Patrick, from the MVUG Blog, pinged this through this morning, so I thought I’d share:
Microsoft is offering some free Hyper-V training. You will need to enter a specific access code 9350-Y2W6-3676 and sign in with your Live ID. The course “Collection 6319 - Configuring Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008” includes the following modules:
To sign up go to https://www.microsoftelearning.com/eLearning/enterCode.aspx
Hat tip to Mr Overton for forwarding this article over. If you’re thinking about Virtual Desktops, and the business justifications for, and against, then you may find this Network World article useful.
While server virtualization virtually guarantees a speedy ROI, desktop virtualization can be cost-prohibitive to start and deliver a somewhat less immediate and difficult-to-quantify return on the substantial investment. Analysts estimate choosing virtual desktops can cost 150% to 250% more than traditional PCs — and that's just for the direct cost of acquiring the technology. Savvy IT managers realize when pricing out a project they need to also calculate indirect costs.
Definitely a worthwhile read if you have a spare few minutes. As with any technology, there are pros, and cons. Not everyone is aware of the amount of storage space, potentially. required by VDI, let alone the networking infrastructure too…
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will be available in the near future. Are you thinking about deploying these new operating systems? Get a head start with Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 Beta. Over 680,000 Microsoft customers and partners including Costco Wholesale Corporation, Continental Airlines, and Banque de Luxembourg have already downloaded and used this toolkit to date.
Introducing Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit
Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 is an integrated planning toolkit that makes it easier for Microsoft customers and partners to quickly identify what servers, workstations, and network devices are in their IT environment. This agentless and scalable toolkit has the ability to discover all computers within Active Directory and workgroup environments. It performs key functions that include hardware and device inventory, hardware compatibility analysis, and generation of actionable, environment-specific IT proposals for migration to most major Microsoft technologies.
What’s New with v4.0?
Version 4.0 of this toolkit has the following new features:
Other features from version 3.2 have also been carried over to version 4.0:
Benefits to Customers and Partners
Saves Planning or Pre-Sales Time. For most IT consultants and Microsoft Partners, a detailed network inventory and assessment of servers and desktops often takes days of manual labour. With Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit, you can now conduct an environment inventory of up to 100,000 computers in a matter of hours instead of days, giving you extra time to focus on critical planning or pre-sales tasks. For IT professionals, this toolkit can significantly reduce the time it takes to gather the information necessary to make the business case for client, server, and virtualisation projects.
Provides Actionable Recommendations and Reporting. This toolkit provides valuable inventory and readiness assessment reports with environment-specific upgrade recommendations and virtualisation candidate reports, making it easier for IT migration and deployment projects to get off the ground and running.
Covers Wide Range of Scenarios--from Desktops to Servers. This toolkit offers technology assessments and planning recommendations for many Microsoft desktop and server products including Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V, Virtual Server 2005 R2, 2007 Microsoft Office, SQL Server 2008, Forefront Client Security, Network Access Protection, Microsoft Online Services, Microsoft Application Virtualisation (or App-V), and more.
Next Steps--How can I get Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 Beta?
Sticking with the case study theme, here’s another one for you, but this time, it’s a video, rather than a document based case study. For those of you who don’t know, John West is brand leader in the United Kingdom, Holland and Ireland, and they also trade in 38 markets throughout Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, North and South America. In the retail industry, customers are pivotal to success, so optimising their customer management, with technologies like Microsoft Dynamics, is incredibly important. At the same time however, John West also decided that Virtualisation, with Hyper-V would enable them to make significant savings around Power, Cooling and so on.
The video case study, found here: http://www.microsoftmovies.co.uk/si/general/ is only 4 minutes long, but gives you a great insight into how they are making the technology work for them, combining both Dynamics, and Hyper-V.
The number of case studies around Microsoft Virtualisation in the UK has been ramping up considerably as of late, and is only set to grow further as we progress into FY10 and edge closer to Hyper-V R2. I’ve highlighted some of the most recent additions to the catalog below.
Britannia Building Society - UK Building Society Cuts Power Consumption by 75 Per Cent with Virtualised Servers
“Microsoft virtualisation technology now plays a key role in our sustainability strategy by helping to reduce power consumption by 75 per cent.” Tim Tharratt, Solutions Developer, IS Services Support
Wakefield Council (SMSE) - Licensing Model Saves Council 25 Per Cent on Infrastructure Deployment and Monitoring
“By using SMSE, we’ve already achieved savings of 25 per cent against the cost of buying four products separately. We’ll achieve an even better return on investment when we go ahead with virtualisation” Lee Whitehouse, Technical Support Manager, Wakefield Council.
