Video #9 in the Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V series, is this video focussed on the use of Pass Through Disks with Hyper-V. All the videos so far have used the .vhd file format for the virtual machines, of which there are 2 types; dynamic, and fixed. A dynamic VHD is something you specify to have a maximum size, say, 127GB, and yet it starts at 0kb in size. When you install a guest OS, or drop files into this dynamic VHD, it grows in size to reflect the size of the contents. If we installed an OS inside a VM with a 127GB dynamic VHD as its base, the guest OS would believe it has 127GB space available to it, and yet in the physical world, the actual WindowsOS.vhd file that’s sat on my machine is only, say, 6GB, as this is the size of the installed files.
Fixed size VHDs on the other hand, are more of a buy-now-pay-now type scenario. You specify you want a fixed size VHD, of 50GB in size, and Hyper-V creates a .vhd file of 50GB in size, which takes quite a while, as the whole 50GB has to be zero’d out which is great from a security perspective, but pants from a time consuming perspective. You also have a single 50GB file on your hands! Bit too big for a small USB thumb drive, so not as portable!
Fixed size VHDs are also more performant that their dynamic counterparts, in some cases, significantly more, and you can read all about that here: http://blogs.technet.com/winserverperformance/archive/2008/09/19/hyper-v-and-vhd-performance-dynamic-vs-fixed.aspx
The most performant type of storage for a virtual machine however, is physical storage. What? With Pass Through Disks, you can provide a raw piece of unformatted storage, so a physical local hard disk, a LUN from the SAN etc, to a virtual machine for it’s own exclusive read/write I/O, and judging by articles like this, the performance is smoking hot.
So anyway, the video:
The video is about 20 minutes long, but walks you through the use of Pass Through Disks in both non-clustered, and clustered scenarios. You can watch it above in the browser, or alternatively, download the episode to take offline (right click, save-as), or watch all my videos, over at VBTV!
Enjoy, and feedback welcome as always! Next up – maybe some 2008 R2 loveliness… :-)
I received a funny email the other day, via my blog, which, on first glance, said one thing to me. SPAM. It went on about viral videos and spoof setups, but I clicked the link anyway – it was only linking to a YouTube video, so, what would the harm be?
Turns out, the video ain’t half bad!
On first firing up the video, and seeing the ‘Camp Network’ title, I did wonder what I’d linked through to here, especially seeing the bloke with a headband on, however, it’s actually a funny spoof video, produced for Microsoft, to highlight the importance of partnering, networking, and the 3-shape-power-structure :-)
So, watch the video, then head on over to http://www.microsoftpartnernetwork.com/ and sign in with your Live ID. You never know, this could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, to connect with other Partners in your area, forge new relationships, and drive your business forward. It doesn’t cost anything, apart from a little bit of your time.
There are groups, forums, file uploads, announcements, training links, discussions, Wiki’s and more, plus there’s a dedicated group for Hyper-V and Virtualisation: http://www.microsoftpartnernetwork.com/groups/virtualisation_and_hyper_v/default.aspx. There’s also an associated virtualisation blog which you can subscribe to: http://www.microsoftpartnernetwork.com/groups/virtualisation_and_hyper_v/blog/default.aspx.
It’s going to take a while to take off, but, the more people that join and contribute, the more likely a success it will be. Head on over to http://www.microsoftpartnernetwork.com and join now!
DPM is one of those technologies that not enough people know about. Those that do know about it, and understand how it works, along with how it’s licensed, quickly see the benefits of the technology, particularly when customers have infrastructures that include Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, and more recently, Hyper-V. The point still stands however, that not enough people know about it.
Enter, the DPM Hero Campaign.
This is your chance, as Microsoft Partners, to not only understand where DPM fits in the grand scheme of System Center, but also understand how it works, the key benefits, but also, at the same time, win prizes!
Prizes you say? Go on!
There must be a catch? Well, there are certain rules to abide by before you start:
The DPM Hero campaign is open to all members of the Microsoft Partner Program (MSPP) and for all levels - Registered, Certified and Gold. However to win one of the campaign prizes, you must be eligible under and comply with the DPH Challenge Official Rules - http://microsoft.mrmpslc.com/dpmassessmenttool/rules.aspx.
OK, so I’m an eligible Partner, now what? Head on over to http://www.dpmpartner.com, and choose your region (US, or Rest of the World!)
