Implementing App-V – Part II: Choosing and Preparing the Environment

  Other posts in this series: Implementing App-V – Part I: Introduction to Application Virtualization Implementing App-V – Part III: Integrating Clients Implementing App-V – Part IV: Sequencing Applications After the first post about App-V and application virtualization technologies we had a nice review about the platform. So, if you feel like this type of technology can add some value […]

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Implementing App-V – Part I: Introduction to Application Virtualization

  Other posts in this series: Implementing App-V – Part II: Choosing and Preparing the Environment Implementing App-V – Part III: Integrating Clients Implementing App-V – Part IV: Sequencing Applications Virtualizing applications it is not a very common requirement for most administrators or companies. These solutions doesn’t seem like a “must” in any given environment, but why? One of the main reasons it’s related to the benefit/cost equation it’s not quite clear for most of us. With these posts I’ll try to give a small introduction to the technology, explain the environment, provide a step-by-step deployment for App-V and the benefits that could apply to your organization. What is Application Virtualization? Application virtualization represents the technologies that permits to remove the complexity of deploying and maintaining applications for desktop users by providing: Applications centralized management. Facilitates the process of deploying, updating and removing applications.  Removing potential conflicts on desktop clients. Each application deployed using this type of technology runs in a isolated environment. Capability to capture a set of interconnected applications into a single package to be distributed among clients. Common Scenarios Let me give you a few common scenarios where application virtualization applies: Scenario A Problem: You are using a company’s application that requires some special configurations every time that is deployed, and that is also interconnected with other applications (for example: A local database engine, Java Runtime Environment or some other particular requirement). It demands you several hours […]

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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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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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Free eBook "Virtualization Solutions" Desktop to Datacenters

Taking your first steps in the virtualization world and you don’t really know where are you standing? Getting to know what virtualization products are available? Want to understand about VDI (Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) or App-V (former known as SoftGrid)? Confused about virtualization licensing? Well this is for sure a must reading book for you. And the best thing, it’s here for free! You can get the PDF (~14mb) at this link (link updated): “Virtualization Solutions from the Desktop to the Datacenter” Chapter 1: Microsoft’s Virtualization Solution Introduction to the virtualization world, benefits and how to implement it. Chapter 2: Server Virtualization – Hyper-V Start to know about the hyper visor released by Microsoft from Windows Server 2008 platform. How it works, benefits and different scenarios. Chapter 3: Managing Virtualization – VMM 2008 The latest centralized platform from System Center, Virtual Machine Manager 2008. Where you can manage different type of servers: Virtual Server, VMWare and Hyper-V. Chapter 4: Application Virtualization – App-V How App-V works (former known as SoftGrid) and how it can be delivered to users. Chapter 5: Presentation Virtualization – Terminal Services How Terminal Services complements the different virtualization solutions and their benefits. Chapter 6: Desktop Virtualization – MED-V and VDI Explaining Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) and Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Chapter 7: User State Virtualization Complementing Romaing Profiles, Folder Redirection, Offline Files, Group Policies with virtualization and how to implement it on an organization. […]

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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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