Are you interested in Windows Server 2008 R2, from a Hyper-V perspective? If so, this could be the video for you!
This video discusses the Microsoft Server Virtualisation R2 Technologies, which includes aspects such as Hyper-V as part of Windows Server 2008 R2 and also Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. We also discuss innovations in clustering, migrations, and new capabilities of the platform. The duration of the video is just over 32 minutes.
To view the video, click on it above, and you’ll be taken to the dedicated VBTV R2 overview page, where you can watch it, but also download it to take offline in it’s original WMV format.
That’s right folks, the time has come to take a short break, which in all honesty, couldn’t have come at a worse time (you’ll know by next week what I’m on about :-)) but hey ho, you’ve got to have some holiday time! How can you keep busy with Microsoft virtualisation whilst I’m away? We’ll, there are plenty of up to date resources and blogs out there, but if you’re need to get a strong grounding in the technologies, then VirtualboyTV could be the answer.
A month or so back, I announced a new site, aimed at Microsoft Partners and Customers, that would aim to provide detailed demo and overview videos on Microsoft Virtualisation technologies. These were hosted on a site called blip.tv, with my site specifically known as virtualboytv.blip.tv. This was all fine and dandy, but it didn’t allow me to brand it enough, to customise the navigation and layout how I wanted, and in all honesty, it was a ‘good enough’ solution, rather than something I’d be really proud to promote. So, I started looking around at the possibility of building a front end for my blip.tv content. Bring in Office Live Small Business. Now, I’m no website designer – I used to know a bit of HTML, CSS and the like, but that was in a previous life, however I feel I’ve got a reasonable eye for design, what looks good, what’s functional, and what looks pants. With the Office Live SB editing tools, it enabled me to rapidly build out my website environment, whilst also, when required, allowed me to dip into the code to do some advanced editing and customisation.
The great thing about Office Live Small Business, is that in the least part, it’s free. They give you free hosting, and they give you a free domain name for a period of time. A .co.uk address is free for 2 years, and a .com free for one. They didn’t do .tv addresses unfortunately, but if I’d have wanted to buy that somewhere else, and use it with Office Live’s hosting, that’s fine too. .tv address's were around £60 though – I’m keen, but not that keen! :-) You get 500mb free (great for me, as my vids are held on blip.tv still :-) but you can upgrade to a subscription if you need more. It’s all very flexible.
Once signed up, follow the guides to build your site and you can very quickly produce some compelling eye candy.
The End Result
If we start with the homepage – this is where you’ll find the show player, which allows you, in the browser, to select an episode from the right-hand side, and watch it in the central area. Full screen is fine too, and the quality of blip.tv’s videos, leaves YouTube with much to desire. By default, the Show Player will always present, at first, the most recently uploaded video.
If we then move across the top level navigation bar, to episodes. You can, obviously, view all the episodes from the Show Player on the home page, but what if you want to download those videos, or provide a link to someone, for that specific video? Well, the episodes page is the answer. Firstly, clicking episodes presents you with a grouping of the key areas of Microsoft Virtualisation; Server, Desktop, Presentation, Application and Management. I’ll be producing videos for all of those areas over time, but these take time! There are plenty of Server videos so far, but that’s it!
If you click on Server Virtualisation, you’ll be presented with a list of episodes, categorised by technology, and video type, so there will be a couple of ‘overview’ videos, which involve myself (and in the future, others too), talking about technologies using slides, and demo videos, where I’ll be talking over actually doing something with the technologies. These demo videos are grouped by product, i.e. Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Hyper-V Server 2008 and so on. For each episode listed, you have the option to download it (by right clicking, and save-as, or watch it. By clicking ‘watch it’, you’ll be taken to that episode’s dedicated page, looking something like this:
The episode page has a brief synopsis, a duration, and a download link too. These downloads are the original files I uploaded, so 1024 x 768 (in most cases), WMV format.
With that, I’ll sign off. Hopefully you’ll find this site useful – I’m trying to provide content that’s usable, useful, relevant, and easy to follow. It mght not suit everyone’s taste, and admittedly, my voice will get on your nerves after a while! Although if you download the WMV you can obviously play them at double speed, at which point I become the 4 chipmunk alongside Alvin, Simon and Theodore. There won’t be any Mythbusting, nor any fud-generation – that’s not how I work, and anyone who knows me knows that to be the case – If Microsoft are going to do well in this Virtualisation marketplace, it’s my belief that we have to do it on merit, rather than taking potshots at competing technologies, and I would hope that would be the same for the competition. Again, that’s what these videos are aiming to do; provide you with correct (at least I think so!) factual information, and let you, the viewer, make your mind up. Microsoft Virtualisation contains some fantastic technologies, but so does Citrix and VMware – there’s a lot of choice out there now; hopefully VirtualboyTV will help you understand our story, if just a little bit.
