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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Always Repair Cluster Name Object (CNO) In Order to Perform Live Migration



a) Running Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V – Cluster

b) Encountered problem as listed in this post. You have repair the CNO but the problem keep coming back. When this problem occurred, you cannot perform live migrate except Repair. Temporally this will solve the problem but this incident will keep appearing.


This incident happened due to password syncronization issue. To solve it, apply hotfix KB 2838043. Click here to get the hotfix and more detail on other issue that this fix apply for.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Event ID 301–The protection agent upgrade failed because the protection agent is not installed on server


You will encountered this error message when:


  • Running DPM 2012 SP1
  • Just updated to Update Rollup 3
  • Tried to update DPM agents but received an error message “Event ID 301 – The protection agent upgrade failed because the protection agent is not installed on server”


Temporary resolution:- (perform manual update)

a) On each protected server, you need to go to your DPM server. Use UNC Path: \\DPMServer \c$\Microsoft System Center 2012\DPM\DPM\agent\RA\4.1.3415.0\amd64\1033 (if using x64 os)

b)Execute DPMProtectionAgent_KB2853210.msp

c) Go to DPM Console and refresh the DPM Agent. You will be getting the status “OK”

That should do the trick while Microsoft come out with a solution on it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Extended Hyper-V Replica–Windows Server 2012 R2


Hyper-V Replica allow you to perform asynchronous replication virtual machine from Data Center A to Data Center B. This feature allowed organization to has business continuity when VM running in Primary Site is down. When VM at Primary Site is down, customer can perform planned or unplanned failover which allow VM at Secondary Site to boot up and resume business operation.


With Windows 2012 R2 (Preview), Hyper-V Replica feature has improve to next level.


It allow us to

a) extend replication from Secondary Site to Third Site. Replica server at Secondary Site will forward information about changes that occur on the primary VM to a third server. After initiate planned or unplanned failover from the primary server to Replica server, the extended Replica server provides further business continuity protection.


b) change the frequency of replication. Previously we are limited to 5 min replication. Well a lot of customer make a lot of comment on this limit and would like to be shorter or longer. In this new version, this value is now configurable from 30 second, 5 min or 15 minute.

From Primary to Replica Server

You can configure 30 seconds, 5 minutes or 15 minutes


From Replica Server to Extended Replica

You can configure 5 minutes or 15 minutes


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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hyper-V for Linux Support Enhancement–Windows Server 2012 R2


My next test is on linux guest operating system. . Based on my testing with Suse Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3 running on Windows Server 2012 R2 (Preview Edition), the latest enhancement included with:-

Support for Online Backup

Compare to previous version of Hyper-V, Win 2012 R2 allowed you to perform backup by using any backup software without causing any downtime. Previous version of Hyper-V has a slight downtime when perform backup.


Support for Dynamic Memory

With Win 2012 R2, we can set dynamic memory:- startup memory, min memory ,max memory and weight on the supported linux operating system with updated integration services component. Below diagram showed the configuration

  • Startup – 1024 MB
  • Min memory – 512MB
  • Max memory -1500 MB


Currently the VM is assigned with 784MB with system detected the demand of the memory is 611MB.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sysvol and Netlogon Share Is Missing



a) Windows Server 2008 R2 Domain Controller

b) Has decommissioning  an additional domain controller (DC1) and currently has DC2. Before that, Global catalog has set on DC2. FSMO roles has transferred to DC2. Then use ntdsutil to verify that the roles has moved to DC2. Entire FSMO roles is listed as DC2.

c) Test pc join to domain but failed.

d) Execute command “Dcdiag” tool to verify the domain controller is working fine. The end result showed

  • Unable to contact PDC Emulator server
  • Group policy failed to process

e) Use command “net share” to verify Sysvol and Netlogon share is available. However it is not listed as share folder.


1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. Locate the following subkey in Registry Editor:
3. In the details pane, right-click SysvolReady Flag, and then click Modify.
4. In the Value data box, type 0 and then click OK.
5. Again in the details pane, right-click SysvolReady Flag, and then click Modify.
In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.

6. Reboot the domain controller

The Sysvol has shared and it is working fine.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cross Version Live Migration–Windows Server 2012 R2


With Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V, you will able to easily migrate your virtual machine from Windows Server 2012 to R2 without causing any downtime. You can perform cross version live migration


But do take note that you cannot perform live migration from Windows Server 2012 R2 to 2012. Moving a virtual machine to a down level server running Hyper-V is not supported.