Tenon Group - Accountants and Business Advisers Use Virtualisation to Save Nearly £100,000
“With Hyper-V, we can rapidly adapt to the needs of our business. By reducing power consumption and increasing the efficiency of our servers, we can support future expansion” Richard Dallimore, Group IT Systems Manager, Tenon Group
Freelance World - Accountancy Service Provider Set to Accelerate Business with Virtualisation Solution
“We have ambitious growth plans and intend to become a leading company in our sector. We firmly believe that with the Microsoft virtualised solution behind us, we can do just that” Alasdair McGill, Managing Director, Freelance World
It’s the final part, and this is where the fun starts!
In the final part of this 4-part series, we take a look at some of the key capabilities of the NetApp storage backend, with which our Hyper-V cluster is integrated. We look at the space savings achieved when using Thin Provisioning, DeDuplication and we also take a look at Snapshots.
Duration: 19m 38s
Part 3 of 4, here we come!
In the 3rd video, of this 4 part series, we validate, and build our Hyper-V R2 cluster, using the NetApp storage backend. We also create a few highly available Virtual Machines to run on our cluster.
Duration: 14m 16s
Download this video, and more, on the Virtualboy TV site.
Straight into the 2nd video of this 4 part series:
In the second of this 4 part series, we set up and configure a NetApp storage backend, to be used with a Hyper-V R2 Cluster. We install and configure the system using NetApp System Manager, and walk through Volume and LUN creation, and more...
Duration: 16m 19s
After a barrage (21) of blog posts last month, this month has been pretty dry in comparison. Main reason for that is, I’ve been busy building up the content repository for another wave of video loveliness and useful information. Hopefully we’ll break double figures for the blog posts for this month! Here comes the first one, live from Citrix iForum in Edinburgh!
A month or so back, I got together with Pete Mason and Steve Winfield from NetApp, to produce a series of videos highlighting the NetApp value-add to Hyper-V. I’ve split the videos into 4 parts, with the first, being a 40 minute overview of what makes up the technologies, and why they’re important. Before anyone says, “isn’t that favouritism – what about all the other storage vendors?” For me, the moral is, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. NetApp have been very proactive, at a local level, and a global level, around suggesting new ways we can work together, and a set of Virtualboy TV video was the next logical step. This is just one reason why they are becoming more and more of a prominent Partner with Microsoft. Hopefully that will be reflected at the next NetApp Insight event, ey’ Steve! So, if any other vendors are reading, don’t be shy (obviously loan demo kit helps too – thanks chaps!), get in touch. Same applies to software vendors too. Expect videos in the near future with Citrix and Quest to name but two.
Anyway, here’s the video and info:
In this video, I'm joined by Steve Winfield and Pete Mason from NetApp, to discuss the value add that some of the NetApp storage technologies can bring to a Microsoft Hyper-V infrastructure. We explore the basics, but also look at some of the more advanced features like DeDupe and Thin Provisioning. The volume seems like it hasn't come out too loud on this one, so you may need to turn your speakers or headphones up a bit!
Duration: 41m 54s
As always, you can grab the downloads from the Virtualboy TV site.
I knew it was due round about now, but didn’t have a firm date, but now it’s here, and ready for you to download from the Microsoft Connect site.
What’s new in the Release Candidate?
I blogged about the key features a few weeks back, but one feature that’s been mentioned on a few blogs around the web is the Storage Migration capability that SCVMM 2008 R2 RC provides, in comparison to say, Storage VMotion (within the Enterprise SKU) of VMware’s vSphere platform. Needless to say, it’s the same voices that piped up when Quick Migration was in 2008 Hyper-V, and not Live…
Anyway, what are the key differences between SCVMM Storage Migration, and Storage VMotion?
Well, Storage VMotion allows transferring of the VM's storage with no downtime, and it's a great technology, whereas Quick Storage Migration does introduce a little downtime to that VM, however SCVMM's Storage Migration capability is built into all versions of SCVMM, including the $500 workgroup edition, so it's a feature that's available to a vast majority. Will QSM become Live Storage Migration in the future? I can only assume, but who knows. Now that we have the Live Migration capability in Hyper-V, translating that across to Storage shouldn’t be beyond comprehension. As I've said, currently, on the QSM side however, the caveat to be aware of is the introduction of a short period of downtime (saved state) of a VM as it’s storage is migrated.
(Thanks to Bjorn for the correction!)
Download it from Connect.