Once you’ve taken the online training, discussion licensing, benefits, the technology itself etc, you’ll qualify for a copy of DPM Server, and a corresponding DPM Enterprise ML (Agent), plus, you’ll also enter a monthly prize draw for a Samsung digital wireless sync picture frame. The sooner you make it through the training camp, the more chances you have to win the monthly drawing - so get started now.
Are you free (and in the London area) on the 20th March? If so, one of our Partner’s, VirtualizeIT, along with a host of household names (well, in the virtualisation world anyway!) such as VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, Falconstor, IBM and more, are delivering a customer-focused seminar that could be right up your street. There’ll be discussion on virtualisation trends, current technologies, future technologies, storage, hardware and more, plus, it’s free to come along.
It’s on the 20th March, at Southbank in London, and you can register here.
The whole purpose of the events is that they are designed to highlight the full potential a virtualised infrastructure would offer a company. With unprecedented reductions in energy costs, plus a significant saving in space utilisation within the datacenter. This event offers you an opportunity to see the full potential and green credentials virtualisation can offer your business and help you rise to the challenges ahead.
VXplore London highlights the following areas:
Any questions – drop the guys at VirtualizeIT a message.
Hot on the heels of my announcement a few days back, I’m pleased to announce a new addition to virtualboy.tv. This video, builds on #7 in the series (Hyper-V: Multiple VMs per LUN) by showcasing how the use of a 3rd Party Clustered File System, namely, Sanbolic Kayo FS, can be used in addition to Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Failover Clustering, to allow multiple virtual machines to sit on an individual LUN, but still allow you to retain a level of individual VM failover, instead of, as was shown in video #7, having to move all VMs on a LUN ‘as one’.
The video is about 20 minutes long, but shows you all you need to know (pretty much) when it comes to bringing these two technologies together to form a great solution. You can watch the video in the browser above, or alternatively, you can view this, and all my other videos, over at virtualboy.tv.
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, 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 new events, I’d use these links:
Are you in IT? Thinking about getting into IT? Where do you start? How do you develop in the future? If you’re already in IT, how do you build on your investments so far?
These are just some of the questions that are answered at ‘Thrive’; a new website from Microsoft, designed to help you, the IT Pro, drive yourself, your career, and your business, forward into the future, through the help of IT.
On the website, you’ll find information around Microsoft training, certification, why they are both valuable, and how you can use them to maximise your potential. There’s even stuff around your C.V, body language in interviews, career self assessment tools and more. Definitely worth a look!
You’re probably thinking, why Matt, is this relevant to your blog? Well, Virtualisation is without doubt, one of the hottest areas in IT, and when I left University (only 4 years ago, before you comment!), did I have a clue what it was? NOPE! I didn’t know about Virtual PC, Virtual Server, VMware ESX, GSX (as it was then), VMware Workstation, Citrix, etc etc, yet now, I love it. It’s one of the few technologies that can pretty much guarantee companies to save money, yet at the same time, gain added agility, flexibility, and control. For me, virtualisation is a win all round, and the ‘Thrive’ site reflects this.
There are lots of virtualisation resources, ranging from video screencasts of technologies (not as good as mine ;-p), along with tools and resources such as Green IT Calculators, ROI tools, and Capacity Planning solutions. Great stuff.
For the last few weeks, in any spare moment I’ve had, I’ve been working away on a little side project to help enable our Partners and Customers to better understand our Virtualisation technologies. Today, I’m happy to announce the launch of virtualboy.tv.
Found over at http://virtualboytv.blip.tv, I’ll be hosting videos of myself talking about Microsoft virtualisation technologies, with accompanying slides, yet also showcasing a number of homegrown demos, that I’ve built, that you can watch in the browser, or download the full fidelity, original copy, to use offline.
So, what does it all look like?
Well, if you navigate over to the homepage, http://virtualboytv.blip.tv, you’ll be greeted with the ‘Show Player’, which is kind of like an always-on, episodic video player, so, the most recently uploaded video is shown in the main window, and all the episodes that have been uploaded prior to this one are on the right hand side. Clicking on an episode on the right, plays the video in the central window. You can embed individual videos in your own pages, and I’ll be doing this as I add new content over the next few weeks and months.
