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Posts Tagged ‘Windows 2012’

Counting down for August 15th…Windows 2012 #Hyperv. Reasons to upgrade…

August 9, 2012 Leave a comment

It is next week : August 15th that Windows 2012 will be available for download for MSDN subscribers. Are you ready to deploy it?

Enhancements in Hyper-V and Windows Server 2012 , on network (Teaming, Hyper-V Extensible Switch), multi-tenancy security, higher performance and flexibility.

The performance improvements in Windows Server 2012 over the Server 2008 R2, are huge :

  • Increases in the number of logical processors on server hardware, to 160 from 64;
  • Increases in the amount of physical memory, to 2TB from 1TB;
  • Increases in the number of virtual processors per host server, to 1,024 from 512;
  • Increases in the number of virtual processors per virtual machine, to 32 from four;
  • Increases in the amount of memory per virtual machine, to 1TB from 64GB;
  • Increases in the number of active virtual machines, to 1,024 from 384;
  • Increases in the maximum number of virtual nodes in a single server cluster, to 64 from 16;
  • Increases in and in the total number of virtual machines, to 4,000 from 1,000
  • New virtual disk version : VHDX ( with a built-in feature for preventing data corruption)
  • Virtual fiber channel ( making possible to offer the HBA in the host as a virtual HBA to the Virtual Machines)
  • SMB file shares to store Virtual Machines
  • Hyper-V Replica ( makes possible to create a replica of VMs on other Hyper-V hosts, even in – remote locations ) – ESSENTIAL in DR solutions.

Plus, true live storage migration, shared-nothing live migration, improvements in Dynamic memory… and counting.

Windows Server 2012 will also be available in the desktop version : Windows 8. You can install the Hyper-V on Windows 8 by navigating to the Control Panel and selecting Turn Windows features on or off and select the Hyper-V Platform option.

Note: One of the requirements of running Hyper-V on the Windows 8 edition is that the processor needs to support SLAT (Second Level Address Translation), otherwise Hyper-V will  not available.

Resuming, Windows Server 2012 has a lot of improvements and quite a lot of new functionality as well! So, enjoy the upgrade!

It is time for you to upgrade do the new Windows 2012 #HYPER-V

August 2, 2012 Leave a comment

 

Windows 2012 is now RTM.

It will be generally available for evaluation and purchase to customers around the world on September 4th. Save the date : http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/new.aspx

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V provides key capabilities that can help you meet the needs of your organization at whichever level you are in the virtualization life cycle—Basic, Standardized, Orchestrated, and Automated.

Hyper-V multitenancy provides you with new security and multitenant isolation capabilities that can keep virtual machines isolated, even when they are stored on the same physical network or server. In addition, the Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Extensible Virtual Switch supports third-party extensions that can provide enhanced networking and security capabilities. The result is an out-of-the-box solution to help you address the security complexities and requirements of any virtual environment.

 

 

Windows 2012 RTM : This is the news we’ve all been waiting for! Are you ready for it?

August 2, 2012 1 comment

 

Microsoft release Windows 2012 RTM on August 1st. . It  means that it is time for you to upgrade do the new Windows 2012 HYPER-V .

It will be generally available for evaluation and purchase to customers around the world on September 4th

Get your hands on it!  There will be 5 SKU’s

Editions Overview

Edition Ideal for… High Level Feature Comparison Licensing Model
Datacenter Highly virtualized private & hybrid cloud environments Full Windows Server functionality with unlimited virtual instances Processor + CAL*
Standard Low density or non- virtualized environments Full Windows Server functionality with two virtual instances Processor + CAL*
Essentials Small business environments Simpler interface, pre-configured connectivity to cloud based services; no virtualization rights Server (25 User Account Limit)
Foundation Economical general purpose server General purpose server functionality with no virtualization rights Server (15 User Account Limit)

More …

Licensing and pricing details in the downloadable datasheet : http://download.microsoft.com/download/0/4/B/04BD0EB1-42FE-488B-919F-3981EF9B2101/WS2012_Licensing-Pricing_Datasheet.pdf

Find the answers to the most commonly asked pricing and licensing questions. : http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/D/B/4DB352D1-C610-466A-9AAF-EEF4F4CFFF27/WS2012_Licensing-Pricing_FAQ.pdf

Dell EqualLogic and VMM 2012 support

July 25, 2012 Leave a comment

With the release of VMM 2012 SP1 CTP2, Microsoft added support to the SMP storage provider.