So, to close, check out VirtualboyTV.com, and if you’re interested in creating an Office Live Small Business site, you can check out all the details for that, here.
See you on the 4th May :-)
These have been sat in my inbox for a few weeks now, so I realise that this information won’t be cutting edge, but it’s useful nonetheless.
Hyper-V Management Pack (Beta) for System Center Operations Manager 2007 (& R2)
Admittedly, if you’re using System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and System Center Operations Manager together, you will have imported the SCVMM pack into OpsMgr, and will have gained an extra level of granularity when it comes to monitoring your virtual infrastructure, however this Hyper-V specific Management Pack, enables health/perf monitoring of the Hyper-V host. The management pack includes health diagram view of virtual machines, virtual components roll-up per host, critical Hyper-V Service monitoring, disk space threshold monitoring and more.
This Management Pack works with:
Beta Management Pack Supported Operating Systems:
Beta Management Pack Non-Supported Beta Operating Systems:
If you want to get your hands on the beta, email MPCC
Novell SUSE Integration Components (Beta) for Hyper-V R2 (Beta)
From the Hyper-V Team…
“Our vision for Hyper-V has been to deliver the best virtualisation platform regardless of the OS you choose to virtualize. Currently, with Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, we provide support and integration components for SUSE Enterprise Linux version 10. We are pleased to announce that the Beta SUSE Integration Components (ICs) for Hyper-V R2 Beta have been released!”
The Beta Linux ICs provide synthetic device support for SUSE Enterprise Linux 10 running in a Hyper-V R2 Beta virtual machine. This includes a port of VMBus as well as drivers to support the synthetic network adapter and synthetic storage controller. With these new Linux IC’s for Hyper-V R2 performance of Linux is significantly improved. Internal benchmarks are showing considerably improved levels of throughput, and networking performance has increased substantially over V1.
You can grab the Integration Components from here.
Improved Mouse Driver Support in Linux Guest Operating Systems
Building on the advances made above with the Linux IC’s, one of the most common questions we’ve received from both internal users as well as our external customers has been the lack of an enlightened mouse driver, which caused issues when remotely connecting to a Hyper-V host and trying to interact with a Linux guest, and in all honesty, the whole Linux mouse control experience needed to be better.
To solve the problem, Citrix have released the InputVSC driver for Hyper-V. This driver provides enlightened mouse driver support for Linux virtual machines, allowing the mouse to be moved in and out of the VMConnect window without using the CTRL-ALT-LeftArrow escape sequence. This driver also enables the use of the mouse when connected to a remote Hyper-V host over a Remote Desktop Connection session.
Not a life changing improvement I’ll admit, but like Tesco’s, every little helps.
Grab the InputVSC Driver from here.
Are you a software developer? Do you develop software that integrates with, or provides value-add on top of, Microsoft technologies? Would you like to be supported by Microsoft on your development journey? If so, read on…
Provided by Microsoft Services, the Microsoft Partner Advantage (MSPA) offers an extensive range of services designed to help Microsoft Partner ISVs more effectively develop, deploy and support solutions using Microsoft technologies. This service is delivered by an assigned ADC (Application Development Consultant), who helps address a Partner’s development challenges through architecture roundtables, code reviews, proof of concepts, reactive developer support, scalability and performance labs, and much more. Their ultimate aim is to is help Partners accelerate their software development process and save money by developing great applications.
You can read more about what the ADC provides, over at the UK ADC blog, and also at the official Microsoft ADC page.
Sounds pretty useful to me!
When Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 shipped last October, it was clear that whilst it was a very performant and powerful platform, it was missing some of the key features and capabilities that you got with Hyper-V as part of Windows Server 2008. For me, the killer capability that was missing from Hyper-V Server 2008, was the ability to cluster the physical boxes, and thus create a more resilient virtualised infrastructure. This wasn’t an issue for Hyper-V as part of Enterprise and Datacenter Windows Server 2008. The reason this capability wasn’t in Hyper-V Server, was the fact that the Hyper-V bit of Hyper-V Server, was based on the Hyper-V bit of Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition, which, as most people know, also doesn’t have clustering capability. This wasn’t the only capability that was missing, due to the use of Standard Edition. Scalability was also affected, as Standard Edition of WS2008 tops out at 32GB RAM when deployed as x64, thus Hyper-V Server 2008 also had this limit imposed.
