Thursday, May 31, 2012

Windows Server 2012 RC – Available now!

Of course, while I`m on the road and staying at a hotel, Microsoft ships Windows Server 2012 RC.
That means that I`m downloading the bits with the internet available in the hotel… (curses).

You can grab the download here: and choose between the ISO and VHD.

(If you want to test Hyper-V, remember that you`d have to install the RC directly on your hardware – you can’t test this within a VM).

I`ll be back after I have received the download and deployed it in my environment.
Perfect timing though, just in time so that I`ll have the chance to upgrade before the Windows Server 2012 Roadshow we`re doing in a couple of weeks.

Come and join if you want to build a Hyper-V Private Cloud with me – from scratch J


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Community Roadshow

Alright, I guess you`ve heard, but we`re doing a couple of gigs related to the best server operating system ever, Windows Server 2012.

You can get more information here, and sign up for whatever event you`d like.
For those of you who are living in Norway, we are visiting Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger.
I`ll do the Windows Server 2012 sessions with a big focus on Hyper-V and the related enhancements, but also general server management and so on. The goal is to put it into context so that you can go home and start exploring all the great features.
In addition, the event is free. So there is actually no reasons for why you should not join J
Perhaps you would like a day off from work, or meet up with some peers to discuss the next generation of Windows Server, or maybe you just want to grab the chance to see a living legend, eh? ;-)

I`ve also received some questions if this event will be held in English.
For those of you who are living in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and so on, I am not sure. I know there`s no event planned in those countries, so I guess the number of attendees will decide. If you require English, I`ll give you English.

See you there!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

SC 2012 Boot camp. My sessions

Getting ready for SC 2012 bootcamp.
I`m about to leavy my house and travel to T√łnsberg, one of the oldest cities in Norway to deliver a bunch of sessions related to the newly realesed System Center suite - System Center 2012.
I`ll have 5 sessions.

1. Private Cloud / SC 2012 overview, going through all the components and how they integrates with each other, and what value this brings to your business. (Demos). Level 200-400.

2. SC 2012 - Data Protection Manager. What can you expect from this version and what are the new exciting features in this release? We will take a look on integration in this session as well. (Demos). Level 300.

3. SC 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager. Why is this the the key component in your private cloud? We`ll take a look at the architecture and setup, as well as the most important pillars. This will be a level 400 session.

4. SC 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager 2. Demo of Fabric management, Services, Cloud and much more. Level 400.

5. SC 2012 - App Controller. Give this tool to your application owners, for a persistent view of both on-premise and public cloud resources. This will include setup, key concepts and what challenges this component hopefully will solve.

The rest of the week? Deep dive into Orchestrator. I`ll live the hotel life the entire week, so if you`re near Oslo and want to grab a bite and a drink, let me know :-)


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

VM Monitoring with Hyper-V Clusters in Windows Server 2012

This is a pretty cool feature (at least in the theory, but I`ll explain later).

When you create a Hyper-V cluster with Windows Server 2012, you get some additional benefits of this technical wonder.

We`re talking about VM Monitoring (light). Based on the behavior of a service running within the guest OS (must be Windows Server 2012), you can let your hypervisors in a cluster take actions to recover the services.

In a nutshell, here`s what you will have to do.

1.       Create a Hyper-V Cluster (use traditional clustering or CA File Server over SMB) and deploy some VMs.
2.       Join the VM to the same domain as your cluster – yes, this is a requirement, and configure the firewall to allow an app through the firewall (enable the domain profile).
You can also simplify this operation by firing a simple line of PowerShell in the guest:  Set-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup "Virtual Machine Monitoring" -Enabled True

3.       Once this is done, go back to the Failover Cluster Manager, right click your VM and select ‘More Actions √† Configure monitoring’

4.       If you have followed the steps above, you should be able to communicate with your VM and get a list of the available services. Note that it states that the VM will be rebooted, which means that you should configure some recovery actions on the services itself in the guest OS. When the guest is not able to solve the problem, Hyper-V Cluster will take over and reboot your VM.

