Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's the "Infrastructure thing" in SCVMM 2012 R2?

What’s the Infrastructure thing in SCVMM 2012 R2?

In this blog post, I would like to highlight a minor feature in SCVMM 2012 R2, that you just might happened to ignore at first.

I am talking about the fabric once again, and in the fabric workspace, we now have something called ‘Infrastructure’.
If you highlight this in the SCVMM console, you will find your SCVMM management servers listed here.
When you add a PXE server, a vCenter server or another Library server as well, they will all be listed under ‘Infrastructure’.
This is not just another way to categorize the workload.


In Windows Server 2012 R2, we now have the multi-tenant network virtualization gateway presented in the RRAS role. We can manage this end-to-end with SCVMM 2012 R2.
A key thing to remember in this scenario, is that VMM is fully capable (and IMO – also responsible) for maintaining the datacenter infrastructure.
This leads us to the integration of WSUS with SCVMM 2012 R2.

I wan’t to maintaint my virtualization gateways (since they are running on a Windows Server 2012 R2 OS) in the similar way like my other server roles. For this to happen, I can simply add my virtualization gateways as ‘Infrastructure’ in SCVMM, and put them into my maintenance plan.

To summarize:

This is actually a good thing, to let SCVMM keep track on the baselines for all of your infrastructure related to your datacenter and cloud, while leaving SCCM alone with the other server roles and its clients.
Further, I would also like to add my IPAM servers, dedicated domain controllers (if I had) and so on.

Have fun exploring the new capabilities in SCVMM 2012 R2. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

System Center 2012 R2 - Jump start

On Monday, we will arrange a jump start (free, public event) for YOU and everyone who are eager to leverage the R2 bits of System Center 2012.

I will be in a team of experts, answering questions during the event. Please join us and ask us about anything you’d like.

Looking forward to see you there.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Building the Network Virtualization Gateway - Service Template (SCVMM 2012 R2)

As I promised, I will show how easy you can create a service template for the native virtualization gateway in Windows Server 2012 R2, and deploy it with SCVMM 2012 R2 in this blog post.

First of all, you’ll need a sysprep’ed virtual machine with Windows Server 2012 R2.
This is the basic building block you will use for this service.

Next, follow this recipe to create you network virtualization gateway Service Template.

1)      Navigate to the Library pane in your SCVMM console.

2)      Click on Service Templates, and ‘create service template’ from the ribbon menu. This will launch the service template designer for you.

3)      Assign a name to your service template, version, and the pattern you would like to use. As you can see, you can have some directions from Microsoft regarding how to create a multi-tier service or simply start with a blank service template. In my case, I would like to start with a blank service, and add the needed VM template directly in the designer (drag and drop in the canvas)

4)      Make sure your VM template has enough NICs presented, for connecting both to the internet and the management network. Ideally, the service template should have three NICs. Connect the to the right VM networks.

5)      Next, we must leverage the powerful settings within the guest OS profile, so click on your service tier instance in the canvas, and navigate to the OS configuration

6)      Assign a name to the tier (use double hash for being able to increment as you plan to scale).

7)      Click on Roles and Features to configure the actual Windows Server. To configure this as a network virtualization gateway, we must enable the following roles:
Remote Access > DirectAccess and VPN (RAS), Routing

8)      Second, we must enable the following features:
Remote Access Management Tools > Remote Access GUI and Command-Line Tools, Remote Access module for Windows PowerShell

9)      Clic save and validate before you continue, as this will check the service for any errors and misconfiguration.

10)   Click ‘Configure Deployment’ from the ribbon. Choose destination for this service and assign a service name. (Remember that you must deploy this service on a dedicated physical Hyper-V host). Click OK and continue.

11)   If any errors appear on this screen (complaining about there is no suitable host, please click on the tier and then ‘ratings’ to get the details. Eventually go back to the canvas and fix these errors before you proceed with your deployment. If everything is in order, you can click ‘Deploy service’.

12)   When the deployment has completed, please follow this guide on how to add your virtualization gateway to your fabric in SCVMM:

We could always use some powershell scripts together with this service, to have consistent naming of NICs and so on, but please consider this blog post as 'fast publishing'. More details will come.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to integrate IPAM with SCVMM 2012 R2

Integrating IPAM with SCVMM 2012 R2

This blog post will show how to integrate your IPAM infrastructure together with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2.

For us who have been working quite a bit with the cloud infrastructure and fabric over the years, have noticed absence of integrated IP management. During projects, you will at some point need to know about the fabric infrastructure, and which IP’s, subnets, VLANs and so on to use.
It’s possible to model everything within VMM and have a single view into the relevant portions of your network infrastructure, however, the other way around has been painful.
So at one point, the network guys and the virtualization/cloud guys must sit down and have a chat with each other about this subject.

IPAM offers a unified, centralized administrative experience for network administrators to manage IP address space on a corporate network and in Microsoft-powered cloud networks.
The integration between IPAM and SCVMM 2012 R2 provides end-tp-end IP address space automation for your cloud networks. This means that a single IPAM server can detect and prevent IP address space conflicts, duplicates, and overlaps across multiple instances of SCVMM 2012 R2 deployed in the large datacenters (think fabric stamps).

1)     Navigate to the Fabric pane within the SCVMM console, right click on Network service and add a net Network service.

2)     Assign a name to your network service and eventually a description. Click next to continue.

3)     Specify manufacturer and model of network service. In this case the manufacturer is Microsoft, and the model is Microsoft Windows Server IP Address Management. Click next to proceed.

4)     Specify a Run as account that have access to your IPAM server role and continue by clicking next.

5)     The connection string should be the FQDN of your IPAM server. Click next.

6)     Test the configuration provider and ensure that the tests are passed for being able to add your IPAM server.

7)     Associate the network service with your desired host groups, and click next and finish to complete the wizard.

We have now integrated SCVMM 2012 R2 with IPAM, and can switch over to our IPAM server to see the data here.

As we can see, I have now all my logical networks and VM networks exposed in IPAM, and is also able to manage them from IPAM. This integration is bi-directional, and let the network admins have better control and view into the virtualization environment.

I will work in this area from now on to explore some of the possibilities here. Stay tunes.