So, with these missing capabilities in mind, what was Hyper-V Server aiming to provide?
Well, as I blogged way back in October, I highlighted 4 key areas for Hyper-V Server 2008:
Why Test & Dev? Well, think about it – if you’re running VMs on a production, clustered, set of WS2008 Hyper-V boxes, would you want to be testing and developing on the same machines? Would you want to be creating VMs, installing OS’s etc, on those servers? That would consume resource, so why not use Hyper-V Server 2008 to stage those VMs, get them spun up and tested, and then, once the process has completed, export them over to your production environment, without needing to modify the virtual machine. Makes sense to me, and after all, Hyper-V Server isn’t exactly going to cost you anything.
Server Consolidation – yep, still agree with that one, especially if people are thinking about virtualising things like Small Business Server 2008 Premium. Using HVS 2008 to hold both SBS OS’s (the core, and the extra server) enables SBS customers to save some hardware costs and increase their flexibility as their backend infrastructure becomes a few VHD files.
Branch Office – I’m in 2 minds about this one – part of me thinks it’s great to virtualise those 4 servers down to 1 physical and 4 VMs, because I’ll save money through power etc, and I’m still providing the same level of resiliency for those 4 workloads as they had in the physical world, but then the other part of me thinks, it would be safer to have a clustered solution, but that would incur licensing costs in the form of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise or Datacenter licensing. I guess it would be up to the customer to determine the level of resiliency required.
VDI – I still believe that HVS 2008 is a good solution for VDI, especially for pooled vDesktops, but, I think what hits HVS 2008 hardest here is the 32GB RAM limit. This may not be enough for all folk, but for the smaller environment, it provides a simple, and performant solution.
So, that’s Hyper-V Server 2008 today – all I’ve tried to do there is help set the scene, so you can understand better, where Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 fits when it launches later in the year.
What’s changed in R2?
Not the price for a start. Still free, but then, I think it needs to be.
If I had to summarise the changes and improvements in HVS 2008 R2, I’d pinch Zane Adam’s statement, from the Microsoft Virtualisation Blog:
“Our core strategy is to ensure that our customers can virtualize their IT environment in the most cost effective manner, and at the same time, have access to enterprise features like live migration and clustering features for high availability. So in addition to scalability and performance improvements in this version, customers can get live migration and host clustering capabilities and high availability (up to 16 nodes) at no charge.”
First thing you’ll notice from that statement, is that Live Migration and Clustering (High Availability) are in there. In the industry, especially with Live Migration, these have been deemed ‘Enterprise Features’, and because Hyper-V in V1 didn’t have Live Migration, it couldn’t be classed as an Enterprise ready technology – something I’d disagree with wholeheartedly. That said – would I have liked Live Migration in V1 of Hyper-V? Yes! Do I think it would have accelerated adoption? Yes! Something we’ll never know I’m afraid! Let’s, for argument’s sake, say that Live Migration is still an ‘Enterprise Feature’. What Microsoft, with Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, are doing, is making this ‘Enterprise Feature’ available to a much greater market than ever before. Citrix, with their XenServer 5 platform, are doing the same, and have an equally strong story on that front, introducing an excellent array of features into their platform.
I’m not going to say that Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 or XenServer 5, have all the bells and whistles that something like vSphere from VMware has, but I think the Virtualisation space is really going to shake up over the next 12 months, as there are a hell of a lot of people who haven’t virtualised yet, and a fair few people waiting for R2 to come around.
Live Migration and Clustering are great additions, but what else is new?
The Cluster Shared Volumes capability is present, which means no more 1VM per LUN (unless you want to!) recommendation, but whilst solving one problem is great, CSV also provides component level fault tolerance, which means that SAN/Network connectivity for a particular cluster node can interrupted, yet the VMs will carry on running with no interruption. You can read a bit more about CSV here.
You can also hot add/remove VHD’s or Pass Through Disks to VMs, with no interruption, and we’ve increased the number of logical processors (cores) that are supported in the physical hardware, up to 32. Final improvement that I’m going to mention – 1TB RAM memory support – very scalable indeed.
Where does it fit?