Now VMM 2012 with SP1, supports the following types of storage providers:

  • SMI-S CIM–XML
  • SMP

Besides the new SMP provider type, the VMM 2012 SP1 release adds the following new functionality:

  • Supports auto (dynamic) iSCSI target systems, such as the Dell EqualLogic PS Series. System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager supported only static iSCSI target systems.
  • Supports the thin provisioning of logical units through VMM. Your storage array must support thin provisioning, and thin provisioning must be enabled for a storage pool by your storage administrator

For a detailed step by step, look at my blog post https://virtualisationandmanagement.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/vmm-2012-sp1-installing-dell-equallogic-ps-series-smp-provider-new/

Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide for VMM 2012

July 25, 2012 Leave a comment

The new IPD Guide for System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager is now available to download

Infrastructure Planning and Design streamlines the planning process by:

  • Defining the technical decision flow through the planning process.
  • Listing the decisions to be made and the commonly available options and considerations.
  • Relating the  decisions and options to the business in terms of cost, complexity, and other characteristics.
  • Framing decisions in terms of additional questions to the business to ensure a comprehensive alignment with the appropriate business landscape

Download the guide now: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=245473

Hyper-V DR Solution

July 23, 2012 1 comment

DR is a key component of the Business Continuity Plan.

When considering DR options, virtualization is a game changer. Virtualization makes DR affordable to companies that could not afford it before. But in order to understand how DR can be optimized in a virtualized environment, it is important to understand the technical aspects, like replication functionality.

Remember : even though high availability can be achieved with clustering, this will not safeguard your businessfrom the entire data center or hosting facility going down (in case of a fire or a flood, for example). In this case you need a DR solution geographically dispersed.

Last week I started writing about Hyper-V DR solution in Windows 2012:

https://virtualisationandmanagement.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/windows-2012-hyper-v-replica-deployment-scenarios-functionality-and-step-by-step-by-using-ssl-certificate-part-i/

Keep watching this blog for the part 2…

Also, there is a good DR solution document for Windows 2008R2 here :

http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/6/1/36117F2E-499F-42D7-9ADD-A838E9E0C197/SiteRecoveryWhitepaper_final_120309.pdf

and here : Hyper-V in the Real World –Multi-Site DR with the System Center Suite of Products http://www.techdays.ca/contentlibrary/video/en/2011-hyper-v-in-the-real-world-–multi-site-dr-with-the-system-center-suite-of-products.aspx

 

Windows 2012 Hyper-V Replica : Deployment Scenarios, Functionality and Step by Step by using SSL Certificate Part I

July 19, 2012 12 comments

With Windows 2012 around the corner ( first week of august 2012 ), you probably started planning the deployment already.

I am starting a series of blog posting with step by steps. The first one is about Hyper-V Replica, a real nice feature.

Hyper-V Replica. what is ?

Hyper-V replica is a new feature of Windows 2012 that enables you to replicate any Virtual Machine (yes, copy the entire VM: VHD/VHDX and configuration ) from one Hyper-V Server to another, without storage or any special hardware. You only need 2 servers running Windows 2012 Hyper-V.

You can replicate the content over the LAN or WAN (without compromising the link) by using HTTP or HTTPS protocols using SSL certificates inclusive.

Once you enable the Hyper-V Replica on the VM, the source host starts to maintain a HRL (Hyper-V Replica Log file) for the VHDs.  Every 1 write by the VM = 1 write to VHD and 1 write to the HRL.  Depending on bandwidth availability, the logfiles are sent to the target host every 5 minutes(setting not configurable).  On the target the Hyper-V Replica mechanism run asynchronous, processing the log file in reverse order, allowing  it only to store the latest writes. It replicates only the changes.

Note: After 5 minutes, if the replay hasn’t happened then you get an alert.  The replica log file replication will take up to 30min to complete before going into a failed state where your intervention will be required to look at the issue and fix it.