This error message will appeared when using

a) VMM 2012 R2 (Preview Edition) – to live migrate from Win 2012 R2 to Win 2012


b) Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V (Preview) - to live migrate from Win 2012 R2 to Win 2012


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Unable to Create Initial Replica for SQL 2012


Continue reading if you are facing the same scenario


a) Try to backup SQL 2012 using DPM 2012 or 2012 R2 (Preview)

b) DPM failed to create initial replica. An error message “Unable to configure protection” and total recovery point is 0.



a) Connect to the SQL Server 2012 instance through the Management Studio, then select and expand Security.

b) Expand Logins and right-click NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM and select Properties. Click Server roles, select sysadmin and click OK


c) Remove the old protection group and re-create. Your backup should be working right now,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How to Create Cluster Which Resides in Different OU


This scenario is applicable when you have restricted environment and all the computer object account is located in different OU. (Not using default Computer container)

By default, computer object was created and put into default container : Computer. Here is my scenario:-

a) Create cluster using Windows Server 2012

b) Cluster is up and running without any problem.

c) Problem occurred when created file share or Scale Out file Server. Both roles failed to bring up.


a) Create a cluster using full distinguished name during Create Cluster Wizard.


CN – MS4UCluster01, OU = TestOU, DC=ms4u, DC=infro


  • Domain =
  • New OU  = TestOU
  • Cluster object name (CNO) = MS4UCluster01


A cluster name object (CNO) will be created under TestOU container. Then to allow other computer object created for general file share or scale out file server, you need allow CNO computer object to be able to create Virtual Computer Object (VCO).

Therefore, go to TestOU and set permission Create Computer Object for MS4UCluster01 (CNO).

Then you will be able to bring the both roles up.

Alternative solution:-

  • Create Cluster Computer Object and Virtual Computer Object using default Computer container.
  • Manually move to designated OU. (TestOU)

Thanks to the following blog which provides the guidance:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Storage Quality of Service (QOS)–Windows Server 2012 R2


In today article, we are going to look into another features of Windows Server 2012 R2 (Preview Edition) for Hyper-V. With Windows Server 2012 R2, we now has the option to configure Storage QoS. Storage QoS provides the ability to specify a maximum input/output operations per second (IOPS) value for your virtual hard disk.

What is IOPS?

IOPS — Input/Output Operations Per Second — measure computer storage in terms of the number of read and write operations it can perform in a second.

The four primary factors impact IOPS:

  • Multidisk Arrays – More disks in the array mean greater IOPS. If one disk can perform 150 IOPS, two disks can perform 300 IOPS.
  • Average IOPS per-drive – The greater the number of IOPS each drive can handle, the greater the the total IOPS capacity. This is largely determined by the rotational speed of the drive.
  • RAID Factor – Your application is likely using a RAID configuration for storage, which means you’re using multiple disks for reliability and redundancy. Some RAID configurations have a significant penalty for write operations. ForRAID 6, every write request requires 6 disk operations. For RAID 1 and RAID 10, a write request requires only 2 disk operations. The lower the number of disk operations, the higher the IOPS capacity.
  • Read and Write Workload – If you have a high percentage of write operations and a RAID setup that performs many operations for each write request (like RAID 5 or RAID 6), your IOPS will be significantly lower.

Requirement of configure Storage QoS?

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V roles installed

An administrator can throttle the minimum and maximum IOPS value. IOPS are measured in 8KB increments. To configure,

a) Open Hyper-V Manager snap-in

b) Right click VM | Settings

c) Expand your virtual disk (IDE/SCSI) controller and select Advanced Features

d) Tick Enable Quality of Service Management.

e) Set minimum and maximum IOPS.


Here is my test result on one of my test VM by using Iometer tool.



Example:- 700+ IOPS

After configure Storage Qos: Maximum 100 IOPS



  • Do be careful when configure IOPS as it will impact the application performance especially high extensive application such as SQL database, Exchange, etc 
  • Understand your application requirement on IOPS
  • Storage QOS not supported on shared virtual hard disk

Friday, July 5, 2013

USB Pass-through Support in Windows Server 2012 R2


Finally USB is supported in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V!

Virtual Machine Connection now support redirection of local resources to a virtual machine session. The following local resources can be directed :-

  • Display configuration
  • Audio
  • Printer
  • Clipboard
  • Smart cards
  • USB devices
  • Drives
  • Supported Plug and Play devices (example: USB devices)

By default, it is disable on Windows Server 2012 R2 (Preview Edition). You’re require to enable “Enhanced Session Mode Policy” from Hyper-V Settings.


