’re re-running the Virtualisation Unplugged tour that we were running a month or so back. James' O’Neill is leading the charge from a technical perspective, and he’ll be supported by a number of glamorous assistants, including myself! We’ve also got a number of Partners involved, so you can talk to Partners who are actually out there implementing this stuff.
In terms of an agenda:
In part 1, James will be building a Hyper-V Cluster from a few bits of kit, and I’ll (on the day’s I’m presenting) take this one step further and start looking in detail at the management of this Virtualised environment. We’ll also look at how this interacts with non-Microsoft technologies, and also how this management spans from physical right through to virtual. In the afternoon, we’ll start looking at Desktops and Apps, and how virtualisation is having an impact here too. By the end of the day, you’ll have had a good overview of the Datacenter to Desktop, and I’m sure you’ll have learnt stuff you didn’t know before!
The landing page for the Unplugged Tour is here: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/virtualisationunplugged/default.mspx so that’s the best place to start, but if you want to start registering for the actual events, I’d use these links: