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  • Microsoft Azure
  • Virtual Machine Manager

Tag: Storage

Microsoft Cloud OS

Free Microsoft Cloud OS webinar series in March and April

In March and April I will present together with Microsoft and itnetx in webinars about the Microsoft Cloud OS. The webinars will be free and will cover an overview about the Microsoft Cloud OS. The Microsoft Cloud OS is the story behind the latest releases of Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V System Center, Windows Azure Pack and Windows Azure. The webinar series will be split in three different sessions and will cover how you can plan, build and operate a Microsoft Cloud and how you can bring the Private & Public Cloud together to make use of a Hybrid Cloud model.

Webinar 1 - Microsoft Cloud OS: Overview

10:00
Presenter: Markus Erlacher, Marcel Zehner
ANMELDUNG

Webinar 2 - Microsoft Cloud OS: Planning & Architecture

25.März 2014, 09:00-10:00
Presenter: Thomas Maurer
ANMELDUNG

Webinar 1 - Microsoft Cloud OS: Operation

02.April 2014, 09:00-10:00
Presenter: Thomas Maurer, Philipp Witschi
ANMELDUNG

All three webinars will be free and will held in German.



Windows Server 2012 R2 Private CLoud Storage and Virtualization

Windows Server 2012 R2 Private Cloud Virtualization and Storage Poster and Mini-Posters

Yesterday Microsoft released the Windows Server 2012 R2 Private Cloud Virtualization and Storage Poster and Mini-Posters. This includes overviews over Hyper-V, Failover Clustering, Scale-Out File Server, Storage Spaces and much more. These posters provide a visual reference for understanding key private cloud storage and virtualization technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2. They focus on understanding storage architecture, virtual hard disks, cluster shared volumes, scale-out file servers, storage spaces, data deduplication, Hyper-V, Failover Clustering, and virtual hard disk sharing.

Bedsides the overview poster, Microsoft Includes the following Mini-Posters:

  • Virtual Hard Disk and Cluster Shared Volumes Mini Poster
  • Virtual Hard Disk Sharing Mini Poster
  • Understanding Storage Architecture Mini Poster
  • Storage Spaces and Deduplication Mini Poster
  • Scale-Out and SMB Mini Poster
  • Hyper-V and Failover Clustering Mini Poster

You can get the posters from the Microsoft download page.



Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) Overview

Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) FAQ

With the evolution of cloud computing, datacenter are getting more important, and having multiple datacenter for a site failover is more and more a must have solution. With Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Microsoft introduced a new feature called Hyper-V Replica, which allows you to do an asynchronous replication on a virtual machine level. If you are working in a lager environment you may not want to failover single machines with the Hyper-V Manager, you need a tool which orchestrates the Failover from one site to another site. There are several different options you could do this, like a PowerShell script, System Center Orchestrator or the new automation engine called Service Management Automation (SMA). All of these solutions can work with Hyper-V Replica but they all have some up and downsides.

Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) Overview

Microsoft developed a solution for this problem called Hyper-V Recover Manager which is basically a hosted orchestration engine in Windows Azure. You can simply connected your System Center Virtual Machine Manager servers to this service by installing an agent on the VMM servers. After that you can login to the Windows Azure Portal and configure the orchestration and recovery plans for your VMM Clouds. An important thing here, Windows Azure is only the orchestration engine, no data or VMs are replicated to Windows Azure. VMs will be replicated just between your sites.

Windows Azure Portal Hyper-V Recovery Manager

Still here are some things unclear about Hyper-V Recovery Manager, so here is a little FAQ, which should answer some of the questions:

Q: Can I fully automate my datacenter failover?
A: Yes, you can Failover your Virtual Machines extend the solution with Scripts.

Q: Can I Failover my Domain Controllers and SQL Servers first before failing over my application servers.
A: Yes, you can create your own order in which the failover should happen, by creating recovery plans.

Q: My secondary site has not the same network or subnet available, can I still use it?
A: Yes, Hyper-V Replica and Hyper-V Recovery Manager can change IP addresses of VMs during a failover. In a HRM scenario VMM IP Pools are used to automatically change IP addresses.

Q: Can I test my Recovery Plan?
A: Yes, as in Hyper-V Replica, you can also do a Test Failover.

