Exporting checkpoints is one of those features that is very handy but not commonly used since it’s pretty situational. For example, picture this scenario: let’s say we just applied an update to a VM and the update went south. Thankfully, we created a checkpoint of the VM before we did the upgrade and we can use that checkpoint to revert the VM.
Metering is one of those unpleasant yet essential parts of systems administration. If you don’t know anything about your systems’ resource utilization, you can’t properly design their replacements. If you haven’t been keeping track, you won’t be able to answer the question, “What happened” when things go awry. If you aren’t keeping a close eye, you won’t have any advance warning before something collapses in the middle of a major production cycle. When it comes to networking, you’re probably not going to believe how easy it is to get MRTG up and running.
Linux on Hyper-V is becoming more and more popular as Microsoft continues to increase their support for it. One of the nicest parts about it is the “It Just Works” aspect. For distributions that are less than a few years old, the Hyper-V Integration Components are built right in. There isn’t any time wasted fiddling with scouring the Internet to look for instructions on compiling or even scripting them in. For me, my interest was sharpened when my TechNet subscription expired for the last, non-renewable time. I could, and will, start using the evaluation copies of Windows Server for testing, but that expiration thing is pretty annoying. Sure, 120 days seems like a long time. Maybe for people in their 20s, it is. But, as I was working up my Linux examples, I noticed that I hadn’t even rebooted my test lab switch in about seven months. If you’d asked… Read More»
Accessing Hyper-V Manager can be quite a mystery if you’ve never launched it before or when you’re working in an unfamiliar environment. You don’t want to be stuck in the situation of frantically searching for Hyper-V Manager when a critical VM is down and needs attention.
There are different methods of accessing this tool and with the various flavors of Windows, it’s good to know where to look and how to install it for each one.
One day, I was out traversing the wide, untamed world of my Twitter feed when I came across this most lovely post by Aidan Finn that does a great job summarizing Hyper-V’s Biggest Weakness. That post is required reading for this one. Actually, that post should be required reading for anyone that has anything to do with Hyper-V. Start there, then come back here. Aidan’s post is about the state of management tools for Hyper-V in general. I’m going to focus on System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM). Even if you don’t use VMM, this article is for you. If you have Hyper-V but not VMM, then that is something that Microsoft seriously needs to address whether you (or they) realize it or not. I believe that there should be a set of free tools with a premium management pack. The free tools should be enough for anyone to get… Read More»
In April 2015, Microsoft announced a new feature available in Windows Server 2016 called Nano Server. It is similar to Windows Server Core mode but remarkably smaller. Apparently there are big plans in store for Nano Server. Jeffery Snover, lead architect for Windows Server, consistently stated throughout the Microsoft Ignite event, “Nano Server is the greatest change to Windows Server since Windows NT”. This tiny-sized OS is configured with only the components installed that are needed and nothing else. For example, in a the standard version of server with a GUI, if you want to install IIS all you need to do is go into server manager and click the checkbox to add the role and it gets installed. This is because the files necessary to install IIS are already stored in the OS. With Nano Server this is not the case. One of the biggest changes with this version of Windows Server, is there is no GUI, login interface, or remote desktop capability at all. Instead, Nano Server is managed via PowerShell Remoting and WMI. Because this server is set up this way, it will provide some major benefits in a Hyper-V environment once Windows Server 2016 is released.
I’m back today with some more news and updates straight from the Microsoft Ignite conference that is wrapping up here in Chicago. My last post on this subject went live just a couple of days ago and covered some of the major product announcements that were presented in the realm of Microsoft’s virtualization stack. This included things like Containers, Operations Management Suite, and Nano Server. Those announcements are great from an overall strategy and direction stand point, but let’s get a little more specific today.
We recently invited Microsoft Hyper-V MVPs, Aidan Finn & Andrew Syrewicze, and Microsoft Sr. Technical Evangelist Rick Claus to take you through what’s coming up in Microsoft’s release of Hyper-V vNext! Here’s the recording of the live webinar.
Last year, Nirmal Sharma wrote a fantastic article on this blog titled 23 Best Practices to improve Hyper-V and VM Performance. This sparked up a very lively discussion in the comments section; some were very strongly in favor of some items, some very strongly opposed to others. What I think was perhaps missed in some of these comments was that, as Nirmal stated in the title, his list was specifically “to improve Hyper-V and VM performance.” If squeezing every last drop of horsepower out of your Hyper-V host is your goal, then it’s pretty hard to find any serious flaws with his list.
Dynamic Memory is one of Hyper-V’s most misunderstood and underutilized technologies. Many people believe that it’s not working when it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to. Too many won’t use it at all based on incorrect assumptions. Most don’t understand the conditions in which it will operate. Unfortunately, there’s really not a simple guide to using it properly, or you’d find articles on it everywhere. If you want to squeeze the most out of your virtual environment, you’re going to need to get your hands dirty with some of the grease that’s down in the guts of your systems
Native adapter teaming is a hot topic in the world of Hyper-V. It’s certainly nice for Windows Server as well, but the ability to spread out traffic for multiple virtual machines is practically a necessity. Unfortunately, there is a still a lot of misunderstanding out there about the technology and how to get it working correctly.
Late last year, we published an eBook about licensing Microsoft server operating systems in a virtual environment. This was followed up with a webinar by Thomas Maurer and Andrew Syrewicze. Toward the end of that session, they took some questions. Since then, we’ve received a few more. We’ll use this article to answer those questions and to further expand on some of the ideas in the eBook.
In our article on common Hyper-V deployment mistakes, one item we discussed was the creation of too many Hyper-V virtual switches. This article will expand on that thought and cover various Hyper-V virtual switch deployment scenarios. One Switch will Usually Suffice The first and most important point to make is the same as mentioned in the earlier article: one virtual switch is enough for most Hyper-V hosts. We’ll start by showing how advancements in Windows and Hyper-V technologies address problems that necessitated multiple virtual switches in earlier versions. Native OS Teaming is Now Available In 2008 R2 and earlier, you could only team network adapters by using software provided by the network card manufacturer. This software was often buggy and unstable. Furthermore, Microsoft would not officially support any system that used such teaming. In those situations, Hyper-V administrators would often choose to leave the physical adapters unteamed and create multiple… Read More»
One of the great things about the Hyper-V virtual switch is that it can be used to very effectively isolate your virtual machines from the physical network. This grants them a layer of protection that’s nearly unparalleled. Like any security measure, this can be a double-edged sword. Oftentimes, these isolated guests still need some measure of access to the outside world, or they at least need to have access to a system that can perform such access on their behalf. There are a few ways to facilitate this sort of connection. The biggest buzzword-friendly solution today is network virtualization, but that currently requires additional software (usually System Center VMM) and a not-unsubstantial degree of additional know-how. For most small, and even many medium-sized organizations, this is an unwelcome burden not only in terms of financial expense, but also in training/education and maintenance. A simpler solution that’s more suited to smaller… Read More»