It may be easier to start with where doesn’t it fit :-) It’s scalable, it’s got Enterprise Features (:-)), it’s got a broad hardware support ecosystem, a growing ISV support ecosystem, it can be deployed and managed with current tools, it integrates with your current infrastructure, it’s small, fast, secure, and suits Enterprises in the same way it suits SMBs. It’s great for VDI, Testing, Development, Hosting, Branch Offices (thanks to Clustering), and above all, it’s a fantastic choice to virtualise your Server workloads too. It’s WIM based, so you can easily deploy it from a Windows Deployment Server, Ghost it, ImageX it, use System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to deploy it – you’ve got loads of choice. One of the nice new features of vSphere (Enterprise Plus) is Host Profiles, to ensure ESX hosts are configured in the same way through deployment, or after deployment. Isn’t that what SCCM 2007 SP1 does with Task Sequences? How much can be achieved with unattend files? Time will tell but I’d argue they aren’t too dissimilar.
You may be thinking, if HVS 2008 R2 is as feature rich as WS2008 R2 with Hyper-V (Enterprise and Datacenter), why would I buy WS 2008R2 with Hyper-V? Licenses. You don’t get any free licenses with HVS, whereas you get 4 free running instances of Windows Server with each copy of Enterprise, and an unlimited number of free running instances with Datacenter. So, if you need Windows licenses for your virtual machines, you may choose to go down the WS2008 R2 route. That said, there would be nothing stopping you buying WS2008 R2 licenses, and running them on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, with it’s slightly smaller footprint, and equivalent feature set.
Hopefully this has given you a better understanding of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. If you want to read more about Hyper-V Server and R2, check out these resources:
If you are, read on :-)
As you know, one of my passions right now is providing video content that showcases Microsoft technologies in an accurate and fair way (no mythbusting :-)) through my Virtualboy TV site. So far, this has gone down really well with Partners and Customers alike, and is being used in different ways by different people. Hopefully, it will continue to go from strength to strength as we move into FY10.
So, the point of the post.
I work in a team of highly talented Technology Specialists, each with a focus on different technologies, mine being virtualisation. We’ve worked together to produce a 1.8GB Toolkit, for System Integrator Partners, which contains demo videos, sales training videos, whitepapers, case studies, PowerPoint presentations and more, all in the one bundle to download.
This application is a media rich, fully interactive presentation that it is fast to use and free to all UK System Integrator Partners.
In terms of more information; Contained in the toolkit is content relating to SharePoint, Business Intelligence, Unified Communications, Enterprise Project Management, Security & Management and Virtualisation covering sales presentations, case studies, competitive insights, training and readiness, solutions and add-ons and infrastructure optimisation. Also included are thirty four recorded software demonstrations and twenty recorded sales and positioning presentations which can be effectively used in pre-sales and consultative engagements.
The content is organised in a logical and easy to use structure and is now available online for Partners to download! Due to the sensitive nature of some of the content, a password is required to enable access and download the toolkit which can be requested via the download site.
What’s coming next?
From 11th May, we will have a “Create Your Own” toolkit capability available for Partners where they will be able to build their own presentations using the TX application in which this has been built providing the ability to co-brand and re-purpose the content for further distribution. Many Dynamics Partners have been creating high quality presentations for individual prospects and/or events over the last eighteen months with great success.
What can Partners expect to do with the toolkit?
Feedback on and further details of the toolkit can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org
Get it here!
Firstly, apologies – things have been a tad manic recently, and with my holiday booked for this coming Sunday, I need to get as much done as possible before I go, hence a reduction in blog posts! I’ll try and get a few more cheeky blog posts out this week before I leave, (or use Live Writer’s ‘set publish date’ option, to filter posts through next week), but we’ll see.
I’ve also been hard at work on recording more video content for my TV site, specifically around the R2 release of WS2008…These things take time!
So, with regards to this post – I blogged a week or so ago, about a couple of UK sessions that Global Knowledge were running around Windows 7. Well, to keep it plain and simple, they’re running some more, and this time, Windows Server 2008 R2 has been thrown into the mix.
Sessions 1 & 2: Windows 7 FREE Seminar - 100% subsidised
Windows 7 is the next version of the popular Microsoft Window Client platform. With this latest version of Windows, Microsoft has concentrated on making real progress in the area of performance. As well as improvements in networking ,functionality, security and interoperability Microsoft have learned the lessons from Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 to create a slicker client OS. That's the official line from Microsoft. But have the product groups really listened to customers? And does the product deliver on its promises. In this session Andy Malone takes a hard look under the covers of Microsoft's successor to Vista to determine what has changed and if Windows 7 is indeed the answer to all our prayers!
