Thursday, June 21, 2012

SC 2012 - IT as a Service

I`ve created a short demo on how to deliver IT as a Service with System Center 2012.
I am touching the surface of Service Manager, Orchestrator, Operations Manager and of course, Virtual Machine Manager.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Export and Import of VMs in Hyper-V (Windows Server 2012)

Export and Import of Virtual Machines in Hyper-V (Windows Server 2012)

This is just a quick blog post highlighting the export/import enhancements in Hyper-V.

I`ve been working with some VMs this weekend on my stand alone Hyper-V server.

I`ve been testing and building some differential disks for a workshop I`m holding before the holidays.

I like that everything is so simple with Powershell, so I have created the easiest script in the entire world to export all my VMs to a folder, once I am happy and satisfied with the configuration.
However, the thing I’d like to mention and show you, is the import process in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

The first thing that is worth mention is that you can import a VM that hasn’t been exported.

That`s right. In Hyper-V in 2008 R2, you would have to have the .exp file along with the VM files to be able to import it. Or else, you would have to re-create the VM and attach the VHDs.

Now, you only need to locate the folder with your VM associated files, and the import wizard is smart and takes it from here. In addition, your user must be a member of the local Hyper-V administrator group on the Hyper-V host where you import.

First, specify the folder where you are certain that your VMs are located.

Select the VM you want to import.

Choose the type of import for perform. If this is a restore, or you are moving the VM from point A to B (since LM is not possible for some reason), choose to use the existing unique ID).

If this is a VM you are copying, create a new unique ID so you don’t have two identical VMs on the same network, in the same domain etc.

Next, decide where to locate the VM. Specify VM config location along with snapshot and smart paging. (Smart paging is a part of dynamic memory in Hyper-V 3.0, letting the VMs use memory on disk when they can’t allocate necessary amount of RAM from the host during a reboot operation (you can specify startup RAM, minimum RAM and maximum RAM now), so that the VM can be able to reboot and eventually delete the pagefile when it returns to minimum RAM usage).

Also, choose where you want to locate the virtual hard disks.

Last, you`ll get a summary of the configurations you have done.

Once you click finish, the process will start.

INFO: If this is a VM that is associated with a different virtual switch than the virtual switch on this Hyper-V server, you will be able to specify/choose connection after this. In my example here, everything is in order so the import process continues as expected.

What happens when the import process starts: 

  •       Creates a copy of the virtual machine configuration file so that if any unexpected restart occurs on the hosts, you are safe and the config is not broken.
  •       Validates the hardware and compares the VM configuration with the physical host. (NUMA is essential here, but I`ll cover the intelligent NUMA placement stuff in a blog post later).
  •       Compiles a list of errors. A list that identifies what need to be reconfigured, and will show you in the wizard.
  •       Display the relevant pages, one category at a time. The wizard explains each incompatibility to help you reconfigure the VM so it is compatible with the new host
  •       Remove the copy of the configuration file. After the wizard does this, the VM is ready to be started.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hyper-V Book by Leandro Carvalho

I am honored to be the technical reviewer on Leandro Carvalho`s book, Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012.

It`s an Administrator pocket guide, to show and explain how to configure all the new master pieces of Hyper-V. This is the book you`ll want to learn all the good stuff, and be a champ within your organization to build private clouds.
Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V is probably one of the best things I`ve worked with in my entire career, in addition to System Center 2012 (you have all heard of that, right) and will be my bread and butter in the future.
I really recommend you to buy this book once it`s available, to learn what`s hot in Hyper-V.

I`ll provide you with links once this is ready.

System Center 2012 SP1 CTP2

System Center 2012 SP1 CTP2

Alright. This is just awesome. Have you looked at all the new features and scenarios that this CTP is embracing?
We are finally talking Cloud Computing with capital C.
The one that I like best is that you can harness the power of Windows Azure directly from my favorite component, VMM and App Controller. How about that?
I am currently downloading the bits now, and have to rebuild my lab to support this. But it`s well worth it. Stay ahead – and download the bits you too!

