Virtual TechDays – September 2008 – Managing Virtual Infrastructure

Virtual TechDays – September 2008 – Managing Virtual Infrastructure

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Hi, this is Ravi Sankar (http://ravisankar.spaces.live.com/blog ) again from the TechNet India team. This is the second blog post I am writing in response to the questions we received as part of virtual tech days (http://www.connectwithlife.co.in/vtd ). This time I am answering the questions from the session “Managing Virtual Infrastructure”

Q1: Is virtualization suitable for big corporations only? Or is it useful to small and medium enterprises also?

A1: Very good question. Virtualization technologies are useful to organizations of all sizes. Let me explain this with the help of an example.

Hyper-V is the server virtualization technology from Microsoft. By using Hyper-V in a data centre, a large organization can consolidate their server infrastructure into fewer number of servers. This will result in savings in terms of rack space, cooling, power, management cost etc.

The above advantages are applicable to a small and medium sized business organization (SMB) as well. Since SMBs face additional constraints in terms of quality infrastructure and skilled IT man power virtualization can offer them a more optimized IT solution by requiring less infrastructure and better server management technologies (backup, high availability, provisioning etc.).

Q2: How does System Centre Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) handle applications which are not cluster aware to provide high availability (HA)?

A2: SCVMM does not handle applications directly but through virtual machines. Hyper-V is cluster aware and can be configured to provide HA for all the virtual machines running on it. The applications running in these virtual machines may or may not be cluster aware. SCVMM can manage the failover of such virtual machines from one server to another server running Hyper-V.

Q3: What is template creation in System Center Virtual Machine manager (SCVMM)?

A3: Templates are virtual machines created and stored in SCVMM library with specific virtual hardware, OS and application configurations. Templates are created for frequently used virtual machine configurations so that it is easier to provision new VMs. It also allows automation of VMs through scripting.

As one of you said it is a one time activity

Q4: Is diagram view of virtual and physical machines created automatically in System Center Operations Manager (SCOM)?

A4: Yes, once SCOM is configured to monitor a Virtual Server or Hyper-V based computer it can generate a diagram of physical machines and associated virtual machines automatically

Q5: Is Hyper-V a Type-1 virtualization product?

A5: Yes, Hyper-V is a hypervisor based Type-1 virtualization product. Hyper-V is available either as part of Windows Server 2008 x64 editions or as a standalone product (http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server ) for bare metal implementation

Q6: How many Hyper-V based servers are required to virtualize my xxx number of servers?

Or How can I size my Hyper-V deployment?

Or How much memory is required to virtualize xxx number or servers?

A6: As an answer to all these questions I request you to visit the following URLs and read things related to virtualization.

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/sysperf/Perf_tun_srv.mspx

www.microsoft.com/map

http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/lior/archive/2008/08/15/hyper-v-server-sizing-and-performance-tuning.aspx 

Q7: How powerful is Hyper-v?

A7: This is a very subjective question and it can be best answered with the help of some real customer  case studies given the following link http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization/case-studies.mspx

Q8: Is it possible to manage VMWare infrastructure from SCVMM?

A8: Yes, SCVMM allows the integration of VMWare into its console. Details can be found here. http://blogs.technet.com/chengw/archive/2008/04/29/managing-vmware.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/virtualworld/archive/2008/06/02/managing-vmware-with-scvmm.aspx

Q9: Can Hyper-V run on 32 bit hardware or 32 bit OS?

A9: Hyper-V runs only on 64 bit hardware and requires 64 bit edition of Windows Server 2008 in the parent partition. However some of the remote management tools for Hyper-V runs on 32 bit OS. Also Hyper-V supports 32 bit virtual machines.

Q10: What kind of drivers used by virtual machines in Hyper-V?

A10: Hyper-V supports two different types of devices viz. emulated and synthetic. Emulated device drivers are used for backward compatibility with older operating systems whereas synthetic drivers are supported only in newer operating systems like WS2008 but provides better performance. To know more about emulated and synthetic devices please refer to the following links.

http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2008/02/25/hyper-v-terminology.aspx

http://blogs.msdn.com/tvoellm/archive/2008/01/02/hyper-v-integration-components-and-enlightenments.aspx

http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid94_gci1312278,00.html

Q11: How do I provide high availability for virtual machines running in Hyper-V?

A11: There are many articles available on Microsoft’s website on providing high availability to a Hyper-v environment. Here is one of them http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc837977.aspx

Q12: What makes the rapid provisioning of virtual machines possible in a Hyper-v environment?

A12: Libraries, templates, PowerShell based scripting and self service portal features in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 make the rapid provisioning of virtual machine possible in a Hyper-V based virtual environment.

Q13: What are the minimum system requirements to run Hyper-V?

A13: The answer depends on whether you are running a bare metal Hyper-V server, server core based Hyper-V and Hyper-V with full installation of Windows Server 2008. Here is the system requirements for running Hyper-v server

http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/system-requirements.mspx

Q14: Where can I get a free copy of Hyper-V?

A14: Hyper-V is available to you when you purchase a copy of “Windows Server 2008 x64 edition with Hyper-V”. To download an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2008 please visit the following link

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/trial-software.aspx

A full version of Hyper-V server can be downloaded free of cost from the following link

http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/how-to-get.mspx

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