The configurations at each site do not have to be the same with respect to server or storage hardware. Hyper-V Replica provides  the option to restore virtualized workloads to a point in time depending on the Recovery History selections for the virtual machine.

Really easy to deploy and use.

Deployment Scenarios:

–         Between 2 sites (DataCenter replication to small offices)

–         Cross premises DR solution

Cluster

Hyper-V Replica works with clusters.  In fact you can do the following replications:

  • Standalone host to cluster
  • Cluster to cluster
  • Cluster to standalone host

NOTE : Hyper-V Replica is NOT an alternative to clustering. It is not intended for High Availability purposes.

Functional description

•    Replication Engine:  Manages the replication configuration details and handles initial replication, delta replication, failover, and test-failover operations. It also tracks virtual machine and storage mobility events and takes appropriate actions as needed (i.e. it pauses replication events until migration events complete and then resumes where they left off).

•    Change Tracking:  Provides a virtual machine level change tracking mechanism on the primary server by keeping track of the write-operations, which happen in the virtual machine.

•    Network Module: The Networking Module provides a secure and efficient compressed network channel to transfer virtual machine replicas between Primary and Replica site.

•    Hyper-V Replica Broker role:  The Hyper-V Replica Broker role is configured in a Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster. This functionality supports seamless replication even in the event of a migration of a replica virtual machine from one cluster node to another.

•    Management Experience:   Hyper-V Manager UI; Failover Cluster Manager UI; PowerShell scripting; Hyper-V Replica APIs.

Step by Step – Part I

On the source Hyper-V Server

1. Open the Hyper-V Server Manager and click on the Hyper-V server. Then in the right pane, click on Hyper-V settings

2. On the Hyper-V settings page, click on Replication Configuration on the left pane

3. On the Replication Configuration, click on Enable this computer as a Replica Server

4.You have now the choose how the replication will occur : by using HTc.TP (port 80) or HTTPS (port 443, with encryption).

HTTPS: If you select HTTPS, I recommend you to buy an SSL Certificate from a trusted Certification Authority (CA), then :

a. Create an INF file for an Wildcard certificate request. Use the following example and replace the subject with the hyper-v servers domain name. Save the content in a text file as cert.inf for example.

  [Version]
Signature=”$Windows NT$”
[NewRequest]
Subject = “CN=*.YOURDOMAIN.local”
Exportable = TRUE                   ; Private key is exportable
KeyLength = 2048                    ; Common key sizes: 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384
KeySpec = 1                         ; AT_KEYEXCHANGE
KeyUsage = 0xA0                     ; Digital Signature, Key Encipherment
MachineKeySet = True                ; The key belongs to the local computer account
ProviderName = “Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider”
ProviderType = 12
RequestType = CMC[EnhancedKeyUsageExtension]
OID=1.3.6.1.5.5.7.3.1 ;Server Authentication
OID=1.3.6.1.5.5.7.3.2 ;Client Authentication

b. Create a request. Open the command prompt with Administrative rights  ( run as Administrator ) and type the following:

certreq –new CERT.inf  CERT.req

c. Create the CSR to submit the certificate request to an external CA

certutil -encode CERT.req  CERT.csr

d.Upload the ENTIRE content of the text file CERT.csr into the external CA webpage. (could be any external trusted CA)

e.After the certificate is issued and you received the email with the certificate, open the command prompt and type the following commands to import and store the certificate on all Hyper-V servers ( source and target )

certreq -accept CERT.cer

certutil –store my

HTTP: Select : Use Kerberos HTTP

5. Configure the Authorization and storage.  This includes designating a specific location to store replica virtual machine files if the default location is not to be used. Should you not desire to allow all Primary servers to be serviced, there is an option to allow only specific servers (Primary servers) to send replication requests.

If you want to allow all servers within the domain, a wildcard character can be used (e.g. *.yourdomain.local). When using a wildcard, only one storage location can be specified.  If individual server entries are used, different storage locations for replica files can be configured.  Complete all entries for the Primary Server, Storage Locations, and Security Tag information.

6.  Click Apply or OK when finished.

Next article : configuring the target server