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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Starwind V2V Convertor




Provider:- Starwind Software



Starwind Software offered a free virtual image convertor which allows you to convert virtual disk images between Vmware virtual disk (VMDK), Micrsoft Virtual PC virtual disk (VHD) and raw virtual disk (IMG).

To download, all you need to do is fill up your particular detail in below link:-
https://www.starwindsoftware.com/download-starwind-converter

StarWind Converter is very simple to use:



















1. Select your source File (VMDK, VHD, IMG).



















2. Select your destination image format as listed below figure



















3. Choose a location to save the converted data file



















4. Click 'convert' and let the converter run



















5.Import the resulting file into VMware, Hyper V, or mount the resulting image using StarWind

Monday, December 28, 2009

Exam preparation for 71-693- Designing a Highly Available Virtual Environment

Christmas is over! Let back to work.

I have gathered and uploaded all links which related to Designing a Highly Available Virtual Environment for exam 71-693.

Check out the link from this site:-
http://ms4u.lefora.com/2009/12/17/offer-exam-71-693-designing-a-highly-available-vir/ 

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Unable to designate host as a Hyper V host in SCE 2010. Error ID 10443

On my previous article, i have mentioned on how to adding a host for Hyper V. It is quite an easy process in System Center Essential 2010. But when you try to add a cluster host, you will receive an error message

" Unable to designate host as Hyper host. Error Id : 10443."

Full error message as displayed below:-



You need to write several powershell command in order to solve this issue as suggested in the error message. Well, it is not as easy as writing a single line of code. I have tested using Add-VmHostCluster command alone but it is not working. Let look into more detail on how to do it.

1. Open a notepad and start writing below code


Save it with an extension .ps1

2. Use Powershell, execute command "set-executionpolicy remotesigned" to enable for execution of script.
If you did not enable execution of script, you will receive an error as shown in below figure (red error message".


Type 'Y' for the Execution policy change.

3.  Run .\addhostcluster.ps1 (my powershell script name). The first command that the system will ask is the credential. Enter a valid credential.


4. Below is some screen shot activities performed by the script.
The second command will connect to SCE host



















5. The third command will  add the cluster host into SCE.















6. A Clusted host is added into SCE. You can use the SCE console to verify.



















Once all host is added into SCE, you can start to manage the Virtual Machine.
Stay Tune for more excitement on Virtualization management via SCE 2010.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Designate a host for Virtualization Management via System Center Essential (SCE) 2010 Beta

Hi visitor,

Today is Christmas Eve and soon everyone will go for long holiday. Let have a sneak preview on new virtualization management on SCE 2010 before Christmas.

Essentially a scaled down and integrated version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), this adds host management, Intelligent Placement and Physical to Virtual conversion (P2V). Both Windows Server 2003 with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 and Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 with Hyper-V are supported hosts. The missing part is the management for Vmware Virtual center/VSphere. If you need to manage Vmware, you need to get the full version of SCVMM.

Let start by designate a host for Virtualization management.

1. Similar as SCVMM, the first task is add a host into Essential console. In the Essential console, click the Computers button and then Click computer Group. On the tasks, select "Designate a host".




















2. Select a computer to use as a host. During intial configuration, SCE has discovered "server and client" and installed the agent.



















3. On Provide account credentials, enter a valid user account with administrator privileges.



















4.A dialog box will appear notifying you that the process of designating a host computer may require the computer to be shut down and restarted. Click Yes to continue.




















5. The wizard will start to add designated as a host and a successful page as display below.


















6. In the All windows Computer, you will see the host has marked as "Host".


















7. In the Essentials console, click the Computers button, click Computer Groups, and then click All Virtual Machine. You will see all Virtual Machines on the designated host is displayed.



















Now you can manage Virtual machine via System Center Essential 2010. We will look deep into virtualization management on SCE 2010 after Christmas.

Last but not least, Merry XMas to all MS4U visitor!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

SCE 2010 Beta Initial Configuration

Let continue where i've describe on SCE 2010 Beta Installation. Before you can use System Center Essentials 2010 to manage your environment, you must complete the Configure System Center Essentials Wizard. This wizard walks you through configuring settings for Group Policy, firewall exceptions, remote assistance, computer discovery, notifications, proxy servers, monitoring, updates, and reports.

1.Click Start to start the Configure System Center Essential wizard.


2. SCE will scan Active Directory for Group Policy usage. On the Policy Type page, if you have the appropriate privileges to create Group Policy objects, select Yes, enter the user name and password, and then select the domain from the drop-down list box; otherwise, select No to configure Essentials to use local Group Policy objects. After making your selection, click Next.



3. On the Firewall Exceptions page, select Yes to create Windows Firewall exceptions on all of the computers in your domain so that SCE can communicate with them on the displayed ports.



4.On the Configure Remote Assistance page, select Yes to enable the built-in Remote Assistance feature in Windows for all managed computers (recommended).



5.On the Computer Discovery page, select Yes to allow Essentials to automatically discover new computers.



6.On the Email Notifications page, select No, I will setup notification later.



7.On the Proxy Server page, select No if you do not use a proxy; otherwise, select Yes and then type in the proxy server name, port number, and credentials that should be used to connect to the proxy server.



8.When you click Synchronize, a progress page will be displayed while Essentials attempts to synchronize with Microsoft Update.



9.On the Monitoring Configuration page, select the check box under Automatic Discovery if you want Essentials to notify you when new management packs are available. Select the applications you want to monitor for updates, and then click Next.



10.On the Error Monitoring page, select Yes to collect application errors from managed computers (recommended). i have select the upload location to store the error reports in C:\Errordata.



11.On the Error Forwarding page, uncheck the check box. No error forwarding at this moment.



12.On the Software Updates from Microsoft page, select manually and specify the product for which SCE to download updates.



13.On the Update Languages page, select Yes to download updates in the language used on the server (English). If you select No, specify your language according to your country.


14.On the Update Classifications page, select Yes to download only critical and security updates from Microsoft.


15. On the Update Deployment page, you can select to auto-approve critical and security updates for the All Clients and All Servers computer groups. If you select the auto-approval option, you can also select to force the installation after a specified period of time and have the updates install after that interval at a specific time. Click Next.


16. Review the summary before click configure button.


17. On the Completion page, the status of configuration is displayed


Click Close button to start the computer discovery and update synchronization. That's concluded the SCE intial configuration. On next article, I will look into virtualization management using SCE 2010.

Stay Tuned.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Boot from VHD

I'm quite surprise when my friend told me that now with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, i can boot from VHD without install multi boot into the system. So i decide to give a test.
Before you start, here is some criteria that you should take note:-
  • You can only boot a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 VHD
  • You must configure the boot editor from a Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 install
  • You cannot use a Virtual PC VHD, I suggest a Hyper-V VHD
  • You need to start with a clean slate, don’t try and reuse an old VHD
  • Sufficient hard disk space
Let start to look into how to configure boot from VHD.

1. Prepare and install Windows 7 using Hyper V.
2. Sysprep the operating system. If you do not sysprep the image, the system will display "Blue screen" when booting with an error.


3. Edit the Boot Configuration Data using bcdedit. Enter the following command as displayed:-


Note: Please use your own GUID which generated by the system when you enter the 1st command.

4. Verify the entry by typing the command bcdedit /v


5. As i have mistaken enter the Boot loader name, i need to change the correct name by typing the command as displayed:-


6. If you have enter incorrect Boot configuration data, you can always run bcdedit /delete {guid} /cleanup and try again.

7. Once complete, reboot the system.

Voila !...you can now work and boot from VHD image file. Not only that, i can fully utilize my system resources as a normal operating system.

Then, I test running Call Duty -Modern Warfare 2 games. It work without any problem.

Since the games is running quite well in VHD. I just give a shoot and try to install Hyper V roles. Guess what? It work again. Now i can run Hyper V inside the VM.

Lastly,last tip for those who want to see and access the VHD file, you can always use Computer management and Attach the VHD.

Cool right ! Never expect technology moves so fast..

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Exam preparation for 71-693 -Designing the Physical and Virtual Infrastructure

Hi,

For the designing the physical and virtual infrastructure section, i gather the resource and put into this site:-
http://ms4u.lefora.com/2009/12/17/offer-exam-71-693-designing-the-physical-and-virtu/

Enjoy and Happy Study !

ericlaiys

Saturday, December 19, 2009

HP Sizer for Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2

The HP Sizer for Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2 is an automated, downloadable tool that provides quick and helpful sizing guidance for “best-fit” HP server and storage configurations running in a Hyper-V R2 environment. The tool is intended to assist with the planning of a Hyper-V R2 virtual server deployment project. It enables the user to quickly compare different solution configurations and produces a customizable server and storage solution complete with a detail Bill of Materials (BOM) that includes part numbers and prices.


The HP Sizer for Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2 allows users to create new solutions, open already existing solutions, or use other types of performance data collecting tools, such as the Microsoft Assessment and Planning tool (MAP), to build rich Hyper-V R2 configurations based on HP server and storage technology. The tool allows rapid comparison of Hyper-V R2 characterizations using various HP server and storage choices.

To Download:- http://g3w1656g-vip.houston.hp.com/sb/installs/Hyper-VR2_Sizer.zip

Friday, December 18, 2009

Exam preparation 71-693 - Designing a Virtualization Strategy

For the section :- Designing a virtualization strategy, i have uploaded and combine several materials to this site

http://ms4u.lefora.com/2009/12/17/offer-exam-preparation-71-693-designing-a-virtuali/

Enjoy!

ericlaiys

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beta Exam 71-693 is available

Note: No asking/sharing of promotion code allowed. MSL SME will blacklist your application for future beta exam taking.

I'm glad that this new regulation take effect.Among the million of candidates, I'm manage to received the invitation on Dec 12,2009 . Excited and waited for Dec 14 to arrive. Finally the day came and i managed to register without any problem.

For those who are not sure what is Exam 71-693, here is some information that i have gathered.

Exam 71-693: Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator counts as credit towards the following certification(s).

· MCITP: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator


Availability:-

Registration begins: December 14, 2009 (at 12 AM EST)
Beta exam period runs: December 23, 2009–January 15, 2010

For info:-
http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/2009/11/virtualization-exam-updatewhats-in-the-box

Problem on registration encountered for 71-693:-
http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/2009/12/beta-drama-red-telephones-and-silver-linings

Skill measures:-
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-693#tab2

[New] The exam will test on
I hope i can gather the resources which is sufficient to equip myself for this exam. If you got any resources/link about designing, please feel free to leave a comment to share with everyone. No Tesking or discuss about the question!...I don't think got tesking for beta exam...haha. :)

Lastly, "Good Luck" to candidate who will sit for this exam.

Let work hard for this exam !

Monitor Memory Performance for Hyper V

As i have discussed about processor performance in previous article, let look into memory performance for each VM deployment.

Inside each VM, you need to use performance monitor counter \Memory\Available Mbytes.which display the amount of physical memory available to the Hyper-V host operating system.

The following guidelines apply when measuring the value of this performance monitor counter:

  • 50% of free memory available or more = Healthy
  • 25% of free memory available = Monitor
  • 10% of free memory available = Warning
  • Less than 5% of free memory available = Critical, performance will be adversely affected

Another counter that you must monitor is \Memory\Pages/sec measures the rate at which pages are read from or written to disk to resolve hard page faults.

The following guidelines apply when measuring the value of this performance monitor counter:

  • Less than 500 = Healthy
  • 500 - 1000 = Monitor or Caution
  • Greater than 1000 = Critical, performance will be adversely affected

Note: Guidelines is retrieve from Microsoft site.

If \Memory\Available Mbytes. reached below 10% of free memory available and  \Memory\Pages/sec is showing greater than 1000, you should add more memory to the VM

If \Memory\Available Mbytes is showing more than 50% of free memory available and \Memory\Pages/sec is less than 250, you should reduce the amount of memory allocate to the VM.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Managing Server Core - Easy or Hard way...

Manage Server Core can be tedious and difficult for beginner users. Server Core do not provide a graphical user interface. Instead, all configuration and management operations take place in the command prompt.
However Server core is the best option for installing Hyper V roles. Let look into several way to manage Server Core either the easy or the hard way..

1) Start with the Hard way. Type command line all the way as similar as Dos command. Some sample command available in http://www.ms4u.info/2009/07/install-hyper-v-roles-in-virtual-image.html

2) Use the command "sconfig" to open the server configuration menu which similar as Hyper V installation.


The management & configuration become easier with this menu available.

3) Download Job Aids for Server Core Installations of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Microsoft has compiled the command to pdf format. These Job Aids present the most common procedures and commands necessary to configure and manage Server Core installations in a one-page format that you can download, print, and fold to pocket size.

To Download - click here

4) Use Core Configuration 2.0

It is available to download at http://coreconfig.codeplex.com/ . It is a graphical tool that allows you to configure a whole bunch of system settings on a Windows Server Core installation.

Once you have download, you can execute a command "Start_CoreConfig.wsf". It will install NetFx-ServerCore and Powershell.


Core Configuration main menu:-

a) Computer setting


b) Control panel




c) License setting


d) Network Setting

e) Hyper V Setting

By default, the options is dimmed. Type the command

start /w ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V

to install Hyper V Roles.



Hope the above method assist you in initial configuration for Server Core.

Hyper V Update List

Hyper V Update list is available at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd430893(WS.10).aspx .

It shows the list of software updates and hotfixes for Hyper-V. Updates that are available on Windows Update are indicated, as well as the download location for those that are available at the Microsoft Download Center.

Tools to check support for Virtualization

As an updated on my previous article on how to identifying a server to support virtualization

http://www.ms4u.info/2009/07/intel-processor-to-support.html
http://www.ms4u.info/2009/09/why-choose-hyper-v.html

Here is some additional tools to identify if your processor support Hyper V

a) AMD Hyper V Compatibility Check Utility
b) Intel Processor Identification Utility 
c) Window Server Catalog - search for Hyper-V as an additional qualification. Windows Server catalog shows an up-to-date list of all successfully Hyper-V tested systems

Friday, December 11, 2009

Utility Disk2vhd v1.4

Good news! Disk2vhd v1.4 has released. Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk - Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs).
More info, please refer to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415.aspx

To download- Click here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) Administration Video Series

Recently Microsoft has published Med-V Administration Video. For those who are interested on Med-V, pls click on this link:-

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=1f0d3e54-25d1-4ec1-a844-3b508bd63ffa

This series covers the following topics:


1 - Preparing a MED-V Image - Learn how to prepare a virtual PC image for use with MED-V.

2 - Testing, Packing, and Uploading a MED-V Image - After completing the preparation, an image will be tested, then packaged, and finally uploaded to the MED-V Server for distribution.

3 - MED-V Workspace Walkthrough - See how to configure a MED-V workspace (policies for the virtual machine) and watch a demonstration of the key features so that you can evaluate and learn the key capabilities of MED-V.

4 - Publishing Different Applications to Different Users of the Same MED-V Image - This demonstration will show you how to use a common MED-V image to serve multiple users or groups while presenting different applications.

5 - Creating a MED-V Installation Package - Deploying MED-V packages can be streamlined by creating an installation package that includes all of the prerequisite technologies (Virtual PC, VM Additions update, and MED-V client) as well as a MED-V Workspace.

6 - MED-V First Time Setup with Domain Join - Taking workspace images and configuring them to join the organization Active Directory domain is a critical part of managing, controlling and updating the virtual machines deployed, and is easy with MED-V first time setup.

7 - Monitoring and Troubleshooting Tools in MED-V - Having the right tools to gain status, detect errors, and analyze problems is important when planning a MED-V infrastructure.

8 - Updating a MED-V Image - MED-V workspaces will require updates as any other machine on the network, this walkthrough of updating the master image and distributing to users can be used if machines are not joined to the domain and managed by typical system management tools.

To download and use Med-V, you need to have Software Assurance. MED-V builds on top of virtual PC to run two operating systems on one device, adding virtual image delivery, policy-based provisioning, and centralized management

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Monitoring Hyper V Processor performance

Monitor processor performance is an important task in managing Hyper V environment. We need to make sure host and guest operating system has adequate processing power.

You can monitor processor performance by using Performance Monitor.

Three (3) performance counter is available to monitor the processor performance

a) \Hyper-V HyperVisor Logical Processor (_Total)\%Total Run Time (LPTR)

- indicate how busy the logical processor in the host

b)\Hyper-V Hypervisor Virtual Processor (_Total)\%Total Run Time (VPTR)
-indicate how busy the virtual processor in the host

c)\Hyper-V Hypervisor Virtual Processor (_Total)\%Guest Run Time (VPGRT)
-indicate how busy the virtual processor in the guest

Here is some threshold which recommended by Microsoft to evaluate the performance monitor counter

  • less than 60% consumed = healthy
  • 60 to 89% consumed = Monitor or Caution
  • 90% to 100% consumed - Critical, performance affected.
Some guideline on the performance counter monitoring


a) If VPTR is high on the host,but LPTR is low


Issue:-
There are virtual machines that do not have enough processing power allocated.

Resolution:-
Use VPGRT counter in each VM to determine which VM is running at high processor utilization. In order to fix this case, you need add an additional virtual processor to that VM.

If max virtual processor has exceeded according to the guest VM limitation (pls refer to http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/hyperv-supported-guest-os.aspx ),then scale out the application by adding an additional virtual machine and balancing the workload between VM.

b) If LPTR is high and VPTR is low


Issue:-
Many virtual machine running lights loads.Verify that there are not more processors allocated to virtual machines than are physically available on the physical computer.

Resolution:-
Use the VPGRT counters to determine which virtual Processors are consuming CPU and de-allocate virtual processors from virtual machines as appropriate to configure a one to one mapping of virtual processors to logical processors.

c) If VPTR and LPTR are high

Issue:-
Hyper V Server processor are oversubscribed

Resolution:-
Add an additional Hyper V server processor and balance the existing VM between the servers

Friday, December 4, 2009

Microsoft Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool

Microsoft has released Hardware Assisted Virtualization detection tool. You only can run this tool if your desktop/ laptop is running the following system requirement:-
  • Windows 7;
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1; Windows Vista Service Pack 2;
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2; Windows XP Service Pack 3
 Note: Only the following versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista is supported:

You can't run this tool from Windows Server operating system. It is good tool for those who are interested to test running latest version of Virtual PC.

To Download:-
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=0EE2A17F-8538-4619-8D1C-05D27E11ADB2&displaylang=en#filelist

It is a simple tool. Just double click and view the result.

a) If your computer support hardware assisted virtualization, the tool displays the following result:-


b) If you have a computer that does not have a HAV capable processor, the tool displays the following result:






















c) If you have a computer that has a HAV capable processor but if this feature (HAV setting) is not enabled on the processor (in the BIOS), the following screen is shown: