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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Backup SQL Database to Windows Azure Online Backup


Well, almost last day of the year 2012 and probably this is the last article in 2012. As SC 2012 SP1 RTM has just released in MSDN/Technet website, i have took the opportunity to upgrade the entire System Center RC version to RTM. One of the product which i just tested is DPM 2012 SP1. In my previous post during RC version testing, we only manage to backup files/folder and virtual machine.

Here is my previous post link, if you would like to check out:-

Backup to Windows Azure Online Backup Services
Restore From DPM Using Windows Azure Online Backup Services

This time around, we was able to backup SQL database to Windows Azure Online Backup Services and below figure shown the database which i can add as the online protection. Just as a precaution so we are protected before we step into year 2013. Smile

a) On RTM version, online protection has put under short term –Disk. Therefore, you need to backup the data to disk first before select backup to Windows Azure Online Backup


b) Select your database that you want to backup to cloud. It is not necessary that you select entire database to cloud. So choose the most important DB.


c) Select your retention range and schedule


Well, let skip some of the screenshot and look into restore db.

When restore, you can click on Recovery | Select the database and choose the time (online) that you would like to restore.


That’s all for today. Give it a try and experience it yourself. See you all next year.

“Happy New Year 2013” – from the author

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Configure Ethernet Resource Pool in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V


Merry X’mas reader. Hope everyone is enjoing their holiday. If you read my previous post, I've talked about Storage Resource Pool. This round I'm going to look into Ethernet Resource Pool. Before that, below is my scenario:-

Virtual switch created in Host A


Virtual switch created in Host B


Since both of the host is using different virtual switch name, i will probably having difficulties of perform live migration to both Hyper-V Host. To avoid this issue, we’re going to leverage on Ethernet Resource Pool.

1. To Enable Ethernet Resource Pool called “EthResourcePool1” by typing the following command on both Hyper-V Host

New-VMResoucePool –Name EthResoucePool1 –ResourcePoolType Ethernet


Now let view the resource pool that you have configured. Notice that you can view EthResourcePool1 and StoragePool1 (in my previous article)


Our Hyper-V Host virtual switch is named “vSwitch-Production” and “Production”. Here we are going to add virtual switch to Ethernet Resource Pool by using Add-VMSwitch.

Host A

Add-VMSwitch –Name vSwitch-Production –ResourcePoolName EthResourcePool1

Host B

Add-VMSwitch –Name Production –ResourcePoolName EthResourcePool1

Lastly, without worry too much on different virtual switch name, you need to change the  VM to use EthResourcePool1


Now you can live migrate the vm without worry about different virtual switch name. It as great stuff and i’ve converted almost every of my Hyper-V host to use ethernet resource pool. do give it a try and enjoy!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Configure Storage Resource Pool in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V


There are eight ( 8 ) resource pool that you can create for resource metering. In order to configure resource pool, you need to use Powershell. NO GUI ! and Hyper-V resource pool is NOT the same as Vmware Resource Pool. To view resource pool that you can create, type the following command:



Let start to enable Storage Resource Pool. First create few virtual hard using Hyper-V Manager snap-in and put into a folder. Example:- C:\ClusterStorage\Volume3\BackupStoragePool1. Let assume that customer A has several virtual hard disk and we group them into BackupStoragePool1 folder for ease of resource metering. For customer B, create another folder and use another Resource Pool name. Now let back to our scenario for customer A.

Then type the following command:-

New-VMResourcePool –Name StoragePool1 –ResourceType VHD –Paths C:\ClusterStorage\Volume3\BackupStoragePool1


What’s Next?

Time to assign Storage Resource Pool to VM. Edit the VM Settings and Add New Hard Disk. Now you should be able to view the Resource Pool, select and and relevant hard disk.


Enable Resource Metering for entire VMs :

Enable-VMResourceMetering –VMName *


To measure storage resource pool used based on customer A (StoragePool1) :

Measure-VMResourcePool –Name StoragePool1 –ResourcePoolType VHD


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Get An Additional Service Templates in VMM 2012 SP1


Service templates are designed to automate server role deployments from Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 in a private cloud environment. Use the service templates to automate tasks, and reduce deployment time and cost by dynamically provisioning services that require server roles from either Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 for customer services.

Even wonder where to get new Service Template for VMM 2012 SP1. Well, you can build your own service template as what i normally do. But with VMM 2012 SP1, i can now extend VMM 2012 SP1 to get Service Template by import an additional Console Add-on called Service Template Explorer. At this moment, the add-in is still under beta and you can download from :- MS Connect Website (must register)

1. Once extracted the msi, open VMM Console and select Setting | Console-Add In | Click Import Console Add-In on the VMM ribbon.