A big Thank You to the SC teams at Microsoft, and Travis Wright for pushing this in the right direction. Good to see that Microsoft respond so quickly as a unit, to adopt all the beauty in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V

Download it from here:

Announcing the Availability of System Center 2012 CTP2 – Virtual Machine Manager

As just announced, the System Center 2012 SP1 CTP2 is now available for download! We’d like to provide some additional information about what’s shipping in CTP2 for the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and App Controller components.
For VMM, we have the following new features:
· Network Virtualization: Introduced in CTP1, this release adds support for using DHCP to assign customer addresses and for using either the IP rewrite or IP encapsulation mechanism to virtualize the IP address of a virtual machine.
· VHDX support: Introduced in CTP1, you can now convert from .vhd to .vhdx. In addition, placement determines the format of a VHD based on the OS of the destination host (when you create a virtual machine with a blank virtual hard disk), and the provisioning of a physical computer as a Hyper-V host supports the use of a .vhdx file as the base operating system image.
· Storage Enhancements: Support for the new Windows Standards-Based Storage Management service, which enables you to discover storage by using multiple provider types. In addition, this release adds support for the thin provisioning of logical units, and for the discovery of Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) storage.
· Provisioning a Hyper-V Host Enhancements: Support for performing deep discovery to retrieve detailed information about physical network adapters.
· Support for VMM Console Add-Ins: You can now create Add-Ins and extend the VMM console. Add-Ins allow you to enable new actions or additional configuration for VMM objects by writing an application that uses context passed about the selected VMM objects. You can also embed custom WPF UI or web portals directly into the console’s main views to provide a more fully-integrated experience.
In App Controller, you can deploy and manage in a single console, applications running in Windows Azure PaaS, IaaS, on premises VMM clouds, and clouds provided by hosting providers. In addition, there are the following new features:
· Windows Azure Virtual Machine support: In addition to supporting Windows Azure PaaS workloads, App Controller adds support to the newly announced IaaS virtual machines in CTP2. You can easily deploy, manage, and operate Windows Azure Virtual Machines.
· Copy VMs from private cloud to public cloud: In CTP2, you can select a VMM private cloud VM and copy it to Windows Azure. App Controller makes upload disk, convert settings, and deploying a new virtual machine into an easy migrate flow!
· Hosting Provider support: In addition to on premises VMM private cloud and Windows Azure public cloud, App Controller supports connecting to VMM clouds at a hosting provider.  You can connect to a hosting provider and manage user access to these clouds. You can also deploy, manage, and operate virtual machines at the hosting provider. 
· CTP builds are not upgradable and not supported for production use.
· Procedures not covered in the documentation might not work.
· VMM Evaluation VHDs will be available around the end of the month. “

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Virtual Machine in Windows Azure

Virtual Machine in Windows Azure

Hi all.
If you`re heading over to – you`ll find some new features like Virtual Machine and Virtual Network.
These features are not completely new, but there are some major changes.

The Virtual Machine in Windows Azure is based on templates (extra small, small, medium, large and extra-large) and they now support states!

I`ve stressed over and over that Windows Azure is Platform as a Service. It still is, but they`re open the door to the most flexible cloud service model – Infrastructure as a Service by supporting stateful VMs in their datacenter.

For a developer, this mean you can now migrate your existing applications to Windows Azure, without the need to re-write them to support the PaaS.
I`ve been working with Windows Azure for some years now, and even though you are now able to deploy infrastructure services in Windows Azure, be careful and re-think the scenario once again.
Check out the pricing for example. It`s no doubt that Windows Azure is still preferred when it comes to hosting your applications and leverage the architecture to host web and worker roles, using data storage services like blobs, tables, queues and SQL Azure. But the reason for this major change is based on customer feedback. They don’t want to re-write their applications just to make Microsoft happy. They have some applications that they can’t easily change and modify at the moment, but some parts of their distributed application are ready for Windows Azure. Well, this is actually the solution to place everything in Windows Azure in that specific scenario.

Together with network virtualization you can configure both the front-end IP and the back-end IP for your virtual machines in Azure, so that they can communicate in the cloud – and also with your on-premise resources through the service bus.

Oh, did I not mention that you can run Linux as well? Check it out here:

More to come – that`s for sure!