Monday, November 28, 2011

Announcing the "Virtualization and some coffee - Christmas calendar"

Last year, I decided to put a new blog post on my blog every day till Christmas. This year there will be no exception, and I`ll try to share something useful every day.
It might be a tip about a feature, or it might be some thoughts about technology in general. But hopefully you`ll find something useful, and I will use the different TechNet forums as my inspiration source if I can`t think quite clear.

If you want me to write about something cloud/virtualization/management related stuff, please feel free to comment on this post. Oh, and the best tip will get a copy of my book (Cloud Computing – Med Virtual Machine Manager 2012 (in Norwegian)) J

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cloud Computing – introduced by VMM 2012 - Now Available!

Finally. After several months of hard work and the latest two months combined with an illness in my back, I am happy to announce that my book is finished.

I`ve been in and out the hospital – not only once, but twice during the last month. Some of the injections were fun, and some of them were not.

However, I can summarize the book experience with one word: fun.

Although it was fun to write about exciting new technology, it also included hard work and many late nights. A big thanks to √ėyvind Flatekval who took his time to be the technical reviewer. I gave him some tough deadlines but he responded every time, no matter what or when.

About the book

The purpose of the book Is to help the IT-pro, IT-architects (also VMware-professionals) and IT-guys in general – to understand cloud computing, how Microsoft with their products can help them, and how to build and design cloud computing within the organizations own datacenter (private cloud) using System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

There are currently no material available in Norwegian regarding cloud computing and VMM, so I hope this book can be helpful for those who want a deeper understanding of cloud computing.

We`re heading towards some very exciting times in the very near future, so it`s recommended to prepare.

You can order the book here!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

System Center AppController - More spaghetti? (part 1)

System Center AppController (changed from «Codename Concero») is available and you can grab it from here!

So what`s up with this tool? All the 2012 editions of the System Center portfolio are focusing on cloud computing. AppController is no exception.

It is a small piece of software that open the doors to both Private Clouds (VMM 2012) and Public Clouds (Windows Azure).

It is a web-based management solution that lets you manage multiple public and private clouds in your organization, and you can therefore deploy services to both public and private cloud.

Some key benefits:

·         Connect to and manage Windows Azure subscriptions and private clouds on VMM 2012

·         Deploy and manage services and VMs across multiple public and private clouds

·         Manage and share file resources, service templates and VM Templates

·         Delegate role-based access to users for the management of services and resources on public and private clouds

 Just another Self-Service Portal?

Obviously, the answer is yes. And no.

You will still have the option to deploy VMs though the biggest focus in this portal is the Service (service is equal to application).

So why should you consider the System Center AppControll if you already have the VMM 2012 Self-Service Portal?

1.       You have developers and application owners that need to manage subscriptions and applications running in Windows Azure.

2.       You have multiple VMM servers within your organization (AppController can connect to multiple VMM servers/private clouds).

3.       You love Silverlight.


        1.   A supported operating system (Windows Server 2008 R2 Full Installation – Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter. ServicePack 1 or earlier

2.       Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (The AppController setup will install it for you).

3.       Web Server (IIS) with Static Content, Default Document, Directory Browsing, HTTP Errors, ASP.NET .NET Extensibility, ISAPI Extenstions, ISAPI Filters, HTTP Logging, Request Monitor, Tracing, Basic Authentication, Windows Authentication, Request Filtering, Static Content Compression, IIS Management Console. And yes – The AppController setup will install everything.

4.       VMM 2012 Console.

5.       A supported SQL Server (SQL 2008 R2 Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter, SQL 2008 SP2 Standard or Enterprise. Both x86 and x64 are supported)

6.       Make sure the computer you install on is a member of an Active Directory Domain

7.       Best practice – do not install AppController on your VMM server

Connect to public and private clouds

Once the AppController service is up and running, you can access it through Internet Explorer 9 (remember to install Silverlight).

Connect to the public cloud

To connect AppController to a Windows Azure subscription, you need the subscription ID and a Personal Information Exchange (.pfx) file that you have exported, and also the password to it.