2. Select the Service and add the Console Add-In.


3. Click VM & Setting workspace and select Service Template Explorer on the VMM ribbon


4. You can use the Service Template Explorer to search for and download service template packages published by Microsoft. When you open the Service Template Explorer, it runs a query to find the available service templates on the Microsoft Download Center. The query results appear in a list in the VMM console. You can then use the console to download individual service templates to a folder location that you specify.


5. After downloading a service template package, you can import it into VMM using the service template import feature.( Library | Templates | Service Templates | Click Import Template). Below is the few templates which i have imported.


Useful Command When Managing Server Core and Hyper-V Server 2012


[Updated: 23 Dec 2012]

Getting old and cannot remember some command. Time to compile and updated into here as the place to refer when configure server core or Hyper-V Server 2012.

1. To perform basis server configuration on Server Core and Hyper-V Server 2012

Type “sconfig”


2. Compare to previous version, you no longer can enable Failover clustering from sconfig for Hyper-V Server 2012. However, you can Install Failover Clustering feature by using Powershell

Install-WindowsFeature Failover-Clustering


3. To disable Windows Firewall by using Powershell. This come handy when you want to temporary disable windows firewall.

netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off


Do remember to enable back Windows Firewall after configuration.

4. To view features that has enable/disable

dism /online /get-features


5. To install features (in case you require). Example:- .Net Framework 2 and Windows Powershell

dism /online /enable-feature:NetFx2-ServerCore
dism /online /enable-feature:MicrosoftWindowsPowerShell
dism /online /enable-feature:NetFx2-ServerCore-WOW64

More command will update later. Stay Tuned

Related post:-

Conversion Between Windows Server 2012 Installation Options
Export Event Viewer Log from Server Core
Changing NIC Order On Server Core
Formatting Disk using DiskPart
Install Hyper V roles in virtual image. (few more command)
Should I do Teaming or MPIO on iSCSI NIC?

CoreConfig Tool for Windows Server 2012 Server Core


It is about time that CoreConfig tool been refresh to support Windows Server 2012. Besides than convert to Min Shell interface, this is one of tool that i always keep close to me when deploy and configure Hyper-V Server 2012/ Server Core.

For those who do not know , Corefig is a PowerShell-based GUI tool to configure the 2012 releases of Server Core and Hyper-V Server.

To download, click here

Command to execute in Windows Powershell

set-executionpolicy remotesigned


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Prevent Rogue DHCP By Enable DHCP Guard in Hyper-V


You have created a virtual machine and this virtual machine has passed to another user for application deployment. Sometimes, your user tend to be smart and start to enable DHCP roles in the virtual machine which is not suppose to in your production environment. This scenario has created another rogue DHCP in your virtualization environment and you would like to prevent this from happening.

With Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, you can prevent this by enable DHCP Guard. All you need to do is on the particular Virtual Machine Settings, Network switch tick “Enable DHCP Guard” .


Even users enable DHCP roles and it is function as unauthorised DHCP in the VM, the DHCP message will be dropped and none of the other VM will get the IP address.


In my test environment, i have tested it with DHCP roles enabled on VM1. None of the IP is been release out to other VM when i have turn ON DHCP Guard.

To further test, i just “uncheck DHCP Guard” and it start to act as rogue DHCP and release IP to my other VMs.

Therefore, start to protect your virtualization infrastructure by configure DHCP Guard.

My recommendation on the configuration:-

1. Turn ON DHCP Guard for other VMs which is potential unauthorized DHCP server to prevent accidently become rogue DHCP.
2. Turn OFF DHCP Guard for an authorized DHCP server.

Some PowerShell command to play around:-


  • VM1 – Rogue DHCP
  • RED-DC01 – Authorized DHCP Server
Set-VMNetworkAdapter –VMName VM1 –DHCPGuard On
Set-VMNetworkAdapter –VMName RED-DC01–DHCPGuard Off

Convert VHD to VHDX


If you have set up Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and would like to perform virtual hard disk conversion from VHD to VHDX , then this is the article that you should refer to. VHDX is a new format and provides the following features:-

  • 64TB against 2TB of VHD
  • Support larger logical sector sizes up to 4K
  • Larger block size up to 256MB
  • Resilient against corruption that can occur in power failures

VHDX format only can work in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V , Hyper-V Server 2012 or later version.

You cannot use VHDX file format in older version. If you wish to use, make sure you convert it back to VHD and the size of the VHD should not more than 2TB.