Requirement of the supported guest operating system

a) Windows Server 2012 R2 (Preview Edition)

b) Windows 8.1 (Preview Edition)

In order for this feature to work, you’re require to use above supported guest operating system. So what’s next once you have enabled it?

Use VM Connect to establish a session, it will prompt to set some configuration as listed above.


One of the cool thing about this feature is it does not use network connection. All the session will go through Hyper-V VMBUS.

So what is the advantages of this feature?

Well, this feature allow users to perform testing of application which reside in the virtual machine that require local resource as listed above.

Give it a try and tested it yourself. So far I’ve tested

a) transfer file by copy/paste

b) access thumb drive

c) copy and paste painting.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Guest Clustering With Shared VHDX–Windows Server 2012 R2

During Windows Server 2012, we are allowed to create guest clustering VM by using iSCSI or Virtual Fiber Channel. However, in the next release of Windows Server 2012 R2 (Preview edition), it allow Hyper-V to share a VHDX across multiple virtual machine without using a shared storage.
In order to setup this infrastructure, the shared VHDX must be located in Cluster Shared Volume (option2) locally or Scale Out File Server (Option 1).
Few consideration to consider:-
a) Attach to SCSI Controller
b) Use VHDX format
c) On the shared VHDX disk , go to Advanced Features and Tick “Enable virtual hard disk sharing” by using Hyper-V Manager snap-in.
d) 2 VMs running Windows Server 2008 R2/2012/2012 R2.
e) Hyper-V Host running Windows Server 2012 R2
f) Shared virtual disk must be data disk. No operating system
Once completed the above configuration, you can start to create a guest clustering . In my test environment, both SQL VM can boot up without any error message and the shared disk was able to format and use for SQL clustering.

For more information:-

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Online Virtual Hard Disk Resize–Windows Server 2012 R2


Starting from Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Edition, we can now perform online virtual hard disk resize while the virtual machine is running. That’s mean “No downtime”. Shutting down virtual machines is no longer required and this eliminates interruption to users accessing those virtual machines and helps reduce maintenance costs.

In order to perform online resize, you need to fulfill these requirements:

a) Use SCSI Controller.

If you view hard disk located in IDE controller, you cannot select the “Edit” option.


Meanwhile hard disk on SCSI Controller, you can select “Edit”


From there, you can easily expand or shrink virtual hard disk while the virtual machine is up and running.


Note:- Be careful when shrink hard disk as we do not want any lost files.

b) Use VHDX format

Example:- 10 GB VHDX


a) Expand from 10GB to 20GB


b) Shrink from 20GB to 15GB


Monday, July 1, 2013

Renewed Microsoft Most Valuable Professional : Virtual Machine



Just received an email from MVP Award:-

Dear Yoong Seng Lai,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2013 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Virtual Machine technical communities during the past year.

This year will be my 4th times as MVP Virtual Machine.

Automatic Virtual Machine Activation–Windows Server 2012 R2

Couple days has passed since I’ve setup few virtual machine in my testing environment. In my environment, I’ve setup
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Data Center Preview Edition
Virtual Machine
  • VM1 - Windows Server 2008 R2
  • VM 2- Windows Server 2012
  • VM3 – Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Edition (Standard Edition)
During Tech Ed North America 2013, Ben (Hyper-V Program Manager) has mentioned about “Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA)” . This feature allow system administrator to skip activate Windows for the following guest operating system:
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.
How about Windows Server 2008 R2 or Win 2012? Well based on my testing, automatic activation does not work on these version of OS. You need to manually activate older version of operating system VM.
However this is definitely a nice and welcome feature.
To try AVMA, perform the following steps:-
1. Install Host with Windows Server 2012 Data Center (Preview Edition) and activate it
2. Install the Win2012 R2 Edition VM
3. In the VM, open command prompt with elevated prompt:-
slmgr /ipk (AVMA key)
AVMA key (Preview Edition):-
Edition Key
Standard HXFNP-8HYQ3-4FMC3-2DHJ9-M97JF
Essential 7VW9N-8C48X-J6442-J3KM6-FVTM9
The virtual machine will automatically activate the license against the virtualization server. 

[Updated on 28 Nov 2013]
To reflect new product key after the product General Availability, please refer to

For more information:-