One of the most viewed blog post I`ve written, is about Failover Cluster Manager, SCVMM, and Hyper-V Manager – which tool you should use to manage your virtual infrastructure.
SCVMM 2008 R2 had a lack of features when it came to managing your cluster, and you would normally rely on the information you got from Failover Cluster Manager, and not the SCVMM 2008 R2 console.
It would be moderate to say that this has changed a bit with SCVMM 2012.
You are not only able to manage your Hyper-V Cluster with SCVMM 2012, you can also create Hyper-V Clusters.
A Hyper-V Cluster is a major part of the private cloud, and is combination of the physical resources configured in the Fabric. As I have written several times before, SCVMM 2012 gives you the possibility to manage your entire virtual datacenter with a single console. This includes deep storage integration through the SMI-S protocol, out of band management so that you can deploy bare metal Hyper-V servers, and to use them in conjunction with Power Optimization and Dynamic Optimization (Dynamic Optimization does not require out of band management).
In a nutshell, you are able to do the following to get your private cloud ready:
1) Deploy SCVMM 2012
2) Deploy bare metal Hyper-V servers
3) Deploy Hyper-V Clusters
4) Assign LUN`s, CSV, and networking
5) Take portions of the physical resources in the Fabric, and assign it to a private cloud that you define
6) Assign the cloud to your users. (Normally after you have configured some available and usuable resources in the library)
Another thing to note, is that SCVMM 2008 R2 did not let you create stand-alone VM`s on the cluster, but you`re able to do this in SCVMM 2012. This is ideal when it comes to the domain controller-dilemma - since you should not locate your DC`s on a CSV only, but have them outside the cluster, so that the cluster would come online again after a complete shutdown. In other words, you can put them on dedicated LUN`s, or on DAS. For more information, see the Failover Clustering and Domain Requirements (by example) article.
Another feature that is worth mentioning, is the ability to patch your cluster with a dedicated WSUS server. This one will save you some serious amount of time, since there is no need for manual input.
Again, in a nutshell, this is what you would do:
1) Define a baseline of patches that WSUS should deploy
2) All the servers in the Fabric would be scanned to determine which hosts are not compliant
3) The non-compliant hosts are identified
4) An orchestrated patching workload will place a node into “maintenance mode”, live migrate the VMs to the other nodes in the cluster, patch the node, remote it from “maintenance mode”, and move the VM`s back
So, with SCVMM 2012 on its way, we can look forward to a more simplified day-to-day job.
From now on, this will be the tool, not just to manage your virtual infrastructure and clouds, but also the starting point when you are dealing with deployment of the various servers, storage, and networks you are in control of.