My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together
Category Archives: Hyper V
Is your MS Application Supported under VMware, Hyper-V, Xen? – the DEFINITIVE Statement from Microsoft
A colleague has just made me aware of a new tool on the Microsoft website, it is a wizard that can tell you if specific Microsoft App/OS/Architecture combinations are supported under the SVVP (Server Virtualization Validation Programme) – I previously wrote about the SVVP here, which promised to resolve many of the pains we were experiencing.
The output from the SVVP programme has been compiled into a great web based wizard that saves all the previous leg work of reading several (sometimes conflicting) whitepapers.. here you get it straight from the horses mouth (so to speak).
You can access the Wizard via this Link
The wizard lists all Microsoft products
The list of hypervisor platforms supported is shown below, and you can choose the OS version (Windows 2000 and later) and the CPU architecture (x86, x64 etc.)
And, finally the most important part – a definitive statement on support for this combination
Excellent work Microsoft – come on other vendors (Oracle, Sun this means you…)
This confused me for a while, up until now I’ve been using Windows 2008 inside a VM, so have had little need to remotely administer it other than via the console.
As you all know it’s better practice to use the MMC tools to admin remote servers rather than use terminal services to the actual server (uses less resources, no chance you can hit shutdown rather than logoff etc!).
In the old days you installed adminpak.msi on your XP machine and off you went, this has now been renamed to RSAT (Remote Server Administration Toolkit) – you need Vista SP1, download the appropriate update package from here.
Install the appropriate version of the update (x64 or x86) but don’t worry – you can still admin both x64 and x86 servers from an x86 client using the same tools.
Now at this point I was a bit confused (and I hadn’t read the KB article in full…tsk) but there were no handy admin tools in my start menu anywhere.
To get them installed you actually need to add a Windows “feature” via the “Programs and Features” control panel applet (I assume the update adds them there, I didn’t look beforehand).
Then scroll down and choose the appropriate tools that you need, I’ve expanded out the relevant sections and I’ve chosen to install them all.
Waiting…(no need to provide any CD’s or anything as Windows Vista has the whole OS image on-disk in a .WIM file by default, which is handy.
it did take several minutes 🙂
All done, and my workstation now has a full compliment of Windows 2008 admin tools
Note if you want to administer a Hyper-V server, then you need to download and enable these tools separately – details here, the link in the article is broken but you can download the appropriate update from Microsoft here.
If you run a corporate domain environment, its probably worth bundling these into a GPO or SMS installed package for your administrative machines, as it takes a little while to do by hand (as I did) and you have to jump through the WGA hoops to get the downloads from Microsoft.
On the subject of Hyper-V – there is an article about a beta version of a solution accelerator/guide to securing and hardening Hyper-V here
You’ve been able to buy solid state SAN technology like the Tera-RAMSAN from TMS which gives you up to 1Tb of storage, presented over 4Gb/s fibre channel or Infiniband @10Gb/s… with the cost of flash storage dropping its going to soon fall in to the realms of affordability (from memory a year ago 1Tb SSD SAN was about £250k, so would assume that’s maybe £150k now – would be happy to see current pricing if anyone has it though).
If you were able to combine this with a set of ESX hosts dual-connected to the RAMSAN and traditional equipment (like an HP EVA or EMC Clariion) over a FC or iSCSI fabric then you could possibly leverage the new Storage vMotion features that are included in ESX 3.5 to achieve a 2nd level of performance and load levelling for a VM farm.
It’s pretty common knowledge that you can use vMotion and the DRS features to effectively load level or average VM CPU and memory load across a number of VMWare nodes within a cluster.
Using the infrastructure discussed above could add a second tier of load balancing without downtime to a DRS cluster. If a VM needs more disk throughput or is suffering from latency then you could move them to/from the more expensive solid-state storage tiers to FC-SCSI or even FATA disks, this ensures you are making the best use of fast, expensive storage vs. cheap, slow commodity storage.
Even if Virtual Center doesn’t have a native API for exposing this type of functionality or criteria for the DRS configuration you could leverage the plug-in or scripting architecture to use a manager of managers (or here) to map this across an enterprise and across multiple hypervisors (Sun, Xen, Hyper V)
I also see EMC integrating flash storage into the array itself, would be even better if you could transparently migrate LUNS to/from different arrays and disk storage without having to touch ESX at all.
Note: This is just a theory I’ve not actually tried this – but am hoping to get some eval kit and do a proof on concept…
I’m at the Windows 2008 Launch event in the Birmingham, UK today. It has just been exclusively announced that the Hyper V Release Candidate is available for download from 5pm (UK time) Today, 19th March.
Go download and try it out… full RTM is still promised 180 days from the Feb RTM release of Windows 2008 which I blogged about here