      1.    On the Clouds page click Connect and click Windows Azure Subscription

2.       Enter a name for the subscription. This name is displayed in the Clouds column

3.       Fill inn the Subscription ID (get the ID from the Windows Azure Portal)

4.       Import the .pfx file and enter the password

5.       You`re done!

 Connect to the private cloud

       1.    On the Clouds page click connect and then click VMM Server

2.       Enter a name for this connection. This name is displayed in the Clouds column

3.       In the VMM server name box, enter the FQDN of the VMM management server¨

4.       Enter the port needed for communicating with the VMM server. This port should be the same within the entire VMM infrastructure (default port: 8100).

5.       Check Automatically Import SSL certificates. This is required when you intend to copy files and templates to and from VMM cloud libraries.

6.       Click OK

7.       You may then be asked to select which VMM user role to use from the new VMM server connection for the current session

There you go!

Next time, we`ll take a closer look at when the IT-pro meet the developer in the cloud (part 2).


Virtualization and some coffee... now on Facebook

“Ok, so why have you enabled a page on Facebook for a simple blog?”
Recently, I was visiting Microsoft`s HQ here in Norway with Anders Borchsenius - @Anders_Borch (IT-Pro Marketing Manager). We were shooting some movies, creating some demoes, and planned for an IT-pro campaign. This campaign will take off early in January 2012.

And now, hold your horses: It`s a cloud campaign. Yes. As you may have noticed, Microsoft have begun to market their private cloud solutions. Basically, the composition of a Microsoft Private Cloud is based on Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, and all the SC products.

Our impression from the IT-pro`s in Norway, is that they are good at server virtualization, but that there is a need to get to know the rest of the cloud stack as well. The learning curve will hopefully not be too heavy after watching the campaign.

Over to the point of the page creation on Facebook.

(You can join the page by clicking on this link)

Today, it`s possible to post questions and feedbacks directly on my blog, and you should feel free to do so. But this requires me to approve and publish every comment. (I bet you all know why I have to).

On Facebook, you can post questions regarding cloud computing and the campaign in itself directly, and everyone can participate in a way they are familiar with and already does on a day to day basis.

Perhaps I`d need a moderator or two as well - in addition to the kid below.

The IT-Pro of the future?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Explaining the Migration Options in VMM

As you may be aware of, there are several migration options in VMM. Which one you should use depends on what you are trying to address.

Migration Options

·         Network Migration

·         Live Migration

·         Cluster Migration

·         SAN Migration

·         Storage Migration

To initiate the magic, right click your VM and select either Migrate Storage or Migrate Virtual Machine.

Network Migration

When you are planning to move a VM from a Hyper-V server to another Hyper-V server and those servers are not in a Hyper-V Cluster, or you want to move a VM from local storage/LUN over to a CSV on a Hyper-V Cluster, VMM will perform a Network Migration. You can think of this option as the same as Export/Import in Hyper-V Manager.

Live Migration

This is the preferred migration option since it does not include any downtime for your VMs
when your VMs are located on a CSV in a Hyper-V Cluster. The details are explained here.

Cluster Migration

This option is available when a VM runs on a LUN that is not configured as a CSV in a Hyper-V Cluster. The process will transfer the LUN to another node in that Cluster. Be careful and make sure that no other VMs runs on the same LUN, since they will also be transferred. (downtime)

SAN Migration

Same as above, if you have one VM per LUN, the LUN will be presented for another Hyper-V server. This migration option is very fast but has some requirements. The following types of SAN`s support SAN Migration:

·         Fibre Channel SAN

·         N-Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) Fibre Channel

·         iSCSI SAN via Microsoft Initiator

If you are planning for FC and iSCSI SAN via iSCSI initiator, you will have to use Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator – available as a Feature in Windows Server 2008 R2.
NPIV uses HBA which creates virtual HBA ports with a logical reference to the underlying physical port.
SAN Migration can be used to store VMs from a hypervisor in Library, rapid provisioning, deployment of VMs from Library to a hypervisor, and migrations between servers.
(Both SMI-S and VDS SAN`s support this feature in VMM 2012).

Storage Migration

Move the physical files for a VM on the same server, from one location to another. You can do this without – or with minimal downtime. If the VM has multiple VHD`s associated, then you will be able to specify a new location for every file.

Happy migration and good luck.