To register yourself or colleagues for this FREE seminar please call 0118 9123 456 or email email@example.com and complete the registration details.
Sessions 3 & 4: Windows Server 2008 R2 FREE Seminar – Raw & Unleashed - 100% subsidised
It is with great excitement that we bring you an exclusive unbiased preview of Windows Server 2008 R2. In this 2 hour session Andy Malone investigates the new features of Windows Server 2008 R2 as well providing insights into Microsoft's future strategy. With improvements in speed, networking, Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services), Hyper-V V2 and more this session will provide real insight into what's just around the corner and more importantly what it will mean for you and your business.
Windows Server 2008 R2 isn’t that far away, so it’s important that Partners understand the benefits of the new platform, in terms of features, capabilities, and integration with other technologies, such as Windows 7 client. This Live Meeting is an ideal chance to spend an hour getting on board!
“Microsoft is excited to launch Windows Server 2008 R2 the newest release from the Windows Server family. This one hour session provides a high level overview of product key features and benefits, the business value and differentiators. Keeping with our 2/4 year major/minor release cadence, Windows Server 2008 R2 will be an 'R2 Style' release to address important industry trends including multi-core/many-core, virtualization, power management, componentization, and the change to 64-bit only architecture. After attending this session you will be armed to engage customers in conversations about Windows Server 2008 R2 and saving money through an upgraded infrastructure”
You can register for the webcast here: https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=265845
The session will take place on April 22nd 2009, and will be presented by Justin Graham, who’s one of our Windows Server Product Managers in the US. It kicks off at 4pm GMT.
Once registered, you should receive all the login information etc, so just make sure that you’ve got Live Meeting 2007 installed, and you’ve got your computer audio switched on, so you don’t have to dial in via a phone connection. If you don’t have computer audio available at the time, I’m sure the registration email will provide you with dial-in details.
I’ll hopefully be catching this one – should be a very interesting session indeed.
For those of you not familiar, MED-V, or Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualisation, to use it’s full title, is an administrator-controlled, automated virtual machine (VM) image distribution and management technology for Windows desktops. It’s primary aim is to help solve those App to OS issues, that wouldn’t be solved by something like Application Virtualisation. It uses the Virtual PC technology, under the covers, to run, almost like an invisible virtual machine on the end user’s desktop/laptop, which enables them to access legacy applications etc, whilst embracing a new OS technology, and at the same time, the ‘invisible VM’ is corporately, and centrally, controlled and managed.
There are 3 fundamental parts that make up a rollout of MED-V technology:
Thankfully, in true IPD fashion, these have been well documented and explained in the MED-V IPD guide. A very useful read if you’re planning on deploying MED-V, or just want to know more about it’s capabilities.
Download it here.
You can view a video of MED-V here.
If you’re around on the 16th April, and you fancy learning a bit more about 2 key technologies in and around the Microsoft virtualisation stack, you’d be more than welcome to attend the next Microsoft Virtualisation User Group meeting, to be held at Microsoft’s London office, at Cardinal Place, just near London Victoria.
I’ll be presenting at this one, and I’ll be exploring some of the Hyper-V and VMM R2 technologies, and discussing some of the key improvements to the platform, such as Cluster Shared Volumes, Core Parking, and of course, Live Migration. I’ll be trying to make it as demo intensive as possible, so should be half decent!
The second half of the session will be dedicated to a technology that extends the capability of the Hyper-V platform, namely Double-Take for Hyper-V. I’m particularly looking forward to that session, as understanding how it fits together has been on my to-do list for ages, but you know how it is! Busy Busy!
18:00 – 18:15 – Arrivals
18:15 – 19:30 – Matt McSpirit (Microsoft) deep dive into Hyper-V R2 and SCVMM 2008 R2
19:30 – 20:00 – Food
20:00 – 21:15 – Adam Downie (Double-Take) Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Management with Double-Take for Hyper-V
21:15 – 21:30 – Q&A Plus Wrap Up
I better get cracking and start building out my environment!
If you’re not sure about where Microsoft’s London office is, check out this PDF map.
If you’re interested in coming along (there’s pizza – hence I’ll be there! Forget the session! :-)) then head on over to the MVUG Forum, or, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on the 16th!