Q: I have different Storage vendors, can I still use Hyper-V Recovery Manager
A: Yes, there is no dependency to the Storage

Q: I am using Storage Spaces and a Scale-Out Fileserver, does this work with HRM?
A: Yes, you can configure SMB shares for VM locations.

Q: Can’t have my Application data go to cloud
A: Application data never goes to Azure – it transmits encrypted over your own network link between two DCs.

Q: Both of my sites are managed with the same Virtual Machine Manager, does it still work?
A: Yes, it works with both single VMM and HA VMM environments.

Q: My Hosts and Applications don’t have internet connectivity
A: No, Windows Azure connectivity needed by Hyper-V Hosts and Applications. Only connectivity is from VMM Server to Azure Service which can be done by a proxy server.

Q: Do I need to install another agent on every Hyper-V host or Guest VM?
A: No, Disaster Recovery Provider is only needed on VMM Machine.

Q: My N Tier App is using SQL AlwaysON can I get single click App failover?
A: Yes, Hyper-V Recovery Manager failover plans can be customized with scripts, so you can also Failover SQL or other applications using PowerShell.

Q: In addition to Primary DC my ISP is also impacted, can I still failover?
A: Yes, During failover no dependency on Primary Site or Connectivity to Primary Site is needed.

Q: Service Providers want to use HRM but see Azure as competition with their own offering.
A: There is no need to share customer information with Windows Azure, Hoster’s customers never go to HRM Portal.

Q: Does Hyper-V Recovery Manager offer System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) integration?
A: Yes, ongoing replication health monitoring in SCOM

Q: I already have done some System Center Orchestrator Runbooks for failing over Applications, can I still use them?
A: Yes, You can trigger Orchestrator RunBooks from Hyper-V Recovery Manager via scripts.

Q: Does System Center Virtual Machine Manager have Hyper-V Replica support.
A: Yes, Hyper-V Replica has a rich integration with VMM which lights up when you register to Hyper-V Recovery Manager service. Following are key Hyper-V replica integration points with VMM

  • Ability to enable protection during Create VM Wizard
  • Ability to setup default protection for VMs through integration with VM Template
  • Ability to enable protection for already created VMs
  • VM Placement algorithm takes protection information (Cloud, Network) to select appropriate cloud and Host
  • Ability to view replication health from VMM console
  • Specific Icon and actions for Replica VMs
  • Connecting replica VMs to networks and assign IP addresses at scale using VMM networking (VM Networks)

Thanks to Vishal Mehrotra (Microsoft Principal Group Program Manager WSSC)

Feel free to add additional questions to the comment section.



Add Windows-based File Server

Manage SOFS Cluster and File Shares from Virtual Machine Manager

In the past months I did several blog posts about Hyper-V over SMB and Storage Spaces. In small environment management of such a Scale-Out File Server Cluster can be a simple thing because you don’t have a lot of changes, you setup the thing once and this will work for some time. In larger enterprise fabric and storage management is a huge topic, now with Hyper-V over SMB you don’t have to do any zoning or configure iSCSI initiators but you still have to set the right permission on the file share. This is where System Center Virtual Machine Manager comes into play.

Virtual Machine Manager also you to not only manage your iSCSI or fiber channel storage appliances via SMI-S, you can also manage your Scale-Out File Server.

First you have to add the Scale-Out File Server to the SCVMM fabric management. You can simple add a resource and Add a Storage Device. This will open a wizard where you can not only select SAN or NAS storage, but you can also select Widows-based file server.

Add Windows-based File Server

Enter the FQDN of your Fileserver Cluster

Enter Fileserver FQDN

This will scan your File Server Cluster and will show you already existing file shares. You can now match Storage Classifications with the existing file shares.

File Server Fileshares and Classification

After you have connected your Scale-Out File Server you can now create new File Shares and Storage Spaces directly from the Virtual Machine Manager Console.

Create File Shares

After you have created the file share you now have to add the permission for the Hyper-V host to the File Share. Virtual Machine Manager does automatically take care of that if you add the File Share to the Hyper-V Host or if you have a Hyper-V Cluster to the Cluster Object.

Add File Share to Hyper-V host

Now you can start using the file shares for placing Virtual Machines on it. The File Shares classifications will also be available in the VM Clouds.

