Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Live cloning in SCVMM 2012 R2

Live cloning in SCVMM 2012 R2

One of the new nice features in Windows Server 2012 R2 – Hyper-V, is that the hypervisor supports live cloning (live export/import) of virtual machines running on this platform.
The VM can either be online, stopped or in saved state.

Please note: although this is supported, you should be careful with this feature, as it is seldom smart to power on two machines with the exact same identity on the same network.

When is this useful?

Imagine you have a virtual machine accessed by a bunch of users. One of these users are complaining about something that you would like to troubleshoot. However, taking this VM offline or denying access to the other users would most likely result in unhappy users or/and customers.

By having the ability to live clone this VM, you can do this without affecting the running virtual machine, and get an identical copy containing the issue, resolve it, and apply these changes to the live VM.

To summarize: this little – but important feature very important in a service provider cloud, as well as for the ISV’s and the enterprises where there is development and testing.
It will save organizations a huge amount of time and lead to more rapid testing and troubleshooting.

1)      Find a VM in the VMM console that is running on a Hyper-V 2012 R2 host.
2)      Right click on the VM, Create, Clone.
3)      Run through the wizard and give the VM name (this is not the %computername% a name that differs from the Live VM and complete the wizard.

Once this is done, you can monitor the processs in VMM and see that the VM is actually live exported, and imported to the destination host.

Happy testing!

Monday, September 9, 2013

White paper - Hybrid Cloud with NVGRE (WSSC 2012 R2)

A very interesting weekend is over, and we are happy to announce the release of our white paper that covers implementation and configuration of network virtualization with Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V, and System Center 2012 R2 - Virtual Machine Manager.

Download the white paper here

A couple of weeks ago, I was discussing network virtualization with a fellow MVP, Flemming Riis.
We decided quickly that we needed to embrace this technology and help the community to adopt it.
Generally speaking, NVGRE should be simple to implement, but when we add all the possible configuration options with VMM into the mix, we need to know what we are doing.
Let us be clear: if you consider to implement NVGRE, you should consider VMM to be mandatory. Period.

Flemming provided us with his own lab, running blades, SAN's and everything we needed to make this as realistic as possible.

Stanislav Zhelyazkov and Daniel Neumann had the role as technical reviewers and provided us with deep insight and helpful stuff that we either didn't know of, or had missed. Thank you guys.

Please note that this white paper is in its first release.
Once we reach RTM, additional content will be added.

- Site-2-Site VPN

- Self-service and tenants with Windows Azure Pack

If you have any comments or questions related to the white paper, please leave a comment.



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Announcing the "Hybrid Cloud - with NVGRE (WS SC 2012 R2)" white paper

Announcing the NVGRE white paper

Ever since WS 2012 was in preview, the Hyper-V fans have been celebrating the opportunities for network virtualization.
First in VMM 2012 SP1 Beta, we saw there were two options to manage and implement network virtualization. IP-rewrite and NVGRE. Now, NVGRE is the standard that is implemented with Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1 – Virtual Machine Manager.
However, the hybrid cloud story wasn’t complete. A critical component was missing to make the scenario production ready.

As Microsoft announced during TechEd this year, we will have a native virtualization gateway shipped together with Windows Server 2012 R2. The entire network virtualization can be implemented and managed by Virtual Machine Manager in System Center 2012 R2.
This did indeed increase the interest around network virtualization with technology from Microsoft, with no need for third party solutions to fulfill the story. Many users from around the world have been asking questions in the forums related to network virtualization in the past, and especially about virtualization gateway since this is available in Windows Server 2012 R2. To address this to the community, we decided to write a white paper that should be helpful for real world implementations.

Together with some fellow MVP’s, Flemming Riis and Stanislav Zhelyazkov, we started to deploy a new datacenter with the R2 preview bits in order to fulfill the Hybrid Cloud story.
We have not only deployed the solution, but we have also been breaking it apart to detect dependencies, eventual bugs, and concerns related to real world scenarios.

We are looking forward to finish the document in a couple of days, and we hope you will find it useful.