From the homepage, in the top-right corner, if you click on Episode Archive, you’ll see a thumbnail of all uploaded videos, and clicking one of them, will take you to a dedicated page for that video. From here, if you want to download the original version of the video (1024 x 768 WMV and above!), then look, on the right hand side of the page, for:
As it states, right-click, and save as. Easy! So, you can quickly check out a video in the browser, then download it and use it offline if you see fit. Either way, they’ll give you a great grounding into the technologies, and you’ll be able to see them in action, first hand, with me explaining what’s happening at every step of the way.
You can even subscribe to RSS (although if you’re subscribed to this blog, I’ll announce each new video on here anyway!) You can even add it to iTunes, although bear with me on that one as I think it’s still being set up! I haven’t encoded them in .mov so I’ll get on to that soon – for now, ignore the iTunes bit! :-)
If you do choose to subscribe to the RSS feed, you’ll get this:
This means, you’ll just have to right-click the WMV file, and save target as! Easy!
In terms of current content then, what’s been uploaded?
Microsoft Server Virtualisation Overview
This video discusses the Microsoft Server Virtualisation Technologies, which includes aspects such as Hyper-V, Windows Server 2008, Clustering, Migrations and we also take a look at what's coming down the line with the R2 wave of technologies.
Hyper-V Server 2008: Installing, Configuring & Managing
This demo walks through a network based deployment of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 using Windows Deployment Services. I then go on to configure locally, and manage remotely,
1. Hyper-V: Installing, Configuring & Managing
This video demonstrates the installation of Hyper-V as part of Windows Server 2008, and how to get started using the technology, via the MMC Management Console.
2. Hyper-V: Understanding Integration Services
This video demonstrates configuring a virtual machine with and without Integration Services, and highlights the different experiences in both scenarios.
3. Hyper-V: Exports & Snapshots
This demo walks through snapshotting and exporting of virtual machines with Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.
4. Hyper-V: PowerShell Management
This demo walks through enabling PowerShell on Windows Server 2008, and subsequently using it to manage Hyper-V.
5. Hyper-V: Configuring Failover Clustering
This video demonstrates enabling, configuring, and managing the Failover Clustering capability within Windows Server 2008.
6. Hyper-V: Failover & Migration of VMs
This demo explains failover and quick migration capabilities of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.
7. Hyper-V: Multiple VMs per LUN
This demo walks through setting up multiple virtual machines on individual LUNs of shared storage, and observing failover and migration behaviours.
Enjoy, and feedback / requests welcome!
That’s right folks – you’ve only a few more days to grab the beta of Windows 7 – if you don’t get it soon (before 10th February!), you’ll have to wait for the Release Candidate I think, unless of course, you’re an MSDn / TechNet subscriber, in which case you’ll have continued access throughout the beta. You’ll still be able to grab product keys for it after this date, just not the ISO, so get it over the weekend, just in case!
Couple more resources around Win 7 below too:
To get more information on Windows 7, check out the following resources:
There’s also an online roundtable too – I’m sure it’ll be worth a watch!
Virtual Roundtable : Windows 7: To the Beta and Beyond
Date: Thursday, February 12th - Time: 7pm GMT
Join Mark Russinovich and a panel of subject matter experts for a live discussion of what's in store for IT pros with Windows® 7. Learn about the evolution of features like Group Policy, BitLocker™ To Go, DirectAccess, BranchCache™, and Software Restriction then get tips on troubleshooting, deployment, and application compatibility. Bring your questions - Mark and the panel will answer as many as they can during the hour-long event, then publish the rest in a Q&A after the event.
Just hours after I posted about Patrick’s work with the Broadcom NIC Teaming solution for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, he’s done it again!
Well, technically, it’s HP this time, but Patrick does work for them :-). They’ve published guidance on NIC Teaming in the form of a whitepaper entitled “Using HP ProLiant Network Teaming Software with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V".
Download it here.
The document actually explains more around the uninstalling of the NIC Teaming software than the installing! Basically, if you have no NIC Teaming software on your server to start with, the order of attack is to enable Hyper-V, then install the NIC Teaming software. The other way round won’t work.
To get hold of HP’s NIC Teaming software (HP Network Configuration Utility (NCU) version 9.35 or greater), you’ll need to get hold of the HP ProLiant Support Pack (PSP) 8.11 on the HP SmartStart CD or you can also download it from http://www.hp.com.