Cloud Storage Resouces

As you can see, System Center Virtual Machine Manager can make your life a lot easier and helps you manage your whole datacenter fabric, from Compute, network up to storage. In 2013 I did several presentations on Fabric Management with System Center Virtual Machine Manager and two of them are online. You should check out the following posts:

Fabric Management with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (German)

Fabric Management with System Center Virtual Machine Manager at the TechDays Basel (German)



Hyper-V 2012 R2 Poster

TechNet Switzerland Event: From VMware to Hyper-V

On Tuesday, December 03 I will present together with Markus Erlacher, former Microsoft Switzerland TSP and now Managing Director at itnetx gmbh, on a free Microsoft Switzerland TechNet event. The topic this time will be why and how you migrate from VMware to a Microsoft Hyper-V and System Center environment. The event will cover an overview about Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 R2 and all the Virtualization features you need in your environment. At the afternoon session we will also cover how you can migrate from VMware to Hyper-V so you can quickly enjoy the new Private Cloud solutions from Microsoft.

The event is free and in will be in the Microsoft Conference Center in Wallisellen Zürich. To join that event register on the Microsoft Event Website. The event will be in German and will no be streamed to the web.

Agenda

Tuesday, December 03

08:30 – Coffee
09:00 – Session 1 – Hyper-V Overview (Virtual Machines, Hyper-V Manager, Virtual Switch, VHDX format)
10:30 – Coffee Break
10:45 – Session 2 – Hyper-V Advanced Features (Hyper-V Networking and Storage, Hyper-V over SMB, Network Virtualization)
12:00 – Lunch
13:00 – Session 3 – Management (VM and Fabric Management with System Center Virtual Machine Manager, PowerShell and more…)
14:30 – Coffee Break
14:45 – Session 4 – VMware Migration (Migration from VMware to Hyper-V, Tools, Best practices, automation, real world example)
16:15 – End

More Information and registration

More information and registration on the Microsoft Event Website.



TechDays Basel 2013

TechDays 2013 – Fabric Management with Virtual Machine Manager Session Online

One day after I was presenting at the TechNet Conference in Berlin Germany I was also talking at the TechDays 2013 in Basel Switzerland. Microsoft has now published my session online on Channel9:

The Session is in German and shows how you can use System Center 2012 R2 – Virtual Machine Manager as your Datacenter Management Tool, to manage your Fabric like Storage, Network and Compute, how you can Pool Resources, create Tenants, Service Templates and about the Self-Service Portals like App Controller and Windows Azure Pack.



SMB 3 the future of Storage

EMC – SMB 3.0 is the Future of Storage

At the moment I am working in a lot of customer cloud deployment projects and the huge topic at the moment are networking and storage. In the networking part there is a lot of talk going on, on “small” things like NIC Teaming and also on bigger topics like Network Virtualization. On the storage part I think a lot of customers are ready to take new approach to save money and get a better solutions. The main parts I talk a lot about is Storage Spaces and Hyper-V over SMB. I already wrote a lot about Hyper-V over SMB, which is not only in my opinion the future of storage. EMC released a solution overview for their EMC VNX and VNXe solution which offer SMB 3.0. EMC calls SMB 3.0 “The Future of Storage”.

SMB 3.0 is the Future of Storage

SMB 3.0 in Windows 8 clients and Windows 2012 servers is the future of storage protocols. It gives excellent performance with low CPU overhead – plus fault tolerance. Its load balancing/scaling will adjust throughput to available NICs and it also supports simultaneous access by multiple cluster hosts, with build-in arbitration for data consistency. There’s also file-share VSS (RVSS) backup support that facilitates the capture of application-consistent backups on SMB shares. This resiliency, combined with increasing Ethernet speeds, open up the potential for demanding, mission critical workloads such as Hyper-V and Microsoft SQL Server, to be placed on NAS.

You can read more here: EMC VNX and VNXe with Microsoft SMB 3.0

As I already mentioned I deployed SMB 3.0 and Hyper-V over SMB a couple of times and for me this is absolutely the way to go: No Fiber channel, no more iSCSI. And it’s funny that EMC the owner of VMware is calling SMB 3.0 the Future of Storage. I have to admit the EMC VNX and VNXe solutions on paper look pretty great and it looks like EMC did a great job implementing SMB 3.0. Unfortunately I could not test and VNX or VNXe yet.

EMC SMB 3 the future of Storage

Btw make sure you read my other blog post on SMB 3.0: