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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Win the Ultimate Mobile Virtualization Lab

 

This month, Veeam will be giving away an ultimate mobile virtualization lab, which includes:

  • ThinkPad W530 with Windows 8 Pro
  • ThinkPad Battery 28++
  • Lenovo USB 2.0 Port Replicator with digital video
  • ThinkPad USB 3.0 750GB portable secure hard drive
  • Lenovo Slim USB portable DVD burner
  • Veeam, VMware and Microsoft software!
Read more details HERE

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuning and Optimization Virtualization Infrastructure With VMM 2012 SP1 Extension

 

VMM has built in performance monitoring as well as real time health status. You can view from VMM Console to monitor daily or montly based on CPU, Memory , Network and Storage.

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But VMM 2012 SP1 included with the ability to add third party extension to extend the functionality of the VMM. In today testing, I’ve included Savision Cloud Advisor VMM extension.

This VMM extension integrates natively into the Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1 console, analyzes your Hyper-V environment for problems, and then provides specific and detailed recommendations to tune virtual machines and hosts for better performance and availability.

It identifies problems such as: virtual machines that appear to be inactive and are needlessly consuming resources; cluster shared volumes that are about to run out of space - even listing the VMs that will be impacted; and VMs that don’t have virtual guest services installed and are thus performing less than optimally with respect to disk and network services. It also offers predictions such as when your Hyper-V hosts are going to run out of available memory.

The extension will connect to VMM SQL Database to gathered the performance data and provide optimization tips (located in Recommendation column or Apply Recommendation Link). The Apply Recommendation link is still not functioning during our testing. Anyway here is some sample of tuning tips which are available during our testing:

a) Prediction All Available Memory Will be Consumed.

It will provide prediction based on trend of current memory usage.

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b) Dynamic Memory is Not Used.

It will detect which virtual machine is current running static memory. Here customer has the ability to enabled Dynamic memory feature in order to increase the number of density per host. However, it is always recommend to understand your application. For our case, below listed VMs is not enable dynamic memory due to it is running SQL 2000 Standard Edition which does not fully utilize the function of dynamic memory.

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c) Virtual Machine Appears to be Unused

It detected that one of virtual machine has left idle without any utilization since number of days.

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d) Low Disk Space On Cluster Shared Volume

It detected one of the Clustered Shared Volume has insufficient hard disk space. Therefore, I need to take note and don’t put more VM into this CSV, create snapshot and perform some clean up.

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e) Starting Memory is Too High

It’s will analyze the current virtual machine memory utilization and suggest the best configuration that we should configure.

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With the recommendation provided on each tips, we can easily fine tune ,optimize the virtualization infrastructure, increase the virtual machine density easily and prevent resource exhaustion

Monday, May 27, 2013

Unable to Add VHDX to Hyper-V Virtual Machine in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

 

Just encountered this problem after fully patched Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

Scenario:-

  • Running failover cluster with Hyper-V installed
  • Created virtual machine and add virtual hard to the VM.
  • Some virtual hard disk can add but some failed to virtual hard disk to the VM.
  • Error message when add virtual hard disk:-

SNAGHTML10bcd13

Solution

1. Found the solution, that we need to install with KB2836402 hotfix

2. Apply the hotfix

3. Reboot the Hyper-V host

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Port Mirroring on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

 

Even wonder to perform sniffing in your Virtual Machine? Well, sometime we do want to monitor virtual machine and identify incoming or outgoing traffic to the VM. Without any hassle to configure switch port mirror, you can now configure one of VM and install with network protocol analyzer. All you need to do is

On the source VM which you would like to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic.

1. Without shutdown the VM, open the setting of VM

2.Go to Network Adapter | Advanced Features | On Port Mirroring, set as Source mode.

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Example:- My Domain controller VM

On the target VM (Which installed with wireshark).

1. Open the VM Setting by using Hyper-V Manager snap-in

2. Go to Network Adapter | Advanced Features | On Port Mirroring, set as Destination mode.

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Once complete, start the wireshark to monitor the traffic.

To test whether it is working or not, i use one of VM to perform nslookup and query “google.com”

Wireshark will capture and here is my test result:-

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Managed to get this test working in my lab. Thanks to Aidan (MVP VM) who wrote about the tips on this features in his book:- Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation and Configuration Guide. He highlighted about the criteria on how this feature work:-

“ Source and destination virtual network adapter must be on the same virtual switch(and therefore the same host)”

Now i know why I’ve failed during my test. (I’ve put the destination VM on different host).

If you’re interested to learn more, do check out his book as well. You can get it from Amazon.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Update on Veeam Backup and Replication V7 New Features–May 21 2013

 

Yesterday, Veeam has announces two disruptive features, that we’ve kept in a secret: Built-in WAN Acceleration and Backup from Storage Snapshots.

New feature 1:- Built-in WAN Acceleration

It is 1st backup software vendor to offer built in WAN acceleration for image based backup from Veeam primary backup storage to Secondary backup storage (offsite).

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New feature 2:- Backup from Storage Snapshots

By leverage on storage capabilities, Veeam able to reduce backup and replica as often as every 5 minute time. Backup and replica can perform during production hour without any impact to running virtual machine.

Supported storage:-

  • HP StoreVirtual + VSA
  • HO StoreServ (3PAR)
  • Others – coming soon

This feature is available for VMware hypervisor.

New feature 3:- Enhanced 1 Click Restore

Today 1-Click Restore enables fast restores of lost or corrupt data With enhanced v7, it provides ability to self service recovery of VMs and guest files without IT Administrator. Just use a browser and you will be able to recover individual VM and flexible delegation settings for self service recovery

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New feature 4:- Virtual Lab for Replica

In today version, this feature only available to Vmware. So sad and unfair. But with the outcoming v7, Veeam going to include support for Hyper-V backup.

Virtual Lab enables

  • SureBackup – added for replica. Reduce the risk and make your DR resources work without idle or waiting for a major disaster to strike.
  • U-AIR – restore application without agents
  • On-Demand Sandbox – allow to setup an isolated environment for testing, patches, troubleshooting, etc

Learn more by check out Veeam Youtube video and blog.

Previous new features:-

  • VCloud Director
  • vSphere Web Client
  • Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Sharepoint
  • Virtual Lab for Hyper-V
  • Native Tape Support

Monday, May 20, 2013

Antivirus Exclusion for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

 

Recently on 30th April 2013, KB961804 anti-virus exclusion list has updated.

The following is the exclusion list taken from the above KB article:-

  • Default virtual machine configuration directory (C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V)
  • Custom virtual machine configuration directories
  • Default virtual hard disk drive directory (C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks)
  • Custom virtual hard disk drive directories
  • Custom replication data directories, if you are using Hyper-V Replica
  • Snapshot directories
  • Vmms.exe (Note: This file may have to be configured as a process exclusion within the antivirus software.)
  • Vmwp.exe (Note: This file may have to be configured as a process exclusion within the antivirus software.)

Vmms.exe and Vmwp.exe is located in C:\Windows\System32 folder.

Additionally, when you use Live Migration together with Cluster Shared Volumes, exclude the CSV path "C:\Clusterstorage" and all its subdirectories.

For other Microsoft products, you can check out from this site.

Relevant site:-

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Real Time Performance Monitoring - VMTurbo Virtual Health Monitor

 

Just tested this product on my our lab. It’s provide FREE and unlimited real time performance monitoring solution which regardless of hypervisor in your environment. This product is an appliance and support the following hypervisor:-

  • Citrix XenServer
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • VMware ESXi/vSphere
  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

What’s the system requirement? Well, please refer to below table

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If you are using Hyper-V hypervisor to store the appliance, then you are require to has at least 16GB of memory, 2 vcpu and 16GB of storage space in order to make it run

This appliance allow users to support up to 10000 virtual machines. The appliance is running OpenSuse OS and the appliance size is around 400 MB (zip). After unzip, the size is 1.45 GB. Use Hyper-V Manager to import the appliance.

Configuration steps:-

1. Configure IP address of the appliance by using the following authentication:- ipsetup/ipsetup

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2. Then, use browser and key in the http://ipaddress of the appliance. Make sure your machine is installed with Adobe Flash Player.

3. Use the wizard to apply “free edition” license.

4. Enter the target Hyper-V Host and authentication into the system. If you enter a cluster host, the system will automatically added the entire host into the VMTurbo. Just wait till the system collect the inventory data.

5. Once complete, it enables you to

  • gain visibility into your entire infrastructure. You can view your infrastructure from Hyper-V, Local Disk, Shared Storage and Virtual Machine Workload from a single pane of glass

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One of the Hyper-V Host performance:-

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Storage:-

Able to identify the IOPS and Latency of the storage.

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Ubuntu VM workload. No agent is require to get the performance data.

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  • See and identify problem in real time

Host issue:-

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Example:- Detected that one my cluster having an issue. Click on the icon to drill down of the issue. The server has reached to 85% of memory utilization. In this o free action, you cannot perform an action. To perform an action, you’re require to upgrade this version to Enterprise /Cloud Edition

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VM Issue:-

Several virtual machine having high memory utilization.

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Drill down, you view the utilization according to time. Drag the slider to view the utilization on specific time.

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  • Generate performance and efficient reports

From the system, you also able to generate performance and efficient reports. Here is a sample of Hyper-V Server performance report: (Click on the thumbnail to view the report)

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If you are looking for performance monitoring tool, download this product and give it a try to understand your infrastructure

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sponsor Announcement–16 May 2013

 

Starwind Software

Recently Starwind has signed a new partnership agreement with German distributor. For more detail, please refer to “StarWind Expands German Distribution with Addition of Azlan”  here.

Veeam Software

Modern Data Protection – Built for Virtualization™
In March, Veeam® introduced a new company message to help organizations make the move to Modern Data Protection™. It explains how Veeam provides powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions that are Built for Virtualization™.

Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition
In February, Veeam released Veeam Backup & Replication™ Cloud Edition, turning every leading public storage cloud into an easy-to-use data repository for backups, and providing a powerful and affordable alternative to tape and traditional offsite backup storage.

Veeam Backup Free Edition and Veeam FastSCP
Veeam Backup™ Free Edition and Veeam FastSCP™ have surpassed more than 200,000 users. These free tools enable IT administrators to backup, archive or copy a VM, all without pausing or powering it off. Users can also restore data from inside a VM, restore from backups or SAN snapshots, and migrate and manage VMs and files. For more details, visit the Veeam Backup Free Edition and Veeam FastSCP product pages.

Veeam Continues to Take Home Industry Awards
Veeam is starting 2013 the way 2012 ended—by winning awards. Notable wins include:
Virtualization Review 2013 Readers Choice Awards and three Redmond Third-Party Reader’s Choice Awards. Veeam Backup & Replication received an InfoWorld Technology of the Year Award while SearchStorage.com 2012 Products of the Year awarded silver to Veeam Backup & Disaster Recovery.

COUNTDOWN TO V7
What’s next for Veeam? Our next major release: Veeam Backup and Replication v7! This new version will have many new features, including:

For further details, visit the Countdown page.

And finally, it’s been just over 5 years that Veeam Backup & Replication has been available! This great infographic shows the past 5 years. Happy Birthday Veeam Backup & Replication!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

VMware Hypervisor Support Windows Server 2012

Recently one of my customer would like to know about compatibility running Windows Server 2012 on Vmware Hypervisor.

Well , here is the Q and A based on my findings:-

Q1. Which version of VMware hypervisor is fully supported to run Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8?

A:  Windows Server 2012 fully supported only on

  • ESXi 5.1 and ESXi 5.0 U1 and ESXi 5.0 U2. You must install patch ESXi500-201209001(Patch 04) on ESXi 5.0 U1.
  • vSphere 5.1

Supported documents:-

Q2. Can I use an older version of Vmware vSphere or ESX to run Windows Server 2012?

A:- No.

Q3. What is my option to run Windows Server 2012 guest VM?

A: Upgrade Vmware version to supported version which listed in Q1.

Q4. I would like to perform Active Directory snapshot. Windows Server 2012 has feature called “VM-Generation ID” which allow hypervisor vendor to expose a virtual machine identifier that Windows Server 2012 domain controllers can use to detect the state of a virtual machine and trigger new Active Directory safeguards. These safeguards protect the Active Directory from the dreaded USN roll-back if a virtual machine is reverted to a snapshot or rolled back by other mechanisms. Can I have this feature on Vmware hypervisor?

A: Yes. Your hypervisor need to be at least:

  • VMware vSphere 5.0 Update 2 (vCenter Server and ESXi must both be at 5.0 Update 2)
  • VMware vSphere 5.1 (ESXi must be at least 5.0 Update 2)

Supported documents:-

Q5. Is Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Failover Clustering supported in Vmware vSphere 5.1?

A. No. The document below pointed that

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Well, in short, despite VMware claiming that vSphere 5.1 is compatible with Windows Server 2012, it is NOT. Fundamental functionality does not work within vSphere and VMware is misleading customers trying to provide guest high availability for critical workloads.

Fundamental functionality does not work within vSphere and VMware is misleading customers trying to provide guest high availability for critical workloads.

For other Vmware version and different types of application support on clustering, please refer to here.

Supported document:-

Q6. What is my option due to Q5 issue and I would like to setup Windows Server 2012 Clustering?

A: Deploy Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. Microsoft Hyper-V is systematically created, developed, tested and runs Microsoft production workloads at global scale for both internal and external IT resources.

“Hyper-V is the preferred virtualization platform for Microsoft products”.

Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) Product Line Architecture

 

Microsoft has just released two documents which talked about the IaaS architecture.

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a) Virtualization part – Click here to download “IaaS Product Line Architecture Fabric Architecture Guide” . This document provides guidance for developing fabric (compute,network, storage and virtualization layer) in three architecture pattern: Non-Converged, Converged Network and Continuous Availability over SMB Storage

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b) Management part – Click here to download “IaaS Product Line Architecture Management Architecture Guide” . This document provides guidance to develop Microsoft Private Cloud infrastructure using Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1

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