Blog - Title

March, 2009

  • Trying to achieve granularity of backups with the Hyper-V VSS Writer

    Another area of feedback on the Hyper-V VSS Writer is that it does not give much by way of granularity beyond the level of the virtual machine. As a result of that, backup applications are stuck to backing up the entire VHD file, which could easily end...
  • Working around the pass through limitations of the Hyper-V VSS Writer

    While the Hyper-V VSS writer provides backup admins significant flexibility in their ability to back up VMs in an application-consistent way while running backup applications in the physical machine, it does have a prominent limitation when it comes to...
  • Virtualization Review's hypervisor test

    The other day, Virtualization Review published a comparative performance test of three hypervisors: VMware ESX 3.5, Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer. You can see it here. NOTE - there are few independent, published performance reviews of hypervisors because including ESX in the review without VMware's permission violates the VMware EULA about posting benchmarks. Amongst reviewers, this EULA restriction is well-known as serves as a deterrent. Rick Vanover and his editor, Keith Ward, deserve kudos for securing VMware approval for the performance comparison without jeopardizing journalistic integrity. Way to go! OK, back to Rick Vanover's test. His test objectives: All the hypervisors offer essentially the same base functionality. In this series of tests, the objective was to put the same workloads on each one and see how they stack up. The types of workloads tested varied, to simulate a typical environment in which some virtual machines (VMs) are stressed, and some aren't. Each platform was subjected to the same test plan parameters, to give a fair accounting of their performance. Read about the comparison parameters, test environment and caveats. The results will be surprising (in a "man bites dog" sort of way) to many.
  • HP whitepapers on NIC Teaming for Hyper-V

    HP has published 2 white papers describing their NIC teaming support for Hyper-V. First is a 5-page "how to" document specific to HP ProLiant. Here's the abstract: HP ProLiant Network Teaming Software allows ProLiant systems running Microsoft...
  • SCVMM and VMware ESX management

    The threat of virtualization sprawl. That was a theme my colleagues heard last week at IDC's "Directions" conference in San Jose. And true to IDC's form, they backed up their predictions with some numbers. Here's an excerpt from one article: Virtualization has often been seen as something of a magic bullet to this problem, promising to consolidate a number of low-utilization servers onto a single piece of hardware. But the average number of virtual machines per server is only five, Bailey noted, with that number going to eight by 2012. So much for the vision of consolidating dozens of servers onto one machine. More important, though, was that IDC found that just going from five virtual machines to eight means there will be 100 million new servers by 2012, and "all of them still need to be managed." That's a problem, she said, since the tools to do this are not keeping pace. Our customers have referred to this issue as "islands," referring to the need for different management tools, interfaces, etc. to manage their heterogeneous environment. After all, customers and partners tell us, they're trying to manage services, no matter if the applications run on Windows or non-Windows, physical or virtualized. For those of you in that last camp, like Atlanta Journal Constitution, Mamut and Maxol, you know that Microsoft and some other systems management vendors are creating tools to keep pace with heterogeneous hypervisors and VMs, and as well traditional physical systems and non-virtualized applications. System Center is one such management tool; VMware vCenter isn't (yet, according to Alessandro). To elaborate on this point, check out RakeshM's latest blog post here.
  • Guest post: Moving Virtualization into the Mainstream

    I’d like to start this post by saying thank you to our friends at Microsoft for running my blog post here. As we’re mid-way through Virtualization Ecosystem Month (VEM), it has been exciting to see the partner support around the topic of virtualization and I encourage you to check out Microsoft’s guest post on my blog. Both AMD and Microsoft are continually asked if virtualization can really become a sustainable technology in the mainstream computing market. Skeptics are quick to point out that the technology world is littered with products that have never made it beyond the early adopter edge of the market. Names like Apple Newton, Betamax, Sega Dreamcast, and OS/2 come up in various articles and discussions about technologies that didn’t become widespread market successes. Will virtualization suffer this same fate? Is it destined to stay on the fringe? In my opinion, all indications are that virtualization is jumping the technology chasm between early adopters and the mainstream market. Recent survey results from Forrester demonstrate that firms (both large and small) are in the midst of rethinking and overhauling IT infrastructure and client systems. Virtualization is one of technologies at the center of these efforts with Forrester reporting that 54% of the enterprises and 53% of the SMBs surveyed have either implemented x86 server virtualization or plan to do so within the next 12 months—which is significant in today’s current economy.
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 beta available

    Exciting news for Windows Server Hyper-V, System Center, and VMWare customers. The beta of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 is now available on the Microsoft Connect site for download . If you don't already have access to VMM on the Connect...
  • System Center Ops Manager management pack for Hyper-V

    A quick note that a beta of the Hyper-V management pack for System Center Operations Manager (2007, 2007 R2) is available. In combination with SCVMM (for advanced monitoring of VMs across your Hyper-V, ESX and Virtual Server environments), this SCOM 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. This beta management pack supports the following OS only (for now): § Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition (Full Installation with Hyper-V Role enabled) § Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (Full Installation with Hyper-V Role enabled) § Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition (Full Installation with Hyper-V Role enabled) To request an invitation to access this beta, you can send a message to the following address: MPCC@microsoft.com
  • Fix for Cert Error on Hyper-V

    Bryon over at the Windows Server Division blog pointed out a certificate error that can occur for those of you running WS08 Hyper-V. The cert error results in the inability to start or connect to VMs running on WS08 Hyper-V or MS Hyper-V Server 2008. Here's an excerpt: Symptoms and resolution: § You may be unable to start or connect to virtual machines running on Windows Server 2008 or Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008. This occurs when connecting using vmconnect. Connections made using Remote Desktop won't be affected. § KB Article 967902 has been created that details the symptoms and resolution. This KB article provides a direct link to download the quickfix to resolve this error.
  • March 31 live web chat

    On Tuesday, March 31, Microsoft's Edwin Yuen will be hosting a live web chat 11am-3pm EST. Edwin is a sr. technical product manager. Edwin came to Microsoft with the acquisition of Softricity (and the SoftGrid application virtualization technology). He now also covers Hyper-V and System Center VMM. Sign up here.