System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 (beta) Released and Testing it Already

SCVMM 2008 R2 Beta has been released last week to the public (to access the bits you have to register on Connect at this link). This new version of the platform comes with a lot of interesting improvements that are worthwhile, specially if you have on your hands a dynamic datacenter with a lot of virtual machines, shared storage and Hyper-V clustering. As you probably know, Live Migration (check this link for more info and documentation) is a new feature that is included within Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (both of them are in Beta right now), that gives you a lot of help making your infrastructure more agile and dynamic by letting you to move a running virtual machines between different Hyper-V hosts without any downtime. With SCVMM 2008 R2 you will be able to execute those migrations directly from the VMM console. You will also be able to hot addition for VHDs; support for new hardware scenarios, etc etc. For more information about new features of SCVMM 2008 R2 check MVUG Blog, and this post: What’s New in VMM 2008 R2 Beta System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (VMM) is a comprehensive management solution for managing virtualized infrastructure running on Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V, Virtual Server 2005 R2 and VMware ESX through Virtual Center.  Recently, Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta was released which included significant feature improvements to Hyper-V—the underlying hypervisor platform.  A […]

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Step-by-Step: Adding Hyper-V Integration Components to Windows PE using WAIK 2.0 Tools

For those that have been using Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) 2.0 released recently (download link here) or using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta 1, that works only with WAIK 2.0 (check these articles of mine about MDT 2010: Post I, Post II and Post III); maybe you’ve noticed that the management tools that were included with WAIK 1.1 (and 1.0) disappeared in this new version. These tools were consolidated by one command-line: DISM.exe (more info on Post I about MDT 2010). Meaning that the Windows PE management (like customizing, adding drivers or inserting Hyper-V integration components to those images) that you executed on previous versions of WAIK, has significant changes. On this post we’ll be reviewing how to add the Hyper-V Integration Components to a Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) image, including the new Windows PE 3.0. Why should I need to add the Hyper-V Integration Components to Windows PE? The Integration Components of Hyper-V are a set of drivers that are a significant performance change that you can apply to virtual machines for them to be able to install synthetic devices instead of emulated devices. Some of the drivers that are installed using the Integration Components are: Video driver, network driver (with this you avoid using Hyper-V’s Legacy Network adapter), storage driver, VMBUS (transport for synthetic devices), time sync (time synchronization with the host), etc. Adding Hyper-V Integration Components  As I mentioned before, I prepared a set of […]

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Windows Server 2008 R2 Live Migration: “Overview & Architecture” and “Step-by-Step Guide” Documents Released

Microsoft released in the last days two new more documents about one of the most expected technologies on Windows Server 2008 R2: Live Migration. This new technology will allow you to move any running virtual machine using Hyper-V from Windows Server 2008 R2 or Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (the free hypervisor offered by Microsoft) to another machine with any of those operating systems, without any downtime or disruption of the service. Here are the two links for the new articles: Windows Server 2008 R2 & Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 – Hyper-V Live Migration Overview & Architecture Step-by-Step Guide to Using Live Migration in Windows Server 2008 R2 Here’s an example graphic of how Live Migration setup handles Configuration Files of the virtual machines: It is important for you to notice that Live Migration requires Failover Clustering to be configured on all hosts, access to a shared storage (like in NAS or SAN environments) and a special network configured between them to be used only for Live Migration feature. For more information about Hyper-V Failover Clustering check this guide:Hyper-V Step-by-Step Guide: Hyper-V and Failover Clustering Complete list of requirements for Live Migration: Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Enterprise Edition Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Datacenter Edition Live migration is also supported on Microsoft® Hyper-V™ Server 2008 R2. Microsoft Failover Clustering must be configured on all physical hosts that will use live migration Failover Clustering supports up to 16 nodes per […]

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Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Beta Available for Download!

Did you get the chance to try on the free Hyper-Visor released by Microsoft a few months ago, Hyper-V Server 2008?. Don’t get confused, this is not a version of Windows Server 2008, it’s just the hyper-visor released as a "bare-metal" operating system, based significantly on remote administration (nothing much to do locally), but the great feature is that is completely free. Now they’ve also released the R2 version of this operating system, and you can download it from here (~1.2gb). The main improvements from the previous versions: Hyper-V clustering supported! Live Migration. Processor and memory upgrades (up to 32 cores and 1TB of RAM). Includes an Hyper-V configuration utility. I had the chance to work with the first version and it’s been a great experience. Since it’s just an hyper-visor with a really small footprint, has an awesome performance on their virtual machines, including a small attack surface design. One of the significant drawbacks that I found on the first version is that Hyper-V clustering/failover was not supported, but this new release sounded like a great news when I saw that is going to support this feature. Making this free operating system with a great performance, high-available and scalable design. Give this one a chance to test it, you won’t regret it. Check a previous guide I’ve made regarding Hyper-V Server 2008 (applies as well for the R2 version): “Hyper-V Server: Installing, Configuring and Troubleshooting” Cheers!

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Looking for VHDs?

Some of you already know about the official Microsoft VHD Download Page; where you can get the VHD file of a pre-builded virtual machine with an special configuration, like Exchange Server 2007, Windows 2008 Server Core, etc. All of them of course are trial versions (including the operating system).   The latest relase was made in late December, Intelligent Application Gateway 2007 SP2 with Applications Optimizer. You can download it from here. IAG 2007 SP2 Overview Intelligent Application Gateway (IAG) is a remote access gateway that boosts productivity by giving mobile and remote workers, partners and customers easy, flexible and secure access to virtually any application from a broad range of devices and locations.IAG enables IT administrators to truly enforce compliance and address virtually any remote access scenario by providing easy to configure, built-in, policies that address common applications and user environments.IAG SP2 delivers a range of new, important enhancements for customers: 1. Runs as a virtual machine on Hyper-V for low TCO, flexible/secure deployment and simple disaster recovery.2. Interoperability for non-Windows environments with support for Firefox, Linux and Mac.3. New application support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and OCS Web client. Looking around and reading some blogs, I found also a very useful post related to this Microsoft Site: The links of every VHD available to this date, including several other interesting tools and links. http://blog.windowsvirtualization.com/downloads Also I highly recommend you to visit the main blog where I found those […]

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Hyper-V Server: Installing, configuring and troubleshooting

It’s been a few weeks since its release but I finally managed to put my hands on to Hyper-V Server. I was very curious about it: A free operating system released by Microsoft working only as an HyperVisor it makes wonder about a lot of things. Also recently I’ve been working with VMWare ESX Server 3i, that is also the hypervisor working directly on the machine, and I had a good experience (I really loved the monitoring and reporting features that you can use). From the moment I started using Hyper-V Server few troubleshooting tasks needed to be done. Installing Hyper-V Server If you ever installed any operating system, ever, you should not have any problem with this. You’ll of course see that the process is identical from Vista and Windows 2008. To get started with Hyper-V Server there’s available the Hyper-V Server 2008 Configuration Guide. If you want to avoid almost any command line to be executed from now on, Hyper-V Server has a simple tool where you’ll load a menu to access most of the configurations you will need. You can access it using this cmd: C:windowssystem32hvconfig.cmd But I’ll execute the next steps using the command line features, so this procedure will apply as well for Windows 2008 Server Core. Managing Remotely To start using Hyper-V Server you will need Hyper-V Console on your Vista SP1 (remember: there’s no other option for an Hyper-V Server to be managed […]

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