There are few way to achieve this:-

Note:- Make sure the virtual machine is offline before perform conversion

Option 1:

1. Use Hyper-V Manager snap-in and select Edit Disk


2. Follow the wizard and select Convert options.


Option 2 :-

1. Use System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1 Console to convert.

2. Select the offline VM, go to Properties and select Hardware Configuration


Option 3:-

For large scale migration or convert multiple vhd at the same time, then you can leverage on using Powershell

Cmdlet:- Convert-VHD
Convert-VHD –Path (source) –DestinationPath (destination)


Convert-VHD -Path M:\Base\VM1.vhd -DestinationPath M:\Converted\VM1.vhdx
Convert-VHD -Path M:\Base\VM2.vhd -DestinationPath M:\Converted\VM2.vhdx
Convert-VHD -Path M:\Base\VM3.vhd -DestinationPath M:\Converted\VM3.vhdx


You can use the same method as listed above to convert VHDX back to VHD.

Convert-VHD -Path M:\Base\VM1.vhdx -DestinationPath M:\Converted\VM1.vhd
Convert-VHD -Path M:\Base\VM2.vhdx -DestinationPath M:\Converted\VM2.vhd
Convert-VHD -Path M:\Base\VM3.vhdx -DestinationPath M:\Converted\VM3.vhd

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Create An Answer File For Windows Server 2012 Virtual Machine Deployment


Wow!.. it is quite a long time that i start to pick up my pen and start to write. Well, after a long period of busy working, it is time to sit down and share more about Virtualization and System Center. Hmmm…let see what I'm going to talk today?

In today post, I'm going to talk about creating an answer file for Windows Server 2012 which you are going to use to perform unattended installation for VM provisioning.

1.First thing to do is download Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit and install the following components:- Deployment Tools and Windows PE.


2. Copy the install.wim to your local disk. This is a must step as you need to has write access to local disk when create catalog. Start Windows System Image Manager, select Install.wim on your local disk.

3. Select the OS version that you want to create an answer file:-


4. Click Yes to create the catalog file .

5. From the sample xml located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Deployment Tools\Samples\Unattend folder, make a copy of the xml. These sample files include all of the settings needed to automate Windows installation.


Different sample files can be used depending on the hardware type you are deploying Windows to (32-bit ad 64-bit installations, as well as EFI or BIOS-based firmware

6. Open the sample xml file that you have created in step 5.

7. Select to associate the answer file with Windows Server 2012 Image File and customize the answer file according to your environment.

To customize an answer file, you can refer to here:-

8. Once complete configure the unattend.xml, put it into VMM Library and use it during VM provisioning.

Well, with answer file you can save a lot of time on the VM configuration. Hope this give you a rough idea on where to start to create an answer file. Good luck.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Presentation:- Setting up Storage Features in Windows Server 2012


Another session of the day in Windows Server 2012 Roadshow, Malaysia. During this session, i have presented on how to configure high availability storage spaces and Scale out file server in Windows Server 2012.

Presentation: Configuring and Using the New Virtualization Features in Windows Server 2012


Wow! I was tired after presenting two days in the row for  Windows Server 2012 Road show in Malaysia and Singapore. The turn out was great and it was pleasure to share the content to the audience.

Picture taken from Microsoft Innovation Center, Singapore:-

Recently Updated

During this session, i have talked about

  • Setup Hyper-V High Availability
  • Setup Hyper-V Replica

Below is the presentation slide which i have use during the events.


Hardware Support Matrix For Windows Server 2012


Hi folks,

Just completed a session on Windows Server 2012 Road Show at Microsoft Innovation Canter @Singapore and gathered a lot of feedback . One of them is “What is the supported hardware that certified for Windows Server 2012?” Well, here is what i have gathered just to save your time from looking around.


Here is the rack type:-


For tower and blade type, you can refer to


Starting from G7 version



Information taken from:-



Information taken from :-


For B Series:-


Information taken from:-

For C Series:-


Information taken from:-

Monday, December 3, 2012

Veeam Backup Management Suite 6.5 for Hyper-V


[Update on Veeam product]

Introduce NEW Veeam Backup Management Suite—for even more proficient data protection and virtualization management!

Admins can now get advanced monitoring for Veeam backup infrastructure, including:

  • Monitoring the age and size of snapshots
  • Alerting you when guest disks used for backup repositories are getting full
  • Keeping track of the VM power state of your backup proxies and repositories
  • Collecting and analyzing datastore I/O metrics to detect and resolve performance problems

Check out the product page here! Watch two videos for an even better understanding of the product:

Veeam Backup Management Suite 6.5 – Advanced monitoring for backup
Veeam Backup Management Suite 6.5 – Advanced reporting and capacity planning for backup