I found this via Patrick Lownds’ MVUG blog – looks like a beauty! (The book, not Patrick ;-))
Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions
The above eBook is available for free if you register at http://csna01.libredigital.com/?urmvs17u33. Be patient once you’ve clicked to download – it takes a few minutes to render in the browser.
This guide will teach you about the benefits of the latest virtualization technologies and how to plan, implement, and manage virtual infrastructure solutions. The technologies covered include: Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2009, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, and Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.
I’ve just had a quick skim read of the book, and it looks pretty comprehensive, and even covers aspects such as the Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualisation, and VDI, which are both pretty new areas of technology to be covering, so definitely a worthwhile read from that perspective.
The book also gives focus to the importance of Core Infrastructure Optimisation, and how you can take an infrastructure from being a very reactive, fighting-fires, basic infrastructure, right up to a dynamic infrastructure, where IT is a business enabler, not a cost centre.
Definitely worth a read in my opinion.
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!
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… :-)
Patrick (of Microsoft Virtualisation User Group fame!) pinged me an email referencing a blog post he’d written over at the MVUG blog, covering his experiences (so far) with Broadcom NIC Teaming and Hyper-V. I didn’t even know Patrick was writing a blog, and skimming over his most recent posts, it’s definitely one that I’d recommend.
The post in question, around the NIC Teaming, is definitely an interesting one. NIC Teaming is one of those grey areas with Hyper-V. Partners and Customers with VMware experience ask if the feature is included with Hyper-V, and are sometimes surprised to learn that it’s never been supported by Microsoft on Windows Server. It’s always been the ballpark of the NIC vendor, hence Broadcom, Intel et al, are now starting to produce solutions for NIC Teaming, on Windows Server 2008 (and thus Hyper-V). Patrick details, in his post, his experiences with NIC Teaming and Hyper-V.
Before you read his post, if you’re not familiar with what NIC Teaming is, is basically another word for Link Aggregation, so having multiple physical NICs, teamed together, to provide additional redundancy, but at the same time, improving link speed in many cases. Wikipedia has a good explanation.
So, it’s over to Patrick’s post to get all the info – if you can’t wait, I’ve summarised below:
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.
Whenever I deliver a presentation with Partners and Customers, one of the requests I receive is, can I have the deck. So, through the power of my blog, and a bit of jiggery-pokery with SkyDrive, I’ve uploaded my latest deck up onto the web, for all to access. If you haven’t seen me present it, then chances are, some of the more-diagrams-less-words slides won’t make sense (but I’m working on that :-)), but for those who I have met with, you should have a good idea as to what I’m banging on about!
Anyway, if you scroll down the page on the right hand side of the blog, you’ll see a permanent link to my latest deck. This link will always stay on the right hand side, and whenever I upload a newer deck to my SkyDrive site, you’ll be able to get it from the same link. For those of you who haven’t already scrolled down yet, you’re looking for this:
I thought it was quite subtle myself! It’s currently in version 1.4, but I’m working on 1.5 to include more R2 related goodness.
For those of you who can’t wait, you can download my latest deck from here.
Any questions, feel free to ping me a message.
Using Virtual Service Clients and Virtual Service Providers Microsoft’s Hyper-V creates a low-overhead environment for virtual machines that can provide a high degree of scalability on a state-of-the-art SAN.
A colleague here at MS UK forwarded me a link to a great benchmark test involving Hyper-V, specifically targeted at Storage I/O.
Key Findings include:
Other key findings and quotes include:
“In these tests, our principle concern centered on the number of IOPS that could be sustained, which provides a critical I/O health measure for a VOE (Virtual Operating Environment). Our secondary concern was the measurement of I/O throughput, which provides the best insight into SAN fabric infrastructure bottlenecks” “The number of IOPS sustained in all of our tests clearly indicates that a Hyper-V VOE based on 8Gbps QLogic FC SAN infrastructure is able to scale and support a high number of VMs, which will easily provide for a high consolidation ratio. Equally important, the scalability that this infrastructure provides a VM enables the hosting of the most I/O-intense applications.”
“In these tests, our principle concern centered on the number of IOPS that could be sustained, which provides a critical I/O health measure for a VOE (Virtual Operating Environment). Our secondary concern was the measurement of I/O throughput, which provides the best insight into SAN fabric infrastructure bottlenecks”
“The number of IOPS sustained in all of our tests clearly indicates that a Hyper-V VOE based on 8Gbps QLogic FC SAN infrastructure is able to scale and support a high number of VMs, which will easily provide for a high consolidation ratio. Equally important, the scalability that this infrastructure provides a VM enables the hosting of the most I/O-intense applications.”
Definitely worth a read.
Windows 7 is coming fast. The beta has been available for a few weeks now, and there are newsgroups, forums and blogs popping up all over the place, talking about features, functionality, and providing feedback.
What about Partners?
Readiness has already started to appear on the Partner Portal:
Training links? Check. Deployment information? Check. Sales & Marketing? Check.
There’s already whitepapers, reference cards and presentations for small, midsize, and enterprise customers. There are even audio presentations, and marketing brochures, ensuring your business is able to start riding the wave as early as possible.
Download all the info, here.
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:
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!