So, what actions will Hyper-V Cluster take to fix the issue with a faulty service within the guest OS?
First, it will restart the VM. If it can’t solve the problem, the VM will be rebooted again and eventually moved to another node in the cluster, if this is allowed by the failover policies on the VM.
How does Hyper-V Cluster know that the service has some problems?

The event ID 1250 is logged to the cluster, telling that the VM is in a critical state. This is detected during some health check interval in the cluster, and the actions can take place.

I mentioned earlier that this is a good thing in theory. Let me explain.
This is about as far as you get from an enterprise solution for monitoring and troubleshooting application issues. The reason is simple, that you simply just can’t reboot a server without notice if just a service fails. In an ideal world, everyone has dedicated servers for their workloads. One server for this and another server for that. But sometimes the ideal isn’t always possible and organizations have several applications on a single server. You won’t reboot your SQL server because the print spooler isn’t running.
And in some other organizations, you`ll need some approval before you can reboot your servers, and you would like to have a complete overview for the sake of SLA, and last but not least, you want to know what the heck just happened, why it happened and what to do. Read: SC 2012 Operations Manager. J
But however, I really like this feature and I find it quite useful for several scenarios and deployments. If I have a bunch of web servers that are load balanced, I can reboot the one who`s having problem, and hopefully the cluster will fix it. So I do definitively see the bright side as well.
Enjoy testing this awesome feature in Windows Server 2012.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hyper-V Master Class

I have recently developed a "Hyper-V Master Class" course.
This course is available at (just hit this link) and it`s all about Hyper-V 3.0 in Windows Server 2012. It will cover all the details - including architecture of Microsoft`s enterprise hypervisor, all the known features as well as the new improvements that will change the landscape of private cloud architecture.

Do you wanna know how to not only survive by using Hyper-V Replica, but also how to make business on this feature? Perhaps you`re interested in how to design HA solutions by using CA File Share over the SMB3 protocol? Or maybe you`re just interested in a robust and reliable guidance on how to setup this in your enterprise.

So please, if you`re interested in this game changer, and want to be the champ within your organization on private cloud computing, feel free to join. It will start late in June, and continue over the summer, so that you can be well prepared towards the release (somewhere in time).


Friday, May 4, 2012

Moving VMs to your Hyper-V Cluster

Ok, so it has been a bit hectic lately, but here`s the blog post covering how to move your VMs from a stand alone Hyper- Server, to your Hyper-V Cluster.

So, let`s take a look how easy we can achieve this without any downtime.

First, I will stress that all of my Hyper-V servers are domain joined to the same Active Directory Domain. Second, I have enabled Constrained Delegation in Active Directory on my computer objects that have Hyper-V. (This is a requirement for Shared-Nothing Live Migration).
Second, I have enabled Live Migration on my hosts, so that they all can send and receive Live Migration an also specified the networks for this kind of traffic.

1.       On my Stand-alone Hyper-V Server (actually my laptop, with nothing else than a wireless connection to the network – for the sake of magic) I select the VM I want to move to my cluster.
2.       Run through the wizard and specify which Hyper-V server you want to move to, and what you want to move. In my example, I want to move the entire VM with all the related VHD`s and files.
3.       Specify the location. I want to move this VM right into my cluster, so I specify one of the available CSV`s on my Hyper-V node. (I am using a traditional Hyper-V cluster in this example, and not a SMB2 CA File Share).
4.       Click Finish to initiate the migration

If you get an “error” message like this, don`t stress. It`s only Hyper-V telling you that the virtual switch the VM currently is connected to, is not available on the destination node. This means that you can connect your VM to any available virtual switch on the destination, so you can guarantee network connection. This is great, and by the way, you get the same option when you import a VM in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012. Things are just better in this version!

So I select the proper virtual switch for my VM and complete the wizard once again.

The migration has started.

We can see the progress in Hyper-V Manager.
Note: In this example, my VM is actually powered off. This is not a requirement, so you can Live Migrate the VM if you want.

After the migration has completed, go to Failover Cluster Manager on one of your Hyper-V nodes and configure the VM to be highly available.